Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Galliard - New Dawn. 1970 Deram
CD reissue: 2009 Esoteric
Packaging details: The only legit reissue is the usual great job from Esoteric with extensive liner notes and great sound. No bonus tracks though. I've never owned the original, which is a rather simple single sleeve. It also happens to be very rare and expensive. There are no LP reissues to date.
Notes: "New Dawn" is a strong brass rock entry from England, and compares favorably to other UK like-minded bands such as Brainchild, Heaven, Greatest Show on Earth, and Rock Workshop. Galliard adds folk and even a bit of sitar on Ask for Nothing. Great songwriting, and Galliard could have easily been a household name as a pop sensation.
"New Dawn" is their second album, and I was just about to add it to the CDRWL when I heard they planned on reissuing it. My favorite track is the instrumental 'Premonition', which sounds like Herb Alpert playing the music of Sugarloaf.
Monday, December 12, 2011
The Norman Haines Band - Den of Iniquity. 1971 EMI Parlophone
CD reissues: 1994 Shoestring; 2011 Esoteric
Packaging details: Classic Esoteric reissue that consists of informative liner notes with participation of Norman Haines himself. Also has 6 quality bonus tracks. The very obscure Shoestring CD is legit as well, while all other CDs of this album are pirates. Original LPs are off the charts rare and expensive and I've certainly never owned one.
Notes: Post-Locomotive British rock from the accomplished keys player Norman Haines. Stylistically very diverse, and it takes awhile to get its sea legs. The title track and When I Come Down are the highlights of the first side. With side 2 we get a splendid near 10 minute jam (check out the embedded YouTube below), that truly catches a groove and allows for some excellent guitar soloing over the tranced out organ-led rhythms. Not lost is the longish electronic oriented piece with fuzz organ and electric piano that closes the album. The bonus tracks demonstrate that Haines' songwriting was to improve greatly, even if geared more towards an overt commercial direction with horns (Daffodil and Autumn Mobile were actually released in 1970). I was reminded of Dave Lawson's work with Web ("I Spider") and Samurai in particular. This album takes a couple of spins to comprehend, but it's post British psych at its best. File next to your Nicholas Greenwood "Cold Cuts" album.