Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Ramases "Glass Top Coffin" (UK Symphonic Prog & Folk 1975)

Three years had elapsed since Space Hymns mesmerized all who encountered it, a period during which Ramases' own career stood still, even as his former backing band went on to glory as 10cc. Indeed, it was the reflection of their fame that brought Glass Top Coffin the media attention it did receive, although few listeners lured in by the link would have been expecting this.
A very different album from its predecessor (despite packaging in an equally captivating sleeve), Glass Top Coffin relies on orchestration for its punch, conjuring images of a downbeat Moody Blues as Ramases and Sel trade vocals across some almost heartstoppingly melancholic pastures — "Long Long Time" and "Only the Loneliest Feeling" paramount among them. But there are also moments of spellbinding joy — the duet between the Mona Lisa (yes, the painting) and an onlooker trying to solve the riddle of her expression ("Mona Lisa Now") is magnificent, while the mantric "Stepping Stones" harks back to the proggier elements of Space Hymns, without losing sight of the distance between them. Balancing these jewels are a couple of songs that, in any other hands, could be construed as sure-fire commercial hits — the punchy "Sweet Reason" and the flowing "Saler Man," while the title track seems to take every instinct that was bottled up elsewhere on the album and unleashed it in one breathtaking roar. It is this variety and versatility that still holds Glass Top Coffin in good stead today — unlike Space Hymns, it has scarcely dated, and the greatest regret is that there would never be a follow-up. ~ All Music Guide


Blogger TBA said...

Yeah! Time has told me this is a rare, rare find. Troubled cure for my damn troubled mind. Thanks, rocker.

24 August, 2006 02:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Space Hymns and have always wanted to hear this album. Thank you very much for sharing.

You're the only one, Joe, the only one...

24 August, 2006 07:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have now had time to listen to this album a few times and I have to say it is FANTASTIC! I would even say it is better than Space Hymns. Thanks again.

26 August, 2006 10:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a find !
i have spase hymns, but this one is so much better!
i truly religious album - not a preachy one - but trulu with sense
of wonder.

why wont they reissue it already ?

26 August, 2006 15:53  
Blogger Fat Pam said...

That's one hell of an album! Really is something special.

Thanks for posting it - only just getting to listen to everything at the second.

30 August, 2006 01:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A glorious forgotten gem!
Thanks very much for sharing this album. I can't stop listening to it.

03 September, 2006 20:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought this album in the seventies. It is till one of my favourites. What a pity I never could lay my hands on Space Hymns..

03 February, 2007 21:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really enjoy Space Hymns, and have been trying to find this for some time. I'm looking forward to hearing this.


30 January, 2008 20:39  
Blogger Glenn said...

I've always like Space Hymns. Didn't know this one existed. Looking forward to hearing it. Pity the link to the cover art is dead.
Thanks for posting. Yours is one of my favorite blogs.

26 March, 2009 05:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Always looking for this HTF album!!!
Please re-post it again.

10 September, 2009 16:35  

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