Saturday, 22 July 2017

The Pandamonium - The Unreleased Album 1970 unreleased then (2004 Radioactive Records) Flac & mp3@320

A little confusingly, the core duo of Pandamonium, singer/songwriter-guitarists Bob Ponton and Martin Curtis, recorded as the figureheads of two different groups in the late '60s and early '70s. At first, with a few other musicians, they did some mid- to late-'60s singles for CBS; then, as Thoughts & Words, they did a 1969 album for Liberty. After that obscure LP, they recorded a 1970 album that went unreleased at the time.
That 1970 LP was belatedly released in 2004 in the form of this CD, titled The Unreleased Album, and credited to Pandamonium, though it's not clear whether it would have been billed to Pandamonium had it come out in 1970. Certainly Ponton and Curtis were supported by several notable figures on these sessions, including Gerry Conway, Jerry Donahue, and Pat Donaldson from Fotheringay; guitarist Albert Lee; bassist Chas Hodges, later part of hitmaking duo Chas & Dave; top British session drummer Clem Cattini (that is, assuming the "Clem Katiny" credited on this CD is the same guy); engineer John Wood, who worked on numerous major British folk-rock albums of the period by the likes of Fairport Convention and Nick Drake; and Shel Talmy, who's credited as co-producer. For all that, however, the failure of this material to gain release is no mystery. It's affable, diverse, but rather nondescript circa-1970 British rock that doesn't fit comfortably into either the folk-rock or pop/rock categories.

Ponton and Curtis put together some fair minor-keyed, introspective numbers like "It's a Long Time" (which is very slightly reminiscent of the Moody Blues) and "I Am What I Am" (which is in turn very slightly reminiscent of the psychedelic Byrds), with touches of folk-rock, orchestrated pop/rock, and singer/songwriter influences, but the songs aren't exceptionally memorable. At other times, like "Sunrise" and the peppy "Sit and Watch the Sunshine," they seem to be gearing toward a more conventionally uplifting single, though the breezier "Waiting for Summer" is a more successful effort along those lines; the country-rock-influenced "Baby I'll Be Yours" is rather like the most lighthearted moments of late-'60s Fairport Convention with the Sandy Denny lineup. There's certainly no harm done that this album's finally available, of course, but it's only recommended to very deep collectors of British rock of the period, or specific fans of Ponton and Curtis.(

Different musical directions here. Some very good early seventies pop, Folk Rock, Country Rock, Pop Ballads. Maybe because the different musical directions had made it difficult to find an audition for the recordings. I prefer the more ''pop'' sounding songs here. The names of the musicians here speaks for themself. Top notch session crowd of the early seventies.

Have fun
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Joe South - Introspect & Don't It Make You Want To Go Home 1968/1969 ( 2003 Raven Records) Flac & mp3@320

Introspect (1968):

Joe South's debut LP was deleted almost too quickly for most listeners to find it, much less hear it. Now regarded as a country-soul classic (and, perhaps, the first country-soul album), Introspect anticipated the sound that Elvis Presley and Tony Joe White would both bring to the fore in the following year, except that it was even more ambitious than Presley or White, mixing and bending genres in new and exciting ways. Country, Eastern raga, gutbucket soul, and pop all brush up against each other within the same songs, some of which sound like Elvis singing with a backing band that included James Burton and Ravi Shankar. And thanks to South's use of various electronic devices in association with the considerable virtuosity in the playing, and his exceptional singing, this is still a bracing album four decades later.

"Games People Play" was the hit off the record, and literally overwhelmed the album (which was pulled, reshuffled, and reissued as Games People Play the following year). But also worth hearing are "Birds of a Feather," "Rose Garden" (which would become a huge hit for Lynn Anderson three years later), "All My Hard Times," and "Mirror of Your Mind," along with most of what's here.(allmusic)

Don't It Make You Want To Go Home (1969):

Joe South's second proper album was perhaps just a tad less impressive than the more well-known Introspect, if only because that earlier LP had included "Games People Play," "Rose Garden," and some other songs that would be among the singer/songwriter's most enduring. Don't It Make You Want to Go Home? is a worthy follow-up, however, that also adeptly combines rootsy rock, pop, country, soul, gospel, and psychedelia into South's thoughtful songs, which ooze both interior reflection and empathetic concern for the world at large. The soulful, cheering "Walk a Mile in My Shoes" was the album's hit single, but there are other songs here of similar quality, like the bittersweet "Clock Up on the Wall," the straight-ahead soul love song "Shelter," and "Be a Believer," which has the anthemic exhortatory chin-up feel typical of much of South's work of the period.

It's definitely an album of its time, as the occasional segues between tracks and trippy studio effects make clear. Indeed, there's one downright experimental track, "A Million Miles Away," a nearly instrumental gutbucket psychedelic blues groove under which some radio-like voices can just about be detected. Somehow the trendy accoutrements fit the mood fairly well instead of sounding like jarring misfires, though they might have ensured that South remained a little bit too idiosyncratic to maintain his short-lived commercial success. (allmusic)

To talk about ''short-lived commercial success'' in conjunction to the name Joe South is quite inapt. Surely if commercial success means to sing, play or acting in any kind in front of a crowd of screaming teens than... yes than!!! This artist wrote more than two hands full of hits which charted around the world. And not only at the end of the sixties. He was a busy studio musician, well known for his skills of a guitar player, arranger and producer. In 1979 he has been take up in the Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Fame.
 This are two very good pop albums with a lot of influences and to me the music of South had always an original american sound.
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