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Mott’s CD review

Mott's CD Reviews: Legend Of A Mind - Various Artists

Rummaged by Mott the Dog
Sorted by Ella Crew

5 Stars *****

‘Legend of a Mind’ is a collection of songs from bands between the years of 1968 and 1974 from the off-shoot record label of Decca Records, neatly called Deram. Deram Records was actually set up in 1966 by the suits at Decca, who had already made the cringe-worthy mistake of turning down the Beatles. They realized then that the young folk of the day did not only want to buy Englebert Humperdink records, but needed something with a bit of street cred that they just plain did not understand.

This was a lucky break for them. In the summer of 1967 the Beatles turned the rock world on its head with the release of ‘Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band’, allowing all serious minded musicians to break out of the 4/4 structures of 3-minute songs. There were literally hundreds of bands out there wanting to sign up to a record company to get their sound out to an eager public; some with 2ฝ -minute songs of cleverness, others with 20-minute epics. Deram was keen to sign them all - the good and the bad - (How would they have known the difference?) and here, spread over three 77-minute discs, is a selection of arguably the best.

Some bands on this collection went on to be household names, like Thin Lizzy, The Moody Blues, and Camel; some miraculously are still going on today in one form or another like Caravan, Savoy Brown, and Ten Years After; and some went on to become bigger and better things, namely Giles, Giles & Fripp of course became King Crimson, who went on to be both household names and are still going strong today. After a fine career Trapeze gave us Mel Galley for Whitesnake; Dave Holland for Judas Priest; and Glen Hughes for Deep Purple, ensuring gainful employment for the trio years after they bit the dust. Other bands like Black Cat Bones, Leafhound, and Egg gained legendary status years after they had disbanded.

Some bands were plainly a little too ordinary or too way out to make it. East Of Eden had a massive hit single with ‘Jig-a-Jig’, which is included here, but their other material never quite lived up to their early hit, although after the band’s demise violinist Dave Arbus turned up on the Who’s Baba’ O’Reiley playing the fiddle solo that brings the song to a rousing conclusion.

Others, alas, only lasted one album, but that is where you come across some unexpected delights. If you like heavy metal guitar riffing to bang your head to, then look no further than the eight minutes of T2’s ‘No More White Horses’.

How Aardvark missed the boat to rock superstardom will always be a mystery. I mean they even had the perfect name. When you walked down your local record store racks Aardvark’s album must have been the first album you came across, they would have even been in front of Abba. The marvellously monickered ‘Once Upon A Hill/Put That In Your Pipe And Smoke It’ is Aardvark’s tour de force over ten minutes of keyboard mayhem that only Keith Emerson or Jon Lord could have equalled.

The reason that Clark-Hutchinson did not last long is evident in their sole contribution song title here.

It’s quite fun just to read the names of the bands with the title of the song(s) they play and then to imagine the sound and see if you were correct.

The set comes in a psychedelic cardboard box with each CD in a full colour replica of one of the albums from Deram. The 48-page booklet includes essays from the people at Deram, plus a full page devoted to each band and some very embarrassing photos from the era (stand up ‘Mellow Candle’). At fourteen pounds and fifty pence, the price of a normal single CD, this box set is a real bargain. Whatever your taste you just have to like something.

CD 1

Moody Blues - Legend Of A Mind
Bill Fay - Screams In The Ears
Giles, Giles & Fripp - Suite No. One
The End - Introspection - Part One
Ten Years After - I Can’t Keep From Crying Sometimes
Bulldog Breed - Austin Osmanspare
Egg - The Song Of McGuillicudie The Pusillanimous
Johnny Almond Music Machine - Voodoo Forest
East Of Eden - Nymphenburger
Aardvark - Once Upon A Hill/Put That In Your Pipe & Smoke It
T2 - No More White Horses
Caravan - Hello Hello
Leafhound - Freelance Fiend
Granny’s Intentions - Nutmeg, Bitter Suite
The Rattles - The Witch
The Alan Bown! - Still As Stone
CD 2
Human Beast - Maybe Someday
Black Cat Bones - Chauffer
Pacific Drift - Tomorrow Morning Brings
Zakkarias - The Unknown Years
Clark-Hutchinson - Free To Be Stoned
Room - Cemetery Junction Part One & Two
Keef Hartley Band - Roundabout
Moody Blues - Question
Ten Years After - Love Like A Man
East Of Eden - Jig-A-Jig
Caravan - Golf Girl
Mellow Candle - Boulders On My Grave
Keef Hartley Band - Theme Song
CD 3
Savoy Brown - Hellbound Train
Khan - Stranded
Thin Lizzy - The Rise & Dear Demise Of The Funky Nomadic Tribes
Trapeze - Seafull
Caravan - C’ Lu Thlu
Thin Lizzy - Whisky In The Jar
Camel - Lady Fantasy: Encounter, Smiles For You & Lady Fantasy
Pete Brown & Friends - Nights In Armour
Curved Air - Propositions
Camel - Air Born
Darryl Way’s Wolf - The Envoy

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