Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Mama Lion - Preserve Wildlife / Give It Everything I've Got (1972-73 canada / us, powerful soulful heavy blues rock, 2010 digipak)

After the “Merryweather ‘n’ Carey” days, Neil put together a new band, took them into Paramount Studios and cut some demos featuring Lynn Carey on lead vocals. Neil saw a restaurant called “Mama Lion’s” while driving in downtown LA and took the name for the new band. He played the demos for manager Ken Mansfield, ex A’n’R for Verve Records (later became Waylon Jennings manager). Ken signed the band to a management deal and played the tapes for Artie Ripp who signed them to his new label called “Family Productions” (Famous Music).

When the organ player severely injured his arm, Neil found a new keyboard player named Jim Howard (James Newton Howard) and, Mama Lion recorded their first album at the Record Plant with Artie Ripp called “Preserve Wildlife”. Preserve Wildlife is the debut album the ten song blues rock recording, which opens with a three-minute remake of Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine", showcases curvaceous Carey competently backed by bassist Neil Merryweather, guitarist Rick Gaxiola and drummer Coffi Hall. Has to be one of the best album covers of all time.

Neil produced Mama Lion’s second album “Give It Everything I Got”.Friend and fellow label mate Billy Joel played on some of Neil’s new songs. At one of the sessions, Neil records a demo for Billy of his song “Piano Man”. Neil leaves Mama Lion, Mama Lion breaks up shortly thereafter in Paris, France.
1. Ain't No Sunshine (Bill Withers) - 3:08
2. Be Bad With Me (Artie Ripp, Lynn Carey, Neil Merryweather) - 2:45
3. Ain't Too Proud To Beg (Edward Holland, Jr., Norman Whitfield) - 4:35
4. Wildcat (Lynn Carey, Neil Merryweather, Rick Gaxiola) - 2:58
5. Candy Man (Beverly Ross, Fred Neil) - 3:30
6. Mr. Invitation (Lynn Carey, Neil Merryweather) - 4:39
7. Sister, Sister (She Better Than A Man) (Artie Ripp, Lynn Carey, Neil Merryweather, Rick Gaxiola) - 2:32
8. Can't Find My Way Home (Stevie Winwood) - 3:58
9. It's Only A Dream (Lynn Carey, Neil Merryweather) - 2:48
10.Cry (Churchill Kohlman) - 3:42
11.Give It Everything I've Got (Lynn Carey) - 2:49
12.I Wanna Be Your Woman (James Newton Howard, Neil Merryweather) - 2:30
13.Life Is Just A Four Letter Word (Lynn Carey, Neil Merryweather) - 2:39
14.Mama Never Told Me (Lynn Carey, Neil Merryweather) - 3:18
15.Crazy Place (Lynn Carey, Neil Merryweather) - 5:42
16.Dark Garden (Lynn Carey, Neil Merryweather) - 4:14
17.From Bad To Worse (Neil Merryweather) - 4:30
18.I'm Tired (Chris Youlden) - 3:01
19.Griffins (James Newton Howard, Lynn Carey, Neil Merryweather) - 2:59
20.Saved (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller) - 3:05
Track 1-10 from LP "Preserve Wildlife: 1972
Tracks 11-20 from LP "Give It Everything I've Got" 1973

Mama Lion
*Lynn Carey - Vocals
*Neil Merryweather - Bass, Backing Vocals
*Coffi Hall - Drums, Percussion
*James Newton Howard - Organ, Piano, Ionic Synthesizer
*Rick Gaxiola - Guitar (Tracks 1-10)
*Alan Hurtz - Electric, Acoustic Guitars (Tracks 11-20)
*Bob Rose - Guitar (Track 16)

Related Acts
1969  Merryweather
1970  Neil Merryweather, John Richardson And Robin Boers
1971  Neil Merryweather And Lynn Carey - Vaccum Cleaner
1972  Heavy Cruiser - Heavy Cruiser