GREENSLADE – TIME AND TIDE – ESOTERIC

This album is often linked with ‘Bedside Manners Are Extra’, which always seems strange to me as there was an album in between the two, ‘Spyglass Guest’, but given this again shows the man with many arms it is probably due to the artwork and not the music. ‘Spyglass’ was the last to feature the original line-up as bassist Tony Reeves left to pursue a career in production and was replaced by session guitarist Martin Briley. The new line-up didn’t last long though, and ‘Time and Tide’ was to be the last album from Greenslade for more than twenty years. Dave formed a new version of the band at the turn of the century with Tony back on board, and keyboard player/vocalist John Young and drummer Chris Cozens. ‘Time and Tide’ has always felt to me to be of a band in flux, no longer really sure of direction, where they were going and what they wanted to achieve.

Greenslade (the man) was working more on his own, while some of the songs with vocals seem very at odds with what the band had been playing previously. “Waltz For A Fallen Idol” could have been produced for Rod Stewart, and it certainly doesn’t seem like a Greenslade track at all. The backing vocals and falsetto just doesn’t make sense at all, and the use of electric guitar also shows a band moving further away from their roots. Of all of the original Greenslade albums, this is the one I play least as while there are some delights to be heard, they are mixed with others which I can gladly skip. 

This is the Esoteric reissue, which means there are some additional songs on the CD, one a single edit of “Catalan” while the other is a B-side. But we also have another disc, a Swedish Radio show which was recorded in March 1975, prior to the release of the album, and given this contains songs from other albums as well, this is the one I have been playing most. Opener “Pilgrim’s Progress” is still a powerful, dramatic number and one can only wonder what would have come of the band if they had stayed together for another album. With an essay from Malcolm Dome inside, this is yet another powerful reissue from Esoteric, but it just doesn’t have the punch and panache of ‘Bedside Manners’.

7/10 Kev Rowland

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