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Subject: Heart vs Mushroom Records

Written By: whistledog on 06/13/14 at 10:07 pm

In 1976, the rock band Heart made music history for women in rock music.  In 1977, it nearly came to an end in what is an interesting piece of music history.  Heart went on to become a major success, but in the process, crumbled one record label and several artists in the process.  It all started in Vancouver in 1974 with a new independent label called Mushroom Records ... 

http://rymimg.com/lk/f/b/6e8b0aae0a0b6306682640c48abda9ea/1167791.jpg

With few acts on the label, the newly created Mushroom Records took a chance on an up and coming band called Heart and not soon after, recording began on their debut album.  Released in 1975 (in Canada) and 1976 (in America), Dreamboat Annie hit the Top 10 across North America and produced 3 hit singles, 2 which made the Top 40. 

To further capitalize on this success, Mushroom Records VP Shelly Siegel had a full page ad (modeled after a tabloid cover) printed in a 1977 issue of Rolling Stone magazine, unbeknownst to the group, that had a suggestive headline that depicted the core members of Heart, Ann and Nancy Wilson, as if they were not only sisters, but lesbian lovers. 

http://www.superseventies.com/oaaa/oaaa_heart1.jpg

Heart eventually broke their contract and signed with Portrait Records.  In 1977, Siegel went ahead and released the unfinished 2nd album Magazine in 1977 without the bands consent.  Though it was technically the bands 2nd album, their first release on Portrait, Little Queen came out a month later.  Upset over the release of Magazine, the band took Mushroom to court and though about 50,000 copies of Magazine had already been sold, they were forced to recall the album.  Contractually, Heart still owed Mushroom a 2nd album, so they were ordered into the studio to finish it properly, and in 1978, Magazine was re-released.

Due to Siegel being tied up in the courts, Mushroom suffered financial problems resulting in the lack of promotion for singles and albums from other artists on the label, and suffered even worse fate when Siegel died unexpectedly from an aneurysm in 1979.  In 1980, Mushroom Records filed for bankruptcy.  The song Barracuda, as featured on Heart's Portrait album Little Queen, was written about Siegel after Ann was approached backstage at a concert and was asked by a reporter about her lesbian relationship with her sister.

Other than Heart, the only other act on Mushroom to find success after the collapse of the label was Chilliwack, who in 1980, were in the studio recording tracks for a 4th Mushroom album when they were kicked out and told the record label had gone under.  It worked out for them in the end though as the following year, they signed with Toronto based indie label Solid Gold Records, released their 9th album Wanna Be A Star and gave them the biggest hit of their career with the single My Girl (Gone Gone Gone) which became their first US Top 40 hit

Mushroom Studios, where Mushroom Records was based, continued to operate under new management as a generic recording studio up until 2010, when it relocated to Toronto

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f7/Mushroom_Studios.JPG


Between 1974-1980, Mushroom released 15 albums and 50 singles.

THE MUSHROOM ALBUMS:
1974 | Alexis Rose Radlin (self-titled)
1974 | Paul Horn - A Special Edition
1975 | New World Electronic Chamber Ensemble - Switched on Beatles
1975 | Jayson Hoover (self-titled)
1975 | Heart - Dreamboat Annie
1976 | Chilliwack - Dreams, Dreams, Dreams
1977 | Heart - Magazine
1977 | Paul Horn - Inside the Great Pyramid
1977 | Doucette - Mama Let Him Play
1978 | Lalo Schifrin - Dream Machine
1978 | Chilliwack - Lights From the Valley
1978 | Ian Matthews - Stealin' Home
1979 | Doucette - The Douce is Loose
1979 | Chilliwack - Breakdown in Paradise
1979 | Ian Matthews - Siamese Friends


