Monday, November 17, 2008

by Franco


Mark–Almond was an English band of the late 1960s and early 1970s, who worked in the territory between rock and jazz. In 1970 Jon Mark and Johnny Almond formed Mark-Almond (also occasionally referred to as The Mark-Almond Band). The melancholy tones of saxophonist Almond were an integral part of the group's sound, and Almond frequently played flutes as well, including the rarely-heard bass flute. Characterized by a blend of blues and jazz riffs, latin beats, and a mellow rock aesthetic, and in contrast the heavier guitar-driven rock of his contemporaries, composer and band leader Mark worked at producing warm and melodic works.

Early history
Jon Mark and Mick Jagger co-produced Marianne Faithfull's early recordings, for which Mark played and toured with Faithfull on acoustic guitar. He also toured with folksinger Alun Davies (later of Cat Stevens), and was a bandmate of Davies in the short-lived Sweet Thursday.
Johnny Almond had previously played in the Alan Price Set and had recorded a 1970 solo record for Deram Records, Johnny Almond's Music Machine, as well as performing considerable session work in England.
The two began playing together in John Mayall's popular Bluesbreakers band in 1969, and can be heard on the records The Turning Point and Empty Rooms. From that experience they decided to form Mark-Almond.

Mark-Almond's first two albums, Mark-Almond (1971) and Mark-Almond II (1972) were recorded for Bob Krasnow's Blue Thumb label, and were noted for their embossed envelope-style album covers. The group then recorded two albums for Columbia Records, Rising (1972) and the live Mark-Almond 73 (1973), by which time the group's members had grown to seven. The liltingly arranged but thematically depressing "What Am I Living For" from 73 gained the group the most U.S. radio airplay they would get, but nevertheless they disbanded later that year.
Jon Mark released a solo record for Columbia Song For A Friend in 1975. He and Almond reunited in 1975 and released To the Heart on ABC Records in 1976, which featured noted drummer Billy Cobham. Other notable musicians who have recorded or toured with Mark-Almond include drummer Dannie Richmond, violinst Greg Bloch, keyboardist Tommy Eyre and bassist Roger Sutton. Eyre and Sutton later teamed in Riff Raff. A&M Records signed the duo in 1978 and released Other Peoples Rooms, but the record did not sell as well as earlier releases. A number of European releases followed, but Mark-Almond disbanded again in the early 1980s. Mark-Almond reunited again in 1996 for a CD called Night Music featuring keyboardist Mike Nock and others.

Later history
Jon Mark eventually moved to New Zealand in the mid-1980s and has released a number of successful solo New Age music recordings on his White Cloud music label, as well as collaborating with other artists on traditional Celtic and folk recordings and producing other artists. A release of Tibetan Monk chants Mark recorded and produced with his wife Thelma Burchell won a Grammy award in 2004. Johnny Almond at last report was living in the San Francisco Bay area.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fantastic post, thank you very much.

I was at university in London in the early 70's and saw Mark Almond with John Mayall on a couple of occasions. One of my flatmates bought Mark-Almond I and it became one of favourite records. I only ever had a taped copy of it and after nearly 40 years it's getting a bit hard to listen to! Now I can listen to it afresh - and never heard any of the later stuff.

What a treat I have in store.

17 November, 2008 22:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome Mirrorblue!
Mark-Almond are a GREAT duo!
My personally fantastic song is:

"What Am I living for"...

It's amazing!


18 November, 2008 04:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This used to be on the tuntable non stop. I must have a past like mirrorblue. Thanks for rekindling the memories. A really good sound.

18 November, 2008 07:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank You! Fantastic! A Warning: another guy called "Marc Almond":
Thnks again!

18 November, 2008 08:54  
Blogger GeoX, who is here to stay, like it or not. said...

I believe you'll find that The Stars We Are is by Marc Almond, formerly of Soft Cell. The man's a brilliant songwriter and interpreter, but...but the same thing.

18 November, 2008 15:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Geox.
you're right!
My failure...
I hope Lizz will delete soon this
wrong entry.
Excuse to all


19 November, 2008 04:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here it is...


21 November, 2008 07:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jim,
You've done a great Christmas gift
for me!
Finally the collection is complete!
Many thanks again

22 November, 2008 01:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Franco, fantastic post, thank you very much for the news and the links.

22 November, 2008 15:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been looking for the other albums of Mark-Almond; I find them here! Many thanks!

08 December, 2008 02:43  
Blogger Unknown said...

A big big thank to you for giving me the opportunity to find again "Other People's Rooms" wich was for a long while one of my favorite album.
My old cassette is out of use!
Thanks for the other albums too.!
And a Happy New Year from France!


30 December, 2008 08:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can download Marc Almond's "The Stars We Are" album from the following link (192kbps):

15 February, 2009 22:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the Mark-Almond post. I have had their first album from about 35 years ago and played it constantly. Now I can listen to some I have never heard before. Thank You

04 April, 2009 06:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a kiwi and met Jon Mark back in early 1994. I was working as a photographer and was approached by Jon's partner Thelma (she's a kiwi)to photograph a cd cover for their White Cloud label. I only met Jon once as Thelma was my contact but for the record it's quite true the rumour he lost a finger (or was it two?). I had read about it some years before so when I met him I did look to see if it was just a rumour. For the record Jon and Thelma lived in Wellington - across the harbour in the seaside town of Eastbourne. I have no idea if they're still there or indeed still in NZ.

07 April, 2009 15:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


04 May, 2009 07:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How strange I would download Nick Drake "Five Leaves Left" with "Time Has Told Me" today, and then wind up here, eleated to find my dear Mark-Almond albums from years ago, now posted here. I felt like I was one of a minority that listened back then, but the early albums are still favorites. Many thanks for posting these!


07 June, 2009 13:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Links are Dead

27 December, 2010 06:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jon Burchell is my cousin-when we were young children we went carol singing together and only got a very few pennies-he was living in Wimbledon then- I have not seen him for more years than I care to imagine-he lived for his music and I have many of his CDs-wish him Thelma and their family all the very best.If he should read this my name then was Patricia Tester.

09 February, 2011 00:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could you reupload the "Last & Live" album? The links are dead. Thanks!

31 May, 2012 11:53  
Anonymous J. S Mason said...

I saw this delicious band at a smoky club in Chicago in 1971. Quiet Knight?? Johnny at one point in the show guzzled a stein of beer whilst blowing that long note from the "Love" medley The place went bonkers! RIP, Johnny Almond.

15 December, 2015 11:25  

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