Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Jode - Jode (1971 puerto rico / us, exciting classic rock with southern country elements and top-notch guitar interpretations)

Jason Humberto Ephraim Rivera was born January 19th, 1951 in Cuamo, Puerto Rico and grew up in Southern California. He made a living performing as a gifted professional musician and was a recording artist back in the 1970s. His album “Jode” on Vanguard Records, recently earned a gold record.

A very interesting  release that has some fantastic cuts, from the rockers “I Think It’s The Man”,”Let The Morning Shine” and “Miscommunication” to the mellower “There’s No Reason To Cry”, “Did You Not Hear Me” and “Tomorrow Is Gone”. An album that you’re sure to enjoy."
1. Jode Theme - 1:20
2. When I Was A Younger Man - 1:53
3. Faith - 2:54
4. Let The Morning Shine - 2:21
5. Tomorrow Is Gone - 3:13
6. Got Something On My Mind - 2:00
7. Julie - 3:55
8. Fly Away With My Brother - 4:32
9. Miscommunication - 3:03
10.Did You Not Hear Me - 2:53
11.Good Times - 2:41
12.Human Behavior - 2:52
13.There's No Reason To Cry - 2:19
14.I Think It's The Man - 6:20
15.Why - 0:43
All song by Jason Rivera, Omar Rivera

*Jason Rivera - Guitar, Vocals
*Omar Rivera  
*Dave Rivera  

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Three Man Army - 3 (1973-74 uk, powerful hard rock, 2005 release)

 Three Man Army was a British hard rock band active in the first half of the 1970s. The group was formed by Adrian Gurvitz and Paul Gurvitz, formerly of The Gun. Following the band's dissolution, Adrian played with Buddy Miles and Paul played with Parrish & Gurvitz, then reunited as Three Man Army. Their debut album, A Third of a Lifetime, featured several drummers, including Miles, Carmine Appice (of Vanilla Fudge) and Mike Kellie (from Spooky Tooth). Tony Newman, who had previously played with Sounds Incorporated and Rod Stewart, joined for the group's next two albums, and a fourth album was planned but never recorded. Newman then left to play with David Bowie, and the Gurvitzes united with Ginger Baker as the Baker Gurvitz Army.

The band was often praised for their tight and professional live performances, yet, at the end of the day, none of their records had made it into the charts. This 2005 album release offers almost forgotten material of Three Man Army from Gurvitz' archives in a sound quality which leaves no wishes unfulfilled, it is actually the fourth Three Man Army album, after A Third Of A Lifetime (1971, on Pegasus), Mahesha (1972), and Three Man Army Two from 1973 - the second longplayer which the band released on Warner Bros.
1. Three Days To Go - 4:26 
2. Dog's Life - 2:56
3. Jubilee - 4:34 
4. Look At The Sun - 3:18
5. Don't Wanna Go Right Now - 5:20 
6. Come To The Party - 2:28
7. Let's Go Get Laid - 3:52 
8. Doctor - 2:42 
9. You'll Find Love - 3:26
All songs by Adrian Gurvitz

Three Man Army
*Paul Gurvitz - Vocals, Guitar, Bass
*Adrian Gurvitz - Vocals, Guitar, Slide Guitar, Organ 
*Tony Newman - Drums, Percussion.
*Wil Malone - Orchestra Conductor

1974  Three Man Army - Two (Japan SHM remaster)
Related Acts
1965-67 The Knack - Time Time Time (2007 release)
1968  Gun - Gun
1969  Gun - Gunsight (Japan 2008 remaster)
1971-72  Parrish And Gurvitz - The Parrish And Gurvitz Band (2006 remaster)

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Strawberry Alarm Clock - Good Morning Starshine (1969 us, strong bluesy psych classic rock, 1997 japan expanded edition)

