Song of the day: The Master’s Apprentices – "Turn Up Your Radio"

January 2, 2011

Here are The Master’s Apprentices (with an apostrophe*) and a rip-roaring rocker:

The Master’s Apprentices – “Turn Up Your Radio” (1970)

Link

A few days ago I was informed by commenter Neil (Hi, Neil!) that Jim Keays, the band’s singer, said in an interview that the band’s name definitely doesn’t have an apostrophe in it. Be that as it may, but it doesn’t help when you have covers like these:

And record labels:

 And even on compilation albums:

So I’m reluctant to say that I’m not entirely inclined to believe the band’s singer, even though he would theoretically be the man to ask.

I’m sticking with what I see. And what I see is an apostrophe.

I also have an apology to make to commenter Neil. I told him that I was going to accept Jim Keays’ solemn avowal that the band doesn’t have an apolostrophe anywhere in its name, but faced with the above record covers and labels I just can’t do it. Sorry about that, Neil.

By the way, leaving aside contentious apostrophes, “Turn Up Your Radio” is a song I used to play in the band I was in – and thoroughly enjoyed it, because it’s a heap of fun to play.


Masters Apprentices official website

(*Don’t ask.)

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Song of the day: The Master’s Apprentices – "Living In A Child’s Dream"

May 31, 2010

Here are the The Master’s Apprentices, one of Australia’s heaviest 60’s rock bands, going all hippy in the late 60’s (didn’t everyone?) with a trippin’-on-childhood song:

The Master’s Apprentices – “Living In A Child’s Dream” (1967)

Link

A lot of rock bands went hippy in the late 60’s and The Master’s Apprentices were no exception, no doubt influenced by their time spent in England recording their first album whilst soaking up the local atmosphere (“Look! There’s John and Paul! There’s Mick! There’s Keith! Wow!” etc) and listening to every single British band going hippy. Speaking of influences, “Living In A Child’s Dream” reminds me of The Kinks when they went hippy. “Living In A Child’s Dream” probably doesn’t sound like The Kinks (you may be able to discern other influences), but that’s who I think of whenever I listen to the Apprentices’ ode to trippin’ out on acid and imaging you’re a kiddy playing with imaginary psychedelic toys.

By the way, I have a grammatical admendment to make:

In my previous post about the band, I called them “Master’s Apprentices” (no “The”) because that’s how they were billed on their 1970 album, Masterpiece. However, their self-titled debut album from 1967 looks like this:

Despite the blinding clarity of that cover, on subsequent single and album releases the band (or their record company, or their management, or their publicists, or someone) called them “Master’s Apprentices” or “Masters Apprentices” (without the apostrophe) or “The Masters Apprentices” (still without the apostrophe). Boy, rock music history can be confusing.

Despite the frequent slight but annoying (to me) name changes, I’m going with “The Master’s Apprentices”. It makes the most sense to me, so I’m sticking with it. That’s the name I’ll be using from now on if I post another one of their songs. And anyone who wants to “correct” me about that spelling will find themselves corresponding with an argumentative Peter. Full stop. (Or, as Americans say: Period.)

Official website (where they call themselves “Masters Apprentices” – why?)


Song of the day: The Master’s Apprentices – "5.10 Man"

October 25, 2009

Today’s song is by Australian rock gods The Masters Apprentices, a band renowned the land over. (When an Australian rock fan over the age of 30 hears the name “The Masters Apprentices”, the usual response is “Yeah!”). It’s their 1969 hit, “5.10 Man.” But before I let you listen to it, there are a few things I want to mention about both the band and the song…

Of all the bands sitting in the Pantheon of Australian rock history, I think The Master’s Apprentices are the weirdest. There are so many things that are odd about the band and their songs that I don’t quite know where to begin. But I’ll try. (I have a feeling I could write an entire thesis on the weirdness of this band, but I’ll limit the contents of this particular post to just the band’s name and today’s song. I’ll unleash my thoroughly unwarranted views on the band’s other songs as they appear on the blog in the future.)

