THE STAINED GLASS - 'If I Needed Someone'/'How Do You Expect Me' (RCA Victor 47-8889) June 1966
Having signed to a major label this San Jose band had the opportunity to work with professional record producers and engineers to get their Brit Invasion influenced rock out to the general public, not just the Bay Area.
I've read elsewhere that their live set at this stage in their career consisted of the hits of the day with a definate focus on Beatles material. So it was probably no surprise that they chose an obscure George Harrison song 'If I Needed Someone' as their first 45 for RCA Victor. There's no getting away from the fact that the tune is very catchy with immediate appeal and was covered by many 60s bands including The Hollies, The Kingsmen and The Sting-Rays of Newburgh.
THE STAINED GLASS - If I Needed Someone
The flip 'How Do You Expect Me' (as previously mentioned in my Trolls entry) was an old song re-used by RCA Victor. I've got no evidence that the 45 sold in any quantities but the band were retained for another outing.
THE STAINED GLASS - 'My Buddy Sin'/'Vanity Fair' (RCA Victor 47-8952) Sept 1966
Two Jim McPherson originals were chosen as their major label follow up with wonderful 'My Buddy Sin' as the top side. This is a folk rock gem with a strange medieval feel to it, some wailing harmonica (recalling 'Walkin' Shoes') and some excelent production by Danny Davis who became a member of a country rock band The Nashville Brass in the late 60s.
The flip 'Vanity Fair' is a decent pop effort with a strong Lovin' Spoonful influence. Some good harmonies and punchy bass work by Jim McPherson.
THE STAINED GLASS - My Buddy Sin
THE STAINED GLASS - 'We Got A Long Way To Go'/'Corduroy Joy' (RCA Victor 47-9166) 1967
The third Stained Glass record 'We Got A Long Way To Go' sold well in their locale but again failed to break nationally. It's a puzzle how such fine melodic songs don't make it to a bigger audience but then of course many factors can influence a single success or failure.
The song was written by famous songwriting duo Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil known for writing classics like 'Kicks' (Raiders), 'Love Is Only Sleeping' (Monkees) and 'Shapes Of Things To Come' (Max Frost) was certainly worthy of great success with it's radio friendly folk pop and catchy chorus. The production is full and vibrant. In many ways this was the most commercial offering yet by The Stained Glass.
'Corduroy Joy' on the other hand is perhaps the band's weakest moment on record.
THE STAINED GLASS - 'A Scene In Between'/'Mediocre Me' (RCA Victor 47-9354) Oct 1967
The band were dropped by RCA Victor after the release of my favourite Stained Glass song of all time, namely the ultra cool psychedelic masterpiece 'A Scene In Between'. I recall hearing this song for the first time back in the 80s on a 'Psychedelic Unknowns' comp and thought it was by an English band.
The very trippy production by RCA staff producer Rick Jarred, the 'turned on' lyrics and soaring harmonies over the acid drenched guitar makes 'A Scene In Between' one of the very best and somewhat unique psych records from America. Like I said earlier, very few American bands captured the English psych sound as well as The Stained Glass.
'Mediocre Me' is another standout out but the acid drenched drone of 'Scene' is replaced by their usual folk rock vibe whilst retaining a small dose of lysergia. Both songs are credited to Phil Stumpo (a pseudonym for Jim McPherson)..
THE STAINED GLASS - A Scene In Between