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Plain and Fancy

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Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Ghost - When You're Dead ..One Second (1970 uk, super heavy psych rock with some folk shades, remaster digipack edition)

The Ghost LP is one of the most fabulous UK psych/prog albums. This Birmingham band featured guitarist Paul Eastment, previously in The Velvett Fogg. The album, originally released back in 1970 on the Gemini label in the UK and in 1971 on Exit/Ekipo records in Spain, is one step ahead psychedelia entering the realm of prog music, yet retaining an atmospheric mind expanding feel through it all. 

Loads of Hammond organ swirls, pyrotechnical guitar licks, beautiful accoustic guitar parts, and above it all killer vocal arrangements. The lead-off track, "When You're Dead," is the most effective and famous (at least in the world of psychedelic collectordom) cut. Lead singer Paul Eastment sounds much like Family's Roger Chapman, but even creepier (and more ostentatious), as the group vamp around a skin-crawling riff, anchored by an almost garagey shrill organ. 

Yet the second song, "Hearts and Flowers," could almost be the work of an entirely different outfit, with the band's other lead singer, Shirley Kent, shining on a pretty folk tune reminiscent of some of Fairport Convention's most precious early numbers (Shirley would later move on to record the "Fresh Out" LP as Virginia Tree). Top quality remastered sound, an impressing addition to your psych prog collection! First ever official CD reissue, limited to 1000 digipack copies." 

1. When You're Dead (P. Eastment, P. Keatly)  - 4:25
2. Hearts And Flowers (S. Kent)  - 2:54
3. In Heaven (T. Guy) - 3:21
4. Time Is My Enemy (S. Kent) - 4:06
5. Too Late To Cry (P. Eastment, P. Keatly)  - 5:04
6. For One Second (T. Guy)  - 5:25
7. Night Of The Warlock (P. Eastment, T. Guy) - 4:22
8. Indian Maid (T. Guy) - 4:21
9. My Castle Has Fallen (P. Eastment) - 2:57
10.The Storm (P. Eastment, P. Keatly) - 3:36
11.Me And My Loved Ones (T. Guy) - 4:09
12.I'Ve Got To Get To Know You (S. Kent) - 4:02

The Ghost
*Daniel MacGuire - Bass Guitar
*Charlie Grima - Drums, Percussion
*Paul Eastment - Lead Guitar
*Terry Guy - Organ, Piano
*Shirley Kent - Vocals

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adamus67 said...

This group was formed by singer/guitarist Paul Eastment (formerly of Velvett Fogg) in Birmingham during 1969. Drummer Charlie Grima was formerly with the Wellington Kitch Jump Band. The original name for the band was "Holy Ghost" but was soon shortened in order to avoid negative publicity. Local singer/songwriter Shirley Kent later joined the group and they started recording an album in 1969 with a single being released from it entitled 'When You're Dead' was strong song with a clear US West Coast influence. It was hardly Chart material, though, so predictably sales were poor. The album came out in January 1970. on the Gemini Records label in the UK and in 1971 on Ekipo Records in Spain (originals of which are now highly sought after by collectors) put The Ghost in the "progressive" music category although there was also a strong folk influence that was probably due to Shirley Kent's involvement.

There's a clear contrast between the folk pieces that Shirley Kent sings on like 'Hearts And Flowers' and 'Time Is My Enemy', which in style recall Sandy Denny's heyday in Fairport Convention, and the blues-rock numbers contributed by the rest of the band, of which For One Second sounds the strongest. Also worth checking out is the powerful 'Too Late To Cry' and 'Night Of The Warlock' just sat there stunned, a stupid slack jaws expression on my face, stabbing at the repeat button over and over. The album has now become a major collector's item, partly on account of its rarity but also on account of the breadth of its appeal to fans of both blues-rock and folk,it is overall a really good combination of fast paced psychedelic rockers and more gentle, folk-influenced tracks. The music is mostly pretty organ driven and the bass guitar is just dope on every track. There is also a lot of great guitarwork and that is what I like. The vocals of Eastment, Shirley Kent and Dan MacGuire are mostly really good and the instruments sound awesome.

The band returned to the studio in Spring 1970 to record a second Ghost single was released later in 1970 'I've Got To Get To Know You'. Another track from their album, 'For One Second', was put on the flip, but when the 45 failed to sell the band slowly began to fall apart.

Eventually Shirley Kent left the group soon after to start a solo career,released an album in 1975, 'Fresh Out', under the pseudonym Virginia Tree. I haven't heard it but it's reputedly folkier than Ghost's output and featured former band members Paul Eastment and Terry Guy on three of the tracks. The remaining members continued after changing the band's name to Resurrection but later split up with no further recordings being released. Charlie Grima went on to join Roy Wood's chart-topping group Wizzard (see The Move) and later embarked on an acting career. Danny MacGuire died in 1998.

