Saturday, 15 October 2011

Survival of the fittest

It's been commonly held that Graham Nash's exiting the Hollies was the step back from sophisticated pop but I'm less than convinced of it even if some of that studio trickery and backwards tapes era stopped. For one thing the unique vocal sound, a sound Terry Sylvester more than filled the missing Nash's shoes as part of, soared for much of the late sixties into the mid 70's on such classic records as The Air That I Breathe. For another sophistication lyrically wasn't a million miles removed from what Graham himself did as part of C,S,N & Young and for me nowhere is more evident than on the 1970 album Confessions of the Mind. Altered in that irritating America knows best level from this UK 13 track album to the 11 track Moving Finger it show their concern about relationships in such numbers as Little Girl dealing as it does with the impact of relationship breakdowns on children and the notion of having given something your all, in returning home, head held high for trying in Gasoline Alley Bred. Thankfully when making an excellent job of reissuing it in 1997 Sundaze reinstated the missing 2 tracks from the UK original and as with the other two discs Bob Irwin mastered it well from the UK tapes.
Catalogue number SC 6125

Moving back a little to that mid sixties period, unfortunately there's not a really good cd of Would You Believe out there as it wasn't issued in the states as that and BGO in the UK have yet to issue the album with 8 of its songs "Beat Group" that was issued instead probably as there's not a studio album to match it up with in a 'twofer' package even though Sundaze have re-issued it in mono on lp.
That lp sounds wonderful. In the end I've decided to get the now deleted UK EMI 'ORIG' stereo&mono cd as this had less extra limiting applied to it than the later two on one by EMI in mono. This has the folk flavoured Fifi The Flea, a cover of Buddy Holly's Take Your Time, I'll Take What I Want and Hard Hard Year a song whose maturity was to show just where they were headed in a matter of months.
My modest hope is BGO will issue Beat Group on cd in mono with Imperial's 1967 release Greatest Hits and add Stewball together with I've Got A Way Of My Own as bonus tracks.

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