Monday, July 24, 2006

Samurai "Samurai" (UK Prog-Rock 1971)

In 1971, British band Web abruptly changed its name to Samurai and released this self-titled set, its sole contribution to the prog rock canon. Adding a second brass player and somewhat lightening its sound, the band still continued down many of the same jazzy pathways as its predecessor. However, across seven tracks Samurai meanders down rather diverse byways. "Saving It Up for So Long," for instance, bundles along like Caravan, its bluesy guitar inflections offset by the brass' improv jazz stylings. Even more R&B-inflected is "Give a Little Love," boasting wah wah guitar, a stomping riff, and some quite sassy sax. In contrast, "More Rain" is as soft, warm, and shimmering as a summer drizzle, and gives credence to the group's inclusion in the Canterbury scene. Its polar opposite is the bustling "Holy Padlock," which trundles down a rural road with the farmland flying by, until the song's shifting time signatures shake up the ride. But it's the eight-plus-minute "As I Dried the Tears Away" that's Samurai's centerpiece, a constantly mood-altering and style-twisting extravaganza that brings to mind King Crimson on acid making a regal procession around a breathtaking musical realm. Thoroughly unique, Samurai apparently committed hari-kari after this album was released. Singer/keyboardist Dave Lawson would eventually rise again with Greenslade, his restrained vocals on this set barely hinting at what was to come. This digipack reissue features this savory album's original artwork, and its reappearance will well please all prog rock fans. ~ Jo-Ann Greene, All Music Guide

1. Saving It Up For So Long
2. More Rain
3. Maudie James
4. Holy Padlock
5. Give A Little Love
6. Face In The Mirror
7. As I Dried The Tears Away

Bonus Tracks:
8. Give A Little Love (Live)
9. Holy Padlock (Live)
10. More Rain (Live)
11. Concerto For Bedsprings (Live)
12. Love You (Live)

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lizardson, Once again you strike gold! Another one of those impossibly hard albms to find, and when you do it goes for mega bucks. Been wanting to hear this one for a long long time! Great stuff. Dr. Q

25 July, 2006 00:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many thanks for a great chance to hear some obscure prog & folk-prog jewels!
Keep up a good job!

Prog fan from Latvia

25 July, 2006 00:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this looks great, love some of this hard to find records. :)

01 May, 2009 14:44  
Blogger beaugraham said...

where is the link i cant find it???? thanks

11 October, 2009 12:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No more linkages? Dagnabbit. I'm absolutely ga-ga over this title. The writeup above doesn't mention it, but in many ways this one-off release was a direct precursor to the Steely Dan sound. This becomes very evident on the first couple runthroughs. And, if you love this band's original vision, they you'd be wise to check out a modern, and yet again, totally obscure band called 'Bubblemath'. Someone please reseed. Thanx.

13 October, 2009 01:18  
Blogger Leroy said...

Well this one is dare i say an amazing album! Thank you! didn't have the live tracks!used to when i had it on mp3 but lost it. I can happily say i have an AKARMA re-issue! :D

03 January, 2010 00:21  

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