Thx Marios.

DanP said...

Hi Adam, Marios, why here is the phrase "One Second" added to the title "When You're Dead" in this edition. Thanks!

adamus67 said...

Hey Dan!
In answer to, your question
The Ghost - When You're Dead - (originally title) released in 1970 on the Gemini label in the UK... in 1987 is the BamCaruso label release titled "For one second" (it also has 'different' cover)

@Dan, scans of this release I sent to you e-mail
Yours, Adam.

adamus67 said...

The first time I heard this album a few years ago...
Has no, however, deceive ourselves itself - The plate is 'specific' and for today's rock music lover perhaps can not wade, however, depending on the mood, he can fascinate. How the more I listen, the more I like it.

What notes are dry and free of any production nuances,as with many forgotten albums, you get the impression that it was registered in one sitting in the studio pretty poor. Of course, this kind of homely, simple production favored this type of music - pretty grim, dark, devoid of a smile.

Another thing that grabs your attention at the first listening to is specific organs sound . Their high, almost shrill tones sometimes add a little old-fashioned composition of individual charm, making makes music is somewhat even archaic-provocative . As if created in ancient times. In addition, most sung in two voices on songs sometimes resemble pagan rites.

The most interesting pieces are undoubtedly 'When You're Dead "and" Too Late To Cry'... anxious first of these recordings is a combination of rock, heavily psychedelic aesthetic of quasi-ceremonial atmosphere accentuated by the insane vocals - especially sung in high register vocals Shirley Kent make a big impression - and the organs of those unusual sounds. However, it is difficult to classify.

'Too Late To Cry' is already full-blooded rock work. Expressive and melodic playing the guitar, the theme was supported simple rhythm played by the rhythm section and economical, hidden in the background batch organs. What is surprising is especially great, powerful solo guitar - Eastmenta Paul. The huge plus, also include mandatory very dignified and somber vocals of both singers.

Completely different character had two folk ballads composed by Shirley Kent. Sung by the author contralto 'Hearts And Flowers' shines like a diamond among all the raw composition. A crystalline sound, acoustic guitar, gentle rhythm section and soft organ parts make tons of really beautiful melody....similarly the character was wearing an electric track 'Time Is My Enemy'.

adamus67 said...

Worth paying attention to wording of organs,which it dominated in track 'For One Second'. Starting ranging from incompatible to the rest of the recording a specific buckles - very high, almost shrill tones of that instrument and playing in trivial about the electric guitar. Through proper and very dynamic - played in unison by all the instruments - an introduction and a sudden change in the rather trivial, played on blues-rock song fashion. For heavy, vibrating parts of organs in the middle of finishing. Terry Guy, as the creator of the work,had a large field to show its range of possibilities.

I really like the entrance to the ending disturbing album 'Me And My Loved Ones'. Unfortunately, the song turns into... ending song and only in moments of regaining its intriguing instrumental color.

So for good case,presents the whole in the 'When You're Dead - One Second'. Impeccable instrumental side, due to the shortcomings of production, may seem awkward stubs ideas.

But on the other hand,lack of worked out in wording of studio makes the album has moments of genuinely intriguing. You can hear that the musicians can play, not there are dilettantes. They just need a lot of concentration and the right mood to capture it all.

You could say that the sole LP Ghost is a strange synthesis of folk, psychedelic rock,and until later, more and more clearly revealing his face progressive rock. So musically everything seems to be making the most of the time. While sounding album lies in the only known space. I think it is this inability to assign a quintet of any genre or trend, making 'When You're Dead - One Second' original and worth knowing.

The first edition of 1970 LP was released in the UK a tiny effort - as it usually happens in such cases - Gemini Studios... this same label released at the same time one single 'Falling / Ned Kelly', completely unknown group Iron Maiden. Of course, the British quartet does not have absolutely nothing in common with the later version created by Steve Harris.

At the end 'small curiosity' - guitarist and singer of The Ghost - Paul Eastment privately is a cousin of the famous leader of Black Sabbath - Tony Iommiego.

Happy New Year to all!

DanP said...

Thanks Adam! I see that the tracks were sequenced differntly.

guinea pig said...

Hi Mr. Marios! Thanks for the fine sound and effort on your blog for 2012, looking forward to more gems from the cellar. Cheers from the East Part of EU .

thornogson said...

I've downloaded many albums from you Marios - but this is the one that gets played the most. Absolutely brilliant! Many many thanks for this (and all the others!)

Hillplace said...

Thanks Marios. Cool info.

Sergey said...

Many thanks, Mario and adamus67, for great music and interesting information/