Tuesday, September 09, 2008

MARTHA & THE MUFFINS


"Canada's all time best new wave band, our answer to Blondie."



"Martha and the Muffins is one of the main reasons that the '80's were a cool decade."

Country:
Canada
Genre:
Electronic, Rock
Style:
New Wave, Synth-pop


Members :
Martha Johnson
Mark Gane
Leo Valvassori - Cello (2005-)(
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonardo_Valvassori and http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=50984832)
Jocelyne Lanois - Bass (1981-1983,2005-)


Former members:
Andy Haas - Saxophone (1978-1981)
David Millar - Guitar (1977-1978)
Carl Finkle - Bass (1977-1980)
Tim Gane - Drums (1977-1983)
Martha Ladly - Keyboard,Vocal (1978-1980)
Nick Kent (ex-CeeDees,see:
http://jam.canoe.ca/Music/Pop_Encyclopedia/C/CeeDees.html) - Drums (1982-1983)
Mick Kent - Drums (
http://www.artistdirect.com/nad/music/artist/credits/0,,452667,00.html
(1979-1980)


VIDEO
"Echo Beach"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BR-y49bxSIY
















METRO MUSIC (1980)

Credits:
Andy Haas - Saxophone
Carl Finkle - Bass
Mark Gane - Synthesizer, Guitar
Martha Johnson - Keyboards, Vocals
Martha Ladly - Trombone, Keyboards, Vocals, Treble
Mick Kent - Drums
Mike Howlett (
http://www.mikehowlett.co.uk/) - Producer, Sequencing
Richard Manwaring - Engineer
Tim Gane - Drums


Tracklist:

01 Echo Beach
02 Paint By Number Heart
03 Saigon
04 Indecision
05 Terminal Twilight
06 Cheesies And Gum
07 Hide And Seek
08 Monotone
09 Sinking Land
10 Revenge (Against The World)
11 Cheesies And Gum
Bonus:
12 Copacabana (B-side of Saigon 7" 1980)


Link to download:
http://rapidshare.com/files/143317709/memu.rar.html

Read these:
http://www.furious.com/PERFECT/marthaandthemuffins.html

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/posted/archive/2008/07/14/song-s-creator-goes-back-to-echo-beach.aspx

"An incredible debut album, and one that both stands the test of time and serves as an excellent sampler of a distinct era and sound called new wave. Hailing from Toronto, though recorded in England by Mike Howlett, the Marthas (there were two Marthas in the original lineup, Johnson and Ladly), and their Muffins recorded energetic and fun pop songs. Just try standing still during the brilliant "Echo Beach" or "Paint By Number Heart." They also managed to write some pretty powerful and intelligent lyrics on this album; just listen to the beauty of "Saigon," featuring haunting vocals from the Marthas, and excellent playing from the band. Mark Gane stands out with his distinctive guitar, featured prominently throughout the album, and Andy Haas provides some very catchy, memorable sax solos. The album also features witty, almost silly songs, such as "Cheesies and Gum," simplistic and hilarious, with a heavy dance beat. Perhaps the only negative aspect of the album is the production; Howlett at times seems to want to focus on the pure pop aspect, while not allowing the band to have their own distinct sound. It is the production that dates the album, but nevertheless, the brilliance of the songs shines through. ~ Aaron Badgley, All Music Guide

"This is a classic you will never tire of listening to, since I've been listening to it for over 20 years. The music is very straight forward and sincere. My favorite tracks being Revenge (against the world), Echo Beach, Indecision, Monotone,...heck I LOVE the whole album! Though not a well known group, no 80's collection would be complete without them to reference from."

"this album was for me and my brother the best album of the 80's. We must have worn the the thing out 3 times I highly recommend it. But it is like all music it places us in a time and a place that can not be reproduced where our memory is fused with the the moment for life ENJOY!"

"This album is the ultimate in avaerage. Sure theres some good songs and all, but I dont care for anything about this album, the singer seems to agree with. Techniclly her voice is fine, but it annoys me like nothing else. She just sounds so BORED with the song when she sings."

"Metro music is a sophisticated punk new wave music with saxophone. The bass is particularly good with its elaborated patterns, Never boring. The female lead vocals fits well with the style. There is rather brief discrete electric guitar sounds with no distortion. The ensemble is very rythmic. There are some keyboards that give a new wave personality. This record is a bit margin, but the songs, not flashy, are rather pleasant to listen"


"Excellent musicians, experimenting and finding a style. Refreshing for the time, and a plus in the column of the Toronto Music scene."

"It's a safe bet that anyone over a certain age with an ear to the charts will remember Martha and the Muffins' "Echo Beach". Though it was (in my humble opinion) one of the best post punk pop records of the era (and certainly the best by a Canadian outfit featuring two women called Martha), the band never managed to trouble the compilers of the top 20 again.
Fronted by keyboardist/singer/trombonist Martha Johnson and guitarist Mark Gane, M+M (as they were later to become) spun dispassionate, witty tales of boredom, longing and paranoia in a manner not dissimilar to that of Talking Heads. However, they had a pure pop sensibilty that put them in a slightly different bracket from the hordes of Art school rockers doing the rounds at the time, coupled with an unwillingness to let themselves be taken too seriously (that disappeared later when they hooked up with producer Daniel Lanois).
"Echo Beach" is of course a pretty good encapsulation of all these qualities, but all the tracks on this reissued and remastered debut show that their one hit wonder status wasn't for lack of good material. The formula is pretty consistent throughout; taut, metronomic rhythms topped off with Gane's chiming, minimal guitar figures add up to pared down powerpop heaven.Andy Haas's raspy tenor sax recalls Andy Mackay's work with Roxy Music, and Johnson's occasionally cheesy keyboards prefigure the Farfisa driven ironies of Stereolab. Johnson sings in a slightly detached fashion, while Martha Ladly (later of the Associates) goes for a more emotive approach ("Hide and Seek", "Revenge") with more mixed results.
Most of all, the Muffins had good tunes; "Paint by Number Heart" and "Indecision" are viral in their catchiness. While the slightly dour "Sinking Land" prefigures their later ambient experiments, Metro Music is for the most part untouched by the pretensions and angst that afflicted many of their greatcoated contemporaries.Oh, and it's got 'Echo Beach" on it too..."

(http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/release/bz9x/)






















TRANCE AND DANCE (1980)

Credits:
Andy Haas - Saxophone
Carl Finkle - Bass
David Millar - Live Sound
Mark Gane - Synthesizer, Guitar, Vocals
Tim Gane — Percussion, Drums
Martha Johnson - Keyboards, Vocals
Martha Ladly - Trombone, Keyboards, Vocals, Treble, Illustrations, Cover Painting
Mike Howlett - Producer
Peter Saville (
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Saville) - Art Direction, Design
Richard Manwaring - Engineer


Tracklist:

01 Luna Park
02 Suburban Dream
03 Was Ezo
04 Teddy The Dink
05 Symptomatic Love
06 Primal Weekend
07 Halfway Through The Week
08 Am I On?
09 Motorbikin’
10 About Insomnia
11 Be Blase
12 Trance And Dance


Link to download:
http://rapidshare.com/files/143292019/trada.rar.html

"The second album from Martha and the Muffins is something of a disappointment after the brilliant Metro Music. The album sounds rushed and disjointed, as if the band were pressured into capitalizing on the instant fame achieved with their debut. In fact, some of the songs on this release date back to before Metro Music, indicating that the band did not have time to write enough new songs for an album. As with their debut, the band themselves play wonderfully, and there are some wonderful songs on it, such as the highlight, "Symptomatic Love." Martha Johnson's vocals for this track are flawless, and the song features great lyrics that in their apparent simplicity say a great deal. "Suburban Dream," "Be Blasé," "Luna Park," and "Was Ezo" are other standout cuts that demonstrate the brilliance of this band. Once again, the production is something of a problem, as the energy of the band (as clearly demonstrated on the free live EP enclosed with initial pressings) is not caught in the studio. Quite simply, Mike Howlett did not know how to produce this band (this was to be the last album he produced for them). This album marks the first time the band covered a song, Chris Spedding's "Motorbikin'," an interesting choice, but not one that suits Martha and the Muffins. This album was also to be the last featuring the original lineup, as Martha Ladly would leave to pursue a solo career shortly after the release, and Carl Finkle simply quit the band. Overall, something of a disappointment after such a brilliant start. ~ Aaron Badgley, All Music Guide

"I guess I'm the only one who considers this an improvement over their (also good) first album.
One review I read of this online described it as "too dance-y" in comparison to the previous album. I say that the only thing more "dance-y" about this than Metro Music is its title. It sounds just like Metro Music, actually... but better. The band don't sound like they're fumbling around as much. They sound like they realize all the minor flaws with their first album and are correcting them here.
I love it. I like all of these songs (though they sound like a lot of other bands of that time--they have that Rough Trade sound, like Delta 5 or Kleenex, which is what keeps me from giving this fun record a solid 5.) It's good stuff. 4.5 stars. Eat me."

