Thursday, November 16, 2023

Pidgeon - Pidgeon (1969 us, wonderful baroque folk psych)

Pidgeon's obscure, sole self-titled album is most notable for marking the recording debut of Jobriath (here billed as Jobriath Salisbury), who five years later became notorious as a failed glam rocker whose debut solo album didn't come close to justifying its hype and promotional budget. In Pidgeon, however, he was just an ordinary if somewhat effete pop-psychedelic singer/songwriter, also playing keyboards and guitar on the record.

In mid-1968, Jobriath Salisbury left the Los Angeles cast of the Hair musical to hook up with Pidgeon, whose material was co-written with lyricist Richard T. Marshall. Producer and session singer Stan Farber got them a contract with Decca Records, and arranged for them to rehearse for six months in a house before they entered the studio to record Pidgeon in late 1968. 

Many of the tracks employ tinny harpsichord and male-female harmonies (with autoharpist Cheri Gage) that are blatantly imitative of the Mamas & the Papas; occasionally, there are more distant echoes of Jefferson Airplane, with Jobriath sometimes faintly approaching the stridency of Marty Balin's vocal style. Containing elements of California sunshine pop, the harmonies of the Mamas & the Papas, the baroque pop of the Left Banke, and a little heavier psychedelia à la Jefferson Airplane, the Pidgeon album was too confused to cohere into a satisfying whole, though Jobriath's high and strident vocals were a big part of the mix. Pidgeon released a subsequent non-LP single in 1969, "Rubber Bricks"/"Prison Walls," before breaking up. 
by Richie Unterberger
1. Of The Time When I Was Young - 2:30
2. Milk And Honey - 3:23
3. When She Arrives - 3:07
4. Dark Bird - 3:22
5. Irene - 3:21
6. The Wind Blows Cold - 3:20
7. Penny's Magic Bell - 3:02
8. The Main Line - 3:02
9. Springtime Girl - 3:05
10.The Dancer - 2:38
11.House On A Hill Among Trees - 3:10
Music by Jobriath Salisbury, Richard T. Marshall, Lyrics by Richard T. Marshall

Bill Strong Smith - Drums, Percussion, Vocal
Cheri Gage - Autoharp, Lead Vocal
Jobriath Salisbury - Keyboards, Guitar, Lead Vocal
Richard T. Marshall - Poetry