The Greatest Show on Earth - Horizons. 1970 England

The Greatest Show on Earth - Horizons. 1970 Harvest. Released in many countries

UMR review of The Going's Easy

CD reissues: 1994 Repertoire (Germany); 1997 See For Miles (w/ The Going's Easy); 2001 EMI (Japan mini-LP); 2006 Repertoire (Germany); 2012 Esoteric

Release details: Really cool gatefold cover. I love eye covers anyway, and so this is one I need to get eventually. UK originals are a bit pricey, but compared to others of its era, it's relatively affordable. Other country pressings will be less, including the always nice German ones. As for CDs, both the Repertoire and Esoteric versions are readily available, and likely to be on sale. 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. Surprisingly there are no LP reissues.

Notes: 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.

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