Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Marcia Hines - "Marcia Shines" (1975)

Born in 1953 in Boston, USA, Marcia Hines arrived in Australia in 1969 - sixteen years old and pregnant - to take part in the local production of the musical "Hair".

Marcia in "Hair", cast photo, 1970

In 1973 she followed that success with the role of Mary Magdalene in the Australian production of "Jesus Christ Superstar" - I've always thought it would have been good if she'd been pregnant when she did that role - "What!? A second virgin birth?" etc.

Hines as Mary Magdalene, 1973

In 1974 she joined the Daly-Wilson Big Band for several tours and an album, posted here previously.

After signing to the Wizard Records label, she released her debut album "Marcia Shines" in 1975. The first two singles - a soul-tinged cover of James Taylor's "Fire and Rain", and a power ballad called "From The Inside", were smash hits, catapulting her into major star status in her adopted country.

The third single, the more soulful "Don't Let The Grass Grow" didn't fare as well, and this set up (to my mind) an unfortunate pattern in the way she was produced and marketed after this album : she was pigeonholed as a stirring pop ballad singer, and the funk-soul that was prevalent on this debut album was somewhat left behind in the search for hits.

Career-wise, it was a wise move - she spent the 70s and 80s producing gold record after gold record, always supported by string-laden productions with surefire Top Ten hits, and became one of the biggest stars in Australia. She's had several career resurgences in the decades since then, and is currently enjoying a high profile again as the "nice" judge in Australian Idol. Her daughter Deni Hines also had some success in the 1990s as a dance act.

The great track "You Gotta Let Go" (previews are at top of post today) has been revered in the northern soul underground for some time, but there are several other good tracks here. I'm particularly partial to the slow burning "Easy Evil", the soul-pop of "Don't Let the Grass Grow" and the blues-tinged "I Need It Just as Bad As You".

As a special bonus track, we've got the rare heavier-than-heavy version of Bill Withers' "You", the B-side of the first single "Fire And Rain". Unreleased elsewhere, and not to be confused with a pop hit of the same name she released a few years later, it's a screaming soul-rock number drenched in electric piano, pounding drums and a heavy hand on the reverb plate.

None of Marcia's 70s and 80s albums have been re-released, and the ubiquitous compilations of her work focus on the pop songs - with none of the good stuff from here - so I thought it would be good to get a proper rip of this album up here in WAV and 320 MP3.

Special thanks to people from the Midoztouch forum - Micko for the rip of the song "You", and Deutros for the cover scans.


01. "Fire and Rain" (James Taylor) - 4:50
02. "Trilogy" (Robie G Porter) - 4:25
03. "Don't Let The Grass Grow" (D. Buskin) - 3:07
04. "From The Inside" (Artie Wayne) - 3:31
05. "If This Was the Last Song" (Jimmy Webb) - 4:05
06. "Jumpin' Jack Flash" (Jagger-Richards) - 3:07
07. "You Gotta Let Go" (Randazzo-Pike) - 3:29
08. "But It's Alright" (Jackson-Tubbs) - 2:33
09. "I Need It Just As Bad As You" (Holland-Holland-Wylie) - 3:07
10. "Easy Evil" (Alan O'Day) - 5:24

11. "You" (Bill Withers)- (B-side of "Fire and Rain" single) - 4:18


Tracks 2-10 :
Bass - Jackie Orszaczky, Duncan McGuire
Drums- Mark Kennedy, Craig Collinge
Guitar - Tony Naylor, Stephen Howsden
Piano - Peter Jones
Percussion - Sunil De Silva

Tracks 1 and 11 :
"Baxter Funt"
probable lineup :
Michael Carlos or Peter White - keyboards
Ken Firth - bass
Michael Wade - guitar
Greg Henson - drums


Wizard Records, 1975
Cat. # ZL 209
Produced by Robie G. Porter
Assisted by J. M. Wagner
Arranged by Peter Jones and Robie G. Porter
Orchestration by Peter Jones
Engineered by John Sayers - Trafalgar Studios, Sydney
and Roger Savage - Armstrong Studios, Melbourne, Australia.
Cover Design - Tony Hogarth and Barry Falkner
Artwork - Barry Falkner
Photography - Phillip Morris
Marcia is managed by Peter Rix at the Great Australian Sound Company

To : Tony Hogarth, Sue Cooper, MLK, The Daly Wislon Big Band & Baxter Funt my eternal gratitude. This abum is dedicated to Esmerelda McPherson of Boston, Mass.


