Orange Colored Sky
Band members Related acts
line up 1 (1962-67) as The Fabulous Epics
- Loren Cope --
- Vinny Frazzini -- vocals
- Vince Hopkins --
- Neil Myers -- guitar, backing vocals
- Larry Parker -- bass, vocals
- Walt Slivinski -- keyboards, vocals
- Paul Yoculan -- vocals
line up 2 (1968-74) as The Orange Colored Sky
- Tony Barry -- vocals
- The Fabulous Epics (Neal Myers, Larry Parker, and
Rating: ** (2 stars)
Title: Orange Colored Sky
Country/State: Erie, Pennsylvania
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Comments: minor ring and edge wear; small bullet hole lower right side
Today these guys are probably best known as part of the inspiration for the Tom Hanks produced film "That Thing You Do."
Popular music has always been a characterized by a pattern where someone comes along with a new sound that captures the public's imagination (and pocketbook) and which is then aped by a slew of imitators. In this case, for better or worse the L.A.-based Orange Colored Sky seem to have taken their cues from The Association.
At Universal's insistence they adopted a "cooler' name, with 1968's "Orange Colored
Sky" teaming the band with producer Norman Ratner.
With keyboardist Walter Slivinski penning all eleven tracks, the band was
blessed with three capable lead singers in Barry, Skinner, and front man
Younger. In spite of the hip name and contemporary album cover art,
the set bore more than a passing
resemblance to harmony groups such as The Association and Gordian Knot.
Exemplified by material such as the opener ''The Sun and I', 'The Shadows of
Summer' (love the cheesy ocean sound effects), and 'Sometimes (I Wish I Didn't Love You)'
the collection was full of sparkling harmony rich and heavily orchestrated, radio-friendly pop.
It was certainly commercial in an AM radio fashion, but was also
horribly middle-of-the-road. Tracks like the vaudevillian 'I'm Taking Her To
Dinner' reflected music that would not offend mom and dad, or the
grandparents. Depending on how you felt about the genre, it was either mildly entertaining, or thoroughly nauseating.
Personal favorite - the glistening
homage to their adopted hometown 'L.A. (Los Angeles).' Ironically the
album's other standout performance was also the most atypical - in this case
the ever so slightly lysergic tinged 'Just Like Humpty Dumpty' which was
fascinating for being so different from the rest of the collection.
The Association on a candy and sweet tea-induced high and you'll get a feel
for what The Sun and I' sounded like ... Bubblegum pop
that your grandma would have dug.
and bird sound effects are normally not a good way to start a song.
They didn't really help the sappy ballad
'The Shadows of Summer.' MOR-ish strings and an ocean of backing
vocals merely gave this a forgettable vibe.
I was in high school there was a daytime talk show hosted by Merv
Griffin. It would be on when I got home from school,or sports practice
and seemed to specialize in "C" List celebrities and similar
musical acts. The bouncy pop tune 'Knowing How I Love You' reminds me
of something you might have heard on that show ... Very sugary with
the same effect as sugar on a diabetic.
just when I'd pegged these guys as hopeless middle-of-the-road
pop purveyors, along can 'Just Like Humpty Dumpty.' Mind you, this
wasn't going to give Black Sabbath a run for their money, but powered by Jack
Sinner's fuzz bass and Walter Slivinski's Farfisa organ washes, it was
relatively heavy and even showcased why might be mistaken for a touch of
lysergic influences. One of the album highlights.
Remember how Davy Jones use to handle The Monkees pseudo-Vaudevillian tunes? Well, 'I'm Taking Her To Dinner' sounded like one of those performances. Great if you were a Jones fan. Not so good if you hated that aspect of The Monkees' recording career. Unfortunately I'm in the latter category.
group vocals, but the melody sounded like a toothpaste commercial and the
blaring horn arrangement didn't help at all.
over-orchestrated ballad. Forgettable.
album's other highlight, 'L.A. (Los Angeles)' was a breezy, slightly
lysergic sunshine pop love letter to their adopted hometown. A great
slice of sunshine pop, it's the track I would have tapped as the single.
the previous track,
'Girl of My Dreams' tried a little too hard to inject a acid-tinged edge
into their sound. Goofy psychedelic lyrics, Jack Skinner's fuzz bass,
Beatles-styled horns were mildly entertaining and reminded me a little of a
"Magical Mystery Tour" castoff. You couldn't help thinking
"I've heard this somewhere before".
The title track returned to sunshine-pop ballad territory. Sweet, if a touch saccharine. The track was tapped as a single:
1968's 'Orange Colored Sky' b/w '' The Shadow of Summer' (Uni catalog number
The band went on to release a series of three non-LP 45s for Uni:
- 1969's 'Happiness Is' b/w 'Another Sky' (Uni catalog number 55115)
- 1969's 'Mr. Peacock' b/w 'Knowing How To Love You' (Uni catalog number 55140
- 1969's 'Sweet Potato' b/w 'The Sun and I' (Uni catalog number 55156)
After a one-shot release for James Brown's People label, Don Costas signed the group to MGM where over the next two years they released a series of obscure singles on various MGM affiliated labels.
- 1970's 'Help' b/w 'Press a Rose' (People catalog number P-1007)
- 1971's 'Simon Zealotes/Superstar' b/w 'I'll Try Again' (DCP catalog number DCP-103)
- 1972's 'Good Time Music' b/w 'You Can't Kill Rock and Roll' (Amaret catalog number AMT-143)
- 1973's 'Morning Light' b/w 'Who Are You Foolin') (MGM catalog number K 14578)
Undergoing a string of personnel changes, though the early-'80s the band found a home on the Las Vegas and Tahoe casino circuit, opening for such heavy metal acts as Burt Bacharach and Frank Sinatra. In 1994 Younger, guitarist Ernie Hernandez and bassist Larry Parker reformed the band. In 1997 they added keyboardist Michael Chanslor to the line up. Two years later Younger dropped out of the band, though Chanslor, Hernandez and Parker have retained the band name and continue to perform at casinos, conferences and other events throughout the Southwest.
In the early-'90s another version of the band appeared under the leadership of keyboard player Michael Chanslor. The line-up was rounded out by guitarist Tom Bethke, singer/drummer Dennis Edwards, and bassist Parker (the only link to their past.)
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