Saturday, July 25, 2015

Marcia Hines - Ooh Child (1979)

(Australian 1970 - Present).

Marcia Hines was born in Boston, USA on July 20, 1953. As a small child she began singing at church. She made her first solo appearance at the age of nine at a church festival. Three years later, Marcia had started singing with rhythm and blues groups around Boston at dances and church socials.
Her big break came while she was still only sixteen when she was flown to Sydney after signing with Harry M. Miller to appear in the first Australian production of Hair. She toured with the show. The quality of her performance led to her winning the role of Mary Magdalene in Miller's production of Jesus Christ Superstar. By now Marcia had won herself a reputation for her professionalism. After Superstar came an offer to tour with the Daly-Wilson Big Band. The tour even included performances in the Soviet Union.

Marcia's recording career started with the signing of a recording contract with the Wizard label early in July 1974. Her first single, "Fire And Rain", was released in March 1975. It zoomed into the top ten two months later. The follow-up single, "From The Inside"/"Jumpin' Jack Flash", was released in conjunction with her debut album, Marcia Shines, in October '75. The album was an instant success and within one week it had sold 7,000 copies. Over the next eight months it topped the 50,000 sales mark.

In February 1976, she toured with Gene Pitney. Then, in May, came her third single, "Don't Let The Grass Grow"/"You Gotta Let Go", which didn't make the charts. Hot on the heels of her first successful album, Marcia left for Los Angeles midway through 1976 to record her second at the Arbee Studios. The album was called 'Shining', and was released in October '76. Within one month it had gone gold. That same year she was crowned TV Week Queen of Pop for the first time. In September she released her biggest selling single to date, "I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself", which stayed in the charts for an amazing twenty one weeks.
Marcia's next national tour came early in 1977. It was promoted as her Shining Over Australia Tour. It was so successful that an 'encore' tour was scheduled for March '77, covering twenty eight additional venues. At this stage, her basic backing unit (which was supplemented by other musicians) consisted of fiance Mark Kennedy (drums); Jackie Orszaczky (bass guitar, musical direction); Stephen Howsden (guitar); and Warren Ford (keyboards). In the meantime, sales of the Shining album were still rising and by the end of March '77, they had topped the 150,000 mark (triple platinum status).

Then, in April, Marcia spent most of her time in the studios recording her third album. It was a slightly more mellow record although it did reflect her diversified vocal ability. The album was called 'Ladies And Gentlemen . . . Marcia Hines'. Amazingly it went gold only two hours after it was shipped to two states. By the end of 1977 it had sold over 50,000 copies. Pre-empting the album was a single from it entitled "What I Did For Love". The song was from the stage show, A Chorus Line, and entered the charts at the end of July. At the same time Marcia embarked on her biggest tour ever, which spanned one hundred and thirty days and included eighty six shows. It also covered both South East and Far East Asia.

Marcia on Countdown 1979
To top off 1977 she was again crowned TV Week Queen of Pop and another single from her album, 'You', was released in October. At the end of the year, Marcia recorded a Christmas special for the ABC network. Her plans for 1978 included more TV specials for the ABC and the possibility of a trip to the USA and Europe early in the year.
With only three years' recording behind her, Marcia has become probably Australia's biggest selling, locally recorded female artist ever. Quite an achievement!
About the greatest recognition a female vocalist can get in Australia is to be voted Queen of Pop at the TV Week King of Pop Awards. Marcia was crowned in October '78 for the third time in a row — a feat which has been equaled by only one other female artist, the first Queen of Pop, Allison Durbin.

Marcia's 1977 number one single, "You", continued in the charts for the first two and a half months of 1978. In February, she released a new album, Marcia Hines Live Across Australia, recorded during her international tour in '77. Thanks to her producer, Robie Porter, the result was a studio-class sound; by April it was declared double platinum (over 100,000 copies sold). A single from it, "Music Is My Life", provided Marcia with her seventh national hit. It was followed by 'Imagination', another track from the live album (released mid '78), and in December by a special single featuring "Let The Music Play" and "Empty", issued on brown vinyl and sporting a picture cover.

Marcia entered television during 1978 with her own ABC network series, Marcia Hines Music. The show was so successful that she was signed to do a second series for early in 1979.
Marcia also returned briefly in autumn '78 to her role as Mary Magdalene in the revival for the Sydney club circuit of Jesus Christ Superstar, but missed some performances due to throat and respiratory ailments. In September, she contracted bronchial pneumonia, but fortunately recuperated in time to set off with manager, Peter Rix, on a promotional trip of the US, Canada and Europe. She also completed a tour of the Far East.

