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Thread: Happy The Man

  1. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Birdy View Post
    Hey, how come nobody ever mentions this great band on this site??
    Just saw this.. didn't know I was being called.. (just kidding).. Happy The Man has been discussed multiple times on this forum...

  2. #27
    In all seriousness, a truly, truly GREAT band. Highly influential for me, that's for sure!
    Coming September 1st - "Dean Watson Revisited"!

  3. #28
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    My favorite US Prog band ever (although Spock's Beard/Neal Morse, Cheer-Accident, MOI, Kansas and Thinking Plague are right up there!)
    The Prog Corner

  4. #29
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miamiscot View Post
    My favorite US Prog band ever (although Spock's Beard/Neal Morse, Cheer-Accident, MOI, Kansas and Thinking Plague are right up there!)
    First time I ever saw Kansas, Thinking Plague, Neil Morse and Cheer Accident all listed together in a happy way. Salut.
    Steve F.

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    Any time any one speaks to me about any musical project, the one absolute given is "it will not make big money". [tip of the hat to HK]

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  5. #30
    In the 70's when I played clubs and theaters , Happy The Man were an attraction. For example, the band I traveled with on a tour bus..were..seated passing Happy The Man albums around and discussing the band's possibilities. Possibly unlikely that would occur today. People were very interested in Happy The Man by 1979 which confuses me as to why they were dropped after a 2 year contract, maybe based on sales..duh? ...but yet there were talent scouts and record executives in those venues and Happy The Man's name was in the air for everyone to breath. Therefore, every state I traveled people were interested. Obviously the industry no longer interested in Prog is attributed but the crowds following Happy The Man were devoted and everyone was like family. The interest in the band was totally honest.

  6. #31
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enid View Post
    People were very interested in Happy The Man by 1979 which confuses me as to why they were dropped after a 2 year contract, maybe based on sales..duh? ...The interest in the band was totally honest.
    With ALL respect meant towards a band I really like, their two albums were utter and total sales FLOPS. Wrong music at the wrong time or some other reason, but from the POV of Arista, they were a money loser for them.

    THAT'S why.
    Steve F.

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    Any time any one speaks to me about any musical project, the one absolute given is "it will not make big money". [tip of the hat to HK]

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    With ALL respect meant towards a band I really like, their two albums were utter and total sales FLOPS. Wrong music at the wrong time or some other reason, but from the POV of Arista, they were a money loser for them.

    THAT'S why.
    Well of course, did Happy the Man get play on any radio stations that played "prog" rock in 1979. Answer is no. Pink Floyd's the Wall was the largest album by sales in the 70s, because they were a brand which was played on every rock station.
    On the verge of indecision
    I'll always take the roundabout way

  8. #33
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    With ALL respect meant towards a band I really like, their two albums were utter and total sales FLOPS. Wrong music at the wrong time or some other reason, but from the POV of Arista, they were a money loser for them.
    And yet, if they had gotten the gig as Peter Gabriel's back-up band, they might have gone on to become much better known. Twists of fate, accidents of chance, a moment that changes history.

  9. #34
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    And yet, if they had gotten the gig as Peter Gabriel's back-up band, they might have gone on to become much better known.
    I believe they turned down that gig, and that it was actually offered to them.

    Which, considering Peter's actual solo direction based on his 1st two solo albums, is surprising that he offered it to them as they don't in any way sound at all 'Happy The Man' or symphonic rock based to my ears.
    Steve F.

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    www.cuneiformrecords.com

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    Any time any one speaks to me about any musical project, the one absolute given is "it will not make big money". [tip of the hat to HK]

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  10. #35
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Anybody know what this is???
    Nevermind. Here's the back cover:

  11. #36
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    I believe they turned down that gig, and that it was actually offered to them.
    That may be... but it's not the prevailing legend.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    On June 28, 1976, former Genesis frontman Peter Gabriel, who wanted musicians for his solo band following his departure from Genesis, came down to the band’s house in Arlington for a try-out session, where he presented the band with some of his newly written material, including the song "Slowburn", which they rehearsed. Eventually Gabriel decided against hiring HTM, but this high-profile encounter proved instrumental in securing a five-year, multi-album deal with Arista Records.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Beck
    I’m not exactly sure how Peter found out about us. It probably would have been through Dale, who worked for them. When we were pretty close to signing with Arista, Peter found out about us. It was right after he had left Genesis and was going to do a solo album, his very first one.

    We lived in Washington D.C., together at that time, and he flew over and spent four or five days camping with us, swimming and hanging out, and we also rehearsed a rehearsal studio.

    We worked on “Slow Burn”, “Here Comes the Flood”, “Solsbury Hill” and all that stuff. We were doing what we do and did at that time, which was orchestrating music. We weren’t a rock band slamming it down doing a four/four kind of thing. I had all my percussion gear, and I remember Peter coming into our studio, walking through my set up going, “Whoa, man, this is wild.” He was amazed by who and what we were and what we had laid down so far. We listened to his tunes, and then we worked on them with him. I remember he wanted more of a rock feel and, if you remember the first CD he put out, it’s pretty straight-ahead rocking. I remember him taking me aside and playing a demo Phil [Collins] had played on. He said Phil had done those tunes, and that’s what he was going after. Long story short, he didn’t choose to go with us as his back-up band or touring band, but he did want to use Stanley. I believe he asked Stanley later on to be his guitar player. I don’t think Stanley took it because he was pretty wrapped up in his Vision band and thought that might be the better way to go.

