Thursday, 10 May 2007

Larry Marks - LA Breakdown (And Take Me In)

Larry Marks - LA Breakdown (And Take Me In) (A&M 969. 1968)

Here's a gorgeous piece of 60's pop I've been enjoying a lot lately.

Larry also produced the Merry-Go-Round, Gene Clark, The Flying Burrito Brothers and Phil Ochs, amongst others.

Update
Larry Marks has kindly been in touch. Here's what he has to say:

"It was my first 45 release and I haven't produced in years. I never aspired to be an Artist, but we all had so much freedom, so I put the chart together and recorded it at the tail end of a session I was doing for another Artist.


Everyone liked it so we released it. The next thing I know is that it is in heavy rotation in Seattle and they want me to hit the road. I was in my mid-twenties with a wife and 2 kids and performing was the last thing on my mind. The record made noise, but wasn't a hit. Jack Jones covered it as the title song of his next album."

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

I searched Google for "L. A. Breakdown and Take Me In" and your blog post came up of just 4 days ago. I started thinking about this incredible song, which landed on my desk in 1969 recorded by Jack Jones in an album of the same name. I was music director for KITY FM in San Antonio, Texas at the time. The incredible melody and lyrics have never left my memory. I am determined to find this recording and get it to Michael Buble or a similar artist in the hope that it will be again released. I think that the lyrics will have a special meaning to so many who have come to L.A. to stake their fame and fortune.

RP said...

Thanks for the comments.

I haven’t heard the Jack Jones song, I will hunt that one down. This certainly is a song that needs resurrecting!

mike brydalski said...

"LA Breakdown" is great but the B side is at least as good or better.
Did he (Larry Marks)record more stuff for either A&M (Phil Ochs, Lee Michaels) or Columbia for which he was a staff producer(Gene Clark) I believe he was part of the "compact disc group" back in '82 when Phillips was looking for people to start a CD factory in the USA due to the fact that threre were only 2 plants in the world at that time.
Where is Larry Marks
Is he alive?
why cant I buy his stuff?
Somebody must know this guy.
99.99% of the people dont know of him
thats a pity but somebody must


MIke Brydalski
Buffalo, New York

RP said...

Hi Mike,

Glad you enjoyed the songs.

Perhaps he's still working for A&M? He is listed on this site as A&M staff;
www.onamrecords.com/AM_Staff.html

But it doesn't give any dates he was employed.

RP

Leo said...

Larry Marks produced a wealth of great stuff, including the first two American albums for Helen Reddy, "I Don't Know How To Love Him" and "Helen Reddy". Reddy does a marvellous job with his "L.A. Breakdown" on the first one of the two.

art said...

Interesting to read the posts on Larry Marks...I have this record and at least one more 45 by him. The other one is called "Move" and is the title track from a 1970 movie featuring Elliot Gould. I've seen the movie, at least part of it, on TV. Of course, Marks also produced the great Merry Go Round band with Emmitt Rhodes.I too am now curious as to his history!

RP said...

I know Larry recorded at least 3 singles under his own name:

1) L.A. Breakdown/Country Woman (A&M 969. 1968)
2) Up on the High Side/River Ride (A&M 1093. 1969)
3) Home/Move (A&M Records 1215. 1970)

I've been unable to track down the other two A&M 45s, so I'd be very interested in hearing the "Home/Move" 45!

RP

art said...

RP, thanks for that little discography...I have "Move" on a promotional white-label single with "Move" on both sides and never knew until now what the commercial issue b-side was...I wish I was computer savvy enough to upload it! It sounds a lot different than "LA Breakdown", it's more of a jazz-pop number with humorous lyrics, sung almost Sinatra-style. I wonder if a soundtrack was ever issued for the movie.

Anonymous said...

This 45 reached the Top 40 in San Antonio, Texas on KONO when it was released. I drove over to Comer's Music is North Star Mall and bought the single and played the heck out of it. 40 years later, it is still a favorite.

Anonymous said...

I had this as a single. I loved the song. The arrangement was incredible. Please let Mr. Marks know this was a special song for me. I appreciate his time in recording it. He rocks!!!

Holly

Chuck C said...

I love this song. I have searched for a digital version since I've played the original so much I can almost hear the B-side while still enjoying what has got to be one of my favorite songs of all time.

gwen sampe said...

Have you heard the Shirley Horn version, recorded during her concert in Paris, 1992 I think?

A. Saunderson said...

I have the LA Breakdown LP by Jack Jones and it is one of my favorites. I bought it back in Minneapolis back in '68.

Jack Jone is certainly one of the greatest male vocalists of our time.

When I have a chance, I'd like to transfer the album to a CD.

Mike said...

I wish I had seen this back in 2007 when it was first posted. I've enjoyed the Jack Jones version, with Pat Williams arrangement since it came out. I have an online music stream and that song is part of the playlist.

The music stream is mainly middle of the road (MOR) artists and music:
www.mormemories.com

Thanks for the information.

Mike

Rod Beauchamp said...

I used to love this song growing up in Gainesville Florida i guess they plyed it on WGGG or WDVH or both >
In the age of the internet I was able to find it by Helen Reddy and the comments here

Anonymous said...

I left the first comment on this post on May 15, 2007 and I have finally found Jack Jones "L.A. Breakdown" on You Tube. Here is the link. Enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULUnll4HGxY

Dick Ellingson said...

I'm listening to "L.A. Break Down" by Jack Jones right now on the computer. I've looked for this great record for years - used record shops, Goodwill, yard sales etc. But after surfing for it for many months, I found a place to download it and did so about a year ago. Can't even remember where. But I will email a copy to put on your site (which I just found) if you would like.

furrball said...

Here's an updated YouTube link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOXu3M1gNuk

Enjoy

Paul Galvan said...

OMG, I just found this site while searching for the lyrics to LA
Breakdown. I bought the 45 back in 68, and still have it. One of
my all time FAVORITE songs. I bought the Jack Jones album,
and though I like Jack's voice, his version of the song does not
compare to the original. Larry's voice is absolutely perfect
for that song. Plus his arrangement is superb.
IMHO, no one else does justice to the song besides Larry Marks.