:: Mairzy Doats. ::
:: A Lifetime Lovin' You ::
:: Whence I Make Thee Mine ::
:: I Don't Wanna Be Around You ::
This was one of those records I couldn't not buy, even though I knew nothing about what it was. I figured maybe it was bubble gum, but I was getting Kama Sutra Records mixed up with Buddah Records (an easy mistake). It turned out to just be a pretty good pop/rock record from the mid-60s. This was yet another case of guys who had been around for a while, going by different band names trying to fit in with the times. Pete Anders and Vinnie Poncia were staff producers at Kama Sutra. They wrote, produced and performed their own songs in bands like the Videls ("Mr. Lonely"), the Critters ("Bad Misunderstanding") and the Tradewinds ("Mind Excursion" & "New York's A Lonely Town") before going with the Innocence. None of this made big waves in the pop music world, but they were pretty decent and they made a good run of it. They took one last stab at fame in 1969 at Warner Bros. with The Anders & Poncia Album before finally hanging it up. Poncia went on to produce acts like Kiss and Ringo Starr (ultimately making Kiss sound like Ringo Starr), while Anders went back to using his real name (Andreoli) and kept a low profile.
Meanwhile this is a dog gone ok album. Fer Chrisakes, Charlie - Richard Meltzer loved it. Here's a snip from his liner notes:
"Mairzy Doats is a readymade classic. Mere words reduced to mere sounds regrouped into new mere words which are somehow more poetically evocative than the originals. Here The Innocence speaks with somebody else's speech composed of just a pile of word play. Just playful as a silly kid's song, it has been allowed to crystallize into a monument to nonserious word play. And now, after John Lennon's great books have validated just this type of "game", The Innocence has come to resurrect Mairzy Doats and give Rock an addition so perfect for Rock and so long inevitable."
As usual, I don't know what the fuck he's on about, but yeah, they're pretty good. I'll be damned if "I Don't Wanna Be Around You" doesn't sound like Joe Pernice minus a bit of self loathing, and "A Lifetime of Lovin' You" predicts a certain sort of '70s pop sensibility. If "Mairzy Doats" doesn't make you smile, there's something fuckin' wrong with you, and "Whence I Make Thee Mine" proves once and for all that olde English maketh not hit records. This stuff might catch on yet. Maybe it's not the end of the Innocence (sorry).