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Thursday, April 01, 2021

The Bonniwell Music Machine - Selftitled (Psych, Garage Rock US 1967)



Size: 422 MB
Bitrate: 320
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Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
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The Music Machine were renamed the Bonniwell Music Machine when they went to Warner Bros., as the original lineup disbanded at some point, leaving only chief singer and songwriter Sean Bonniwell. Much of the material on Warner, however, was recorded by the original group, and this album was pasted together from some singles (some of which had appeared on Original Sound in 1967) and other tracks, both by the original incarnation and a second outfit that was pretty much a Sean Bonniwell solo vehicle. 


Accordingly, the tone of the album is pretty uneven, but much of the material is excellent. In fact, some of the songs rate among their best; a few are also found on the Rhino anthology, but other first-rate tunes ("Bottom of the Soul," "Talk Me Down," "The Trap") are not. Some of the cuts (presumably those recorded after the first lineup broke up) find Bonniwell branching out from psych-punk into a poppier and more eclectic direction, sometimes with very good results, sometimes not.

The Music Machine were one of the more fascinating one-hit wonders to emerge from the garage rock movement of the '60s. Led by singer and songwriter Sean Bonniwell, the Music Machine only scored one major chart success, 1966's "Talk Talk," but Bonniwell was a prolific songwriter whose tunes tackled the social and philosophical issues of the day in a style that was at once thoughtful and broadly theatrical, accompanied by sneering garage rock dominated by savage fuzztone guitars. 

By all accounts, Bonniwell led the Music Machine with an iron fist, and the group's original lineup crumbled before they could record a second album, but Bonniwell landed a new record deal with Warner Bros. and assembled a new version of the group that he dubbed the Bonniwell Music Machine. The Bonniwell Music Machine's sole eponymous album was a more musically ambitious set than the Music Machine's LP for Original Sound, with horns, woodwinds, acoustic guitars, and esoteric keyboards dotting several cuts, while allowing Bonniwell plenty of room to explore his individual world-view. 

Big Beat's The Bonniwell Music Machine is a comprehensive anthology that includes Bonniwell's complete Warner Bros. recordings -- all 14 tracks from the BMM album as well as 11 single sides and alternate mixes -- along with a bonus disc featuring demos and rarities from Bonniwell, the Music Machine, and Bonniwell's early group the Ragamuffins. 

While the Bonniwell Music Machine's LP has an uneven reputation among fans, there are plenty of tracks that anyone who dug "Talk Talk" would be likely to latch on to, including "Double Yellow Line" and "The Eagle Never Hunts the Fly," while "Soul Love" is a proto-hard rock number that suggests these guys could have hopped on a tour bus with Blue Cheer and done just fine. 

Despite conventional wisdom regarding Bonniwell's Warner Bros. period, this material sounds very much like the Music Machine's best-known work, just with an extra coat of varnish; the real surprises are on disc two, where the acoustic demos and home-recorded tracks allow Bonniwell to show off his inner folkie (and his songs fit the unplugged format better than you'd imagine), the Ragamuffins deliver some spirited uptempo folk-rock that boasts attitude and charm, and tracks like "Dark White" and "She Is" show Bonniwell could have pulled off a more subtle approach if he'd been given the time and resources. While this is best recommended to obsessives (and who else is likely to buy a two-disc reissue of an album that was a resounding flop?), Big Beat's edition of The Bonniwell Music Machine shows the guy was smarter and had a broader range than most would have you believe.

Disc 1
01. Music Machine, The - Astrologically Incompatible  02:35
02. Music Machine, The - Double yellow line  02:09
03. Music Machine, The - The day today  02:53
04. Music Machine, The - Absolutely positively  02:14
05. Music Machine, The - Somethin' hurtin' on me  03:03
06. Music Machine, The - The Trap  02:34
07. Music Machine, The - Soul love  03:38
08. Music Machine, The - Bottom Of The Soul  02:00
09. Music Machine, The - Talk Me Down  01:52
10. Music Machine, The - The eagle never hunts the fly  02:46
11. Music Machine, The - I've loved you  02:49
12. Music Machine, The - Affirmate no  02:08
13. Music Machine, The - Discrepancy  02:36
14. Music Machine, The - Me, Myself, And I  02:13

Bonus
15. Music Machine, The - You'll love me again  01:51
16. Music Machine, The - In my neighborhood (Stereo Mix)  02:21
17. Music Machine, The - To the light (Stereo Mix)  02:11
18. Music Machine, The - Everything is everything  01:52
19. Music Machine, The - This should make you happy  02:04
20. Music Machine, The - Black snow  02:32
21. Music Machine, The - Tell me what ya got  02:06
22. Music Machine, The - Time out (for a daydream) (Stereo Mix)  02:06
23. Music Machine, The - Tin can beach (Stereo Mix)  02:07
24. Music Machine, The - Unka tina ty  02:18
25. Music Machine, The - 902  01:57
 
Disc 2
Bonniwell, Sean - Gimme gimme (Home Demo)  02:23
Bonniwell, Sean - Stand aside (Home Demo)  01:57
Ragamuffins, The - Two much  01:58
Ragamuffins, The - Push don't pull  02:14
Ragamuffins, The - Chances  03:03
Ragamuffins, The - Talk me down  01:41
Music Machine, The - Point of no return (Home Demo)  02:40
Bonniwell, Sean - I'll take the blame (Home Demo)  01:52
Bonniwell, Sean - The life I live (Home Demo)  01:50
Bonniwell, Sean - Would you believe (Home Demo)  02:19
Bonniwell, Sean - Inside eternity (Home Demo)  02:55
Bonniwell, Sean - Paper machine (Home Demo)  02:29
Bonniwell, Sean - You'll love me again (Home Demo)  02:06
Music Machine, The - Dark white (Demo)  04:34
Music Machine, The - King mixer (Demo)  03:04
Music Machine, The - She is (Demo)  003:21
Music Machine, The - Reach me in time (Rehearsal)  02:22
Music Machine, The - Closed (Rehearsal)  02:11
Music Machine, The - Temporary knife (Rehearsal)  02:37
Music Machine, The - Advise & consent (Stereo Mix)  02:57
Music Machine, The - Mother nature / Father earth (Stereo Mix)  02:16
Music Machine, The - King mixer  03:16
Music Machine, The - Dark white  04:15
Bonniwell, Sean - Citizen fear  02:29

Part 1:  Machine
Part 2: Machine
Part 3: Machine
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Part 1: Machine
Part 2: Machine
Part 3: Machine
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Part 1:  Machine
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Part 3: Machine




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