Strawberry Alarm Clock
Strawberry Alarm Clock was a psychedelic rock band from Los Angeles, best known for their 1967 hit "Incense and Peppermints" and their appearance in the film Beyond The Valley of the Dolls.
The group originally consisted of Ed King (lead guitar), Mark Weitz (keyboards), Lee Freeman (guitar), Gary Lovetro (bass), and Randy Seol (drums). Interestingly, on their first and most famous single, "Incense and Peppermints," lead vocals were sung by Greg Munford, a 16-year-old friend of the band. After that success the band added George Bunnell (bass and rhythm guitar) before making their first LP in 1967. Bunnell would also become their main songwriter. Membership changes were many. Gary Lovetro left the band before the second album, Wake Up It's Tomorrow, (also 1967). Although the group followed up with more LPs in 1968 (The World in a Seashell) and 1969 (Good Morning Starshine) the band had begun to fall apart and the audience was mostly gone. In various forms the group managed to keep performing until 1971, when the band finally broke up. Ed King went on to join Lynyrd Skynyrd and several members of Strawberry Alarm Clock reunited in the '80s to perform on oldies tours.
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Ed King went on to join Lynyrd Skynyrd and several members of Strawberry Alarm Clock reunited in the '80s to
perform on oldies tours.
Bunnell would also become their main songwriter. Membership changes were many. The success of the single also led to TFF's greatest hits album, Tears Roll Down, spending eight weeks in the UK Top 40 a full twelve years after its release. After that success the band added George Bunnell (bass and rhythm guitar) before making their first LP in 1967. Despite chart-topping success in the USA, Tears For Fears have yet to reach the top spot themselves in their native country, and the cover marked "their" first Number 1. Interestingly, on their first and most famous single, "Incense and Peppermints," lead vocals were sung by Greg Munford, a 16-year-old friend of the band. In 2003 the legacy of Tears For Fears re-emerged with some surprise when a haunting piano-only cover version of their debut hit "Mad World", performed by Michael Andrews and Gary Jules and featured on the soundtrack to the cult film Donnie Darko, reached the coveted UK Number 1 spot for Christmas 2003. The group originally consisted of Ed King (lead guitar), Mark Weitz (keyboards), Lee Freeman (guitar), Gary Lovetro (bass), and Randy Seol (drums). A tour of larger UK venues will follow in April.
Strawberry Alarm Clock was a psychedelic rock band from Los Angeles, best known for their 1967 hit "Incense and Peppermints" and their appearance in the film Beyond The Valley of the Dolls. The UK release will contain all fourteen tracks written and recorded during the ELAHE sessions. Everybody Loves a Happy Ending will be released in the UK and Europe in February 2005 on Gut Records. A successful US tour followed. Indeed, one of the highest compliments paid to the album was one reviewer's comment that "John Lennon and Paul McCartney are alive and well." The twelve-track album was scheduled for release on Arista Records in late 2003, but a label switch to New Door, a new offshoot of Universal, delayed the release until September 14, 2004.
This spirit is largely the work of co-writer and producer Charlton Pettus, who succeeded at the formidable task of melding Orzabal's lush songwriting with the live energy of Smith's Mayfield shows. Like their earlier work, ELAHE features TFF's hallmarks of vibrant Beatlesque melodies, solid songwriting, and turns of phrase, but the album also has a free spirit that Orzabal and Smith would have shunned in their earlier, more serious years. The ensuing album, Everybody Loves a Happy Ending, is in many ways what "The Seeds of Love" was meant to be. Much to their surprise, the songwriting sessions, which included Charlton Pettus, went so well that fourteen songs were written and recorded in less than six months (by contrast, the drum track alone for "Badman's Song" on "The Seeds of Love", an eight-song album, took six weeks to record.).
The two patched up their differences and Orzabal flew to Smith's home in Los Angeles for what they assumed would be a hesitant attempt at songwriting. In 2001, routine paperwork obligations led to Orzabal and Smith's first conversation in over a decade. As fate would have it, the album had the bad luck to be released on September 11, 2001, and drew little notice outside TFF's core fan base. Where TFF's work had remained guitar-based, Tomcats Screaming Outside showcased a completely electronic style and a darker approach.
After undertaking production work for Icelandic singer/songwriter Emiliana Torrini, Orzabal reteamed with Griffiths and recorded the album Tomcats Screaming Outside, released on Eagle Records as a solo project, under his own name. The dizzying array of record company mergers and acquisitions in the late 1990s eventually placed TFF's back catalogue into the Universal fold. The remasters also had the effect of establishing TFF as definitive artists, helping them to escape the dreaded "80's band" moniker. As with Saturnine, the liner notes provided rich background and new insights even to longtime fans.
In 1999 Mercury Records released remastered editions of TFF's first three albums which included b-sides, remixes, and extended versions. The liner notes gave fans an insight into the songwriting process as well as a rare glimpse of self-deprecating humour from TFF regarding the tracks which they would rather forget. In 1996 a collection of TFF's impressive b-sides, Saturnine Martial and Lunatic, was released on Mercury. Sony responded to the lack of commercial success by ending TFF's contract.
The release of Raoul was delayed for nearly a year due to a last-minute switch label from Mercury to Sony, and the ensuing confusion (Mercury had already begun promotion) did not help the album's chances either. A worldwide tour, which included a frenzied welcome in South and Latin America, had the effect of straining Orzabal's energies rather than supporting them. (Raoul was originally the name Orzabal's parents wanted to give him.) Although it continued TFF's legacy of outstanding songwriting, big production values, and varied influences, creating an album around the theme of exotic Spanish heritage excluded all but its main single, "God's Mistake", from any chance of commercial success. Orzabal and Griffiths released another Tears for Fears album in 1995, Raoul and the Kings of Spain, a more quiet and contemplative work that showed a new Latin music influence.
