Monday, July 20, 2009


(UPDATE !!)I thought you may be interested to know that Martha and the Muffins recently released their first studio album in 18 years, entitled Delicate. For a free Exclusive download of the song “Don’t Say Anything” visit www.reverbnation.com/marthaandthemuffinsYou can stream the album here: http://www.myspace.com/marthaandthemuffinsThe album is also available for download at http://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/delicate/id351578971If you’re in Toronto this Friday or Saturday (Feb 5/6), MatM will be playing two concerts at the Music Gallery. Tickets are available at: http://www.ticketweb.ca/snl/Search.action?query=Martha+and+the+Muffins&x=12&y=12 I really love the intro to this song. It's one of those great haunting guitar lines. My copy is a promo with Echo Beach on both sides. However I included a scan of the regular sleeve as well that I found on the net. Martha And The Muffins came together in Toronto in 1977, when David Millar asked his fellow Ontario College of Art student Mark Gane to help him start a band. Millar recruited Martha Johnson to play keyboards; Johnson brought in a friend from high school, Carl Finkle, to play bass; and Gane's brother Tim signed on as the drummer. With Millar and Mark Gane as guitarists, and Johnson as lead vocalist, this is the line up that debuted at an Ontario College of Art Hallowe'en party in October 1977.
They chose the name "Martha and the Muffins" to distance themselves from the aggressive names adopted by many punk bands of the era. According to Mark Gane: "We decided to use it as a temporary name until we could all agree on something better."
The name ended up sticking for the next seven years.
Saxophone player Andy Haas began performing with the band in early 1978 (initially, as a guest artist). Founding-member Millar left the band shortly thereafter, preferring to work as the band's sound engineer for live shows. He was replaced by Martha Ladly, who had attended high school with the Ganes. She became the group's second keyboardist/vocalist named Martha, although Martha Johnson remained the group's primary lead singer.
In 1978, they released their first independent single, "Insect Love". This and a demo tape recorded in June 1978 quickly garnered them a recording deal with the DinDisc offshoot of Virgin Records.
In 1979, the band travelled to England to record their first album, Metro Music (1980) for the DinDisc Label - a Virgin subsidiary. The album was produced by Mike Howlett and recorded at The Manor Studios in Oxfordshire.
This album gave Martha and the Muffins a major international hit single with "Echo Beach". Although the album didn't spawn any further hits, "Paint by Number Heart" did get some airplay on Canadian radio.
In October 1980, the band released their second album, Trance and Dance, which was less successful and didn't give the band any hit singles. Ladly left the band after the album was recorded (but before it was released) to pursue an art scholarship. Jean Wilson briefly replaced Ladly on tour in the latter part of 1980, but never recorded with the group.
In 1981, bassist Finkle left the band and was replaced by Jocelyne Lanois, the sister of then-unknown record producer Daniel Lanois. After Jocelyne introduced the band to her brother, they figured Daniel was an ideal candidate to produce their next LP. However, in order to utilize his services as a co-producer, Martha and the Muffins had to agree to Virgin Records' demand that, if they were going to insist on working with an unknown producer, they would also have to work with a lower album-recording budget.
Martha and the Muffins' 1981 album This is the Ice Age, produced by Daniel Lanois and the band, was recorded in Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario. More experimental than previous efforts, it also gained significant Canadian radio airplay from the singles "Women Around the World at Work" (a #24 hit in Canada) and "Swimming". Shortly after the album's release, Tim Gane decided he did not want to tour, and left the band; he was replaced by new drummer Nick Kent.
Despite critical acclaim, This Is The Ice Age didn't spin off any hit singles outside of Canada, and Virgin dropped the band from their roster.
In the interest of keeping post's to a some what reasonable size, I cut this pretty short. There's much more to this bands story. go check them out.

1 comment:

Mr. Suave said...

One of my favorite singles!