Monday, October 30, 2006

John Compton "To Luna" (US SSW 1972)

Singer, songwriter, and guitarist John Parker Compton co-founded the acoustic band Appaloosa with violinist Robin Batteau in the late '60s. Both musicians had been heavily influenced by the folk scene in their hometown, Cambridge, MA. Compton got his start singing in a Cambridge church choir before he and Batteau began playing the coffeehouse circuit together.

As the 1972 press release for Compton's solo album, To Luna, tells it, John Compton showed up at producer Al Kooper's Columbia Records office in late 1968, hoping to show Kooper his songs. Uninterested, Kooper told the kid (Compton was 18) to come back some other time. But a little while later, Kooper came in on Compton and Batteau performing for the office secretaries. Won over, Kooper recorded their demo, and within a year the newly signed musicians had an album out, the self-titled debut from their group Appaloosa. Also including bassist David Reiser and cellist Eugene Rosov, Appaloosa was joined in the studios by members of Blood, Sweat & Tears, and by Kooper himself.

A year after Appaloosa's 1969 release (which was produced by Al Kooper) on Columbia Records, a 19-year-old John Compton got to take the stage at Fillmore East the last weekend of December, along with the Allman Brothers, and Blood, Sweat, and Tears. Appaloosa soon gave way to a duo project of Compton & Batteau, and the two musicians recorded Compton & Batteau in California for Columbia. By 1971, Compton was on his own with a new LP, To Luna, but after this, it would be over 20 years before he returned to the studios. His return was marked by 1995's Mother of Mercy, which was followed by a six-song self-released recording of Compton on a Vermont radio station. ~ Joslyn Layne, All Music Guide


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you very much, Lizardson.. for this and for so many lost gems that I'm finally being able to listen and enjoy so much thanks to your marvellous daily labour. I really appreciate your effort and dedication.
It's a pleasure to visit your blog each day.
thanks again,
db (

30 October, 2006 21:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an absolutely amazing album. My current favorite. How can this go so unknown? Do you by change have the Compton and Batteau album?

05 February, 2007 13:12  
Anonymous Bren Flibig said...

Wow, lovely music. I discovered Appaloosa in the 25cent bin at a local record store in 1983, and have loved it ever since. No one I know has heard of it, most don't like it, so it's been a secret pleasure forever. It's wonderful to find out he has more music. Thanks.

04 June, 2007 07:25  
Blogger J. Parker Compton said...

Thanks for your post about our music.
Compton & Batteau "Essa Vanessa"

26 March, 2008 00:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the music and matching images. I got the appaloosa at a thrift store and sooo appreciate having more of this guy's awesome singing.
Now to try to track down this bit of sweet vinyl....

13 June, 2008 04:17  
Blogger lisa rose mccready said...

Back in 1969 my then boyfriend Stuart Goldfine & myself would follow the band to gigs -- remembering one fabulous show in Cape Cod. I still feel, after ALL these years, that APPALOOSA was/is one of the best albums ever. With love & thanks,
Lisa Rosencranz

06 July, 2011 11:31  

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