Christams

Marketts - Outer Space, Hot Rods & Superheroes (CD)


Ace Records 2011
029667046626
 

You cannot help but admire the skill of a magician to fool an audience with crafty misdirection. When it comes to 1960s instrumentals, producer Joe Saraceno was just such a magician. He manufactured well-crafted records made by middle-aged jazz musicians and presented them to a young audience as though they were from the latest group of teenagers. The anonymity of the pop scene at the time lent a cloak behind which all manner of tricks could be worked. Unknown bands could appear in the charts and the title of the track and name of the band might be all you would ever know. This was the foggy background in which Saraceno routinely operated.

When Saraceno moved to Los Angeles in 1957 it didn’t take him long to establish a friendship with influential pianist, producer and arranger Ernie Freeman. With Freeman’s help, he scored a hit as half of the duo Tony & Joe. In 1960 Freeman broke into the US Top 100 with an instrumental hit under the pseudonym of Sir Chauncey. Saraceno realised that with an instrumental record you didn’t need to have a star artist – an appealing image tacked onto a well-produced record would suffice.

The ace in Saraceno’s pack of tricks was aspiring songwriter and guitarist Michael Z Gordon. While doing the rounds in Hollywood, he visited Saraceno’s office trying to raise interest in his songs. Saraceno recognised his talent and placed some of his songs at Candix Records where he was working as an A&R man.

The Marketts were born in 1961 when Saraceno and Gordon visited a club where the kids were doing a new dance called the Surfer’s Stomp. Gordon was charged with coming up with a tune they could name after the dance. Saraceno organised a session using top musicians such as Plas Johnson, Earl Palmer and Rene Hall and the resulting track was released on the Liberty label, on which it rose to #31 in the US charts.

The problem of how to promote the disc was solved when Saraceno persuaded Gordon to take a band out on the road under the name of the Marketts. To maximise profits, while Gordon’s band were playing further afield, Saraceno got another local band to also go out as the Marketts.

In 1963 Saraceno took the Marketts to Warner Brothers, where they scored their biggest hit with ‘Out Of Limits’, which rose to #3. By now the musicians Saraceno was using to make the band’s records were the cream of the Hollywood sessioneers such as Tommy Tedesco, Hal Blaine, Carol Kaye, Leon Russell, Glen Campbell, Steve Douglas, Plas Johnson, Bill Pitman and Ray Pohlman. The group scored further hits with ‘Vanishing Point’ in 1964 and ‘Batman’ in 1966.

“Outer Space, Hot Rods & Superheroes” collects together the very best of the tracks the Marketts recorded for Warner Brothers, including their smash hits ‘Out Of Limits’ and ‘Batman’. Many of the band’s later 45s make their CD debut here. We even have a previously unissued title in ‘Makaha’, an unissued gem from the ‘Out Of Limits’ session. The whole thing harks back to a time when magic came as part of the deal.

(Dave Burke is co-editor of rock instrumental magazine Pipeline: www.pipelinemag.co.uk)

By Dave Burke (Ace Records)

1 OUT OF LIMITS
2 NAPOLEON'S SOLO
3 BATMAN THEME
4 COME SEE COME SKA
5 RICHIE'S THEME
6 LOVE 1985
7 COBRA
8 LOOK FOR A STAR
9 A TOUCH OF VELVET, A STING OF BRASS
10 OTHER LIMITS
11 BUCKET SEATS
12 VANISHING POINT
13 MIAMI'S BLUE
14 LADY IN THE CAGE
15 WOODIE WAGON
16 COLLISION COURSE
17 READY STEADY GO
18 TARZAN
19 LIMITS BEYOND
20 MAKAHA
21 STIRRIN' UP SOME SOUL
22 THEME FROM THE AVENGERS
23 THE JOKER
24 RE-ENTRY

25.00 €

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