SAPPHIRE THINKERS - 'Melancholy Baby' / 'Blues On You' (Hobbit Records HB 42002) 196?

It's a surprising fact that no Sapphire Thinkers recordings have ever appeared on any official or otherwise compilation. Their album 'From Within' has been re-issued on CD before but I doubt whether it was a legal issue.
I've got a copy and it does sound OK to me and pleasingly the album has recently been re-issued legit (I think) on 180gm virgin vinyl, so if you can't afford an original on Hobbit Records then grab yourself this before all copies sell out.

'Melancholy Baby' bw 'Blues On You' was lifted from the album but I don't think it was a great seller and probably didn't get passed the promo stage. I'm also not sure where the Sapphire Thinkers originated from but I'd guess at California because their album was mastered at Pasadena's Artisan Sound Recorders and released by Hobbit, a subsidiary of the Los Angeles based GRT Records.

It seems that the Sapphire Thinkers were heavily into lysergic drugs, probably magic mushrooms judging by their far out Mamas and the Papas type sound and of course the use of psilocybin images on the cover of their album.

There's also plenty of organ, fuzz guitars, trippy phasing and excelent male/female vocalising.
They're certainly a band I'd like to know more about.


  1. this is a good album

  2. Just discovered this post from Sapphire Thinkers flautist Peggy (Kinney) Richmond on the William Howard Taft High School (Woodland Hills, Calif.) Reunion website. The mastermind behind the group, Bill Richmond, was her husband.

    I agree: this is a fabulous album. The haunting "Please Understand" is my personal fave.

  3. Peggy and Bill are my parents. They are from California. They are still here, writing music and having no idea how much this album lives on on the web. My parents haven't touched a penny from this album since 1970. They met at Taft high. Bill was the mastermind, that's true. My mom's talent was real, though suppressed. We need to start our own site...there's so much more amazing music from that time period that they wrote and recorded.

  4. Thanks for the information Deborah. It's such great music. You should start a Sapphire Thinkers site.

  5. I came upon this fabulous website while looking for another vintage album and found the SAPPHIRE THINKERS From Within LP... It was a great album from a very talented and experimental rock band. I produced the album (at Sound City Studios - in SF Valley) and got them their record deal (...and had no clue that there were reissues on CD and/or the web?) All legalities aside, I hope this album finds the audience it deserves... Note: to Deborah, you were a tiny-tot when we did the LP - cute as a button. Regards, Richard D. Kaye -

  6. Thanks for adding your comment Richard. It's a fine album that's often played in my house.

  7. Interesting side note re: SAPPHIRE THINKERS (LP) - Bill Richmond's father Bill, Sr. worked in television production and asked the band to do a tripped-out version of Melancholy Baby for a TV comedy skit so we recorded the track as part of the Sound City sessions. In retrospect, it was a mistake as the record company chose it for the first (and only) single. Hobbit Records also placed it as the opening track which was a commercial sellout for the image of a progressive band... Recommendation for the next person who bootlegs the album; move Melancholy Baby to the end of the LP (as a bonus track) Richard D. Kaye producer -


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