"its got some pretty bad reviews, but i really like this record. saxophones, girl sings and its a little dancey and a little post punky. i think its actually very good sounds sorta like romeo void. i havent heard their other stuff, so maybe this isnt as good in comparison?"




LIVE IN CHICAGO (1980)

Credits:
Andy Haas - saxophone
Mark Gane - Guitar
Tim Gane - Drums
Carl Finkle - Bass
Martha Johnson - Keyboards, Vocals


Tracklist:

01 Trance And Dance
02 Am I On

03 Suburban Dream
04 Hide And Seek
05 Saigon
06 Be Blasé
07 Symptomatic Love
08 Terminal Twilight
09 Halfway Through The Week
10 Luna Park
11 Indecision
12 Echo beach
13 Primal Weekend
14 Paint By Number Heart
15 Cheesies And Gum
16 Motorbikin'


Link to download:
http://rapidshare.com/files/143296068/lieig.rar.html



THIS IS THE ICE AGE (1981)

Credits:
Alyx Skriabow - Vocals, Vocals (Background)
Sandy Horne (
http://saltyka.blogspot.com/2006/11/spoons.html) - Vocals,Vocals (Background)Andy Condon - Handclapping
Nick Gane - Castanets, ?, Noise
Andy Haas - Saxophone, Sax (Alto), Treble
Corinne Plomish (
http://home.cogeco.ca/~cplomish/Index.html) - Vocals, Vocals (Background)
Daniel Lanois (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Lanois) - Percussion, Vocals, Vocals (Background), Producer, Engineer, Treatments
George Axon (
http://www.axonbranding.com/) - Percussion
Glen Schellenberg (
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glenn_Schellenberg) - Piano
Gordon Deppe (
http://saltyka.blogspot.com/2006/11/spoons.html) - Vocals, Vocals (Background)
Jocelyne Lanois - Bass, Percussion, Vocals (Background)
Mark Gane - Guitar, Percussion, Vocals, Treatments
Produced by Daniel Lanois / Martha and the Muffins


VIDEO:
"Women Around The World At Work"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7avJBkLGWg

Tracklist:

01 Swimming
02 Women Around The World At Work
03 Casualties Of Glass
04 Boy Without Filters
05 Jets Seem Slower In London Skies
06 This Is The Ice Age
07 One Day In Paris
08 You Sold The Cottage
09 Three Hundred Years/Chemistry
10 I'm No Good At Conversation
11 Twenty-two In Cincinnnati


Link to download:
http://rapidshare.com/files/143338465/icge.rar.html

"It all came together on this album for Martha & the Muffins. Working with a new producer, a young Daniel Lanois, and a new bass player (Daniel's sister, Jocelyne), the band seemed to have the freedom to produce their sound their way. And it worked in a big way. From the first track, the incredible "Swimming," to the fantastic closer "Three Hundred Years/Chemistry," this album is a multi-layered, unforgettable experience. Mark Gane wrote the majority of the album, and he branches out both in his writing and his playing, while Martha Johnson produces one of her finest songs, the exquisite "One Day in Paris." The humor is still there, but now somewhat bittersweet, as evidenced in the wonderful "You Sold the Cottage," a wonderful companion piece to their single "Echo Beach" in that it showed just how much this band had grown in two years, and how much more mature their sound had become. A very strong album, one that would appeal to a great many tastes if given the chance; not instantly accessible, but well worth the effort of several listens. There are no real highlights, as the entire album is a standout, and also groundbreaking, with several production techniques still being used today. [A Canadian version of the CD was released in 2005.] ~ Aaron Badgley, All Music Guide

"The legendary masterpiece of the 80's New Wave genre is finally out on CD more than 20 years after its original vinyl release. This record sprang from the ashes of Canada's top New Wave band, best known for the rousing single "Echo Beach". The original band had two Marthas, and one of them (Mart
ha Ladly) had gone solo under the name "Martha". But the remnants of the original band distilled upon the lead singer Martha Johnson and lead song writer and guitarist Mark Gane. And from this turmoil came startling freedom. New Wave music was about more than just reclaiming the dance floor for rock-n-roll, it was about breaking the bounds of style. Myriad influences, quirky instrumentation, dissonant tonalities, ironic humor--these were all part of the mix. This record is a classic of the genre. It opens with with the clatter of Toronto street noise which then weaves into the snaky trance of "Swimming". The single "Women Around the World at Work" comes next with a completely different mood. And on and on. The title track "This is the Ice Age", surely the perfect accompaniment for an existential bike ride, "an unfinished memory". "One Day in Paris" is heartbreaking, while "You Sold the Cottage" is a zany romp. The standout centerpiece. "Boy without Filters", has Mark Gane singing lead, Martha providing vocal atmospherics, and is enough alone to recommend checking out this album. A brilliant, haunting piece of music."

"as much as I like martha & the muffins, I have to admit this album only has a few good songs on it. "Swimming" is excellent and "Women around the world at work" is perhaps the other strong track. "One day in Paris" is a beautiful track as well. But three good tracks doesn't give the album quite enough to make it noteworthy. This album did mark progress in the right direction for the group with the next three albums being progressively better. The next album that came out was Dansparc, which is a three-star work. Then came their second best work "Mystery Walk" (four-star). Then their best album "the world is a ball" which is a solid five-star album. The first two martha & the muffins albums unfortunately are one star."

"M+M's second album is a sonic masterpiece, in part because of the subtle nuances of soon-to-be famous producer Daniel Lanois but more because of its subtle marriage of texture and theme. Moody, tounge-in-cheek, and downright gorgeous, the album features strong songwriting by Gaine and Johnson and great realization by the Muffins. Songs like "Swimming", "Boy Without Filters, "Casualties of Glass" and the title song showcase the considerable talent of this Toronto band at a time when rock music was going through its most creative, innovative and fascinating period. This is one of the finest albums of the '80s, and is a testament to the freshness and pop intelligence of the New Wave movement -- as well as to the great musical talent north of the 49th parallel. Well worth looking into."

"When spinning a record by Martha & the Muffins I certainly didn't expect the band's weakest link to be ... Martha but it sure does appear that way, with the male singer stealing the show completely in the fabulous "Swimming", with its lines of "We're Afraid to call it Love...let's call it Swimming" dripping in amazingly sophisticated new wave fashion and casting a long shadow over the rest of the disc. Maybe even one of the 80's finest that one. And then while I expect Martha to recapture her thunder it's the dude again that shines in the eerie "Boys Without Filters". She does claw one back with the tres good "One Day in Paris", though, where her vocals get to a finer plateau than usual."

"This Is The Ice Age" (love the title) is a cool record, the band plays well off each other and their post punk / new wave sound is fairly impressive (in the longer songs' build ups for instance), yet it has the fatal flaw of not having enough quality songs to hold it all together, balancing phenomenal tracks (the three I mentioned before) with below average rock songs that'll probably leave my brain in a heartbeat or two (almost everything else). A mixed bag then, even if it does sound good while it's playing."

"one of the most overlooked albums of the past 3 decades by a criminally ignored band. it parallels and rivals any Talking Heads album and often surpasses them, especially in regards to the prescence of a female vocalist (a wonderful one at that). the title track is a genre defining new wave song and the final half of three hundred years/ chemistry are my favorite 3 odd minutes in music."

