Without Earth and the Moon
The Moon recorded two albums in 1968-69 that were both heavily influenced by the British invasion sound of the Beatles. Many of the late 60s groups who were inspired by the Brit invasion sound - The Moon included - have never had their music released on cd reissue - but thanks to Rev-Ola, both of The Moon's albums (1968's Without Earth and 1969's The Moon) plus alternate single mixes and a few related singles by Matthew Moore Plus 4 have all been released on a single cd.
The various members of The Moon were no strangers to the music business. David Marks had been on the first 4 Beach Boys' records, replacing Al Jardine for a little while. Matthew Moore had recorded with the Matthew Moore Plus 4, while David Jackson had played with folk rock group Hearts & Flowers and Larry Brown had worked with Davie Allen & the Arrows. Coming together in 1968, The Moon gathered together in Larry Brown's own recording studio and recorded a lost classic of British invasion influenced pop rock called Without Earth, and a follow-up album simply titled The Moon which is not as classic, but still worthy of being included on this two-fer. Without Earth contains compelling melodies, stellar harmonies, incredible orchestration, and an incredible 60s psych sound throughout. There simply is not a poor track on Without Earth. Without Earth starts out on an incredible high - from the piano pounding Mothers and Fathers, to the Sgt Pepper 'tron melodies of Pleasure, and the sitar-drenched Colours cover of Brother Lou's Love Colony. (Colours was another Brit invasion inspired late 1960s band who was recording their album had the same time as The Moon and who also needs their albums to be reissued soon). Got to Be On My Way is one of my favorite songs on this album and one of the more hard rocking, with it's Hendrix inspired psychedelic rock guitars, soulful chorus and handclaps.
The second album, simply titled The Moon, while losing a lot of the Beatles' orchestrated psychedelic touches, did retain the more soulful side of the late 60s brand of Beatles' pop (think Paul McCartney and his piano led songwriting style coupled with his angsty lead vocals). There is a heavier use of lead guitars and piano led tracks, with less distinctive songwriting on the second Moon album. I think other albums by artists like Bergen White (who had an album out in 1969 called For Women Only) were mining this same territory with far superior results. Mary Jane and Come Out Tonight however, are both really nice slices of orchestrated pop. Lebanon has a soulful organic feel to it.
Sadly neither of the two albums by The Moon caused much of a stir at the time, mainly due to the lack of promotions on the part of their label, Imperial Records. After the second album fizzled, the various members of The Moon decided to call it quits and they all headed onto more lucrative pastures - leaving the Moon's recording output to languish in obscurity. While the second album by The Moon has less to offer than the incredible first album, it still is nice to have both their albums complete on one cd. The Moon's Without Earth was a lost, classic slice of late 1960s pop, and it is wonderful to finally hear it, after all of these years, in this cd reissue.