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Saturday, September 10, 2016

Aubrey Small - Aubrey Small (1971 uk, beautiful elegant smooth prog rock, 2015 remaster with bonus tracks)

Aubrey Small formed in 1969 with a line-up that featured 5 part harmonies, twin guitars & flute which was quite pioneering for those times! Very soon they were attracting considerable interest in heady musical circles. Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club took the band under their management followed by numerous regular sessions on BBC Radio 1’s “Sounds of the Seventies” for Bob Harris & John Peel. The band were soon performing at landmark venues such as London’s Marquee, Flamingo, Samantha’s, Thatched Barn at Chalk Farm & the Roundhouse with Ronnie Scott’s becoming their “second home”. Tour gigs with major names including Status Quo, Supertramp, Edgar Broughton, Colosseum, Hawkwind, Pink Fairies, Robin Trower and many others were a growing part of the band’s new world.

Record companies were fast becoming aware of the band’s growing reputation and within a short time a recording contract was signed as well as a publishing contract with Radio Luxembourg MD Alan Keen of Louvigny Marquee, for their songs. An album was released in 1971 followed by a single some months later.

Although the band were together only four short years, they created a legacy of interest with the people their music reached, which has lasted until the present day. Recently unearthed long lost recorded material was returned to the band, prompting them to tell their short but colourful story. 

They performed for the first time on Valentine’s Day 1970 at South Parade Pier, Southsea however within a few weeks, guitarist Marc Tuddenham had decided to leave. As the band was generating much interest they embarked on an immediate search for a replacement and by the end of March Peter Pinckney joined fresh from winning an NME national band contest. The song-writing became instantly prolific with members writing individually & collectively.

Another bizarre gig came along on 6th November when the band played the Flamingo in Wardour Street. It was an “all-nighter” with Hawkwind and Pink Fairies and they were due to play at about 3 am. When they arrived at the venue they had to wait around for several hours and then eventually were told that due to the venue being packed to capacity they had to pass the equipment over the heads of the crowded audience to the stage, set up and play! No sound check, no frills but a terrific gig!

The recording experience at Trident became intoxicating and at times even became somewhat surreal. For one number “Smoker Will Blow” John Anthony had the idea of putting orchestration on the track as it was too simple. Within a matter of days  arranger  Richard Hewson appeared together with a huge assembly of the finest jazz and orchestral musicians available. Here was another highly respected musician who had a list of high profile credits to his name including the Beatles, Bee Gees, Diana Ross, Art Garfunkel, Fleetwood Mac, Supertramp, Chris Rea among others – another who’s who! The band watched from the control room with amazement as an extraordinary and complex soundscape unfolded on their song. Ray Jackson of Lindisfarne was also invited to play harmonica on one track and Mike Vickers of Manfred Mann brought his giant Moog synthesiser in for another couple of tracks.

After the album was completed in September 1971, John Anthony went on to produce “Orange” for Al Stewart and as often happens with working relationships being fresh in mind he invited David (Bass) & Graham (Drums) to do the session work. The rest of the band were “most put out” as they hadn’t been asked to play until it was discovered that Rick Wakeman and Tim Renwick were chosen to play keyboards and guitar – no contest! Peter Pinckney and Rod Taylor were eventually invited to do some backing vocals together with Lesley Duncan who they had also met at Trident when she was working with Elton John with whom she had a long-standing connection.

1. Country Road (Peter Pinckney) - 4:21
2. Gardenia (Alan Christmas) - 2:49
3. Trying To Find My Way (Peter Pinckney, Rod Taylor) - 2:13
4. For My Lady (Graham Hunt) - 3:25
5. It's Morning (Peter Pinckney) - 4:00
6. Why? (Graham Hunt) - 2:23
7. Love On (Peter Pinckney) - 4:19
8. Born To Be (Peter Pinckney, Rod Taylor) - 3:23
9. If I Were You (Graham Hunt) - 3:18
10.Oh! What A Day It's Been (Graham Hunt) - 3:02
11.Smoker Will Blow (Graham Hunt) - 3:08
12.Wonderful (Alan Christmas) - 1:37
13.The Loser (Peter Pinckney) - 4:29
14.Maybe Tomorrow (Alan Christmas) - 5:05
Bonus Tracks 13-14

The Aubrey Small
*Alan Christmas - Guitar
*Graham Hunt - Drums, Guitar, Vocals
*Peter Pinckney - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Rod Taylor - Keyboards, Vocals
*David Yearley - Bass

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  1. "beautiful elegant smooth"

    I love your site but maybe you could do away with these "subjectives" (subjective adjectives) in your article titles? :)

  2. Palo K, this is your opinion and it's respected,
    but I write as I feel.
    Thank you.

  3. I never had a chance to hear this album.After some listening,I realize that the music is really great.Thank you so much"MARIOS".

  4. Keep on "subjectives" !!! :) thanks for this jewel !

  5. Thank you for Aubrey Small, heard this years ago, but it definitely did not sound like this!

  6. I very much like your "subjectives" in the page titles. They let me know what the music might sound like, and they give me a feeling of your enthusiasm for it. The latter must be contagious, because I always feel pretty much the same way about it when I listen. Thank you for all you do.

  7. I don't agree. Subjectives such as "beautiful elegant smooth" in no way indicate to me how the music might sound like. "Prog rock" is quite sufficient for that, thank you very much.

    And If I want to know exacty how it sounds, I can just listen to the youtube clip. That's why I think using them is quite silly especially on a site that's otherwise very professional and the articles themselves are expertly written.

