The Magicians

An Invitation to Cry: The Best of the Magicians

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Both sides of their four 1965-1967 singles on Columbia, plus five previously unissued tracks from the same period. The possibility of an album's worth of Magicians' material has long intrigued collectors of '60s music, most of whom are only familiar with their "An Invitation to Cry" single from Nuggets. The rest of the material is OK, but a bit of a letdown, lacking any standout numbers on the order of "An Invitation to Cry." Too, the Magicians didn't seem to have the time to solidify a special sound. At times it's Lovin' Spoonful-like folk-rock (they cover two songs from the debut album by minor Greenwich Village folk-rocker David Blue); sometimes it's Young Rascals-ish soul-rock, with a poppier bent; sometimes it's journeyman blues-rock (covers of "Back Door Man" and "Who Do You Love"); sometimes it's fair period 1966 pop/rock. The Gordon-Bonner songwriting collaboration had not yet been cemented; in fact, there are only two Gordon-Bonner compositions here, although on some of the other tracks, one or the other wrote with other partners. In retrospect, it's unfortunate that the Magicians didn't hold together longer, until the Gordon-Bonner team had matured, but fate plays its own cards.

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