So Far So Good
Island Records 9484
Coming out of the innovative folk from the British Isles in the late 60s, this Scottish musician was perhaps the first white artist to sign with independent label Island Records. This 1977 anthology houses cuts from the previous Island albums (1971 – 1975) and concludes with a rocking live cut from Martyn’s self-released classic Live at Leeds (1975). Other than the instrumental “Glistening Glyndebourne,” the album features vocal cuts by Martyn. Likely bassist Danny Thompson (Pentangle) plays on all the dates, two from 1975 also featuring guitarist Paul Kossoff.
This collection provides an excellent overview of the Island years and showcases Martyn’s skills as a songwriter and a guitarist. The cuts are all teasers, informing the listeners of the quality of this artist’s work, and likely causing most to seek out each and every one of these Martyn albums from Island Records.
— winch (author of
LINK TO SELLERS
so far so good LP
Produced by David Anderle
Engineered by Bruce Botnick
This was likely the most successful outing from this Texas musician, likely for several reasons, including the people who helped make this record, including four crackerjack guitarists–Clarence White, Jesse Ed Davis, Bobby Womack, and Jerry McGee.
Of course, Benno himself deserves most of the credit, as he writes all the selections and plays several instruments–guitar, piano, organ and marxophone. Perhaps most importantly, (fresh from playing on the Doors’ L.A. Woman album) Benno exhibits a fraility on Minnows that doesn’t show on his other outings.
While this recording (and several like it by southern musicians from the early 70s) were overshadowed by the overhyped and more bombastic material by unions of British and American southern musicians, these often forgotten and more low-key recordings by southern musicians alone were often more honest, original, and enjoyable. While Benno’s Ambush LP, the follow up to Minnows, was likely his most successful outing commercially speaking, this 1971 offering was the closest Benno came to creating a timeless classic.
Produced by Todd Rundgren
(two cuts produced by George Harrison)
Released December 1971 (US & UK) reached #31 in US.
Badfinger’s third album, containing two more top 10 hits, “Day After Day” and “Baby Blue,” both melancholy pop gems that suggested this band was perhaps a bit more than just a Beatles copycat. The hits helped the band get plenty of airplay and leave behind a legacy that lasted long after they were gone.
While the rest of the album resonates with the mood of the hits, it also strives to lift out of the gloom without ever really shaking that melancholy that permeates the sound. The setis fairly consistent, but many cuts sound a bit lacking alongside the stronger ones. With some clearly coming out of the fab four, this should interest fans of the Beatles. For fans of this group, this is essential listening.
This was the last outing that sold well in the States. (For some reason, they never caught on at home.) All of the songs are written by band members, both of the hits penned by Pete Ham. While they’d continue releasing albums, few took interest. Ham would hang himself in 1975.
Volume II: Les Chevrons
Festival FLD 651
Second set by this French progressive-rock outfit, coming out of the early works of Floyd, Purple, and the Nice, horror-movie soundtracks and classical music, Black Sabbath’s more moody material, all instrumental except chants and yelps and such, the heavy focus on the organ (rather than guitars) giving it the feeling of a mass or a soundtrack for a seance, the rock rhythms running through the dimly lit corridors, the bass slightly understated, the percussion quite pronounced, the music rising out of the sludge for a more airy sound, the instrumentations an integral part of the compositions rather than a reason to show off.
Recommended set for fans of progressive rock.