A Small Circle Of Friends That You Want To Join

Life and death are free
But love is the treasure
And faith is the key

My second album discussion is directly related to the first- Steve Stanley, the lead vocalist of the Now People wrote the liner notes to the re-release and acknowledges the influence of Roger Nichols on his own work. There is also a song in common- The Now People cover Trust, a song on this album.

You probably haven’t heard of Roger Nichols but you will have heard his songs- We’ve Only Just Begun done by the Carpenters is just one of his. This is his 1967 album called Roger Nichols And The Small Circle Of Friends and his small circle includes siblings Melinda and Murray MacLeod. The sound is beuatiful orchestrated pop, a mixture of well-chosen covers and originals. My first exposure to the group was hearing their cover of Goffin/King’s The Snow Queen on the excellent compilation The Trip (put together by members of Saint Etienne) which features some excellent Beach Boys-esque harmonies attached to a strong song. However, the originals are excellent as well and the “pearl” is I Can See Only You, from which I extracted the above lyric. There is an excellent article on the whole album, and especially that song on The Smile Shop, and I pretty much agree with the sentiments. Pet Sounds co-writer Tony Asher is a lyricist on some of the originals. giving this album a solid Brian Wilson/Beach Boys connection

The 2005 re-release, on the excellent Rev-Ola label (thanks for the all the great music!)  includes 8 bonus tracks and extensive liners. It is really good throughout; the last song St Bernie The Sno-Dog is a bit of a novelty number but your kids and dogs will love it, and the rest is well worth many listens by discerning adults. Be part of this circle!

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