From the Vault...


Barry McGuire

© One Way Records

Year of Release: 1993

track listing
  • Masters Of War
  • The Grasshopper Song
  • Inner-Manipulations
  • Cloudy Summer
  • The Sins Of A Family
  • What's Exactly
    The Matter
    With Me
  • Why Not Stop And
    Dig It
    While You Can
  • I'd Have To Be
    Outa My Mind
  • Mr. Man On The
    Street-Act One
  • This Precious Time
  • Baby Blue
  • She Belongs To Me
  • Just Like
    Tom Thumb's
  • You Were On
    My Mind
  • You've Got To Hide
    Your Love Away
  • Child Of Our Times
  • Upon A Painted Ocean
  • Eve Of Destruction

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    Barry McGuire

    For many groups and artists, the aftershock of being a "one-hit wonder" can be devastating. Or, in the case of Barry McGuire, many people can only think of one song, and one song only, that represented his popularity in music -- his #1 hit "Eve Of Destruction." However, what many may not know, is that Barry McGuire had many other hits, as Anthology represents. Sure, "Eve Of Destruction" may be the most memorable, but it's always a treat to hear other tunes he did, likewise for many other groups/artists in this same category called "Yes, they did have other hits" -- (David Soul, Shocking Blue, Blue Swede, oh, the list can go on and on...)

    If you're familar with "Eve Of Destruction," you would easily recognize how unique McGuire's voice is -- kinda rough and edgy in some places, and there are many tunes that fit that same voice quality: "What's Exactly The Matter With Me," "Why Not Stop And Dig It While You Can," "Child Of Our Times," "Upon A Painted Ocean" and "Just Like Tom Thumb Blues." The latter song can easily be compared to the Mamas & Papas in sound, and Bob Dylan, vocally. (More on Dylan and Mamas & Papas...) "Eve Of Destruction" talks about the Vietnam war that was going on, and likewise, another war-lyric inspired tune is the anthology's opening song, "Masters Of War."

    Storytelling songs featured here can easily be compared to the early 1960s years of Bob Dylan -- "The Sins Of A Family" has unique lyrics, regarding the "sins" of a particular family, and can easily be compared to Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues" (not in sound, just lyric-inspired). This is the same in other songs, as "Mr. Man On The Street-Act One." What it also features compared to Dylan, is not only the lyrical content, but the harmonica as well. "The Grasshopper Song" can be compared to a typical Dylan tune, with its folk-inspired sound, as it is a much mellow song, as compared to the likes of "Subterranean Homesick Blues." And, a well-known song written by Dylan is covered by McGuire, "Baby Blue" (also known as "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue").

    And speaking of "cover songs" ... The We Five's "You Were On My Mind" and The Beatles' "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" are featured here, and of the two, you may want to prefer the We Five version much better, yet McGuire's Beatles cover is pretty good to listen to.

    Impressive tunes that were quite enjoyable, is where McGuire's voice takes the direction where its not as rough and edgy as in many tunes in the style of "Eve Of Destruction" and "Masters Of War": His voice is quite calm and pleasant, making the mentioning of the next five songs deserving some repeated play... "Inner-Manipulations" has the folk sound, and features some very nice vocal harmonies. Other folk-sounding nice tunes are "This Precious Time" and the bouncy upbeat "She Belongs To Me." The Mamas & Papas sound comes to mind in such tunes as "Cloudy Sunny Afternoon" and "I'd Have To Be Outa My Mind."

    It can easily be seen and heard that Barry McGuire's music fit the folk category of the mid-1960s. Likewise, many of the songs in this anthology can be compared to the folk sound of Bob Dylan, both lyrically and musically. The lyrics in both McGuire's and Dylan's music were unique, and they both included the harmonica in many of their tunes. McGuire's music could also fit with other 1960s acts, such as The Mamas & Papas. As mentioned before, listening to a group/artist's music always sparks an interest, especially where you would normally think of only one song that was famous by that particular talent. As this Anthology shows, Barry McGuire was not a one-hit wonder, and quite naturally, this anthology is quite impressive. For the mid-to-late 1960s fan, Barry McGuire's Anthology will be a treat and enjoyable; where anyone who remembers "Eve Of Destruction" as the only song by him when digging into your memory bank, as that song being the only one that they can think of.

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