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Plain and Fancy

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Plato

Monday, July 12, 2021

Julian's Treatment - A Time Before This (1970 uk, gorgeous epic art prog rock, with sci fi lyrics, 2017 japan SHM remaster)



Julian's Treatment is yet another forgotten and obscure gem of progressive and psychedelic rock. Not very often does a sci-fi author involve himself with music. Michael Moorcock's involvement with Hawkwind is one of the best examples. And Julian Jay Savarin is another author who involved himself in music, with this band Julian's Treatment. Savarin played the organ and he had an Australian named Cathy Pruden to handle the vocals, with some other guys to handle the guitar, bass, drums, and flute (no liner notes were included, unfortunately).

A Time Before This, released in 1970, was the one and only album by this band (Savarin released an album under his own name called Waiters on the Dance, which varying sources say was released in 1969, 1971, or 1973). Unsurprising, the album is a sci-fi concept album, a bit difficult for me to follow when a lyric sheet wasn't even included, but it seems to involve the destuction of the Earth in which a Terran ends up on a planet inhabited by strange, blue-skinned people, and an evil megalomaniac. Musically, it's late '60s sounding psychedelic with progressive rock with great spacy organ and a cosmic feel to the whole album. Great female vocals as well with the occasional spoken dialog. Highlights include "Phantom City", "The Black Tower", "Altarra, Princess of the Blue Women", "Twin Suns of Centauri", "Alkon, Planet of Centauri", "The Terran", "Fourth From the Sun", and "Strange Things".

All the music sounds like it should belong on some campy sci-fi film from the late 1960s, but that should not come as any surprise. One band that Julian's Treatment gets compared to is The United States of America, the American band that released an self-entitled album in 1968 that featured Joe Byrd and Dorothy Moskowitz. Also comparisons to such prog rock bands lead by female vocalists like Analogy, Sandrose, and Holland's Earth & Fire are pretty common as well. Which is safe to say, if you're a fan of any of these groups, chances are you'll like Julian's Treatment, a great lost gem that sure to grow on you. The original LP (released in Britain by Young Blood and in the U.S. on Decca) isn't exactly easy to come by, but regardless, this album is another excellent obscure gem to add to your collection. 
by Ben Miler


Tracks
1. First Oracle - 1:30
2. The Coming Of The Mule - 3:52
3. Phantom City - 5:18
4. The Black Tower - 5:01
5. Alda, Dark Lady Of The Outer Worlds - 3:52
6. Altarra, Princess Of The Blue Woman - 4:14
7. Second Oracle - 1:39
8. Part One: Twin Suns Of Centuari - 2:59
9. Part Two: Alkon, Planet Of Centauri - 2:58
10.The Terran - 4:00
11.Fourth From The Sun - 2:48
12.Strange Things - 4:58
13.A Time Before This - 8:55
All compositions by Julian Jay Savarin

Julian's Treatment
*Julian Jay Savarin - Keyboards, Vocals
*Cathy Pruden - Vocals
*Del Watkins - Guitar, Flute
*Jack Drummond - Drums
*John Dover - Bass



3 comments:

Phil G said...

Love it, thank you M!

Micha艂 said...

Thank you Marios. I had this but your Japanese Edition sounds better. Cheers.

DanP said...

Many thanks!! :D