Although ‘Good Morning Starshine’ sounds way different from the previous three, it is nonetheless a masterpiece. It featured a considerably altered lineup and a departure from the sound on the group’s past psychedelic pop works, toward blues rock. With the arrival of Jim Pitman and Gene Gunnells, this album has a decidedly harder sound too, with the rollicking long version of “Miss Attraction” and the bluesy “Changes”. They released a single of “Good Morning Starshine” from the hit and hip musical “HAIR”. Touring the U.S.A. one of their opening acts was the young Lynyrd Skynyrd who bassist Ed King later joined in 1972, playing on their first three albums for Sound Of The South/MCA.
1. Me And The Township (Jimmy Pitman) - 3:22
2. Off Ramp Road Tramp - 4:16
3. Small Package - 3:55
4. Hog Child - 5:09
5. Miss Attraction - 4:52
6. Good Morning Starshine (Galt MacDermot, Gerome Ragni, James Rado) - 2:22
7. Miss Attraction - 2:41
8. Write Your Name In Gold (Jimmy Pitman) - 3:36
9. (You Put Me On) Standby - 2:22
10.Dear Joy (Jimmy Pitman) - 3:20
11.Changes - 5:21
12.Desiree (Mark Weitz, Jimmy Pitman) - 3:01
13.I Climbed The Mountain (Carl Friberg, Ira Gasman) - 2:59
14.Three (Ed King, Lee Freeman) - 2:19
15.Starting Out The Day (Jimmy Pitman) - 2:38
16.California Day (Tom Jackman) - 2:45
17.Girl From The City (Paul Marshall) - 2:32
18.Good Morning Starshine (Single Track)(Galt MacDermot, Gerome Ragni, James Rado) - 2:21
All songs by Ed King, Gene Gunnels, Jimmy Pitman, Lee Freeman, Mark Weitz, except where indicated

Strawberry Alarm Clock
*Jimmy Pitman - Lead Vocals, Lead Guitar
*Mark Weitz - Keyboards, Backing Vocals
*Gene Gunnels - Drums
*Ed King - Bass Guitar, Guitar, Backing Vocals
*Lee Freeman - Rhythm Guitar, Bass Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals

1967  The Strawberry Alarm Clock - Incense And Peppermints (2011 sundazed issue)
1968  Strawberry Alarm Clock - Wake Up...It's Tomorrow
1968-69  Strawberry Alarm Clock - The World In A Sea Shell / Good Morning Starshine
Related Acts

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Three Man Army - Three Man Army "Mahesha" (1973 uk, solid hard rock with psych drops, 2008 reissue)

 Contract negotiations of some kind would seem to be the cause for Three Man Army’s long-delayed second album. Recorded in April 1972, Three Man Army wasn’t released in the US until October 1973 and didn’t get a European release until the following year under a different title, Mahesha. Those listeners who bothered to tune in were treated to a tasty second helping of the band’s hard blues/rock, which continued in the same vein (Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Mountain, Robin Trower) as the first album. The group also got a new drummer in the interim, Tony Newman, who does everything that you’d want a drummer in a power trio to do (i.e., kick ass and keep the beat).

If Adrian Curtis/Gurvitz wasn’t a household name, he was building up a reputation among his peers. Buddy Miles asked Adrian to join his band, Buddy Miles Express, after the first Army album, in effect replacing Jimi Hendrix. That led to Adrian being approached by Ginger Baker, Eric Clapton’s former partner. I can’t imagine higher praise for a guitarist than being asked to “stand in” for Hendrix and Clapton. Unfortunately, Three Man Army never got the attention or the support it needed to break through. Psychedelic blues/rock was on the wane, and while some artists such as Trower and Leslie West were able to cash in on their name, not so Adrian Curtis.

The group’s second album is more overtly psychedelic than the first. There is the opening instrumental, which Paul Gurvitz has described as the band’s take on Hendrix’ “Star-Spangled Banner” (source: http://dmme.net/interviews/pgurvitz.html), an unexpected cover of My Yiddishe Mama. Say what you will, if you can make that song rock you can make anything rock. The new trio then gets down to business with the crunchy guitar- and drums-driven Hold On, a logical choice for what should have been the album’s single. (As it turned out, no single was forthcoming.) Come Down To Earth is one of several trippy numbers that reference drug use. (The Trip chronicles a bad trip and duplicates the experience with surreal layers of guitar.) Take Me Down From The Mountain sounds like mountain music with its thumping bass guitar, while Woman marries the band’s psychedelic blues-rock sound with a chorus worthy of George Harrison.

