Mashmakhan, “As The Years Go By/Days When We Are Free” (1970): Forgotten series

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In late 1970, Mashmakhan departed their Canadian comfort zone and wooed American audiences with a song initially intended to be a novelty.

Composed of lyrics beginning with a little boy asking his father if he will love and protect him, followed by a teenager asking his girlfriend to make love to him, then a senior citizen asking her husband if he loves her, the prose may be prissy, but the sound of “As The Years Go By” (Epic Records) was so alluring that there was no way it could fail. Navigated by the haunting groan of wavering keyboards, braided with whipping breaks, harmonic heft and solid melody lines, the song peaked at No. 31 on the charts and resembled a quirky cross-pollination of flower-power pickings, the Zombies and Deep Purple.

The flipside of this curious relic, “Days When We Are Free” revealed to be just as enchanting and viewed Mashmakhan levitating their progressive-rock aspirations higher and higher. Cool and flashy keyboard sojourns once again mark the spot, while the blurry-eyed bark of a wah-wah guitar and racing rhythms round out the hard-driving jam that punches in at six minutes in length.

Active until 1971, Mashmakhan clearly died far too soon. The band’s stirring take of rock, pop and jazz was admittedly enterprising, and “As The Years Go By/Days When We Are Free” is a marvelous memento of their talents.

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Beverly Paterson
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