MC Squared Tantalizing Colours: The Reprise Recordings

After I left Bakersfield, California in 1962 I Moved to LA, changed my name to Randy Sterling, ‘cause nobody could pronounce Cierley, and seriously dived into the Hollywood music scene. Through One of the Mize Brothers, Buddy, I found myself in the studio after being there only about two months. I still had some contacts from when our high school band, «Rick Lee and The Barons», backed «The Paradons» on «Diamonds And Pearls» in 1959 and, with that and a career taking performance on 12 string guitar at The Troubador night club one night in 1964, things just kind of took off for me from there.

I soon became one of the «A» list studio rhythm guitar players for about three years. An opportunity opened up in 1965 and I moved to San Francisco to play, tour, write, and record with The Trident Corporation (Management and production company) under the direction of Frank Werber while learning recording engineering, record production, and the WHOLE music business in general. I arranged «You Were On My Mind» for The We Five, recorded, produced, and wrote for The Kingston Trio, Sons Of Champlin, The Mystery Trend, and Blackburn and Snow. I also contributed to some memorable sessions with Sly Stone. Became friends with Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, even Moby Grape! I had an altogether fantastic two and a half years. But by that time the «City By The Bay» was becoming just a bit too bizarre, even for me, so I decided to get back to Hollywood.

Upon returning to L. A. I hooked up with three old folk music friends, Mike Crowley, Mike Clough, and Linda Carey, who wanted to do something different. We found this drummer, Jim Keltner, working in a music shop in Pasadena just down the street from the old «Ice House» coffeehouse and knew we really had a group.

We were signed by Warner Bros. under the name MC Squared and proceeded to try to make an album of all our own material. The only problem was that the producer who was assigned to us didn’t have a clue as to what we were doing. He never came to one rehearsal and when we went into the studio he tried to make us sound like every other group he was producing. Since I had met and become friends with Mo Ostin, who was now president of Reprise Records, while working with the Kingston Trio I decided that we had nothing to lose and went to see him one day. I sat in his office and told him that even though we liked our producer, he didn’t understand what we were trying to do.

So I asked if he would give me a chance to produce a demo so he could see what we were all about. To my delight and surprise Mo said, «OK, but if I don’t hear what your talking about, our guy produces or your deal is off». We were given three hours in some little side street studio and the next day took what we had done back to him. He sat… listened… turned to me and said, «Randy, pick the studio you want and gimmie an album». Well, we made one hell of an album.


~ Randy Cierley Sterling

M.C.2 – THAT’S THE WORD – The flip side to SMILING. Michael Clough and Michael Crowley took the initials of their name and made a clever interpretation as their moniker. Prior to starting up this bunch, they were part of the tongue-in-cheek ensemble, The Black Porch Majority. They turned MC2 into a co-ed conglomeration and released four singles in 1967/68 on Reprise Records. This track, the B-side of their third single, features them in full swing, with eastern scales, fuzz bass, impeccable male/female harmonies, and a truly catchy song. The end of the song is highlighted by a crescendo of guttural vocal drones that sound like a kazoo on acid. They were probably from the Los Angeles area and the 45 was produced by Randy Steirling.

~ from Voyages Into Pop Psyche Vol.1 liner notes


MC Squared Tantalizing Colours: The Reprise Recordings

MC SQUARED (also known as MC2), featured folk renegades LINDA CAREY, MICHAEL CLOUGH, and MICHAEL CROWLEY from The Back Porch Majority, as well as legendary studio musicians JIM KELTNER and RANDY STERLING.

