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25 Demos

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Album Review

As a companion to Oglio's excellent reissue of Margo Guryan's sole album, 1968's Take a Picture, 25 Demos is useful primarily to die-hard fans, the musical equivalent of the "suggested outside reading" list in AP English classes: potentially enlightening, but not at all essential. Hearing Guryan's own demos of excellent songs like "Think of Rain" and "Sunday Morning" is interesting on the trainspotter level, because it becomes possible to see how much of the better-known versions was there from the beginning. It's also nice to hear previously unknown songs like the delicate acoustic folk-rock of "Most of My Life" and the playful, electric piano-driven "I'd Like to See the Bad Guys Win," which by itself shows why no less a songwriting talent than Harry Nilsson was a fan of Guryan. But still, this is just a collection of demos, many of them solo voice and keyboards performances, and some of them suffering from less than ideal sound, so fans of the lush, ornate arrangements of Take a Picture may be disappointed. This is strictly for the fans, but for those fans, it's a treat.

Biography

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s

Born in a New York suburb, songwriter extraordinaire Margo Guryan ironically enough grew up to create one of the most exquisite and appealing, if little heard, one-shot "California" (although actually recorded on the East Coast) soft-pop gems of the kaleidoscopic late '60s (copies have fetched upwards of 200 dollars on the collector's circuit), before gradually disappearing from the scene. Despite the brief shelf life of her commercial career, her musical legacy actually proves far-reaching, stretching...
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25 Demos, Margo Guryan
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