The Greatest Show on Earth - Horizons. 1970 England


The Greatest Show on Earth are another fine entry from the UK brass rock genre of the early 1970s. On Horizons, GSoE provide us with 7 tracks in the four+ minute range, and one extended lengthy title suite. The music is heavily inspired by Blood, Sweat and Tears, but unfortunately the songwriting isn't particularly sharp. However, the extended song lengths allow GSoE to demonstrate their skill at instrumental breaks, and it's here the band excels. In particular the catchy grooves of 'Angelina' and 'Real Cool World' are inspiring, as is the bluesy 'Sunflower Morning' and the creative hard psych of 'I Fought for Love'. Addressing the elephant in the room, the long track has many great moments, but suffers a bit from immature jamming, especially prevalent with the front loaded near 3 minute drum solo and some monotonous percussion and bass rambling later on. Still there's more than enough time for some outstanding breaks and thus the track still grades out high. A very fine album, and only 8 months later the band would release their second and last album - which demonstrated more development within their sound.

Personal collection
CD: 2012 Esoteric

The album is housed in a really cool gatefold cover. I love eye covers anyway, and so this is one I need to get on vinyl eventually. The Esoteric CD is of the usual high quality and features great sound, and full liner notes, but no bonus tracks. As is often the case, I would avoid the See For Miles reissue, as it truncates the long 'Horizon' track (though it could have used a bit of trimming in the first place, but still...). Given the neat cover, I wouldn't mind owning the Japanese mini in addition.

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