Sunday, July 02, 2006

Amazing Blondel

"Amazing Blondel" 1970

In a sense, this debut album -- originally released by Bell Records' U.K. arm as Amazing Blondel -- relates to the group's subsequent work in the same manner that This Was does to Jethro Tull's later albums. The group was a duo of John David Gladwin and Terry Wincott, fresh out of the rock band Methuselah and interested in making acoustic music, but not certain which direction to go in. A few cuts, such as "Season of the Year," "Shepherd's Song," and "Love Sonnet," display the Elizabethan character that the group would later develop across three LPs, but there's also a definite '60s feel to much of this album, including a sitar and tabla noodling in the background of songs such as "Saxon Lady," which also utilizes a flute part that would later turn up on "Lament to the Earl of Bottesford Beck" on the England album. Other tracks, such as "Bethel Town Mission" and "You Don't Want My Love," have a big band blues quality, while "Spanish Lace" could pass for a folk-rock track by the Humblebums. Not all of it worked, even with the presence of top-flight session musicians, including guitar virtuoso Big Jim Sullivan (who also directed the band and co-wrote the arrangements) and ex-Tornados drummer Clem Cattini. The Elizabethan-style songs came off best out of the different sounds here, and gave shape to what followed for the group, although none of their subsequent material displayed the ebullient, light-hearted sing-along quality found on this album's final cut, the folky "Bastard Love." The presence of horns in some of the arrangements will prove jarring to some fans, but this is a surprisingly solid record for its time. ~ Bruce Eder, All Music Guide

''Evensong'' 1970

The trio's first fully realized album, a self-consciously archaic work built around medieval balladry and madrigals, and performed on period instruments. The group doesn't sound entirely at ease working in this style, but the crisp, folklike feel, and the timbre and singing have great charm. The strongest songs are those such as "Willowood," closest to the group members' own experiences and dealing with Kent, from which they all hailed. The 1996 Edsel CD reissue contains new notes by the original group members, and is very finely remastered. ~ Bruce Eder, All Music Guide


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A strange very much hope they weren't being serious, because if they were some of their songs would be too precious and fey for words (the kind of thing "Brave Sir Robin" from Monty Python and the Holy Grail would sing). However if their tongues are firmly in their cheeks they don't seem too bad...they must be doing something right anyway as I've got quite a few of their albums on record and CD. They don't touch Gryphon in terms of musical ability though.

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

I agree with what Newelectricmuse points out and thinks he chose his words well.
But there is so much gentleness in this music, the world is still at peace and everybody's still dreaming his dream. Those happy days ;-)

Thanks for sharing!

08 July, 2006 03:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very, very special thanks for reposting this superb album.

27 January, 2007 18:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you kindly...been waiting to hear this one for ages

31 January, 2007 08:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for all the Amazing Blondel records!

25 June, 2007 11:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

¿Can you re-re-post?- Thanks

27 January, 2008 03:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a amazing images

web designer

09 June, 2008 17:33  
Blogger Greg Williamson said...

It's been a long time for this (and the other Amazing Blundel albums). Can you manage a re-upload?

05 September, 2010 11:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And how can I hear this album ?

30 October, 2011 16:51  

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