THE GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD
601) Gary Walker & the Rain — “Magazine Woman”
Joe Bonomo calls “Magazine Woman” “kaleidoscopic” with “an insanely catchy hook”, “nothing short of a lost classic” (http://www.nosuchthingaswas.com/2021/03/maybe-its-conspiracy.html), while Stephen Cook says it “conjures up . . . the Beatles’ paisley pop” (https://www.allmusic.com/album/love-peace-poetry-british-psychedelic-music-mw0000017209), Len loves its “choppy rhythm, stun-gun lead guitar, delightful rough-edged harmonies and Taxman rip-off bassline” (http://therisingstorm.net/gary-walker-the-rain-album-no-1/) and Anorak Thing sees “a lysergic presence in it’s repetitive ‘Taxman’ bass loop and some electronically distorted guitars that are mind bending.” (https://anorakthing.blogspot.com/2009/12/big-in-japangary-walker-rain.html)
Joe Bonomo goes deep, as only an English professor would:
Written and sung by guitarist Paul Crane, this brilliant slice of moody, mid-paced psych pop is somehow both dreamy and propulsive, with a hypnotic bass line . . . an insanely catchy hook in the chorus, and an overall vibe that’s introspective yet busting with the colors of a lived life. What strikes me is how of-the-era the song is, not in a dated way . . . but in the way it reflects the immediacy of its times while also offering something eternal in its melody and arrangement. . . . [I]ts obsessions with interior states and fashion advertising feel fresh and relevant. It’s a shame that the song didn’t fall into the hands of the Mad Men showrunners, who could’ve played it behind a Betty Draper photo shoot, exposing this magical song to millions. The singer’s problems are familiar enough: he’s attracted to a girl in a magazine, but his desire’s so heady and all-consuming that fantasy and reality blur. His dilemma’s scored by droning, effects-driven guitar lines that swirl about the singer’s delicious complaints and threaten to pop the bubble of the daydream. . . . It’s nice when someone needs you, he sings, but when that person is only an image, and a created one at that, when you realize that the only thing she needs of you is your money to purchase her, things get strange—the trippy melody knows and expresses that—but, oddly, no less pleasurable. The song’s a graphic illustration of the disconnect between wanting and having, the unobtainable so real she feels as if she’s yours . . . . Something remarkable happens in the final minute, as Walker’s drums fade from the mix, and even Lawson’s bass line can’t prevent the song from ascending into the sky, drifting toward a vanishing point of desire and loss.http://www.nosuchthingaswas.com/2021/03/maybe-its-conspiracy.html
Man, did I have it wrong. I just thought it was a psychedelic “Pictures of Lily”! Master of my domain and all that . . . .
Ah, Gary Walker & the Rain. As Len notes:
Gary Leeds was only ever a third wheel to the Walker Brothers, a non-singing drummer thumping the tubs on live dates and TV appearances . . . . However, such was the impact of the Walkers in Europe and Japan that, when the trio folded, Gary was easily convinced by conniving manager Maurice King to put together a new band in England . . . . The band’s recording career kicked off with a passable cover of Spooky that . . . sold well [only] in Japan, where the Walkers had belatedly achieved godlike status. On the basis of this UK Polydor permitted them to record an album, but then inexplicably refused to release it. Only in Japan, where the band’s local label, Philips, was crying out for further product, did it hit the shelves . . . .http://therisingstorm.net/gary-walker-the-rain-album-no-1/
For more on the band, see #483.
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