Singer-songwriter Margo Guryan may be lesser known in the canon of wildly diverse 1960s music, but some would call her a singer-songwriter prodigy. Signing as a writer to Atlantic Records at the age of 19, Guryan cut her teeth on jazz originally, attending the Lenox School of Jazz where she worked with Don Cherry and Ornette Coleman, among others. Her compositions were recorded by the likes of Harry Belafonte, Cass Elliott, and Jackie DelShannon, and she was married to jazz trombonist and pianist Bob Brookmeyer. Her life was about to change when she heard "God Only Knows" and Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys.
"I thought it was just gorgeous," said Guryan, and after listening to it "a million times," she wrote "Think Of Rain," and continued to write more in a pop music vein, eventually signing to Bell Records for the release of 1968's sunshine-pop masterpiece Take A Picture. Although Guryan refused to perform live, citing what she had seen happen with Brookmeyer's career, Take A Picture gained fans and traction based on a strong following by record collectors, drawn in by its original arrangements and melodies and Guryan's shimmering vocals.
In 2001, a Guryan CD collection called 25 Demos was released featuring a group of intricately-recorded songs; 29 Demos gathers these songs and adds four new tracks. Released in stores on August 26th, 29 Demos is a double colored vinyl (one red, one blue) that is a worthy successor to Take A Picture. To listen to these songs is to both note a facet of pop music that has been overlooked and to realize a timeless classic.