Saturday, June 30, 2012

Time - Before There Was (1968 us, progressive folk rock with baroque psych shades, Shadoks release)

This is possibly the best band of the psychedelic 60's you've never heard of. They did record, but never actually released an album. I happen to know about them because one of the founders was my brother, Lynn Newton.

I won't go into the story of the band that was once known as Time and later became Think Dog! (sic). Their history and music are thoroughly chronicled in a fascinating account by Lynn on his website. This is not a garage band. These guys were educated and serious composers and musicians.

Their music is remarkably akin to the West Coast band of similar vintage called the United States of America, with similar influences (Stockhausen, Zappa, Cage, early music, et al.), but evolved independently on the East Coast. You'll hear harpsichord, lute, recorder, with the usual rock and roll ensemble in a diverse mix of tunes by the various members. Obvious and not so obvious influences include Velvet Underground, Mothers, Thomas Morley, and e. e. cummings. Some of the tunes are down and dirty rock & roll while others are finely crafted pieces of delicacy and grace.

The problem I always saw in marketing their music was their very eclecticism. Everything they did was deeply artistic, deeply creative, and ultimately very different from nearly everything else they did, making it difficult to pigeonhole them in a genre or to get a firm handle on their "sound." This resistance to categorization is also what makes them so interesting.

Miraculously, the original studio tapes somehow survived poor storage conditions for over three decades and were transferred to CD. They were made available on limited edition audiophile vinyl by Shadoks, a German company that specializes in music of this era. The earlier recording, Before there was Time, is now on CD. The second recording, "Dog Days," by Think Dog!, will presumably be released sometime later.
by A. Newton.

1. A Song for You (Lynn David Newton) - 5:37
2. Kemp's Jig (Traditional) - 0:44
3. Introductory Lines (Tom McFaul) - 3:26
4. Sad Benjamin (Lynn David Newton) - 4:29
5. Lily Has a Rose (Lynn David Newton) - 2:45
6. At Shadow's Eye (Tom McFaul) - 3:17
7. Green Fields (Lynn David Newton) - 1:51
8. Waking (Richard Stanley) - 2:50
9. Ma's Pan (Richard Stanley) - 1:42
10.Dover Beach (Tom McFaul) - 3:25
11.Elin Experience (Tom McFaul) - 4:24

*Lynn David Newton - Bass, Vocals, Percussion, Trombone
*Tom McFaul - Lead Vocals, Keyboards, Harpsichord
*Richard Stanley - Guitar, Lute, Percussion, Dulcimer
*David Rosenboom - Drums, Percussion, Cymbal 

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  1. Thanks Marios! I just discovered that this band originated in my home town.

  2. This link is dead, Marios. Could you possibly re-post? Many thanks.

  3. Got it Marios. Thank you very much, my friend. Cheers.

  4. The link is dead again.Thanks for re-up.Another great record which finds a second youth in your blog.

  5. Hi Marios could you please post a new link for this one? Thank you.

    1. Unknown, Time - Before There Was ...fixed....

  6. Fabuleux et grandiose comme ces années PSYCHÉDÉLIQUEs que je regrette et cet album est beau