Wednesday, November 4, 2020

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."The Crystal Mansion" - Crystal Mansion (1972) Review

 
"The Crystal Mansion" - Crystal Mansion (1972)

Hailing from New Jersey, Crystal Mansion released their 2nd album and the music is all over the place.  There are songs with a soft, almost country-rock sound that are just...okay.  A bit of folk-rock.  And a couple of attempts at some prog songs that just never quite take off.  Nothing bad, but nothing memorable either.  It's only when the band takes a more funkier and groovier path that Crystal Mansion gets interesting.  This is where the cooler vibes set up shop...and what one might expect from a band just signed to the rockier Motown Rare Earth label.  The album is sometimes labeled as being a bit psychedelic, but it's really not.  A little dusting at best.  But when Crystal Mansion gets their rock-funk on, the songs are quite enjoyable and worth an extra spin or two.

The band's first album was in 1968 on Capitol Records, but it went nowhere.  Although they did have a charter with their pop-rock song ..."The Thought of Loving You."  It didn't much help the album though and Capitol quickly cut them loose.  This, the band's sophomore effort..."The Crystal Mansion"...is considered the stronger album

"The Crystal Mansion" (back)

The best tracks are “Let Me Get Straight Again” and “Boogie Man”...both on side two.  Nice guitar riffs and tasty organ show up in welcome places.  In fact, side two has the better song-writing.  "The Crystal Mansion" has its moments, for sure, but it's spotty.  I don't see this album in the wild very often, but it usually runs low dollar...under $10.  You might want to grab it, but don't spend big money.  My copy has a DJ stamp on the bottom-left side of the back cover.  And a "DJ Not For Sale" printed on the Rare Earth label.  Rescued at Spektrum.

"The Crystal Mansion" (inside gatefold)

Rare Earth label - DJ Copy

R-540L DJ 
SIDE A  MATRIX
B4RS-2689-1 {stamped} HS-1959  >--WK  A1
SIDE B  MATRIX
B4RS-2690-1 {stamped} HS-1960  >--WK  I  A1  R-540L

"Boogie Man" - Crystal Mansion - "The Crystal Mansion" (1972)

TRACKS:
A1  "There Always Will Be More" 5:57
A2  "Bad City Ways" 4:15
A3  "I Love You" 2:59
A4  "Satisfied" 3:38
A5  "A Song Is Born" 3:35
B1  "Somebody Oughta' Turn Your Head Around" 3:25
B2  "Boogie Man" 5:15
B3  "Let Me Get Straight Again" 4:51
B4  "Peace for a Change" 5:10
B5  "Earth People" 3:59

PERSONNEL:
Sal Rota - organ, piano, vocals
Johnny Caswell - vocals, piano
Ronnie Gentile - guitar
Bill Crawford - bass
Rick Morley - percussion
Mario Sanchez - congas, vocals

Good stuff.

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