Mark Eric

Band members                              Related acts

- Mark Eric (aka Mark Eric Malmborg) -- vocals, guitar



The Beach Boys

- Mark Ericson and the Point Dume Boys





Genre: pop

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  A Midsummer's Day Dream

Company: Revue

Catalog: RS7210

Year: 1968

Country/State: California

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: small punch out hole bottom left corner

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5855

Price: $140.00



So this one sounds so hokey that it could be the plot to one of those Hallmark television specials.  Born and raised in Los Angeles, Mark Eric Malmborg was  the stereotyped Southern California teenager - blond, tanned, good looking, great teeth, complete with a love of surfing and music.  As a teenager he began shopping songs around to major labels, eventually attracting the attention of local radio station engineer Bob Raucher.  Raucher helped Eric record material at Hollywood's Gold Star studios. Under the name Mark Eric he also enjoyed modest successes as a songwriter.  In 1968 though efforts caught the attention of Warner Brothers executive Russ Regan.  Regan eventually signed Eric to MCA subsidiary Uni's newly formed R&B imprint Revue.


Produced by Norman Ratner, 1969's "A Midsummer's Day Dream" is probably the best Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys album they never released.  Now, if you weren't a Beach Boys fan that description didn't do much for you.  On the other hand, anyone who was an admirer of Brian Wilson's catalog would find this set to be a 'must own' addition to their collection.  That also neatly captured the strengths and weaknesses of this release.  If you were looking for originality, there wasn't much to be found here.  None of the dozen selections reflected a unique Mark Eric 'sound'.  What you did get was someone who managed to nail that unique mid-1960s Southern California vibe that mixed Beach Boys and sunshine pop.  Interestingly, Eric and his collaborator/arranger former Animals guitarist Vic Briggs apparently wrote these twelve tracks as demos intending to place them with other acts.  The sessions were apparently only intended to demo the material, but the results were so impressive that Revue decided to release it as a Marc Eric effort.  


Musically the album was already several years out of step with popular tastes so it shouldn't have been a surprise to see the parent LP and singles vanish directly into cutout bins.  Sadly that effectively ended Eric's recording career, though he actually recorded some material for a projected sophomore set.  Those tracks were shelved and only saw the light of day when appended to a 2002 Rev-ola CD reissue of the album (catalog number CR-REV 18) Eric subsequently turned his time and attention to modeling, commercials and acting, briefly appearing in a number of early-1970s television shows including The Partridge Family and Hawaii 5-0.


"A Midsummer's Day Dream" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) California Home   (Mark Eric Marlborg) - 2:40   rating: ***** stars

Kicked along by Eric's best Brian Wilson impersonation (check out the way he nailed the high notes), 'California Home' was a perfect way to open the album.  Built on a great melody that managed to couple Beach Boy-styled harmonies with a slight lysergic tinge, it made for one of the best California odes you'll ever hear.  Along with the air travel lyric, that might explain why Eric was able to reutilized the melody for a series of airline commercials for Continental, United and Western.  

2.) Move With The Dawn   (Mark Eric Marlborg)  - 2:38   rating: **** stars

Yeah, it may have been recorded in 1969, but 'Move with the Dawn' sure sounded like Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys circa 1966-67.  Sporting some tasty horn charts, this one wasn't quite as commercial as the opener but again served to showcase Eric's likeable voice and knack for nailing that Southern California sunshine pop sound.  And the secret sauce on this one was the fluid and melodic bass line..

3.) Laura's Changing   (Mark Eric Marlborg)  - 2:18   rating: **** stars

Opening up with some Free Design-styled harmony vocals, 'Laura's Changing' was a bit high for Eric's voice (you could hear him straining on the higher notes), but the bouncy melody was strong enough to make you overlook that flaw.  By all intents and purposes the lyric about growing into adolescence should have rendered this into a hopelessly sappy mess, but Mark managed to make his point without turning it into a disaster.  Wow, life was so much simpler in the mid-'60s..  

4.) Where Do The Girls of the Summer Go   (Mark Eric Marlborg)  - 3:14   rating: ***** stars

The album's creative and commercial high point, 'Where Do The Girls of the Summer Go' perfectly captured that end-of-summer sadness you felt as a teenager.  The song was packaged in a gorgeous melody with another killer bass line, xylophone accents and amazing multi-tracked vocals that would have made Brian Wilson jealous ...   Easy to see why it was picked as a single, though I can't understand why it wasn't a major hit.





