Thursday, September 1, 2022

Chris Coombs And The Lightyears Away / Thundermother - Gagalactyca (1971 uk, exceptional spacey acid psych folk rock, 2000 reissue)

"GAGALACTYCA" is a sister album to Astral Navigations. Lightyears Away has pretty much the same line-up, though with less from Brian Wilson and Brian Calvert who had both left the country. Four songs were destined for Astral Navigations when it was to be called Windows Of Limited Time : Save The Big Jam Roll, The People Show and Woman In My Life.  Aren't You Glad You Stayed? was intended to open the album, which is why it is heard at the end of A - Austr.

1970 and 1971 were prolific times for Holyground - a lot of their very best work was from this period. ASTRAL NAVIGATIONS had been released and yet there were tracks un-issued : such as Chris Coombs' THAT IS WHAT WE NEED, and several THUNDERMOTHER tracks. At one time or another several of these tracks were destined for Astral, but were left off for others. The solution was obvious: Astral Part Two!

Although planned, the album was not actually released until the early 1990's when a vinyl version was released with the help of Hugo Chavez' 'Magic Mixture' label. Only 450 of these were made, most signed by Dave Wood and Mike Levon. 

shirl, slyv & jan, esme & jumping jack flash, cath & linda, anne, fuckface the eagle, super judy, sonja, arkle, norfolk jim, mitchell deaver, gifford and andrew, 'goth' caxton, jim alexander, dave wood, pete duce, kevin young, mal gill & cass yard angels

'shirl' is Shirley Levon; 'slyv' was Dave Wood's partner; 'jan' is married to Chris Coombs, and 'anne' is Kevin Young's wife. Esme was Mike and Shirley's cat, (as was Jumping Jack Flash), and her purr lives on at the start of the THUNDERMOTHER tracks. Cath and Linda were usually to be found hanging around the studio or Mike's flat. They can be seen in the video of the making of ASTRAL NAVIGATIONS too. 'Mitchell Deaver' is Mike and Shirley's electric fire
1. Save The Big Jam Roll (Mike Levon, Chris Coombs) - 8:28
2. This Is What We Need (Chris Coombs) - 2:16
3. Cold Tired And Hungry (Chris Coombs) - 2:06
4. Melanie- Merlin Est (Mike Levon, Chris Coombs) - 6:11
5. Aren't You Glad You Stayed (Mike Levon, Brian Calvert) - 3:59
6. February (Chris Coombs) - 3:49
7. Pretty Anne (Original Mix) (Mike Levon, Chris Coombs) - 3:54
8. Pretty Anne (Remix) (Mike Levon, Chris Coombs) - 5:07
9. Woman (Andy Fraser, Paul Rodgers) - 3:27
10.Lady (Lay By Me) (David John, Dave Millen) - 3:36
11.The People Show (David John, Dave Millen, Frank Newbould) - 3:56
12.Come On Home (Dave Millen) - 7:30
13.Woman In My Life (David John, Dave Millen, Frank Newbould) - 4:22
14.Main Line Woman Blues (Traditional) - 2:43
Tracks 1-8 as Lightyears Away
Tracks 9-14 as Thundermother

Lightyears Away
*Chris Coombs - Crumar Multiman Keyboard, Guitar, Vocals, Harmonium, Tambourine, Clapselectric Guitar, El Condor Pipes
*Mike Levon - Saxophone, Whispers, Drums
*Steve Channing - Lead Guitar, Guitar, Vocals
*Pete Taylor - Bass, Backing Spoken Vocal 
*Multiman - Piano 
*Ted Hepworth - Drums   
*Biff Byford - Flute
*Yvonne Carrodus - Vocals
*Bill Nelson - Guitars     
*Liam Arthurs - Bass
*Phil Harmonic - Keyboards, Bass, Wahs
*Brian Calvert - Guitar 
*Brian Wilson - Bass, Swinging Cat Guitar

*Dave Millen - Guitars, Vocals, Bass   
*Jerusalem Smith - Drums
*David John - Vocals, Percussion     
*Frank Newbould - Bass, Percussion
*Fred Kelly - Drums, Percussion   
*Mike Levon - Steel Pipe
*Daz - Bass

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