Band members Related acts
- Charles Lamont -- vocals, keyboards
- Alexanders Timeless Bloozeband
- Dewey Martin and Medicine Ball
Genre: pop, blues
Rating: 2 stars **
Title: A Legend In His Own Mind
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Catalog ID: 151
MCA's Uni subsidiary is one of those labels that tends to have some interesting acts and this was one I'd never heard of, hence my willingness to shell out a dollar to give it a spin.
Can't say I know a great deal about namesake Charles Lamont. He recorded an early-'60s side for the California Miramar label:
- 'Poems of Carol Ann' b/w 'Maybe Baby' (Miramar catalog number 104)
He was also a member of the San Diego-based Alexander's Timeless Bloozband who recorded a 1967 LP ("For Sale") and a couple of singles for Uni. When that entity collapsed Lamont briefly joined former Buffalo Springfield drummer Dewey Martin in a late inning version of Dewey Martin and Medicine Ball. The band apparently recorded material for a projected album, but he project never saw daylight, From there Lamont ended up as a solo act on Uni (coincidently the same label the two former entities were signed to).
Released in 1969's "A Legend In His Own Mind" was produced by Tony Cary (aka Tony Luton who also produced the Alexander's Timeless Bloozband LP). To his credit, Lamont wrote all of the material, handled vocals and keyboards, and did the arrangements. Musically the set was hard to describe. The combination of blues moves and prominent horns gave tracks like 'Before It's Over (Ballad)' and 'History' a sound that reminded me of the earlier Alexander's Timeless Bloozband project. In fact, the song 'Love So Strong; appeared on the Bloozband album. At the same time Lamont's voice occasionally bore a resemblance to Dr. John. Check out 'Cycle End' and the opener 'Two Thousand Years Ago.' I'm a big Dr. John fan, so that wasn't meant as a criticism. Elsewhere 'Love So Strong' added a blue-eyed soul element to the mix, while 'Letty' added some Blood, Sweat & Tears- styled jazz-rock moves to the mixture, and 'Scream' trotted out a hideous James Brown styled soul track. Occasionally mildly interesting and occasionally just plain awful. Summary - not nearly as good as the Bloozband LP (which wasn't all that great to start with).
In His Own Man" track listing:
1.) Two Thousand Years Ago (Charles Lamont) - 2:40 rating: ** stars
Powered by Lamont doing his best Dr. John-choking on a sandwich impression, 'Two Thousand Years Ago' sounded like a strange blend Dr. John funkiness, Delaney and Bonnie-styled blues, coupled with a religious lyric. Strange, strange, strange ... I've always wondered why Uni tapped it as the second single. I'm sure someone out there will be able to explain this ... The album featured a pair of singles, but both of the 45s were released by MCA's Revue label so I don't know if they were released before, or subsequent to the album.
- 1970's 'Two Thousand Years Ago' b/w 'Before It's Over (Ballad)' (Revue catalog number 11061)
2.) Love So Strong (Charles Lamont) - 2:07 rating: *** stars
Original recorded for the Alexander's Timeless Bloozband LP, the remake of 'Love So Strong' found Lamont showing off a likeable blue-eyed soul feel. Kicked along by some punchy horns, the song sported a commercial and catchy melody and probably would have done well as a single.
3.) Cycle End (Charles Lamont) - 1:42
To my ears, 'Cycle End' sure sounded like a Dr. John effort. Yeah it had a weird lyric, but the song itself was quit funky. Shame it ended so abruptly. rating: *** stars
4.) Before It's Over (Ballad) (Charles Lamont) - 3:27 rating: ** stars
In case you didn't pick it up from the title, 'Before It's Over (Ballad)' was a jazz-tinged ballad. Imagine a Blood, Sweat & Tears song with David Clayton-Thomas trying to sing in a falsetto ... Yeah, not a very pretty thought.
5.) History (Charles Lamont) - 3:30 rating: ** stars
Opening up with some jazzy horns that sounded like they'd been lifted off of a late inning Steely Dan album, 'History' suddenly morphed into an over-the-top slice of pretentious crapola. And then it was back to the horns. Horrible, horrible, and horrible.
6.) Letty (Charles Lamont) - 2:01 rating: ** stars
'Letty' opened up with some classical orchestration and then went off in a sensitive singer/songwriter direction. The song itself wasn't very good, but it was kind of entertaining to hear Lamont trot out his Dr. John-as-a-lounge-act impersonation.
Hum, 'Ninety Miles Away' (I'm guessing the reference was to the distance between Florida and Cuba), was a clumsy and tuneless piece of social and political commentary. Yech.
2.) Scream (Charles Lamont) - 2:09 rating: ** stars
Just when you thought it couldn't get worse Lamont unearthed his James Brown impersonation. This one simply had to be heard to be believed. The falsetto chorus refrain was hysterical. Hide your cat before you play it. (I'm giving it an extra star for the lowbrow entertainment factor)
3.) Mind Decay (Charles Lamont) - 2:00 rating: * stars
The trippy title was at odds with this MOR-ish, horn-propelled pop song. The song's chief point of interest was listening to Lamont's hideous vocal. This was one of those tracks where you were left to wonder if he was actually going to make it through the whole song without losing a lung.
4.) Hog Blues (Charles Lamont) - 4:30 rating: * stars
In case you couldn't guess from the title, 'Hog Blues' was a conventional blues-rock number. Wish I could say the track had some redeeming feature going for it, but alas it didn't. Wonder what made Uni executives think this one had commercial potential since it was released as the leadoff single ...
- 1970's 'Hog Blues' b/w 'Before It's Over (Ballad)' (Revue catalog number 11047)
5.) Uphill Chill (Charles Lamont) - 2:46 rating: ** stars
'Uphill Chill' found Lamont switching back to his Dr. John-goes-op mode, Unfortunately, he song simply wasn't very good.
Lamont went on to record with former Buffalo Springfield bassist Dewey Martin's short-lived Medicine Ball. That was fallowed by an equally short stint with ex-Mothers of Invention members JImmy Carl Black and Bunk Garnder in Geronimo Black.
He remained active in music, writing and producing dance-oriented material for the California based JDC label and turning his attention to scoring material for television and touring with jazz and blues oriented acts.
I've never heard it, but in 2013 Lamont released a self-financed sophomore album: "Rhythms Words and Melodies."
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