The Illusion and Their Biggest Hit “Did You See Her Eyes”

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Introduction to The Illusion

The Illusion were a Long Island, New York band known for their only major hit single in 1969, “Did You See Her Eyes.” This hard rock group also issued three LP’s which were all produced by Jeff Barry – the first of which was the band’s eponymous debut album that charted on the Billboard 200 album chart at #69, in 1969. The group also scored minor hits (“Together,” “Let’s Make Each Other Happy,” and “How Does It Feel” but only “Did You See Her Eyes” became very successful. The band consisted of John Vinci, Richie Cerniglia, Mike Maniscalco, Chuck Adler and Mike Ricciardella.

The Illusion’s early career and formation

Hailing from Long Island, New York, The Illusion were a psychedelic hard rock band best remembered for their hit “Did You See Her Eyes?” The group was formed in the during the early 60s music era as The ‘5’ Illusion consisting of Richie Cerniglia (lead guitarist), Chuck Alder (bassist), Mike Maniscalco (multi-instrumentalist) and Mike Ricciardella (drummer). During the band’s early days, they were already quite known in their hometown, enough to release their first single “My Party.” The song was released for DynoVoice Records and produced and composed by another DynoVoice artist Mitch Ryder.

The Illusion’s recording journey

When the Illusion was gaining reputation in the Long Island area, they eventually signed a contract offered by Jeff Barry. Barry, a hit-making songwriter and producer, he also owned the newly-founded Steed Records.

In 1969 The Illusion started recording their material, releasing their self-titled debut album. Its carrier single “Did You See Her Eyes” became their lone major hit, charting at #32 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop charts. It was also a chart-topper hit in some parts of New York. On the Billboard album chart, their album peaked at #69 and enjoyed its stay for 27 weeks. After the success of their debut single, follow-up 45’s were issued and registered modestly on the pop chart from mid-1969 to early 1970: “Together” (#80), “Let’s Make Each Other Happy (#98) and “How Does It Feel” (#110).

During the height of their career, The Illusion had been touring with several big names, opening for bands such as The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Chicago, The Allman Brothers Band and Sly and The Family Stone and The Who. After the third album was released, Ricciardella left the group due to a dispute about the band’s career and eventually, The Illusion came to an end.

Throughout The Illusion’s short-lived career,  they had issued three albums: The Illusion (1969), Together (As a Way of Life) (1969) and If It’s So (1970). All of these three were produced by  Barry.

The Illusion’s discography (may be impartial)

DynoVoice Records

(Apr 1968)

  • A: My Party
  • B: It’s Groovy Time

Steed Records

(Feb 1969)

  • A: Did You See Her Eyes
  • B: Falling In Love

(Jun 1969)

  • A: Did You See Her Eyes
  • B: Falling In Love

(Aug 1969)

  • A: Run, Run, Run
  • B: I Love You, Yes I Do

(Sep 1969)

  • A: How Does It Feel
  • B: Once In A Lifetime

(Dec 1969)

  • A: Together
  • B: Don’t Push It

(May 1970)

  • A: Let’s Make Each Other Happy
  • B: Beside You

(Apr 1971)

  • A: Wait A Minute
  • B: Collection

Collectables/ Back to Back Hit Series

(1991)

The Illusion

  • A: Did You See Her Eyes

Fever Tree

  • B: San Francisco Girls (Return Of The Native)
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