Saturday, November 8, 2008

Five Man Electrical Band - Half Past Midnight - (Canada)

Best-known for their 1971 anti-establishment hit "Signs," Ottawa, Canada's Five Man Electrical Band featured guitarist/vocalist Les Emmerson, bassist Brian Rading, keyboardist Ted Gerow, and drummers Rick "Bell" Belanger and Mike "Bell" Belanger. Originally known as the Staccatos, the group formed in the mid-'60s and earned their first big break with the 1967 hit "Half Past Midnight"; their first attempt at stateside success came that year when they recorded A Wild Pair with the Guess Who. The album sold well and "Half Past Midnight" was released as a single in the U.S., but the group was dismissed as sounding too much like the Beach Boys. The Staccatos released their second album, Five Man Electrical Band, in 1968, and renamed themselves after it the following year. They continued to record for Capitol Records, traveling to L.A. to record singles such as "It Never Rains on Maple Lane." After switching to MGM and relocating permanently to L.A., the group released several other singles that received very little chart action. One of those singles, "Hello Melinda Goodbye," featured "Signs" as its B-side, which was inspired by the proliferation of billboards on America's freeways; though it garnered some airplay in L.A., it failed to do much when it was reissued on its own. By 1971, the group was close to splitting when their new label, Jimmy Webb and Dallas Smith's Lion Records, reissued "Signs" as a teaser for the Five Man Electrical Band's full-length debut, Goodbyes & Butterflies. This time, "Signs" reached number three in the U.S., number four in Canada, and sold more than two million copies internationally. The follow-up single, "Absolutely Right," also did well, reaching number three in Canada and the Top 20 in the U.S. However, their later albums didn't receive much attention, and in 1973 after so many ups and downs, the original Five Man Electrical Band finally packed it in; Emmerson recorded using the group's name for another two years. Subsequently, he tried his hand at running a label, Perfect Records, played with the Cooper Brothers, and began a solo career upon his return to Ottawa. The original lineup re-formed in 1986 for a benefit concert and for occasional tours of eastern Canada. Emmerson bought the rights to the group's material and released the best-of, Absolutely Right, in 1996.

Five Man Electrical Band - Five Man Electrical Band
2. Last Time I Saw Memphis - Five Man Electrical Band
3. Private Train - Five Man Electrical Band
4. Half Past Midnight - Five Man Electrical Band
5. You're Gonna Lose That Girl - Five Man Electrical Band
6. Maple Lane - Five Man Electrical Band
7. Black Sheep of the Family - Five Man Electrical Band
8. Fancy Dancin' Man - Five Man Electrical Band
9. We Go Together Well - Five Man Electrical Band
10. Didn't Know the Time - Five Man Electrical Band
11. Running Back - Five Man Electrical Band
12. Catch the Love Parade - The Staccatos
13. Whisper Words - The Staccatos
14. Let's Run Away - The Staccatos
15. Face to Face (With Love) - The Staccatos
16. Walker Street - The Staccatos
17. Super Girl - The Staccatos
18. She Fancies Herself a Lady - The Staccatos
19. Weather Man - The Staccatos
20. Half Past Midnight [Mono 45] - The Staccatos
Editorial Reviews
Product Description2008 release.
Having issued two LPs as The Staccatos, Ottawa, Canada's Five Man Electrical Band launched onto the scene in 1968 with this criminally underrated, psychedelically tinged Pop gem. Reminiscent of The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Buffalo Springfield and other like-minded bands, Five Man Electrical Band developed into one of Canada's best-known groups, and their Capitol 45 of 'Half Past Midnight' sold over 25,000 copies in Canada alone! This first-ever CD issue of their long-out-of-print Capitol LP is supplemented by rare Staccatos 45s, none of which have ever been issued on CD. The 16-page colour booklet also includes rare, unpublished photos and comprehensive liner notes that feature the participation of original band members. 20 tracks. Now Sounds.
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