Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music
5 stars CRESSIDA’s “Asylum” is a wonderful example of early British symphonic progressive rock. This 1971 release mixes catchy Paul McCartney-esque vocals with adventurously colorful instrumental passages. The new listener will probably notice singer Angus Cullen, whose voice comes close to McCartney’s (not totally, but close). His vocal melodies are some of the finest I’ve heard in 70s English prog, and the subtle British storytelling style in the lyrics is amusing to listen to.
Nick Saloman of the Bevis Frond once again invites us to join him in the obscure pleasures of little-known pop, R&B, and jazz instrumental sides of the '60s and '70s with this collection. A number of the selections featured on Return of the Instro-Hipsters are so obscure that even Saloman isn't sure just who is responsible for them (though he offers some educated guesses on the artists behind such names as Sharks, Oliver Bone, and the Masked Phantom), but there are a good share of solid grooves and kicky melodies to be found here from a number of gifted little-knowns. If you went to the movies in the '70s, "Soul Thing" by Tony Newman will sound familiar, while flautist Harold McNair solos over a Dave Brubeck-influenced piano groove on "The Hipster," Jerry Allen demonstrates new uses for game calls on "Fuzzy Duck," Thunder Road's synthesized version of "Peter Gunn" beats Art of Noise's variation on the theme by more than 15 years, "The Brooke Bond Beat" by Cliff Adams may be the most swingin' tea commercial ever, and the Outer Limits serve up some tough, moody rock, appropriately titled "Black Boots".
Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce the release of a brand new 2CD deluxe anthology of the complete recordings by the legendary C.C.S. Formed in 1970, C.C.S. (Collective Consciousness Society) was the brainchild of musician and arranger John Cameron, guitarist Alexis Korner (the father of British Blues) and producer MIckie Most. The group was initially conceived as a recording band only, but following the success of their legendary cover version of Led Zeppelin’s "Whole Lotta Love” (used as the theme for "Top of the Pops” for many years) and "Tap Turns on the Water”, the band also undertook live work. C.C.S. featured the cream of jazz and blues talent such as flautist Harold McNair, bass players Herbie Flowers and Spike Heatley, sax players Tony Coe and Ron Ross, trumpet players Henry Lowther, Kenny Wheeler and Harold Beckett and drummers Barry Morgan and Tony Carr. Between 1970 and 1973 C.C.S. released three albums and seven singles for RAK Records, with one album and four singles all reaching the UK Top Forty.