Dennis Coulson, Benny Gallagher, Graham Lyle and Paul Rutherford completed the original lineup, although the latter dropped out the following year.
The group enjoyed immediate success with When I’m Dead and Gone and Malt and Barley Blues, both of which reached the UK Top 5 and established their brand of light, folksy pop.
Two excellent albums confirmed their undoubted promise – McGuinness Flint (1971) and Happy Birthday Ruthie Baby (1971) – although a succession of disastrous live performances undermined their progress. Further problems occurred in 1971 when principal songwriters Gallagher and Lyle left to pursue a career as a duo.
Although Dixie Dean, John Bailey and Neil Innes (ex-Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band) replaced them, the group broke up at the end of the year.
A resurrection of sorts occurred in 1972 when Coulson, Dean, McGuinness and Flint recorded Lo And Behold, a selection of Bob Dylan songs unavailable commercially. Coulson was then replaced by Lou Stonebridge, and with the addition of guitarist Jim Evans, a revamped McGuinness Flint re-emerged the following year.
Two more albums were completed but the unit was unable to recapture that first flush of success and broke up in 1975.