A project which grew from the Legendary Masked Surfers in the mid 70s, California Music (later also known as California) was a loose conglomeration of musicians, usually organised by Bruce Johnston, which released several 45s in an attempt to update the music of their youth with a disco feel (simillar to, but far less successful than, the Bee Gees in their Saturday Night Fever period).

The personnel of the band varied, but at various times included Bruce Johnston, Jan Berry, Dean Torrence, Brian Wilson, Terry Melcher, Gary Usher and Curt Boettcher. As the participants became less interested, it was left more and more to Boettcher to record the tracks, many of which remained unreleased.

Poptones recently released a compilation of these tracks, confusingly as a Curt Boettcher solo album. Even more confusingly, the only participants listed are Boettcher, Brent Nelson, Joe Cheney and Mike Merros {sic - Mike Meros). However the production credits list Usher, Melcher, Johnston and Brian Wilson, and all are clearly audible vocalists. Plus several tracks are remixed versions of songs recorded for albums by other Boettcher/Usher projects in the 60s. Johnston even takes one lead vocal - the album's highlight, Brand New Old Friends.

Tracklist:

  1. Happy In Paradise
  2. Happy In Hollywood
  3. This Is Just To Let You Know
  4. Jamaica Farewell
  5. Music Music Music
  6. Banana Boat Song (Day-O)
  7. Iko Iko
  8. Will You Ever See Me
  9. California Music
  10. I Can Hear Music
  11. Love's Supposed To Be This Way
  12. Come Softly
  13. The Word
  14. Brand New Old Friends
  15. We Can, Yes We Can
  16. Head Shampoo

In fact, this album, despite its stellar cast, is simply not very good at all, and should really only be bought by ultra-completists. The idea to mix disco, calypso and sunshine pop ultimately just doesn't come off...

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