Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1969)

- Bo Gentry -- vocals

- Paul Naumann -- vocals

- Tony Orlando (aka Michael Anthony Orlando Cassavitis) -- vocals


  supporting musicians:

- Jimmy Calvert -- guitar

- Joe D'Andrea -- drums, percussion

- Steve Feldman -- guitar

- Norman Marzano --  bass




- The Five Gents (Tony Orlando)

- Tony Orland (solo efforts)

- Tony Orlando and Dawn

- Billy Shields (Tony Orlando)





Genre: pop

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Make Believe

Company: Life

Catalog: LLPS-2200

Country/State: US

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: metallic cover

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 1228

Price: $25.00


I've never read anything explaining how Tony Orlando ended up recording an album with the studio enterprise Wind.  By the time this album came out in 1969 Orlando had been recording on and off for nearly a decade.  He started off doing doo-wop as a member of The Five Gents; recorded a string of early-'60s pop tunes, and had recently released a 45 under the name Billy Shields.  And then you get to Wind.


The group seems to have been the brainchild of Life Records owner Bo Gentry.  A studio entity, it featured  Orlando, Gentry and Paul Naumann on vocals with backing from a gaggle of uncreditted studio musicians.  Co-produced by Gentry and Naumann, 1969's "Make Believe"  featured a haphazard mixture of doo-wop-influenced pop, Four Seasons-styled harmony group moves ('Ain't Like It Used To Be'), conventional bubblegum (' I'll Hold Out My Hand'), and even an unexpected nod to blue-eyed soul ('December Mornin'').  Say what you will about Orlando, but as the lead singer, the guy actually had a decent voice; more than decent when he didn't try to over-sing.  Had it not been for some poor dong selections coupled with overblown orchestration, this could have one of the era's better pop albums.   Even with all of its flaws, the album was far more enjoyable than you would have even expected.  Well worth checking out if you're a bubblegum fan.


"Make Believe" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) I'll Hold Out My Hand  (Chip Taylor - Al Gorgino) - 2:56

Say what you will, but 'I'll Hold Out My Hand' was actually a decent pop tune with an engaging melody.   By the time Wind got around to it, the tune had already been covered by Alex Chilton and The Box Tops, The Clique, and Gayle McCormick.   Musically the Wind version wasn't all that different from the other versions, though if you wanted to hear a song that was hopelessly over-suing, this was a good place to start.  Orlando and company sounded like they were all about to suffer a stroke.  Life tapped the song as the album's second single.   rating: *** stars

2.) Teenybopper   (Bo Gentry - Bobby Bloom) - 3:05

Imagine a bad (really bad) early Four Seasons song and you'll have a feel for what 'Teenybopper' sounded like.   Once again Orlando severely over-sang the tune clearly struggling to stay in tune.  Horrible orchestration and a brief spoken word segment sealed the song's fate.   rating: ** stars

3.) Ain't Like It Used To Be   (Bo Gentry - Joey Levine) - 3:15

About all I can say about 'Ain't Like It Used To Be' is Orlando and company were extremely lucky not to have been sued for plagerism by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.  This one literally stitched together pieces from various Four Seasons songs, though it made for a fun game of spot-the-source.  You also had to wonder who in the world Orlando managed to shift into the painful falsetto - did he slam a body part in a studio door ?   rating: *** stars

4.) I Think We're Alone Now   (Bo Gentry - Ritchie Cordell) - 3:15

Gawd knows how many covers of 'I Think We're Alone Now' are out there.  That said, this funeral-paced arrangement has to be one of the worst I've ever heard.   Hard to imagine anyone could kill this pop chestnut, but the managed the trick.  rating: * star

5.) December Mornin'   (E. Charmatz) - 3:37

Hum, 'December Mornin'' was a surprisingly likeable soul-infused tune.  Orlando sounded like he was enjoying himself on this one and  the Steve Cropper-styled guitar lick was tasty.  Shame the song was smoothered by heavy orchestration   Easy to picture Tony Orlando and Dawn recording this one.   rating: **** stars


(side 2)
1.) Make Believe   (Bo Gentry - Joey Levine) - 

Powered by the falsetto backing vocals, 'Make Believe' offered up a mildly interesting mix of '60s Four Seasons moves and a more bubblegum oriented sound (which made sense given the writers).   Life tapped it as the leadoff single which provided the group with their line hit.   rating: *** stars

2.) Only When I'm Dreamin'   (Bo Gentry - Pete Anders- Vinnie Poncia Jr.) - 2:43

One of the more contemporary sounding pop tunes; if barely.   rating: *** stars

3.) Cheatin'   (Bo Gentry - Kenny Laguna) - 2:54

The album's best Four Seasons-do- bubblegum tune ...  Admittedly quite commercial and catchy.   rating:    rating: **** stars

4.) Angel of the Mornin'   (Chip Taylor) - 2:32

Revamping 'Angel of the Mornin'' into a bouncy pop tune turned out surprisingly enjoyable.   rating: *** stars

5.) Tell Him No   (Bo Gentry - Paul Naumann) - 2:22

Completely disposable bubblegum pop and hopelessly addictive.   rating: **** stars

6.) Love Flashin' Through Me   (Mike Christian - Les Margolies) - 2:19

First-rate, breezy bubblegum with Orlando sounding fantastic.  One of the album highlights with fuzz guitar and  punchy horns, though thankfully no heavy orchestration.)  rating: **** stars


As mentioned, the album spun off a couple of singles:


- 1969's 'Make Believe' b/w 'Groovin' With Mr. Bloe' (Life catalog number L-200)

- 1970's 'I'll Hold Out My Hand' b/w 'Teenybopper' (Life catalog number L-202)


For some reason a pair of singles were released in Germany:

- 1970's 'Ain't Like It Used to Be' b/w 'Cheatin'' (Hansa catalog number 12417 AT)

- 1970's 'Juanita' b/w 'Make Believe'  (Hansa catalog number 14802 AT)