Thee Muffins

Band members               Related acts

- Walter 'Bat' Condi -- lead guitar

- Al Dawn -- rhythm guitar

- Russ Eden -- vocals

- Danny Lee -- drums, percussion

- Skitch -- base (sic)




- none known





Genre: pop

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Pop Up!

Company: Fan Club

Catalog: --

Year: 1966

Country/State: Lake Charles, New York

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: front and back covers signed by guitarist Condi

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 5213


Price: $200.00


1966's The Muffins' "Pop Up!" is quite rare and expensive (it's listed in one of Hans Pokora's "Record Collector Dreams" books), but generally gets lukewarm critical reviews.  Part of the explanation for the discrepancy may have to do with people's musical expectations.  I've seen the album repeatedly described as garage and psych-influenced and if you bought it based on those assumptions you would be grossly disappointed.  


Apparently from upper New York State (the liner notes mention Lake Charles), these guys (lead guitarist Walter 'Bat' Condi, rhythm guitarist Al Dawn, singer Russ Eden, drummer Danny Lee, and bassist Skitch (guess he couldn't afford a surname)), were actually quite accomplished musicians.  They apparently came together in 1964, spending time on the New York/New Jersey dance and club circuit before recording this 1966 vanity project.  That said, their musical inspirations were more in the pop and blue-eyes soul vein than.  With that in mind soul influenced covers like ''I Feel Good, ''Surprise Surprise and 'Not Fade Away' (propelled by some nice Condi fuzz lead guitar the latter perhaps the collection's stand out track) were all enjoyable.  Eden had a likeable voice that was well suited to the group's repertoire, with the band providing enthusiastic support throughout.  Also powered by Condi's guitar, the other LP standout was the closing instrumental cover of Mel Torme's 'I'm Comin' Home'.  The absence of original material was probably a negative to many folks, but with the exception of a cover of Hank William's corny 'Calija', a lame 'Do You Love Me', and 'Oh Pappa Do' the whole album was worth hearing.  (The back cover liner notes show the wrong track listing sequence and give the impression these are band originals, whereas all ten tracks are covers.)    


"Pop Up!" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) I Feel Good   (Russ Eden) - 

2.) Calija   (Al Dawn - Russ Eden) -

3.) Not Fade Away   (Walter 'Bat' Condi) -

4.) Crying Over You    (Russ Eden) - 

5.) Oh Pappa Do   (Skitch) - 


(side 2)
1.) Surprise, Surprise    (Russ Eden) - 

2.) You Got Love    (Russ Eden) - 

3.) Don't Let the Sun Cat You Crying   (Russ Eden) -  

4.) Do You Love Me   (Skitch) - 

5.) I'm Comin' Home (instrumental)  (Walter 'Bat' Condi) - 



(Nick Warburton/Marcel Koopman/Vernon Joynson/Tertius Louw)

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