Saturday, June 4, 2011

Dave Mason: Shouldn't Have Took More Than You Gave

It was released on Blue Thumb Records with its unique folding cover, but the thing about Dave Mason’s first solo album was the disc itself. Promoted as being in marbled vinyl, it got the reputation as being pressed in vomit-tone. If you don’t believe me, check out the photo below. It got that name because it really didn’t look like marble – it looks, well, like emesis (to be polite). What’s up, Chuck?

If you want to see a colored album version that really looks like marble, then check out the 1978 Canadian re-release of “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts’ Club Band.” At the time it was released, there was a push to release Beatles albums on various colored vinyl. I think I picked up eight or nine different colored vinyl and picture disc Beatles’ LPs during that year from the US, Canada, the Netherlands, and the UK. It was a match made in heaven for a collector of Beatles music and colored vinyl.

While I didn’t get Dave Mason’s “Alone Together” until it was rereleased in black vinyl, I sought out an original and found one in a used record store in Roanoke, Virginia during the summer of 1986. I also picked up two other albums I wanted – John Lennon & Yoko Ono’s “Unfinished Music #2: Life with the Lions,” which is a collectable but not worth the cardboard and the vinyl that was used in its construction. The other album was Mason Proffit’s debut album on Happy Tiger Records.

Never thought about it, but I got Dave Mason and Mason Proffit on the same trip. On to Dave now, today’s bubbling under song is “Shouldn’t Have Took More than you Gave.” It was a song that got quite a bit of airplay on album rock stations; however, it wasn’t released as a single. The album’s single was “Only You Know and I Know” and could be a bubbling under hit as well as it only charted at #42.

This song is just very pleasing to the ear. The banjo which appears during the intro and toward the end of the song really adds character. Then there is Dave playing his signature Gibson Firebird through a wah-wah pedal. Add Leon Russell’s piano and back-up vocals by Delaney and Bonnie and you can join me in wondering why this tune didn’t get the exposure that it should.

Mason is an interesting character in that he was in Traffic three separate times. He left after the release of their first album; Mason rejoined during the recording their second LP; the band then broke up and a third album of various and sundry unused songs including material with Mason was released; and then two years later, he rejoined the band for a tour that included the release of a live album “Welcome to the Canteen.” This live LP also contained “Shouldn’t Have Took More than you Gave.”

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