Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

TEN YEARS AFTER - Stonedhenge

TEN YEARS AFTER
Stonedhenge


Released 1969 on Deram
Reviewed by horazio, 22/06/2008ce


Alvin Lee's diciples of steel are well known for their heavy,
row sound live as evidenced in "Goin' Home" performed at
Woodstock '69. Although when listening to this album the
careful explorer would notice half of the tunes are semi
acoustic, even so avant-garde, they precede what's on the
cornerstone jazz-rock platter, M. Davis - 'Bitches Brew',
released that same year. So rocker Lee's still a non
recognized trailblazer, leading the symbiosis of both genres
at that time. "I Can't Live Without Lydia" is a classic jazz
piano piece dominated by the skilful fingers of Chick
Churchill, echoing ragtime. "Woman Trouble" sees Lee in a Wes
Montgomery mould thus long ahead of what John McLaughlin
could express with Mahavishnu the next year. It's emphasized
by the duelling guitar vs J. Smith's blend of electric organ
chords.
"Skoobly-Oobly-Doobob" is a scat vocalizing piece preceding
what Bobby McFerrin would symbolize almost a decade after (an
unexpected reference to the band's name surfaced). "Hear me
Calling" & "A Sad Song" are standard old blues numbers,
having nothing in common with what Hendrix & Clapton were
doing in that same period. "Three Blind Mice" is a 0:58
purely percussion piece seeing what Airto Moreira would be
best known for in the time to come. Almost a half of "No
Title" is quite experimental, at times colored with moments
of Lee's rock guitar. "Faro" is also a guitar-bass
nouveau tune. In the end only "Going to Try" & train
imitating closer "Speed Kills" (co-written by Lee & Little Steven respected Mike Vernon - he's the LP producer), can be viewed as typical rock
tracks.

It should be noted it hit the UK Top 10 albums which makes it
the 1st avant-garde work to do so. Imagine that nowadays!
I'll conclude with the wishful - rock critics give Alvin Lee
& co a chance!

p.s. In tribute to Summer Solstice today.


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