I know very little about this band.
No, less than “very little”…
… next to nothing
Google reveals that "next to nothing" whilst books I have reveal nothing (or is that, don't reveal anything).
The group consisted of four vocalists and a drummer, (their last names unknown bar one) Richard (bass voice), Bjorn (baritone), Marshall (high tenor), Pat Valentino (vocal arrangements-second tenor) and Tony (drummer).
There are some Pat Valentino’s in music and the likely one is Pat Valentino is this one (but I could be wrong) …
“ … is Mr. Pat Valentino, who’s been around the entertainment industry his whole life, having come from a long line of show business personalities. After winning the Hollywood bowl award at the age of ten, Valentino joined the famous Mitchell Boys Choir in 1955. For the next three years, he performed for movies, television, radio, and concerts in the United States and Europe. Valentino then attended Hollywood Professional School, where he won the Bank of America fine arts award in 1962. Upon graduation, he taught music at the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music – the youngest person ever to do so … Valentino has worked as musical director, conductor, pianist, and arranger ever since for such artists as Englebert Humperdink, Flip Wilson, Vicki Carr, Don Costa, Pat and Debbie Boone, The Lettermen, Frank Sinatra, Jr., and over one hundred television shows throughout the world. Valentino has recorded for Capitol records, RCA, A&M Records, as well as Bonneville Broadcasting Company, writing over three hundred orchestrations within a 28 month period. Also to his credit are his guest appearances as conductor with the symphonies of Edmonton, Canada; Manchester, England; Anchorage, Alaska; Greensboro, North Carolina; and Jackson, Tennessee”. http://www.geocities.ws/ezartists/valentino.html
What leads me to believe that this is the right Pat Valentino apart from the right timeframe is that the one on this album did the vocal arrangements and most of these tunes are film songs (as well as new contemporary songs by new songwriters).
The liner notes written by Henry Mancini, proclaim, "Something new, or is it something old, is happening to popular music".
And Henry hits the nail on the head.
The Match have taken (1969) recent trad pop sounds and psyched them up for the late 1960s. They lent to familiar songs from films as well as a number of tunes by upcoming songwriters like David Gates, Jimmy Webb, Paul Williams, Paul Simon, Roger Nichols.
The album straddles both the traditional and the new as was popular at the time much like The Sandpipers, The Association, The Free Design, The Skyliners, Small Circle Of Friends, and Harpers Bizarre who had a #13US with Simon & Garfunkel's "The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)" in 1967 and some other minor hits.
I said this in a comment about Harpers Bizarre elsewhere on this blog and much of it applies here, “They started off as AM Pop … and then incorporated more eclectic sounds into the mix including baroque pop, sunshine pop and 1920s and 1930s era tin pan alley pop which enjoyed only a brief vogue, roughly from late 1966 to 1968, probably on the back of the mammoth success of the film “Bonnie & Clyde” … This album is a mix of AM pop and a vocal group playing jazzy pop music with dribs and drabs of the aforementioned sunshine pop and baroque pop”.
Allmusic, dwelling on the respectable bands, define "sunshine pop" as, "Naturally created in California, sunshine pop was a mid-'60s mainstream pop style typified by rich harmony vocals, lush orchestrations, and relentless good cheer. It was often mildly influenced by psychedelia, but it usually didn't aim to evoke any sort of drug-induced mind expansion; it simply drew from the warm and whimsical sides of psychedelic pop, incorporating production innovations of the time (especially those of Phil Spector and the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson). Sunshine pop often resembled the more elaborate and melancholy baroque pop style, though it could also cross into folk-pop or Brill Building pop. The stars of sunshine pop included the Beach Boys (circa Pet Sounds), the Turtles, the Association, and the Mamas & the Papas; other groups to score hits in the style were the Buckinghams, the Grass Roots, and the Left Banke, while certain others — Sagittarius, the Yellow Balloon, the Millennium — became cult favourites years after the fact". https://www.allmusic.com/style/sunshine-pop-ma0000012028
The Match are probably a little more "traditional groovy” with lovely vocal harmony arrangements backed by some beautiful string arrangements but it is all very slick as you would expect from the trad pop world. The result is a breezy vocal harmony album full of sunshine pop that would have made Brian Wilson chuckle.
It is the type of music you hear on TV specials, commercials and some films of the time.
