Majority One

Rainbow Rockin' Chair: The Definitive Collection 1969-1971

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Most of the songs from Majority One's sole, self-titled album are on this 18-song compilation, filled out with some tracks from non-LP singles (some issued under the names the Majority, Black Label, and Rocky Cabbage), an alternate version of the B-side "Friday Man," and the previously unissued "Letter from the Queen." The material casually resembles the most cotton-candy, daintiest end of the Beatles' late-'60s psych-pop, though only in approach and production, and not in the quality of the actual songs. Though the arrangements bear the hallmarks of much British music of this sort from that period -- underwater-sounding distorted vocals, light orchestration, harpsichords, high harmonies, images of royalty and childhood, blends of hard-charging acoustic and electric guitars, a slight baroque classical flavor, and an overall jovial bounce -- there's not much compelling melodic substance. The uncharacteristically "Get Back Home" sounds a little like the early (but still post-Denny Laine) Moody Blues when they rocked hard, and "Rainbow Rocking Chair" itself sounds like Majority One might have been listening to the airiest and poppiest late-'60s Pink Floyd cuts (à la "Point Me at the Sky"). The two tracks here from early-'70s singles released under the name Rocky Cabbage are actually among the more impressive and mature, "Freedom" showing a power pop muscle to the guitars missing in much of their other recordings, and "Birds Must Learn to Fly" being a pleasant folk-rock ballad reminiscent of the late-'60s Beatles at their most laid-back. The music's still pleasant overall, though it doesn't stand out within its genre, and the liner notes run through the group's career in great detail.

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