Monday, October 22, 2007

Number 543 - Barry McGuire


Number 543

Barry McGuire

"Eve of Destruction"

(1965)
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Genre:Folk Rock
art by Latuff2
Some songs are timeless and some are just as important today. "Eve of Destruction" sounds Dylanesque to the core, but where this song differs is it's not as all "self important" as Dylan is, rather the "Eve of Destruction" song is honest ... "world importance".
I can imagine every Dylan fan wants to grab their AK47's in disgust of such a comment, but then that is the contradiction between the two artists.
Another interesting aspect about this song is that even though it's about the Vietnam War it does not have that sensation of Hippynism, as one would imagine flowers and Tie-Dye exploding. This song is rockier, edgier, almost a "Lennon" like chant as "Give Peace a Chance". If desired, this song would need only a few tweaks and guitar modulations and it would be a number 1 hit in 2007, just in time for the (sponsered by)"i-Pod War aka Iraq Police Action" or even the "Iran WW III Conflict"

The eastern world, it is exploding
Violence flarin’, bullets loadin’
You’re old enough to kill, but not for votin’
You don’t believe in war, but what’s that gun you’re totin’
And even the Jordan River has bodies floatin’
Yeah, my blood’s so mad feels like coagulatin’
I’m sitting here just contemplatin’
I can’t twist the truth, it knows no regulation.
Handful of senators don’t pass legislation
And marches alone can’t bring integration
When human respect is disintegratin’
This whole crazy world is just too frustratin’
A real lost artifact, Barry McGuire's second album actually has quite a bit of historical significance. After his mega-hit "Eve of Destruction," McGuire was set to do a follow-up album, complete with some excellent P.F. Sloan songs. During the early sessions, the Mamas & the Papas had just come into town. Being old friends of McGuire's from the folkie days (Barry was the lead voice on "Green, Green," by the New Christy Minstrels), he invited the group to audition for producer Lou Adler. The rest is history, and this record is essentially the Mamas audition, as they sing backgrounds on virtually all of the record. It's magnificent, too. Current hits such as "Do You Believe In Magic," "Yesterday," and others work perfectly with McGuire's gravely lead voice and the Mamas & Papas sweet harmonies. McGuire even cut "California Dreamin'," and it's the exact same track as the famous Mamas version, sans Doherty's lead vocal and Bud Shank's flute solo. If you're looking to find the real roots of the Mamas & the Papas, here it is. Unfortunately, Dunhill apparently wanted little to do with Barry McGuire after the backlash of "Eve of Destruction," and his career and this record presided in ignominy. Too bad, because there is a lot of excellent music here. ~ [Matthew Greenwald, All Music Guide]

And you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you don’t believe
We’re on the eve of destruction
Think of all the hate there is in Red China
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama
You may leave here for 4 days in space
But when you return, it’s the same old place
The poundin’ of the drums, the pride and disgrace
You can bury your dead, but don’t leave a trace
Hate your next-door neighbor, but don’t forget to say grace
And… tell me over and over and over and over again, my friend
You don’t believe
We’re on the eve
Of destruction
Mm, no no, you don’t believe
We’re on the eve of destruction.

Eve of Destruction
Barry in NZ '79
"Eve of Destruction" is a protest song written by P.F. Sloan in 1965. Several artists have recorded it, but the best-known recording was by Barry McGuire. This recording was made between July 12 and July 15, 1965 and released by Dunhill Records. The accompanying musicians were top-tier LA session men: P.F. Sloan on guitar, Hal Blaine (of Phil Spector's "Wrecking Crew") on drums, and Larry Knechtel on bass. The vocal track was thrown on as a rough mix and was not intended to be the final version, but a copy of the recording "leaked" out to a DJ, who began playing it. The song was an instant hit and as a result the more polished vocal track that was at first envisioned was never recorded. In the first week of its release, the single was at number thirty on the Cash Box charts, and number 103 on the Billboard charts. By August 12, Dunhill released the LP, Barry McGuire Featuring Eve of Destruction. The LP reached its peak of number thirty-seven on the Billboard album chart during the week ending September 25. That same day the single went to number one on both charts. McGuire was never again to break into the top forty of the Billboard Hot 100.
papa Barry
The song had initially been presented to The Byrds as a Dylanesque potential single, but they rejected it. The Turtles, another LA group who often recorded The Byrds' discarded or rejected material, recorded a version instead. Their version was issued as an album track shortly before McGuire's version was cut. It eventually hit number 100 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1970. The song is a grave warning of imminent apocalypse, and considered by some to be the epitome of a protest song. It expressed the frustrations and fears of young people in the age of the Cold War, Vietnam, the nuclear arms race, and the civil rights movement.
The song was banned by some radio stations in the USA as well as by the BBC and Radio Scotland. The American media helped popularize the song by using it as an example of everything that was wrong with the youth of that time.[citation needed] The song also drew flak from conservatives. On the conservative right, a group called The Spokesmen released an answer record entitled "The Dawn of Correction". A few months later, Green Beret medic Sgt. Barry Sadler released the patriotic "Ballad of the Green Berets". Johnny Sea's spoken word recording, "Day For Decision", was also a response to the song. The Temptations' song "Ball of Confusion (That's What the World Is Today)" mentions the song title.
In the 1980s, McGuire left the music industry, and settled for a time in New Zealand with his New Zealander wife, Mari (former secretary of McGuire's Agape Force associate, Winkie Pratney). He returned to the United States in the 1990s, teaming up with Terry Talbot and recording as Talbot McGuire. The duo released four albums between 1996 and 2000.
As of 2006, he takes engagements which include a few songs and talks on a mixture of topics, by both McGuire and his wife. The McGuires currently reside in Fresno, California. ~ [Source:Wiki]
For Bob Dylan see Number 929 & Number 841
For John Lennon see Number 639
For Temptations see Number 819 & Number 601
For The Turtles see Number 541
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (You know we @ Rolling Stone voted for Bush) and the Album ranked at (we love you Bob)
This song has a crowbarred rating of 73.8 out of 108 pts

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