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Friday, July 1, 2011

Under Milkwood - Under Milkwood (1970 us, west coast psychedelic folk rock with shades of jazz, 2004 akarma edition)

For the connoisseur of sixties psychedelia, this will come as a wonderful surprise. Like SP, this album is split into an electric camp and a folkier, more stream of consciousness side. The recording was made in 1970, a time when psychedelic music was on its way out; all of the great bands of that era were in their twilight (except for the Grateful Dead): the Doors were good for one more album, `L.A. Woman'; the Jefferson Airplane had all but called it quits after 1969's `Volunteers'; the Beatles of course were on their last legs . . .

In a way Under Milkwood is a classic example of too little too late. The opening track, "Empty room" is as good as it gets with the San Francisco sound: twin guitars loudly battling for the lead, a powerful vocal and a great drum/bass back-up. Generally the folkier songs are dependent on the vocal talents of Clara Miles; "Changing Seasons", "Tell Me" and "Lost Youth" are all pastoral, almost motionless songs. To many listeners they will be uninteresting, because other bands such as Pentangle, Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span have all done this much better. There are two prominent saxophone songs.

The first, "Forgotten bridge", is a curious duet with a loud guitar that never seems to take off and go anywhere. The second, "Parade", is a strange, almost hymn-like procession. "Sandwiches and rock and roll" is loud, unimaginative filler. The last two songs actually tips things towards the favorable. The "Ballad of the spirit world" is an awesome instrumental that has a great sax solo at the start and a freaky guitar workout halfway through and then the same sax solo closes it! "Final song" bookends "Empty room", because both songs are about the loneliness of being different. It has an interesting vocal duet between Miles and Thornam, one of the guitarists. Like the opening track, this song builds to a furious, twin lead guitar attack-in all, a great way to close an album-and an era." -devil doll

Under Milkwood was recorded on A&M records (SP 4226)in 1969 but was not released, although there are rumors that a few promos got out. The album was reissued on vinyl by Fanny-Riverside label in the early 90s and most recently on vinyl and CD by Akarma Records (Comet) of Italy. The musical styles contained run all over the map. There is improvisational jazz, folk singing, rock, pop and general musical meandering. The performance is rough and uneven in spots, but oddly enough, by hanging in there it all makes sense in the end. Stylistically the sound resembles Fairport Convention or Jefferson Airplane. There's speculation the album wasn't released because of legal conflicts concerning the band's name. Another group titled 'Milkwood' existed at the time. Members of this band later became the Cars."

What little has seen print about Under Milkwood suggests that their self-titled 1969 album might have never been released, or only escaped in very limited quantities (though it's subsequently been reissued on CD). Even if it had come out, it probably wouldn't have made a significant impression in the very crowded field of late-'60s acid rock. In its gentler folk-rockier moments, in particular, it recalled Jefferson Airplane and Fairport Convention (two other acts that prominently featured female lead singers and male-female harmonies). In its harder moments it goes from bluesy psychedelic hard rock to odder passages with shades of jazz and classical music."

1. Empty Room (John Thornam, David Turner Jr) - 4:56
2. Changing Seasons (John Thornam, David Turner Jr, Robert Mickalsky) - 4:23
3. Tell Me (Clara Miles, David Turner Jr, John Thornam) - 5:33
4. Forgotten Bridge (Stephen Mallory, John Thornam) - 3:49
5. Parade (John Thornam, David Turner Jr, Stephen Mallory) - 2:44
6. Sandwiches Rock'n'Roll (John Thornam, Stephen Mallory) - 3:30
7. Lost Youth (John Thornam, David Turner Jr) - 1:30
8. Ballad of the Spirit of the World (David Turner Jr, Clara Miles) - 6:21
9. Final Song (John Thornam, David Turner Jr, Stephen Mallory) - 6:11

Under Milkwood
*John Thornam - Guitars, Vocals
*Stephen Mallory - Guitars, Vocals
*Robert Mickalsky - Drums
*David Turner Jr. - Keyboards, Guitar, Vocals
*Clara Miles - Lead Vocals, Percussion
*Mike  Lewthorne - Tenor Sax
*Alphonse Barnet - Trumpet, Flute, Harpischord

Free Text
the Free Text


kobilica said...

Surprise!Very good album.Many thanks !!!

paparimskii said...

Thanks for post Marios, but this is old rip 100% CDDA in LOG & not so high quality after cut full file on single tracks. Audiochecker results is:
AUDIOCHECKER v2.0 beta (build 457) - by Dester -

Путь: ...\Under Milkwood

1 -=- 01 - Empty Room.flac -=- CDDA (100%)
2 -=- 02 - Changing Seasons.flac -=- CDDA (43%)
3 -=- 03 - Tell Me.flac -=- CDDA (94%)
4 -=- 04 - Forgotten Bridge.flac -=- CDDA (43%)
5 -=- 05 - Parade.flac -=- MPEG (90%)
6 -=- 06 - Sandwiches Rock 'N' Roll.flac -=- CDDA (100%)
7 -=- 07 - Lost Youth.flac -=- CDDA (42%)
8 -=- 08 - Ballad of The Spirit of The World.flac -=- CDDA (99%)
9 -=- 09 - Final Song.flac -=- CDDA (85%)

Сводка 68,44% CDDA

It's best version CD rip, what I know for today!

Marios said...

note that, the original file was APE format, I converted it to FLAC, by visitors request, after all it is a Lossless file.
Thank you.

Remy said...

Thanks Marios! I just finished listening to this. The music is fairly engaging, the electric guitars are good but I think the high point of the album is the superb vocals by Clara Miles.

paparimskii said...

Hi Marios! My letter is only information about quality & nothing more. I love your blog-work & great posts, thanks a lot for your job! Please don't hate me for this, my bro!

MIF said...

Echoes of Jefferson Airplane but a very varied album between acid guitars, acoustic moments and brass band. Thank you Marios.

Jamie (tacobueno) said...

Thx a lot marios - sounds intriguing!

popsike said...

Thanks a lot Marios for this great album I'm searching this long time but cannot find only on mp3 but your post on flac sounds very nice, thanks for all Marios.

have a good day Marios and all the ppl.

popsike said...

Marios If I want convert files APE to FLAC the result is lossy? Its true? or APE to WAVE?

Marios said...

Hi Popsike,
If the original files are lossless
after the conversion will be remain lossless, form APE to FLAC, to WAV or to WV, or any other way between these types, they are all lossless.

mscmichael said...

Excellent stuff !!! Thanks alot...

danilo said...

I forgot to say thank you,this is a pretty good album with a variety of
moods.Good post.

Marios said...