Monday, 23 January 2017

The Cowsills - Global (1998) Flac


The real-life inspiration behind the hit television series The Partridge Family, the Cowsills -- comprised of teen siblings Bill, Bob, Barry, John, Susan, and Paul in tandem with mother Barbara -- were one of the biggest pop acts of the late '60s, scoring a series of hits including "The Rain, the Park and Other Things" and "Hair" with their angelic harmonies and sun-kissed melodies. The group's origins lie with Bill and Bob, who as children began their singing careers covering Everly Brothers hits. Given guitars by their father, Navy man William "Bud" Cowsill, the siblings soon recruited younger brothers Barry and John to play bass and drums, respectively, and as Beatlemania dawned, the teen foursome began performing live at school dances and church socials throughout their native Newport, RI. Soon, the Cowsills landed a regular weekend gig at the local club Bannisters Wharf, and in 1967 recorded the single "All I Really Wanta Be Is Me" for the Joda label. The record generated little response, however, and after an appearance on NBC's The Today Show, the group signed to Mercury Records, where they issued three more singles to negligible interest.

Mercury producer Artie Kornfeld remained convinced of the Cowsills' commercial appeal, however, and set up another recording date independent of the label. This time, however, he convinced their siblings' mother, Barbara, to contribute vocals to the session, which yielded the stunning "The Rain, the Park and Other Things." With their wholesome family image serving as a marketing godsend, Kornfeld sealed a deal with MGM, which issued the single in the fall of 1967; it eventually rose to number two on the national charts, selling over a million copies in the process. The Cowsills' self-titled debut LP soon followed, and with the title track from 1968's We Can Fly, the family scored their second hit, in the meantime adding two more siblings -- sister Susan and brother Paul -- to the lineup. "Indian Lake" reached the Top Ten later that year, and in 1969 the group scored its biggest chart entry with the title song from the rock musical Hair. Around that same time, Columbia Pictures' television division dispatched a group of screenwriters to observe the Cowsills' daily lives for a possible series based on their story. The show never panned out, but was later fictionalized as The Partridge Family. By the time The Partridge Family hit the airwaves in 1970, however, the Cowsills' career was on the decline, and in the wake of the 1971 LP On My Side, the group disbanded. That same year, Bill Cowsill (who was briefly considered to replace Brian Wilson in the Beach Boys' touring lineup) issued a solo LP, Nervous Breakthrough, but otherwise the siblings were musically inactive for much of the decade. In the late '70s, Bob, John, Susan, and Paul recorded a batch of original material with producer Chuck Plotkin, but the sessions were never unreleased. Barbara Cowsill died on January 31, 1985, and her children spent the '90s in regaining some of their former musical prominence. Barry mounted a solo career, Bill founded the country group the Blue Shadows, and Susan joined the Continental Drifters, an all-star New Orleans-via-Los Angeles combo also featuring her husband, ex-dB Peter Holsapple, and onetime Bangle Vicki Peterson. In 1994, the "core four" -- Bob, John, Susan, and Paul -- contributed a newly recorded Cowsills track, "Is It Any Wonder," to the Yellow Pills, Vol. 1 pop compilation. A new studio album, Global, followed in 1998.

 The Cowsills were the real world's Partridge Family. The talented Cowsills teens -- Bob, Bill, John, Barry, Paul, and Susan -- all siblings working along with their mother, Barbara, landed a number of hit songs during the '60s. Three decades later the renewed Cowsills, though smaller in number, began performing and recording music again. One of the group's later offerings is Global. This bubblegum pop album carries 11 tracks, including "What About Love," "You've Got No Time," "Cross That Line," and "Under the Gun." All of the songs were co-written by Bob Cowsill and his wife Mary. Though the major record label the group had worked with before didn't bite on this deal, the Cowsills found a label, Robin Records, and plenty of old and new fans waiting for more pop music harmonies.

 When Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans on August 29, 2005, Susan and her family had already evacuated the area. However, brother Barry -- also a New Orleans resident at the time -- had not. Susan had received a phone call from Barry as late as September 1. The family searched for any sign of him for four months before his body was recovered and identified on December 28. Another death followed in 2006, when Bill passed away in February at the age of 58 after lingering health issues.allmusic.com
I always loved the band/family and the musical things the different siblings created. Continental Drifters, Blue Shadows, the whole sixties stuff all that was great. It's sad what happened to some of the members.
This is fine pop music and if you don't know it...try it.
Cheers
           Frank
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5 comments:

  1. Thank you very much for this (and for all).

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  2. Hi Frank,

    Thanks for the liner notes! But allow me one remark: Global is definitely not a bubblegum album (imho). It's too good for the qualification bubblegum.

    Gela

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  3. @gela: Hello gela, naturally you're right but it was Charlotte Dillon of allmusic.com who wrote the liner notes. Maybe she thought she writes a Partridge family review (lol). Seriously, she wrote the liner notes very well and i think we can live with this little mistake.Thanks for the tip and your attention.
    Best regards
    Frank

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  4. @Woody It's my pleasure, Woody!
    Frank

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  5. On a huge Cowsills jag of late. Some great material to go along with a very sad tale.

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