Touch - Touch [1969] [FLAC]

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[color=red][size=200]MOJO Magazine: Buried Treasure "Album That Time Forgot."[/size][/color]

[color=blue][b]2003 - Eclectic Discs / ECLCD 1005 / Remastered Expanded Edition[/b][/color]

The name Touch would not ring many bells but their debut (and only) album is one of the cornerstones and earlier examples of the bridge between progressive and psychedelic music. Originating from Portland, Oregon the group was Decca/Deram's only attempt to sign an American psychedelic band, a venture which for reasons unknown failed miserably from a commercial point of view. This is surprising as it was one of those albums loved both by critics and musicians. Till this day it remains an extremely enjoyable album which aptly finds its place within the archives of Forgotten Sons!

The band leader was a certain Don Gallucci who played keyboards and sang backing vocals with the group. Gallucci was no new face within the rock circles. His first venture into the musical world was with The Kingsmen considered today to be one of the premiere American garage bands. Formed in 1957 by Lynn Easton and some friends from Douglas High School, the group made it big when in 1963 they recorded the single, Louie, Louie. The single went to No 2 in the US and No 26 in the UK selling over seven million copies. Furthermore the group became the first white act to be signed to the then all black label Wand. The Kingsmen were extremely successful enjoying eight singles in the Top 100 and five Top 100 albums in the Billboard charts, selling over 20 million records in all.

In 1964, Gallucci was forced to leave The Kingsmen because he was unable to tour with the group since he was still attending high school. Together with a friend of his, Bob Holden (drums), he formed a new outfit initially called The Goodtimes, later on becoming Don And The Goodtimes. The remaining musicians with the group where Dave Childs (bass), Don McKinney (saxophone) and Pierre Oulette (guitar). Recording on the Wand label as well as the Jerden label the group had a fair amount of regional success especially with their instrumental 1964 single Turn On The Song. Oulette left to join Paul Revere And The Raiders whilst the group moved to Los Angeles, releasing an album So Good and a number of singles as well as going through a number of line-up changes. In 1968 Bob Holden and bassist/singer Ron Overman left the group leaving the three remaining members Don Gallucci, Jeff Hawks and Joey Newman (real name Vjern Kjellberg) on their own. Newman had previously worked with the group The Liberty Party.

Prior to forming the group Touch, Gallucci arranged the album Elyse (Tetragammaton T-117,1968) for Elyse Weinberg and utilized the guitar services of Joey Newman on the same album. That same year he got together the three remaining members of Don And The Goodtimes together with new recruits John Bardonaro (drums, vocals) and Bruce Hauser (bass, vocals) and formed the group Touch. Theirs was a complete and radical deviation from the pop-style music that Gallucci had previously played and written. Instead the music reflected the times and was heavily tinged with psychedelia together with progressive overtones.

Recordings took place in an almost party-like atmosphere in Hollywood with such musical luminaries from the world of rock and psychedelia as Mick Jagger, Grace Slick and Jimi Hendrix all attending the recordings. The production work was entrusted to Gene Shiveley who had also worked on the Elyse Weinberg album together with Galucci and Newman. Both musical critics and fellow musician alike gave their approval to the tracks being laid down and there were high expectations for the album. The album Touch (London/Deram SML 1033/Colesium DS51004) was released in 1969 and for various unknown reasons it bombed. A 7" single, Miss Teach/We Feel Free (Coliseum 2712) was also released in a bid to obtain airplay for the album. To further compound the problems the group was facing, Gallucci refused to tour and there are stories of the group having to chop up their furniture to keep warm after the gas to their rented home was shut off. Interest in the group progressively waned resulting in their disbanding

The only attempt at the group reuniting seems to have been in 1973, as there are recordings of the group from this era which eventually wound up on the Renaissance compilation Buried Treasures. This could have coincided with the recording sessions for the group Stepson, who released the self-titled album Stepson (ABC ABCX-826) in 1974. Forming this group were four of the five Touch members, Don Gallucci, Joey Newman, Bruce Hauser and Jeff Hawkes. Once again the change of name also brought about a change in musical direction as this album can be described as being hard rock/blues. The tracks available on this compilation include a 1968 demo of The Spiritual Death Of Howard Greer, We Finally Met Today from an unreleased 45, and The Second Coming Of Suzanne from 1973.

Don Gallucci has since gone on to become a producer/engineer for Elektra Records, yet is now rumoured to be working in Real Estate as well as being active in the Christian ministry. Joey Newman works as a session musician and has recorded two gospel albums to his name, while Jeff Hawks is a hair stylist in L.A. In the interim period between Touch and Stepson, Newman also played with Blue Mountain Eagle and afterwards played with Shawn Cassidy. I have been unable to find further information regarding Bruce Hauser and John Bordonaro. The legendary 1968 US album which featured ex-Kingsmen and future Stooges producer Don Gallucci within their ranks finally gets the re-issue treatment here. A psych mix of rock, classical, early prog and jazz adds up to a unique sound. On the track "Seventy Five" Joey Newman transforms his voice into an exotic instrument of operatic intensity, before the band head into the cosmos with a luscious guitar lead opus. Five unreleased tracks have turned up from the vaults including the 11 minute "Blue Feeling" a bizarre spaced out blues interpretation and an ethereal live demo of "Alesha And The Others" plus 3 others. Peel back your mind and listen to this long lost magical album.

A classic psychedelic / proto-progressive album from 1969 by this American band who featured ex-Kingsmen and future Stooges producer Don Gallucci within their ranks. "Touch" is perhaps best remembered for the incredible “Down at Circes Place” which featured as opening track on the classic Decca sampler “Wowie Zowie - The World of Progressive Music”. The album was also featured in the spring of 2003 in MOJO magazine’s “Buried Treasures” column and hailed as a lost masterpiece. The CD is remastered from the original master tapes will feature the original album artwork and poster, plus bonus material.

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01 - Touch - We Feel Fine.flac 31.271 MB
02 - Touch - Friendly Birds.flac 24.611 MB
03 - Touch - Miss Teach.flac 22.15 MB
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