Solution - s/t. 1971 Netherlands

Strong debut from Solution, a fuzz-laden organ and sax/flute driven band from The Netherlands. The primarily instrumental music is highly melodic, a common and much welcome trait amongst Dutch progressive rock groups. On this album, Solution reminds me of fellow countrymen Pantheon and Burnin' Red Ivanhoe (Denmark) with props to the overlord of this kind of sound - Hot Rats era Frank Zappa. In fact, 'Circus Circumstances' sounds like Samla Mammas Manna playing the music of prime Zappa.  'Koan' and 'Trane Steps' are the best tracks here, but no weak moments are to be found. Great album.

Here are my notes for Divergence (1972) as well, an album I just could never get into: What a dubious opening for Solution's second album Divergence - the first 6 minutes of 'Second Line' mounting to nothing more than a crooner's piano ballad that is painful to endure. But the last two minutes of said track offer hope for those of us who adored their debut album. The following title track will remind most folks of Focus, and that's because it was included as part of the 'Eruption' track as found on Moving Waves, though the organ and sax breaks found here are entirely their own. 'Concentration' veers dangerously close to being a proto Kenny G, when the music suddenly takes a dark turn to the skanky bar on the corner. And after the drunks have left, the band gets down to business and proves their instrumental worthiness. The album closes as it starts, and is the death knell. I can only shake my head, as the immense brilliance of the debut is pretty much lost here.

Personal Collection
LP: 1971 Catfish
CD: 2012 Esoteric (UK)

Originals are housed in a single sleeve cover. I love the little kid on the tricycle with his life-vest "solution" riding along the canal, which is absolutely priceless. The snapshot of a quiet sunny 1971 neighborhood in Holland (Spaarnwoude apparently) is also great. My first copy was the 1996 2-on-1 CD, and after viewing the cover, I knew I must own an LP (the 1972 UK Decca copy). Eventually I purchased the original Catfish version to go along with the UK LP. Since I'm not a big fan of Divergence, and the EMI CD is absolutely void of details, I recently upgraded to the Esoteric version, which has its usual fantastic liner notes and photos (and this one sounds great, which isn't always the case with Esoteric). No bonus tracks though. Update: OK, the 2 for 1 CD is now hitting the sell bin, as well as the Decca LP.

2 comments:

  1. The picture is not taken in Amsterdam, but in Groningen. Home town of Solution

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    Replies
    1. Yes - it appears you're right that it's not in Amsterdam. I just read through the Esoteric booklet and the band says it's from Spaarnwoude http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spaarnwoude

      Thanks for letting me know!

      Delete

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