The Birthday Party (The Idle Race album)

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The Birthday Party
Studio album by The Idle Race
Released 1968
Re-Issues 1976, 2014
Recorded 1967-68 Advision Studios London, UK
Genre Psychedelic pop
Length 31:36
Label Liberty Records
Sunset (Re-Issue)Parlophone (Re-Issue)
Producer Eddie Offord & Gerald Chevin
The Idle Race chronology
The Birthday Party
(1968)
Idle Race
(1969)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars link

The Birthday Party was the first album by The Idle Race, a psychedelic pop band, released in 1968 (see 1968 in music).

This quasi-concept album was the first to be composed almost entirely of songs by a young Birmingham guitarist/singer named Jeff Lynne. The LP came in a gatefold sleeve, the first of its kind since the Beatles' Sgt Pepper and the Rolling Stones' Their Satanic Majesties Request albums. The inside sleeve art included a mock birthday feast attended by many British Celebrities, including most of the Radio 1 disc jockeys, the Beatles, the Duke of Windsor, actor Warren Mitchell in his role as Alf Garnett, and group leader Jeff Lynne as an eight-year-old schoolboy. In the U.S. the cover art was different with a rather psychedelic-styled paisley pattern behind the band.

While warmly received by critics, the record failed to chart in the U.K. or the U.S.

The album was re-issued in 1976 by Liberty on their budget-price label Sunset, although in a non-gatefold sleeve with different design, to capitalise on Electric Light Orchestra's success. A further re-issue came in 2014 by Parlophone, as the Liberty back catalogue had long since been acquired by EMI Records, for National Record Shop Day, a limited edition on gold vinyl.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks composed by Jeff Lynne; except where indicated

  1. "Skeleton and the Roundabout" – 2:26
  2. "Happy Birthday" (Patty Hill, Mildred J. Hill) – 0:23
  3. "The Birthday" – 3:00
  4. "I Like My Toys" – 2:12
  5. "Morning Sunshine" – 1:48
  6. "Follow Me, Follow" – 2:48
  7. "Sitting in My Tree" – 1:59 (mono)
  8. "On With the Show" – 2:22
  9. "Lucky Man" – 2:38
  10. "(Don't Put Your Boys In The Army) Mrs. Ward" – 2:14
  11. "Pie in the Sky" (Dave Pritchard) – 2:23
  12. "The Lady Who Said She Could Fly" – 2:22
  13. "End of the Road" – 2:09

Personnel[edit]

  • Jeff Lynne - vocals, guitar, piano
  • Dave Pritchard - guitar, vocals
  • Greg Masters - bass guitar, vocals
  • Roger Spencer - drums, vocals