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Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Greatest Show On Earth - Horizons (1970 uk, excellent progressive/jazz rock, 2006 repertoire edition)

The Greatest Show on Earth were originally formed in 1968 by guitarist Garth Watt-Roy and his bass-playing brother Norman. Also featured in the original line-up were organist Mick Deacon, drummer Ron Prudence and three horn players, Dick Hanson, Tex Phillpotts and Ian Aitcheson.

The band's first vocalist was black American Ozzie Lane but he returned to his native New Orleans a year later and was replaced by Colin Horton-Jennings, not only a strong gravel-voiced singer but also quite adept on the guitar, bongos and flute.

The group's mixture of R&B soul, jazz and prog-rock brought them to the attention of EMI's progressive label Harvest Records, who signed the band and issued, in February 1970, the single, "Real Cool World"/"Again And Again" (HAR 5012) which, though not a hit in the UK, gave the band a medium-sized hit across Europe where they were also an in-demand live attraction. Both tracks featured on their March 1970 debut LP, "Horizons" (SHVL 769) which was housed in a distinctive sleeve designed by Hipgnosis and coincided with a Radio One session for Mike Harding on which they played three new songs: "Border Line", "Mountain Song" and "Time".

A second session for Harding, in November 1970, featured "The Leader" and "Check Me Into Your Life", the latter of which has never officially been released. "Tell The Story"/"The Mountain Song" (HAR 5026) had failed to chart when released in September 1970, and the same fate awaited the band's second album "The Going's Easy" (SHVL 783) though one track from the LP, "Magic Woman Touch" was later released as a single by The Hollies.

Track Listings
1. Sunflower Morning
2. Angelina
3. Skylight Man
4. Day Of The Lady
5. Real Cool World
6. I Fought For Love
7. Horizons
8. Again & Again
9. Real Cool World (Single Edit) (Bonus Track)

Mike Deacon - keyboards
Dick Hanson - horns
Colin Horton-Jennings - vocals, gtr, drumsA
Tex Philpotts - sax
Ron Prudence - congas, drums
Garth Watt-Roy - vocals, guitar
Norman Watt-Roy - vocals, bass

Flac + Cue + Single File + Complete Artwork - 328mb
Password: xara