Monday, November 13, 2023

John Jones - Collage (1974 uk, pleasant folk prog rock, 2007 korean remaster)

In 1964 John Evan-Jones (Guitar, Keyboards, vocals) and his elder brother Trevor "Gypsy" Jones (Bass, Vocals) moved from Canterbury to Tasmania with their parents. In Launceston they soon joined a local band, The Revelles, which quickly met with the audience favour. After changing name in Chaos & CO and, with a line-up completed by Graeme Pearce (Drums), John Pearce (Guitar) and Dave Randell (Bass), in 1966 the band got a hit single with "Seven Golden Daffodils/It Was You" (EMI/Columbia) and split after a possible second hit. John and Trevor then formed Mickey Finn, but in 1969 John decided to go back to London, to promote at EMI several songs written in the last couple of years. 

Unlikely enough, not only were his songs left unpublished but also he was denied the possibility to sign to a different label due to EMI requiring an override royalty for him to leave his contract. So Trevor and the rest of the band, who had arrived in London full of hope, went back down under to give life to Sweatty Betty, with Peter Hutchinson (Guitar), Tim Joyce (Guitar) and Dave Witt (Drums), plus singers Jeff Reader and Janet Sexton, the only result of this new band was one 7" single, "Every Little Thing", recorded for Van Diemen in 1971. In the meantime John was making himself known as a session guitarist, playing for artists like Tom Jones, Arthur Brown, Rory Gallagher, Petula Clarke, Charles Aznavour, Dusty Springfield, Arthur Conley, Jeff Beck, Ronnie Charles, New Seekers, London Symphony Orchestra etc.

Thanks to all the contacts and the esteem acquired with all this hard work, in 1971 Polydor approached John asking him to play for American songwriter Jake Holmes (of "Dazed and Confused" fame) during his European tour. One of the support bands on this tour was Irish band Anno Domini, whose guitarist "Tiger" Taylor was having problems with the band's management. John Evan Jones replaced him on stage first and then definitively, and later Trevor joined to complete the new line-up. Anno Domini had already recorded an album and it happened that the two Jones took Taylor's place on the English issue's cover (pressed later than the German one, which shows instead the right line-up). A second album was quickly recorded but remains still unpublished to this day and at this point Anno Domini split-up. John was approached by German label BASF, with the proposal to record a solo album. 

The album, "Collage", was cut at Command Studios in London, featured Australians Alan Tarney and Trevor Spencer (both ex-Quartet) and the British/American James Kaleth. It was the standard melodic singer/songwriter affair, its highlight being the conclusive "Live In 2", where John Jones showed all his fine guitar playing ability. A second solo album "Just A Few Changes" was recorded (but not released) and no one knows its whereabouts today. The meeting with Kaleth, who had moved from Chicago to Lancashire in 1959 and had previously played for one year with White Summer and for a very short time with Crowjane (formed by three ex-Gracious members), gave birth to a new band, called Jonesy.
by Gianpaolo Banelli
1. Oh, What A Pity - 3:06
2. That's Alright By Me - 3:28
3. Hey Girl - 3:12
4. Man Of 21 - 3:20
5. Working - 3:43
6. Anthem - 4:53
7. Fade Away - 2:12
8. Smiling Eyes - 3:14
9. Feeling For Today - 3:20
10.Live In 2 - 4:01
11.The Prisoner - 3:44
12.It's Been Such A Long Time - 4:19
All compositions by John Evan Jones
Bonus Tracks 11-12

*John Evan Jones - Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
*Jamie Kaleth - Mellotron, Piano, Vocals
*Alan Tarney - Bass
*Trevor Spencer - Drums
*Alan Bown - Trumpet

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