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On sessions. Best of all, the uplifting ‘Work To Do’ is the killer, must have track. Overall, the perfect prelude to the

progressive 3+3 album that spawned future gems like ‘Summer Breeze’ and ‘That Lady’. Paul Ritchie

JOBRIATH Jobriath Creatures Of The Street Collector’s Choice CDs

Jobriath was an American, openly gay glam artist, at a time when hopping unapologetically over the Stonewall was tantamount to professional suicide, even in the

ambiguous world of glam. Jobriath earned further popular suspicion when his albums, particularly his debut, were accompanied with a wave of unsustainable hype. Making no bones about it,

Jobriath (1973), is pretentious tosh that has dated badly. It’s full of charmless squealing guitar overdrive and pompous piano ballads, held together by a monstrous ego. It’s a fifth-rate Bowie rip-off. Creatures Of The Street (’74),

however, is much better. Jobriath is still in love with Ziggy Stardust, but now it’s the morning after, the glitter has faded and it’s time to find himself. There’s the raucous slut- opera of ‘Dietrich/Fondyke’, the Zappa-esque ‘Scumbag’ and even funk guitar on ‘Good Times’. It’s still all ridiculous and contrived, of course, but it’s now far more Jobriath’s own contrivances and miles more satisfying for it. Jeanette Leech


Fathoms Deep Both Collectors Choice CDs

If not quite the UK’s answer to Minnie Ripperton (Lewis’s high notes are nowhere near as honed) she comes close. Starting out in London club soul/psych group

The Ferris Wheel, who if not up to the standards of Ripperton’s Rotary Connection were attempting to bring black and white, soul and psych together in a similar vein, Lewis embraced the many scents and colours of Swinging London, epitomising multi-cultural savvy. Later she hung with the beardy freaks in Hampstead, befriending Robert Wyatt, Cat Stevens, Marc Bolan and Elton John. After an acceptable debut, her

second album Lark (1972) is a delight. Lewis states how happy she was at the time of writing, and it shows. Childlike and innocent, the 12 songs combine pop, West Coast hippie stylings, jazz, soul and gospel, at times sounding like a more relaxed, black version of Joni Mitchell. Unclassifiable, light years ahead of its time, and yes, a classic! Jim Cregan (Blossom Toes) lays down a range of guitar

moods and rhythm section Pat Donaldson and Gerry Conway of Fotheringay are faultless. Follow up Fathoms Deep (’73) is

more refined, better produced and smoother… it has a funkier edge, and although still good, is perhaps too glossy and considered for its own. Nevertheless, if you like Lewis there is still plenty to enjoy. The plaintive ‘Lullaby’ being the closest to the pleasures of her previous release. Jon ‘Mojo’ Mills

GAYLE MCCORMICK Gayle McCormick Rev-Ola CD

Gayle McCormick is the golden-throated honey that fronted the late ’60s soulful pop act Smith (once known as A Group Called Smith), out of St. Louis. Smith scored a hit with

their version of the Bacharach-David standard ‘Baby, It’s You’, and they appear on the Easy Rider soundtrack, with a cover of The Band’s ‘The Weight’. Smith disbanded after making a couple of albums but Gayle wasn’t done. This, her solo debut from 1971, features the production and songwriting work from the team of Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter, and the playing of members of The Wrecking Crew. The finest track on the 28-

minute record is the opener, the Lambert- Potter penned ‘It’s A Cryin’ Shame’, a slice of soul-infused pop that made a respectable dent in the charts at the time. Renditions of songs made more famous by the likes of The Carpenters and Aretha Franklin appear around several other Lambert-Potter creations. All told, Gayle sounds like a cooler Olivia Newton-John or a Karen Carpenter who could pull off northern soul. Not an album to make the world stop, but good early ’70s AM radio stuff, and it’s always enjoyable to listen to a gifted singer belt them out. Brian Greene

NATIONAL HEAD BAND Albert 1 Esoteric

Formed from the ashes of The Scaffold’s backing band, The Business, who had featured Lee Kerslake (previously of Toe Fat, later in Uriah Heep), David Paull

(later of Jonesy) and Jan Schehaas (later in Caravan), National Head Band sound nothing like their guns-for-hire comedy work or the prog bands they would evolve into. Albert 1 was released on Warner Brothers in 1971 and bore a strong Beatles’ Abbey Road influence (most evident on ‘Lead Me Back’) marked by epic piano motifs, choral harmonies and mournful vocals. Badfinger, would be a good comparison… and if in the market for occasionally folky, gentle Beatles inspired rock, this album is well worth inspecting. Jon ‘Mojo’ Mills

THE NERVES One Way Ticket Alive

The ultimate ’70s power-pop group! The Nerves had a brilliant Mersey sound and GREAT songs. Blondie may have had the hit with ‘Hanging On The Telephone’,

but The Nerves wrote and recorded it first. Their four-track EP from 1976 is included here along with a multitude of demos and live material. ‘Walking Out On Love’ is the perfect collision between tuneful mid-60s pop and punk energy! They were minimal, rhythmic, had cool three part vocals and an edge… instant no messing tuneage! If The Raspberries often wimped

out, Big Star got too dark and Badfinger dug a boogie, The Nerves played plain and simply “powerful pop music”. Up there with the Groovies in my book. Jon ‘Mojo’ Mills

THE THIRD ESTATE/AGONISTES The Third Estate/Agonistes Lion Productions

This two-CD set of “private press heaven” collects The Third Estate’s 1976 concept album Years Before The Wine and the unreleased album by the group’s

previous incarnation as Agonistes and stray single sides and demos on two CDs. The beauty with US private pressings, particularly those from the South (Baton Rouge in this case) is how dated they actually sound. Punk may have been taking off in New York and London, but this collective of musos were clearly hippies with their hearts in the ’60s. Years Before The Wine has the kind of electrified psychedelic folk-rock sound that would have been all the rage in the UK in ’71! The gorgeous female vocal and blend of guitars on the title track are just sumptuous – making it incredibly hard to believe how the whole album was bounced down onto just four tracks! The second CD of earlier material

from ’73, although more stripped down folk- rock and rock, is incredibly enjoyable too. Jon ‘Mojo’ Mills

THE TOKENS Both Sides Now Rev-Ola CD

Both Sides Now, from 1970, is a curious album. The first side was designed to show off The Tokens as a modern bubblegum pop group, the second

a guide to The Tokens of yesteryear, featuring their past successes.


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