St. Cecilia: The Elektra Recordings

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St. Cecilia: The Elektra Recordings
Studio album by Stalk-Forrest Group
Released 23 April 2001
Recorded Elektra Sound Recorders, New York and Los Angeles, February-May 1970
Genre Rock, psychedelic rock
Label Elektra, Rhino
Producer Dennis Murphy, Peter Seigel, Jay Lee
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[2]

St. Cecilia: The Elektra Recordings is an album by the American rock band Stalk-Forrest Group, which would later become the successful hard rock band Blue Öyster Cult. It was recorded in 1970, but it was not officially released until 2001.

Overview[edit]

The band (originally known as 'Soft White Underbelly') had recorded demos for Elektra Records in 1969. When original vocalist Les Braunstein left the band, Elektra decided not to put out the recordings and ended their recording contract. Four of the 1969 tracks eventually surfaced as bonus tracks on the re-mastered version of the first Blue Öyster Cult album in 2001.

Manager Sandy Pearlman convinced Elektra Records to give the band — now fronted by vocalist Eric Bloom — another shot. Meanwhile, the band had changed its name to Oaxaca, and would soon change it again to Stalk-Forrest Group. Ultimately, after being presented with two different versions of the album, Elektra decided not to release it, and dropped the band from the label. Those recordings finally surfaced in a bootleg in the late 1990s. Confusingly enough, the bootleg was titled Curse of the Hidden Mirrors, after a song on the Elektra album, but Curse of the Hidden Mirror was also the title of a Blue Öyster Cult studio album from 2001.

Bass player Andrew Winters was fired from the band not long after the St. Cecilia sessions. He was replaced by Joe Bouchard, brother of drummer Albert Bouchard.

St. Cecilia was finally released in 2001 by Rhino Entertainment under the supervision of Roland Worthington Hand as RHM2 7716, in a limited, numbered edition of 5000 copies. It is now out of print. Radioactive Records have since reissued the album as St. Cecilia: The California Album. The recordings were reissued again in 2013 by Wounded Bird Records.

Song details[edit]

  • The chord changes for "Arthur Comics" were recycled for the instrumental "Buck's Boogie", released on the 1975 live album On Your Feet or on Your Knees. More directly, however, the bridge from "Gil Blanco County" was used as the main development section in "Buck's Boogie," although the progression is in D rather than Db in "Buck's Boogie."
  • Three songs from this album ("What Is Quicksand?", "Donovan's Monkey" and "A Fact About Sneakers"), appear on the remastered CD of the album Blue Öyster Cult, as does a cover of the Bobby Freeman tune "Betty Lou's Got a New Pair of Shoes" Another song from these sessions, "John L. Sullivan", was released on the 2001 promo-only CD "God Save Blue Oyster Cult From Themselves". All were recorded as demos for Columbia Records in 1969.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "What Is Quicksand?" (Allen Lanier, Richard Meltzer) - 3:19
  2. "I'm on the Lamb" (Eric Bloom, Albert Bouchard, Sandy Pearlman) - 3:00
  3. "Gil Blanco County" (Lanier, Pearlman) - 3:37
  4. "Donovan's Monkey" (Bouchard, Meltzer) - 3:44
  5. "Ragamuffin Dumplin'" (Bouchard, Meltzer) - 5:12
  6. "Curse of the Hidden Mirrors" (Bouchard, Meltzer) - 3:17
  7. "Arthur Comics" (Bouchard, Meltzer) - 3:11
  8. "A Fact About Sneakers" (Bouchard, Meltzer) - 7:53
  9. "St. Cecilia" (Bouchard, Pearlman, Andrew Winters) - 6:48
  10. "Ragamuffin Dumplin'" (alternate mix)
  11. "I'm on the Lamb" (alternate version)
  12. "Curse of the Hidden Mirrors" (alternate mix)
  13. "Bonomo's Turkish Taffy"
  14. "Gil Blanco County" (alternate mix)
  15. "St. Cecilia" (alternate mix)
  16. "A Fact About Sneakers" (alternate version)
  17. "What Is Quicksand?" (mono single version)
  18. "Arthur Comics" (mono single version)
  • Tracks 1-9 taken from the unreleased and untitled Elektra album EKS-74046
  • Tracks 10-16 previously unreleased
  • Tracks 17 and 18 are from the Elektra single EKM-45693

Personnel[edit]

  • Eric Bloom aka "Jesse Python" - lead vocals, guitars
  • Donald Roeser aka "Buck Dharma" - lead guitar, vocals
  • Andrew Winters aka "Andy Panda" - bass, acoustic guitar on "St. Cecilia"
  • Allen Lanier aka "La Verne" - keyboards, guitar
  • Albert Bouchard aka "Prince Omega" - drums, vocals

The nicknames in quotes were given to the band members by manager Sandy Pearlman. Nearly all of the members hated the nicknames, with the exception of Donald Roeser, who continues to use "Buck Dharma" as his stage name.

References[edit]