"This was actually a great surprise for me, I had heard Metro Music previously which is alright, but largely inconsistent and then I'd heard the odd late song from them which sounds like an entirely different (and terrible) group. This though, this album sounds ahead of it's time, it's more of a post-punk kinda sound, and there is a male vocalist who is actually quite good who pitches in on this album along with Martha of course. The first song "Swimming" is so impressive that I actually thought it sounded like something from The Magnetic Fields...seriously! I'd go on and point out more highlights but when all ten songs are the highlights it wouldn't make sense to. Actually just about every song had a completely different personality, but they were all really good and intricately crafted yet it never is "too much". When I think about the lack of ingenuity involved in the other album I've heard from this group and then I think of what happened here...again it's like night and day. What was really strange for me is that well they are from Toronto and yet I've never heard any of the songs from this album on the radio....ever! This is some of the best post-punk material that will likely go unheard by many, so buy a copy and then pass it on to your friends. I can't believe I had no idea that this amazing album was out there, and I'd have never expected it from this group from the stuff on the radio, so ignore what you know and try try try!!!"

"This album gets a five-star rating from me because it is completely effective in connecting beyond the surface level of the mind and conjuring very distinct feelings. There is a sad, cold nostalgia to this music, even the peppier numbers such as "Women Around the World at Work" and "You Sold the Cottage."
The Ice Age is a time without human warmth and connection. It is open and gray. The music here reflects this empty, lonely feeling, particularly in "Swimming," "Boy Without Filters," "Jets Seem Slower in London's Skies" and "One Day in Paris." The arrangements are sparse and the vocals are stoic. The beautifully sad "One Day in Paris" is particularly nostalgic, with the singer yearning for a sense of completion in another time and place. It is unspecified and unimportant whether that place is in the past or future - all that matters is that it is away from the present "Ice Age."
"Casualties of Glass" is another highlight, and becomes especially effective near its end with the chant of "don't lose hope."
"You sold the Cottage" is the closest the album comes to being lighthearted, and at first seems out of place. However, I think its themes of looking back into the past and finding a sense of dissatisfaction works nicely with the running sense of cold nostalgia.
Also noteworthy are the lengthy "This is the Ice Age" and "Three Hundred Years/Chemistry." The first is almost tribal, while the latter begins as a minimalist instrumental that bursts into a melodic tune that gives a true sense of completion to the album.
The music itself is not the only thing that makes this connection so effective. The album's title relates perfectly to the mood of the music, as does its cover art. It is austere and desolate, intermingling a space seemingly devoid of any specific time and place with a space that is notably modern (illustrated by the tall office building in the distance). In this sense, the entire package conveys a "modern Ice Age.""

"Toronto is not a beautiful city. Not beautiful in the sense of a Paris, Montreal, or Budapest. It's a hodge podge of old and new, mostly twentieth century buildings, with wires and tracks running everywhere. The city is so divided that you get the sense it wants to be somewhere else. Communities like the Annex, Queen St West, The Danforth, and Kensington Market are filled with shops within old store fronts being repainted and ressurected every couple decades. It also happens to be the most multi-cultural city in the world.
It is the kind of place that you would expect a collection of new wave groups would emerge and flourish. It shares new wave's sense of rebirth. It is ambiguous and multifaceted. It is a multi-purpose city as David Byrne might say. But the only real new wave band to present something at the time was Martha and The Muffins. And they are still the only band able to realize the city in music.
This Is The Ice Age is not elegiac, as the title indicates, but presents a reality (the cover to this album also happens to be one of my favourites). Songs like "Swimming", "Casualties of Glass", and the title track are both cold and at the same time hopeful for something better."You Sold The Cottage" is a funny little track that almost any Southern Ontarian can relate to. "Three Hundred Years/Chemistry" is a walk up Bathurst St. from Queen to Bloor, because the street cars aren't running like they should. "One Day In Paris" is, again, from the point of view of the visitor, who seems uncomfortable with anything that grand.
You can keep your Broken Social Scene. Martha and Muffins is the essence of a Canadian musical underground. Don't be fooled by the Cute-sy name. Like Canada, once you get past the preconceptions of some place cozy and kind, you see a moving, breathing, disturbed, and beautiful creature."

More review:
http://www.fastnbulbous.com/martha_muffins_ice.htm

http://www.canuckistanmusic.com/index.php?maid=94
















DANSEPARC (1983)

Credits:
Daniel Lanois - Percussion, Vocals (Background), Engineer, Treatments
Debbie Griffiths - Vocals (Background)
Nick Kent — Percussion, Drums
Dick Smith - Percussion
Glen Schellenberg - Synthesizer
Ron Allen (
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Allen) — Tenor Sax, Soprano Sax
Jocelyne Lanois - Bass, Percussion, Vocals (Background)
John Oswald (
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Oswald_(composer)) - Sax (Alto)
Mark Gane - Guitar, Percussion, Keyboards, Vocals, Treatments
Martha Johnson - Guitar, Percussion, Keyboards, Vocals
Nick Gane - Synthesizer, Piano
Produced by Daniel Lanois / Mark Gane / Martha Johnson

VIDEO:
"Danseparc"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FB0g8VYRSK4

Tracklist:

01 Obedience
02 World Without Borders
03 Walking Into Walls
04 Danseparc (Every Day It’s Tomorrow)
05 Sins Of Children
06 Several Styles Of Blonde Girls Dancing
07 Boys In The Bushes
08 What People Do For Fun
09 Whatever Happened To Radio Valve Road?
Bonus:
This Dangerous Machines (B-side of Danseparc 12" 1983)


Link to download:
http://rapidshare.com/files/143318112/dapa.rar.html

"a catchy, subversive attack on society as a whole"

" Unique sounding, their Talking Heads style off-beat new wave and punk funk is quite experimental in places, and works well throughout the album. A lost treasure being resurrected, from an unlikely source."

(http://thelatest.co.uk/7/music-reviews-3#more-588)

"A new label, and the beginnings of a name change. Working with Daniel Lanois again, M + M managed to produce another album full of beautiful, layered sound, not entirely unlike the previous release, This Is the Ice Age. In fact the two releases are good companions. Mark Gane and Martha Johnson, the writers and main creative force behind the band, once again expand the pop music form into ambient sounds mixed with solid dance beats, augmented by thought-provoking lyrics, and top-notch playing. And, not forgetting the wonderful layered sounds created from a variety of sources, from the powerful, driving "Obedience" to the somber, yet beautiful "Sins of Children" and the almost bittersweet, beat driven, yet melodic "Danseparc (Every Day It's Tomorrow)." An excellent album, and once again, the band shows a continuation, yet progression from their prior releases. It's also amazing to hear how far they had come since their Metro Music debut a mere four years prior to the release of this album. ~ Aaron Badgley, All Music Guide

"Primarily remembered in this country for their 1980 hit, Echo Beach, Martha And The Muffins have long been under-appreciated in their place in the creative forefront of what we now term new wave. Like many acts of the time, they attempted to fuse intelligence and experimentalism with dancefloor-friendly beats and basslines: a sort of Canadian Gang Of Four, if you will. Danseparc, their fourth album has long been known by their hardcore fans as one of their defining statements. Here it's finally re-released with bonus tracks.The band had, by this point shedded founding members and decided to rename themselves M+M (a name that was later to stand for remaining members, Martha Johnson and Mark Gane). Having already relocated to their native Toronto, their previous album (This Is The Ice Age, 1981) had been produced by Daniel Lanois, and it was he who went back into the studio with them in 1983 when, dropped by Virgin, they signed to indie label, Current Records. Lanois' sister, Jocelyne also joined the band. Danseparc's angular funk and tribal modernism revolved around a loose concept of the park in modern urban life. ie: The way in which it attempted to recreate a Waldonian wilderness within the heart of the city and all the contradictions that this raised. Such a lofty concept took its cue from Eno and Byrne's 'fourth world' primitivism, especially on Talking Heads' Remain In Light. In fact the players here represent the next wave of art rock's adoption of ethnic forms and ultra-modern technology. The father of plunderphonics, John Oswald, makes an appeartance on sax on Boys In The Bushes, while the touring version of the band (included on a live bonus version of Danseparc) included future ambient guitar legend, Michael Brook. Both he and Lanois were of course to work with their hero Eno. And it's Lanois who really makes his mark here. A veritable fifth member of the band during the recording, he pushed the sonic limits of what might have been a functional new wave album. Guitars are flanged into insanity while the pallette of percussion rattles teases and gets the white boy hoodoo down straight. It constantly takes risks - for instance the blistering guitar overkill about a minute and a half into opener, Obedience. On top of this the album features film samples, manages to slip in singing pygmies and even what sounds like cistercian chanting. Amazingly, for such an intellectual record, Danseparc's title track did enter the Canadian top 40 and critical acclaim ran high. Even to this day it sounds fresh and brave."(
http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/release/czvr/)

