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Gloomys - Gloomys II

Gloomys - Gloomys II

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Genre: pop
Rating: 3 stars ***
Title:  Gloomys II
Company: Columbia/EMI
Catalog: 1C 052-28406
Year: 1971
Country/State: Berlin, Germany
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Comments: --
Available: 1
Catalog ID: 344
Price: $150.00

Released in 1971, the cleverly-titled "Gloomys II" served as a compilation pulling together a somewhat haphazard collection of earlier 'A' and 'B' side singles (including four 45s from the 1968 timeframe), and miscellaneous studio tracks. The majority of the twelve tracks presented the band as a top-40 pop band with more than their share of nods to contemporary American and English hit-makers including the likes of The Bee Gees (remember they were born in the UK), Tom Jones, an occasional nod to Ray Davis and the Kinks, and a wide array of Merseybeat bands. Those comparisons occasionally get a little too close for comfort as the lead-off song 'Jolly Joker' where prime songwriters Ralph Siegal Jr. and Michael Kunze blatantly ripped off The Spencer Davis Group's 'Gimme Little Lovin''. Musically the collection was evenly divided between top-40 pop and top-40 ballads. To be totally honest, nothing here was particularly original, or striking and you occasionally got the feeling these guys were simply following popular musical fads rather than making an attempt to carve out their own path. (Judging by the velvet pants displayed on the front cover, they were also pursuing fashion trends.) Many of the pop songs were gimmicky, while many of the ballads were over-the-top sappy. In fact, its one of those albums that's fun to play spot-the-influences (Bee Gees on 'The Wedding', bubblegum bands on 'Katy, My Future Telling Lady'). Those criticisms aside, most of the songs were fun with stellar performances from lead singer Mike Sanden and the rest of the band which by 1968 featured a line-up of drummer Michael Auerbach, multi-instrumentalist Heinz-Joachim Krebs, and bass player Jöerg Kulla.

"Daybreak" track listing:
(side 1)
1.) Jolly Joker (Ralph Siegal Jr. - Michael Kunze) - 3:36
As discussed above, tracks like the lead-off 'Jolly Joker' reflected a massive jump in terms of musically sophistication. Yeah, they were lucky The Spencer Davis Group didn't sue the crap out of them for stealing the opening riff from 'Gimme Little Lovin'' and the lyrics were still rather sophomoric (remember English wasn't their native language), but no matter what you thought of the words, kicked along by Heinz-Joachim Krebs' stabbing organ fills, the song absolutely rocked with one of those rollicking melodies that you couldn't shake out of your head. Fantastic way to open the album. rating: **** stars
2.) Chinchilla Lady (Ralph Siegal Jr. - Michael Kunze) - 3:48
No idea what the title meant (perhaps they were trying to portray the image of a woman wrapped up in furs?), but 'Chinchilla Lady' was a smooth, radio-ready pop song that should have appealed to anyone who liked The Association. I didn't even mind the horn arrangement. rating: **** stars
3.) David and Goliath (Ralph Siegal Jr. - Michael Kunze) - 2:48
An earlier single, 'David and Goliath' sounded like something Herman's Hermits might have recorded - a gimmicky, but very commercial pop song with a top-40ish melody and some sweet harmony vocals. The track was tapped as a single. rating: **** stars
4.) The Wedding (Prieto - Jay) - 2:49
Given the title I was expecting 'The Wedding' to be a big, sappy, and irritating ballad. Instead, kicked along by some nice Jöerg Kulla bass, it was a bluesy-ballad that reflected more than a touch of Bee Gees influence. Nice. rating: *** stars
5.) Katy, My Future Telling Lady (Peter Match - St. Prager) - 2:08
Pure bubblegum, 'Katy, My Future Telling Lady' would have sounded right at home on one of those Katenetz-Katz LPs (1910 Fruitgum Company, Strawberry Alarm Clock, etc.). One of the album's most commercial pop tunes. rating: **** stars
6.) The World Goes Round and Round (Ralph Siegal Jr. - Michael Kunze) - 3:49
'The World Goes Round and Round' close side one with another hyper-romantic Bee Gees-styled ballad. This time around Sanden even sounded like he was trying to mimmick the Gibbs Brothers patented vocal stylings. rating: *** stars

(side 2)
1.) Treat Her Like You Wanna Be Treated (Ralph Siegal Jr. - Michael Kunze) - 3:14
Another 1968 single, if there was ever a song written with an eye to being lip synched on a television show, the giddy 'Treat Her Like You Wanna Be Treated' would be in the running. Mindless late-'60s pop. rating: *** stars
2.) Singin' the Blues (Melvin Endlsey) - 2:46
Hum, The Gloomys take a stab at Stax ... Can't say it was particularly impressive, but at least it made for a change in direction. rating: *** stars
3.) When My Door Squeeks (Krebs - Neumann) - 2:38
Kicked along by some barrelhouse piano and a vaudevillian feel, 'When My Door Squeeks' sounded like they were trying to clone a bad New Vaudeville Band tune. Hideous. rating: * star
4.) Winds of Change (Ralph Siegal Jr. - Michael Kunze) - 2:56
Released as a 1968 single, 'Winds of Change' was a smooth, heavily orchestrated ballad with a touch of social commentary (albeit it was largely limited to the title track being repeated over and over and ove with varying degrees of sincerity). Pretty melody with some nice martial drumming from Michael Auerbach. rating: *** stars
5.) Sooner of Later (Ralph Siegal Jr. - Michael Kunze) - 2:45
The pop-psych tinged 'Sooner or Later' had previously seen daylight as the flip side to he 1968 'Winds of Change' single. At least the opening section, with a nod to psychedelia, was one of their most original efforts. That feeling didn't last too long as the song quickly morphed into a pop number, though it exhibited quite a bit of energy. Imagine a small kid hyped up on sugar and you'll get a feel for Mike Sanden's lead vocal. rating: *** stars
6.) Day-O (traditional - Bearb - Krebs) - 2:45
I certainly wasn't expecting anything from a cover of the chestnut 'Day-O' ... And out of the blue, their updated arrangement of the song was great. Imagine prime Roger McGuinn and the Byrds soaked in tequila and turning their attention to this tune. Who would have ever imagined a folk-rock version of the song could be such a blast. Love the harmonica solo and the goofy background sounds. rating: **** stars

As mentioned, the album included a string of 1968 singles:

- 1968's 'Winds of Change' b/w 'Sooner of Later (Columbia catalog number C 23 763)
- 1968's 'David and Goliath' b/w 'Westland Station' Columbia catalog number C 23 903
- 1968's 'The World Goes Round and Round' b/w 'When My Door Squeakers (Columbia catalog number C 24 002)
- 1968's 'Treat Her Like You Wanna Be Treated' b/w 'Day O' (Columbia catalog number1C 006-28 410)

Both Gloomys LPs are worth checking out, but this one's the stronger of the two. Quite difficult to track down ...
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