I am not sure when I first came across this album, but it wasn’t when it was first released in 1973 but some time in the Eighties. I was immediately blown away by the concept of having two keyboard players, and no guitar, and while some likened them to ELP I never really saw (or heard) the link. Yes, there are long instrumentals, but singer (and second keyboard player) Dave Lawson had a very different voice to Greg Lake. I know he is often castigated for his vocals, but I personally never felt there was an issue and actually enjoy his singing, especially on the opening title cut.
This was the second album by Greenslade, who were formed by Dave Greenslade after the break-up of Colosseum. He brought on board fellow Colosseum founder member bassist Tony Reeves, who had left after contributing to just one song on ‘Daughter of Time’, along with Lawson (Samurai, and had also been a member of The Alan Bown Set and Web) along with drummer Andrew McCulloch (King Crimson, Fields). Many fans say the debut Greenslade album is the best, while the third ‘Spyglass Guest’ was the commercially most successful, but this is always the album to which I turn. It captures a time when anything was possible, and the band certainly felt they weren’t restricted on what they were doing. At this point within the British music scene there was the feeling that boundaries were there to be broken and pushed aside, and while Greenslade never really managed to capture the fan base of their contemporaries, to my ears it was never due to lack of songs or ability. Listening to this album on headphones, some 35 years on from its original release, still fills me with a great deal of pleasure and I know that many progheads who have overlooked this in the past will also feel the same way.
But wait, there’s more! I have been fortunate enough to have in front of me the reissue on Esoteric, and as always, they never feel just making an album available again is enough. So, firstly we have three additional songs which were recorded for the Radio One ‘Sounds of the Seventies’ series, from October 1973. Then there is a second disc, a DVD featuring five numbers. The first three are a live in the studio promotional film, while the other two are from the wonderful OGWT. It has been a hard choice for me as to what to play most, and in terms of pure listening it is the CD, but the films are also well worth watching. This is a superb set, which has been making its way repeatedly back to my player, and deservedly so.
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’.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.