The second side starts with Mahesha, a really cool and heavy song that served as the album’s title in Europe. (“Mahesha” is another name for the Hindu god Shiva, which is about 180 degrees from where this album started.) Take a Look at the Light recalls the songwriting of Clapton and Pete Townshend, two names that invariably come up when I’m listening to Adrian’s music. Of minor interest, the song was originally co-credited to Lee Baxter Hayes, the drummer for the short-lived Sam Apple Pie. (Now there was a band with a bad name.) The album comes to a trippy close with the two-part Can I Leave The Summer and “The Trip,” which kind of foreshadows the strange storytelling of “Mad Jack” from the first Baker-Gurvitz Army album.

I tend to hear Three Man Army as a Robin Trower or West Bruce & Laing with a stronger psychedelic pop influence. You’re less likely, for example, to encounter a 60-second guitar solo from Adrian Curtis. Instead, he frequently overlays the fireworks on top of an existing rhythm part, which ends up sounding like he’s competing with himself for attention. The band mounted a brief US tour after the release of Three Man Army, but the battle for the bright lights of stardom had already been lost. As with all the Gurvitz Brothers projects, Three Man Army/Mahesha is well worth seeking out as an interesting sequel to the psychedelic power trio style that Cream and Jimi Hendrix started.
1. My Yiddishe Mamma (Jack Yellen, Lew Pollack) - 2:06
2. Hold On (Adrian Curtis, Tony Newman) - 3:43
3. Come Down To Earth - 3:55
4. Take Me Down From The Mountain - 3:06
5. Woman (Adrian Curtis, Tony Newman) - 2:53
6. Mahesha (Adrian Curtis, Tony Newman) - 5:12
7. Take A Look At The Light (Adrian Curtis, Lee Baxter Hayes) - 3:58
8. Can I Leave The Summer - 4:02
9. The Trip (Adrian Curtis, Tony Newman) - 6:01
All songs by Adrian Gurvitz except where noted

Three Man Army
*Paul Gurvitz - Bass, Vocals
*Tony Newman - Drums, Good Vibes
*Adrian Curtis - Lead Guitar, Organ, Vocals

Monday, November 9, 2020

Buzzsaw – From Lemon Drops To Acid Rock (1971 us, stunning fuzzy acid psych rock, 2015 double vinyl expanded edition)

 The Lemon Drops were one of those 60’s pop bands that disappeared from the musical map, with nearly everyone thinking that like so many, they’d gone up in flames … when nothing could have been further from the truth. With a bit of help from the lysergic, a new vision, and a revamping of the band, the core of The Lemon Drops relocated to the west coast and re-surfaced as The Buzzsaw; a power trio featuring ex-Lemon Drops Eddie Weiss [guitar], Gray Weiss [drums], along with Rick Fertel [bass].

The lush atmospheric pop effects of The Lemon Drop were also reformatted, pushing peddle effects to the max, filled with distortion and fuzz to create a sonically more heavy sound, often coming across as Love, and at other times with flashes of The Velvet Underground [especially the Velvet’s song “What Goes On”], along with Jimi Hendrix, though with that being said, their sound was delightfully in and of its time, and not really as heavy as the word heavy may suggest. Hitting the recording studio in 1971, backed by CCR’s manager Max Weiss, the band released but a single 45 rpm that went up in smoke, with nearly no one ever hearing it, as it both flashed back to a Lemon Drops ear song on side A, and with side B containing a track that didn’t really suggest where the band was at at this stage of their career. 

 It wasn’t until 1995 that all of the recordings done at both Ampex Studios in San Francisco, and those laid down at Pacific Sound Studios, were finally gathered together, unleashing a sort of proto grunge psychedelic sound, filled with melodic vocals over which a sustained wah-wah laced the tracks together, though merely whispering as to where this band might have found themselves, had they had the proper management and production team backing them. 

