*** (3 stars)
Boston Tea Party
Catalog ID: SOLD
In spite of the name, these guys were from
Burbank, California. Originally formed in 1963, they started out as a surf
outfit, but by the mid-'60s had decided to follow popular trends,
reinventing themselves as a psych band.
Featuring a lineup of brothers Mike (keyboards) and Richard (bass) DePerna,
singer Travis Fields, drummer David Novogroski and guitarist Mike Stevens,
the group debuted with the 1967 single "Words" b/w
"Spinach". Originally released by the small Big Boss label, the
single was promptly reissued by Gene Autry's Challenge Records. A pair of
follow-ups also did little ("Is It Love?" b/w "Don't Leave Me
Alone" and "Free Service" b/w "Rose In the Night").
The first released by the MGM affiliated Flick Disc label, 1968 saw the
quintet debut with their first LP - the cleverly-titled "The
Boston Tea Party". Co-produced by Jerry Styler and Dave
Brooks, original material such as "I'm Telling You",
"Straighten Up and Fly Right" and "We Have Already Died"
wasn't half bad. Largely penned by Stevens, the results were keyboard-driven
rockers that reflected a distinctive psych edge. Fields proved a
surprisingly strong voice, capable of salvaging even some of the lamer
numbers ("I Found a Way"). Elsewhere the album was worth hearing
just for some of the year's lamest guitar solos (check out Stevens'
performance on "I'm Telling You"). Among the few complaints, Mike
DePerna's stabbing organ (he occasionally sounded as if he were playing a
different song from the rest of the band ("Fantasy")).
"The Boston Tea Party" track listing:
1.) I'm Telling You (Mike Stevens - Travis Fields) - 2:50
2.) Straighten Up and Fly Right (Mike Stevens - Travis Fields) - 4:15
3.) I Found a Way (Mike Stevens) - 2:00
4.) Fantasy (Mike Stevens) - 2:43
5.) We Have Already Died (Mike Stevens) - 2:40
1.) Free Service (Mike Stevens - Travis Fields - Richard DePerna) - 2:39
2.) Just Pretend You're Sherry (Mike Stevens - Richard DePerna) - 3:36
3.) In Their Shoes (Mike Stevens) - 2:51
4.) The Time Being (Mike Stevens - Richard DePerna) - 6:46
5.) Please Be Glad (For What You Have In Your Heart) (Mike Stevens) - 2:32
The band survived long enough to undertake a cameo performance in the
American International "B" flick Cycle Savages (a couple of their
songs were included in the soundtrack), and they were history.
Novogroski reappeared as a late inning member of The American Revolution,
before joining The Edge. Stevens formed Highway Robbery.