Album rip by Simon666
Vinyl rip of "You" 45 by Micko
Cover Scans by Deutros
Link to Deni Hines album at Willforall



Messiah of Soul Power Music Group said...

this looks really good Simon.......thanks fam.....Peace


ish said...

I love that song "Easy Evil" and am looking forward to hearing her version. Do you know the Peggy Lee version? weird but good.

thanks as always!

Doctor Okeh said...

yhea this one looks pretty nice and by the samples , I cannot wait , many thx for the headz up , Simon... holla...!!!

Anonymous said...

damn..simon..this albums is inredible..heard the first 3 songs actually, and they are so nice...wonderfull post, man...got nuthin but love for it!!!thx

Simon666 said...

hi guys thanks for commenting .. .all fellow bloggers of course :)
Ish - hope you liked the "Easy Evil" version. Don't know the Peggy lee version, but I do have a Sarah Vaughan version from '73 ...

roberto t. said...

well, "she still brings me to my knees...", I didn't know this one, a big thank you!

Gianni aka Cesare Barbetta said...

I like this lp.
I used to play it at clubs.
we all should thank simon for all these great music moments.

badhabitz said...

kool never heard of this before, really looking forward to having a listen!! thanks for your hard work and effort! peace

JC said...

great post Simon!! looking forward to listen.

Unknown said...

Thanx alot man

JTF said...

I always find so much good stuff here, got to give this a go!

culov said...

thanks simon, this one looks really dope!

Micko said...

Hey Simon

Thanks for the credit mate, it's much appreciated. As to your comments re Marcia's later albums, I couldn't agree more. In fact the songs you single out are also my faves. Nearly everything after this until she left Wizard Records in the early '80's was drenched in Strings & overproduced. Having said that each album also had a shining jewel just to remind us of how much her huge talent was being wasted.
The best example is her Ladies & Gentlemen album where at the end of side 1 she performs a magnificent 6 minute slow blues take on Blood Swear & Tears' "More Than You'll Ever Know" with a gorgeous extended solo by future LRB guitarist Steve Housden. This chick can really wail dem blues when given the chance but alas this was a one-off. She also does a very nice jazz tinged track, Walking In The Sun & her voice is perfect for the soul staple "Love Is A Hurtin' Thing" which just about survives producer Porter's heavy handedness. But the rest is either over-produced ballads a la Streisand or pseudo disco ie the other "You". Of course that was her biggest hit & a mega #1 so what do I know?? LOL.
Still if anyone wants to hear more Marcia just let me know as I'm happy to share. Despite my comments I DO have them all, just for those gems that unexpectedly appear

Cheers & thanks again Simon


Stretch said...

Thanks Simon!!!

djandpete said...

brilliant album thanks

Economiewurm said...

Hi Simon,

Thanks for this great album. Ever since you posted "You gotta let go", I was dying to hear more.

I'm really surprised that "Don't Let The Grass Grow" didn't fare well. I find this funky soul tune the best track at this album.


E-mile said...

hi simon, esp. interested in track nr. 6, you know me (by now:-)
hope it's not too dosco-ish (1975!)
dling now, we'll speak again...
thanks & peace,

Hunter said...

Congrats for your hard work!This is a great one as always. Keep on rollin' man.

invisiblenigma said...

Much Thanks Simon! This One is Hot!


Thank you very much

trakbuv said...

Thanks Simon - never knew Marcia was Australian otherwise I would have got the Deni Hines link straight away. Very comprehensive blog by the way - thanks for taking that extra step !!

Will take a look-see for sure.

RG_one said...


