Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Silver Laughter (USA, 1976 - 1978)

This Iowa group released 2 LPs. Both are listed in the Acid Archives book which includes the following comments:
Handle With Care - ... a mixture of Beatles-inspired 1970s pop and backwoods rural rock ... the more countrified and boogie rock songs are pretty bad ... about two-thirds of this is very good.
Sailing On Fantasies - ... drops all of the backwoods aspirations of the first ... confident, inspired pop band and the album is solid straight through.

In addition to the 2 LPs, there are at least 2 45s with tracks from each LP.

Silver Laughter - Angela (Angel Love) / No One Can Do It 7" (Fanfare 4064, 1976)
Silver Laughter - Don't Feel Bad / Turn It Down (You're Too Loud) 7" (Fanfare 4076, 1978)

Since my original post I received more info from Mike (now Mick) Orton (bass and keyboards). If you are interested in original LPs or CDs you can reach him at: mick (at) sfresidence.com. He also has created a Silver Laughter web site.
Here is some of the info that Mick provided: 
The first album, Handle With Care, was a collection of songs. Some were written by Jon for his band, Silver Laughter, before I joined; some were my songs from my band, The Contents Are (later called Tabernash). The rest were written specifically for Handle with Care. That is why the thing sounds kind of disjointed. One of the reviews noticed that the first album did not have the cohesiveness of the second album. All of those tunes on Sailing on Fantasies were written and arranged at about the same time.

A little background is that my daughter found an article on Silver Laughter’s Sailing on Fantasies with a reference to Handle With Care.  It had a few inaccuracies when it was published at http://www.glorydazemusic.com/articles.php?article_id=4407, so I contacted the author and gave him more background. This caused him to write a second review for PopGeekHeaven http://www.popgeekheaven.com/music-discovery/lost-treasures-silver-laughter.

Handle With Care
Goin’ to be Mine and Grey, Cloudy Skies were songs I wrote and recorded with The Contents Are:/Tabernash while Getaway Woman, Take My Money and Whiskey Heaven were songs written by Jon for the original Silver Laughter (before me).
The rest of the songs were written and arranged by Jon and me for the album. Jon and I loved the Lennon and McCartney collaboration and adopted it for ourselves regardless of who came up with the original idea.

Sailing on Fantasies
Silver Laughter was a touring band that played around the Midwest and Canada. We would spend two to three weeks at a time in night clubs with an occasional one nighter at ballrooms around the cities in which we were popular. During the day, if we weren’t learning new cover songs to keep the dance crowds happy, Jon and I were writing songs for the second album. The band rehearsed to get the basic arrangements. Once we were in the studio we started adding layers. The only thing we didn’t do were the strings and horns which were recorded after the studio sessions were completed. Bob Parker, a friend of our manager, Art “Smart” Stenstrom, wrote the horn and string arrangements with input from the band. The first horn arrangement on Don’t Feel Bad made it sound like a game show theme song which we nixed right away.

These days the band is spread all over the country, but we are still in touch. If there ever was a reunion, the original drummer, Kim Ludtke (Jon’s brother) would probably play. He was the first drummer when I joined, then Paul (from The Contents Are:) took over. After Paul decided to quit, Kim was coming back. We played a few jobs and had publicity photos taken, but broke up shortly afterward.

The original band after I joined, left to right clockwise: Kim Ludtke - drums, Mike (now Mick) Orton – bass and keyboards, Mark Zaputil – lead guitar and Jon Ludtke – lead and rhythm guitar at the bottom center.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am the bassist and co-songwriter for both Silver Laughter albums. I have CD's and original vinyl pressings from the 1970's. I can be reached by e-mail at mick@sfresidence.com