Kangaroo


Band members               Related acts

- John Hall -- vocals, bass, guitar, pedal steel guitar,

  keyboards
- Barbara Keith -- vocals
- Norman D. Smart II -- drums, percussion, backing vocals
- Teddy Spelies -- lead guitar, backing vocals
 

 

- Bo Grumpus (N.D Smart)
- Barbara Keith (solo efforts)
- Great Speckled Bird (N.D Smart II)
- John Hall (solo efforts)
- Orleans (John Hall)
- The Remains (N.D. Smart II)

 

  


 

Genre: psych

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Kangaroo

Company: Elektra

Catalog: SE 4586

Year: 1968

Country/State: US

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: original inner sleeve

Available: 1

GEMM Catalog ID: not yet listed

Price: $20.00

 

Showcasing the talents of singer/multi-instrumentalist John Hall, vocalist Barbara Keith, drummer Norman D. Smart II and lead guitarist Teddy Spelies, Kangaroo was too talented to be completely ignored, but too pedestrian and unoriginal to be truly noteworthy. 

Released by MGM, 1968's cleverly titled "Kangaroo" teamed the quartet with producers Bobby Wyld and Art Polhemus. Musically the set served as a spotlight for the multi-talented Hall. In addition to writing most of the material (Smart credited with two tracks (including the bizarre 'Frog Giggin''), Keith and Spelies one each), Hall handled an arsenal of instruments, as well as most of the lead vocals. While Hall had an okay voice, Keith was far better; the dreamy 'Daydream Stallion' and 'The Only Thing I Had' providing two of the set's highpoints. Curiously, a number of reference works classify the LP as a country-rock effort though I simply don't hear it. Powered by Spelies take-no-prisoners guitar (producers Wyld and Polhemus should have turned it down in the mix), 'Such a Long, Long Time', 'Make Some Room In Your Life' and 'I Never Tell Me Twice' offered up a sound more accurately labeled lite-psych. Pulling a page out of the Moby Grape marketing catalog, MGM simultaneously released three singles from the album:

 

- 'Such a Long Time' b/w 'I Never Tell Me Twice' (MGM catalog number K-13960) 

- 'Daydream Stallion' b/w 'The Only Thing I Had' (MGM catalog number K-13961) 

- 'Frog Giggin'' b/w 'Maybe Tomorrow' (MGM catalog number K-13962) 

 

While the singles were as good as anything on the airwaves, none charted. Similarly the LP vanished without a trace.

"Kangaroo" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Such a Long, Long Time (John Hall) - 2:13
2.) You're Trying To Be a Woman (John Hall) - 2:15
3.) Daydream Stallion (Barbara Keith) - 3:53
4.) Make Some Room In Your Life (John Hall) - 2:42
5.) Frog Giggin' (Norman Smart) - 3:15
6.) You Can't Do This To Me (John Hall) - 3:45

(side 2)

1.) If You Got Some Love In Mind (John Hall) - 2:40
2.) I Never Tell Me Twice (John Hall) - 2:28
3.) Tweed's Chicken Inn (Norman Smart) - 2:45
4.) Happy Man (Teddy Spelies) - 3:10
5.) The Only Thing I Had (John Hall) - 3:30
6.) Maybe Tomorrow (John Hall) - 2:10

The band subsequently split up. Vocalist Keith recording a pair of little heard solo albums; Smart worked with The Remains and Great Speckled Bird, while bassist Hall enjoyed brief mid-1970s success with Orleans, followed by an anonymous solo career.

 

 


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