December 1, 2004

SJP


Artist: Edward Bear



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Larry Evoy (drums, vocals)
Danny Marks (guitar)
Paul Weldon (keyboards)
Bill Loop (bass)
Roger Ellis (guitar; replaced Marks June 1970)
Bob Kendall (keyboards; replaced Weldon in 1972)
Barry Best (keyboards; replaced Kendall in 1974)

Edward Bear (named after the real name of literature's Winnie The Pooh) was formed in 1967, initially as a five piece (including two drummers), but after an internal shuffle Evoy took on vocal duties along with his drumming with Marks and Weldon to be a stand alone trio. They struggled through the Yorkville scene in Toronto until finally landing some high profile gigs opening for Paul Butterfield and Led Zeppelin at Toronto's Rockpile. This was enough to attract the likes of Capitol Records in 1969 who were beginning to sign more rock oriented acts in Canada like Mother Tucker's Yellow Duck and Pepper Tree.

Their debut album, 'Bearings', was released without much fanfare, or a single, but after radio responded to the song "You, Me & Mexico", it was released in February 1970 and became a hit in Canada, reaching No.3 on the international charts and No.68 in the U.S. Alas, they embarked on a disastrous tour of Canada (ending up stranded in Vancouver for a week with only one poorly attended gig at the University of British Columbia).

Roger Ellis was brought in on guitar to help complete their follow-up LP, 'Eclipse', in 1970. But, the record failed to find a substantial audience after the single "You Can't Deny It" showed poorly on the charts.

However, the band was hitting its stride with their third album in 1972, 'Edward Bear', with back-to-back charting singles: "Fly Across The Sea" and "Masquerade" but the new commercial sound wasn't the direction that Weldon had come to expect from the band's earlier outtings and he left before their biggest selling single, "Last Song", was released in 1972. The song went to No.1 in Canada, No.3 in the U.S. and Top 5 in Australia; it sold more than 2 million copies worldwide. The American arm of Capitol re-issued "You, Me & Mexico" as the follow-up and it re-entered the U.S. charts. The group won the Outstanding Performance By A Group Juno Award in 1972.

Album four, 1973's 'Close Your Eyes' - loosely based on Evoy's embrace of Scientology - featured new addition Bobby Kendall and was augmented with the help of fellow Capitol Records act The New Potatoes. The title track hit No.3 in Canada and Top 30 in the U.S.

With another line-up change in 1974, Edward Bear finally split that year.

Larry Evoy went on to a semi-successful solo career but is currently retired and breeding show horses; Danny Marks has continued a very successful career as a blues guitar veteran; Weldon performs with a jazz combo and teaches at Seneca College in Toronto; Loop resides in South Western Ontario and plays locally with various session musicians. He also teaches guitar; Ellis has been releasing independent CDs for several years - mostly cover material - and can be seen around Toronto as a performer for the Toronto Transit's subway entertainer series. He is currently recording a new solo album being produced by Larry Evoy.

In 1984, Evoy worked with producer Rich Dodson for several singles under the name 'Edward Bear' on indie label Ursa Major Records in 1985. By 1990 the original line-up were rehearsing under speculation they would re-unite for a record, but a new 'best of' compilation was released instead featuring the newly recorded tracks from 1984 several new songs. However, in 2009 at the behest of rock journalist Ritchie Yorke, the original three members reunited at a small gathering in Toronto.

with notes from Danny Marks, Roger Ellis, Jimi Bertucci and Andy Summerlin.


Singles
1970 You, Me & Mexico/Sinking Ship (Capitol) 72603
1970 You Can't Deny It/Toe Jam (Capitol) 72622
1971 Spirit Song (short version)/Spirit Song (long version) (Capitol) 72638
1972 Fly Across The Sea/Four Months Out Of Africa (Capitol) 72653
1972 Masquerade/Pirate King (Capitol) 72662
1972 Last Song/Best Friend (Capitol) 72677
1973 Close Your Eyes/Cache County (Capitol) 72692
1973 Walking On Back/I Love Her (Capitol) 72709
1973 Coming Home Christmas/Does Your Mother Know (Capitol) 72715
1974 Same Old Feeling/Fool (Capitol- US) 72722
1974 Freedom For The Stallion/Why Won't You Marry Me? (Capitol) 72734
1975 On And On/Someone Who Loves You (Capitol) 72756
1985 Feels Right/[same] (Ursa Major) URS-101
1985 Slip Away/[same] (Ursa Major) URS-102
Albums
1969 Bearings (Capitol) SKAO-6328
1970 Eclipse (Capitol) SKAO-6349
1972 Edward Bear (Capitol) ST-6387
1973 Close Your Eyes (Capitol) SKAO-6395
1984 The Best Of The Bear (1969-1984) (Capitol) SN-66154
1991 Collection (EMI Music Canada) C2-26585

Video


Compilation Tracks
1975 "Last Song" on 'Canada Gold - 22 Karat Hits' (K-Tel) TC-225




Official Danny Marks Website


COMING IN OCTOBER 2011: The book version of the Encyclopedia.

Click on the image and pre-order now!


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