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Five Man Electrical Band

Five Man Electrical Band - Five Man Electrical Band

Five Man Electrical Band
Capitol - 1969

Michael Panontin
With 1967 turning out to be a fruitful one for the Staccatos - their 'Half Past Midnight' had cracked the top ten in Canada - the band headed down to New York and then Los Angeles to record tracks for their second full-length. While in California they cut some radio spots for Coca-Cola, who were impressed enough to finance a mail-order-only split-LP with the Guess Who called A Wild Pair that sold a dizzying 85,000 copies. But by the time the Five Man Electrical Band LP hit the racks, the name Staccatos was nowhere to be found, and Capitol was pressuring the band to adopt the hipper-sounding Five Man Electrical Band instead, actually the name of the lead-off track on the record.

Five Man Electrical Band sold well enough up in here in Canada, with one single, the sunny Beach Boys-influenced 'Didn't Know the Time' (released just before the name change), reaching the #4 spot and hanging on the charts for three months. Much of the album bears the twin stamps of Brian Wilson and Lennon/McCartney, with the band's treatment of 'You're Gonna Lose That Girl' a curious amalgam of the two. Still, the falsetto harmonies and glistening arrangements must have seemed pretty derivative down south, as Five Man Electrical Band disappeared without much notice. No matter, though. As the Five Man Electrical Band, the lads easily paid the bills with their topical million-seller 'Signs' in 1971 and the follow-up 'Absolutely Right' in '72.

(Everything you need and more is available on Pacemaker's thorough 2-CD retrospective First Sparks - The Anthology, released in 2009.)

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