29 May 2009
"APPLETREE THEATRE - PLAYBACK" (SUNSHINE PSYCHEDELIC US 1968)
"Appletree Theatre"'s Playback is a Sunshine 'concept album': it's the brainchild of "John Boylan" and "Terry Boylan".
After landing a solo contract with "MGM"/"Verve Forecast Records", and before beginning a solo album, "Terry Boylan" recruited brother "John Boylan" for an experimental 'rock meets theatre' album.
The songs are so strong. It's grade-A Sunshine Pop with occasional Psychedelic arrangements, dipping occasionally into hard-edged soul and music-hall.
"Playback" (Verve Forecast FTS 3042, 1968) offered up a rather weird concept piece, though admittedly the plotline was largely lost on us.
Written by the brothers, the collection offered up a bizarre collage of interlaced vocal narratives, sound effects, song fragments, balanced by an occasional Pop piece ("Hightower Square", the bouncy "Brother Speed" and the trippy "You're the Biggest Thing In My Life").
"Playback" received virtually NO advertising or radio play in US at the time.
There was no doubt the Boylans were talented: on the other hand, the set was simply too experimental for the normal listener.
"John Lennon" in an interview with "Penny Nichols" in 1968 London, called "The Appletree Theatre" one of his favourite new albums.
Addicted of "Beach Boys"' "Smile" era, "The Smoke" and the "Millennium with Begin will really love this record though it has more of a downbeat mood than the before mentioned Sunshine Pop classics.