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A Midsummer's Day Dream

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Album Review

Mark Eric (whose real name is Mark Eric Malmborg) wasn't the most original composer of his day, and yet years after its 1968 release his long out-of-print one-off soft pop LP for Revue (a UNI/MCA subsidiary) commands a fairly high price from soft pop collectors who've managed to nab themselves a copy. The reason? A Midsummer's Day Dream is treasured by collectors as one of the more perfect blends of soft pop and surf pop, with appropriately accenting vibraphones and French horns, pseudo-studio jazzy/soft pop melodies, "bah bah bah" harmonies, and moody string arrangements reminiscent of Curt Boettcher's productions of Sagittarius and the Millennium. Eric's charming, somewhat imperfect falsetto (in a somewhat obvious homage to Brian Wilson) hints at a subterranean layer of loneliness throughout. His self-penned, broken-hearted Beach Boys-style ballads (think Pet Sounds/Friends) are, in fact, the perfect vehicle for his faltering upper-register voice. Highlights include "California Home" (about a homesick airplane flight away from L.A.); an end-of-summer lament, "Where Do the Girls of the Summer Go"; and "Don't Cry Over Me," with its gorgeous blend of harmonic filigree and sophisticated studio sheen. Eric — who as an actor appeared on TV's The Partridge Family as the pal of Snake (a biker played by a pre-Meathead Rob Reiner) — apparently never recorded another album.


Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s

L.A. native Mark Eric was leading the Southern California dream life in his teens -- surfing by day and writing songs about girls by night -- before his musical talents drew him to Hollywood. He was 16 when he met Russ Regan, then at Warner Bros., but his first break came while waiting in the lobby of label honcho Lou Adler's office. There he met Bob Raucher, an engineer at local KHJ radio station (who wondered why Eric wasn't in high school). Raucher took a liking to the suntanned surfer/songwriter,...
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A Midsummer's Day Dream, Mark Eric
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