Once you sit down with this grouping of songs, you’ll be surprised at how fresh and up to date they sound, featuring a lo-fi atmosphere that with a bit of reworking, could easily be delivered today without a second thought, and almost no one knowing the true genesis and magic of these tracks.
*** The essential keepers are: “Saturn Is Just A Few Days Away”, “Don’t Listen To Sam”, “U.S. Chick”, “Roll Your Green Grass On”, “In The Country”, “I’ll Be Wanting You”, “Gotta Be Rock n’ Roll”, and “Walkin’ Thru A Rainbow” … most of the other tracks sounded unfinished or in the process to me, with the alternative takes and versions being pretty useless.
by Jenell Kesler
1. Saturn Is Just A Few Days Away (Roger Weiss) - 3:12
2. Death Calls (Dick Sidman, Eddie Weiss) - 2:59
3. Linda In Rhinestones - 3:25
4. U.S. Chick - 3:40
5. Roll Your Green Grass On - 3:45
6. Walkin' Thru A Rainbow - 2:57
7. I Really Like To Blow Your Mind - 4:59
8. In The Country - 5:09
9. The Sun Just Come Up On The Other Side - 4:18
10.Gotta Be Rock 'n' Roll - 3:42
11.Saturn Jam (Roger Weiss) - 4:47
12.Don't Listen To Sam - 3:04
13.Nowhere To Go (Eddie Weiss, Gary Weiss) - 4:24
14.Gotta Be Rock 'n ' Roll - 3:56
15.Saturn Is Just A Few Days Away (Roger Weiss) - 4:25
16.The Sun Just Come Up On The Other Side - 4:19
17.Fire It Up - 2:03
18.U.S. Chick - 4:09
19.Nowhere To Go (Eddie Weiss, Gary Weiss) - 3:16
20.Won't You Miss Her When She's Gone - 2:05
21.I'll Be Wanting You - 2:46
22.Such A Nice Morning (Roger Weiss, Eddie Weiss) - 1:47
All songs by Eddie Weiss except where noted

Eddie Weiss - Guitar, Vocals 
Rick Fertel - Bass, Vocals 
Gary Weiss - Drums, Vocals 

Related Act

Sunday, November 8, 2020

The Creation - The Complete Collection (1966-68 uk, astonishing mod beat psych, double disc edition)

If this world were truly fair and just then The Creation should’ve been HUGE. I mean I should be able to call up my local oldies rock station that plays “Wild Thing” by The Troggs when it feels like gittin’ down and hear “Making Time” and “How Does It Feel To Feel?” at least 20 times a day shouldn’t I? However this is not the case. Yet The Creation remains a righteous, rocking band unafraid of indulging in Psychedelic whimsy. They shouldn’t be left at the bottom of history’s trash bin so here’s my humble review for you.

If you were to ask me “Le Sam how aware of The Creation were you before this collection came out?” I’d have to ‘fess and say “not much.” Outside of knowing who their #1 fan was - Alan McGee, head of Creation records - I knew nada. McGee obviously named his highly influential record label after them and before that was in a band named after one of the Creation’s B-sides “Biff Bang Pow!” I believe they’re on the new huge sequel to Nuggets which covers the the non-American garage rock scene as well. 

What I really love about this comp. is how Guitarist Eddie Phillips like the best of the 1960’s UK guitar alchemists (Townsend, Richards, Clapton, Beck, Page, Harrison, Lennon, the Davies bros., Marriot, Barrett and many others) and the rest of The Creation channel raunchy sass one minute then sensitive pathos the next. The Creation’s debut single “Making Time” makes this intensely clear as Phillips makes the guitar sounds during the “solo” like one big long vicous breakdown with a little bit o' Tourette’s syndrome thrown in. 

All the while Vocalist Kenny Pickett raggedly reflects opining “Why do we have to carry on? Are we singing the same old song?” Later, you get the half anthemic rave-up/half anthemic gentle reflection of last night’s romantic triste of “For All That I Am.” Here Pickett reminisces dreamily while the band just pounds at him relentlessly. Phillips was the first using a violin bow on his guitar (this idea was later jacked by Jimmy Page in Zep.) Their best tunes have a Mod-ish sense of humor (almost Who/Kinks-like) and no wonder ultra-hip production god (and early Who/Kinks knob twiddler) Shel Talmy produced the whole of this (both mono and stereo versions as well.) This whole collections just screams "The party starts right now!” and that alone should be reason enough to buy it. 

