Band members Related acts
- Butch Bourque -- bass, backing vocals
- Little Joe Martin -- drums, percussion, backing vocals
- Pepper Martin -- vocals, rhythm guitar
- Al Perkins -- lead guitar, backing vocals
- Buzz Cason (aka James Cason) -- keyboards
- Livin' End (Little Joe Martin)
- Garry Miles (Buzz Cason)
- Rocxgarden (Little Joe Martin)
Rating: 3 stars ***
Title: The Revolt of Emily Young A Rock Novella By Buzz Cason and Pepper Martin
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Comments: gatefold sleeve; cutout hole top left corner
Catalog ID: 5688
By the late-1960s Buzz Cason was quite a powerhouse in the music industry. He'd been a founding member of Nashville's The Casuals, recorded as a member of The Statues, and enjoyed solo success under the pseudonym 'Garry Miles'. Together with Bobby Russell he was a prolific writer, ran a publishing company (Russell-Cason Music) and headed a record company (Rising Sons). He also enjoyed success as a back up singer, and as the owner and operator of Creative Workshop recording studios.
Against that backdrop Cason further stretched his horizons via 1970's "The Revolt of Emily Young A Rock Novella By Buzz Cason and Pepper Martin." An apparent concept album co-written with singer/guitarist Pepper Martin, the collection was produced by Cason and credited to the studio band Foxx supposedly consisting of bassist Butch Bourque, former Livin' End drummer Little Joe Martin, singer/rhythm guitarist Martin, and well known studio pro Al Perkins on lead guitar.
This is one of those early-1970s albums that's been largely lost to audiences. Judging by the number of reviews you'll find, it's even escaped notice from hardcore collectors with the few on-line reviews tending to be brief and somewhat critical. That's unfortunate since the set was actually quite enjoyable and innovative in its own way. Yeah, it was clearly a product of a certain timeframe and parts of the set haven't aged all that well (other than wine, few things do), but it's one of those albums that grows on you the more you listen to it. Like many concept pieces, the plotline was a little vague to my ears, but seemed to follow the birth, childhood, and brief life of namesake Emily Young (along with her impact on family and friends). Side one got you from birth through early adulthood where Emily left home in order to hitchhike across the country. Side two followed her spiritual search ('Opus Epyllion (The Age Of Light)'), downfall ('Flight Termination'), and death ('Just Another Village Incident'). Yeah, it was kind of a bummer ending ... Still, musically the set was quite good. Pepper had one of those chameleon-like voices that was equally at home on country-tinged material ('Into Something Real'), hard rock ('Rock Jock Bobby Sloan'), pop (the Beach Boys-styled harmony rich 'Rebecca's Prayer'), and even sunshine psych flourishes ('Sunshine Children'). Though never a flashy player, Perkins turned in nice guitar leads when required - check out his solo on 'Flight Termination'. All-in-all quite enjoyable and something that sunshine pop fans would certainly clamor to hear. Even better, it's still quite affordable. One last comment, clocking in at over 45 minutes, there's a lot of music here.
Revolt of Emily Young A Rock Nouvella By Buzz Cason and Pepper Martin" track listing:
1.) New Bethel Awakening (Buzz Cason - Pepper Martin) - 3:39 rating: **** stars
any song opening up with some wah-wah guitar effects will get my
attention. 'New Bethel Awakening' served to open up this concept piece
seemingly explaining how Emily's parents met while mixing lite-psych and
more MOR-ish moves. Always liked the nice harmony vocals and
Butch Bourque's fluid bass lines.
vocal harmonies set to a forgettable, '50s-styled ballad. Ah, don;t we
all hope for our children to have wonderful and productive lives.
'Dr. John' found the group moving back to a more rock oriented
Children' was a sweetly vapid, toytown-styled psych tune that crept into
your head and wouldn't leave. Nice acoustic guitar work on this one.
title gave it away, but in case you didn't figure it out,
'Rock Jock Bobby Sloan' found the band dipping their feet into a rockier
stance. As for the plotline, main character Emily is apparently
growing up to be a rebellious teenager who has discovered rock and roll ...
Boy harmonies as Emily blossoms into womanhood.
Kicked along by Butch Bourque's fluid bass and complete with Beatles-styled vocal arrangements, I guess 'Syndrome Of Change' found Emily's discovering psychedelia.
'Highway Children' was interesting for a country-rock vibe that's always reminded me of a tune Michael Nesmith might have written for The Monkees. Didn't anyone tell Emily it wasn't safe to hitchhike?
2.) Into Something Real (Buzz Cason - Pepper Martin) - 3:22 rating: **** stars
With a strong melody, 'Into Something Real' was easily the album's most conventional and radio-friendly tune. Always liked the combination of Little Joe Martin's spastic drums, the infectious refrain, and the sweet harmony vocals. Decca tapped the song as an instantly obscure promotional single:
1970's 'Into Something Real' b/w 'Revolt of Emily Young' (Decca catalog number 32660)
3.) Opus Epyllion (The Age Of Light) (Buzz Cason - Pepper Martin) - 3:53 rating: **** stars
'Opus Epyllion (The Age Of Light)' found Cason and company getting all deep
and pompous, but they were smart enough to wrap the pop-psychology it
in a catchy, top-40ish melody, complete with some blue-eyed horns.
Elsewhere the Emily main character was finally given a voice via an
anonymous female vocalist.
a couple of minutes I wondered if I'd mistakenly put on an Archies album
... But then I've always loved Ron Dante. Nice slice of
Emily, stay away from those junkies and get your act together before it's
too late ... The dark lyrics and poppy melody were somewhat at
happy ending here ... Yeah, the singing was way over the
top. I'm always surprised by how much I liked the horn
arrangement on this one.
Same melody as the original, but 'New Bethel Awakening II' rocked harder and had one of those evreything-but-the-kitchen-sing endings.
8.) The Revolt of Emily Young (Buzz Cason) - 2:32 rating: *** stars
Bouncy closer where the band sounded distinctively English. The song served to provide a suitable retrospective of the plotline ... Emily, we'll miss you ...
Cason's still active in music and wrote an entertaining tell-all book in 2004: Living the Rock 'n' Roll Dream. He has an extensive website at http://www.buzzcason.com/
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