It marked a total departure from Bonniwell's rebellious protopunk period with The Music Machine, to a soft rock crooning style
You may not recognize the . but perhaps the last name of Bonniwell rings a bell. That’s right-this is the long-lost, sole solo album from Sean Bonniwell, the leader of the legendary punk-rock garage band the Music Machine.
If nothing else, his ability to switch into that voice for an entire album is a tribute to pretty astonishing vocal versatility. It's a shock, though, to hear not only him focusing almost exclusively on that vocal timbre, but also to hear him as a troubadour of moody, romantic, melancholy, and introspective songs, with plenty of touches of flamenco, bossa nova, and sweeping horns and strings.
Still, "Close" showed another side of an ambitious and creative musician with a diverse and unerring instinct for the various directions rock music would head in coming decades. He's gone, but let the music "Continue. In 1969 I was a huge Music Machine fan and wanted to hear more of their limited releases, so I purchased "Close" eagerly. But upon listening to it, I was disappointed. Where was that snarling vocalist I loved so much?
The sole solo album by ex-Music Machine leader Sean Bonniwell, using the name . Bonniwell for this release, must have come as a surprise to the few people who heard it. There was none of the angst. The sole solo album by ex-Music Machine leader Sean Bonniwell, using the name . There was none of the angst or hard garage rock associated with many of the Music Machine's finest moments.
Bonniwell in August 1969. Close fared no better commercially than The Bonniwell Music Machine, and Bonniwell gave up on the music business for the next two decades, never recording another album
Sean Bonniwell made a name for himself in the 1960s with garage gurus the Music Machine, so this transformation to thoughtful singer-songwriter material in the final hours of that decade - to say nothing of his newfound moniker (he was born Thomas Sean Bonniwell) - must have inspired a few quizzical looks. Featuring lush production from Vic Briggs (Eric Burdon & the Animals) and material that veers toward the painfully earnest, Close didn’t do much business upon its release. Close fared no better commercially than The Bonniwell Music Machine, and Bonniwell gave up on the music business for the next two decades, never recording another album