Billings band to release debut album 50 years after it was recorded on April 21st
Alex Carretero of Spanish record label, Guerssen, calls Birth “Probably the greatest lost US psych album ever.”
The Frantics formed in Billings in 1964. By the time of their breakup in 1970, they had performed all over the country and shared the stage with The Yardbirds (w/ Jeff Beck & Jimmy Page), The Who, Jethro Tull, Eric Burdon, Love, Alice Cooper, Richie Havens, The Rascals, The Everly Brothers, The Leaves, The McCoys and others. Members of The Frantics even took part in a jam with Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison. The Frantics recorded their debut album, Birth, in 1968, but it was never released. A record deal with producer Gabriel Mekler (Janis Joplin, Steppenwolf, Three Dog Night) came in 1969 yielding their only official release, Conception in 1970.
When the band dissolved, guitarist David Day went on to form a band in LA called Whitehorse in 1972. Frantics lead guitarist Kim Sherman briefly joined on lead guitar in 1973 but was soon replaced by Bob Deal aka Mick Mars, who would go on to fame as lead guitarist of Mötley Crüe. Mick got the band name Mötley Crüe from his time in Whitehorse. Whitehorse became a popular band in the LA club circuit, frequently sharing the bill with Van Halen and their show featured the first ever upside down drummer, a gimmick that was later made famous by Mötley Crüe.
Jim Haas would work as a session vocalist for many years, singing the “Happy Days” TV theme song and doing background vocals for many major artists. Most famously, he was recruited to record and arrange the the background vocals on Pink Floyd’s 1979 album, The Wall. He would also remain with Pink Floyd during The Wall tour of 1980-81 and again in 1990, when Roger Waters brought The Wall to Berlin. Jim passed away in 2018, one day before this album was due to arrive at his door, 50 years after he’d recorded it.
Lost Sounds Montana is a record label that started in Missoula in 2011 by DJs of Missoula’s college radio station, KBGA. The mission of Lost Sounds Montana is, “to preserve, archive, showcase and make accessible the music and associated history of Montana across the decades.
Birth was made in cooperation with the surviving members of the band and was licensed by The Norman Petty Estate.
We’re really excited to share this album with Montana music fans!