After almost half a year in the making, The Birthday Party was released in the UK during October 1968 and was one of the first albums to be housed in a gatefold sleeve (the first of course was by the Beatles). Jeff, Greg, Dave and Roger lounge rather dapperly around an oversized invitation asking one and all to come to their first birthday party.
Digitally remastered expanded edition of the final Move album that included Bev Bevan, Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne, who would eventually disband the group to form Electric Light Orchestra. Amid the 9 added bonus tracks are the original single plus an alt version of "Do Ya", one of the groups last recordings that would become a hit for ELO later in the decade. This edition is released in celebration of the 35th Anniversary of the group's signing to EMI Records.
Recorded in April 1972, "A Story Ended" was the debut solo album by Colosseum saxophonist Dick Heckstall-Smith. Recorded upon the demise of Colosseum, the sessions featured contributions by Jon Hiseman, Mark Clarke, Chris Farlowe & Dave Greenslade of the band, along with Graham Bond (of whose Organization Dick was a member alongside Jack Bruce & Ginger Baker), Chris Spedding and lyrical offerings from Pete Brown. A superb example of Jazz influenced Progressive rock, the album appeared on Bronze Records in 1972 and is now hailed as a classic of the genre.
Toolbox is the second solo album by Ian Gillan originally released only in Europe, Japan and Brazil on German label EastWest. Gillan screamed his way through an entire album. Not that bad actually. It was Gillan's last album before his second comeback with Deep Purple in August 1992. Worth pointing out that, although the ‘Gillan’ band logo is used on the cover, this release is considered and billed as an Ian Gillan solo album.
Cargoe is an American Band from Tulsa, Oklahoma, originally formed in the late 1960s as Rubbery Cargoe, whose lone studio album, engineered by phonon Terry Manning, was released on Memphis Tennessee’s legendary Ardent Records in 1972. Cargoe did an admirable job blending power-pop melodicism with various contemporary sounds - late Beatles, post-CS&N and Traffic soft/folk rock, blues lead guitar and some country sounds. Listening to Cargoe, it sounds like they just a bunch of Southern boys who loved the Beatles and others, and went in a different direction. Southern rock were their brethren, (you can hear it on the vocals, the acoustic guitar bedrock and the blues-rock guitar leads), but instead of founding a new tribe, Cargoe became a curious attempt. Had they become more popular, they might have been the American Badfinger, but even better. Very Rare CD!
The term "rock legend" certainly applies to Ian Gillan. Fronting such bands as Deep Purple and Black Sabbath over the years, he has proved that he has an incredible voice and has been a very influential force in the rock genre. This solo album features both his incredible vocal talents and some fine songwriting. The material varies from hard rock that feels a bit like Deep Purple to more balladic sort of works. In fact, one of the ballads on the disc is an incredibly emotional piece that is one of the best cuts on the CD.
1978 came and went and Unicorn's third American (4th in the UK) album was ignored. Even though this album may not have been stronger than its predecessors, it is nonetheless wonderful. Songs like "Eric," "Get Along Fine" and "So Hard To Get Through" are little gems of Pop music with a slight country tinge but just didn't have that something special enough to break the band and so this marked the end of Unicorn. But with a catalog of inspired music behind them, they had made their mark and continue to do so to this day.
Too Many Crooks, which followed (in the States, this would be considered the band's second album when in actuality, it is their third), sees Gilmour again in the producer’s chair. The band (with the same line up) is really in the moment here. Whether it’s Andy Jackson's meticulous remastering or that all the pistons were firing for Unicorn at this point, "Crooks" sounds fantastic. The songwriting is clever and the tunes are well crafted and melodic.
Produced by Pink Floyd's own David Gilmour, Blue Pine Trees was the second release from British folk/country rock act Unicorn (though self-titled here in the US upon its release on Capitol Records) back in 1974. Blue Pine Trees is country rock, more mellow then rock actually. It begins with the upfront mandolin, vocal harmonies and fine bass playing from Pat Martin on "Electric Night."