Thursday, September 4, 2014

Saturnalia - Magical Love (1973 uk, fine prog folk rock, 2003 Akarma issue)

Saturnalia were a British band activated in the late 60's early 70's. Their sole and rare album was on the ostentatious side of progressive folk rock, perhaps slightly anticipating some of the earnest classical-rock-fusion-with-female-vocals explored by Renaissance in the 1970s. 

The songs tend toward the winding and ponderous side, and the vocals -- especially those by female singer Aletta -- can cross into the histrionic in the more strident passages. Perhaps a little more influenced by the male-female vocal tradeoffs typical of some late-'60s American psychedelic bands than most such British efforts, it also boasts plenty of hard rock guitar and a good helping of lyrics reflective of a fantasy world, à la "Princess and the Peasant Boy" and the title track. 

As the song that brings in the strongest British acoustic folk feel, "Dream" is one of the more palatable tracks, but groups such as Renaissance were able to craft more accessible and memorable material using some of the same elements. 
by Richie Unterberger
1. Magical Love - 4:32
2. She Brings Peace - 4:42
3. And I Have Loved You - 3:22
4. Winchester Town - 7:55
5. Traitor - 4:36
6. Soul Song - 2:58
7. Princess And The Peasant Boy - 3:34
8. Dreaming - 2:43
9. Step Out Of Line - 4:18

Aletta Lohmeyer - Vocals
Tom Crompton - Drums
Adrian Hawkins - Vocals
Richard Houghton - Bass
Rod Roach - Guitar

Related Act
1969  Horse - Horse

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  1. This looks pretty special. Thanks for all the effort to share this. Hey, any chance that you have Mr.Flood's Party and can hook up a flac rip?

  2. After Horse and a number of other bands based in the Walton/Weybridge/Addlestone area of Surrey, Saturnalia was going to be Rod Roach and Addie Hawkins big break. However, in part the vinyl technology let them down. Least we forget the original vinyl pressings of this LP incorporated a 3D effect, packaged in clear PVC sleeves, the first time this had been attempted. An after pub visit to Mr & Mrs Roach's small flat in Oatlands, revealed the problem. Under the couple's double bed were stuffed 1000's of faulty pressings of the LP, for instance side one was okay but side two was duff. As the LP had been pressed up in Germany, the band had financial problems returning therm, so in hippy tradition moved on. Rod gave me a faulty LP (passed onto a brother), side one was interesting but of side 2 I'm about to discover after 40 years. BTW those few good pressings are worth something nowadays.