Saturday, July 8, 2017

MARK DOYLE: Out Of The Past

My review of Mark Doyle's Out Of The Past appeared in the September 7, 2001 issue of Goldmine.

Instrumental whiz Mark Doyle first achieved notoriety in the early '70s as guitarist for Jukin' Bone (formerly Free Will), a solid rock group that released some records on RCA, but never could snag the big-time brass ring. Doyle went on to a number of studio gigs, both as a producer and player; his resume includes work with Meat Loaf and New Kids On The Block, and he co-wrote a song called "Five Personalities" for The Richards (a song also on the next album by The Flashcubes). He also worked extensively with former Jukin' Bone singer Jumpin' Joe Whiting in a variety of live and studio projects, and has begun issuing solo albums, exploring and expanding his craft as a studio multi-instrumentalist.

Doyle's second solo effort, Out Of The Past, is an instrumental workout on the idea of gettin' your kicks in 1966. Doyle uses a mix of covers and original tunes to interpret the vibe of mid-to-late '60s rock 'n' roll, with roots stretching back to the '50s. Although there is only one Yardbirds cover ("Still I'm Sad"), it's the spirit of that group that most clearly pervades Out Of The Past, its tracks subtly recalling the work of Yardbirds guitar god Jeff Beck even when Doyle is playing The Doors' "Crystal Ship." For those of us less-than-enamored with Jim Morrison--a minority opinion, sure--Doyle's take can even be considered an improvement on the original.

The album opens with Doyle's cover of The Doors' "Moonlight Drive" and concludes with his take on the Tommy Edwards hit "It's All In The Game." Doyle's own title tune is both the album's simplest track and its most effective, conjuring the fuzz-tinged image of great mid '60s singles, LP tracks, and B-sides with remarkable, delightful efficiency. A medley of The Rolling Stones' "Paint It, Black" with The Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby" works far better than you'd expect, and Doyle's version of The Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows" simply soars. Alongside these rock nuggets, Doyle eclectically places covers of  The Jazz Crusaders' "Young Rabbits" and Nat King Cole's "The Lonely One," plus a version of Cream's "Politician"--jeez, try to find that mix of artists within a single radio format!

But, you know, such a mix might have been conceivable circa '66, when Top 40 radio regularly played The Count V and Frank Sinatra on the same station. Out Of The Past offers a heady, accomplished tribute to that time, and succeeds as one talented artist's reinterpretation of what an exciting era it was.

Out Of The Past is but one of many fine recordings available directly from Mark at The above-mentioned recording of The Richards' "Five Personalities" is available on the compilation CD This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio, Volume 3, and The Flashcubes' version was released on their 2001 album Brilliant.

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