THE MUSHROOM HIT SINGLES:
1974 | Songbird - I Believe
1974 | Jayson Hoover - Love Will Get You
1974 | Songbird - Dirty Work
1975 | Jayson Hoover - She's My Lady
1975 | Heart - Magic Man (original release in Canada)
1976 | Heart - Crazy on You
1976 | Heart - Magic Man (re-release in Canada)
1976 | Chilliwack - California Girl
1977 | Heart - Dreamboat Annie
1977 | Chilliwack - Fly at Night
1977 | Chilliwack - Something Better
1978 | Chilliwack - Baby Blue
1978 | Heart - Crazy on You (re-release)
1978 | Doucette - Down the Road
1978 | Doucette - Mama Let Him Play
1978 | Heart - Heartless
1978 | Chilliwack - Arms of Mary
1978 | Doucette - All I Wanna Do
1979 | Ian Matthews - Shake It
1979 | Chilliwack - Never the Same
1979 | Ian Matthews - Give Me An Inch
1979 | Doucette - Nobody
1979 | Doucette - Run Buddy Run
1980 | Chilliwack - Communication Breakdown



Subject: Re: Heart vs Mushroom Records

Written By: whistledog on 06/13/14 at 10:26 pm

I love Switched on Beatles by New World Electronic Chamber Ensemble.  It is a hard to find, but well executed album.  Instrumental electronic versions of Beatles songs?  You'd be surprised ...

I don't know if any singles were pulled from the album, but Strawberry Fields Forever should have been one of them, if it wasn't already

The New World Electronic Chamber Ensemble - Strawberry Fields Forever
dWrYcWXcMQg

Subject: Re: Heart vs Mushroom Records

Written By: Foo Bar on 06/14/14 at 2:08 am


I love Switched on Beatles by New World Electronic Chamber Ensemble.


Going through some ancient Moog stuff, it occurs to me just how much of it was classically influenced.  Wendy Carlos took it to the extreme with Switched-On Bach, but even in the case of something like the Beatles, who were still pretty current in 1975, the first generation of electronic musicians saw themselves as a revival of the classical tradition.

I'm currently grooving on the Sgt. Pepper's/Ob-La-Di-Ob-La-Da/Lady Madonna and imagining it as a 70s version of an 00s 8-bit remix, the principal difference being that in 1975 having eight whole bits instead of doing it all with analog circuitry would have been unthinkably expensive for something as silly as music.  Even 5-6 years later, Doris Norton was still on the bleeding edge of the tech spectrum for using 8-bit computers to make music.

Subject: Re: Heart vs Mushroom Records

Written By: warped on 06/14/14 at 6:36 am




THE MUSHROOM HIT SINGLES:
1974 | Songbird - I Believe
1974 | Jayson Hoover - Love Will Get You
1974 | Songbird - Dirty Work
1975 | Jayson Hoover - She's My Lady
1975 | Heart - Magic Man (original release in Canada)
1976 | Heart - Crazy on You
1976 | Heart - Magic Man (re-release in Canada)
1976 | Chilliwack - California Girl
1977 | Heart - Dreamboat Annie
1977 | Chilliwack - Fly at Night
1977 | Chilliwack - Something Better
1978 | Chilliwack - Baby Blue
1978 | Heart - Crazy on You (re-release)
1978 | Doucette - Down the Road
1978 | Doucette - Mama Let Him Play
1978 | Heart - Heartless
1978 | Chilliwack - Arms of Mary
1978 | Doucette - All I Wanna Do
1979 | Ian Matthews - Shake It
1979 | Chilliwack - Never the Same
1979 | Ian Matthews - Give Me An Inch
1979 | Doucette - Nobody
1979 | Doucette - Run Buddy Run
1980 | Chilliwack - Communication Breakdown





So many good songs here. 


In 1976, the rock band Heart made music history for women in rock music.  In 1977, it nearly came to an end in what is an interesting piece of music history.  Heart went on to become a major success, but in the process, crumbled one record label and several artists in the process.  It all started in Vancouver in 1974 with a new independent label called Mushroom Records ... 

http://rymimg.com/lk/f/b/6e8b0aae0a0b6306682640c48abda9ea/1167791.jpg

With few acts on the label, the newly created Mushroom Records took a chance on an up and coming band called Heart and not soon after, recording began on their debut album.  Released in 1975 (in Canada) and 1976 (in America), Dreamboat Annie hit the Top 10 across North America and produced 3 hit singles, 2 which made the Top 40. 




