Band members Related acts
- Henri Mario
Dondini - keyboards (1970)
- none known
Rating: *** (3 stars)
Title: The Abstracts
Catalog: SD 6002
Grade (cover/record): G/VG
Comments: bottom seam split; ring wear
GEMM catalog ID: 4444
What little we know about this quartet comes off
of the liner notes on their first (and only) album ...
Keyboardist Henri Dondini, guitarist Tony (Antonio) Peluso and bassist Pierre Vigeant formed The Abstracts while attending high school in Los Angeles. Playing school dances, they added drummer Michael Thatcher to the lineup after seeing him win an L.A. "battle of the drums" contest. As a quartet the band began working clubs throughout Southern California and Texas, eventually attracting the attention of Atlantic Records.
One of the first (and last) acts signed to Atlantic's short-lived Pompeii subsidiary, the band's self-titled 1970 debut teamed them with producers Darrell Glenn and David Anderson. With Peluso handling lead vocals and writing the majority of the material (he was credited with 8 of 12 tracks), "The Abstracts" offered up a weird hybrid sounding like Association-styled MOR crossed with ARS Nova styled Baroque-psych. Yeah, we know it sounds odd. Exemplified by Peluso-penned material such as "Rich Young Heir", "O.D.D. Clown" and "Matter of Life and Death", the deep, thoughtful (aka pompous) lyrics were certain to have appealed to closet intellectuals. The album was also notable for including the year's oddest Gershwin cover ("Summertime"). In spite of those comments, the set wasn't a complete waste. Peluso tended to over sing, but he had a decent voice and on songs with strong melodies, notably "See the Birds" and "Smell of Incense" the band proved quite listenable. Unfortunately, nobody was listening; the album quickly vanishing into oblivion, followed in quick order by the band.
"The Abstracts" track listing:
1.) To Say the Least (Antonio Francesco Raphael Peluso) - 2:52
2.) Results of Love (Antonio Francesco Raphael Peluso) - 2:52
3.) Rich Young Heir (Antonio Francesco Raphael Peluso) - 2:57
4.) O.D.D. Clown (Antonio Francesco Raphael Peluso) - 1:55
5.) Smell of Incense (Antonio Francesco Raphael Peluso) - 2:35
6.) Summertime (George Gershwin)
7.) See the Birds (Pierre Armand Vigeant) - 2:40
8.) Any Only Time (Begas - Vegas) - 3:02
9.) Dreaming of Blue (Antonio Francesco Raphael Peluso) - 3:14
10.) Matter of Life and Death (Antonio Francesco Raphael Peluso) - 2:45
11.) My Mind Ain't Peculiar (Acree) - 2:26
The band originated here in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles and began gigging around 1967. Henry, Tony and Pierre played at many of the high schools out here doing your basic late 1960's top 40 fare, and were quite popular. They graduated from high school in 1971 and started playing the local club circuit around Hollywood and Marina Del Rey. Tony wrote most of their music and did all of the vocals. It was about that time that they got signed to the small Pompeii label.
I had a friend that had this album, so I had heard it in the past although it was about 25 years ago. They played many of the tunes on this album as part of their act, so that's why I was so stoked when I first heard it. My friend also knew the band well, and wouldn't part with the disc.
They were a killer band live, but in reality, the album sucks. There wasn't any of the intensity that one heard when these guys really cranked it up. It sounds as if the producer tried to homogenize these guys to fit into the soft rock market that dominated rock and roll from 1972-1974. Played heavily like they did live, these guys might have gone somewhere.
The band tried touring in the Southwest after the album came out without success. Shortly after the album's release, Tony Peluso left the band in 1973 to join the Carpenters. Tony remained with the Carpenters until Karen died. Today he back in Hollywood producing and recording.
Ahhhhhh, what memories! Will get a check off today. I got the second email with the info on where to send the check. Thanks again!
Back to Bad Cat homepage/search