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Radice, Mark - 1971 Mark Radice

ARTIST: Mark Radice
ALBUM: Mark Radice
LABEL: Paramount
YEAR: 1971
CD REISSUE 2004, Mark Radice CDR, via CD Baby


LINEUP: Mark Radice - lead vocals, piano, organ * Don Payne - bass * Hugh McCraken, Charlie Brown, Teddy Erwin, Sal Di Troia, Eric Weissberg, Ken Kosac, Tom Kantos - guitars * Alan Scwartzberg, Richard Crooks - drums * George Devens, Mike Mainieri - percussion * Ted Wender - electric piano

TRACK LISTING: 01 Please Don't Blow Up This Ship * 02 New Day * 03 Hey, My Love * 04 You Knew It too * 05 Your Yesterdays * 06 Only The Dim * 07 Glad You Made It * 08 Look Out, Road * 09 Take Me To The Park * 10 Your Love Is Like Fire * 11 Sorry, Now * 12 Seein' Through My Pillow * 13 Two-Way Scene


Unbelievable but true, Mark Radice was just 7 years old when he signed with RCA Records releasing several singles and just 13 when he recorded this album for Paramount. Of course his father was a big-time engineer working with several top pop acts of the 1960's and it was his childhood friend Steve Tallarico who encourage Radice to continue writing, culminating with this record. Tallarico of course would become Steve Tyler of Aerosmith and in 1977 Radice would tour with his buddies appearing on 'Live Bootleg', going on to collaborate with and/or appear on several records by Eddie Money, Helix, Shark Island, Barry Manilow, Michael Bolton, Aldo Nova as well as eight Cheap Trick albums! Impressive to say the least, not to mention recording a handful of funk oriented solo albums in the late 70's, but it's his self-titled album from 1971 that resonates with cult pop collectors and it's a beauty.

The Songs
First of all you would never guess Mark's age by listening to this. He sounds far older than 13 and well beyond his years. The sound here is in the classic 1970's singer song writer in the style of early Elton John, Paul Williams and John Howard. In other words, stellar song writing backed with an impressive group of session players which included guitarist Hugh McCracken who at the time was part of an embryonic Paul McCartney & Wings. Clocking in at thirty four seconds the opening 'Please Don't Blow Up This Ship' feels like throwaway, but the good stuff begins with the gorgeous 'New Day' complimented by beautiful strings. It's an amazing pop song that typifies the early 70's, sunshine and happy days, a feel good song if there ever was as is 'Hey, My Love'. It's easy to forget Radice's age when he sings 'I want to hold you in my arms and I got to make love to you'. Bobby Sherman was never this real! Some tasty slide guitar on 'You Knew It Too' gives the music a welcome Southern rock influence ala The Allman Brothers on this and 'Your Yesterdays', but it's back to pure pop with the stunning 'Only The Dim' and some delicious electric piano work from Radice giving the song a baroque vibe that I find irresistible. Digging deeper into the album I do encounter some sameness in the material, but that's not to say these tracks are not worthwhile as 'Look Out, Road', the very Elton John 'Take Me To The Park' and 'Sorry, Now' all have something to recommend and overall the record is a highly enjoyable listen for connoisseurs of this style of pop.

In Summary
Mr. Radice has reissued this album on CDR and it's available over at CDBaby. While the sound quality suffers in spots and it's obviously not from the masters, its worth picking up or downloading for a taste of what was once good about American pop music - almost four decades ago.

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