This collection is like a half Singles Collection/Half Odds & Sods thang (I’m not sure if The Creation ever made a full length LP.) You get both mono and stereo versions of a few songs and some kick-ass live versions from a German beat show (where they were major stars in Germany.) The mastering is sublime making Phillips sound more fercious and the band more mighty. If you do indeed feel this disc be more than sure to get Vol. 2 of the Complete Collection called Biff Bang Pow! 
by Le Samourai, 01/09/2001
Disc 1
1. Making Time (Eddie Phillips, Kenny Pickett) - 2:56
2. Try And Stop Me (Eddie Phillips, Kenny Pickett) - 2:26
3. How Does It Feel To Feel (Bob Garner, Eddie Phillips) - 3:03
4. Tom Tom (Bob Garner, Eddie Phillips) - 2:57
5. Nightmares (Eddie Phillips, Kenny Pickett) - 3:12
6. If I Stay Too Long (Bob Garner, Eddie Phillips) - 3:23
7. How Does It Feel To Feel (Bob Garner, Eddie Phillips) - 2:39
8. For All That I Am (Paul Kahan, Stephen Friedland) - 3:04
9. Uncle Bert (Jack Jones, Kenny Pickett, Kim Gardner, Ron Wood) - 2:33
10.Cool Jerk (Donald Storball) - 2:18
11.Bony Maronie (Larry Williams) - 3:29
12.Ostrich Man (Eddie Phillips, Kenny Pickett) - 3:02
13.I Am The Walker (Eddie Phillips, Kenny Pickett) - 2:45
14.For All That I Am (Paul Kahan, Stephen Friedland) - 3:09
15.Nightmares (Eddie Phillips, Kenny Pickett) - 3:13
16.How Does It Feel To Feel (Bob Garner, Eddie Phillips) - 3:38
17.Instrumental #1 (Bob Garner, Eddie Phillips) - 2:51
18.I'm A Man (Ellas McDaniels) - 3:03
19.That's How Strong My Love Is (Roosevelt Jamison) - 2:32
20.Making Time (Eddie Phillips, Kenny Pickett) - 3:13
Disc 2
1. Biff Bang Pow (Eddie Phillips, Kenny Pickett) - 2:25
2. Painter Man (Eddie Phillips, Kenny Pickett) - 2:53
3. Life Is Just Beginning (Bob Garner, Eddie Phillips) - 2:57
4. Through My Eyes (Bob Garner, Eddie Phillips) - 3:05
5. Midway Down (John Wonderling, Lewis Shapiro) - 2:44
6. The Girls Are Naked (Bob Garner, Jack Jones, Kenny Pickett) - 1:57
7. Can I Join Your Band? (Eddie Phillips, Kenny Pickett) - 3:03
8. Sweet Helen (Kenny Pickett) - 3:00
9. Hey Joe (Billy Roberts) - 4:10
10.Like A Rolling Stone (Bob Dylan) - 3:04
11.Mercy, Mercy, Mercy (Joe Zawinul, Johnny Guitar Watson, Larry Williams) - 2:32
12.Sylvette (Bob Garner, Eddie Phillips) - 3:28
13.Biff Bang Pow (Eddie Phillips, Kenny Pickett) - 2:24
14.Painter Man (Eddie Phillips, Kenny Pickett) - 2:51
15.Can I Join Your Band? (Eddie Phillips, Kenny Pickett) - 3:04
16.Midway Down (John Wonderling, Lewis Shapiro) - 3:01
17.Life Is Just Beginning (Bob Garner, Eddie Phillips) - 3:58
18.Life Is Just Beginning (Bob Garner, Eddie Phillips) - 3:22
19.Painter Man (Eddie Phillips, Kenny Pickett) - 2:19
20.Try And Stop Me (Eddie Phillips, Kenny Pickett) - 2:20

The Creation
*Kenny Pickett - Vocals
*Eddie Phillips - Guitar 
*Bob Garner - Bass 
*Jack Jones - Drums
*Dave Preston - Drums
*Ron Wood - Guitar  
*Tony Ollard - Guitar  

Saturday, November 7, 2020

The Legendary Night Shadows - Vol. 3: The Psychedelic Years (1967-69 us, great garage psych rock, 2002 edition)