More review:
http://cdbaby.com/cd/marthamuffins

http://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/leisure/24seventest/boltonmusic/bandinterviews/2393297.CD_Review__Martha_and_the_Muffins___Danseparc___25th_Anniversary_Edition/
http://blog.kexp.org/blog/2008/06/23/weird-at-my-school-martha-and-the-muffins-danseparc/

http://www.retroblog.net/2008/08/01/martha-and-the-muffins-danseparc-2008-remastered-edition/

http://www.neuhouse.com/acadie/digests/dlno005.html

http://www.darla.com/catalog/search.asp?id=14005


























MYSTERY WALK (1984)

Credits:
Daniel Lanois - Guitar, Pedal Steel, Producer, Treatments
Dave Pilch (
http://music.msn.com/music/artist-credits/dave-pilch/) - Bass
Dick Smith - Percussion
the Brecker Brothers (
http://www.soulwalking.co.uk/Brecker%20Brothers.html) - Horns
Wayne Mills - Horn
Eluriel Tinker - Bass
Yogi Horton - Drums
Martin Deller
(http://www.boomka.com/html/person.html) - Percussion
Fred Maher (
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Maher) - Drums
Julie Masi (ex-member The Parachute Club) - Vocals
Brian Patti, Shawne Jackson (
http://jam.canoe.ca/Music/Pop_Encyclopedia/J/Jackson_Shawne.html), Sharon Lee Williams (http://www.musicent.com/resume.html) — Backing vocals
Rufus Cappdocia (
http://www.rufusmusic.com/rufus/gigs.html) — Cello
Mark Gane - Guitar, Percussion, Keyboards, Vocals, Producer, Photography, Cover Design, Treatments
Martha Johnson - Percussion, Keyboards, Vocals, Producer
Produced by Daniel Lanois / Mark Gane / Martha Johnson


Notes:
Released as by M+M


VIDEO:
"Black Stations White Stations"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWM5Z_27cuY

Tracklist:

01 Black Stations/White Stations
02 Cooling The Medium

03 Come Out And Dance
04 I Start To Stop
05 Big Trees
06 In Between Sleep And Reason
07 Garden In The Sky
08 Nation Of Followers
09 Alibi Room
10 Rhythm Of Life

Bonus:
11 Black Stations/White Stations (Extended version)
12 Black Stations/White Stations (Disconet remix)


Link to download:
http://rapidshare.com/files/143311776/mywa.rar.html

"Stripped down to just Martha Johnson and Mark Gane, and assorted studio musicians, M + M worked closely with producer Daniel Lanois for the third time. And, once again, it was a very successful combination. Incorporating more funk and dance sound, perhaps due to being partially recorded in New York City, M + M continue their growth and expand their dimensions as a band. Once again, the album is full of melodic, well-constructed songs. "Cooling the Medium" and "Black Stations/White Stations" have some wonderfully memorable hooks; the latter also features the amazing bass of Tinker Barfield and the horn playing of Michael and Randy Brecker. The incredible beat structures throughout the album (provided, for the most part by Yogi Horton) make it almost impossible to sit still. But as with their previous two releases, this album is sound. M + M create sound through layering, and excellent producing and arrangements. Martha Johnson uses her voice quite effectively on this release, especially on "Come Out and Dance," and the wonderful gem "Rhythm of Life." ~ Aaron Badgley, All Music Guide

"Martha and the Muffins, best known for the New Wave hit "Echo Beach" in 1980, continued to produce some of the most interesting music of the 80's, but listening to this CD, you will have to put aside some preconceptions of "80's music". M+M experimented freely, and the uninitiated might find the mix perplexing. Indeed there is a marked difference in tone between "Danseparc" and "Mystery Walk", the former being a broad-shouldered, boisterous, in-your-face kind of album, while "Mystery Walk" is cooler, more distilled. There are terrific songs in both realms."

"Mystery Walk, released in 1984 is still totally rad, and the best in the M+M catalog. Here's why M+M still sounds cool today: Daniel Lanois. This musician/engineer/producer has worked with U2, Robbie Robertson, Scott Weiland, Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Peter Gabriel, and on and on. This guy has "rock as art" down. Very Cool Guy. So on Mystery Walk you'll hear some of the new tools of the day (i.e. digital synthesizers), but filtered through delays, reverbs, and other techniques that render the sounds very organically. Add a lot of REAL drums and percussion, and you get some great pop grooves that remind me of period Talking Heads."

"I was beginning to wonder when Martha & The Muffins or M+M as they were called at this point began to sour. Especially after being thrilled with This Is the Ice Age and having enjoyed both Metro Music and Trance and Dance, but well I haven't gotten to Danseparc yet which bridges the gap between this material and the good stuff. Okay having already marked the other material as "the good stuff" I suppose I ought to explain what isn't right with this album. It actually starts off well entirely different than they used to be but perhaps that's because with the name change the band was reduced to simply Martha Johnson and her Husband I believe. Along with the line-up change one should prepare for the difference in sound, now they are more of a synthy '80s sounding band and actually it's more of a world love kind of mode. All of the sudden their music is about harmony and love and whatever which may have been present in their earlier work but it was well...better hidden. Okay this sounds like I'm being quite a whiner, but seriously the biggest issue with this (aside from the scaled down useage of "real" instruments) is that it sounds positively cheesy and happy which doesn't work for post-punk....for me. So anyhow I guess it's safe to put them in with new wave/pop/world stuff at this point but sometimes this album hits it's mark and truly it's not that bad or anything. As M+M they have several "hits" which play on our Canadian retro music video channel and they are pretty erm...bad, "Cooling The Medium" being one I believe, and "Black Stations/White Stations" which is also on this album also fits that bill. In fact, some of the duff singles from the M+M days are what initially scared me away from this band. I guess overall at an arms length it's somewhat entertaining but when you compare it to how they used to sound that's where severe disappointment kicks in. If you aren't really familiar with this band, drop this review and go listen to Metro Music or any album with The Muffins listed will do really."


More review:
http://www.hidebound.com/A555BA/Welcome.nsf/2f30329641e697a686256d17007a4e85/90388f58b0f66527852567ba0051c0c1?OpenDocument


THE WORLD IS A BALL (1985)

Credits:
Dick Smith - Percussion
Michael Sloski — Drums
Dimo Safari - Photography
Eluriel Tinker (
http://www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/artist/Tinker%20Barfield/a/Tinker%20Barfield.htm) - Bass
Tony Levin (
http://www.tonylevin.com/) - Chant
Yogi Horton (
http://209.73.187.137/p:Yogi%20Horton:1927070600:page=discography)- Drums
Shawne Jackson,Jerry Marotta (
http://jerrymarotta.com/) Colina Phillips, Ruby Turner (http://www.rubyturner.com/) — Backing vocals
Greg Roberts - Engineer
Jerry Marotta
(http://jerrymarotta.com/) - Vocals (Background)
Mark Gane - Guitar, Vocals, Producer, Performer, Cover Design
Paul Ridout (
http://www.artistdirect.com/nad/music/artist/card/0,,485034,00.html) — Programming
Produced by David Lord (also Peter Gabriel, XTC, Echo and the Bunnymen,see:
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/1996_articles/nov96/davidlord.html)/ Mark Gane / Martha Johnson

Notes:
Released as by M+M
VIDEO:
"Song In My Head"

Tracklist:

01 The World Is A Ball
02 I Watch I Wait
03 Watching The Boys Fall Down
04 Only You
05 By The Waters Of Babylon
06 Song In My Head
07 Don’t Jump The Gun
08 Stuck On The Grid
09 Someone Else’s Shoes
10 As A Matter Of Fact


Link to download:
http://rapidshare.com/files/143286401/woball_192_kbs.rar.html

""The World is a Ball" is the best Martha & the Muffins album, hands down. This unfortunately was a difficult album to find in the US even when it was a new release (perhaps because it seems to have been a Canadian release that RCA didn't really push in the states). Every song is exceptionally good and the group is at their very best."

