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The Cyrkle: Neon

Album Notes

The Cyrkle: Tom Dawes (vocals, guitar, sitar, bass); Don Dannemann (vocals, guitar); Michael Losekamp (keyboards); Marty Fried (drums, percussion).

Additional personnel includes: John Simon (keyboards); Bobby Gregg, Buddy Saltzman, Ray Baretto (percussion).

Recorded in New York, New York in 1966 & 1967. Originally released on Columbia (9432). Includes liner notes by Domenic Priore.

Digitally remastered by Bob Irwin (Sundazed Studios, Coxsackie, New York).

Though it lacks either of the band's two enduring 1966 Top 20 hits, and oldies' staples "Red Rubber Ball" and "Turn Down Day," it's actually the 1967 second LP, Neon, that's the best of the two proper Cyrkle LPs. It opens with their finest original, Dawes and Don Dannemann's "Don't Cry, No Fears, No Tears Comin' Your Way" (with period sitar leads), and takes in the tasteful Burt Bacharach/Hal David-written pop of "It Doesn't Matter Anymore," the catchy, zippy, "Our Love Affair's in Question," and another Simon-donated gem, "I Wish You Could be Here." These all feature their sinewy, ever-present harmonies, light strumming, and unaffected enthusiasm.

After it became clear by 1968 that the nation no longer had much use for clean boys making folk-pop singles, both writers Dawes and Dannemann went on to shockingly lucrative careers as TV commercial jungle writers, which they still pursue, three decades later. (Dawes even wrote "Coke Is It" and the infamous '70s howler, "Plop Plop Fizz Fizz" Alka-Selzer ad!!!) They even did one reunion show, a Lafayette College homeless benefit, in the 1980s. You can tell from their old music they were always a bunch of nice guys who just really liked to play catchy, sunny, cheeky, friendly pop music, and if you listen closely, the stuff can be oddly satisfying. ~ Jack Rabid


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