Thursday, April 18, 2013

Migty baby - Mighty baby (1969 uk, outstanding jamming psych prog rock, bonus tracks edition)

When the Action broke up in the late 60s, they reformed minus Reggie King as Azoth. The Azoth name was short lived, leading the band to settle on Mighty Baby. The Action had played the club circuit for years, releasing many excellent mod singles before plunging into the world of psychedelia. This band had always worked hard, and now they were finally given the luxury to record a long player.

Mighty Baby’s album was released in 1969 off the small independent Head label. At this point, Mighty Baby could technically and instrumentally hold their own against rock’s finest: The Grateful Dead, King Crimson, Collosuem, Caravan and the Allman Brothers. The album is miles away from the soulful, sweaty mod garage of their mid 60s singles and could best be described as a melding of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young harmonies, Allman Brothers guitar improv and Notorious Byrd Brothers psychedelia.

Few debut openers are as good as the revolutionary Egyptian Tomb. It’s a sleek, powerful piece of psychedelia with strong west coast style guitar interplay. At 5:30 minutes, this great song never falls flat and is definitely one of the defining moments of British acid rock. Same Way From The Sun has a similar stoned vibe with psychedelic echo and sounds like it could have been lifted from a really good latter day Byrds album.

The spacious, pounding A Friend You Know But Never See, yet another highlight, rocks really hard with some interesting raga style guitar and has a strange mountain air aura. Other works such as the rural I’m From The Country provided a sound Mighty Baby would further explore on their next album, the equally brilliant Jug of Love from 1971.

Mighty Baby along with the Action and various band member’s solo careers are one of rock’s great lost family trees. During their peak they were innovative and unstoppable, thus the “English Grateful Dead” label really doesn’t do them any justice.
by Jason Nardelli
1. Egyptian Tomb - 5:28
2. A Friend You Know but Never See - 4:24
3. I've Been Down So Long - 5:05
4. Same Way From the Sun - 5:37
5. House Without Windows - 6:10
6. Trials of a City - 5:58
7. I'm From the Country - 4:49
8. At a Point Between Fate and Destiny - 4:44
9. Only Dreaming - 3:16
10. Dustbin Full of Rubbish - 2:47
11. Understanding Love - 3:50
12. Favourite Days - 3:54
13. A Saying for Today - 3:27
Compositions from 1-8 by Mighty Βaby
Songs 9-13 written by Ian Whiteman and perfomed by The Action

Migty Βaby
*Alan King - Guitar, Vocals
*Michael Evans  - Bass
*Roger Powell  - Drums
*Martin Stone  - Guitars
*Ian Whiteman  - Flute, Organ, Percussion, Piano, Saxophone, Vocals

1970  Mighty Baby - Live In The Attic
1971  Reg King
1966-90  The Action - The Ultimate Action

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  1. I admit that this music makes me feel like a better person. More confidence in myself surer internally. How wonderful that there were some musicians who were able to make things so great. Moving along. In any case, my soul sings when I hear these albums.... a great feast of sounds, to my ears!

    Mighty Baby was created after the break-up of The Action.
    The legendary quintet is considered one of the most important British bands of the mid-sixties. Unfortunately, despite the signing of a contract with record label Parlophone and five singles with George Martin (producer of The Beatles) as producer, failed to gain recognition The Action wider audience. In 1967, the four musicians joined formation - former guitarist of Savoy Brown, Martin Stone, and multi-instrumentalist, Ian Whiteman. Then the band recorded unreleased material (as rejected by the label) album, which was released only in the nineties, first as the 'Brain' and then under the heading 'Rolled Gold'. Also during this period (1968 years) were recorded five records that came to light only in 1985. The composition was no longer a singer Reg King. Also at this time the was formed group Mighty Baby, who recorded only two albums. Sadly, Mighty Baby would not enjoy the same success as the Humble Pie. When their debut failed to chart, Head found itself in financial difficulties, forcing the band to jump ship to Mike Vernon’s Blue Horizon label for their equally ill-fated second LP, A Jug Of Love. This did not like even the musicians and actually contained some fine material and unconvincing. Soon after the group ceased operations.

    But for me it This stunning debut work Mighty Baby (1969). Illustration by Martin Sharp... let me add that I initially thought that behind the scary-looking cover - the music definitely sharper.

  2. Group in magically managed to combine elements of a fairly sophisticated guitars and psychedelic rock slowly disappearing. You can hear a very subtle influences from the West Coast groups (especially Quicksilver Messenger Service).

    The album impresses with its noble sound and even more subtle, soulful performance - lots of great guitar Martin Stone and great playing wind instruments Ian Whiteman. Very artistic, but definitely powerful and dynamic rhythm section plus an imaginative fills background (in some compositions) playing keyboards (piano and Hammond organ) background completed the whole picture. At the same time there is no ounce of virtuosity or effective showing off. We are dealing with the music group, performed by excellent musicians ripped each other, neither of which trying, lean out ahead of the range.

    The album produced by Guy Stevens then known to be working with Art (later transformed into a band Spooky Tooth), Free and Mott The Hoople. He later became the producer of this album 'London Calling' by The Clash.

    Their music was often a sophisticated interplay between the twin guitars of King and Stone and the woodwind accompaniment of Whiteman. Its influences were wide-ranging from jazz ("Egyptian Tomb") through to country rock ("I'm From The Country") and "Some Way From The Sun", notable for an hypnotic guitar intro.
    The most memorable record is without a doubt, the album opener 'Egyptian Tomb'. This mesmerizing piece captivates a great melody, trance saxophone and hovering above the whole oriental aura. You can hear the echoes of his debut East Of Eden 'Mercator Projected'. For me, this is one of the most important songs throughout the sixties. This track is unquestionably the most inspired moment on their first album - melodic guitar playing set to a jazzy arrangement.

    Another issue is the five bonus recordings. As mentioned in the introduction, the songs come from the session of 1968, and the issue of waiting until 1985, when it appeared as a mini LP 'Action Speak Louder Than'. In my view, these short, highly reflective song is a true masterpiece. Bumping in ear wonderful, slightly psychedelic melodies hooking clearly a progressive regions. The mood of reflection and a really moving performance. You can hear how great he was very underrated guitarist Martin Stone. But the delights accompanied by fine sound of the Hammond and intricately constructed vocal ensemble. I can not understand how you could not spend it in the era. What a pity that the team did not register more such splendor. Without a doubt could arise as a masterpiece of the 'Odessey And Oracle' Zombies. Oh One more thing. In contrast, the producer of the recordings was Peter Jenner, the former manager of Pink Floyd.

    Alan King later played in Ace whilst Martin Stone later fronted Chilli Willi and Red Hot Peppers. Mighty Baby also played on lots of other albums, including Reg King's and others on Head. Evans, Powell and Whiteman were later in Habibiyya.

  3. thank you guys for outstanding music and information!

  4. nice post missin' this one in HQ, thanks!

  5. A little late to the party, but wanted to say thanks for this. I knew Action, but didn't know anything about Mighty Baby. This is really wonderful stuff!