Frankie Carr (All Natural Band)

Band members                              Related acts

  line up 1

- Frankie Carr (aka Frankie Carretta) -- vocals, lead guitar

- Bob Spinella -- vocals, keyboards

- Mike Steele - pedal steel guitar

- Mario Stiano -- drums

- Gary Syoc -- bass



- The Missing Links

- The Naturals (Frankie Carr)

- The Spare Change Band (Frankie Carr)

- Teddy Strom (Frankie Carr)

- The Tea Company (Frankie Carr)





Genre: rock

Rating: 4 stars ****

Title:  Frankie Carr's All Natural Band

Company: Tribute Records

Catalog: LR-1001

Year: 1977

Country/State: Long Island, New York

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4965

Price: $150.00


Genre: rock

Rating: 4 stars ****

Title:  Frankie Carr's All Natural Band

Company: Tribute Records

Catalog: LR-1001

Year: 1977

Country/State: Long Island, New York

Grade (cover/record): NM/NM

Comments: still in shrink wrap; opened and played once to tape

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4965

Price: $200.00


Frankie Carr (aka Frankie Carretta) is best know for his work as a member  of The Naturals and The Tea Company.  Roughly a decade after his work with those two bands, 1977 saw the release of "Frankie Carr's All Natural Band".  Released by the small Tribute label as what was apparently part of a tax break scheme, the collection seems to have recycled some of Carr's mid-1960s efforts (probably without his knowledge or cooperation).  Like most tax break releases, the album featured a stock cover and little or nothing in the way of performance information (though the liner notes at least included a list of  the band members).


Since there were no writing credits, I don't have a clue who to credit (or blame) for these nine tracks.  My guess would be they were all Carr originals.   Curiously, while the liner notes showed nine songs, by my count there were actually twelve tunes - three performance unlisted.    In spite of the mid-1970s release side one had a distinctive mid-1960s sound - almost certainly pre-Tea Company material.   In fact 'Keep On Pushin'' even included a lyric that said something like "this is the theme song for The Naturals".  I've never heard it, but as it happens in 1967 The Naturals recorded a tune called 'Theme From a Natural'.  The second side had a more contemporary sound.  Like side one, it featured a pair of unlisted songs.


So what did this album actually sound like?   With the exception of the ballad 'Love Makes the World Go Round' and  the jangle-rock opener 'I Believe', there weren't any psych influences.  The wild 'She Leaves Me Flat' and a couple of unlisted side one performances were more garage rock oriented and quite enjoyable.  Elsewhere keyboard and guitar propelled tracks like 'Wait and See' and 'Keep On Pushin'' were much closer to the blue-eyed soul espoused by The Young Rascals early releases.  In contrast, side two material like 'City Streets' and 'Lady Faire' had an early 1970s AOR feel.  Certainly not bad, but not anything a hardcore garage or psych fan would care about.  Unfortunately, in terms of fidelity the album was kind of hit or miss. Be warned, 'She Leaves Me Flat' and a couple of unlisted tunes suffered from very poor sound quality.   


Certainly a rarity, but not exactly a creative breakthrough.  For those of you who pay attention to such things, this one's listed in one of the Hans Pokora books as a four star rarity (I think it's the 3001 collection).


"Frankie Carr's All Natural Band" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) I Believe

Opening up with some interesting bass moves, 'i Believe' was a nice, if slightly ragged  jangle-rock tune that had a distinctive early-'60s feel.  I'm guessing Carr was featured on lead vocals and while his voice wasn't instantly radio friendly, his ragged edge quickly grew on you.    rating: **** stars

2.) Wait and See

Entitled 'Wait and See', the second song was actually a tune The Naturals had recorded back in 1967.  Originally entitled 'Say Hey Ha-Ha' it served as the 'B' side to their debut single 'Intentionally Me' (JOWAR catalog number J.W. 120).  A bouncy slice of bass and organ powered blue-eyed soul, it sounded like Carr and company had been listening to more than their share of Felix Cavaliere and the Young Rascals.  It may not have been all that original, but they exhibited considerable taste in their influences and the energy displayed on this one made it a keeper.    rating: **** stars

3.) Keep On Pushin' 

As mentioned above, based on the "lyrics" this seems to have been another performance out of The Naturals catalog.  I guess technically it wasn't an instrumental since Carr actually sang the title a couple of times and scatted a little.  Quite energetic and could have been a really good song had they put a little more effort into it.   rating; **** stars

4.) She Leaves Me Flat

Musically 'She Leaves Me Flat' sounded like a mix of Beach Boys harmonies and Byrds-styled jangle rock move.  Unfortunately the sound quality was simply horrible, sounding like it had been recorded over a long distance phone line.  Shame since the song was quite good.  rating: *** stars  

5.) unlisted song

And then it got weird.  After a brief pause, the song morphed into an un-credited track.  An up-tempo garage rocker with some nice group vocals and a great skitterish lead guitar the tune suffered from the same low fidelity as the previous tune.  A cleaned up version of this track would have been dynamite.  rating: **** stars   

6.) unlisted song

And then there was a second unlisted performance.   Opening up with some surf rock drumming, this unlisted garage rocker had a propulsive, if slightly ominous edge.   Based on the lyric I'd guess the tune was titled 'Jane'.    rating: **** stars

5.) Love Makes the World Go Round

The fragile ballad 'Love Makes the World Go Round' was actually a track off the 1968 Tea Company album.  The song simply dripped mid-'60s "change-the-world" sentiment.  Complete with a stoned spoken work segment that managed to combine Jesus Christ, The Beatles, and Dylan, this one was a hoot.   rating: **** stars

(side 2)
1.) Leave It Alone

Hard not to like a tune that opened up with a Chuck Berry riff and then shifted into a Beach Boys-styled sound.  No idea what the title had to do with the song ...   Judging by the lyrics '42 Down the Line' would have been a more appropriate title.   rating: *** stars

2.) unlisted song:

'Leave It Alone' was followed by another unlisted tune.  Based on the lyrics I would have guessed the title was 'Rock and Roll Man' ...   Musically it was a decent rocker with a '70s vibe and sounded like a no-frills, live-in-the-studio take.   Lots of Carr lead guitar on this one.    rating: *** stars

3.) City Streets

Possibly the album's prettiest tune, the ballad 'City Streets' had a gentle, radio-friendly melody.  The song also showcased how good Carr's voice could be when he settled into his normal range and didn't try to sound like a rocker.    rating: **** stars

4,) Lady Faire

Even better was the breezy ballad 'Lady Faire' ...   This one was so different from the rest of Carr's material, you were hard pressed to believe it was the same band.   Great melody with some nice jangel rock guitar, and Carr's natural voice all made this a keeper.   rating: **** stars

5.) Have You Ever Seen?

Another pretty ballad with a bit of a Beach Boys vibe.   The heavy guitar and pedal steel backing gave the song a dark, vaguely ominous feel.  Another album highlight.  rating: **** stars