|Studio album by |
|Released||28 June 1990|
Toy Matinee was a short-lived American rock band, and also the title of their only album. Their sound was an array of mixed influences, including progressive rock, AOR and pop reminiscent of both the Beatles and the Beach Boys.
Through the end of 1988 and beginning of 1989 Patrick Leonard approached bassist Guy Pratt, who had became friends through working on Madonna's Papa Don't Preach album, about forming a band and helping him audition and recruit members. Pratt agreed and they chose singer/lyricist/multi-instrumentalist Kevin Gilbert, drummer Brian MacLeod, guitarist Tim Pierce to complete the ensemble. Pratt recalls that for various legal reasons he never signed up as a full member of the band despite being in at the start of the project and co-writing half of the songs on the band's eponymous and only album, which featured guest appearances from several other musicians including Julian Lennon, and which was released on Reprise Records in 1990.
The album was engineered and produced by Bill Bottrell. Thematically, it covered a rather broad ground. The lead single and album opener "Last Plane Out" came from a long standing fascination Pratt had about the idea of the last flight out of a war zone. Two tracks were dedicated to Czech poet and political figure Václav Havel and painter Salvador Dalí, while "Queen of Misery" is about Madonna. Leonard was the singer's longtime songwriting and producing partner, and in addition to him most members of Toy Matinee worked on Madonna's I'm Breathless album— Pratt on bass, Gilbert as an engineer, Bottrell as producer and engineer and Pierce on guitar.
After the album was released Pratt had to go and tour with Pink Floyd, promoting the Division Bell album, MacLeod and Pierce moved on to other work, and Leonard wasn't interested in a tour that involved replacing all of them. Gilbert took on that role himself instead, assembling a promotional band for the album which featured Gilbert's then girlfriend, Sheryl Crow, on keyboards, Marc Bonilla on guitar. Spencer Campbell on bass. Toss Panos on drums. There were a number of short tours.
A 1991 live recording of Gilbert and this touring band performing songs from the album was released in 2010 as Kevin Gilbert Performs Toy Matinee Live at the Roxy The group engaged in heavy radio promotion wherever possible, most notably frequent appearances on the Mark & Brian show on Los Angeles-area station KLOS. Some of those sessions were released on Mark & Brian's KLOS compilation recordings, such as a stripped down version of "The Ballad Of Jenny Ledge" on their You Had to Be There collection.
Two of the songs on Toy Matinee -- "The Ballad of Jenny Ledge" and "Last Plane Out"—received wide play on AOR stations partly due to Gilbert's promotional work, both of them peaking at No. 23 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. Despite the chart success of the singles, the album's highest U.S. chart position was No. 129, and sales were below expectations enough that many unsold copies of the CD were widely available as cut-outs in the early '90s.
Gilbert went on to do additional work with Bottrell including Sheryl Crow's debut album and solo projects. In 1994, Leonard and former Mr. Mister frontman Richard Page released the album Meanwhile as Third Matinee. Gilbert's untimely death in 1996 ended any possibility of a second Toy Matinee album.
- Session musicians
- Brian MacLeod - drums, percussion
- Tim Pierce - guitar
- Guy Pratt - bass
- Bill Bottrell - guitar, percussion, backing vocals
- Sal's Clarinet Trio: Jon Clarke, Jon Kip, Donald Markese - clarinet
- Julian Lennon - backing vocals (2, 3)
- Durga McBroom - backing vocals
- Live band
- Kevin Gilbert - vocals, guitars, keyboards, piano
- Marc Bonilla - guitars, backing vocals
- Spencer Campbell - bass, backing vocals
- Sheryl Crow - keyboards, piano, backing vocals
- Toss Panos - drums, percussion
Album track listing
All tracks are written by Patrick Leonard and Kevin Gilbert, except where noted.
|1.||"Last Plane Out"||Leonard, Gilbert, Guy Pratt||5:12|
|2.||"Turn It On Salvador" (dedicated to Salvador Dalí 1904-1989)||Leonard, Gilbert, Pratt||4:55|
|3.||"Things She Said"||Leonard, Gilbert, Pratt||4:58|
|4.||"Remember My Name" (for Václav Havel)||Leonard, Gilbert, Bill Bottrell||5:16|
|5.||"The Toy Matinee"||Leonard, Gilbert, Pratt||5:02|
|6.||"Queen of Misery"||4:30|
|7.||"The Ballad of Jenny Ledge"||5:49|
|8.||"There Was a Little Boy"||5:33|
|9.||"We Always Come Home"||Leonard||4:29|
|10.||"eenitaM yoT ehT"||0:33|
|12.||"Things She Said" (Alternate Version)||5:13|
|13.||"There Was a Little Boy" (Early Version)||4:15|
|14.||"Last Plane Out" (Early Version)||Leonard, Gilbert, Pratt||5:35|
In 1999 the album was remixed into surround by DTS Entertainment, released as a DTS encoded 5.1 compact disc with a slightly altered version of first track "Last Plane Out". A second DTS version was released in 2001 as a DVD-Audio title, using Meridian Lossless Packing and a 2.0 channel stereo version of the album encoded in Dolby Digital. The 2001 stereo remaster and the 2.0 Dolby Digital version on the DVD-Audio release all include the alternate "Last Plane Out". None of the bonus tracks were included on either surround release.
- Allmusic review
- Rolling Stone, August 1991, "True Confessions: The Rolling Stone Interview With Madonna, Part One Archived 2013-02-15 at Archive.today" by Carrie Fisher, in which Madonna says "Pat Leonard, this guy that I write music with, wrote a song about me called 'Queen Of Misery.'"
- Discogs entry for "I'm Breathless"
- Wayne Perez Interviews Brian MacLeod Archived 2011-11-13 at the Wayback Machine
- Kevin Gilbert Performs Toy Matinee Live
- Kevin Gilbert Discography Archived 2013-05-17 at the Wayback Machine
- The Unofficial Mark and Brian Archive - Charity Albums - You Had To Be There (1997)
- AllMusic Toy Matinee Awards
- SoundStage Review - Toy Matinee (DTS CD)
- Audioholics Toy Matinee DVD-A/DTS Review