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Friday, April 7, 2017

Audience - House On The Hill (1971 uk, impressive prog rock, 2015 remaster and expanded)

"The House on the Hill"  is maybe Audience's strongest effort, made up of simple, elegantly arranged songs, focusing around Howard Werth's "electric classical" guitar and Keith Gemmel's tenor sax and clarinet. "Jackdaw" has Werth showing off his vocal range by hollering out the chorus in full force.

"Raviole" is an instrumental piece painted with lovely acoustic guitar and is one of the real gems on the album. There's not a lot of meat on each of the songs, but the use of flute and vibraphone give this album a unique feel and is deemed interesting mainly for that purpose.

The overall atmosphere is quite comfortable, and the hypnotizing effect aroused from the woodwind instruments creates an absorbing mood one might not expect to find here. Snippets of jazz fusion make up the title track, overlapped with some rich saxophone playing. After a few listens, this band slowly rises from being heard to being enjoyable.
by Mike DeGagne

1. Jackdaw (Howard Werth, Keith Gemmell) - 7:30
2. You're Not Smiling (Howard Werth, Keith Gemmell) - 5:21
3. I Had a Dream - 4:18
4. Raviole - 3:41
5. Nancy - 4:15
6. Eye to Eye - 2:32
7. I Put a Spell on You (Screaming Jay Hawkins) - 4:09
8. The House on the Hill - 7:32
9. You're Not Smiling (Single Mix) (Howard Werth, Keith Gemmell) - 4:18
10.Indian Summer (Single Edition) - 3:17
11.You're Not Smiling (Promotional Radio Version) (Howard Werth, Keith Gemmell) - 4:17
All compositions by Howard Werth, Trevor Williams except where stated

*Howard Werth - Electric Guitar, Vocals
*Tony Connor - Percussion, Drums, Vocals, Vibraphone
*Gus Dudgeon - Percussion
*Keith Gemmell - Clarinet, Flute, Saxophone
*Trevor Williams - Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals


Otiselevator said...

I've loved this record since I saw them at Middlesborough Town Hall a very long time ago. "House on the Hill" featured electronic sax effects the like of which I had never heard. Howard Werth nearly joined the Doors to replace Jim Morrison. Truly an extraordinary band.

6D Music said...

Nice one. Thank you.

Fernando Hernández said...

Excellent album. Very good players. The sound of the wind brings a special tone. Thanks MARIOS

mitches said...

Ευχαριστώ πολύ για άλλη μια φορά!

MIF said...

Thanks Marios, I really appreciated the Audience series

Hotroder said...

Hey Marios,love this album it is a classic.
Thanks for the share.

Mari said...

Thanks for this as well!

turn me over/play me again said...

Καποιο θεμα υπαρχει.Δεν ανοιγει το Αρχειο ουτε με windows media player ουτε με VLC.Μηπως κανω εγω το λαθος;

Mike said...

Very happy to have this one. Many thanks for the share.

antavent said...

Thanx Marios for the remastered edition.

Slidewell said...

My introduction to Audience was the American version of House On the Hill, which opens with the single 'Indian Summer'. The other change is 'Eye To Eye' was replaced by 'It Brings a Tear' from 'Friend's Friend's Friend'. Sequenced like so:

Side one
1. "Indian Summer" (Werth-Williams) - 3:14
2. "You're Not Smiling" (Werth-Gemmell) - 5:22
3. "Jackdaw" (Werth-Gemmell) - 7:20
4. "It Brings A Tear" (Werth-Williams) - 2:53 (originally appeared on the UK album Friend's Friend's Friend)
5. "Raviole" (Werth) - 3:43 (instrumental)
Side two
1. "Nancy" (Werth-Williams) - 4:20
2. "I Had a Dream" (Werth-Williams) - 4:20
3. "I Put a Spell on You" (J. Hawkins) - 4:12
4. "The House on the Hill" (Werth-Williams) - 7:31

So, naturally, that's the only way I can hear 'House On the Hill'. :)

But what a remarkably original outfit, unique and extremely talented. If they'd soldiered on, with Gus Dudgeon as producer, who knows how far they could have gone. House On the Hill still sounds fresh these many years later.

John Cavaquinho said...

KPOI-FM in Honolulu played a lot of progressive rock in the early 70s. I think "Jackdaw" was the only song they played from this album, so I'm not familiar with the rest of it. I thought the lead singer sounded like Robert Plant.