Clearly the band are trying to match (sic) the success of Harpers Bizarre and The Association but they owe a big debt to Jimmy Webb and the multi layered vocal arrangements and music he was doing with the 5th Dimension.
And just like listening to the 5th Dimension of this period, the fun is in losing yourself in the music and the vocals where the voices are instruments in themselves. The music here demands less, both in message and in sound, than the 5th Dimension, but nevertheless, it is perfect for a sunshine day.
This was their only album.
Tracks (best in italics)
- Don't Take Your Time – (Tony Asher- Roger Nichols) – first released by 60s soft rock band Roger Nichols & The Small Circle of Friends on their self-titled album from 1968. Sammy Davis Jr. released a version on his "Lonely Is The Name" (1968) album. This version is so light it floats but it is very pleasant.
- A Time For Us (Love Theme From "Romeo And Juliet") – (Larry Kusik-Eddie Snyder-Nino Rota) – from the film "Romeo And Juliet". Henry Mancini had a #1 Pop hit with it in 1969. Different lyrics have been done for the song. The ones used here have also been recorded by Johnny Mathis (1969 – on his “Love Theme From "Romeo And Juliet" (A Time For Us)” album) and Andy Williams (1969 – on his “Get Together With Andy Williams” album). There may be a time for protagonists but it is dipped in a cup of foreboding. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_Theme_from_Romeo_and_Juliet
- Free And Easy – (Addrisi-Addrisi) – written by the Addrisi brothers whilst they were still songwriters with a few singles under their belts. Fluffy and not a standout.
- Through Spray Colored Glasses – (Gates-Phillips) – written by David Gates (at about the time he started the band Bread) and film composer Stu Phillips for the surfing documentary film “Follow Me” (1969) and first performed by Dino, Desi & Billy on that LPs soundtrack. Very 5th Dimension.
- Mornin' I'll Be Movin' On – (Nichols-Williams) – Paul Williams co-wrote this and released a version on his debut album from 1970 “Someday Man”. Gentle horns accentuate the good times
- Where Do I Go? – (Rado-Ragni-MacDermot) – from the Broadway show “Hair” (1968). Nice hearing the song with out the bombast.
- Alfie – (David-Bacharach) – from the film “Alfie”. This has been done by everyone but was a hit for Cilla Black (#9UK 1966), Cher (#32 US 1966) and Dionne Warwick (#15US 1967). A largely acapella version and nicely done. Gets the existential sad loneliness through. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfie_(song)
- Need You – (Simmons) – fluff and very 5th Dimension.
- Scarborough Fair/Canticle – (Simon-Garfunkel) – a traditional tune adapted by Paul Simon for the Simon & Garfunkel “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme” (1966) album. The song was released as a single after being featured on the soundtrack to The Graduate in 1968 (#11US, #9UK 1968). It was then covered often by trad pop and soft pop acts. It is lovely, pastoral and well realised. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scarborough_Fair_(ballad)
- Love Years Coming – (Jimmy Webb) – written by Jimmy Webb and first recorded by Strawberry Children in 1967. Well, very 5th dimension but this one is by Jimmy Webb.
- The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (If You Needed Me) – (Peggy Lee- Dave Grusin) – an instrumental version is in the film “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” (1968). Peggy Lee added lyrics and recorded the same for her “Let’s Love” album from 1974. Quite delicate and beautiful, as you would expect given the subject matter of the film (and book by Carson McCullers).
Not the best of the gene but still with more good moments than bad and a perfect time capsule without it being overfamiliar … I'm keeping it.
Nothing nowhere … if it had done well they would have done another album
Don't Take Your Time
A Time For Us (Love Theme From "Romeo And Juliet")
Through Spray Colored Glasses
Mornin' I'll Be Movin' On
- Credits: Vocal arrangements – Pat Valentino, Conductor – Jules Chaikin (lead trumpet with the big bands of Stan Kenton and Les Brown, studio musician (Kris Kristofferson, Paul Anka, Chicago, the Turtles, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, Dionne Warwick, Aretha Franklin, Kenny Rogers, Manhattan Transfer, Nina Simone, Johnny Mathis etc), music contractor and contributor to film scores, Produced and Arranged By – Jack Pleis (a jazz pianist and prolific film and TV composer), Recorded At – RCA's Music Center Of The World, Hollywood, California.
- There is a Pat Valentino that has released solo jazz instrumentals and records with Pat Valentino & His orchestra … I assume he is the same one.
RIP: Tom Petty 1950 – 2017