It is unfortunate that the album was received with more attention paid to what it was not - an album without Smith - than for what the album was, an immensely enjoyable blend of good songwriting and creative sampling. It yielded the radio hit "Break It Down Again" and was supported with a successful US college tour. In 1993, Orzabal recorded the album Elemental in collaboration with longtime co-collaborator Alan Griffiths, and released it under the Tears for Fears moniker. Smith also took on the management or co-management of several independent bands and musicians.
A second album, Aeroplane, was released in 1998, showcasing the songs written during Mayfield's club days. Eschewing major record labels, Smith formed his own label, Zerodisc, to release Mayfield's music, and was an early advocate of using the internet to share and distribute music outside the mainstream industry. As a live band, Mayfield performed with minimal production and no commercial obligations, and Smith's sense of musicianship was rekindled for the first time since his teenage years. From 1996 to 1998 their band, Mayfield, performed occasional sets in clubs throughout Greenwich Village and SoHo including Brownie's, the Mercury Lounge, and CBGB.
In 1995 he met local songwriter and producer Charlton Pettus. The two formed a self-described "organic" partnership, writing simple, melody-based songs and recording them at home on vintage analog equipment. In 1993 he recorded a lite FM album, which he himself despised, solely to fulfill his Mercury contract. Smith relocated to New York City and took several years to recover from the spotlight. The two spent much of the 90s continuing to attack each other through the media and through their music.
The split was ultimately blamed on Orzabal's intricate but frustrating approach to production and Smith's distaste for the pop music world. A break was almost inevitable. Though only in their late twenties, the two had been in the musical spotlight for nearly a decade, and as individuals they were no longer the angst-ridden teenagers they had been when they met at 13. After The Seeds of Love, Orzabal and Smith had an extremely acrimonious falling out.
Another single was "Woman in Chains," on which Phil Collins played drums and Oleta Adams — whom Orzabal would guide to a successful solo career — shared vocals. The album retained the band's epic sound while showing increasing influences ranging from jazz and blues to The Beatles, the last of which is extremely evident in the hit single "Sowing the Seeds of Love". It was 1989 before the group released its third album, The Seeds of Love, at a reported production cost of over a quarter-million dollars. The slogan was "I Ran The World"; therefore Tears For Fears released "Everybody Wants To Run The World".
In 1986, a slightly rewritten version of their biggest hit was recorded and released for the British fundraising initiative Sport Aid, a splinter project of Band Aid in which people took part in running races of varying length and seriousness to raise more money for African projects. The album title stemmed from the B-side to "Shout", which was a song called "The Big Chair", though this song was absent from the album itself. The album was a massive success on both sides of the Atlantic and yielded the hit singles "Mothers Talk"; "Shout"; "Everybody Wants to Rule the World"; "Head Over Heels" and "I Believe". Orzabal also took over the lion's share of lead vocal duty from Smith, who ended up with a comparative bit-part role of playing bass guitar.
Orzabal had been encouraged by producer Chris Hughes to pick up his guitar as he was a gifted player but wasn't using the instrument enough. Their next album Songs from the Big Chair (1985) - its title inspired by the 1976 US TV mini-series Sybil - broke free from the new wave mold; featuring instead a big sound that would become the band's stylistic hallmark. A previously unheard single called "The Way You Are" was released at the very beginning of 1984 to keep the band in the spotlight while they worked on the second album. Its singles were "Mad World", "Change" and "Pale Shelter".
Their first album The Hurting (1983) featured synthesizer-based songs whose lyrics reflected Orzabal's bitter growing-up experiences with his parents. During primal therapy, the patient is encouraged to cry, scream, and beat objects to express childhood, perinatal and prenatal feelings; hence the name "Tears for Fears," and the content of the song "Shout.". The duo's name is derived from the primal therapy treatment formed by Arthur Janov. They were initially associated with new wave and the New Romantic movements, but quickly branched out into mainstream chart success.
Tears for Fears are a British pop band formed in the early 1980s by Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith, who emerged as a pairing from an early band in their home town of Bath. 1995 "Raoul and the Kings of Spain" #31 UK. 1993 "Break It Down Again" #20 UK, #25 US. 1992 "Laid So Low (Tears Roll Down)" #17 UK.
1990 "Advice for the Young at Heart" #36 UK. 1989 "Woman in Chains" #26 UK, #36 US. 1989 "Sowing the Seeds of Love" #5 UK, #2 US. 1986 "Everybody Wants to Run the World" #5 UK.
1985 "I Believe (A Soulful Re-Recording)" #23 UK. 1985 "Head over Heels" #12 UK, #3 US. 1985 "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" #2 UK, #1 US. 1984 "Shout" #4 UK, #1 US (1985 release).
1984 "Mother's Talk" #14 UK, #27 US (1985 release). 1983 "The Way You Are" #24 UK. 1983 "Pale Shelter" #5 UK. 1983 "Change" #4 UK.
1982 "Mad World" #3 UK. Everybody Loves a Happy Ending 2004 New Door; #46 US. Saturnine Martial & Lunatic 1996 Mercury. Raoul and the Kings of Spain 1995 Epic; #79 US.
Elemental 1993 Mercury; #5 UK, #45 US. Tears Roll Down (Greatest Hits 82-92) 1992 Fontana; #2 UK, #53 US. The Seeds of Love 1989 Fontana; #1 UK, #8 US. Songs from the Big Chair 1985 Mercury; #2 UK, #1 US.
The Hurting 1983 Mercury; #1 UK, #73 US.