OK, let’s start with the name. The band’s name varies depending on who you consult. Wikipedia calls them The Masters Apprentices. “So what? It’s a good name,” I hear you say. It is – but where’s the apostrophe? One of my pet linguistic hates is the inappropriate use of, or missing, apostrophes. It bothers me to see no apostrophes anywhere in this band’s name. To people who have better things to do with their time this will be no problem whatsover, but it bothers me. Are they (the band) apprentices of one master or a number of masters? In other words, are they The Master’s Apprentices or are they The Masters’ Apprentices? Or is Wikipedia messing with my mind?

This just occurred to me:

“The Masters Apprentices” (TME) = “The Missing Apostrophe” (TME)

Wikipedia’s definitely messing with my mind.

And so is Milesago. I love Milesago, as it’s probably the most authoritative online Australian rock encyclopedia, but they also call the band The Masters Apprentices. No apostrophe again. Grrr.

It seems that Wikipedia, Milesago, and plenty of others have all decided that the band’s name is The Masters Apprentices. Well, I decided to go to the source and consult the band itself.

“5.10 Man” was first released as a single in 1969 then appeared on the band’s second album, 1970’s Masterpiece. If you have a look at the album’s artwork, you can see how the band spelled their own name:

It’s “Master’s Apprentices”. Now, that makes sense.

Okay. I’m feeling much better now. (And I’ll try not to use the word “now” any more.)

Now, where was I? Oh yeah.

And another thing (I will get to the song eventually)…

The band’s many fans affectionately call the group The Masters. That’s wrong. The band aren’t The Masters. They’re The Apprentices. (It’s the apostrophe.)

OK, on to the song.

I find “5.10 Man” odd, odd, odd.

First, there’s the song’s introduction. It lasts eight seconds, and when I first heard it I was convinced the band was going to launch into “The Great Pretender.” Unfortunately, courtesy of that first hearing, every time I hear “5.10 Man”‘s introduction my brain automatically switches into “The Great Pretender” mode, ready for the wonderful voice of The Platters‘ lead singer Tony Williams accompanied by the fabulous harmonies from the rest of the group (I can hear it now: “O-ho, yes, I’m the great pretender / Oo-woo-oo-woo” etc). However, instead of “The Great Pretender,” “5.10 Man” settles into a standard boogie song. Well, a standard boogie song, that is, until the backing vocals appear…

Here’s the second weird thing about the song. Throughout the verses the backing vocals go “shoo-do-be-do-be-do-be-do” that go up and up and up, and I find them unsettling. I honestly don’t know if those voices are male or female. And I don’t know if they ought to be in a boogie song.

Third, there’s the minor-to-you-but-major-to-me bass note in the song’s middle eights. The bass guitar plays the wrong note at the end of each middle eight (at 1:12 and at 1:53), which I find distinctly unnerving (I was a bass player in a former life, so bass playing is precious to me – good bass playing even more so).

I will stop going on about this and actually let you listen to the song, but there are a couple more things I want to let you know about.

Fourth, there’s what seems to be a very clumsy edit at 2:06. The entire sound of the song changes right there. And it’s incredibly noticeable. If I didn’t know better (and I don’t), I’d say a completely different song was grafted on to the existing one.

And then…

After that clumsy edit comes, without a doubt, the weirdest part of the song: the band goes all 50’s a cappella on the listener (at 2:09), like they’re in a doo-wop group. I don’t know why.

And it’s around here that this song is starting to freak me out in a big way.

Anyway, as the doo-wop continues, the boogie music comes back in and then they all fade out.

OK. I think that’s it. I think I’ve said everything I wanted to say about the song.

By now, you may have the impression that I don’t like the song (I know I would), but that’s not the case. I like it, but…

It weirds me out, man.

And now, finally, the song. Hopefully you’ll still want to listen to it, despite my unhelpful nitpicking. Thanks for perservering.

Master’s Apprentices – “5.10 Man” (1969)

Link

(Thanks go to Col who reminded me that I hadn’t posted anything at all about the Master’s Apprentices. As Col said: “What, no Master’s Apprentices? And this is supposed to be an Australian power pop blog?”)