The group was originally formed in December 1956 as The Cavaliers, with the spelling was changed to The Kavaliers in 1957 to avoid legal problems with another group using that name. After some personnel changes in the summer of 1959 the group became The Barons. In the fall of 1959 the lead guitarist wrote an instrumental he called Night Shadows that the bass player thought was the perfect name for the group. Assuming leadership of the band and against everyone's wishes, he changed their name to The Night Shadows on their business cards and quickly booked several months of gigs to make everyone relent. From the fall of 1959 through 1961 The Night Shadows were primarily a Chicago-style blues band. In 1962 the group changed to a rhythm & blues show band featuring Little Erv (Barocas) & Judy Argo, an Elizabeth Taylor look-alike, as headliners. For the next two years, the group became one of the most popular R&B bands for racially segregated Southern college dances and formals.

In 1964 the British Invasion changed the group's primary direction to rock, with Erv and Judy departing the group. Fourteen year old Little Phil Rosenberg was picked as their replacement to front the group in 1965. Johnny Brooks (3), a studio engineer and producer Aleck Janoulis had worked with on sessions since 1959, had opened his own recording facility and was seeking artists with original material. This gave the group an opportunity to record both the tunes Little Phil had collaborated on and some others that Janoulis had written. The end result was a label deal with Dot Records and a single "So Much" featured Little Phil as lead singer. The other band members were Jimmy Callaway (guitar), Bobby Newell (organ), Charles Spinks (drums) and Aleck Janoulis (bass). 

The Vietnam draft complicated the group's plans, though another single "60 Second Swinger" was released on Gaye Records. Due to contractual obligations the group then recorded for Baja Records under the pseudonym The Square Root Of Two. This name later became the title of their 1968 psychedelic album on Spectrum Stereo. Due to internal conflicts the band split up after their last concert on Memorial Day in 1969.
1. Prologue (Voice Of Electric Bob) - 3:40
2. So Much (1967 Version) (Little Phil Jackson) - 2:17
3. I Can't Believe (Aleck Janoulis, Little Phil Jackson) - 9:39
4. Plenty Of Trouble (Little Phil Jackson) - 1:53
5. In The Air (Aleck Janoulis, Little Phil Jackson) - 2:53
6. Anything But Lies (Time After Time) (Aleck Janoulis) - 3:46
7. Gimme, Gimme (Aleck Janoulis, Little Phil Jackson) - 3:05
8. Don't Hold Your Breath (Jan Cox) - 2:45
9. Listen To My Heart (Demo Session) (Aleck Janoulis, Little Phil Jackson) - 3:01
10.Fly High (Aleck Janoulis, Little Phil Jackson) - 6:10
11.60 Second Swinger (Wbad Concert) (Aleck Janoulis, Little Phil Jackson) - 3:19
12.Psychedelic Illusion (Aleck Janoulis) - 2:53
13.Little Phil Jokes With The Audience - 2:11
14.Anything But Lies (The Lost Live Version) (Aleck Janoulis, Bobby Newell, Ronnie Farmer) - 4:41
15.Turned On (Jan Cox) - 3:46
16.The Hot Dog Man (Stoned Version) (Edgar, Aleck Janoulis) - 2:30
17.Epilogue: Fly High Reprise (Aleck Janoulis, Little Phil Jackson) - 2:12
18.Excerpt From A 1979 Radio Broadcast (A Retrospective On The Legendary Little Phil & The Night Shadows) - 2:10
19.The Garbage Man (1961) (Aleck Janoulis) - 3:31

The Legendary Night Shadows
*Little Phil Jackson - Lead Vocals
*Aleck “Aj” Janoulis - Bass, Vocals
*Ronnie Farmer - Guitar, Vocals
*Bobby Newell - Organ, Guitar, Vocals
*Charles Spinks - Drums
*Pat Andrews - Drums
*“Microwave Dave” Gallagher - Guitar, Bass, Drums
*Danny Stephens - Bass
*Barry Bailey - Guitar
*Electric Bob - Tambourine
*Andy Douglass - Organ

Monday, November 2, 2020

Various Artists - Tea And Symphony (1968-74 uk, beautiful baroque psych pop, 2020 issue)

The English baroque sound of the late 60s and early 70s shunned guitar solos for string quartets and woodwind, drenched in summer-into-autumn melancholy, as heard on this collection of the genre’s finest moments.