Marcia on Countdown with Molly Meldrum
 It was an important year for establishing herself as an international artist. She signed a big UK-based recording deal with the new Logo label and "You" was released throughout Europe (with the exception of England where other tracks were being considered).
She recorded her next studio album 'Ooh Child' early in 1979 for release midway through the year, and consequently undertook a 63 date national tour from April through to July, to promote her first soul/funk album. [extract from Noel McGraths Australian Encyclopedia of Rock, Outback Press, 1978 p143-145; 1978-79 Yearbook p24-25]

Marcia stopped recording in the early 1980s until she returned with 'Right Here and Now' in 1994, the same year she became an Australian citizen. "What a Feeling" was released in 1999 and is a single taken from the album 'Time of Our Lives' it made it to #66 here in Australia and #23 in New Zealand.

The success continued into the millennium with the Australian Olympic Team choosing Marcia's new single "Rise" as their official team song. "I am incredibly honored and inspired that 'Rise' has been chosen by the athletes as the official Australian Olympic Team Song," Marcia says. "The athletes are the true heroes of the Olympic Games and I hope this song promotes inspiration and success for our elite athletes during the Games."

She was the subject of the 2001 biography 'Diva: the life of Marcia Hines' which coincided with the release of the compilation album, 'Diva'. Commencing in  2003, she was a judge on the TV music talent show Australian Idol, and her elevated profile led to a renewed interest in her as a performer. Her 2006 album, 'Discotheque', peaked at #6 on the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) albums chart.

Marcia is the mother of singer Deni Hines, with whom she performed on the duet single "Stomp!" (2006). She now lives near Newcastle, New South Wales with Christopher Morrissey, her husband since 2005. Her status in the Australian music industry was recognised when she was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame on 18 July 2007

Maybe you could call Marcia Hines a survivor but it's more a case of just being - being your best at all times. Whether it is taking center stage at the Fox Studios Australia Opening, the Stadium Australian Opening or her sell-out concert tours throughout Australia and New Zealand, there is no doubt that Marcia Hines will continue to remain at the peak of her recording and performing career rewarding old fans and embracing new ones. [extract from the Australian Jazz Agency]
I've always thought very highly of Marcia Hines during her career as a singer, a T.V personality and ambassador of Australia. She is such a genuine person and has been a wonderful mentor for many other Australian Musicians. As she sang back in the early 70's "Music Is My Life" and it has been this philosophy that has made her such a success story. For your enjoyment, I am posting one of her lesser known albums 'Ooh Child' which was her first overseas recordings, and features some famous international artists such as Lee Ritenour (guitar), Mike Pocaro (Bass) and David Hungate (Bass).

This post consists of both FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from vinyl and includes full album artwork along with 'Miracle' label scans.  The album was also released in the states by Logo records using a different cover (see above).
The album has a strong Soul / Funk feel to it and demonstrates the amazing versatility in Marcia's voice.  The only oddity on the album is her cover of Dragon's "April Sun In Cuba" which she combines in a medley with the Drifter's "Save The Last Dance For Me". What the two songs have in common escapes me and the pairing doesn't really work in my opinion.
Otherwise, this is an enjoyable album that should not be overlooked. Enjoy.

Track Listing
01 - Ooh Child    
02 - Something's Missing (In My Life)

03 - You're So Good    
04 - Moments    
05 - I Wanna Make It With You Tonight    
06 - Dance You Fool, Dance    
07 - April Sun In Cuba / Save The Last Dance For Me    
08 - Where Did We Go Wrong    
09 - Let The Music Play

. .
Bass : Mike Porcaro & David Hungate
Guitar Solos : Lee Ritenour
Guitars : Lee Ritenour, Tim May, Fred Tackett, Rick Springfield, Bob Mack & Paul Sabu
Drums : Willie Ornelas & Ed Greene Keyboards : Jaï Winding, Al Camps & Terry Young
Marimba / Vibes : Julius Wechter
Rhythm Percussion : Robie G. Porter, Steve Forman, Bob Conti & Carl Friberg
Synthesizer Program : Jan Lucas
Strings led by Sid Sharp


Ooh Child FLACs (244Mb) New Link 15/10/2015

Ooh Child MP3's  (95Mb)  New Link 05/09/2018

1 comment:

  1. "Ooh Child" features what must be some of the awful Australian album artwork ever. No offense to Marcia, but someone at the record label quality control must have been away sick the day that lot was signed off.