Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Horse Head Vinyl...Dig and Spin - "Getting To This" Blodwyn Pig (1970)

"Getting To This"  -  Blodwyn Pig (1970)
Brit blues rock, a bit of prog/jog 
2nd (and final) album 
Gatefold w/tracks, credits, board game
A&M Records-Chrysalis (gold) 
9 tracks

Horse Head Vinyl..."Dig and Spin" (#2)

Blodwyn Pig was formed by Mick Abrahams (guitarist, vocals) after doing a sudden 23-skidoo from Jethro Tull after Tull's debut album, "This Was." (1968)

I found this Blodwyn Pig album loitering in the "P" section, misfiled or misplaced by somebody.  It was an album I'd had on my want list for some time...but for whatever reason...was never quite ready to pull the trigger.  Either something else would catch my eye or the green paper in my pocket was being shy.  Anyway...it's mine now.

 
"Getting To This" - Blodwyn Pig (back cover)

"Getting To This" is an okay album. Nothing will blow you away, but it does have its moments.  This was Brit blues rock, for sure...but there were flashes of prog and tangents of jazz that I had not expected.

There lies the small rub. The album was enjoyable, if a little helter-skelter.  And it benefits from repeat listens.  Once I went through the deck a few times, my mind found its happy place and relaxed.  In other words, it's a grower.
A&M Records / Chrysalis

The gatefold is bright and fun, too.
It has a strange boardgame inside with vintage b/w photos of naked ladies in the middle. (I'm guessing from the '20s.)
No instructions, however, you are required to "throw up" before you can start the game.
There is also a dot-to-dot of an obvious pig and a box maze to entertain the messed-up mind.

"Getting To This" - Blodwyn Pig 
(inside gatefold)
For Cherry-pickers:
"Meanie Mornay"...Rocks balls with tasty bottleneck thrown in. (added to U.S. copy)
"Variations on Nainos"... might be a thumb-nose to ex-band mate Ian Anderson. With the flute work and "time will tell" refrain...who the flip knows. Doesn't matter. It's fantastic.
"Toys"...a sweet look-back on childhood siblings. Acoustic little gem...and I dug it.
"San Francisco Sketches"...is the 8 min. prog jazz snowball.

This was my first taste of Blodwyn Pig.  Glad I picked it up.  I'm still waiting to find their '69 debut, "Ahead Rings Out" which many fans consider to be the stronger album.

TRACKLIST
A1.  "Drive Me" – 3:19
A2.  "Variations on Nainos" – 3:47
A3.  "Meanie Mornay" – 4:45
A4.  "Long Bomb Blues" – 1:07
A5.  "The Squirreling Must Go On" – 4:22
B1:  "San Francisco Sketches" – 8:11
B2.  "Worry" – 3:43
B3.  "Toys" – 3:03
B4.  "Send Your Son to Die" – 4:25

"Variations on Nainos" - Blodwyn Pig / "Getting To This" (1970)


PERSONNEL:
  • Mick Abrahams – guitar, vocals, seven-string guitar, tenor guitar
  • Jack Lancaster – flute, violin, electric violin, tenor sax, baritone sax, soprano sax, phoon horn, cornet
  • Andy Pyle – electric bass, six-string bass
  • Ron Berg – drums, tympani
  • Graham Waller – piano ("Drive Me", "Beach Scape")

Good stuff.

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Sunday, March 11, 2018

Horse Head Vinyl...Dig and Spin - "Shamal" Gong (1975)

"Shamal"  -  Gong (1975)
prog jazz, prog rock, fusion
6th album.
Virgin Records
6 tracks. 

Horse Head Vinyl..."Dig and Spin" (#1)

Co-founder and gnome-king Daevid Allen had flown the coop at this point...and he took his trippy, space-psych with him.

On Gong's sixth album..."Shamal"...the band flies into a more proggier jazz direction.  This time, the music is being guided, in no small part, by percussionist Pierre Moerlen.

And here's a scary word for you.  "Fusion."
Fusion is a musical fence that's very hard to walk without losing your balance.
Sure, it looks easy.  Starting out.  But it's extremely hard to stay up and your friends will get bored watching, if not careful.

"Shamal"  -  Gong (back cover)

Fortunately, Gong succeeds on this offering.
Mostly.
There's lots of nice flute, vibraphone, xylophone. Quite a bit of tasty percussive tinkerings. An occasional sax.
And just a wee bit of guitar. So little, in fact, the instrument really stands out when it joins the fray. I wish there had been more.

Virgin Records (colored twins w/serpent)

It's doubtful you will ever hear any of this album on "The Psychedelic Experience." Not like their earlier stuff.
But this is pretty good...for what it is.
Knowing that going in and you stumble upon this cheap. Pick it up.

For Cherry-pickers:
"Chandra"...Lots of things going on. Very Zappa-esque.
"Bambooji"...flavors of the Orient abound before a welcome (if short) Steve Hillage guitar break midway. Fantastic tone.  Sadly, he only appears on 2 tracks.
"Mandrake"...this one spoke to me. Felt like I took a complete journey in 5 minutes.

I picked up this album simply because it was Gong.
And I didn't own any.
This wasn't exactly what I was expecting.
But sometimes...you get what you need.

TRACK LIST
A1.  "Wingful of Eyes"  -- 6:20
A2.  "Chandra"  -- 7:18
A3.  "Bombooji"  -- 5:13
B1.  "Cat in Clark's Shoes"  -- 7:43
B2.  "Mandrake"  -- 5:04
B3.  "Shamal"  -- 9:00

"Bambooji" - Gong / "Shamal" (1975)


PERSONNEL:

  • Mike Howlett – bass guitar, vocals
  • Didier Malherbe – tenor sax, soprano sax, flute, bansuri, gongs
  • Mireille Bauer – marimba, glockenspiel, xylophone, percussion, gongs
  • Pierre Moerlen – drums, vibraphone, tubular bells
  • Patrice Lemoine – organ, piano, synthesizer


GUESTS:

  • Steve Hillage – guitars ("Bambooji" & "Wingful of Eyes")
  • Miquette Giraudy – vocals ("Bambooji")
  • Jorge Pinchevsky – violin
  • Sandy Colley – vocals ("Shamal")
Good stuff.

Casey Chambers
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