40 years ago!! Strange Days magazine in Japan is keeping up with it’s “Time Machine” series, which I find quite interesting.
Strange Days 2011.01 lists “November 1970 Albums” as: George Harrison “All Things Must Pass” (Apple UK STCH 639 – triple LP boxed set); Syd Barrett “Barrett” (Harvest UK SHSP 4007); Nick Drake “Bryter Layter” (Island UK ILPS 9134); Pentangle “Cruel Sister” (Transatlantic UK TRA 228); John & Beverly Martin “The Road To Ruin” (Island UK ILPS 9133); The Kinks “Lola Vs. Powerman and the Money-go-round, Part One” (Pye UK NSPL 18359); Gentle Giant “Self-titled” (debut) (Vertigo UK 6360 020); Curved Air “Air Conditioning” (Warner Bros UK WSX 3012, picture disc); and Emerson, Lake & Palmer “Self-titled” (debut) (Island ILPS 9132).
Yet another month where I certainly know all of these; I own all 9 of the 9 titles!
I was waiting on the George Harrison set, and was delighted to receive it as a Christmas present in 1970. I knew who Syd Barrett was, and I likely had “The Madcap Laughs” by this time (I had initially wanted it merely because it was on Harvest and had a great cover!). I had the US version of Nick Drake’s “Five Leaves Left”, so I noticed this when it came out, though I didn’t get it for a few years – likely after his death.
I had heard Pentangle on Warner / Reprise sampler LP’s, so I definitely knew who / what they were. I understand there is an audiophile version of “Cruel Sister” available – DVD audio? I had noticed John & Beverly Martin’s “Stormbringer”, so I was ostendibly waiting for their sophomore release, “The Road To Ruin” – I actually like these two albums better than most John Martyn solo albums! I definitely bought The Kinks LP at the time, but I didn’t keep it – I re-bought it recently as a CD. I had no idea who / what Gentle Giant were – but they were on Vertigo UK, and that was enough to interest me. I think the first one I bought and kept was “Octopus”.
Curved Air was being promoted rather a lot in the US – “It Happened Today” was on a Warner / Reprise sampler LP, so I heard them more or less right away. I desperately wanted one of those beautiful picture disc versions of their debut album, and I eventually scored a copy (after owning the black vinyl version for some time).
I think I first heard Emerson Lake & Palmer’s debut album being played in a hippie record store, and purchased it instantly. Took a bit of doing, but I rather quickly figured out that this was the guy from The Nice; the singer / bassist of King Crimson and the drummer of Atomic Rooster. Three strikes? Home run! “The Barbarian” remains my all-time favorite EL&P track. It took my older brother to inform me that the “UK copy sounded better” – and he was right! Most all US copies (on Cotillion / Atlantic) sound just plain awful on vinyl. Almost any non-US copies sound fairly good. I have a glorious UK Island original LP in mint condition that I sometimes trot out to play for non-believers. I wish the Japanese would make an SA-CD of this title!