Band members Related acts
line up 1 (1966-70)
- Tommy Burns -- vocals
- Art Del Gudico -- guitar, bass
- Jerry Guida (aka Gerard B3) -- keyboards
- Ray Kennedy (RIP 2014) -- vocals
- Michael Lamont -- drums, percussion
- Tommy Burns (solo efforts)
- Eddy and Tri-Counts
- John and Ray
- KGB (Ray Kennedy)
- Raymond Louis Kennedy (solo efforts)
- The Young Savages (Jerry Guida)
Rating: 3 stars ***
Title: 37 Minutes of Group Therapy
Country/State: New York, New York
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+; unipak sleeve
Catalog ID: --
The second Group Therapy album, 1969's "37 Minutes of Group Therapy" tends to get better reviews than the debut. I'll be honest and tell you I don't find it any more attractive or enjoyable than "Group Therapy". The line-up remained unchanged - Tommy Burns and Ray Kennedy on lead vocals, Art del Gudico on guitar, keyboardist Jerry Guida and drummer Michael Lamont. Co-produced by Lou Rizner and Mike Gruber, this time out the band ditched the popular covers in favor of a largely original set of material. Working in different combinations, all five members contributed to the songwriting chores. Burns and Kennedy both had decent voices though they didn't blend together very well (check out their one upsmenship on the cover of 'River Deep, Mountain High'). The rest of the band were competent players - Guida was a strong Hammond B3 player, occasionally handling bass with the instrument (a la Ray Manzarek) while Lamont was one of the loudest drummers I've ever heard. Unfortunately they were a little weak in the songwriting department. At their best, more commercial tunes like 'Can't Stop Lovin' You Baby' and 'I Must Go' saw them sounding a bit like second tier Young Rascals. More often their driving bombastic delivery recalled Vanilla Fudge, Adding to the problem was the production. At least my copy of the album sounded muddy and distant; made worse by the thick cluttered instrumentation. This was a good example of a situation where less would have been more. Extra star for featuring original tunes.
Distributed in the UK by Philips, for some reason the LP was re-titled "You're In Need of Group Therapy" (Philips catalog number SBL7888). Same songs, track sequence and the cover art was the same - why just change the title?
Two albums and three 45s - and that was it for the band. By early 1970 they had called it quits.
Minutes of Group Therapy" track listing:
1.) Remember What You Said (Ray Kennedy) - 3:05 rating: ** stars
'Remember What You Said' struck me as a cluttered, over-produced blue-eyed soul ... Clearly meant to be energetic and commercial, to my ears the result was an unappealing car crash between The Young Rascals and Vanilla Fudge. Perhaps because the band toured the UK opening for Moby Grape, Philips released the track as a single throughout Europe.
- 1969 'Remember What You Said' b/w 'River Deep, Mountain High' (Philips catalog number BF 1744)
2.) Wait (Ray Kennedy - Tommy Burns) - 6:07 rating: *** stars
The extended instrumental introduction might have induced seasickness in some folks. It seemed to go on far longer than it actually did. When the melody actually kicked in 'Wait' revealed itself to be a heavy, organ powered ballad. Ominous and very Vanilla Fudge-ish, though it served to show Kennedy actually had a very nice voice.
3.) River Deep, Mountain High (Phil Spector - Jeff Barry - Ellie Greenwich) - 4:43 rating: ** stars
Why so many '60s bands felt a compulsion to cover 'River Deep, Mountain High' remains a mystery to me. I'm not even a big fan of the Ike and Tina Turner original so this cover did nothing to capture my attention. The track opened up with Burns and Kennedy sounding like The Righteous Brothers overdosing on speed and went on as an example of everything-including-the-kitchen-sink production. Burns and Kennedy seemed determined to out-bellow one another. del Gudico's guitar sounded like the strings were vibrating against a chalk border. For goodness sakes it sounded like the mix included a Japanese koto ...
4.) A Very Happy Day (Ray Kennedy - Jerry Guida) - 3:21 rating: ** stars
Well the title was inspirational ... Shame you couldn't say anything as nice about the rest of 'A Very Happy Day' which was a forgettable rocker. Another where Burns and Kennedy just couldn't bland their voices very well.
5.) I Got To Live (Ray Kennedy) - 2:40 rating: *** stars
Wannabe Racals tune, but Felix Cavaliere and company never screeched like this. Shame since 'I Got To Live' had the makings of a good blue-eyed soul performance. If they'd only stripped out some of the hyper-urgency and let the song's natural groove shine through.
'Can't Stop Lovin' You Baby' was the album most commercial and pop-oriented tune. With the exception of the odd mid-song instrumental break, the track sounded a bit like decent Young Rascals-styled blue-eyed soul. With cleaner production and a less cluttered arrangement it could have been a hit.
- 1969's 'Can't Stop Lovin' You Baby' b/w 'I Must Go' (Philips catalog number 40598)
2.) I Must Go (Art Del Gudico - Michael Lamont) - 4:00 rating: **** stars
'I Must Go' offered up another blue-eyed soul ballad and another album highlight. For I heard the song dozens of times before the dark lyric registered with me - a condemned prisoner walking to the gallows. Once again Lamont's drums dominated the mix (he also co-wrote the song).
3.) Cheer Up Baby (Art Del Gudico - Tommy Burns) - 2:09 rating: *** stars
'Cheer Up Baby' was a buoyant pop tune featuring energetic group vocals. Shame the song didn't get stronger production.
4.) Willie (Art Del Gudico - Tommy Burns) - 2:57 rating: *** stars
The album's most tuneful rocker, 'Willie' showed Turner and Kennedy could actually sing in unison. It also gave Del Gudico a bit of spotlight time, though he had to fight Guida for the spotlight.
5.) I Can't Believe It (Tommy Burns) - 3:48 rating: *** stars
Well I'll be darned - with Burns and Kennedy trotting out their best Sam and Dave moves, the soul ballad 'I Can't Believe It' found them actually slowing it down and dropping some of the hyperactivity.
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