Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Smoke [US] (1968)


Not to be confused with the British psychedelic band of the same name, the Smoke was a one-off studio group headed by producer/musician Michael Lloyd (weird, that's my brother's first and middle name!). Lloyd's vast exposure to the LA music industry was at an early age, signing a publishing deal at only 13 after meeting producer Kim Fowley. He was in an early version of the West Coast Art Experimental Band and wrote and produced for the LA pop group October Country. The name October Country was actually derived from a song penned by Lloyd that appears on The Smoke. Fowley introduced Lloyd to enterntainment mogul Mike Curb who gave him many production jobs. Curb was so impressed by Lloyd that he let him freely use his Hollywood Boulevard Studios for six months. It was during this time that Lloyd recorded The Smoke's sole album. It was completed with Stan Ayeroff (a founding member of Oingo Boingo) on guitar and Steve Baim on drums. This same lineup had previously been a band called the Laughing Wind. Clocking in under 30 minutes, the album is highly concentrated American psych-pop at it's best. The instumentation is dense and the songwriting and arrangements are also impressive. Although very original, Brian Wilson's influence can be heard in "Self-Analysis" and several moments on the album strike me as very Zombies-esque.

Download The Smoke

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are you planning on posting something by the UK Smoke as well? Please do! :)

Doug said...

I'll hook it up soon.

warm jet said...

Mike Curb was the evil one behind the Osmonds as well. Most recently responsible for Lean Rimes and the POP COUNRTY label Curb records.
Thanks for the Smoke info.
Be checkin.

Doug said...

Interesting yet not at all surprising considering Mike Curb was apparently creating teensploitation films at the time he met Michael Lloyd. Thanks for that note.

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Anonymous said...

Mike Curb also produced the Max Frost and the Troopers LP which is an amazing acid punk onslaught with all originals. One of the best records by a fictional groups.

I also really like this Smoke LP. Thank you for sharing it!

music & rubbish long player late blooger said...

http://www.longplayerlateblogger.com/article-the-smoke-1968-usa-83914081.html

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