Finch - Galleons of Passion. 1977 Netherlands
1977 Rockburgh (UK)
Other LP issue: 1977 Bubble
CD reissues: 1994 Pseudonym; 1995 Nexus (Japan); 2007 Belle Antique (Japan mini-LP)
When I first bought the LP of this album over 30 years ago, I was somewhat disappointed with the result. Of course, like most folks, I had heard the two albums preceding it, thus setting up the wrong expectation. And I feel this album still suffers for that same reason among the general progressive rock listening populace. The first two albums, of course, are barn burners - and Galleons of Passion is anything but. It's more a slow to mid-paced instrumental album, similar to many of the Neo Prog albums later to come from The Netherlands actually.
But on close inspection, one can hear that Finch had already moved in this direction on Side 2 of Beyond Expression. And what makes it successful is the superb guitar playing of Joop van Nimwegen. He clearly is one to wear his emotions on his guitar sleeve, and his playing here is incredibly expressive. In this way, Nimwegen could be compared to Mario Millo over in Australia. In fact, that to me is what Galleons of Passion reminds me of most: Sebastian Hardie. The appropriately named 'Reconciling' closes the album in more kinetic fashion, hence reconciling with their past Glories.
This proved to be the end for Finch, though fortunately some fantastic archival recordings would surface some 15 years later, including one that demonstrates a more raw version of this album. That's for another day...
Despite there existing a native press, the Rockburgh issue is generally considered the original. The Pseudonym CD was also exported to Japan under an agreement with Belle Antique, though my copy is the Dutch version. I'll probably sell that one, though I need to do a sound check first. There are 3 bonus tracks on the 2007 Belle Antique CD, but it appears they are the same as ones found on the Making Of... archival CD, and are superfluous if you already own that.