Thursday, January 24, 2008

Album of the Day

Sacred Scenes and Characters, by Canterbury Glass (1968): Every year, I put together a list of CDs I want as part of an Xmas list for the family. They're almost all obscure stuff that nobody's every heard of and you can't get except over the Internet. Imagine my surprise when I got this disc from my parents for Xmas last year and learned that my dad stumbled across it in one of the local shops. To out obscure me (there's no entry for this band in the Gibraltar Encyclopedia of Progressive Rock) - with a brick and mortar find, no less - is no mean feat!

The album itself is notable for the early presence of two guys who weren't actually in the band. One is engineer Chris Kimsey, who, in addition to his work with U2 that's in the promo blurb, went on to work with such prog luminaries as Emerson, Lake, & Palmer (engineer on Brain Salad Surgery) and Marillion (producer on Misplaced Childhood and Clutching at Straws). The other is guitarist Steve Hackett, who guests on "Prolouge" (actually the last track) several years before he hooked up with Genesis.

Musically, it's a solid piece of late 60s proto-prog, with some blusier elements (some nice harmonica here and there), with four long tracks, plus a bonus. Hackett's trademark sound hasn't developed, yet, so his contribution isn't all that distinctive. Despite the title, it's not an overly ambitious attempt as rock religiosity. Certainly better than this classic:

This pretentious ponderous collection of religious rock psalms is enough to prompt the question, 'What day did the Lord create Spinal Tap, and couldn't he have rested on that day too?'
And's it's loads better than Shark Sandwich!

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