Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Stay Where You Are, Little Man

Ahh - Miracle Legion. For a while back there it seemed as if they would take over the world...

The first mini-album came out in 1984 and was compared to REM, who'd just released Reckoning. The comparisons were partly valid but there were big differences as well. I heard John Peel play a couple of tracks so I bought it and waited for the uproar... nothing.


Miracle Legion - The Backyard (1984)

01 - The Backyard
02 - Butterflies
03 - Closer To The Wall
04 - Just Say Hello
05 - The Heart Is Attached
06 - Steven Are You There


So it was the mid-1980s and I was between bands and between jobs, and I found myself working as sound engineer in the Sir George Robey pub in Finsbury Park. I worked with loads of bands, some great, some rotten, but one of the best nights there was when Miracle Legion played. I recorded the gig for myself but got quite friendly with their roadie and swapped my live recording for a copy of their current demo tape. It was great (still is) and I played it non-stop - hence the deterioration in sound quality. Even so, it's fab.

Miracle Legion - Demos 1986

01 - Mr Mingo
02 - Ray
03 - And Then
04 - Heaven
05 - Crooked Path
06 - Paradise
07 - All For The Best
08 - Will You Wait
09 - Truly
10 - Country Boy
11 - Academy Fight Song
12 - Please


So first they headlined, and they went down so well that they came back and did their farewell gig of that tour as a last-minute support for Climax Blues Band. Now Climax were one of the *least* pleasant acts I worked with, and on this night they refused to let ML use any of their backline gear and also refused to move any of it to make room for them on the stage. So Miracle Legion set up on the floor in front of the stage (hence Mark Mulcahy's comment about 'welcome to the floor show') and just blew everybody apart. Most of the audience left after the support and then Climax did their dull thing to the remainder.

This isn't even a soundboard recording, I had my little walkman recorder gaffa'd to the wall - so the quality isn't great.

Miracle Legion - Live at the Robey

01 - Little Man
02 - Just Say Hello
03 - The Heart Is Attached
04 - All For The Best
05 - Paradise
06 - Mr Mingo
07 - Until She Talks
08 - Truly Truly Truly
09 - Butterflies
10 - The Storyteller
11 - Ray
12 - The Backyard
13 - Encores (Country Boy & Closer To The Wall)


Finally they signed to Rough Trade and the first album proper came out in 1987 - better quality studio versions of many of the tracks from the demo tape.

Unfortunately they'd kinda lost some of their impetus by then and in my opinion (though critics disagree) the follow-up - Glad - was a bit of a disappointment. By 'Me And Mr Ray' they were down to a duo (some great songs there though) and then they broke up. Mark Mulcahy went on to produce some realy nice & critically acclaimed solo albums, but for me they're not quite as good - or as fresh - as this early ML stuff. I guess we all have to grow up.

Miracle Legion - Surprise Surprise Surprise

01 - Mr Mingo
02 - All For The Best
03 - Paradise
04 - Truly
05 - Storyteller
06 - Country Boy
07 - Crooked Path
08 - Everyone In Heaven
09 - Wonderment
10 - Little Man



Anonymous Mr Mingo said...

Do they have to be on rapidshare only? I have problems always with rapidshare.

9:36 am  
Anonymous Mr Mingo said...

Thanks for putting these up my friend.
Love & Peace

9:36 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PLEASE put these on demonoid.com - Rapidshare ALWAYS returns an error

10:13 pm  
Anonymous Every day must I wait on you hand and foot? said...

Very very very nice. Thank you for sharing these tapes from so long ago...that Miracle Legion never hit the big time is proof of how screwed up the music industry is.

4:13 am  
Blogger Witchseason said...

I have never had a problem with Rapidshare since I bought my premium account - neither have I regretted spending the pittance it cost me. There's so much fantastic stuff there it's got to be worth at least one month subscription.

9:44 am  
Anonymous Mr Mingo said...

Is subscription the answer? I'd hate to cough up and still not get anything. I know there's a load of John Peel shows there too...

1:31 pm  
Anonymous MASS MoCA said...

For fans of Mark Mulcahy, MASS MoCA has a show of The Rosenbach Company, Saturday, July 8 at 8 PM.

