Thursday, March 15, 2012

The People in Me By The Music Machine

I've recently been replaying this awesome track called "The People in Me" by '60s garage-psychedelic band the Music Machine. When I first heard the song a few months ago, I was hooked, and now I can't get enough of it. The song is anchored by Keith Olsen's bustling bass line and is filled with cool psychedelic guitar riffs and great Farfisa organ vamps. And Sean Bonniwell's distinctive voice adds a dark, mysterious edge to the track. The haunting background vocals are also quality. "The People in Me" is from the band's debut album (Turn On) The Music Machine, released in 1966.

The Los Angeles-based band was formed in 1965. Singer-songwriter/guitarist Bonniwell was the Music Machine's founder and leader. Bonniwell, who died last December of lung cancer at the age of 71, was a gifted songwriter and wrote most of the band's songs.  In addition to Bonniwell and Olsen, the other members of the band were drummer Ron Edgar, lead guitarist Mark Landon and organist/pianist Doug Rhodes. Their biggest hit was "Talk Talk." The band went balls out on the track, and I can see why it's their most popular song. Raw, loud and ferocious, "Talk Talk" is one of the finest examples of  proto-punk from the '60s. But with that being said, I still prefer "The People in Me." I just dig the flow of the groove more, and it has an indelible melody. Plus, the song has a terrific bass line, and I'm a sucker for songs with really great bass lines.

Although the Music Machine were only together for four years and released only two albums in that time, their influence is undeniable. The band is often credited as being one of the progenitors of punk rock and has influenced pivotal punk bands such as the Ramones, the Stranglers and the Dictators.  The members of the Music Machine were also known for wearing all-black clothing, which was also quite influential on the punk scene in the '70s. They wore black turtlenecks, boots, leather vests and a single right-hand glove. They also sported identical dyed mop-top haircuts. This look gave the band a mysterious and slightly menacing aura. The Music Machine was just an all-around badass band and pretty underrated if you ask me.

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