Simon666 said...

thanks for the comments guys

Gabriel said...

Hey Simon, I was never a big Marcia fan, and I don't think I'm about to be converted (although I have always had a soft spot for Your Love Still Brings Me To My Knees) but I did want to tell you that after living in Sydney since 1978 and never getting around to seeing Renee Geyer, all your good work here at the blog has shamed me into finally getting me off my arse, and I am going to see her this Saturday.
Thanks for all the time you put in. Even when the music isn't my bag, I still enjoy reading what you've written.

Simon666 said...

Hi yemaya -

Enjoy the show, I must get along to another Renee show sometime ... though I'll probably be the annoying one up the back saying "play your old stuff!".

Not a big Marcia fan either, except for this one album, which I like a lot. Been to too many Mardi Gras parties to put up with "Your Love Still Brings em to my Knees" again lol :)

I remember that you like the latin stuff, you should check out today's Gil Scott-Heron post I just did - fantastic live band with extended percussion sections ....

Dreamer456 said...

Thanks so much.

Gabriel said...

I do like Gil, and I probably will check it out ... it's just that there have been a few good new Cuban releases lately and I'm kind of besotted with them to the detriment of everything else. There'll be a lull soon, then I'll have time to get back to the old stuff.

Flormega said...

Incredible work on your blog man!!!!
Peace & respect!

Michael said...

Thank you very much!
It's a good and rare!

a mind with no ceiling said...

Great one Simon, Thanks a lot!!

CJS said...

I worked with Marcia for a couple of years in the late 80's as bassist with some of the guys on this album. I later joined a short lived Baxter Funt for the big functions, but everyone was pulling away for busier band work.
When she comes on stage it's quite a steamroller voice she has. Always fun, she's also one of the funniest story tellers around, nothing like her subdued Idol personality.
Go, go go for gold!
BTW although the records haven't been released on cd they're still in every 2nd hand shop in Australia. She was a gold record seller and victim of a small and dwindling music market here like a lot of the 60-70-80's music heavies still working here.
Love the site.

Simon666 said...

Thanks for dropping by Christopher. I actually spent ages trying to work our which version of "Baxter Funt" would have been on "Fire and Rain" here (they're not named on the album), in order to get the credits right ... checked against the "Jesus Christ superstar" listings etc, so let me know if you think I've got any credits wrong!
Yes, the Marcia albums are everywhere here - I still really just like this one, though there's a few tracks on the double live album that I like too ...

CJS said...

I'll have to listen to tell you who they were.
A project for the week!
BTW Baxter Funt is always Mike Wade and Greg Henson but the others I'll check.

Simon666 said...

Thanks Christopher. The crazy B-side "You" (which I added as a "bonus track") might give it away ...

kicks79 said...

Great blog. Thanks for all the your hard work and good music you post.

Simon666 said...

Thanks kicks79. Do you have a show on 2SER? (just saw yr profile)

Simon666 said...

opps then I clicked through ... will have a listen on Friday night

Liam Latrine said...

Looking forward to hearing this and love the interaction from everyone.


Endwest said...

Hey Simon

Track 8 "But It's Alright" are not
complete. At the end of the track.

Anonymous said...

Thankyou for the Marcia Hines Album. It renewed my interest in Marcia Hines and I will buy the later work, as the early Robir G Porter stuff is not available on CD. Marcia Hines by all accounts had a difference of affairs with Wizard in 1980 and left the label, two years ahead of the contract finishing. Perhaps difficulty is whats causing the non release of these classics, Shines, Shining, Ladies and Gentleman, Marcia Live across Australia and the final Robie G Porter Wizard album Ohh Child.

Would love to see a clean crackle free copy of the Double Album Marcia Live Across Australia from 1978. Use to have it on cassette but it cant be found. Might of worn it out. From recollection the Live double album kicked seriously when listened to.

Thanks for considering!


Andrew said...

Nine years later, these posts are still generating interest. Thanks Simon.

PS. If David hasn't yet found Marcia's live double album, it's here:


Guitarradeplastico,scraping oddities said...

Many thanks