|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.
Toy Matinee was formed by producer/composer/keyboardist Patrick Leonard in collaboration with singer/lyricist/multi-instrumentalist Kevin Gilbert. Backed by a group of session musicians (drummer Brian MacLeod, guitarist Tim Pierce, and bassist Guy Pratt), and with guest appearances from several other musicians including Julian Lennon, the duo recorded just one self-titled album which was released on Reprise Records in 1990.
The album was engineered and produced by Bill Bottrell. Thematically, it covered a rather broad ground. 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—Gilbert as an engineer, Bottrell as producer and engineer, Pratt on bass, and Pierce on guitar.
After the album was released, session musicians Pratt, 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, and Marc Bonilla on guitar.There were a number of short tours where Toss Panos (Robben Ford, Mike Landau) was on drums.
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
- Guest musicians
- Julian Lennon
- Sal's Clarinet Trio: Jon Clarke, Jon Kip, Donald Markese
Album track listing
The original album Toy Matinee included the first nine tracks listed here. It was remastered and re-released with five bonus tracks in 2001, and then in 2008.
- "Last Plane Out" (Kevin Gilbert, Patrick Leonard, Guy Pratt) - 5:13
- "Turn It On Salvador" (Gilbert, Leonard, Pratt) - 4:54
- (a tribute to painter Salvador Dalí)
- "Things She Said" (Gilbert, Leonard, Pratt) - 4:57
- "Remember My Name" - 5:19
- (loosely dedicated to Václav Havel)
- "The Toy Matinee" (Gilbert, Leonard, Pratt) - 5:02
- "Queen Of Misery" (Gilbert, Leonard) - 4:31
- "The Ballad Of Jenny Ledge" (Gilbert, Leonard) - 5:50
- "There Was A Little Boy" (Gilbert, Leonard) - 5:35
- "We Always Come Home" (Leonard) - 4:29
- Bonus tracks:
- "eenitaM yoT ehT" (Gilbert, Leonard) - 0:33
- "Blank Page" (Gilbert) - 2:23
- "Things She Said" [alternate version] (Gilbert, Leonard) - 5:13
- "There Was A Little Boy" [early version] (Gilbert, Leonard) - 4:15
- "Last Plane Out" [early version] (Gilbert, Leonard, 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