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Majority One - Rainbow Rockin' Chair (2005)

Majority One - Rainbow Rockin' Chair (2005)

On some obscure releases of the early '70s, Majority One wrote and recorded material in the manner of some of the more foppish late-'60s British psychedelic pop, though the style had been out of fashion for a couple of years or so. The group evolved out of the U.K. band the Majority, who issued eight singles on Decca between 1965 and 1968 without reaching the British charts. After a lot of personnel turnover and a spell backing British singer Barry Ryan, the group moved to France and issued one final single as the Majority, "Charlotte Rose," though this was only released in some European territories. In 1970, still based in France, they changed their name to Majority One, issuing a few singles in 1970 and 1971 and a self-titled album in 1971, though the latter only came out in France and Holland at the time. With some similarities to the more lightweight efforts of the late-'60s Beatles, Bee Gees, and Moody Blues, Majority One's efforts passed unnoticed in their homeland, though their 1971 single "Because I Love" made the Top 20 in Holland, also becoming a hit in Italy and Brazil. Majority One also released some tracks under the names Black Label and Rocky Cabbage, but disbanded in the summer of 1971. Much of the material issued by Majority One, including some of the tracks released under the names the Majority, Black Label, and Rocky Cabbage, was assembled for the 2006 CD compilation Rainbow Rockin' Chair: The Definitive Collection 1969-1971.

Most of the songs from Majority One's sole, self-titled album are on this 18-song compilation, filled out with some tracks from non-LP singles (some issued under the names the Majority, Black Label, and Rocky Cabbage), an alternate version of the B-side "Friday Man," and the previously unissued "Letter from the Queen." The material casually resembles the most cotton-candy, daintiest end of the Beatles' late-'60s psych-pop, though only in approach and production, and not in the quality of the actual songs. Though the arrangements bear the hallmarks of much British music of this sort from that period — underwater-sounding distorted vocals, light orchestration, harpsichords, high harmonies, images of royalty and childhood, blends of hard-charging acoustic and electric guitars, a slight baroque classical flavor, and an overall jovial bounce — there's not much compelling melodic substance. The uncharacteristically "Get Back Home" sounds a little like the early (but still post-Denny Laine) Moody Blues when they rocked hard, and "Rainbow Rocking Chair" itself sounds like Majority One might have been listening to the airiest and poppiest late-'60s Pink Floyd cuts (à la "Point Me at the Sky"). The two tracks here from early-'70s singles released under the name Rocky Cabbage are actually among the more impressive and mature, "Freedom" showing a power pop muscle to the guitars missing in much of their other recordings, and "Birds Must Learn to Fly" being a pleasant folk-rock ballad reminiscent of the late-'60s Beatles at their most laid-back. The music's still pleasant overall, though it doesn't stand out within its genre, and the liner notes run through the group's career in great detail.

1. Get Back Home (1971) 2:48
2. A Hard Day's Night (1969) 3:33
3. Friday Man (1970) 3:09
4. A Cigarette, A Cup Of Tea (1971) 2:49
5. Because I Love (1970) 2:22
6. Charlotte Rose (1969) 2:53
7. Rainbow Rocking Chair (1971) 2:25
8. Depths Of My Mind (1971) 2:12
9. Glass Image (1970) 2:41
10. I Don't Mind The Rain (1972) 3:31
11. Letter From The Queen (1971) 2:43
12. I See Her Everywhere (1971) 2:30
13. Looks Like Rain (1971) 2:49
14. Love Came Today (1971) 2:42
15. Feedback (1971) 3:23
16. (as Black Label) No Matter What (1970) 3:00
17. (as Rocky Cabbage) Freedom (1971) 2:49
18. Birds Must Learn To Fly 4:34