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Plain and Fancy

Music gives soul to universe, wings to mind, flight to imagination, charm to sadness, and life to everything.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Green - Green (1969 us, great texas psychedelic rock)

Like many bona fide lost classics, Green is still largely shrouded in mystery. It sold badly on its original release (in the spring of 1969, on Atlantic subsidiary Atco), and still hasn't received its due as one of the most imaginative psych-pop albums of the period.

Certain members were from Denton, Texas, while Richard Gardzina (now a distinguished saxophonist and flautist) hailed from Manchester, New Hampshire. The group are thought to have coalesced at North Texas State University, and recorded four songs as demos in a local studio, an acetate of which has recently surfaced (included here as bonus material). It shows them to have been a superbly tight unit well before they got to cut an album.

Their eventual debut, produced by veteran songwriter and composer Fred Darian, reflects little of the crazed psychedelia of fellow Texan musical travellers like the 13th Floor Elevators and the Golden Dawn. If anything, it's more Englishinfluenced, a taut collection of acid pop tunes set to distorted guitar and taut horn arrangements that complement, rather than swamp, the material.

Though four separate band members are credited with contributing brass to the record, selfindulgence is entirely avoided in favour of complex arrangements that consistently take unexpected turns. This means that, like many other neglected gems, the album reveals itself best on repeated listening. The songs veer from the mellow ballads Sunrise #7 and Footprints In The Snow to the hard psychedelic Green and Eastern-tinged Where Have I Been?', and - though most feature an impressive range of instruments - they are never cluttered.

Ultimately, however, the band's very breadth of talent may have damaged their chances of commercial success, for the album sank without trace. Its follow-up, 1971's To Help Somebody (also on Atco) was less focused (though still impressive in parts) and didn't sell either, prompting the band to fall apart. It is to be hoped that this first CD reissue will help to shed more light on the story behind this widely-admired LP.

1. To Be (Martin) - 2:52
2. Where Have I Been? (Martin) - 3:10
3. Sunrise # 7 (Fisher) - 3:37
4. Just Try (Martin) - 2:13
5. Sparkle (Martin) - 2:20
6. Green (Fisher, Casebeer, Blood, Gardzina, Martin) - 3:24
7. Footprints In The Snow (Martin) - 2:23
8. At The Time (Martin) - 2:15
9. RCMPB (Fisher) - 3:06
10. Don't (Martin) - 2:11
11. Have You Ever? (Martin, Gardzina) - 3:05
12. Where Have I Been? (Martin) - 3:25
13. Have You Ever? (Martin, Casebeer) - 3:19
14. At The Time (Martin) - 2:22
15. Sunrise # 7 (Fisher) - 3:28
Bonus Tracks from 12-15.

*Gary Casebeer  - Percussion, Keyboards, Brass, Vocals
*Richard Gardzina - Reeds, Keyboards, Vocals, Brass
*Wilson Fisher - Strings, Vocals, Harmonica
*John Martin - Strings, Keyboards, Vocals
*James Neel - Brass, Keyboards, Vocals, Reeds
*Bobby Blood - Brass

Free Text


Remy said...

Thank-you Marios. It seems like there were good bands all over the US who never received much attention outside their regional base. I've concluded that was because if you wanted good (professional) management/promotion you had to be connected with New York or the West Coast. Most bands were managed by some non-musician friend of the group who typically lacked any genuine business acumen.
Thank goodness for reissues!

Jamie (tacobueno) said...

Thanks very much for this Marios! Btw, the downloading file name is Prosilo or something like that - I hope there isn't a mix up at Deposit on this one. Usually your file names look like Grn.

DanP said...

The description makes this sound very interesting...Thanks Marios!

DanP said...

@tacobueno, hey, they file labeled Prasino is the right file!

Marios said...

Hi my Friends,
yes the name is "prasino", the Greek word for green......

kobilica said...

Big surprise to me,wonderful rare music.I just wondered how many great albums still waiting to see the light of day again.Many thanks"MARIOS"...

Jamie (tacobueno) said...

I have so much admiration for people in the world who know my language. I feel so ignorant not knowing their's! I suspected this album title might be green in Greek - but shame on me for not knowing. Thx again Marios. Funny that I have to go all the way to Greece via cyberspace to pick up a TEXAS album! LOL!

Paisley Panties said...

This one's real good. I liked it!

Anonymous said...

gracias Mario´s tu Blog es magnifico.

Unknown said...

sounds interesting huh!
where can you buy raspberry ketones

SeaCliff7 said...

I just purchased an original copy of the Green album.
What an amazing Texas Psych band
Pumped that i own it 馃憤