Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Lord Sitar - 1968 - Lord Sitar

Lord Sitar
Lord Sitar

01. If I Were A Rich Man
02. Emerald City    
03. Tomorrow's People    
04. Daydream Believer    
05. Like Nobody Else    
06. I Am The Walrus    
07. In A Dream    
08. Eleanor Rigby    
09. I Can See For Miles    
10. Blue Jay Way    
11. Black Is Black    

The rumour I've heard is that in the late 60s Big Jim Sullivan was the only session guitarist in Britain to own a sitar at a time when George Harrison had suddenly turned it into the new craze. The result, they say, was this album, a cash-in on the sudden vogue for the old Indian instrument.

So what of the album itself? Well, the cheesy-listening style orchestral backing that dominates large swathes of the album is a big let-down. I guess they were aiming for people who generally listened to the likes of Mantovani and who found The Beatles, with their number one hits and trimmed moustaches, to be too underground, counter-culture and dangerous but who nevertheless thought that funny Indian instrument sounded pretty good. Did people like that really exist? What you have then is an odd marriage, an amalgam of instrumental easy-listening of the kind churned out endlessly by the likes of 101 Strings and Bert Kaempfert with the sort of raga rock that found its more natural home with the burgeoning psychedelic movement and the two don't make the most comfortable of bedfellows.

Big Jim inevitably handles the instrument competently as befits his stature as a player of non-harp plucked chordophones although the arrangements, with his Lordship knocking out the tunes as sung rather than as played, are, again, frightfully cheesy (the version of "I Am the Walrus" is particularly cringe-worthy in this regard) and the dominance of the orchestral arrangement sometimes drowns out Sullivan's dextrous finger work. The formula is adhered to rigidly throughout, a fact that makes the album seem more of a drag the longer it goes on and by the time you get around to the version of "I Can See For Miles" it really has overstayed its welcome. It all ends up sounding very kitsch, something that is not admittedly a complete criticism but nevertheless it means the album will never be more than a curio for the discerning listener.

With a small backing band, minimally invasive arrangements and BJS left to noodle away on the long-necked gourd to his heart's content, with the sole remit being that a little bit of each raga should sound like the hit in question, this could have been a lost raga rock classic. Instead, with lavish production and smothered in layers of Gorgonzola and Edam, it passes by as a transient piece of Austin Powers style campery, the sort of thing to be listened once in a G plan styled living room before being filed away and forgotten. A missed opportunity all round


  1. http://www.filefactory.com/file/1p51mmi9phq5/1864.rar

  2. Hi! This one is busted. Server Error = 252
    kind regards, Dr. Studebaker

  3. "This file is no longer available due to an unexpected error. If you are the owner of this file, it will need to be re-uploaded."
    Can you reupload?


  4. http://www.filefactory.com/file/5njjh9p3uo89/1864.rar

  5. Thanks very much for renewing, great record,& excellent website too!

    Many thanks from,