McCully Workshop Inc.
LP: 1970, Trutone, STO 727
Sleeve notes for 2003 Korean re-issue:
The Psychedelic-Music.com Website describes McCully Workshop's first album like this: "Of all the albums we've heard from South Africa this one is topscore. What a beautiful masterpiece. Pepper-influenced Underground music with great songs, lovely vocals, strong harmonies, great distorted guitarwork."
"My brother [Mike] who plays drums and myself would play around and record ourselves in the lounge, I was about nine at the time. We recorded a track called 'Swinging Time' with some other friends when I was thirteen and sent it to a record company. The track didn't get anywhere but it was quite interesting. We grew a bit more and when I was sixteen (and Mike 22) we started a band called McCully Workshop and a whole string of other bands and I started a garage studio." – Tully McCully
Original sleeve notes from album back cover:
(See scan of original back cover (65KB) here)
An angel must have been passing overhead. In McCully Workshop the silence was deafening. While it lasted Bill Forrest said, "Could happen."
It did happen. It's still happening and we hope it will go on happening for a long time to come as more addicts become 'hooked' on McCully Workshop sound.
Producing it wasn't all that simple.
"Tully, put the cans on," comes through the speaker in Billy's dulcet tones. Everybody puts the cans on. What they hear is Tully telling them with a good deal of candid soul-searching why he couldn't do that particular number. General collapse and recording adjourned for some canned compensation.
Rich embellishes the interval with a few ninths and diminished chords while Tully murmurs, "That won't fit," or Mm, maybe," or suddenly "Hell, that's great. Do it again." Ian is heard muttering that in America the brass section has it scored for them and promptly scores a big nil by tripping over the nearest mike.
"Could happen," says Billy.
"How about this before the lead comes in?" says Mike and the peace is shattered by a furiously intricate four bar roll. "Lousy!" comes back the chorus in four party harmony with a vulgar noise from the trumpet. Billy leaps to his feet and smashes another globe in the ceiling.
"Ridiculous. Man, it's a gas. We'll use it."
Piet Obermeyer, November 2002
01) 'Why Can't It Rain'
Listening to this song makes me realize how much talent McCully Workshop had. Even after all these years, it sounds as fresh as the day it was recorded. 'Why Can't It Rain' was very popular in South Africa when it was first released and made #12 on the Springbok Radio Charts. It is a pity that Tully always refused to do a live version at the Fairmead Hotel!
02) 'Hardcase Woman'
Interesting guitar work by Allan with a nice bass riff from Tully.
03) 'Ice Lovers'
Nice song with a strong melody. Ian's flute complements the song very well. The "feel" of this song is typical of the 1970 era with influences from many contemporary artists.
04) 'Four Walls'
Features Ian Smith on trumpet. Not as strong as some of the other songs on the album, but easy to listen to.
A very interesting song with a strong melody and some good guitar work from Allan and organ backing from Glenda.
06) 'Rush Hour At Midnight'
The first impression I get when listening to this song is that it escaped from the musical 'Hair'. Nice vocal harmonies and a good song overall.
07) 'Jackin' Around'
The opening song on the second side of the original album. The title of the song says it all. Mike doing his thing on the drum kit towards the end of the track.
08) 'Head For The Moon'
I also feel like departing for the moon somedays. A sweet song with a pleasant melody and one of my favorites on the album. The trumpet blends in well with the rest of the band. Looks like Tully started practicing to sing 'Blues in C Minor' (from 'Ages' album) if you listen to the "announcement" at the start of this song.
09) 'The Circus'
Something different although not one of my favorites on the album. Nice vocal harmonies.
10) 'Years Of My Life'
Starting with a serious church organ, this track unfolds to a refreshing ballad with a cool melody. Sounds like early Byrds, but still distinctly McCully Workshop.
11) 'Fast Car'
The opening riffs of this song reminds me of the music they used play at the Boswell Wilkie circus. Not one of my favorite songs, but obviously a filler on the album.
The other side of life? A serious song with quiet vocals from Tully, nicely complemented with flute and guitar.