Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day 08/08/2019

Five Long Island musicians who had played in several groups decided to form their own group in 1965. The band was originally called the 5 Illusions. After a few personnel changes the name was changed a few times, with the name the Illusion finally sticking.

The group’s first single (My Party) was written and produced by Mitch Ryder in 1968, but it did not garner much airplay or many sales. They also toured with Mitch for about seven months. The response and build-up of their local fan base in New York was sufficient to get them signed to the new Steed Records label that was started by Jeff Barry.

The group went into the studio and cut their first album in 1969. The group wrote or co-wrote most of the songs on the album. The first single on the album was written by Jeff and an edited version was released as the first single. The initial edit was a little over three minutes, but that version failed to chart. Six months later an edit of 2:47 was released, and the second time was the charm; the heavy-sounding Did You See Her Eyes was a surprise hit, reaching #32 on the charts in September.

The success of the single allowed the group to return to the road. They performed at shows for a large number of acts, including Chicago, the Who, the Allman Brothers, Sly and the Family Stone, and Jimi Hendrix.

The album version of the song was nearly seven minutes long and that version got airplay on a lot of FM stations.

The group released at least five more singles and two more albums by 1970. Two of the singles charted, but only as high as #80 and #98, and their career faded. After another year or so the group disbanded and some of the members went on to perform in other groups.



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