Ben Katchor and composer Mark Mulcahy (co-creators of The Slugbearers of Kayrol Island) return to MASS MoCA with a new pop musical that mixes Katchor's projected animated images with live actors, singers, and musicians. The Rosenbach Company chronicles the life and times of Abe Rosenbach, the world's preeminent rare book dealer, and his brother and business partner Philip. The brothers' collection included such literary treasures as James Joyce's manuscript of Ulysses and the original illustrations for Alice in Wonderland; Katchor and Mulcahy use their story to explore the obsessive nature of collecting and the relationship between cultural and commercial pursuits.

Tickets are $20 orchestra, $16 mezzanine. MASS MoCA is in North Adams, in northern Berkshire County. To puchase tickets, call the box office at (413) MoCA 111, or visit www.massmoca.org.

8:59 pm  
Blogger needlebeard said...

Just ran across this and am very pleased. Suprise was a staple in my cassette deck in the late 80's and subsequently became the soundtrack for the strange summer of 88'. "Me & Mr. Ray" was such a beautiful document as well, and I remember dubbing that for everyone I knew for years.


3:20 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you so much for making the miracle legion albums available!

2:35 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great googly moogly, here I am six months later stumbling upon this post. Thanks so much for posting The Backyard. Goes way back to the college days - someone had this on vinyl and i had a tape, long since lost (or, stolen). This is great. Thank you. Memories . . .

5:16 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All of them have been deleted. It would be pretty cool if you could try to upload them again. (if not, I understand)

4:21 pm  
Blogger Kayla said...

Would you mind re-uploading these since the links no longer work?

12:05 am  
Anonymous Matt Rosvally said...

i beg you on my hands and knees to put this back up. i would demolish a city (metaphorically speeking) to get these music files. please please please please please make these music files available again

9:15 am  
Anonymous John said...

Thanks Man for the Miracle Legion. I was into them back in the 80s with the Backyard but then lost track of them. Thanks to you I have now bought a copy of Drenched just to get "So Good" - a beautiful track.

9:13 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i also request that you please re-post these fine, fine recordings!!

8:11 pm  
Blogger Tad Rifle said...

Hey, just adding another hopeful plead that you'll re-up these wonderful albums, as I only have them on vinyl and no way to rip it.


6:23 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice job. Unfortunately, the files are not available anymore. Can you upload them again?

Thanks a million.


11:32 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark Mulcahy and Mr. Ray (who is allergic to cheese)
used to put on such great shows. Like you said, they grew up and grew apart. Life marches on. Sorry to hear about Mark's wife though.

These should be re-posted for EVERYONE who missed them the first time. Honestly, that EP is one of the best EP's ever issued. Got the opportunity to see Mark and Michael Stipe sing together a couple of times, too.
Wonderful years!



4:16 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greetings to you Witchseason. I have just yesterday come across this amazing blog, and this morning, when browzing your earlier postings I nearly fell off my seat when I saw these three Miracle Legion postings. This band has long been a favourite of mine. Contemporary with the sp-called 'Paisley Underground' scene, though never really part of it, I used to have all of their early recordings, including the 'Surprise...' album on CD, which was only released in that format in Japan and is now super rare, but had to sell the stuff ages ago when short of money. I would dearly love to be able to download these three Miracle Legion items and so if you could possibly re-upload them, you would have one verrry grateful puppy in Ireland. Why their recordings have not been reissued on CD is beyoned me?? Hey, I used to be a fairly regular visitor to the George Robey (in Stoke Newington, if memory serves?)in the 80s when I lived in London for 10 years. A little garage band called Bad Karma Beckons were friends of mine (they included Tony Conway of Mood Six), and I saw them and others play there many times. I missed the Miracle Legion gig though. Anyway, please do consider re-uploading these three great items though; you would make me, and I'm sure many others, VERY HAPPY. Respect to0 you, Mike.

7:06 am  
Blogger Courtney said...

Is there any chance of a re-upload of these in the future or is there a way I could personally acquire them from you? Please? Really would love to have the demos and the live set!!

1:33 am  

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