Masterpiece (The Master's Apprentices Album)
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Masterpiece the Master's Apprentices Album
Masterpiece
Masterpiece The Masters Apprentices album cover 1967.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedFebruary 1970 (1970-02)
RecordedEarly 1969 to Early 1970
Studio
GenreRock, Psychedelic rock, Psychedelic pop
Length35:28
LabelColumbia, EMI
ProducerHoward Gable
The Masters Apprentices chronology
Singles from Masterpiece
  1. "Linda, Linda" / "Merry Go Round"
    Released: March 1969
  2. "5:10 Man" / "How I Love You"
    Released: 1969

Masterpiece is the second studio album by The Masters Apprentices, released in February 1970 on Columbia Records.

Background

The Masters Apprentices had been stockpiling tracks since they signed with EMI in 1969. 1969 began with The Masters Apprentices settling their new line-up and the Ford/Keays writing team hitting its stride, the band now moved to its best-remembered and most successful phase. The long-awaited first EMI single was moderately successful, and even though it was something of a false start artistically, "Linda Linda" / "Merry-Go-Round" (March 1969) marked the beginning of a short but successful collaboration with New Zealand-born producer Howard Gable. The bubblegum pop A-side, "Linda Linda" fell into the same faux-music hall category as UK songs like "Winchester Cathedral" but the rocky B-side showed hints of how the group was developing. The single missed out on the Top 40 but gained radio airplay and helped to revive their waning popularity.

Their next single, the rocky "5:10 Man", released in July, which peaked at No. 16 on the Go-Set Singles Chart[1] and initiated a string of Top 20 hits. It was a deliberate move towards a heavier sound, as the band were keen to move away from the current bubblegum craze that their manager and producer wanted.

During this period, Ford/Keays struggled to write new material due to the band's hectic live performance schedule [2]. In February 1970, their long delayed second LP Masterpiece was finally issued. Although something of a hodgepodge--as Keays freely admits--it showed the band developing a much broader range.[3] It included the singles "Linda Linda" and "5:10 Man" and album tracks, "A Dog, a Siren & Memories", and "How I Love You", although it omitted the song "Merry-Go-Round". By then they were coming to grips with the album format and emulated the current fad for concept albums by linking the songs with a short guitar-and-string arrangement, crossfaded between tracks. The title track, a live recording, provides a vivid aural snapshot of their live show during 1968, complete with the deafening screams of fans. The album also includes their own version of "St John's Wood", a track Ford and Keays wrote[4] for Brisbane band The Sect, who had released it as a single on Columbia during the year.

Reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic3/5 stars link

The album's retrospective reviews have been mixed. Allmusic's Richie Unterberger said "It's a respectable but oddly schizophrenic effort, finding them searching for an identity with competent forays into hard rock, early progressive rock, and poppy folk-rock, with orchestral instrumental links between many of the tracks adding to the confusion (as there's no concept driving the LP)."

When writing about the album in Freedom Train, Australian rock journalist Ian McFarlane was complimentary of several of the album's tracks, but said that "Linda, Linda" and "Piece Of Me" were "just plain bad". "Part of the problem lays in the fact that the band are concerned with making the obligatory profound musical statement (the first side had all the tracks segued into one another in the manner of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's, each linked by a short orchestral piece). As a result the album comes over as all solemn and self consciously arty, and is totally overblown. "[5]

Track listing

All songs written by Doug Ford and Jim Keays.

Side A
No.TitleLength
1."Masterpiece"4:02
2."Who Do You Think You Are"3:07
3."Barefoot When I Saw Her"3:58
4."St. John's Wood"2:00
5."5.10 Man"2:34
6."A Dog, A Siren & Memories"3:11
Side B
No.TitleLength
1."Linda Linda"2:43
2."Isabella"2:35
3."Captivating Voice"2:03
4."Piece Of Me"2:15
5."Titanic"3:32
6."How I Love You"3:07

Personnel

The Masters Apprentices
  • Doug Ford - lead guitar, acoustic guitar, banjo, vocal
  • Jim Keays - vocal, percussion
  • Colin Burgess - drums, percussion, vocal
  • Glenn Wheatley - bass, tambourine, marraccas, vocals
Other Musicians
  • The Chiffons  - backing vocals on "5:10 Man"
  • Gavin Webb  - bass guitar
  • Peter Tilbrook  - guitars, bass
Production Team
  • Producer - Howard Gable
  • Engineers  - John Sayers, Roger Savage
Artwork
  • Photography  - Allan Kleinman
  • Cover Design  - Whaite & Emery

References

General
  • Keays, Jim (1999). His Master's Voice: The Masters Apprentices: The bad boys of sixties rock 'n' roll. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-185-X. Retrieved 2017. Note: limited preview for on-line version.
  • Kimball, Duncan (2002). "The Masters Apprentices". Milesago: Australasian Music and Popular Culture 1964-1975. Ice Productions. Archived from the original on 13 November 2016. Retrieved 2017.
  • McFarlane, Ian (1999). "WHAMMO Homepage". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Archived from the original on 5 April 2004. Retrieved 2017. Note: Archived [on-line] copy has limited functionality.
  • Spencer, Chris; Nowara, Zbig; McHenry, Paul (2002) [1987]. The Who's Who of Australian Rock. Noble Park, Vic.: Five Mile Press. ISBN 1-86503-891-1.[6] Note: [on-line] version was established at White Room Electronic Publishing Pty Ltd in 2007 and was expanded from the 2002 edition. As from September 2010 the [on-line] version is no longer available.
Specific
  1. ^ "Go-Set". Go-Set. Retrieved 2009.
  2. ^ "Masterpiece". Masters Apprentices Official Site. Masters Apprentice. Retrieved 2018.
  3. ^ Keays, p. 152-153
  4. ^ ""St John's Wood" at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 2009.
  5. ^ McFarlane, Ian (1994) [1994]. Freedom Train Vol.1 Issue 1. Australia: Third Stone Press.
  6. ^ "Who's who of Australian rock / compiled by Chris Spencer, Zbig Nowara & Paul McHenry". catalogue. National Library of Australia. Retrieved 2010.

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