Repressing of this UK collection. MC Squared-featuring folk renegades from the Back Porch Majority, as well as legendary studio musicians Jim Keltner and Randy Sterling-recorded four exciting singles for Reprise Records during 1967 and 1968. Sounding like a unique hybrid of the Mamas and the Papas and Jefferson Airplane, the Los Angeles-based quintet failed to generate commercial success, and as a result their long-lost 1968 album has since been confined to the vaults… until now! The CD contains their four Reprise singles, two of which were produced by Lenny Waronker (Van Dyke Parks, Randy Newman, Beau Brummels), as well as the material that was to comprise their debut LP, all sourced from the original master tapes! Filled with brilliant harmonies and psychedelically experimental left turns, MC Squared will appeal to fans of Curt Boettcher, Eternity’s Children, and the Millennium/Ballroom. The 16-page, full-color booklet includes rare, previously unpublished photos, and extensive liner notes featuring the participation of original band members. Now Sounds. (Steve Hoffman Music Forums)

Track List

  1. Bornatztt
  2. Ghost of Man
  3. Do You Care
  4. Miss Abercrombie
  5. Stoning of the Quiet Men
  6. Tantalizing Colours
  7. Smilin
  8. Dolphins
  9. Adults Only
  10. Everybodys Talkin
  11. You Are Lovely
  12. Karneeval
  13. Or Something (Part 1) (Mono 45)
  14. Or Something (Instrumental)
  15. SST (Mono 45)
  16. My Mind Goes High (Mono 45)
  17. Smilin (Mono 45)
  18. That’s the Word (Mono 45)
  19. I Know You
  20. Time Will Equalize

MC Squared – Tantalizing Colours: The Reprise Recordings (Full Album)


  1. Bornatzatt – 03:04
  2. Ghost Of Man – 02:45
  3. Do You Care – 03:18
  4. Miss Abercrombie – 02:21
  5. The Stoning Of The Quiet Man – 02:51
  6. Tantalizing Colours – 03:58
  7. Smilin’ – 02:41
  8. The Dolphins – 03:44
  9. Adults Only – 02:31
  10. Everybody’s Talkin’ – 03:09
  11. You Are Lovely – 03:02
  12. Karneeval – 03:22

Bonus Tracks:

  1. Or Something (Single A-Side) – 03:01
  2. Or Something (Instrumental) – 03:01
  3. S.S.T. (Single A-Side) – 03:05
  4. My Mind Goes High (Single B-Side) – 02:39
  5. Smilin’ (Single A-Side) – 02:41
  6. That’s The Word (Single B-Side) – 02:33
  7. I Know You (Your Nature Is Like Mine) (Single B-Side) – 03:51
  8. Time Will Equalize (Previously Unreleased) – 02:27


Linda Carey – Vocals

Michael Clough – Guitar, Vocals

Michael Crowley – Lead Guitar, Vocals

Randy Cierley-Steirling – Bass

Jim Keltner – Drums, Percussion


Arranged By: MC Squared (tracks: 1 to 15, 17, 18)

Bass: Randy Cierley-Steirling

Drums, Percussion: Jim Keltner

Guitar, Vocals: Michael Clough

Lead Guitar, Vocals: Michael Crowley

Mastered By: Alan Brownstein

Producer: Jack Hunt (tracks: 19), Lenny Waronker (tracks: 13 to 16, 20), Randy Sterling (tracks: 1 to 12, 17 to 19)

Reissue Producer, Liner Notes, Art Direction, Layout: Steve Stanley

Strings: Ron Elliott (tracks: 13, 14)

Vocals: Linda Carey

Written By: F. Neil (tracks: 8, 10), Clough (tracks: 1 to 7, 9, 11 to 20), Crowley (tracks: 1 to 6, 9, 11 to 16, 18 to 20), Sterling* (tracks: 7, 17)

Phonographic Copyright (p) Warner Bros. Records Inc.

Copyright (c) Now Sounds

Record Company Cherry Red Records Ltd.

Licensed From Warner Music UK Ltd.

Recorded At T.T.G. Studios

Recorded At Western Recorders

Recorded At United Recorders

Published By Kinetic Music Pub. Co.

Published By Third Story Music, Inc.

Published By Third Palm Music

Audio CD (June 5, 2012)

Number of Discs: 1

Format: Import

Label: Now Sounds


DISCLAIMER: I do not make any profit from this video. No copyright infringement intended. All rights belong to the respective artists and the record companies. It is uploaded for educational and promotional purposes only. I do not own, nor claim to own anything contained in this video.







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