"Continuing as a duo, augmented by the cream of the crop of studio musicians, Mark Gane and Martha Johnson connected with new producer David Lord, and returned to England to record this album. It's a different sound from the prior release, Mystery Walk, but once again, one of the charms of M + M was that one never quite knew what to expect from them. The album is full of interesting sounds, and wonderful songs. Mark Gane demonstrates his singing ability on the beautiful "Stuck On the Grid," and Martha Johnson continues to use her voice to full extent on "Song In My Head," the somber "I Watch, I Wait," and the somewhat angry "Don't Jump the Gun." The production is somewhat loud for M + M, and the sounds are not nearly as layered as previous releases. However, strap on headphones, and one is treated to some interesting effects and sounds sprinkled throughout. Overall, a pleasant, hard-sounding pop album with dance overtones; there is enough here to keep avid fans interested and win over some new listeners. ~ Aaron Badgley, All Music Guide



























FAR AWAY TIME (1987)

Notes:
Various producers - CD Compilation of first three albums


Tracklist:

01 Echo Beach
02 Paint By Number Heart
03 Saigon

04 Indecision
05 Terminal Twilight
06 Hide And Seek
07 Monotone
08 Sinking Land
09 Revenge (Against The World)
10 Cheesies And Gum
11 Insect Love
12 About Insomnia
13 Motorbikin’
14 Suburban Dream
15 Was Ezo
16 Women Around The World At Work
17 This Is The Ice Age


Links to download:
http://rapidshare.com/files/143304180/fara.rar.html

"A rather poorly assembled best-of from Martha and the Muffins' first three albums, released on DinDisc/Virgin. In fact, it's just the Metro Music release, with seven added tracks from Trance and Dance and This Is the Ice Age, and the latter is poorly represented, so it's not even a good overview of the band. The music is excellent, with tons of great songs and great memories ("Echo Beach" one of the finest singles released in the '80s), but it is the overall packaging that is particularly disturbing. The liner notes do not provide much information, and at times the notes appear almost insulting. With the exception of the odd but interesting "Insect Love" (previously only available on a single), there are no rarities or interesting oddities. With the wealth of material available to Virgin from the first three albums, this could have been a great, well-thought-out package. Martha and the Muffins deserve much better than this. Still, the music is top-notch, and fun to listen to once again. ~ Aaron Badgley, All Music Guide

"you may love this gem from the early 80's. It has the minimal mood of Wire's Chairs Missing, the saxophone drone of Romeo Void and the sultry/ironic vocal style of Martha Davis and the Motels. It is the epitome of the 80's art school sound. It's modern and spare, but tuneful. It is detached and abstract. It represents the triumph of a redefined and stripped down approach to pop music that no longer exists. Echo Beach is a great song that begins the CD and all the tracks from the original Metro Music grow out of each other like crystals."

"A wonderful "compilation", if you can call it that, of early Martha and the Muffins (later, M+M), a horribly underappreciated Toronto band of the early '80's (and continuing through, at least, 1992). This CD contains the entire Metro Music LP, a briskly stunning piece of new-wave power-pop, as well as a handful of tracks from Trance and Dance and This is the Ice Age (each available in the US previously only as imports). Anyone who listens to the two "Ice Age" tracks will hopefully try to seek out the entire album, as well they should - although never released on CD, even the original vinyl is worth seeking out to anyone who enjoys their pop with a brain, with a Roxy Music-esque twist."

"My favorite song of course "Echo Beach", but every song just about is good on here. This band was perfect for new wave, but ahead of it's time too!"

"Take a listen to elastica ,then listen to this cd !The Martha influence is unmistakable .It is a great cd and I forgot how much I loved this band when I was young .I gave Martha and the Muffins records to friends for b day gifts when I was young I love this cd!!!!!!!!"



MODERN LULLABY (1992)

Credits:
David Piltch - Bass
Mark Gane - Producer, Writer, Main Performer, Photography
Martha Johnson - Producer, Writer, Main Performer
Michael Sloski (
http://theband.hiof.no/band_pictures/Mike_Sloski_150dpi.html) - Percussion
Paul Ridout - Sousaphone
Stuart Gordon (
http://www.artistdirect.com/nad/music/artist/credits/0,,437168,00.html) - Violin
ex-Muffin Tim Gane (on "additional percussion")
Produced by Mark Gane / Martha Johnson


Tracklist:

01 To Dream About You
02 Fighting The Monster
03 Rainbow Sign
04 Modern Lullaby
05 Paradise
06 The Looking Time
07 Birdcage Walk
08 Everybody Has A Place
09 Show Me Your Magic
10 Million Dollars
11 Where Blue Meets Green


Link to download:
http://rapidshare.com/files/143311065/molu.rar.html

Reverting back to their old name for their first new release in six years, Martha and the Muffins, still the duo of Mark Gane and Martha Johnson, deliver a somewhat more mature, and very melodic sound. That is not to say the album is slow or bland; in fact, quite the opposite. Mark Gane continues his fascination with layered sounds, supporting the group's distinct pop style. This CD also features some of the finest songs they have written. "Rainbow Sign" is a standout, augmented by fabulous violin playing from Stuart Gordon. "Everybody Has a Place" is another fine track with a mellow tune, full of interesting sounds, and very nice singing from Martha. A well-produced and well-played album, full of incredible songs, that demonstrates that some bands are able to mature and still release very relevant and essential music. A must for Martha and the Muffins fans. ~ Aaron Badgley, All Music Guide

"The seventh studio album, recorded in Bath, England in Martha's and Mark's bedroom is a introspective, sonically rich combination of uptempo and quieter songs that reflect the beautiful, dreamy city it was recorded in.Originally released in 1992, the seventh MatM studio album was recorded in bedrooms between 1988-91 while Martha Johnson and Mark Gane were living in Bath, England and was completed upon their return to Toronto. A major departure stylistically from their 1986 release, The World Is A Ball, Modern Lullaby is a introspective, sonically rich combination of uptempo and quieter songs that reflect the beautiful, dreamy city it was recorded in. Featuring David Piltch, (k.d. lang, Mary Margaret O'Hara) on bass, Stuart Gordon, (Peter Gabriel, Massive Attack, Tori Amos) on violin, Michael Sloski, (Bruce Cockburn, Mary Margaret O'Hara) and original Muffin drummer, (and Mark's brother), Tim Gane on additional percussion as well as sound advice from Paul Ridout, (Peter Hammill, Clannad).
What the critics say about Modern Lullaby..."

"It's been far too long since the cool, occasionally detached Toronto duo of Mark Gane and Martha Johnson had their hits…Rainbow Sign is already getting nibbles at MUCH and Fighting The Monster is the likely follow-up…the pair deserves to be heard again. ***1/2"
THE RECORD, October 12, 1992

"M+M have always made unique albums, each one different from the other with nary a dud to be found and certainly devoid of filler. This one is no disappointment. From the opening track To Dream About You , with its Jon Hassel-like trumpet sounds wiggling around in the background to the unlikely violin work in Fighting The Monster, the duo again prove their capacity for inventing fresh and durable music. Fans will love it."
Jim English, EXCLAIM MAGAZINE, November 1992

"Johnson's voice has never sounded better, whether she's giving strong and throaty vocals to songs like Fighting The Monster or singing smoothly and melodically as in Show Me Your Magic."
Dianne Rheinhart, THE OTTAWA CITIZEN, December 26, 1992

(http://cdbaby.com/cd/marthamuffins2)



THEN AGAIN - A RETROSPECTIVE (1998)

Notes:
Compilation of 7 studio albums plus one new bonus track


Tracklist:

01 Paint By Number Heart
02 Echo Beach
03 Suburban Dream

04 You Sold The Cottage
05 Swimming
06 Women Around The World At Work
07 World Without Borders
08 Danceparc (Every Day Its Tomorrow)
09 Obedience
10 Several Style Of Blonde Girls Dancing
11 Black Stations/White Stations
12 Come Out And Dance
13 Cooling The Medium
14 Song In My Head
15 By The Waters Of Babylon
16 Rainbow Sign
17 Fighting The Monster
18 Resurrection


