Baroques, The

Band members               Related acts

- Rick Bieniewski -- bass (1966-68)

- Jay Borkenhagen -- vocals, keyboards, guitar (replaced

  Wayne Will) (1966-68)

- Jacques Hutchinson -- guitar (1966-68)

- Dean Nimmer -- drums (1966-68)

- Wayne Will -- guitar (1966)



- none known



Genre: psychedelic

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  The Baroques

Company: Chess

Catalog: LP-1516

Year: 1967

Country/State: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: mono pressing; name written in small ink letters on front cover ('Friskics'); metal grommit top left corner

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 4194

Price: $150.00

Cost: $47.06


First off I'll admit to being a little biased in that this is one of my top-20 psych favorites.  Part of it may have to do with the fact these guys didn't call the East or West coasts home, rather they hailed from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Hardly what you'd consider to be a mid-1960s hotbed for psychedelic bands ...


With a line up consisting of bassist Rick Bieniewski , guitarist Jacques Hutchinson, drummer Dean Nimmer and Wayne Will, the group started out playing as The Complete Unknowns.  By 1966 they'd lost Will to the draft, replacing him with multi-instrumentalist Jay Borkenhagen.  They'd also shifted their musical focus from garage to psychedelic, in the process attracting the attention of Chess Records which took the unusual step of signing the band to what was a largely R&B-oriented recording roster. 


Produced by Ralph Bass, 1967's cleverly titled "The Baroques" is frequently mesmerizing and never less than enjoyable.  With Borkenhagen responsible for the majority of material (though all four members contributed to the song writing), tracks such as "Iowa, A Girl's Name" and the harpsichord-powered ballad "Seasons" found the band mixing their best Brit impressions with meltdown fuzz guitars, weird time changes and what sounded like oceans of illicit stimulation.  Highlights included the bizarrely titled "Musical Tribute To the Oscar Mayer Weiner Wagon", the guitar powered "Purple Day", "In Silver Light" and "Rose Colored Glasses".  Elsewhere, Chess pulled "Mary Jane" b/w "Iowa, A Girl's Name" (Chess catalog number 2001) as an instantly obscure single.  Unfortunately, the album failed to sell and the always dreaded "creative" differences with Chess arose.  The band was quickly dropped from Chess' recording roster. 


"The Baroques" track listing:

(side 1)
1.) Iowa, A Girl's Name   (Jay Borkenhagen) - 2:45

2.) Seasons   (Jay Borkenhagen) - 3:00

3.) Mary Jane   (Jay Borkenhagen) - 2:45

4.) Rose Colored Glasses    (Jay Borkenhagen - Jacques Hutchinson) - 2:40

5.) Musical Tribute To the Oscar Mayer Weiner Wagon   (Jay Borkenhagen) - 3:35

6.) In Silver Light   (Jay Borkenhagen - Dean Nimmer) - 2:07


(side 2)
1.) This Song Needs No Introduction   (Dean Nimmer - Rick Bieniewski -  Jay Borkenhagen - Jacques Hutchinson) - 3:00

2.) There's Nothing Left To Do But Cry   (Jay Borkenhagen) - 2:55

3.) Bicycle   (Jay Borkenhagen) - 2:25

4.) Purple Day   (Jay Borkenhagen) - 2:45

5.) Boop   (Jay Borkenhagen - Jacques Hutchinson) - 1:45

6.) Love In a Circle   (Jacques Hutchinson) - 2:30


One final self-financed single, 1968's "I Will Not Touch" b/w "Remember" (Baroque Records catalog number 4553/4) and by the end of the year the band was little more than a musical footnote.



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