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Hideously rare 1969 album by this US band. Psychedelic and bluesy West Coast sound with ripping fuzz guitar much in the vein of Crazy Horse, Quicksilver, "Vindicator" era Arthur Lee and the likes. The 12-minutes long "I'll just play", full of endless dual guitar attacks & effects is the ultimate acid-rock jam.
Enclosed was the title of Magic's debut album released in 1969, and this Gear Fab reissue by the same name includes the entirety of that debut, but also adds a 1968 single from the original lineup and songs from the 1971 sessions on Motown imprint Rare Earth that culminated in their second self-titled album, so it really can be considered the definitive document of the band.
King's lead vocals could be strikingly bluesy, and the band cooks throughout the album, moving from the loping country-rock & soul of the opening track "Keep on Movin' On" to the electric blues of "Who Am I to Say?" to the sunny country-rock of "California" to the Stax-styled ballad, "You Must Believe She's Gone." Stax is, in fact, a good reference point for the entire debut album.
The rhythm section consistently locks into a transcendent groove, and Joey Murcia's fabulous guitar work is slightly busier than Steve Cropper's but approaches the work of that legend, with a proper grit to it that is never wasted. It is surprising that Magic never quite found a wider audience. The final track from the first album,
"Sound of the Tears Is Silent," sounds as if it could have come from the pen of Smokey Robinson, and it leads perfectly into the band's subsequent stint on Motown's Rare Earth label. Most of the songs from that period that show up on the Gear Fab reissue, however, seem to veer closer to streamlinened, hard blues-rocking territory (with a couple of country-ish cuts) and are, as a result, not quite as appealing as the previous soulful material. Still, the early Magic songs alone make this a welcome reissue, especially for lovers of Stax and Southern soul music. ~ Stanton Swihart
Magic Band is:
♣ Nick King
♣ Gary Harger
♣ Duane King
♣ Joey Murcia
01. Keep on Movin' On
02. Indian Sadie
03. You Must Believe She's Gone
05. Wake Up Girl
06. One Minus Two
07. Who Am I to Say?
08. I'll Just Play
09. I Think I Love You (Single A-Side, 1970)
10. That's How Strong My Love Is (Single B-Side, 1970)
11. California - (previously unreleased)
12. Sound of Tears Is Silent - (previously unreleased)
13. I Do - (previously unreleased)
14. Hold Me Tight - (previously unreleased)
15. Compassion - (previously unreleased)
16. Be at Peace with Yourself - (previously unreleased)
17. Too Many People Starving - (previously unreleased)