For those of us around back then, we thought Heart was a Canadian band from Vancouver.

Subject: Re: Heart vs Mushroom Records

Written By: Paul on 06/14/14 at 6:42 am

Arista handled the labels' output here, although apart from the obigatory Heart single - not much was released!

Not to be confused with another Mushroom label around at the time (but with a much bigger profile) in Australia, which spawned releases from Skyhooks, Split Enz and, er...Kylie Minogue!

Subject: Re: Heart vs Mushroom Records

Written By: whistledog on 06/14/14 at 8:02 am


So many good songs here. 

For those of us around back then, we thought Heart was a Canadian band from Vancouver.


They did qualify for Canadian Content as Artists, merely because they were living and working in Vancouver at the time.  It was only on the Mushroom label though, and it got quite confusing.  When Barracuda was released on Portrait Records in 1977, they were seen as the American band that they were, but when Mushroom re-released Crazy on You in 1978, the 45 had the CANCON logo.

I have a K-Tel album from 1976 called Canada's Finest and Crazy on You is on it

http://dkpresents.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/img_6375.jpg

Subject: Re: Heart vs Mushroom Records

Written By: whistledog on 06/14/14 at 8:08 am


Going through some ancient Moog stuff, it occurs to me just how much of it was classically influenced.  Wendy Carlos took it to the extreme with Switched-On Bach, but even in the case of something like the Beatles, who were still pretty current in 1975, the first generation of electronic musicians saw themselves as a revival of the classical tradition.


Moog synth songs seemed to be a big thing in the mid 70s.  Not chartwise by any means, but there was alot of it around


Not to be confused with another Mushroom label around at the time (but with a much bigger profile) in Australia, which spawned releases from Skyhooks, Split Enz and, er...Kylie Minogue!


I have a few Kylie CDs on the Mushroom Australia label

Subject: Re: Heart vs Mushroom Records

Written By: Foo Bar on 06/14/14 at 11:01 pm


Moog synth songs seemed to be a big thing in the mid 70s.  Not chartwise by any means, but there was alot of it around


Yeah, I've got a couple of tracks from that era that I'm still trying to track down, which is almost impossible when you have nothing but memories of bloops and bleeps, but no audio recording to upload and ask if anyone recognizes it.

Subject: Re: Heart vs Mushroom Records

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 06/25/14 at 1:29 am


Yeah, I've got a couple of tracks from that era that I'm still trying to track down, which is almost impossible when you have nothing but memories of bloops and bleeps, but no audio recording to upload and ask if anyone recognizes it.


I just happened to be listening to Disco Computer when I read this thread.  Amazing little gems from the disco era keep popping up on YouTube!

In the late nineties, the East Side Digital label reissued everything by W. Carlos, including previously unreleased material (such as "The Shining" score) and her new album Clockwork Black.  ESD is defunct, but you should be able find all W. Carlos' stuff on her website.  In spite of the cheesy marketing, Swtiched on Bach and The Well-Tempered Synthesizer are testaments to the Moog's capabilities.  As for seventies Johnny-come-latelies such as Switched-on Rock, Moogie-Woogie, and the Japanese composer Tomita, that depends on how much you like the Moog!

BTW, you can get the entire Clockwork Orange soundtrack now, which was pared down to fit on one LP before.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YABw-ksikLA

David Borden's group "Mother Mallard's Portable Masterpiece Co." claims to be the first all-synthesizer touring band.  They were from Ithica, Upstate New York, under the aegis of Dr. Robert Moog himself.  Most of their stuff is still in print on the Cuneiform label and I highly recommend it if you like minimalism, Moogs, space rock, and/or ambient music!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uO3bx0ACOas


As for Mushroom Records, Split Enz was a band who fared quite well after the label's demise.  Here's "Charlie" from the band's Mushroom years:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAdanOoO2Zg

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