Links to download:
http://rapidshare.com/files/143301945/theret.rar.html

"The second, and infinitely superior compilation CD of Martha and the Muffins/M + M, an '80s band that crossed many bridges, including pop, new wave, experimental, dance, and whatever else they felt like doing. This particular CD works much better than the first for two reasons. First, it spans their entire career, including the material from the RCA years, when the band was known briefly as M + M. Second, the compilation was assembled by Martha Johnson and Mark Gane, the creative core of the band, and they made some excellent choices. Also, because the CD is sequenced in chronological order, it assists the listener in assessing this incredibly creative band's evolution, while maintaining their own distinct sound. It is also able to demonstrate Martha Johnson's growing confidence with her astounding voice, and Mark Gane's mastery of the studio and his various instruments. This CD also serves as an excellent introduction to this band. The hits are all here ("Echo Beach," "Women Around The World At Work," and "Black Stations/White Stations"), as well as choice album cuts ("World Without Borders," Come Out and Dance," "Rainbow Sign"). It is a wonderful overview of this band; the only thing better is to seek out the original albums. This also proved to be the CD debut of several of the songs, and they have never sounded better, especially the wonderfully eerie but danceable, "Danseparc," the poppy "Song In My Head," and the incredibly catchy "Cooling the Medium." Overall, an excellent album for fans and newcomers. Perhaps the only criticism is that given the wealth of material of this band, a double CD would have given the band an opportunity to include other tracks, and the obscure but brilliant non album B-sides. Included, however, is a brand new song, "Resurrection," which fits in quite well with the older material, yet is able to show that the band continues to grow. ~ Aaron Badgley, All Music Guide

"A great new band that I just recently ran into, which I'm pretty happy about. This is a poppy new wave group that alternates between rock leanings, funk, Eno-influenced production, and dance. All of this coated over with a great sense of melody and songwriting. The first 10 of the 18 wonderful tracks, which pull tracks from their first 4 albums, are by far the best, taking four tracks from their best album in my opinion "Danseparc". Fans of new wave should take notice of this group, this is an interesting musical footnote on the genre and should please anyone interested in it. ... "

"If you are a fan, you will love it. If you are not a fan, you don't know what you are missing!"

"Often dismissed as one hit wonders in the UK, Martha and the Muffins made about seven great albums and are still around today. A brilliant compilation from a talent that is still fresh and original after 20 years as the new track (Resurrection) shows. The only criticism which stops me giving this collection five stars is the strange inclusion of a clunker like 'Suburban Dream' at the expense of the infinitely better 'Was Ezo'. Now what does it take to get a record company to release their back-catalogue?"

"One of the greatest bands in Canadian music history. All hits, past to present. There are some great hits missing though. As other reviewers hope, maybe they'll appear on Retrospective II (This is the Ice Age, Sins of Children, Boy Without Filters, One Day in Paris, ALIBI ROOM). Or better yet , maybe they'll re-release all their albums. Check out "Modern Lullaby" and "Far Away in Time" by the same artists."

"After hearing Toyah's cover of "Echo Beach" I became interested in finding out more about the Canadian band Martha & the Muffins. I was not dissappointed one bit. This album contain 18 songs all distinct and largely experimental. I've never heard a band quiet like the Muffins. Many of the songs touch on several genres. The erie sound of "Swimming" and the layering of the chorus is awesome. The chorus and melodic guitar of "World Without Borders" is dreamy. "Danseparc" is very stylish and catchy. "Several Styles of Blondie Girls Dancing" is one of the most odd songs, but one of the most brillant. But "Song In My Head" is my personal favorite. I can't seem to get this highly danceable song out of my head. The strenght of these songs is reason enough for me to rate this album five stars. Martha & the Muffins seems to be another one of those brillant bands that tragicly receives little attention from the media."















Various - SELECT CUTS FROM ECHO BEACH:REMIX VERSIONS (2002)

Genre:
Electronic
Style:
Dub, Future Jazz, Downtempo


Tracklist:

01 Echo Beach (Extended Dive Version) (Remix - Deep Dive Corp.)
02 Echo Beach (Le Mar Dub Version) (Remix - Gabriel Le Mar)
03 Echo Beach (Dreaddub Version) (Remix - Reverend E.C.H.O.)
04 Martha & The Muffins - On a Silent Summer Evening (Echo Beach Version)
05 Echo Beach (Flowing Version) (Remix - Thomas Fehlmann)
06 Echo Beach (Beach House Version) (Remix - Vincenzo)
07 Echo Beach (Echo Version) (Remix - Sounds From The Ground)
08 Echo Beach (Elephant Dub Version) (Remix - Groove Corporation)
09 Echo Beach (Waterdub Version) (Remix - Watershell)
10 Echo Beach (Pre-Fade Dub Version) (Remix - Pre Fade Listening)
11 Echo Beach (Sushi Version) (Remix - Sushi Club, The)
12 Echo Beach (Echo Nuri Version) (Remix - Ostinato)
13 Echo Beach (Infected By The Scourge Of The Earth) (Remix - Scourge Of The Earth, The alias Jimmy Cauty,ex-KLF)


Link to download:
http://rapidshare.com/files/143289548/tribmu.rar.html

"The legendary wave tune Echo Beach by the Canadian combo Martha & The Muffins is back on earth. Germany's finest (as far as progressive sounds and flows are concerned) dub label, named Echo Beach and inspired by the lyrics and spirit of that track, has set out to pay tribute to this song which is more than a classic. The first mix/remix of Echo Beach, done by Reverend E.C.H.O. and released on the Echo Beach sampler 'Various Artists: Far Away In Time' has already enjoyed a strong reputation ... Read More »world wide. Marki Gane, the original composer of Echo Beach and still a member of M & M (aka Martha & Muffins) - and by the way, also married to Martha Johnson (lead singer of the band M&M) - enthused: `It sounds as if the orignal ECHO BEACH was shot into outer space, hit a planet and floated back to earth in pieces...!!!"
(
http://www.dancetracksdigital.com/search/release.php?release_id=2781)

"The problem with this album is that it is based on one brilliant song. If you come across anybody who has Echo Beach by Martha and the Muffins in their all-time top ten, well, you can't really argue, even if it's not in your personal top ten (it's not in mine). It's got a great guitar riff, some haunting lyrics and it's just generally very atmospheric. The better tracks on this album are the ones that make heavy use of that guitar riff. As soon as they go off into trance-y squelches or d'n'b rinse outs they get very stale very quickly....
Anyway, there's nothing on this album that sounds half as strange or exciting as the original single sounded when I was a nipper. It just goes to prove, if you've got a great pop song, you can't improve it with remixes, you can only damage it.
I think this disk will be helpful for DJs who need to drop something into a set when they need to lift a floor full of jaded 30-somethings. Everyone else should give it a miss."

"Lets be honest - the only reason i bought this CD was for Jimmy Cauty's "Infected by the Scourge of the Earth" remix. Was it worth it? well yes, I think so. It's a Tribute, not so much to Martha & The muffins, but to the song "Echo Beach" we are presented with 13 diferet version of the track, mostly with the same, distinctive, guitar riff. All the tracks are good, listening to the whome album is not as repetitive as you might think, and while most of the tracks are "dancy" in nature to my ears (not a "Dance Music" fan, just a KLF fan) they're pretty good.Well worth a listen!"


