Saturday, November 10, 2012

Dear Mr.Time - Grandfather (1970 uk, marvelous psych prog, with acoustic elements, strings and flute)

Dear Mr Time were an obscure British outfit who straddled the late-period psych/early prog divide with their sole album, a concept piece entitled Grandfather. It (loosely, of course, in true concept album style) tells the story of one man's life from his birth around the turn of the century to his own death, as recounted by his grandson. 

Birth - The Beginning makes for a pastoral enough start, but the pace picks up quickly enough as the story races towards the protagonist's experiences as a soldier in the trenches. The rest of the album veers between acoustic and electric, but quality's maintained throughout, avoiding the 'only two or three decent tracks' syndrome. On reflection, the concept actually owes a little to the Pretty Things' seminal SF Sorrow, but it's a very different album and, let's face it, a fairly universal subject.

No-one's credited with Mellotron, so I'll assume keyboard player Barry Everitt was responsible for the excellent MkII strings on Prelude (To Your Country Needs You?) and the rather shorter part in closer Grandfather. Pity they didn't use it more, but there you go. Incidentally, the cellos in Prelude are real.

All in all, this is really rather good, and undeservedly obscure, especially when you consider some of the third-rate stuff that's been available for years. The CD appears to've been pressed from a vinyl copy, but the surface noise isn't too bad, and rather a slightly crackly copy than none at all! A welcome addition to the field of UK psych/prog reissues, with a couple of good 'Tron tracks. Assuming you can find it, buy.
1. Birth - The Beginning (Baker) - 3:58
2. Out Of Time (Baker) - 4:30
3. Make Your Peace (Everitt) - 5:20
4. Your's Claudia (Baker) - 2:51
5. Prelude (To 'Your Country Needs You?') (Everitt, Baker, Sewell, Sturgeon, Clements) - 3:00
6. Your Country Needs You? (Everitt, Baker, Sewell, Sturgeon, Clements) - 3:35
7. A Dawning Moonshine (Baker) - 3:52
8. Years And Fortunes (Baker) - 4:01
9. A Prayer For Her (Baker) - 2:53
10.Light Up A Light (Baker) - 3:23
11.On A Lonely Night (Baker) - 4:16
12.Grandfather (Baker) - 2:36

Dear Mr.Time
*Chris Baker - Lead, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
*John Clements - Drums, Percussion
*Barry Everitt - Vocals, Organ, Piano, Harpsichord
*Dave Sewell - Bass,Vocals
*Jim Sturgeon - Saxophone, Flute, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals

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