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


Monday, February 20, 2012

Brandywine - Aged (1970 us, fine classic rock with Ed Stasium, 2005 reissue)

'Aged' is another one of those terrific late 60's albums that seemed to fall from the sky like colored rain back in the day and yet so few heard. The critics loved Brandywine - still do and these days their only album is rightly considered a cult classic. Formed by Albert Miller, a onetime member of The Critters; a smart New Jersey pop combo who scored two hits with 'Younger Girl' which was an even bigger single for The Lovin' Spoonful and The Beach Boys influenced 'Mr. Dieingly Sad'. With the end of The Critters, Miller moved on to form a band and secure a development deal with an MGM subsidiary as Men Working. At least one single followed as well as concert dates with The Cowsills, The Lemon Pipers and The Rascals but the relationship didn't last. With a name change to Brandywine, the group signed to Brunswick Records releasing just one album before breaking up in 1972.

I don't want to say something cringe worthy to the effect 'like a fine wine this album has 'aged' well' but hey, it really has. From the acoustic opener 'Stay Here' to the rocking 'Ridin' Through The Rain' which reminds me a lot of The Who by the way, this is one cool piece of plastic. I like the spacey flute on The Band styled 'Somebody', but it's the kick ass guitar work from Edward Stasium that separates Brandywine from the usual fuzzy, blues based guitar bands of the day. Yes, there is some of that Woodstock folksy hippie vibe that crept into so much music back then but these guys were no Creedence Clearwater Revival, owing much to the British which can be heard on The Kinks influenced 'Mr. Johnson' and again picking up on The Who sound with album closer 'True To You'. I've no doubt that if 'Aged' was released a couple years later, Brandywine would have shown the slew of Beatles and Badfinger copyists the door in no time.

Following the dissolution of Brandywine Albert Miller would go in to commercial and film work while Edward Stasium would become an in demand engineer/producer with his name appearing on several melodic rock albums from Ratt and Burning Rome to Morse Code, Sharp Edges and Face To Face as well as more popular titles from Mick Jagger and The Ramones. In case you were wondering there was a Spanish bootleg on CD released a few years back but nothing official. Be patient - something this good can't remain hidden for long!
by Eric "GloryDaze" 

1. Stay Here - 3:1
2. Ridin' Through The Rain - 3:54
3. Somebody - 4:52
4. Happiness Won't Buy A Bed (Ed Stasium, Leonard Schiavi) - 3:32
5. Look Around (Albert Miller, Ed Stasium, Ernest Miles) - 3:53
6. Searchin' (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller) - 5:14
7. Mr. Johnson (Albert Miller, Ed Stasium, Ernest Miles) - 5:12
8. Humble John (Ed Stasium) - 4:18
9. True To Me - 5:32
All songs by Albert Miller except where noted

*Mike Caruso - Bass
*Chip Miles - Drums, Percussion
*Albert Miller - Keyboards, Vocals
*Ed Stasium - Guitar, Vocals
Additional Musicians
*Pasquale Salerne - Trumpet
*Billy Howell - Trombone

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