Mystery Meat, The
Band members Related acts
- Wayne Joplin -- bass, guitar, backing vocals (1967-68)
- Dick Leighninger -- vocals (1967-68)
- Ron O'Dell -- lead guitar, backing vocals (1967-68)
- Bob Rentz -- keyboards (1967-68)
- Gary Walden -- drums, percussion (1967-68)
- none known
Rating: *** (3 stars)
Grade (cover/record): NM / NM
Country/State: Carlinville, Illinois
Comments: reissue still in shrink wrap; played once
GEMM Catalog ID: not yet listed
Here's one of rarities that make hardcore collectors drool and willingly shell out huge amounts of money while leaving rank and file collectors scratching their heads in wonder ...
When a sealed original copy hit eBay back in November 2002 it eventually sold for some $1,600. A second opened copy sold for over $600. Luckily you can buy a Shadoks reissue for considerably less.
Here's some bibliographical information that we downloaded from the "Our First band" website. The info is credited to lead singer Dick Leighninger.
"We were all students at Blackburn College, Carlinville, Illinois. Wayne [Joplin] and Ron [O'Dell] were classmates in an English class, and they had written some poems which they converted to songs. They thought it would be a hoot to record them. They roped in Bob Rentz and Gary Walden, and me, Dick Leighinger, as lead singer. In earlier years, I had sung with two folk, contemporary, barbershop music groups, but they had all graduated. I agreed because it sounded like fun. None of us had ever cut a record before, except for Wayne's HS choir. Blackburn is a residential college, where all the students live in dormitories, and there really wasn't a place for us to practice without disturbing others. (We found the basement of our administration building available, so we got permission to set up there. We practiced AND recorded in this cinderblock basement with nothing but street level windows, a staircase and a furnace. Very homey. We only played once in public; a Saturday night college event in our gym. I don't remember the crowd's reaction, but I don't think the women threw any lingerie on stage! We did the album for fun; we had no intentions of making a music career. We think we had 100 copies of the album made. We sold them on campus for $4, $5 if we had to mail it."
So what's this beast sound like? Imagine Buddy Holly had he hung around with The Doors and been forced to recorded an album in a gym shower ... that'll give you a feel for the overall vibe. If you're looking for sophistication and high standard recording techniques, then you probably want to stay away from 1968's "Profiles". At least to my ears the set has a very hollow and flat sound. Also be forewarned that though a number of reviews have slapped a psych label on this project, that's not really an accurate description. Largely written by bassist Joplin and lead guitarist O'Dell, material such as "Here Comes the Night", "Put Me Down" and "Both Have To Pay" isn't really psych, rather offers up a mix of garage and folk-rock moves. (Okay, okay, we'll admit "Sunshine Makes It" has a little bit of a psych feel to it.) When you first hear this set, it's clear that that none of these guys were particularly gifted or sophisticated musicians. As lead singer Leighninger's limited vocal range is an acquired taste. Interestingly, the band's enthusiastic amateurism is one of the things that makes this album so enjoyable. Drummer Walden frequently sounds like he's pounding on a pair of empty joint compound buckets and on tracks such as "Rung By Rung" it sounds like he's playing to different song than the rest of the band. Check out O'Neill's labored solo on the opener "Give Me Your Love" ... Admittedly those comments probably don't make much sense, but this is one of those weird LPs that gets better the more you listen to it. Does it ever get $1,600 better? We'll I have serious doubts about it, but what do I know.
"Profiles" track listing:
1.) Give Me Your Love (Wayne Joplin - Ron O'Dell) - 2:35
2.) Here Comes The Night (Ron O'Dell) - 2:05
3.) Put Me Down (Wayne Joplin - Ron O'Dell) - 2:45
4.) It Will Last Forever (Ron O'Dell) - 2:28
5.) Tears (Ron O'Dell) - 3:10
6.) Profiles (Wayne Joplin - Ron O'Dell) - 1:43
1.) Donít Take Me (Wayne Joplin) - 2:08
2.) Rung By Rung (Wayne Joplin - Ron O'Dell) - 2:20
3.) Both Have To Pay (Ron O'Dell) - 2:43
4.) You Wonít Believe It (Ron O'Dell) - 2:48
5.) Sunshine Makes It (Ron O'Dell) - 3:45
6.) Girl Named Sue (Ron O'Dell) - 2:45
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