Formed by a bunch of high school chums at Willowdale, Ontario, Madrigal consisted of Rick Henderson on guitars, guitarist/bassist John Swainson, Peter Bonyton on piano, and drummer Don Simpson in 1968. They’d been playing the Toronto circuit for close to a year, developing a style that mixed some psychadelic rock influences and the day’s modern pop, when they were noticed one night by Greg Hambleton, owner of Tuesday Records.
He signed them to management and recording deals, and they were in the studios by the summer of ’69. They released their version of his song “I Believe In Sunshine” (recorded by A Passing Fancy two years earlier), and took it to the top 20. Their debut album, SUNSHINE AND BAKED BEANS followed in the spring of 1970, and was then re-released later that year with a different jacket. Produced by Hambleton, he also wrote three of the other songs, including the b-side, “Lady.” Other noteable cuts included “Picture Frame” (one of five tracks written or co-written by Boynton), and “Television Nightmare,” the only song co-written by all four members.
They toured the Ontario area, making some stops in the US along the way, before returning to the studios with Hambleton later that year. The new single, “Hallelujah,” backed with “Freedom” went nowhere in early ’71. And amid personnel problems that were coupled with financial issues with the label, the band folded by early ’73.
They toiled around in different projects until regrouping a year and a half later, with Bill Dillon taking over on guitars from Henderson. But when that version of the group also failed to make any headway, they split up again a short time later. Everyone went on to other projects, including Boynton joining Red Rider, or got out of the business all together.
The album was re-released on CD in the mid ’00s, but contained no bonus material.