  12. #37
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    That may be... but it's not the prevailing legend.
    I will defer to you and wiki. AND, honestly, based on PG's direction, makes more sense!
    Steve F.

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    Any time any one speaks to me about any musical project, the one absolute given is "it will not make big money". [tip of the hat to HK]

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  13. #38
    Never actually heard them before. This thread has piqued my interest...will check em out.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Score2112 View Post
    Never actually heard them before. This thread has piqued my interest...will check em out.
    You will not be disappointed.
    The Prog Corner

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    Which, considering Peter's actual solo direction based on his 1st two solo albums, is surprising that he offered it to them as they don't in any way sound at all 'Happy The Man' or symphonic rock based to my ears.
    It's INTERESTING to contemplate how Peter's solo career might have gone, had he chosen the more multi-syllabic polyrhythmic Happy The Man to be his partners -- instead of taking the "Phil Collins route" and becoming a frustrated Motown singer.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    It's INTERESTING to contemplate how Peter's solo career might have gone, had he chosen the more multi-syllabic polyrhythmic Happy The Man to be his partners -- instead of taking the "Phil Collins route" and becoming a frustrated Motown singer.
    Let's be real. Any partnership with HTM would have been short lived, regardless. They may have been a fit for the music he was making in 1977 but within a year he was embracing a more stripped down, Eno/Bowie-ish style that HTM would have been completely unsuited for.
    I'm holding out for the Wilson-mixed 5.1 super-duper walletbuster special anniversary extra adjectives edition.

  17. #42
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Exactly. Consider how HTM might have influenced Gabriel to new heights of progressive rock, to new daring instead of the tame MOR he became (cough "Sledgehammer" cough).

  18. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by Score2112 View Post
    Never actually heard them before. This thread has piqued my interest...will check em out.
    Happy [sic] Hunting!

    Personally I would start with Crafty Hands, which has more jazz-rock like vibes into their unique symphonic/progressive rock-style:


  19. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    With ALL respect meant towards a band I really like, their two albums were utter and total sales FLOPS. Wrong music at the wrong time or some other reason, but from the POV of Arista, they were a money loser for them.

    THAT'S why.
    Other than HTM and Caravan, were there any other sort of "progressive" orientated bands on Arista? I know Anthony Braxton recorded several albums for Arista, but I gather their jazz division was practically a separate label from the rock/pop/soul department.

    But yeah, I agree that by the time HTM's first record came out, progressive rock "had it's day" and punk, new wave and disco were moving in, so HTM might have been out of place on any big label, never mind the team who paired the Grateful Dead up with producers associated with the likes of Fleetwood Mac and Foreigner.

  20. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    Other than HTM and Caravan, were there any other sort of "progressive" orientated bands on Arista?r.
    I believe Dixie Dregs were originally on Arista.

  21. #46
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proghound View Post
    I believe Dixie Dregs were originally on Arista.
    The Dixie Dregs (their 1st 3 albums) were on Capricorn.
    The Dregs (their last 3 albums) were on Arista.
    Steve F.

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    Any time any one speaks to me about any musical project, the one absolute given is "it will not make big money". [tip of the hat to HK]

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  22. #47
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    Other than HTM and Caravan, were there any other sort of "progressive" orientated bands on Arista?
    Ant Phillips.
    15 Cuban minutes
    Can get lost in the fog
    Life's a test, just do your best
    Like a three-legged dog

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  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    I believe they turned down that gig, and that it was actually offered to them.

    Which, considering Peter's actual solo direction based on his 1st two solo albums, is surprising that he offered it to them as they don't in any way sound at all 'Happy The Man' or symphonic rock based to my ears.
    I agree wrt PG 2 more so than PG 1. I also think the direction of HTM was more rock from 1 to 2, and they could have been a great combo with PG.
    On the verge of indecision
    I'll always take the roundabout way

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firth View Post
    Well of course, did Happy the Man get play on any radio stations that played "prog" rock in 1979. Answer is no. Pink Floyd's the Wall was the largest album by sales in the 70s, because they were a brand which was played on every rock station.
    I was working on an AOR radio station in 1980. We played the hell out of The Wall, and other prog, but to be honest, I was not even aware of Happy The Man’s existence at the time. They got zero airplay on our station and I don’t even think we stocked the album(s). If we did I never saw them.

  25. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    The Dixie Dregs (their 1st 3 albums) were on Capricorn.
    The Dregs (their last 3 albums) were on Arista.
    Given the fact that the Allman Brothers Band and Sea Level both also made the jump from Capricorn to Arista, all within roughly the same time frame, I'm guessing what really happened there was that Arista simply bought what was left of the Capricorn roster, as Phil Walden's label was falling apart. So I'm guessing whoever it was at Arista who engineered that deal probably viewed The Dregs, at best, as a "Southern rock band", and more likely just viewed them as "one of our new clients".

    And like Caravan, Camel (who I also forgot about), the Grateful Dead and the Allmans, The Dregs managed to deliver their least impressive outings while working for Clive Davis.

    OK, so maybe when you consider Camel, Caravan and Ant Phillips, Happy The Man being on that particular label doesn't seem so weird. I guess the "weirdness" factor comes in when you consider that you're talking about 1977-1978, during which time prog was decidedly and suddenly unfashionable, in the wake of the punk insurrection. Or maybe even that's not so weird, I dunno. Maybe Clive had an A&R guy who genuinely believed "prog" was going to peacefully coexist alongside The Clash, The Ramones, Talking Heads, and Blondie, in terms of record sales.

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