The Music Machine – (Turn On) The Music Machine (1967)

the-music-machine-turn-on-1966-%d0%ba%d0%be%d0%bf%d0%b8%d1%80%d0%be%d0%b2%d0%b0%d1%82%d1%8cThe Music Machine was an American rock band formed in Los Angeles, California in 1966. Fronted by chief songwriter and lead vocalist Sean Bonniwell, the band cultivated a characteristically dark and rebellious image reflected in an untamed musical approach. Sometimes it made use of distorted guitar lines and hallucinogenic organ parts, punctuated by Bonniwell’s distinctively throaty vocals. Although they only briefly managed to attain national chart success with two singles, the Music Machine is today considered by many critics to be a one of the groundbreaking acts of the 1960s. Their style is now recognized as a pioneering force in proto-punk; yet within a relatively short period of time, they began to employ more complex lyrical and instrumental arrangements that went beyond the typical garage band format.
(Turn On) The Music Machine is their debut album, and was released on Original Sound Records on December 31, 1966. It arrived just months after the group’s hit single, “Talk Talk“, propelled to number 15 on the national charts. Although the album was hastily recorded to capitalize on the Music Machine’s popularity, (Turn On) The Music Machine managed to become a moderate hit on the Billboard 200, and is hailed today as a classic garage rock piece. Another single, “The People in Me” was also released in support of the albumThe album includes five cover versions — “Cherry, Cherry“, “Taxman“, “See See Rider“, “96 Tears“, and “Hey Joe” — that were recorded for a local dance club in Los Angeles called 9th Street West, but were never intended to be featured on (Turn On) The Music Machine. However, the group’s record producers insisted that the songs would improve record sales, a decision that Bonniwell recalled made him feel “artistically crest-fallen and infuriated”. Still, Bonniwell regarded the Music Machine’s arrangement of “Hey Joe” as innovative, invoking a slow, moody nuance that is strikingly similar to Jimi Hendrix‘s more well-known version. All of the remaining tracks were penned by Bonniwell, including the melodically complex “Trouble”, the reflective ballad “Some Other Drum”, which hinted at the musical direction the group would later take, and “Wrong”, a song written in a similar style to “Talk Talk”. Perhaps the most accomplished piece other than “Talk Talk” is “Masculine Intuition”. Bonniwell explained the song is “very tricky for non-musicians. They really can’t quite figure out what it is…I’ve had other musicians tell me, their bands have tried to play that song, and they can’t. There’s two sections–it’s called a turnaround, and I invert two chords. And if you don’t pick up on it, there’s no way you can play the song”..


  1. Talk Talk” – 1:56
  2. “Trouble” – 2:11
  3. Cherry, Cherry” (Neil Diamond) – 3:12
  4. Taxman” (George Harrison) – 2:33
  5. “Some Other Drum” – 2:29
  6. “Masculine Intuition” – 2:08
  7. The People in Me” – 2:53
  8. See See Rider” (Ma Rainey, Lena Arant) – 2:29
  9. “Wrong” – 2:16
  10. 96 Tears” (Rudy Martinez) – 2:17
  11. “Come on In” – 2:54
  12. Hey Joe” (Billy Roberts) – 4:12

All songs written by Sean Bonniwell except where noted.


Released: December 31, 1966
Recorded: November 1966, RCA Studios, Los Angeles, California
Genre: Garage / Psychedelic
Length: 29:48

Label – Original Sound

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