- 'Where Do the Girls of Summer Go' b/w  'California Home' (Revue catalog number R-11064)







5.) I'd Like To Talk To You   (Mark Eric Marlborg)   - 2:53   rating: **** stars

Opening with some nice skitterish guitar, 'I'd Like To Talk To You' was the album's most surf band-ish effort.  To my ears it sounded like a mid-1960s Beach Boy outtake.  Nice, straightforward rocker that had a killer hook in the title track refrain.  Grows on you more and more.     

6.) Take Me With You   (Mark Eric Marlborg)  - 3:02   rating: **** stars

Eric's Beach Boys fixation was never more apparent than on the fragile ballad 'Take Me with You'.  Right down to the fragile backing vocals and the eclectic orchestration (vibraphone?), this one was uncanny in the way it sounded like a lost Brian Wilson original.   


(side 2)
1.) Night of The Lions   (Mark Eric Marlborg)  - 2:35
   rating: **** stars

Side two opened with what may have been the album's most rock oriented number.  Mind you, nobody was going to mistake it for a Black Sabbath song, but within the sunshine pop genre this one actually generated quite a bit of energy.  The song was also interesting give the opening guitar riff and the midsection borrowed more than a little bit of the melody from Barrett Strong's 'Money'.  Eric's lucky he didn't get slapped with a copyright suit.  Loved the horn arrangements on this one.  Very Bacharach-David smoothness.  As the first single it should have been a massive hit for Mark.





- 'Night of the Lions' b/w 'Don't Cry Over Me' (Revue catalog number R-11052)






2.) Don't Cry Over Me   (Mark Eric Marlborg)  - 2:30   rating: *** stars

'Another Beach Boy-ish ballad, 'Don't Cry Over Me' was the first disappointment.  Pretty, but inconsequential.   The multi-tracked harmony vocals were the best part of the song.  

3.) We Live So Fast   (Mark Eric Marlborg)  - 2:23   rating: **** stars

One of the album's breeziest melodies with the added benefit of getting to hear Eric take a stab at explaining the 'generation gap', 'We Live So Fast' was my favorite song.  Yeah, the lyrics were hysterical ('now that we've had our say it might be a better day') but you couldn't help but smile at the sentiments. Wonder is Eric had kids?

4.) Sad Is The Way That I Feel   (Mark Eric Marlborg)  - 3:02   rating: **** stars

My choice for the album's prettiest song, 'Sad Is The Way That I Feel' was a dreamy ballad with some totally downbeat lyrics that again sounded like a "Pet Sounds" era Beach Boys performance. 

5.) Just Passing By   (Mark Eric Marlborg)  - 2:44   rating: ***** stars 

With a distinctive Motown-ish melody and rhythm, the mid-tempo rocker 'Just Passing By' was the album's most commercial track.  Had it been released in 1966 it would have gone top-40.  Great song with a hook you won't be able to shake out of your head.     

6.) Lynn's Baby   (Mark Eric Marlborg) - 3:06   rating: **** stars

'Lynn's Baby' closed the album with another beautiful Brian Wilson-styled ballad.  It's always reminded me of 'Caroline, No'.  With a lyric focusing on an unwed teenage mother, lyrically this one was actually more interesting (and for the time, certainly controversial) than 'Sad Is The Way That I Feel'.  Love the way Mark hit and held the high notes on this one.    




Mark tried a bit of acting appearing in episodes of The Partridge Family and Hawaii 5-0, but never enjoying breakout success. So it turns out that Eric is still active in music, though his current career appears to be playing on cruise ships.


The album's been reissued a number of times.  Probably the best package was the UK Now Sounds label 2009 reissue (Now Sounds catalog number CRNOW 8).  A 27 track CD, the package was prepared with cooperation from Mark.  In addition to the original twelve songs, the reissue included fifteen bonus tracks.  The CD included a 20 page booklet with song-by-song comments from Mark.


bonus tracks:

1.) Place for the Summer - 2:31

2.) Build Your Own Dreams - 2:50

3.) Hey, In the Water - 3:02

4.) No Days, No Nights - 2:12

5.) Goin' Native - 2:50

6.) Nakes Lady - 3:-02

7.) Night of the Lions (mono) - 2:40

8.) Don't Cry Over Me (mono) - 2:45

9.) California Home (mono) - 2:46

10.) Where Do the Girls of Summer Go (mono) - 2:34

11.) Western Airlines Commercial - 1:42

12.) Continental Airlines Commercial - 1:39

13.) United Airlines Commercial - 1:43

14.) Build Your Own Dream - 5:01

15.) Sail Away Boy - 3:19