Aesop's Fables


Band members               Related acts

- Ronny Alterville -- bass, guitar, backing vocals (1966-69)
- Sonny Bottari -- vocals, percussion (1966-69)
- Robert DiMonda -- flute, sax, backing vocals (1966-69)
- Joe Fraticelli -- sax (1966-69)
- Frank Krepala -- guitar, backing vocals (1966-69)
- Louis Montaruli -- trumpet, trombone (1966-69)
- John Scaduto -- vocals, drums (1966-69)
- Barry Taylor -- keyboards (1966-69)

 

 

 

Sonny Bottari (solo efforts)

 


 

Genre: psych

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  In Due Time

Company: Cadet Concept

Catalog: LPS-323

Year: 1969

Country/State:  Hampstead, Long Island

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: minor ring wear; white promo label

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 5003

Price: $50.00

Cost: $1.00

 

Falling somewhere in the musical spectrum between David Clayton-Thomas and Blood, Sweat and Tears and The Young Rascals,  the short-lived and little known Aesop's Fables deserved a better fate.  Led by singer/songwriter Sonny Bottari, the Long Island-based group was initially signed by ATCO where they released a series of three widely ignored mid-1960s singles:

 

 

- 1966's 'I've Got Troubles' b/w 'Hidin' My Love' (ATCO catalog number 45-6453)

- 1967's 'Girl, I've Got News For You' b/w 'Yes, I'm Back' (ATCO catalog number 45-6508) 

- 1967's 'What's A Man To Do' b/w 'Take A Step' (ATCO catalog number 45-6523) 

- 1968's 'The Truth' b/w 'Slow And Easy'(ATCO catalog number 45-6565) 

 

After four unsuccessful singles ATCO dropped the band, though in a matter of months they rebounded, attracting the attention of the Chess affiliated Cadet Concept label.  Eager to expand its catalog of rock material, Cadet Concept gave the go ahead for an album teaming them with producer/songwriter  Bob (Robert) Gallo for their 1969 label debut "In Due Time".  Sporting two capable vocalists in Sonny Bottari and drummer John Scaduto, the collection aptly demonstrated the octet's enjoyable blend of blue-eyed soul and more experimental horn based outings ('Everybody's Talking' and 'Look Out' and 'In the Morning').  Featuring a mixture of Gallo-penned numbers and band originals, blue-eyed soul moves like 'Lift Up Your Hearts', 'What Is Soul', and The Rascals blue-eyed soul clone 'What Is Love' were quite commercial.  Unfortunately, in the midst of a burgeoning blues and metal scene, the band's easygoing soul moves also seemed slightly out of date; almost like they were a year or two behind popular tastes.  Elsewhere there were a couple of stabs at updating the sound.  Sporting a much harder rock sound 'Spoons Full of Sand' came off as a weird hybrid of  Cream-meets Blood, Sweat and Tears.  Guufy but kind of neat.  Unfortunately the group's lounge lizard cover of the Supremes' 'I'm Gonna Make You Love Me' was simply a boneheaded move. The album was tapped for a single:

 

 

- 1969's  'I'm Gonna Make You Love Me' b/w 'They Go Out and Get It' (Cadet Concept catalog number 7005).  

 

Unfortunately that seems to have been about it as far as promotional supposet went.  By the way, dock the collection half a star for having one of the year's ugliest covers.

"In Due Time" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Lift Up Your Hearts   (Barry Taylor - Ronny Alterville)
2.) What Is Soul   (Robert Gallo)
3.) In Due Time   (Robert Gallo - Segal)
4.) In the Morning   (John Scaduto - Robert Gallo - Ronny Alterville
5.) Everyone's Talking   (Robert Gallo - Segal)
6.) Spoons Full of Sand  (Sonny Bottari - Barry Taylor - Ronny Alterville - Heins)

(side 1)

1.) The Sound of Crying   (Sonny Bottari - Barry Taylor - Ronny Alterville - Heins)
2.) What Is Love   (Robert Gallo)
3.) Look Out   (B. Bottari - Barry Taylor)
4.) I'm Gonna Make You Love Me   (Jerry Ross - Kenny Gamble - Williams)
5.) And When It's Over   (Bert Sommer)

 

 

There were also a pair of non-LP singles:

 

- 1969's 'Temptation 'Bout To Get Me' b/w 'What is Love?' (Cadet Concept catalog number 7011)

- 1969's 'What Is Love?' b/w 'And When It's Over' (Cadet Concept catalog number 7016)

 

The former reappeared on a Bottari solo album.

 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Pickin' Up the Pieces

Company: Mandala

Catalog: ST 14001

Year: 1972

Country/State:  Hampstead, Long Island

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG+

Comments: small punch out hole top left corner; Canadian pressing

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 5701

Price: $100.00

Cost: $1.00

 

Most folks don't realize that there was a second Aesop's Fables album.    Featuring a front cover drawing of front man/vocalist Sonny Bottari and credited to 'Aesop's Fables Featuring Sonny Bottari', technically you could argue it was a Bottari solo effort rather than a true band release. I won't argue the point either way.  Regardless 1972's "Pickin' Up the Pieces" remains largely unknown.  In fact most music reference works don't even list it.  Of course that's understandable given it saw an extremely limited releases in Australia, Canada, and Holland (the latter released on the Pink Elephant label).  

 

Purely speculation on my part, but it seems likely that the material was recorded as a planned follow-up to 1969's "In Due Time", or reflected outtakes and other miscellaneous material recorded during the debut sessions.  It may have also been a quickie release by front man Bottari aimed at capitalizing on the band's reputation, though that seems unlikely given the set's limited release.  Produced by Bob Gallo and the first release on his Capitol-affiliated Mandala label, unlike the debut, this album featured an all covers set of material.  Lots of late-1960s FM stuff was to be found here including Blood, Sweat and Tears, a Stephen Stills song, three Dave Mason tunes, and the Gallo-penned title track.  Musically the performances weren't half bad.  Bottari had a nice voice with a chameleon-like quality that made it easy for him to adapt to a variety of styles including soul ('Ain't that Particular''), pop (the title track), and harder rock ('Look At Me Look At You').  To my ears he sounded a little bit like a less hyper David Clayton-Thomas (check out the BS&T cover - 'I Can't Quit Her').  The big problem with this set was that none of the covers strayed very far from the originals which made you wonder why they bothered.  Standout performance - the soulful cove of Gene Barge's 'I Don't Know '.  Not an essential release, but an interesting curiosity.     

 

"Pickin' Up the Pieces" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Ain't that Particular   (Tarplin - Rogers - Smokey Robinson - Moore) - 3:14

2.) Sit Yourself Down   (Stephen Stills) - 2:40

3.) Shouldn't Have Took More Than You Gave   (Dave Mason) - 3:40

4.) California   (N. Marchiano) - 3:07

5.) Look At Me Look At You   (Dave Mason) - 5:25

(side 1)

1.) I Can't Quit Her   (Al Kooper - Levine) - 2:55

2.) Pickin' Up the Pieces   (Bob Gallo) - 4:00

3.) Girl I've Got New for You   (R. Pucetti - Brad Shappiro) - 2:50

4.) I Don't Know   (Gene Barge) - 2:54

5.) Only You Know and I Know   (Dave Mason) - 3:09

 

 

 

The album subsequently reappeared as a Sonny Bottari solo album on the Guinness label - "Pickin' Up the Pieces" Guinness catalog number GNS 36050).

 

 

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