Raspberries Forerunner the Choir Announce ‘Artifact: The Unreleased Album’
The Choir, a mid-'60s band that eventually turned into the Raspberries, will release a previously unheard LP that was recorded at the end of the decade.
The appropriately titled Artifact: The Unreleased Album will be issued on Feb. 16 and includes 10 songs that the group recorded in 1969. You can watch a video announcing the LP above and listen to an exclusive premiere of the song "If These Are Men" below.
The Cleveland-based Choir formed in 1964 as the Mods and were heavily influenced by the Beatles and other British Invasion groups. In 1966, they changed their name to the Choir and had a Top 70 hit in the summer of 1967 with "It's Cold Outside," which was included on the celebrated 1998 box set Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965–1968.
Three of the band's original four members – singer and guitarist Wally Bryson, guitarist David Smalley and drummer Jim Bonfanti – would join singer Eric Carmen in 1970 to form the Raspberries, a similar-sounding power-pop band also inspired by the Beatles.
The Choir never released an album in their lifetime, but collections of some of their music have come out on various sets over the years. The band's 1969 lineup included only Bonfanti from the original quartet, and the tracks they recorded were never released. This lineup also included keyboardist and singer Phil Giallombardo – a founding member of the James Gang, which would later include future Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh – along with Denny Carleton, who later played with the punk band the Pagans.
This new collection marks the first appearance of these songs. You can see the track listing for the album below.
“I went to see the Choir when I was 16, and immediately wanted to join their band," Carmen writes in the liner notes to Artifact: The Unreleased Album. "They were a great group that had many lives and many members. This album was made by one of the last and final versions of the band. This recently discovered recording is sure to rekindle fond memories for the many fans of the Choir, including myself.”
The Choir, 'Artifact: The Unreleased Album' Track Listing
1. Anyway I Can
2. If These Are Men
4. I Can’t Stay In Your Life
5. David Watts
6. Have I No Love To Offer
7. For Eric
8. It’s All Over
9. Boris’ Lament
10. Mummer Band