The Masked Marauders, The – The Masked Marauders (1970)

r-2378380-1386876683-1351_jpegThe Masked Marauders is a record album released on the Warner Bros. Reprise/Deity label in the fall of 1969 that was part of an elaborate hoax concocted by Rolling Stone magazine.

In its October 18, 1969 issue, Rolling Stone ran a tongue-in-cheek review of a non-existent album that purportedly captured a “super session” of the era’s leading rock and roll musicians, including Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, John Lennon, and Paul McCartney. The review claimed that none of the artists could be listed on the jacket cover because of contractual agreements with their recording companies. The editors involved decided to extend the joke by hiring a relatively obscure band to record an actual album and then secured a deal with Warner Bros. As an indication of how many people were taken in by the joke, The Masked Marauders fell just short of making Billboard’s Hot 100.

The Masked Marauders began as a spoof dreamed up by Rolling Stone editor Greil Marcus. Under the pseudonym T.M. Christian (a reference to Terry Southern’s novel The Magic Christian), Marcus wrote a satiric review of a fictitious double bootleg album in collaboration with record reviewer Bruce Miroff. The review was intended to parody the “supergroup” trend then taking place (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Blind Faith and Led Zeppelin) and was also inspired by Great White Wonder, a double album of unreleased Dylan recordings often credited as the first bootleg.

Many readers, however, took the review seriously, despite its obvious jokes:

  • “Produced by Al Kooper, the album was recorded with impeccable secrecy in a small town near the site of the original Hudson Bay Colony in Canada.”
  • “The LP opens with an eighteen-minute version of ‘Season of the Witch’ (lead vocal by Dylan, on which he does a superb imitation of early Donovan). The cut is highlighted by an amazing jam between bass and piano, both played by Paul McCartney.”
  • “Dylan shines on Side Three, displaying his new deep bass voice, with ‘Duke of Earl‘.”
  • “Paul showcases his favorite song, ‘Mammy,’ and while his performance is virtually indistinguishable from Eddie Fisher‘s version, it is still very powerful, evocative, and indeed, stunning. And they say a white boy can’t sing the blues!”
  • “It can truly be said that this album is more than a way of life; it is life.”

Tracklist

  1. “I Can’t Get No Nookie” (The Masked Marauders) – 5:29
    • Features vocals by a Mick Jagger impersonator. This track is sometimes mislabeled as an outtake from the Rolling Stones’ Jamming with Edward sessions.
  2. Duke of Earl” (E. Dixon, E. Edwards, B. Williams) – 3:21
    • Also briefly incorporates “Blue Moon” (Rodgers, Hart).
    • Features vocals by a Bob Dylan impersonator.
  3. “Cow Pie” (The Masked Marauders) – 2:18
    • Mainly instrumental, but features brief vocals by a Bob Dylan impersonator.
  4. “I Am The Japanese Sandman (Rang Tang Ding Dong)” (A. Williams) – 3:45
  5. “The Book Of Love” (W. Davis, C. Patrick, G. Malone) – 2:21
    • Also briefly incorporates “Norwegian Wood” (J. Lennon, P. McCartney).
    • The group’s John Lennon impersonator is heard speaking briefly at the end of this track
  6. “Later” (W. Davis, C. Patrick, G. Malone) – 1:11
    • A continuation of “The Book Of Love”.
  7. “More or Less Hudson’s Bay Again” (The Masked Marauders) – 3:31
    • Features vocals by a Bob Dylan impersonator.
  8. Season of the Witch” (Donovan Leitch) – 10:13
    • Features vocals by the Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan impersonators.
  9. “Saturday Night at the Cow Palace” (The Masked Marauders) – 1:30
    • A spoken monologue atop a piano rendition of “Cow Pie,” with a disgruntled voice profanely denouncing the album as a rip-off.

Companies, etc.

Musicians

  • Langdon Winner: Piano and Backing Vocals
  • Annie “Dynamite” Johnson: Vocals and Percussion
  • Phil Marsh: Vocals and Guitar
  • Brian Voorheis: Vocals, Guitar and Harmonica
  • Vic Smith: Bass
  • Anna Rizzo: Drums
  • Mark “The Fox” Voorheis: Drums and Vocals on “Saturday Night at the Cow Palace”
  • Gary Salzman: Lap Steel
  • Luke Wienecke: Organ
  • Allen Chance: Vocals on “More or Less Hudson’s Bay Again”
  • Producer – Deity Records

Notes
Released: November 1969
Recorded: October 1969
Genre: Rock
Style: Folk Rock, Parody, Classic Rock
Length: 33:39

Label – Deity Records

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