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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Music Machine - "(Turn On) The Music Machine" Vinyl, LP, Album, Mono, 1966 (Original Sound)


"Talk Talk" is one of the great 45 rpm singles in my life.   As a 12-year-old, I couldn't wait till it came on the radio.  I think it lasted under two minutes which was torture to me.  I remember keeping the radio dial on KHJ or KCRW, or both, in the hopes to hear this song again.  Oddly enough I never had the 45 rpm single.  Reasons why, is in the memory bank of the forgotten.  

It was years later that I purchased an early CD edition of his album, and in stereo.  I thought the stereo mix was terrible.  Not the way I remembered the song, which again, was through the magic of a transistor radio.   At Mono (no pun intended) Records store I found an original 'Mono' pressing of "(Turn On) The Music Machine."   What is there not to like?  A band dressed all in black, and all wearing one black glove.   Fascism, punk rock, religious cult/order?   When I got home and put it on my turntable, I was blown over by the great sound coming out of the speakers.  No separation of the organ from the voice of Sean Bonniwell.  Who also, by the way, wrote the original songs on this album, and the half are covers of songs from that era or year 1966.  It's almost a jukebox of hit songs like "Taxman," Neil Diamond's "Cherry Cherry,' and the other punk garage rock iconic song from Question Mark and the Mysterians'  "96 Tears."   What took me by surprise is that all the songs by Bonniwell, including "Talk Talk" were magnificent and crafted song(wo)manship. 

"Masculine Intuition" and "Come On In" are songs that struck me just as hard as "Talk Talk."  It's a strange feeling to listen to an album made decades ago, and just thinking they were a one-hit wonders for "Talk Talk."  That they had other songs right up there with that piece of music - magic was a wow for me. 

Their version of "Hey Joe" is actually my fave of all the many versions that are out there.  Bonniwell was an excellent vocalist.  His voice can convey a deeper sense of hurt and disappointment.  The banality of a young man yes, but throughout Bonnniwell's composition skills,  the subject matter of the song becomes the status of Shakespeare tragedy through the medium of garage rock.