Saturday, November 18, 2006

Request
"Complex" (UK Psych 1970)

Remarkably, the album was recorded at a local pub in between opening hours, with vocal overdubs being added at Brian Lee’s home. Through a contact with Graham Atkinson, an employee of Granada TV, the group were able to add sound effects to the tapes. He was given a credit as sound engineer by way of thanks, and the tapes were then sent to Craighall studios in Scotland to be pressed. Barring a handful of test pressings, only 99 copies were pressed (thus avoiding purchase tax). The album’s striking red and black artwork was drawn by bass player Lance Fogg and sent to a local printers to have sleeves made. However an error was discovered when the band attempted to slide the records into their sleeves. Rather than make sleeves to house a 12 inch LP, the printer had made the sleeves exactly 12 inches wide, leaving no room for clearance. The end result of this mistake is that today, most surviving copies of the LP have a split seam. This was not to be the only problem with the album. Upon playing the newly received LP’s, the band were to discover, that the sound quality was less than perfect, giving a "thin" sound and noticeable surface noise.

The album was released in November 1970 and Brian’s mother (who successfully managed the group) dutifully sent out copies to various record companies. The remaining copies were sold at the band’s gigs for a pound each, which equates to quite an investment, were you far-sighted enough to buy one at the time. Given that the album sounds deeply rooted in 1967/68, it is not surprising that Complex did not generate much interest from the major labels, intent on signing the next new thing. However E.M.I. were sufficiently impressed with the band’s sound and song writing skills, to offer them an audition. So in January of 1971, they departed for Craighall studios in Edinburgh, and over the course of the weekend, re-recorded two tracks from the LP, "Norwegian Butterfly" and "Images Blue". Around the same time, Complex were to also record a session for BBC in Manchester. Whilst EMI turned down their option to sign Complex, the band remained in buoyant mood. Gigs were coming in regularly and the Coe / Mitchell writing partnership was continuing ti supply new material.

2 Comments:

Anonymous raven said...

love these "lost" albums

many thanks

21 November, 2006 07:42  
Blogger Tucker said...

You are so cool, sharing this great stuff with us! Thanks so much!

23 November, 2006 12:47  

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