Biography:
Martha and the Muffins emerged from the early punk/new wave/art pop scene in 1977 which was centered around various clubs along Toronto's Queen Street West and the Ontario College of Art, where several members of the band were students. With their eclectic mix of musical influences, (ranging from free-form jazz, experimental music, Motown, Roxy Music and The Beatles), MatM quickly attracted a strong local following which continued to grow as the band became exposed to a wider audience. After Glenn O'Brien, music critic at Andy Warhol's Interview Magazine in New York City played a cassette of Muffins songs to an A&R rep for Virgin Records UK and Robert Fripp of King Crimson, the band was signed by Virgin Records and recorded their first album, Metro Music at The Manor near Oxford, England in 1979. With the top ten success of the single Echo Beach around the world in 1980, MatM toured extensively in Britain, Europe and North America, returning to The Manor to record their second album Trance and Dance and opening for Roxy Music on its U.K. tour. " In early 1981, new bass player Jocelyne Lanois introduced her brothers Daniel and Bob Lanois to the band, leading to a rewarding artistic collaboration with co-producer Daniel Lanois beginning with the third MatM album This Is The Ice Age and contining for two more albums, Danseparc (1983) and Mystery Walk (1984). In 1983, lead vocalist Martha Johnson and guitarist Mark Gane pared the band down to a duo and changed the name to M+M. Combining texture and art funk in Black Stations/White Stations, (from M+M's Mystery Walk album, featuring the Brecker Brothers on horns), the dance single reached #2 in Billboard's Dance Chart in autumn 1984. After setting up their own home studio, The Web, Mark and Martha began recording The World Is A Ball, enlisting producer David Lord, (Peter Gabriel, XTC, Echo and the Bunnymen) as co-producer and continuing to record at his studio in Bath, England in the spring/summer of 1985. After The World Is A Ball was released in 1986, the video for the single Only You, directed and shot by Mark and Martha on a shoestring budget on black-and-white Super 8 film, won Best Music Video Production at the 1987 Yorkton Short Film and Video Festival, influencing the look of many television commercials and receiving critical acclaim. Martha and Mark moved to Bath, England in early 1987, setting up their studio and beginning to work on their seventh album Modern Lullaby, a hybrid of funk/pop/country and experimental influences. Eventually released under the original name Martha and the Muffins, Modern Lullaby briefly appeared in 1992 before the Canadian Indie label that released it went bankrupt. Martha and Mark spent much of the '90's scoring music for various television and film projects as well as Michael Gibson's well received feature-length film Defy Gravity. The birth of Martha and Mark's daughter in 1992, inspired Martha to write and record an album of original children's music, Songs From The Tree House which won the 1996 Juno Award for Best Children's Album. Since its release, she has performed for thousands of children in school and public venues across Ontario and beyond. In 1998, with the help of EMI Canada's Deanne Cameron, Shan Kelley and Warren Stewart, Mark and Martha released Then Again - A Retrospective, the first compilation CD to include representative tracks from all seven of the Martha and the Muffins/M+M albums released to date, digitally remastered and including a bonus track Resurrection. This was followed by the CD reissue of MatM's first album Metro Music, in 2003. This Is The Ice Age, which fans have been requesting for years, is scheduled to be reissued in April 2005. Encouraged by continued demands for reissues of the back catalogue and for new material, Martha and Mark are currently writing and recording material for a new Martha and the Muffins album as well as several individual projects. In addition, they hope to continue to reissue the remaining albums on CD.
(http://www.maplemusic.com/artists/mam/bio.asp)


The roots of this Canadian new wave band lie in the mid-70s, when Martha Johnson was the organist with Oh Those Pants, a 10-piece 60s covers/send-up band that also included future members of the Cads. This was followed by a spell in another Toronto band, the Doncasters, who specialized in revamping 60s garage band material. In 1977, Johnson joined up with Mark Gane (guitar), Carl Finkle (bass), Andy Haas (saxophone) and Tim Gane (drums) to form Martha And The Muffins. They were joined by Martha Ladly, who initially played guitar but later moved to keyboards and trombone. The band sent a tape to New York journalist Glenn O'Brien, who referred them to the fledgling DinDisc Records label. This led to the release of their debut single, 1978's "Insect Love". Success followed in March 1980 with "Echo Beach", which was a number 10 hit in the UK charts. Its escapist verses ("From 9 to 5 I have to spend my time at work/My job is very boring I'm an office clerk/The only thing that helps me pass the time away/Is knowing I'll be back at Echo Beach someday") remain popular to this day. Follow-ups, including "Saigon" (with its double groove b-side - playable both backwards and forwards) fared less well. This resulted in Martha And The Muffins becoming denigrated as "one-hit-wonders", when in actuality all their albums, particularly Trance And Dance, are deeply resonant collections of songwriting which endure as well as any "pop new wave" of the period.
Tensions between the various members saw Ladly leaving in 1981 to work with the Associates. She later formed the Scenery Club who released two singles on DinDisc. Finkle was then replaced by Jocelyne Lanois, up-and-coming producer Daniel Lanois' sister. Daniel teamed up with the band to produce their finest album, This Is The Ice Age. Following its release the band signed to RCA Records and session player Clara Hurst played keyboards temporarily before joining the Belle Stars in 1982. Following Haas' departure the band was reduced to a line-up of Johnson, Mark Gane, Lanois and drummer Nick Kent to record 1983's Danseparc, but the album's poor commercial showing hastened their demise.
Wife and husband team Johnson and Mark Gane formed M+M, who enjoyed a major US hit with "Black Stations, White Stations' They released two albums as a duo, Mystery Walk and The World Is A Ball, before moving to the UK. Following soundtrack work in Toronto for the movie Modern Gravity, the duo revived the Martha And The Muffins name for 1992"s Modern Lullaby, but their label went bankrupt shortly after its release. They have also recorded a children's album together, Songs From The Tree House which received positive reviews and won the Juno Award, (Canada's equivalent to the Grammy) for Best Children's Album the following year."
Martha Johnson & Mark Gane have composed music for commercial applications including scores, songs and theme music for the television drama series "Paradise Falls" (Showcase), as "A Comme Artiste", "L'Avenir en Tete" and "Video Art Video".Defy Gravity (1990) .
The rest of the band went on to find work as a driver for the Canadian Automobile Association (Tim Gane), architect and swimming pool designer (Finkle), graphic designer (Ladly), and art museum guard (Haas).Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.
(http://www.oldies.com/artist-biography/Martha-and-The-Muffins.html)


ALBUMS
Metro Music (1979)
Trance and Dance (1980)
This is the Ice Age (1981)
Danseparc (1983, credited to Martha and the Muffins/M + M)
Mystery Walk (1984, credited to M + M)
The World is a Ball (1985, credited to M + M)
Far Away In Time (1987) - compilation
Modern Lullaby (1992)
Then Again: A Retrospective (1998)
!!! New album is coming soon !!!
Delicate (2008,not released yet)



MARTHA LADLY
"She was a founding member of the Canadian New Wave band Martha & the Muffins where she played keyboards and vocals. The New Wave was a movement in American, Australian and British popular music, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, growing out of the New York City musical scene centered around the club CBGB. The term itself is a source of much confusion. ... Martha and the Muffins Martha and the Muffins were a Canadian new wave synth pop band in the 1970s and 1980s. ... Ladly left the band in August 1980 and relocated to the United Kingdom where she lived with designer Peter Saville, her painting Factus 8 was used by him for the sleeve of New Order's EP 1981 - Factus 8 - 1982.(http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=8132)
She briefly pursued a solo career and also provided backing vocals on Roxy Music's 1982 album Avalon. In 1982 she joined cult Scottish Post-punk act The Associates famously appearing with them on Top of the Pops when Alan Rankine fed a chocolate guitar to the audience. She left The Associates in 1986 and subsequently worked with Robert Palmer's band.Between 1992 and 2001 she worked with Peter Gabriel as the head of Real World Design, editor of Real World Notes and a producer for Real World MultiMedia. As a key member of the Real World MultiMedia team, she was the recipient of numerous international design awards for interactive art and music projects such as Secret World Live, EVE and Ceremony of Innocence CD-ROM projects.
She is currently an associate professor of design at the Ontario College of Art and Design, where her specialty is interactive communication. She is a mentor with the Canadian Film Centre's Interactive Project Lab (IPL) and a faculty member with the Habitat Interactive Art and Entertainment Program. Prior to her appointment at OCAD, she was the creative director of HorizonZero; a bilingual internet publication dedicated to creating and showcasing the best in digital art and culture in Canada, in collaboration with the Banff New Media Institute and Culture.ca. The Ontario College of Art & Design is Ontarios premier school devoted entirely to art and design."
(http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Martha-Ladley)

Martha Ladly:
"It's really nice to read all of your comments, and to hear that people still love our music. You know, I even listen to it myself from time to time, and I think it still has a fresh original sound, (that was my poetry and spoken intro on terminal twilight...) I think it is because we were living the music. Being at art school and in the band in the 80s had to one of the most fun times in my life! I'm a university professor now and teach at design at OCAD in Toronto, and still sing and play keyboards for fun and pleasure, maybe I'll do some recording or performing again -- you never know! Life is definitely what you make it. Oh, and I love Stereolab too, I think they learned some keyboard playing techniques -- two fingers -- and female duet tricks from us, but it is a different Tim Gane..." (http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/release/bz9x/)

