Barry McGuire  

Artist & Band information for:Christian Music & Lyrics Barry McGuire

Barry McGuire - Official site
Photos, MP3s, biography, discography, store and concert listings.
Amazon offers Anthology (Audio CD),18 July, 1993
Christian Music & Lyrics Barry McGuire List price $9.98
A good singer covers great material / 3
With his blond haired neo-Cro-Magnon good looks and a powerful, growling voice to match, folksinger Barry McGuire hit the charts like an exploding H-bomb in the summer of 1965 with the P. F. Sloan tune "Eve of Destruction". This wasn't his first foray into top-40 territory, as a couple of years back he had been lead singer on the New Christy Minstrel's hit "Green Green". A little later he was mentioned in the Mamas and Papas song "Creeque Alley", which told the story of their earlier musical journeys and incarnations, etc., in which Jim/Roger McGuinn of the Byrds as well as John Sebastian of the Lovin' Spoonful also played prominent roles. [McGuire's good friends from the New Christy Minstrels and the Mamas & Papas sang backup for him on various songs on several of his albums.]

Though Barry has written a few of his own songs, mostly he recorded covers of other artists' works; but his singing style is so strong and unique [and tuneful as well] that it makes his interpretations well worth listening to. There are four Dylan covers [tracks 1, 11-13], and seven more of P. F. Sloan's [in addition to "Eve": 5, 6, 8-10, 16-17], plus "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" (Lennon/McCartney) and a few others.

It may seem rather baffling that Barry hasn't been featured more prominently in the American musical scene; but maybe America's love of originality tends to work against a "singer/songwriter" who rarely records anything besides other songwriters' tunes. He was sort of Dunhill Records' hired gun, recording many of the excellent songs coming from the pen of 'staff songwriter' Sloan [many of whose songs also went to the Turtles, the Grass Roots, and others.]

It should be noted that McGuire's rough voice is not highly suitable for the more softer-sounding tunes--you wouldn't expect him to cover something like "Elusive Butterfly", or to serve as a stand-in for Marty Balin on the next Jefferson Airplane re-union tour. But he manages to growl/muddle his way through "You Were On My Mind" and "She Belongs to Me" etc. without too much of a meltdown.

Oddly enough, the CD insert contains hardly any information at all, not even the names of the songwriters (though the track time of each song is included). It also contains the names of the compiler and his 'creative consultant'--although it doesn't appear that these two did much of anything.

The songs from the 'Eve of Destruction' LP are a little annoying to listen to because the engineer/producer decided to pan McGuire's voice hard left and his guitar hard right, and jack the vocal up high enough that it drowns out the guitar a bit. [As if Barry's strong voice really needs to be excessively prominent in the mix!] In other words the left-to-right mix isn't very good. You won't be able to fix this with the balance control on your stereo amplifier--all that will do is squeeze the bad mix closer towards one side.

If this really bothers you [hopefully not], my suggestion would be to run the mix through a high-end CD-recorder, tape deck or any device [e.g. a stereo mixer] which will enable you to control the volume of the left and right channels separately. Even better, if you find the tweak that suits you, burn the offending songs to a new CD or a high-qality cassette. Note: make sure you know which songs don't have this problem, so you can undo the tweak during the re-recording of those already well-mixed songs (there are only a few).
The eastern world it is explodin',
Violence flarin', bullets loadin',
You're old enough to kill but not for votin',
You don't believe in war, what's that gun you're totin',
And even the Jordan river has bodies floatin',
But you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction.

Don't you understand, what I'm trying to say?
Can't you see the fear that I'm feeling today?
If the button is pushed, there's no running away,
There'll be noone to save with the world in a grave,
Take a look around you, boy, it's bound to scare you, boy,
But you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction.

Yeah, my blood's so mad, feels like coagulatin',
I'm sittin' here, just contemplatin',
I can't twist the truth, it knows no regulation,
Handful of Senators don't pass legislation,
And marches alone can't bring integration,
When human respect is disintegratin',
This whole crazy world is just too frustratin',
And you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction.

Think of all the hate there is in Red China!
Tehn take a look around to Selma, Alabama!
Ah, you may leave here, for four days in space,
But when your eturn, it's the same old place,
The poundin' of the drums, th pride and disgrace,
You can bury your dead, but don't leave a trace,
Hate your next-door-neighbour, but don't forget to say grace,
And you tell me over and over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction.

MusiChristian.com: Barry McGuire - Best Of Barry McGuire
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Christian Guitar Resources - Artist Database - Barry McGuire
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YEAH YEAH YEAH (Anchorage Press)
Two hit CDs from last year are already getting the expanded ?deluxe edition? reissue treatment this coming Tuesday.

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