LOST TREASURES – Silver Laughter

Posted on 05 November 2011

(Note From Bruce:  We’ll be stretching the definitions of ‘power pop’ in the “Lost Treasures” area and venture into lost gems from the 60s-00s that not only cover purely power pop bands but also 70s AM Radio Top 40 styled bands, soft-rock and AOR – if there are any bands you’d love to see covered in this area and know of any artists who would like be featured in here, get in touch at:  [email protected])

=========================================

SILVER LAUGHTER

by Eric Abrahamsen

 

The great state of Iowa has never been known as a hot bed of rock ‘n roll activity although looking back through the prism of time its contribution to music history is diverse and significant.  On a frigid night in 1959 Buddy Holly played his last concert at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake and later that evening died in a tragic plane crash outside of town. The late James Gang/ Deep Purple guitarist Tommy Bolin was born and raised in Sioux City and what power pop geek can forget the early 80s band Hawks?  Bypassing crooner Andy Williams and metal outfit Slipknot, there have been a number of lesser known bands and artists to come out of the state who released independent product (anyone remember Locust or Litterer?) but never the broke out in a big way.

Connected to Davenport psychedelic/ garage rock favorites The Contents Are whose 1967 album ‘Through You’ is one of those four digit monsters few collectors ever get a chance to hold in their sweaty palms, let alone own; Silver Laughter formed in the early 70s and backed by a less than lucrative booking deal which put them on stages in every backwater town from Missouri to the Dakotas and throughout the hinterlands of Western Canada; the group released their first album in 1976 on the Des Moines based Fanfare label.

‘Handle with Care’ while woefully obscure is a classic of Anglophile pop owing as much to The Beatles as Badfinger and with a brace of charming tracks filled to the brim with punchy melodies and harmonies, this baby clocks at eleven on the nostalgometer.  The first two cuts, the jangly ‘Any Words You Can Say’ and the sugar sweet ‘Angela’ complete with Pilot-styled handclaps are goodtime pop fun while the harder material and I use that term loosely, trails very close to the Natural Gas album released the same year.

More exhaustive touring including an oddball support gig for Tiny Tim and a chance encounter with Rick Nielsen in an Illinois restaurant just weeks before Cheap Trick’s debut hit the stores kept Silver laughter on their toes although airplay was non-existent.  Dressed to the nines in a groovy collage of stars and rainbows; the follow-up ‘Sailing on Fantasies’ is an veritable hookorama still flirting with pop melodies of the 60s and traces of AOR but with considerably better production and well placed orchestration.  Of course this was 1978 and disco was in full tilt making it difficult to reach live audiences without obligatory Bee Gees covers mixed with their poptastic originals and one hour Beatles tribute. The band fell apart after a meet ‘n greet trip to New York which included a typically callous comment from Atlantic Records to ‘come back when you’ve found your own sound’.

Currently far from a cheap search as both records command big bucks when available and while lacking the same notoriety as Middle American indie pop merchants Fools Face or the Titan label’s impressive stable of would-be stars; Silver Laughter deserves a  your undivided attention and a prized spot in every power pop connoisseurs collection.

Listen and Download Silver Laughter:

Right Click & Save Below

[download id=”61″]

 

[download id=”60″]

If you would like to buy a copy of “Sailing On Fantasies” album on CD – the band have pressed up 25 copies and sell it on Ebay – HERE

 

Eric Abrahamsen is a life-long music collector with a passion for AOR, Power Pop and Melodic Progressive Rock as well as a contributing writer for numerous related web sites and magazines. Involved with several  CD reissues and the 70s pomp group Starcastle; Eric resides in Minnesota with his wife and four cats and currently can be found at the classic rock web site Glory Daze Music.  www.glorydazemusic.com

12 Responses to “LOST TREASURES – Silver Laughter”

  1. Mick Orton says:

    If you would like to hear more of Silver Laughter’s music, please contact me at mick at sfresidence.com.

    Mick Orton
    Silver Laughter bassist, singer and co-songwriter

  2. Mick Orton says:

    By they way, I do NOT “heart” Kenny G. Not sure how I ended up with that icon. Anyway, I found a bunch of copies of the vinyl records which include sleeves with lyrics and other information on them. If anyone’s interested, they are not inexpensive since these are the last of the pressings from ’76 and ’78 still in the shrink wrap!

  3. dudeman says:

    Mick and anyone else w/ a KENNY G icon…when you joined PGH, there was instructions in a few places w/ how to get rid of that. (it’s to motivate folks to get their real picture posted so we can kinda see each other..)

    All you have to do is go to: http://www.gravatar.com

    It takes a few minutes and once you upload your picture, it will update in around 15 minutes.

  4. Mick Orton says:

    Everyone, I have changed my Gravatar picture twice now and it still updates to the Kenny G icon. As for the Silver Laughter CD’s, they have been selling all over the country and in Spain (of all places). I love the feedback we have gotten on our music. Everyone has been very positive about what we have done. It’s gratifying. I only wish we’d stayed together for a third album. I think that might have been the one that put us over the top! As I said before, I have found a few original pressings of Handle with Care and Sailing on Fantasies still in the shrink wrap. The liner notes are very informative!

  5. Kim Ludtke says:

    Mick – funny Eric should mention Tommy Bolin in the article – I met his brother Johnnie (Black Oak Arkansas drummer) a few years ago when he was being inducted into the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – I was there to see Art Smart and Sunday Social get inducted

    • Mick Orton says:

      In case nobody here knows, Kim Ludtke was our first and last drummer with Paul Staack in between! Kim – so how does Black Oak get inducted when they have nothing to do with Iowa Rock and Roll? Silver Laughter deserves a place in the Hall of Fame if anyone does.


Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] must create a user ID before you can see this post, but once you navigate to this page, http://www.popgeekheaven.com/music-discovery/lost-treasures-silver-laughter where Editor Bruce has posted a song from each of our […]

  2. […] each plus shipping. If you are interested in hearing more about our band, go to Glory Daze Music or Pop Geek Heaven (become a member for FREE to view this link) and read more about Silver […]

  3. […] you are interested in hearing more about our band, go to Glory Daze Music or Pop Geek Heaven (become a member for FREE to view this link) and read more about Silver […]

  4. […] must create a FREE user ID before you can see this post, but once you do, navigate to this page, http://www.popgeekheaven.com/music-discovery/lost-treasures-silver-laughter where Editor Bruce has posted a song from each of our […]

  5. […] him for doing the reviews of “Sailing On Fantasies” for both Glorydaze Music as well as PopGeekHeaven (where you must create a FREE user ID before you can see this […]

  6. […] must create a FREE user ID before you can see his site, but once you do, navigate to this page, http://www.popgeekheaven.com/music-discovery/lost-treasures-silver-laughter where Editor Bruce has posted a song from each of our […]