More info:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martha_Ladly

http://www.perkowitz.net/blog/optic/archives/005369.html

http://www.enuii.org/martha_ladly.htm

http://marthaladly.blogspot.com/

http://www.blogger.com/profile/10910224532830747715

http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=43575


ANDY HAAS
has performed, recorded and collaborated with many musicians (e.g: God Is My Co-Pilot (1993-1994),John Zorn (1995),Zeena Parkins (1996),Marc Ribot (1997),Ikue Mori (1998),David Watson (1999)) who were at the center of the creative avant garde music coming out of NYC by the '90s, such as John Zorn, Fred Frith, Ikue Mori, Thurston Moore, Marc Ribot, and more. Haas was an original member of Toronto's Martha & the Muffins, which formed in 1977. He played saxophones for the band through their 1981 release, This is the Ice Age. Through the '90s, Haas was most often found playing the didjeridu, such as on the fun and eclectic Knitting Factory compilation, Jewish Alternative Movement: Guide for Perplexed, and on his own album, Arnhem Land, released on the Avant label in 1997. ~ Joslyn Layne, All Music Guide

More info:
http://www.myspace.com/radioichingnewyork

http://www.exclaim.ca/musicreviews/generalreview.aspx?csid1=125&csid2=847&fid1=33150

http://black2com.blogspot.com/2008/03/andy-haas-humanitarian-war-cd-radio-i.html


CARL FINKLE,
the architect and swimming pool designer who is a member of Lost Anglers (http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=250240648) since 2005 where he plays on piano, organ, mandolin.A founding member of Martha and the Muffins, Carl is also the former manager of art-rockers the Spoons and classical artists The Bowkun Trio. He cut his country teeth playing with Johnny Macleod's Country Lads and was the executive producer of the first 45 released by celebrated 70s Queen Street legends, the Dishes

I also found this:

"Carl Finkle, King Township, is a board member and a past president of the King Township Historical Society, and an amateur genealogist who has been researching the Rolling family on and off for the last 18 years. He has a B.A. from York University, majoring in history. He teaches part time at Seneca College, and works full time as a landscape designer. Over the years he has spoken to local historical societies about his research into the Rolling family, and this February he was part of the York Region Board of Education's "African Heritage in York Region" program for students." (http://www.torontofamilyhistory.org/africanroots.html )

JOCELYNE LANOIS
"is a Canadian musician, bassplayer, songwriter , who has been a member of the bands Martha and the Muffins and Crash Vegas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crash_Vegas and http://www.musicianguide.com/biographies/1608004146/Crash-Vegas.html) . She is the sister of legendary record producer Daniel Lanois, and was partner to producer, musician and Boys Brigade founder Malcolm Burn, collaborating on his solo release, Redemption, while they together operated the experimental Lab Studio.Lanois went on to develop a career in scoring music for films and documentaries, in addition to touring stints as bass player with Ani DiFranco and Chris Whitley.She later retired from music, and is now a graphic design instructor at the Ontario College of Art & Design."
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jocelyne_Lanois and http://www.onpedia.com/encyclopedia/Jocelyne-Lanois)

More info:
http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=155543317


NICK KENT
played with the CeeDees (http://www.answers.com/topic/ceedees), Mondo Combo, the Nationals and recently is a member of Mad Housewives (http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=189523361)


More info:
http://www.marthaandthemuffins.com/

http://www.aha.ru/~gz/music/muffins/

http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~thompp/muffins.html

http://www.thecia.net/users/hamilton/muffins/index.html

http://www.canadianbands.com/Martha%20&%20The%20Muffins.html

http://ectoguide.org/guide.cgi?search=&source=quick&pw=yes&for=martha+muffins

http://www.noblepr.co.uk/Press_Releases/muffins/martha_and_the_muffins.htm

http://www.ear.fm/Encyclopedia%20M/martha_and_the_muffins.htm

http://www.scaruffi.com/vol4/marthamu.html

http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/echo-beach/

http://www.enuii.org/muffins.htm

http://www.hypercubism.com/pages/martha.html

http://www.80s-membersonly.com/lexicon/pastissues/muffins.html

http://www.geocities.com/gordoncc134/spillmartha.html

http://www.redferns.com/ (lots of photos)

http://www.spiritofradio.ca/ReunionPics.asp?Dir=Acts&Picture=Martha+and+the+Muffins%2Ejpg&PicDesc=Martha+and+the+Muffins (reunion pics)

http://www.thelyricarchive.com/artist/11005/Martha-%26-the-Muffins

http://www.zoilus.com/documents/via_toronto/2005/000333.php

http://www.stdteco.ca/~rina/muffins.html

http://www.inthewilderness.com/apollo/index.asp?s_id=1&m_id=16&mbpage=6


Lot of thanks to my friend for The World Is A Ball album and for the live record!!

19 Comments:

Blogger cdeck said...

Great Post... I thought their first lp was great and then I didnt hear anything else by them, thanks for the discography. I look foward to the nrew disc.

5:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post! Do you have either of Martha Ladley's terrific solo singles, "Finlandia" or "Light Years From Love"?

Thanks!

Chris

6:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot! It is cool! 'The World Is A Ball' is a really masterpiece. I had this LP many years ago... You are the magician!

7:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a great post. "Echo Beach'' still one of the greatest singles of all time. "My job is very boring; I'm an office clerk.'' Super. Thanks
bill

12:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks! for many time I was looking for the reissue in CD This Is The Ice Age, and finally happened!
one of the most beautiful discs of the last 30 years.

8:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for filling in some of the gaping gaps in my muffins collection! Now all I need is the rest of those obscure b-sides. . . I've found so much good stuff on your blog and you just keep on coming up with more! Fantastic...

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post! I've had Trance and Dance on vinyl for 25 years but don't think I've ever seen any digital version of it before.

Another request for the Martha Ladly singles, if anyone has them. I remember seeing a video for one of them. Once. I can't remember the song, only that I really liked it.

6:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Saltika

Fantastic blog you have, It brings me uo so many memories, The 80's were fabulous!!!

May i made a request? Could you reup the scritti politti album anomie & bonhomie, please?

Bye

Cwas

2:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found your blog looking for The World's "Break the Silence." I found it here only, but the DL site had expired. Could you please upload again? This is definitely the best 80's site out there. Thanks in advance if you will or can upload World again.

7:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Chris

hi im sorry i dont have any solo of Martha:((

@everybody

thank you for your messages! Ive posted your reqs,just check Movieland entry:)

cheers
salty

2:45 AM  
Blogger cjkeep said...

Hi Satlty,

I dug up my Martha Ladley singles for you and the other M+M fans out there. There are only two: "Finlandia" b/w "Tasmania" (credited to Martha Ladley and the Scenery Club), and "Light Years From Love" b/w "Drama of the Human Heart." The last (credited to simply "Martha") was a minor hit, featuring Peter Hook of New Order on Bass, and with a string arrangment by Simon "Penguin Cafe Orchestra" Jeffes. The songs were co-written by Brett Wickens, mastermind behind Ceramic Hello, and later a graphic designer who worked with Peter Saville.

Enjoy!

http://rapidshare.com/files/149555384/Martha_Ladley.zip.html

Chris

3:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow incredible thanks for this. Its incredible to hear an appearance of jean Wilson with the Muffins for a short period of time - instead of Martha Ladly on the Chicago live download.

Many many thanks for this

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for this!!!!!!!!!!

3:35 PM  
Anonymous Will said...

Great Post- I think Martha and Mark should place a direct link from the M+M site.
The new album is complete and mixed- looking forward to the new material.
Does anyone have the M+M recording from 1988 at the Diamond Club? It was recorded for CFNY and was only 1 of 9 dates the band toured in support of "The World Is A Ball"

Anyone?
vertex (at) umpire (dot) com

10:16 PM  
Blogger evision said...

http://www.onlineuniversalwork.com

4:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Got 'World is a ball' here on LP,but no turntable for 10-15 years.So looking forward to hear it again thanks to you.Mike

6:58 PM  
Anonymous Yurune said...

Thanks for Modern Lullaby!

7:16 AM  
Blogger KIRK IN MONTREAL said...

Hi there..I live in Montreal, Canada..I cannot get the rapidshare download to work for Martha and the Muffins "The World Is A Ball" any chance you could send me to tracks..please and thanks

cowboyboots_12@yahoo.com

...Kirk

2:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love to hear these tracks but the links dont work could re up them please.

2:54 PM  

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