Thursday, February 4, 2016

Morningstarr Virgin Lover B/W If I Didn't Want to See You Anymore Lion Records 1969

Morningstarr Virgin Lover B/W If I Didn't Want to See You Anymore Lion Records 1969 CAT# L-45-1003

This is the very same band that went on to become Morningstar and record two albums for Columbia in the late-70s...Well, mostly the same, give or take a few members, or all but one. Initially members were in the KC band, 19th Century Sound Affair, but broke off to to form a heavy psych cover band before coming upon the name, Morningstarr (the pic sleeve of this actually says, Morning Starr) in the late 60's. The group was spotted by former White Sox short stop, Lou Rennau, who took them in to record for his Lion Records label out of Columbia, Missouri. Rennau also had some connections with Topeka band, The Morning Dew, and was a musician himself.

"Virgin Lover" is a pretty bizarre psych nugget and an original by Morningstarr member, Greg Soto. The groove is right, feels 1969 with a bit of British influence. The lyrics and the idea of a Virgin Lover are a bit off putting, though. Like if that's what you're seeking out, you're kind of a creep, you know?

The flip side, "If I Didn't Want to See You Anymore" was actually a song intended for the prior band, 19th Century Sound Affair. It's actually co-written by Larry Sands who fronted the 19th Century. The track features the band's female singer, Melissa Mendenhall. It has a nice baroque-pop sound and not as heavy as "Virgin Lover." Both tracks are solid.

The release earned the band enough attention to open some shows for Led Zeppelin. Due to the travel associated with being in a band, Mendenhall would quit. But, the band trudged on for a decade. Legend states that it was this early stuff that brought them to Columbia records almost decade latter. The Columbia exec that signed the band had seen the band 7 years prior to signing them, which would have been a lineup similar to the one featured on this 45 versus the group that cut Columbia LPs.

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