Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Savage Rose - 1971 - Your Daily Gift

The Savage Rose 
Your Daily Gift

01. Sunday Morning    
02. Listen To This Tune From Mexico    
03. Unfold    
04. Speak Softly    
05. The Poorest Man On Earth    
06. The Waters Run Deep    
07. Lightly Come, Lightly Go    
08. Tapiola    
09. Your Daily Gift

Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals – Jens Rugsted
Drums, Percussion – Alex Riel
Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Steel Guitar – Nils Tuxen
Organ, Accordion, Recorder, Vocals – Anders Koppel
Piano, Harpsichord, Vocals, Painting – Thomas Koppel
Vocals – Annisette

Your Daily Gift opens with an original pop/rocker, "Sunday Morning," which displays Anisette's little granny voice to great effect. This is not the hit song by Spanky & Our Gang, nor does Anisette sound anything like Spanky, but the two bands would have complemented each other nicely on a bill, and had Elaine McFarlane performed "The Waters Run Deep," the first song on side two, it might have been an American hit. The tune is mesmerizing, with a garagey guitar opening and a wonderful chorus ready-made for Top 40 of this time. This European group is the real rock & roll Abba and they should have been huge crafting such intelligent music with smart songwriting and on-target performances. The band's production on Your Daily Gift is very good, but the great Jimmy Miller would infuse his Traffic sounds into their style on the very next disc, the difference making for a more bluesy, Delaney & Bonnie-type sound, perhaps because Miller was traveling in those circles at the time and thought the style would work for Savage Rose. This 1970 release has heavy organ on "Tapiola," which could have fit right on the Tetragrammaton label's Deep Purple albums or the work by Vanilla Fudge. "Listen to This Tune From Mexico" is adventurous with Ten Wheel Drive overtones, while "Unfold" has that harpsichord that sounded so great on "Walk Away Renee" by Left Banke, the difference being Anisette's personality, which comes through to give this band their identity and presence. Speak Softly sounds like the Ronettes doing a ballad with gospel backing and can be summed up in only one word: immaculate. "Lightly Come, Lightly Go" is subtitled "Song for an Unborn Child -- Sarah's song," and nine years later didn't radio personalities say Stevie Nicks' "Sara" was for an unborn child? (Others had assumed it was for Mick Fleetwood's wife at the time.) The title track, Your Daily Gift, could have worked for Fleetwood Mac, and perhaps what Savage Rose needed was a manager who would place their great material with other artists to help generate a buzz. Anders Koppel's simple accordion blends beautifully with Anisette's voice on this mellow folk ballad, concluding a strong, heartfelt album.