Friday, March 30, 2007

Martha and the Muffins | Dinsong (Virgin)

Here is Martha and the Muffins – a new wave band out of Toronto that got started in 1977 and "Metro Music" - their debute LP dated 1980.
In fact, there were actually two Marthas in the group: Martha Ladly (vocals) and Martha Johnson (vocals and keyboards), who was later one half of the duo M+M.
Mark Gane: "In May of 1977 as a young visual artist/experimental musician, I was invited by fellow Ontario College of Art student David Millar to start a band with him. The punk/new wave scene had been going for a few years and its ironic and distainful stance against the blandness of 1970's mainstream culture was immediately appealing. Suddenly, everyone around seemed to be starting a band or was in one already."... cut... "We were signed to Dindisc/Virgin Records in London and by the summer of 1979 we were recording our first album, "Metro Music", at The Manor, just outside of Oxford, England" – as told by Martha... cut... "Unfortunately, as with many young groups, the pressures of success and fame brought on differences of opinion, personality clashes and ultimately the erosion of band unity. It was very difficult for those six people to weather the changes that came with the success in 1980 of Metro Music" and the world-wide top ten hit "Echo Beach". Here the history of Martha and the Muffins ends and the M+M's one starts...

PS. From "Today's Parent" (June/July) – review by John Hoffman: "What happens to pop stars when they have kids? Some, like Martha Johnson, try their hand at children's music. Many have taken this shot, and most miss the mark- Not Johnson. She and partner (family as well as musical) Mark Gane were collaborators in Martha and the Muffins (subsequently known as M+M), a Canadian group that enjoyed some international success in the '80s. Songs from the Treehouse, her first album for children, is pretty much what you might expect from the folks who brought us Echo Beach. The music is simple and melodic with a clean, modern sound that, fortunately, resists the temptation to overindulge in technology, even though it's synth-based. One highlight is My Little Sister, a catchy little a cappella tune about learning to talk, made all the more appealing by the recorded babblings of Johnson's daughter Eve. Overall, it's a fresh new sound in children's music, and that's quite an accomplishment these days in a genre where few stones have been left unturned".=)

Here are some links all these citations has been taken from: Wikipedia on Martha and the Muffins, Women of 1970's Punk, A site dedicated to the musical artistry of Mark Gane and Martha Johnson OKA (once known as) Martha and the Muffins AKA M+M, Russian web page on Martha and the Muffin – fuck, is that what I see?

• The sleeve info:
Carl Finkle – bass
Mark Gane – guitar, synthi A
Tim Gane – drums
Andy Haas – sax
Martha Johnson – vocals, keyboards
Martha Ladly – vocals, keyboards, trombone.

Produced by Mike Howlett
Sequencer on "Terminal Twilight" - Mike Howlett
Engeneered by Richard Manwarning
Assistant Engeneer - Lawrence Diana (ADVISION)
Tape op. - Paul Menpes
Recorded at The Manor, August 1979
Mixed at The Manor and ADVISION, London
1980 Dindisc, Dinsong Limited.

Sleeve based on map 30M/11 of the National Topographic System with kind permission of DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY, MINES AND RESOUCES, OTTAWA, CANADA. (All sleeves are usually embeded, you can see these in iTunes artwork section).

Canadian Musician 81: "The English used to call them pop. Now they don't know what to call them. We just call them Martha and the Muffins". Absolutely new wav-ish piece.

Download Martha and the Muffins "Metro Music" (63.9 Mb)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Praise the lord. The Muffins will release the 25th Anniversary Edition of their 1983 album "Danseparc" on August 4th via Cherry Red Records. The album is digitally remastered and includes 3 bonus tracks. Check out the Danseparc video on YouTube - it's surreal.