Thursday, July 21, 2016

Noir - 1971 - We Had To Let You Have It

We Had To Let You Have It

01. Rain 9:25
02. Hard Labour 5:23
03. Beggar Man 5:05
04. In Memory Of Lady X 6:55
05. How Long 6:29
06. The System 6:17
07. Indian Rope Man 3:32
08. Ju Ju Man 3:57

Bass, Vocals – Roy Williams
Drums, Percussion – Barry Ford
Guitar, Vocals – Gordon Hunt
Lead Vocals – Barry Ford(tracks: A1, A2, B1, B3), Tony Cole (2) (tracks: A3, A4, B2, B4)

Includes an insert.
Held before a light source, the vinyl is transparent dark red.

I would have given six stars to the album if I only could. An album of pure gold and still almost total mystery - after so many years. In 1970 a band named "Noir" ("Black" in French) had spent ages recording this undisputable miracle for "Dawn" (that was the label of Mungo Jerry also). How did they get there, and where from, I don't know. They were: Barry Ford - lead vocals on half of the songs, drums & percussion; Tony Cole - lead vocals on other half, organ, piano and keyboards in general; Roy Williams - bass and vocals and Gordon Hunt - guitar and vocals. The band split before completing the album, and vanished from the studio - all attempts to disover their whereabouts failed. Barry Ford re-surfaced later with "Clancy" which recorded two albums for Warner, and had some following on London pub-scene, and after that performed with another obscurity, "Merger".
Anyway, music is difficult to identify, and this is ungrateful and absolutely unnecessary: several slow ballads which remind (somehow) Ken Hensley - like eponimous fatalistic lament of "Rain" with heart-breaking singing; philosophical sermon "In Memory Of Lady X"; tribal battle hymn of "Beggar Man" and spirituals-inspired "How Long"; solid prog of "The System". Add polyphonic vocal harmonies, virtuosos guitar and cool jazzy piano - total abandon and delight!
The music was too good to be left on a shelf, and the album was released by "Dawn" in 1971, to be re-issued on CD by "Arcangelo" in Japan.
One of the best albums of the 70s