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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Peter Bardens - The Answer (1970 uk, psychedelic/progressive rock, 2010 esoteric remaster with extra tracks)

Reading the liner notes of this recent reissue of Peter Bardens’ 1970 debut The Answer, reveals a prolific artist kept busy prior to his finding fame as the keyboardist with progressive rock group Camel. Aside from the psychedelic Ladbroke Grove act, The Village, he played in a whole host of bands during the British “Blues Boom” of the mid-sixties, alongside future household names such as Mick Fleetwood, Peter Green and Premier League rogerer, Sir Rodney of Stewart.

And there’s an element of blues rock bubbling away beneath the psychedelic/progressive mix that forms The Answer, particularly with regards to Bardens’ vocal delivery, which is a full-bodied blues drawl and, on occasion, remarkably similar in sound to another royal lady-roisterer, a certain Michael Jagger.

The title-track, first up on the album, is awash with energetic blues guitar licks, in this case provided by an uncredited Peter Green, which is bolstered throughout by Bardens’ elaborate organ artistry and pseudo-philosophical lyricism, popular in progressive and underground rock circles of this era.

The blues guitar continues through the eerie mire that is ‘Don’t Goof With a Spook’, where the Jaggerisms are possibly at their strongest, and the excellent acid-soaked freak-rock of ‘I Can’t Remember’, with its hedonistic tribal undercurrent in addition to the masterclass of swirling keyboard extravagance.

‘I Don’t Want to Go Home’ and ‘Let’s Get It On’, both of which also feature an uncredited Peter Green on lead guitar, are more in the standard blues-rock vein and as such a little more formulaic, but following on from something as undeniably strong as the three aforementioned tracks that open The Answer, is always going to be a thankless task.

Which brings us nicely to the B-side spanning closing track of the original album. Running just shy of 14 minutes, ‘Homage to the God of Light’ is a spectacular journey into the outer reaches of psychedelic-prog, bringing to mind the early instrumental excursions of Pink Floyd and the exalted voyagers of space rock, Hawkwind. Bardens really gives the organ a punishing workout on this captivating, and lengthy, illustration of finest, ye olde underground gallivanting. A worthy highlight to an all round worthy album.

The reissue also throws in The Village’s excellent psychedelic single ‘The Man in the Moon’ and its instrumental B-side, ‘Long Time Coming’.
by Nick James

1. The Answer - 5:25
2. Don’t Goof With A Spook - 7:21
3. I Can’t Remember - 10:41
4. I Don’t Want To Go Home - 5:13
5. Let’s Get It On - 6:36
6. Homage to the God of Light - 13:32
7. Man In The Moon (Bonus Tracks as Village) - 4:13
8. Long Time Coming (Bonus Tracks as Village) - 2:33
All compositions written by Peter Bardens.

*Peter Bardens - Keyboards, Vocals
*Steve Ellis - Vocal
*Andy Gee - Guitar
*Reg Isadore - Drums
*Linda Lewis - Vocal
*Alan Marshall - Vocal, Percussion
*Bruce Thomas - Bass
*David Wooley - Vocal
*Rocky - Congas
*Bruce Thomas - Bass Guitar (Village)
*Bill Porter - Drums (Village)

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  1. I bought the album in 1970 because Melody Maker wrote Peter Green was playing on it.
    And yes this album is good because the guitar playing of Peter Green is great.
    Thanks for this bonused edition.

    1. Did peter play on all the tracks mate?

  2. Woo Hooo...Thank you VERY much..Terrific!!

  3. I think this is the best of all Peter Bardens Solo recording.I didn't know (or i forgot) that Peter Green played on this record.Esoteric Record has always made beautiful reissue, with a great work information,superb packaged etc.This one with bonus tracks is a gem.Thanks Marios for sharing this great classic.

  4. Have his Anthology 1963 -2002, titled Write My Name in the Dust. Includes both albums, some previous work with Cheynes, Peter B's Looners, Village and some Camel. Camel is one of my all time favorites. And Peter is another guy, another good musician, who already passed away.

  5. Thanks Marios, I enjoyed this immensely. All good but I particularly liked the last 3 tracks.

  6. Hi Marios, I never listened to Peter Bardens solo releases. I like Camel very much, though sometimes I find them too mellow. Anyway I will gladly check out this post, thx man!

  7. Can't say I'm a big Camel fan, but Barden's solo projects are really, really good. Thank you Marios for this remastered version!

  8. Hi, amazin´edition and da gift! da only single of VILLAGE like bt. 2 greed 2 ask mo´.
    Inmortal Peter Bardens and dis LP ´s a gud way 2 hear his beginnin´before da great CAMEL.
    Excelent upload and quite gud blog.

  9. is a re-up poss? btw, I've turned friends onto the blog, it' the best. praises.

  10. Dear friend, thanks for the post. What is the file password?

  11. Dear friend, thanks for the post. What is the file password?

  12. Hi
    Can you let me know what the password is please?

  13. Peter Green was credited as Andy Gee,
    he played in all original album tracks, except the two bonus tracks,
    because the line-up for these specific tracks,
    consisted of organ, piano, bass and drums.


  14. A small correction. Andy Gee is an actual musician and in fact does play on this album including some solos along with Peter Green.