When psychedelia had run its course in Britain, the predominant trend was to get hairier, heavier and more long-winded. Some reverted to the pure blues boom of the mid-60s, with Fleetwood Mac leading the way; some toughened up, forging the first wave of heavy metal; some loosened up, bringing jazz and folk into the equation and creating what would become known as progressive rock; others found solace in the rural sloth of the Band. Many musicians, however, were still hung up on the trappings of psychedelia’s homegrown strain, having found a musical home in its mournful evocations of Victoriana, its village green gentility, its nods to the pleasures of suburbia and its church bells softly chiming.

As the advent of the singer-songwriter offered another possible avenue for these refuseniks, a new brand of pop was discernible – the English baroque sound. It made great use of string quartets, woodwind, and summer-into-autumn melancholy. This was a sound informed by the Zombies’ “Odessey And Oracle”, the weighty chamber pop of the Bee Gees and Scott Walker, with a contemporary dash of Crosby, Stills & Nash harmony; it would survive as a viable format until surprisingly late, with some tracks on this compilation nudging the mid-70s. The urtexts had all been Paul McCartney’s: the bereft strings of ‘Eleanor Rigby’; the buttoned-up, parlour arrangement of ‘For No One’; ‘Your Mother Should Know’’s sepia nostalgia and insistent piano; the entire acoustic corner of “The White Album”. Just add harpsichord and a cor anglais to the mix, and there it was.

The first “Tea & Symphony” collection was released in 2007 on the Sanctuary label. The first official compilation of its kind, it was partly inspired by the groundbreaking, European-based “Fading Yellow” series which, since the turn of the new century, had been feeding and informing pop-hungry 60s/70s fans looking for something a little more melodic than Comus or Leafhound. Unfortunately, the sudden demise of the record company meant “Tea & Symphony” hardly made it into the shops. This compilation has four tracks in common with its ancient ancestor.

To the delight of people who thought the mine was exhausted, previously undiscovered gems by artists such as Matthew Bones, Erasmus Chorum and Les Payne continue to be unearthed. Here are 23 of the genre’s finest moments. Make yourself a pot of tea, find yourself a comfy armchair, place a ginger cat on your lap, and sit back.
by Bob Stanley
Artist - Track - Composer
1. Ray Brooks – Pictures (Ray Brooks) - 3:06
2. The Honeybus - I Can't Let Maggie Go (Pete Dello) - 2:56
3. Lea Nixon - Off To Find A New Land (Lea Nixon) - 3:41
4. Jon Plum - Alice (Dave Plummer, Jon Kennett) - 3:35
5. Bombadil - When The City Sleeps (Lester Forest) - 4:12
6. Mike Batt - Fading Yellow (Mike Batt) - 3:43
7. Colin Blunstone - Say You Don't Mind (Denny Laine) - 3:18
8. Gordon Waller - The Seventh Hour (Gordon Waller) - 2:29
9. Erasmus Chorum - Mary Jane (Erasmus Chorum) - 6:24
10.Tandem - Shapes And Shadows (Alan Bohling, Ray Redway) - 2:30
11.Nirvana - Please Believe Me (Patrick Campbell-Lyons) - 3:00
12.Vigrass And Osborne - Forever Autumn (Gary Osborne, Paul Vigrass) - 2:55
13.Richard Henry - Oh Girl (Richard Henry, Ted Fraser) - 2:48
14.Les Payne - Very Well (Les Payne) - 3:51
15.Sunchariot - You're Lovely (Gavin Dare) - 3:57
16.Mike Sedgewick – Pollution Song (Mike Sedgewick) - 3:23
17.Bill Kenwright - Epitaph (When Times Were Good) (Bill Kenwright, Jeff Daniels) - 4:27
18.Clifford T Ward - Coathanger (Clifford T Ward) - 2:47
19.Christopher - The Race (Christopher Neil) - 2:25
20.David McIvor - Closing My Eyes (Peter Green) - 5:05
21.The Bliss - Lifetime (Andy Pegg, Martin Berry, Roger Hurn) - 2:44
22.Matthew Bones - Two Sugars (Matthew Bones) - 3:03

1967  Nirvana - The Story of Simon Simopath (2003 remaster and expanded)