Friday, January 12, 2007

"Sweet Thursday" 1969

This group and their one and only album were once considered so hot, what with Nicky Hopkins, Alun Davies, and Jon Mark in the lineup, that a reissue in 1971 rated a full-page ad from the source label in Rolling Stone. In fact, it's a pleasant, well-played midtempo piece of late-1960s rock, with elements of British blues ("Side of the Road"), psychedelic harpsichords and flute ("Cobwebs"), and R&B, mid-1960s U.K. style. Alun Davies and Jon Mark are more than good enough guitar players and singers, but there nothing terribly special here in the way of songwriting. "Cobwebs" is the kind of amorphous, spacy brand of psychedelia that Donovan used to fill out his albums with, but with a bit more drive; "Dealer" is vaguely blues-ish rock driven by pseudo-profound lyrics. Jon Mark's "Rescue Me" is one of the better numbers here, dominated by Hopkins' organ playing and driven by a great beat, and carried by his attempts at a white soul vocal performance; it's no surprise for the neophyte to learn that all of these guys played with outfits like Zoot Money's Big Roll Band and the Cyril Davies All-Stars. And then there's "Gilbert Street," which shows some finesse and a robust vocal performance, and sustains interest for five minutes plus; this number must have been something to hear in concert, and a whole album like it would have lived up to a reputation stretching across the decades. It's also easy to see why this record never caught on at the time -- there isn't a real single here, or any memorable tunes, except for "Gilbert Street" -- and why it became a kind of FM standard among deejays seeking to annoy the hell out of listeners who couldn't get the record. [The Sony Music CD appears to be the first wholly legitimate compact-disc reissue of this album, which was heavily bootlegged on vinyl at one point and has also shown up on CDs of questionable origin. The sound is clean and clear, but otherwise not notable. There are no notes of any kind.] ~ Bruce Eder, All Music Guide

9 Comments:

Blogger patrick said...

ah, this is a great record. any and all nicky hopkins-related esoterica is welcome. thanks!

13 January, 2007 02:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have to admit it's a fantastic record.
great songs for winter 2007!!!

13 January, 2007 05:19  
Anonymous zubbid said...

Thanks, I've been looking to download this for a while. 'Sleeping By The Side Of The Road' is a particular favorite - to these ears amongst the most Stonesy songs not actually by the Stones. For which credit probably goes to Mr. Hopkins.

13 January, 2007 07:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Recording radio programs from WNEW-FM in NYC in 1969, I caught "Sleeping on the Side of the Road". It is on a reel to reel tape. I never knew who the band was. I played the tape yesterday, heard the song again, and ran right to the internet to do a search. Glad to find so much info about the band. I am definitely purchasing the album -- only 38 years late!

14 February, 2007 22:02  
Blogger Ruth said...

The first time I ever heard "Gilbert Street" was in the early 70s, 6 months or so after seeing an ad for the re-release in Circus magazine. Scott Muni played it one afternoon on WNEW-FM in NYC. The song just blew me away, but it wasn't till after it was over that I found out who it was by. I made my brother track down the album for me, and then, a couple of years ago when I found it was on CD I made him track it down AGAIN. (Still have the vinyl, all these years later.)
I've been trying to track down the actual lyrics -- anyone know if they're posted anywhere?

04 January, 2009 12:49  
Blogger Ruth said...

The first time I ever heard "Gilbert Street" was in the early 70s, 6 months or so after seeing an ad for the re-release in Circus magazine. Scott Muni played it one afternoon on WNEW-FM in NYC. The song just blew me away, but it wasn't till after it was over that I found out who it was by. I made my brother track down the album for me, and then, a couple of years ago when I found it was on CD I made him track it down AGAIN. (Still have the vinyl, all these years later.)
I've been trying to track down the actual lyrics -- anyone know if they're posted anywhere?

04 January, 2009 12:50  
Blogger Barry said...

Scottso played that song a lot of afternoons on NEW-FM back in the 70s.

I've got the Great Western Gramophone reissue on vinyl, which i've had for a couple of decades. No lyrics, alas, and i'm too lazy to try to transcribe them.

08 April, 2009 04:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I Have It On Vinyl. Great Album!!!!
CAn You Give Me The Link??? Thanks!!!!!! Arg's.

09 October, 2009 19:53  
Blogger DJ Kool JB said...

link??????

02 May, 2010 15:09  

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