Thornton, Fradkin & Unger And The Big Band*Pass On This Side

Label:ESP Disk – ESP-63019
Vinyl, LP, Album
Style:Pop Rock, Soft Rock, Psychedelic Rock


A1God Bless California
Written-ByLeslie Fradkin
Written-ByPaul Thornton
Written-ByPaul Thornton
A4Christopher's Sorrow
Written-ByLeslie Fradkin
B1Walkin' Guitar Blues
Written-ByPaul Thornton
B2Oh Woman
Written-ByLeslie Fradkin
B3To Err Is Human
Written-ByDavid Peel
Written-ByPaul Thornton

Companies, etc.



Similar release to Pass On This Side, but this pressing has red & green labels. Also has black sleeve with stickers of the title & all credits, black inner sleeve
℗ 1974 ESP-Disk'
© 1974 United International

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout: ESPS-3019-A
  • Matrix / Runout: ESPS-3019-B -2-
  • Rights Society: ASCAP
  • Rights Society (Tracks A2, A3, B4): BMI

Other Versions (2)

View All
Title (Format)LabelCat#CountryYear
Recently Edited
Pass On This Side (LP, Album, Reissue, Black label)Get BackGET 1037Italy1998
Recently Edited
Godz Bless California (CD, Album, Reissue, Stereo)ESP Disk, ZYX MusicESP 3019-2GermanyUnknown



  • iggi_unpop's avatar
    Two good songs between lots of lapses of taste! (The Fradkin songs "Christopher's Sorrow" and "Oh Woman"). Ok, "Sometimes" might count as a third one!
    • BadCatRecord's avatar
      Former Godz drummer Paul Thornton may have gotten first place in the naming department and was responsible for penning four of the album's eight selections, but 1974's "Pass On the Side" was largely built on the talents of producer/singer/multi-instrumentalist Leslie Fradkin. In addition to having recorded an obscure single under the name Fearless Fradkin, he was a member of the band California and had extensive background working as a producer affiliated with New York's Laurie Records. I will readily admit this one is going to come as a major shock for anyone who's heard one of The Godz LPs. Produced by Fradkin who also contributed three of the songs, acoustic folk-rock and pop oriented tracks like Thornton's ballad 'M'Lady' and the folk-rocker 'Wlkin' Guitar Blues' were about as far removed from The Godz' patented atonal musical spasms as you could get. Fradkin contributions like the single 'God Bless California' and 'Christopher's Sorrow' were positively radio friendly. Who would've ever imagined these guys could craft a song with a true melody, let alone something with commercial potential? Well check out the sterling 'God Bless California'. Not only that, but they somehow convinced Wings drummer Denny Siewell to provide backing on the song. Siewell brought along Paul and Linda McCartney, making their first collaboration with an outside artist since The Beatles called it quits. Other highlights included the late David Peel's performance on 'To Err Is Human' (easy to see why most DJs aren't musicians themselves) and the band's subtle Jimi Hendrix tribute 'Jimi' (lucky they didn't get sued for copping most of 'Hey Joe' for the song. Elsewhere 'Walkin' Guitar Blues' originally appeared on the earlier "The Third Testament" Godz LP. The jangle guitar powered remake sounded like Dylan trying to copy a Byrds version of one his songs. Released in a generic black sleeve, with a page of stickers, the buyer was apparently expected to apply the red and green inner labels to the album itself.  

      The band toured in support of the album, opening for pretty much any national act that would have them, including Blood, Sweat and Tears, Brewer & Shipley, RIchie Havens and Roger McGuinn. ESP did nothing to promote and band, or the album and by early 1975 they'd called it quits.

      "Pass On the Side" track listing:
      (side 1)
      1.) God Bless California (Leslie Fradkin) - 3:26 rating: **** stars
      Fradkin had apparently written and recorded a version of the song back in 1971, but it was shelved. Seriously, how many people would ever have equated a sweet, pastoral ballad like 'God Bless California' with the raw, dissonance of your typical Godz performance? On top of that, who would have ever expected to hear Paul and Linda McCartney, along with then-Wings drummer Denny Seiwell and Randy Edelman on keyboards and backing vocals appear on the song as guests? No idea if the sentiments expressed about the State were true, or cynical ... ESP released the track as a single:
      -1974's God Bless California' b/w 'Sometimes' (ESP catalog number 45-63019)
      2.) M'Lady (Paul Thornton) - 3:17 rating: ** stars
      Complete with French words, 'M'Lady sounded like Thornton and company had overdosed on The Beatles' 'Michelle'. It's a touch fey, but lots of folks love the ballad. Me, not so much.
      3.) Jimi (Paul Thornton) - 3:31 rating: *** stars
      Well, it didn't take a lot of thought to figure out 'Jimi' was dedicated to the late Jimi Hendrix. The performances was certainly rawer than the first two tracks and they were probably luck to have not been sued by the copywrite owners of 'Hey Joe'.
      4.) Christopher's Sorrow (Leslie Fradkin) - 4:03 rating: **** stars
      Another surprise, 'Christopher's Sorrow' was a pretty, sorrowful, singer/songwriter-styled folk ballad. Imagine something in the Nick Drake catalog, though with more orchestration.

      (side 2)
      1.) Walkin' Guitar Blues (Paul Thornton) - 4:38 rating: **** stars
      'Walkin' Guitar Blues' was a remake of an earlier Godz song. The original rawer version appeared on their "The Third Testament" LP. The updated chiming folk-rock arrangement sounded like Dylan trying to copy one of his songs as recorded by Roger McGuinn and the Byrds.
      2.) Oh Woman (Leslie Fradkin) - rating: **** stars
      A slinky blues number, 'Oh Woman' showcased Fradkin's best vocal and stood as the album's most blatantly radio-friendly performance.
      3.) To Err Is Human (David Peel) - 4:47 rating: ** stars
      Geez, who thought it would be a good idea to pull the late David Peel into this project? Peel wrote it and handled the lead vocals, though it sound like he was singing with his dentures having come lose. Bizarre and simply weird enough to keep it from being horrible,
      4.) Sometimes (Paul Thornton) - 2:51 rating: *** stars
      Far from a great song, but interesting nevertheless to contrast Thornton's Godz bellowing voice versus this surprisingly likeable performance.

      In a strange marketing move, in 1989 The Italian Get Back label reissued the LP as a Godz album with new packaging and a new title ("The Godz Bless California" - Get Back catalog GET 1037).  

      Fradkin is still and active musician and has a brief but interesting website located at:

      Fradkin went on to attract attention as an initial member of Broadway's Beatlesmania cast (he played George Harrison). He stayed with the show from 1976 until it closed in 1979 and appeared on the 1978 cast album - "Beatlemania (Original Cast Album Recorded Live At The Winter Garden Theatre)" (Arista catalog number AL 8501). He continued to work as a producer, record with the band California, as a solo act, and to work in television and advertising.

      • Kisho_Reggio's avatar
        Edited 8 years ago
        Experimental and psychedelic band The GODZ of freak out a late 60 's.
        This lazy acid album, Leslie Fradkin and wacky drummer Paul Thornton has released in the main.
        Rough-hewn unexpected poetry that dwells in the acoustic number is really modern.
        A-1 "God Bless California " is David Peel, Paul and Linda McCartney, Randy Edelman and jazz bassist Richard Davis,
        and other participate. Music is becoming increasingly pop than The GODZ name.
        There is also the last great album of GODZ as positioning.


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