DISRAELI – THE SINGLES COLLECTION ON MANTRA RECORDS

The whole world is a special path when you’re in love. Sunny woods and coloured leaves (disraeli)

Ten years ago I reviewed all four singles Disraeli released during their short life-span as a recording group. Today I remastered those singles and created an audio mix available to download on Spreaker or listen to the audio player below.

DISRAELI – ’Tomorrow’s Day’ / ’Humidity 105’ (Mantra Records DL-002) 1967

The toughest Disraeli 45 to locate is their first from 1967. It took me several years to find a copy and I probably paid a little too much for it as it wasn’t in the best condition. However, as it was the last piece in my Disraeli jigsaw, I needed to own it.

Both sides of their debut disc are stunning loner folk-rock. The production isn’t the best that you’ll ever hear but that has never concerned me in the past. It’s all to do with the feel and vibe of the songs for me and both ’Tomorrow’s Day’ and ’Humidity 105’ have that special quality.

As far as I know both songs have yet to be compiled, surely an indication of the disc’s obscurity.

DISRAELI – ’What Will The New Day Bring?’ / ’Spinnin’ Round’ (Mantra Records M-113) 1968

Disraeli are one of those rare American groups that got to release four singles but still remain virtually unknown outside the small band of pop psych fans scattered around the world. I’d never heard of them until their brilliant folk psych number ’What Will The New Day Bring?’ was compiled on one of those ’Fading Yellow’ collections. The picture sleeve was also utilized on that release showing Disraeli in fetching red jackets, not unlike the one’s The Kinks used to wear in 1964.

I decided that I needed to track down their records after hearing the previously mentioned ’What Will The New Day Bring?’. With a name like Disraeli searching for their records isn’t an easy task, especially on eBay. Go ahead and try it. You’ll have to wade through thousands of Cream records – then you’ll be disappointed that no Disraeli 45s are listed. They’re very hard to find!

It’s thought that Disraeli got their name from Benjamin Disraeli, who was Prime Minister of Britain during Queen Victoria’s reign. This may be true but I suspect Cream’s album ’Disraeli Gears’ may also have been a factor, as Disraeli do have an ’English’ sound running throughout their recordings.

I believe that an earlier 45 was released on Mantra Records before this one. According to Garage Hangover, the record was ’Tomorrow’s Day’ / ’Humidity’. I’ve been on the look out for this for some years but have never even seen a copy offered for sale.

’Spinnin’ Round’ is not as immediate as the top side but it’s still a little gem just waiting to be discovered. Both sides were produced by Richard Keefer who also worked with Sound Vendor and United Travel Service.

DISRAELI – ’Say You Love Me’ / ’I’ve Seen Her One Time’ (Mantra Records M-114) 1968

Next up for Disraeli was a double sided mid period Beatles sounding 45 that is way out of style for 1968. ’Say You Love Me’ is pure pop but the lyrics are a bit too soppy for my liking. The record was again housed in a picture sleeve and the group shot shows Disraeli as clean cut boys with neat haircuts, buttoned jackets and shirts.

The whole world was going day-glo by the day but all Disraeli wanted to do was sing catchy pop songs and forget about freaking out or dropping some mind bombs. The flip ’I’ve Seen Her One Time’ is another pop gem with some excellent Association style vocal harmonies.

I’ve read elsewhere that Disraeli were a very popular group in their home town Astoria, Oregon. Too bad no one else knew about them because they were great.

DISRAELI – ’The Lonely One’ / ’You Can’t Do That’ (Mantra Records M-115) 196?

The final Disraeli single once again had noted producer Richard Keefer at the helm and this time around the music had a pleasant enough late 60s hippie vibe going on. I can’t help but notice a strong Crosby, Stills & Nash influence especially the wavering vocals on ’The Lonely One’. Not much in the way of harmonies this time but much more of a rockin’ beat and louder guitars.

The flip ’You Can’t Do That’ is The Beatles song and it is a bit of a disappointment due to the annoying constant tapping of what sounds like a cow bell or something. Don’t know why Richard Keefer allowed this to happen. Decent guitar break though.

The Disraeli recording line-up was probably:

Steven Mathre (lead vocals)
Al Nelson (vocals)
Thomas Strangland (guitar)
Roger Everett (guitar/vocals)
Steve Kernes (bass)
Gene Faust (drums)

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