Sweet Marie

Band members               Related acts

- Willy Bims - drums (1969-71)

- Sonny Lathrop - vocals, guitar (1969-71)

- Prince Teddy - vocals, bass (1969-71)


- The Starfires (Sonny Lanthrop)



Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Sweet Marie 1

Company: Yard Bird

Catalog: YDBS 770

Year: 1970

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Country/State: US

Comments: minor ring wear

Available: 1

GEMM Catalog ID: 4873

Price: $120.00


By the mid-'60s singer/guitarist Sonny Lathrop had made a minor name for himself as a member of Mickey and The Invaders and The Starfires (see separate entries).  Along with a wave of other California-based acts (Merrell Fankhauser, Jimi Hendrix, Quicksilver Messenger Service, etc.), the late-'60s found Lathrop living and working in Hawaii.  Teaming up with drummer Willy Bims and singer/bassist Prince Teddy, as Sweet Marie the trio began to attract local attention, eventually being signed by the small California-based Yard Bird label.


The band made their recording debut with the 1970 single "Remember Mary" b/w "Don't You Understand?" (Yard Bird catalog number YDB-70-1314), and seemed poised on the edge of success when Liberty Records acquired national distribution rights, reissuing the 45 (Liberty catalog number 56215).  Unfortunately, the single vanished without a trace.  In the meantime, Yard Bird financed an album.  Recorded in Honolulu, Hawaii 1970's self-produced "Sweet Marie 1" offered up a great slice of guitar-propelled rock.  Interestingly, splitting vocal chores, Lathrop and Teddy provided the band with the ability to handle  distinctively different styles.  With Teddy at the helm material such as "Remember Mary" and "If You Love Me" found the band working in a Hendrix-styled heavy rock arena.  While a less distinctive singer, Lathrop injected material such as "Standin' By the River" and "Don't You Understand" with a more conventional rock orientation.  Regardless of who was handling vocals, the material was peppered with some first rate guitar (check out the jazzy "Goin' Down the Road").  Now the bad news.  While they may have been one of the best bands in Hawaii, little on the album was particularly original or innovative.  It's a good, if somewhat pedestrian rock set that you're liable to like if you enjoy Hendrix.  As for dealers that are advertising it as being psych, or progressive ... nope!  Signed to a small label such as Yard Bird guaranteed limited sales, though the band apparently made enough money to buy a nightclub on the island of Oahu.


"Sweet Marie 1" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Remember Mary   (D. Bennett) - 0:22

2.) Standin' By the River   (D. Bennett) - 2:36

3.) Sweet Pea   (D. Bennett) - 2:24

4.) Don't You Understand  (Sonny Lathrop) - 2:13

5.) If You Love Me   (D. Bennett) - 3:47

6.) Thru Rusty Windows  (Sonny Lathrop) - 1:30


(side 2)

1.) Walk Marie  (Sonny Lathrop) - 2:00

2.) Goin Down the Road   (D. Bennett) - 4:38

3.) Dr. Feelgood   (W. Lewis - Sonny Lanthrop) - 3:34

4.) Willy Bims (solo)   (W. Lewis) - 3:42

5.) Bugalusa Baby   (D. Bennett) - 5:12

6.) It's Your Love  (Sonny Lathrop) - 2:54



Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Stuck In Paradise

Company: Yard Bird

Catalog: YDBS 771

Year: 1971

Country/State: US

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: SOLD


Price: SOLD



Released the following year, "Stuck In Paradise" wasn't a major change in direction.  Under Teddy's tutelage material such as the band's cover of Phil Ochs' "Changes" and "Stella's Candy Store" (released as a single) again recalled Hendrix/Buddy Miles styled-funk/rock.  "Another Feeling" and "It Ain't Easy" were nice (if anonymous) AOR and as on the debut, Bims was allowed a needless drums solo (the cleverly-titled "Drum Solo").  


"Stuck In Paradise" track listing:

(side 2)

1.) Stuck In Paradise  (Dave Bennett - Sonny Lathrop - Lathrop - Lewis) - 3:50

2.) It Ain't Easy   (Dave Bennett) - 3:01

3.) My Little Angel   (Dave Bennett - Sonny Lathrop) - 2:11

4.) Hortense the Hippie   (Dave Bennett) - 5:38

5.) Do Do (Find Me a Way)   (Dave Bennett) - 3:41


(side 2)

1.) Stella's Candy Store   (Dave Bennett) - 4:01

2.) I Got That Feelin'  (Sonny Lathrop) - 2:54

3.) Another Feelin'   (Dave Bennett - Sonny Lathrop - Lewis) - 2L53

4.) I Want Your Woman   (Dave Bennett) - 3:17

5.) Drum Solo   (Willy Bims) - 2:28

6.) Changes   (Phil Ochs) - 3:55





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