In the late Sixties Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, was a crucible of musical talent, and may be most remembered for its impact on R&B with “The Philly Sound.” But from 1969 to 1971 it was also home to a rock band so loaded with talent that its members and its management went on to help shape the American music scene in the Seventies and Eighties and beyond.
For a time Wax was the hottest band in Philly, performing a unique blend of art rock, blues, and jazz, that was complex and intelligent yet driving and catchy. Combining rhythmic and instrumental intensity with multi-layered vocal arrangements and original songwriting, Wax made their mark quickly. The band opened for The Byrds, Chicago, John Mayall, The Everly Brothers, and Manfred Mann, as well as headlining concerts and festivals all over the region.
In late 1970, the group was signed by legendary producer Bob Crewe (The Four Seasons/Jersey Boys, Mitch Ryder, and Lesley Gore) and his label CGC (distributed by Atlantic). The band started to make an album at New York City’s famed Record Plant but the record was never finished due to financial difficulties at the label. The disappointment eventually caused the group to disband, but all remained friends and went on to pursue many other musical projects.
Shortly before the unanticipated break-up, Wax managers John Kalodner and Bill Sisca arranged a two hour live studio recording session in New York to tape the best of the band’s considerable repertoire. In a burst of creative brilliance fueled by passion and unstoppable enthusiasm, a noteworthy album was recorded live from beginning to end, with neither overdubs nor post production mixing. For nearly forty years the tape sat in Kalodner’s personal collection, and was recently rediscovered and restored. The musicianship, singing, and unique creative sound of Wax, at their “live” finest, may finally be heard on their long-overdue debut.
Here then is “Melted“. . . !