Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Greenslade - 1975 - Time & Tide

Time & Tide

01. Animal Farm (3:24)
02. Newsworth (3:03)
03. Time (1:16)
04. Tide (2:51)
05. Catalan (5:03)
06. The Flattery Stakes (3:57)
07. Waltz for a Fallen Idol (3:19)
08. The ass's Ears (3:21)
09. Doldrums (3:42)
10. Gangsters (2:27)

- Dave Greenslade / keyboards (all except 1,9)
- Dave Lawson / keyboards (sll except 3,4)
- Martin Briley / bass, guitar, back vocal (all except 3,4,9)
- Andrew McCulloch / drums (all except 3,4,9)
- Ann Simmons / back vocal on 10
- Jill MacIntosh / back vocal
- Barry Morgan / timbales
- The Treverva Male Choir Directed by Edgar Kessel

ime and Tide was Greenslade's last release as a band during their 70's triumph. As good as the album is, it's quite short, clocking in at a mere 32.24 and features 10 (!) tracks, some of which took on a Pop glaze. The gorgeous cover-art by Patrick Woodroffe wasn't enough to make this album a masterpiece, and niether was the gatefold photograph of the band's stage set-up, complete with a clear perspex (?) Drumkit and a keyboard rig on each side, which perhaps suggests an un-necessary flamboyance, but this is often the case with Prog, and most of us wouldn't have it any other way. With the eye-catching excesses aside, the compositions are mostly fine, the playing extravagantly laden with stunning keyboarding, and a solid rhythm section, this time with newbie Martin Briley taking over the recently departed Reeves on Bass and Guitar duties, and Andrew McCulloch is, as always, a great Drummer. The songs are composed by the 2 Daves - Greenslade and Lawson, either by themselves, or together. Four of the songs here are dynamic instrumentals, 'Time' (1.16) being an arrangement for Harpsichord and Male Voice Choir - this one's a bit pompous. 'Tide' (2.51) follows on a low note Fender Rhodes rhythm, with multi-tracked Mellotrons creating a lush and majestic atmosphere. 'Catalan' (5.03) cuts in like a sledge- hammer, and kills the rather nebulous mood the previous tune created - it's rather chaotic arrangement of sudden loud blasts, and brooding moments interrupting the flow somewhat, but when the song gets going, Lawson turns in a fine, searing ARP synth solo and the band is firing on all cylinders. The last instrumental track is the last on the LP, 'Gangsters' (2.27) and is a beauty. 'Doldrums' (3.42) is a jazzy piece (always reminds me of Soft Machine, circa 'Softs') and is just Lawson alone at the keyboards and the microphone. The remaining songs of the album are the Prog/complex Pop ones, but still offer up some great moments. 'The Ass's Ears' (3.21) in particular highlights McCulloch's playing. The weakest point of the album would have to be 'The Flattery Stakes' (3.57) with some cheezy female backing vox and rather simple melodies and structure