British session musicians Jon Mark (vocals, guitar, drums) and John Almond (vocals, woodwinds, vibes, percussion) met while playing together in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and left in 1970 to form Mark-Almond, sometimes referred to as the Mark-Almond Band. Asian exclusive reissue originally released on A&M in 1978. Includes the hit 'City' and their version of Michael Franks' 'Vivaldi's Song'.
Mark–Almond were an English band of the late 1960s and early 1970s, who worked in the territory between rock and jazz. In 1970 Jon Mark and Johnny Almond formed Mark-Almond (also occasionally referred to as The Mark-Almond Band). The melancholy tones of saxophonist Almond were an integral part of the group's sound, and Almond frequently played flute as well, including the bass flute. Characterized by a blend of blues and jazz riffs, latin beats, and a mellow rock aesthetic, and in contrast to the heavier guitar-driven rock of his contemporaries, composer and band leader Mark worked at producing warm and melodic works.
This album, along with the secret assault of Johnny Almond on sax and flute has a lot of violin courtesy of Greg Bloch which adds a new dimension to their sound. For beginners, check out Black Sun greatest hits for all their music prior to this CD. The sound quality is very excellent (absolutely flat transfer from the analogue tapes) and the songs are pure beauty.
With the wracked final days of Soft Cell behind him, Marc Almond gleefully threw himself into a full-time solo career with a splash; while a chunk of bile still clearly remains – the portentous "Ugly Head" sounds as much personal therapy as it does grinding semi-big-band blues – a much more musically upbeat angle dominates, especially on the lush, winning single "The Boy Who Came Back."