Band members Related acts
line up 1 (1964-69)
- Art Brooks --vocals, rhythm guitar, bass
- Bob Cirilli -- drums, percussion, backing vocals
- John Tricozzi -- vocals, bass, keyboards
- Frank White -- lead guitar, backing vocals
- Kasenetz-Katz Super Circus
Rating: 3 stars ***
Country/State: Albany, New York
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Comments: gatefold sleeve
Catalog ID: 2699
I suspect many '60s music collectors would be able to detect a distinctive Jeff Katz and Jerry Kasenetz influence when hearing 1969's "Tricycle". That probably has something to do with the fact the pair co-produced and wrote nearly all of the material with Richard Berardi.
So here's what the liner notes have to say about the group - "When a group of four, good looking, young men get together to play and sing - it's hardly an event, But when The Tricycle d0 - it is! In an era swamped with gimmicks and tinsel, it's refreshing change to be enveloped in the dynamic spell, woven by the driving, pulsating sounds of The Tricycle. The Tricycle are all originally from the Albany-Tri City area of New York State. They are professionals (a compliment not to be taken lightly). The unit has been together for five years and has enjoyed unqualified success in every room they've played. During a two and a half year period The Tricycle explored the northern New Jersey and Jersey Shore areas - playing to capacity houses and establishing enviable records with the college audiences., Hy Gold, general professional manager of Kasenetz-Katz Associates ... always in search of new talent, came upon the group by chance, while club hopping in New Jersey. He brought the group to the attention of Jerry Kasenetz and Jeff Katz. Principals of Kasenetz-Katz Associates. They were so impressed with the distinctive and dynamic sound of the group that they decided to produce them themselves, The results being an album of unusual and original type of music. The group as a very diversified sound raging from typical top40 rock to a heavy psychedelic sound."
Yeah, the liner notes may have noted the bands' talent, but those notes actually spent more time praising the Kasenetz-Katz organization. The Kasenetz-Katz lack of commitment was probably best reflected by the fact there was only one original tune on the album - Art Brooks' 'It's a Game'. Add in a marketing campaign that seemed oriented to cashing in on the members' cuteness factor (bet they were thrilled to pose on those child tricycles), left you with the impression Kasenetz-Katz just didn't have a great deal of faith in the group. Of course, it's doubtful the pair were really looking for a talented band, rather were interested in finding a decently looking group of guys whom they could use/abuse in an effort to sell lowest-common-denominator bubblegum pop to the audience.
No idea if they were allowed to play on their album, but the line-up featured rhythm guitarist Art Brooks, drummer Bob Cirilli, bassist/keyboard player John Tricozzi, and lead guitarist Frank White. Having been released in 1969, this was a fairly late offering in the Kasenetz-Katz bubblegum catalog. Certainly not a great album; even by their standards, but I'll tell you the collection wasn't nearly as bad as some of the reviews would have you believe. Bubblegum tunes like 'Mr. Henry's Lollipop Shop', 'Lemonade Parade'' and 'Yumberry Park' constituted the majority of the running time and were mindlessly catchy radio fodder. Far better were the handful of tunes where the band were allowed to toughen up their sound and show a semblance of originality. Their remake of The 1910 Fruitgum Company hit 'Simon Says' was good. Even better was the Brooks' penned psych-tinged rocker 'It's a Game', and the moody closing ballad 'Poor Old Mr. Jensen'.
Shame the album and band vanished without a trace and without a chance to show a little more of their own chops.
"Tricycle" track listing:
1.) Mr. Henry's Lollipop Shop (Richard. Berardi - Jeff Katz - Jerry Kasenetz) - 2:06 rating: *** stars
Bubblegum pop, but lysergic edge ... 'Mr. Henry's Lollipop Shop' was one of those songs that you took a quick dislike to, but then the lysergic refrain creept into your head and wouldn't leave Seriously irritating.
2.) Lemonade Parade (Richard. Berardi - Jeff Katz - Jerry Kasenetz) - 2:51 rating: *** stars
The bass line sounded like it had been stolen from a Booker T. & the M.G.'s song. Unfortunately the rest of 'Lemonade Parade' was a mindless slice of bubblegum that could have easily been mistaken for any of the other Kasenetz-Katz bands.
3.) 54321 Here I Come (Richard. Berardi - Jeff Katz - Jerry Kasenetz) - 2:25 rating: ** stars
Any song that starts out with a 'ba-ba-ba' sequence is likely to suck. That's certainly the case for this forgettable slice of blue-eyed soul. This could easily have been used as the soundtrack for an Avis rental car commercial. Pure product.
4.) Mary Had a Little Man (Richard. Berardi - Jeff Katz - Jerry Kasenetz) - 2:31 rating: ** stars
Okay, 'Mary Had a Little Man' was about as low as you can get on the creative spectrum ... Whoever thought The Archies could sound original and creative ???
5.) Simon Says (Elliott Chprut) - 5:10 rating: *** stars
Yes, it's the same song The 1910 Fruitgum Company enjoyed a top-10 hit with. This version toughened up and extended the arrangement (one of two songs to clock in over five minutes), slapping on heavy guitar and a mild lysergic flavor. It took a little while to get acclimated to the arrangement, but eventually I found myself coming around to it. One of the few highlights on the album. The song was actually credited to Kasenetz, Katz and Chiprut, so I've always wondered why it was just Chiprut's name this time around.
1.) Yumberry Park (Richard. Berardi - Jeff Katz - Jerry Kasenetz) - 2:23 rating: **** stars
So the title should have given you a clear idea of what to expect - harmony rich, pop-psych. Yeah, I can't help myself. I'm a pushover for this kind of stuff. Loved Tricozzi's farfisa organ fills.
2.) Good Time Music (Richard. Berardi - Jeff Katz - Jerry Kasenetz) - 2:52 rating: ** stars
I suspect your typical fifth grade class could have come up with something more original and enjoyable than 'Good Time Music'. The title was a good indication of how bad this one was.
3.) It's a Game (Arthur Z. Brooks II) - 4:26 rating: **** stars
And just when you'd all but give up on the band, along came 'It's a Game'. The only band original, this one had a distinctive lysergic rock vibe and the opening sounded like the band had been listening to more than their share of Cream (did I hear a touch of 'White Room' in the opening ?). Complete with church organ, treated vocals, and a nifty melody, you can only wonder what the album would have sounded like had the band been given some creative leeway. What was it Bill Clinton said? "I didn't inhale ..." Sounds like Brooks did inhale.
4.) Yellow Brick Rainbow (Richard. Berardi - Jeff Katz - Jerry Kasenetz) - 1:56 rating: **** stars
Kicked along by a catchy, skitterish guitar riff and some nice organ fills, 'Yellow Brick Rainbow' was very short but was also probably the album's best pop-psych tune.
5.) Poor Old Mr. Jensen (T. Taxin - Jeff Katz - Jerry Kasenetz) - 5:50 rating: **** stars
Sure, the song title was pretty lame, but if you could get over it, the song was actually a nice, psych-tinged ballad that showcased the band's sweet harmony vocals. One of my favorite tunes on the album. Would have made a nice single in 1967.
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