Week of December 31, 2006

Orange Bicycle

John Bachini - Bass
Kevin Curry - Drums
Bernie Lee - Guitar
Wilson Malone - Keyboards, Vocals
R.J. Scales - Vocals

The Orange Bicycle (Parlophone PCS 7108) 1970
CD: AIRAC-1197

Let's Take A Trip On... (Morgan Bluetown MBT 5003) 1988
Hyacinth Threads: The Morgan Blue Town Recordings (2CD Edsel MEDCD 688) 2001

Hyacinth Threads/Amy Peate (Columbia DB 8259) 1967
Laura's Garden/Lavender Girl (Columbia DB 8311) 1967
Early Pearly Morning/Go With Goldie (Columbia DB 8352) 1968
Jenskadajka/Nicely (Columbia DB 8413) 1968
Sing This All Together/Trip On An Orange Bicycle (Columbia DB 8483) 1968
Last Cloud Home/Tonight I'll Be Staying Here (Parlophone R 5789) 1969
Carry That Weight/You Never Give Me Your Money (Parlophone R 5811) 1970
Take Me To The Pilot/It's Not My World (Parlophone R 5829) 1970
Jelly On The Bread/Make It Rain (Parlophone R 5854) 1970
Goodbye Stranger/ Country Comforts (Regal Zonophone RZ 3029) 1971

This rather lightweight vocal harmony outfit evolved out of Robb Storme and The Whispers and started playing quasi-psychedelic pop music in 1967. They had a No.1 in France with their debut single, "Hyacinth Threads", a fast-paced harmony-pop song with harpsichord, though this and their future singles (including a cover of The Rolling Stones' "Sing This All Together") did not happen at home. "Laura's Garden" and its flip, "Lavender Girl", represented the more benign end of psych-tinged pop. Their sole album was produced by John Peel and was largely comprised of cover versions, including early Elton John material such as "Take Me To The Pilot", which was also released as a single. It also included Dylan's "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You" and Denny Laine's "Say You Don't Mind".

In 1988, the revitalised Morgan Bluetown label produced the "Let's Take A Trip On..." compilation album. Containing 16 tracks in all, it includes all the Columbia A- and B-sides (except the third), but none of the later Parlophone ones. Sadly there are no sleevenotes to clarify where the other tracks originated from. The 2CD set from Edsel, "Hyacinth Threads", is a 33-track collection of their European hits, misses and outtakes. It's erratic, but tucked away within it are some gorgeous harmony pop tracks like "L.A.", "Amy Peate", "Trip On An Orange Bicycle" and "Message For Mary".

Wilson Malone was also in Motherlight and recorded a self-titled solo album as Wil Malone in 1970 for Fontana.

"Laura's Garden" can also be heard on "Morgan Blue Town" (LP), "Best And The Rest Of British Psychedelia" (CD) and on the 4CD set, "Acid Drops, Spacedust & Flying Saucers". "Last Cloud Home" has been compiled on "Jagged Time Lapse, Vol.2" (CD) and "Competition" can also be found on "Fading Yellow, Vol.1" (CD).

Taken from The Tapestry of Delights Revisited - The Comprehensive Guide to British Music of the Beat, R&B, Psychedelic and Progressive Eras 1963-1976, Vernon Joynson
ISBN 1 899855 15 7

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