Here & Now - Give and Take. 1978 England
LP reissue: 1981 Oxford (Italy)
CD reissues: 1990 Decal; 2001 Tin Toy; 2002 Voiceprint (Japan); 2009 Victor (Japan mini-LP); 2010 Esoteric
The more I listen to Here and Now's debut, the more I realize just how groundbreaking an album it is. Certainly Gong provides the original base recipe, but Here and Now modernized it with new ingredients, more spicy and relevant. When looking at the UK Festival Psych scene of the 1980s, it becomes more and more apparent that Here and Now were the primary influence, though Gong usually gets the credit (which is fair too). Whether it be the free concerts, the trippy female vocals, the hard rocking Hawkwind styled riffing, or the psychedelic solos - Here and Now's stamp is all over the future scene that remains with us to this day. Ozric Tentacles, Omnia Opera, Mandragora, Soma, and countless others borrowed heavily from Here and Now. In addition, their influence could be found further in faraway Italy - with the superb band St. Tropez (a fine archival release from Mellow). For 1978, this is an extraordinary release for music of this kind.