Thursday, August 31, 2006

Andy Roberts "Home Grown" (UK Folk)
[B&C reissued version 1971]

Cover left: Japanese reissued CD 2005, complete version.
Cover right: B&C reissued version 1971.

The album, on which Andy Roberts was backed on some tracks by Mighty Baby, had been recorded under a production deal with folk-rock svengali Sandy Roberton. Initially, Sandy's productions appeared under license to RCA, but somewhere between 1970-71 his allegiance switched to B&C/Pegasus. Consequently, in June 1971, Andy found himself in a slightly embarrassing position of talking it up all over again:

'For some reason I don't fully understand B&C have decided to re-release Home Grown,' he explained to Sounds. 'At least, I couldn't have understood it at all if they'd just re-released the album as it was, but we've remixed some and re-recorded some of it, and changed some of the tracks which didn't quite work the first time. So in effect this is an almost different album. It's certainly better than the original one and bears more relation to me as I am now - but it's still 18 months old, vintage Roberts. To confuse the issue still further, there's an album going to be released in the States which will also be called Home Grown because apparently they like the title, but that one will only have three tracks from the original album, and four or five totally new ones which haven't been released here yet…'

In between the two UK Home Grown releases, Andy - who had fingers in all sorts of overlapping artistic pies at that time (recording and performing with The Scaffold, Grimms, and Ian Matthews - with whom he would form Plainsong in 1972) - has endured a brief, ill-fated experience as a member of a band called Everyone. The band's van had crashed with one fatality and financial ruin, although an eponymous album - half of it written and fronted by Roberts - subsequently trickled out, to little fanfare, on Charisma. Having briefly considered quitting music altogether, his interest was revived by working on what would be released later in 1971, on Pegasus, as Nina and the Dreamtree - like Home Grown, a work with an atmosphere all its own though much more luxuriantly produced and yet still, today, an under-appreciated classic. ~COLIN HARPER - RECORD COLLECTOR

Track List:
1970 RCA version: Click
1971 B&C version: Click


Blogger Donno said...

Thank you so much for this, great to hear it again. Standout tracks for me have to be Queen Of The Moonlight & The One Armed Boatman. It's a shame that Andy didn't spend more of his carreer producing great solo efforts instaed of hidng in bands (albeit excellent ones) such as The Liverpool Scene, Grimms and Plainsong.

31 August, 2006 21:39  

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