  8. What a freaking JERK you are Palo KK. A total ungrateful leech, you come here getting everything for free and criticizing our friend Marios, giving unrequested advice, and calling his actions regarding his own Blog 'Silly'
    Where do you get the guts to poop in somebody's house.
    You need to know that in this world we come from everywhere, and English is sometimes third language to many. Marios first language is not English.

  9. If Marco's command of English is so weak as to warrant the sillyness in the article titles, does it mean the article texts (which appear to be written in excellent English) are stolen from somewhere and the only real contribution of this guy is uploading a bunch of files to Turbobit and running a Blogger blog to share the links?

    Please explain.

  10. Palo K,
    this has gone too far, it would be nice that we could stop here.
    If you don't want to read (subjective adjectives) it's up to you not to enter into this blog.
    The only thing that matters for me is music, as for the texts, I don't steal from anyone, all authors names are written in the end of every review/overview.
    Thank you

  11. @ Palo KK. You friggin' TROLL!! why don't you just D/L your music, say "Thank you" and go get your grammar elsewhere. Is that how you get your kicks? bothering people, instead of being thankful that someone is sharing his CD's with the rest of us. C'mon Troll, get the hell out!!

  12. @Tommy Dafaq

    Wow, you sure mad bro! We're all just expressing our opinions here (although some do it in a civilized manner, while others are shouting in bold and using ad hominem). Time to chill and listen to some free music, right? :P

  13. Ad hominem, Isn't that what you did to our friend Marios?
    Time to chill? Sure, what took you so long?

  14. No it's not what I did to "our friend". Care to show me where and then look up the definition of ad hominem?

    And I've been chill the whole time even after you came around shouting bloody murder in all bold at me, lol. :P

  15. οπως λεει μια ελληνικη παροιμια,''σε καποιον χαριζανε ενα γαιδαρο και αυτος τον κοιταζε στα ματια''Τελος παντων ας αρκεστουμε σε αυτο που γραφει πανσοφα ο φιλτατος Μαριος:Peace/Love/Music

  16. @Palo, do you consider normal behaviour to come to a man's Blog, and chastise him for not expressing himself in proper English, according to your standards and tastes?
    Don't you realize that civilised people just don't behave as such?
    The way you patronized Marios, (and he is our friend by the way) and called "Silly" his personal way of expressing himself, fits the definition of 'ad hominem'
    You should look it up...

  17. And where exactly did I chastise Marious for "not expressing himself in proper English"? Where exactly did I patronize him?

  18. @Palo, you just don't get it, do you?
    Among many things, by not getting his name right, you are disrespecting him. His name is Marios.
    Look man, your own semantics are rendering you vacuous.
    I'm done with you.

  19. "I'm done with you."

    And I'm glad you are, because all you've managed to show so far is reading comprehension issues, argumentative weakness (namely strawman and ad hominem), while also violating basic internet etiquette (screaming in bold).

    Thanks for checking my spelling though! Always appreciated!

  20. Α quote by Solon the Athenian showing the philosopher's way of being always inquisitive and open minded, and implying that getting older doesn't make you wise enough; "αἰεὶ" is an epic form of always (the normal one being "ἀεί") hence the quote has the short form "γηράσκω ἀεί διδασκόμενος" "I'm getting older while being taught all the time"......

  21. Hi, Marios! Don't let these comments bother you man, keep up with your great - and much appreciated - work. Thank you for this share. All the best!!

  22. Palo K said...

    "I don't agree. Subjectives such as "beautiful elegant smooth" in no way indicate to me how the music might sound like. "Prog rock" is quite sufficient for that, thank you very much."

    You say "prog rock" is quite sufficient but it isn't really, is it? A lot of prog rock can be aggressive, discordant etc.,prog is quite a diverse genre of music. Also, one youtube clip won't tell you how the whole album will sound, it can give some kind of indication of what the rest of the album sounds like, but you'd need to listen to the whole album to come to that conclusion. "Beautiful elegant smooth" gives me a rough idea of what to expect from this album, and if I'm interested in some "beautiful elegant smooth" prog rock then I'll read further, and probably download (oh, and click on the youtube clip!).

    And finally, thanks for the album Marios, much appreciated!

  23. Well, knowing this site and seeing also "1971" in the aticle title, I surely wouldn't expect any discordant or aggressive "prog rock", would I? :)

    And while one Youtube clip may not be enough to get the full picture, it surely beats gleaning the feel of the music from a cluster of random "subjectives" in the article title alone, at least for me.

  24. I could certainly point you towards plenty of discordant and aggressive prog rock from 1971, but I'll leave that for you to find for yourself Palo K. After all, it's always more satisfying when you discover stuff yourself. Maybe even find something elegantly aggressive! Personally, if I see an album described as "superb blues/jazz rock" I normally avoid like the plague.... :)

  25. Thanks for this one Marios....I remember this group from back in the day....not an album I bought as there was a lot more stuff that really stood out for me, but interesting to hear it back now if only for nostalgia's sake.

    As for the grumblings of Palo K, even if he doesn't like what you write, it doesn't seem to be putting him off visiting your page and downloading albums. So what does that say about him? If smart-arses want to know more about an album, they can google it and get any amount of information and reviews they feel necessary. Alternatively, listen and make up their own minds.

    You write what the fuck you like, it's your page! If nit-pickers don't like it, they can bite it! Easy!

  26. Would you kindly re-up it? Please!