Monday, September 11, 2006

"Eclection" (UK Folk-Rock 1968)
UK band, formed by international musicians

Although known as a British band they were in fact decidedly international with only one member of the short-lived line up from the UK. Trevor Lucas (later to marry Sandy Denny and Join Fairport/Fotheringay), a folk legend had come from Australia as had Kerrilee Male. Gerry Conway the drummer was the UK but other members came from Norway and US but it was in the UK that the band came together with three members going on to future membership at times of Fairport Convention. However the sound here is generally US styled folk rock in similar style to the Mamas and Papas or the Byrds. Jangly guitars were complemented by organ and a power rhythm section with strings and massed harmony vocals giving the songs a huge sound. First song 'In Her Mind' has all these qualities and seems to burst from the speakers. Some tracks such as 'Nevertheless' sound like a less abrasive Jefferson Airplane with a choral section. The song writing is very strong and sounds quite American, indeed it would be easy to mistake this often for some lost San Franciscan epic. It would be interesting to hear the original demo treatments of the songs as this may allow the melodies to stand out even more without the massed but overwhelming instrumentation. 'Violet Dew' merges a dream like vocal start with a wonderfully exciting folk rock track that sounds like The Trees or Mellow Candle who would follow. Tracks with a male lead vocal are often quieter, simpler picked folk with a mournful but warm touch. 'Still I Can See' is a highly regarded track as it starts with an acoustic medieval sounding magical start and then launches into the Mamas and Papas sound mentioned earlier. 'Betty Brown' strips things back to a simpler, more traditional feel with flute and harpsichord. The album's epic and a track that went down best live is 'St Georg and the Dragon' (compiled on the Lammas Night Laments CDrs) which fuses acoustic folk rock, siren call vocals, massive brass and a traditional melody line to stunning effect. The sound is massive, like that achieved by The Hollies on the underrated 'King Midas In Reverse' in the same year. Flutes, strings, trumpet and trombone swirl around the vocals. The soloing is excellent and the tracks seems to continually build until it might burst. In this respect it is also like Simon and Garfunkal's 'The Boxer' but stranger and more unhindered. At the end we have 'Confusion' a slow burning atmospheric psychedelic track that is also epic but crawls along hinting at post-hippy disorientation with eastern sounding guitars and break down to fragile, damaged sounding vocals. In retrospect we can position this album as an early folk rock masterpiece that links the early US folk rock sound with that emerging in Fairport Convention that would use the same electric power to resurrect British traditional music. For a fan of folk rock history, non-traditional folk or the fringes of psychedelic pop this is a must own album.



Blogger chuckmyr said...

I bought this one when it came out and had forgotten about it. Now that I have had chance to hear it again, it's a pretty darn good album.

16 September, 2006 11:06  
Blogger audiodrome said...

Thanks for this great album. Is this from the CD release - the sound is very strange and swishy sounding...

09 November, 2006 02:02  
Anonymous darksun said...

Pity the link is dead

21 November, 2006 09:34  
Blogger Lizardson said...

link is still alive;;;;;;

Click the "Click"

21 November, 2006 10:03  
Anonymous radioshoes said...

This is a terrific album, yet when I used to hear the name Eclection on John Peel's show at the time my heart sank. I can only think this must have been after Kerilee Male left and was replaced by Dorothy Henderson, at which point they took a more blues-based direction. I've since bought the CD in an attempt to get a decent sound quality, but the transfer is no better than what I downloaded. Still, many thanks.

27 November, 2006 09:09  
Anonymous Tasty Hasty said...

Sorry but the "click" isn't apparent. Would love to access this album, remember Eclection from the Isle of Wight 1969. Great band.

09 December, 2008 20:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry but the "click" isn't apparent

09 December, 2008 20:33  

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