09 July 2008


Miracle Legion hailed from New Haven, Connecticut. Lead by singer Mark Mulcahy and guitarist Mr. Ray Neal, they played a mildly twangy brand of rock, often compared to R.E.M.

I believe I mentioned them once before, when posting on the bands that guested on the old kids’ TV show The Adventures of Pete & Pete. At that time, they were recording under the name Polaris, due to some legal issues.

Over the coarse of their career, they released several albums, a bunch of EPs, and a myriad of singles. Since their demise, Mark Mulcahy has been recording as a solo artist.

Normally, I’d be posting a bunch of non-album songs about now, and I do have a few. However, I found out while getting ready for this post that two of my “rarities” were included on their final album, Portrait of a Damaged Family. I’ve decided to include one of them , “Homer”, anyway. I’m hoping that it’s a different version, since they were released several years apart. Even if it is the same recording, it happens to be one of my favorite songs from them.

Addendum - turns out it is a different version. Hooray!

(All files expired)

Miracle Legion - “All The Things” (The Byrds cover) From Time Between - A Tribute To The Byrds.
Miracle Legion - “Homer” From the A Matter of Degrees soundtrack, an alternate version is on Portrait of a Damaged Family.
Miracle Legion - “Academy Fight Song” (Mission of Burma cover) From the A Matter of Degrees soundtrack. Also on the cassette version of Surprise Surprise Surprise.
Miracle Legion - “You’re the One Lee” (Mixish Celloish & Violinish) From the “You’re the One Lee” 12” single. Recorded from vinyl, so the sound quality isn’t perfect. Original version is on Me & Mr. Ray.
Miracle Legion - “Ray” (demo) Recorded during the sessions for Surprise Surprise Surprise, but not released.

In 1989, Miracle Legion toured as opening act for The Sugarcubes. The bands got along so well, they went in to the studio together and recorded a few songs under the name Sugar Legion. These were subsequently released on various singles from both bands.

Sugar Legion - “The Ladies From Town” From the “You’re the One Lee” 12” single. Miracle Legion’s original version is on Me & Mr. Ray.
Sugar Legion - “Johnny’s Dilemma” From the “You’re the One Lee” 12” single.

If anyone out there has any more of these Sugar Legion songs (or better sound quality of these two), or any other Miracle Legion rarities, I’d love to get copies of them.

Miracle Legion discography:

A Simple Thing, 1984 (EP)
The Backyard, 1984 (EP)
Surprise Surprise Surprise, 1987
Glad, 1988 (EP)
Me and Mr. Ray, 1989
Drenched, 1992
Music From The Adventures of Pete & Pete, recorded 93-96, released 1999 (buy) (as Polaris)
Portrait of a Damaged Family, 1997

Nearly all of their albums are currently out-of-print. However, they do have some copies of several of them available through the official Mezzotint (Mulcahy's label) site here.


bob said...

thank you. great band.

DeadBilly said...

Thank you. I agree.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. Yes, the version of "Homer" is different from the version on Portrait.

Erig said...

Thank you so, so much! Mark Mulcahy is my favorite.

DeadBilly said...

Thanks for the comment, and the info.

Anonymous said...

I wish you could repost these songs! Apparently there isn't a scintilla of Miracle Legion shows on YouTube, and as you know, none of their albums has been released on CD. I saw them multiple times... a truly great band.

DeadBilly said...

Always happy to take requests. Give me a couple days, I'll put 'em back up.

Mully said...

Great write up. I've never heard of the Sugar Legion collaborations. Would love to hear some of those if you could re post them. I would greatly appreciate it.

DeadBilly said...

Give me a few days. I'll tack them on to my next post.