This Long Island quintet tried to simultaneously fly their freak flag and sweet-talk the teenyboppers, and the results were lopsided but strong enough to shine years later.
The Illusion scored a Top 40 hit in 1969 with a truncated version of the opening track from this debut LP, "Did You See Her Eyes".
It's a tough, swaggering number with a simple theme (skirt watching) and a basic structure, but the album cut is expanded with an obtrusive drum solo, assorted echo/wah-wah effects, and an uncredited cop from Sly & the Family Stone's "Sing a Simple Song".
Such unnecessary tampering proves that the Illusion were hip to the new directions that rock was taking at the time and had grander plans for their music than mere hit singles.
Regardless, these guys sound best when they get straight to the blue-eyed soul without any prog rock side trips.
"Talkin' Sweet Talkin' Soul" should have been the hit, a rambunctious power pop number that bounces around the ears with an irresistible wordless vocal hook.
The medley of "Run, Run Run" and "Willy Gee (Miss Holy Lady)" combines both tendencies, pairing the aggressive hard rock of the former ("I'm gonna get shot/This girl is hot!") with the bubblegummy singsong of the latter ("One, two, three/Push out Willy Gee/Four, five, six/Beat him with a stick").
Most of the remaining track time strives for a slightly more psychedelic soul sound, at times reminiscent of the Rationals or a bluesier Byrds.
Of these songs, "I Love You, Yes I Do" and "Charlena" stand out, but all the material on this now-rare LP has serious spirit and period charm. (by Fred Beldin from amg)
01.Did You See Her Eyes
02.Talkin' Sweet, Talkin' Soul
04.Run Run Run-Willy Gee (Miss Holy Lady)
05.I Love You, Yes I Do
08.Why, Tell Me Why-The Real Thing
09.You Made Me What I Am
*John Vinci - vocals
*Richie Cerniglia - lead guitar
*Mike Maniscalco - rhythm guitar, keyboards
*Chuck Alder - bass
*Michael Ricciardella - drums
[ Thank you BOBBO59 for sending this post ]
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