Friday, October 23, 2009

Q: Quatermass

10-23-09 Q: Quatermass


1970 9 TRKS original UK issue


1970 11 TRKS ('05 issue) kami sleeve (2 x bonus tracks)

They’ve only got one record. Well, one LP / CD and a frighteningly rare 7” single (“One Blind Mice” b/w “Punting”). And maybe my favorite LP cover of the early 70’s (Hipgnosis; imagine them cutting those pictures out of magazines or something?!)

It should be noted that the recent (2005) Archive Records (Japan) CD of Quatermass sounds noticeably better than the Repertoire CD of the early 90’s – and they also very pleasingly replicate the original cover artwork.

Keyboard player Peter Robinson was also in Suntreader, but that wasn’t a great album, as I recall. Guess he’s been a session guy for ages now. Bass player John Gustafsson was also in Hard Stuff, but…not really my style. Wasn’t he also in Roxy Music, at some point? The band was a trio, can’t buzz off without mentioning drummer Mick Underwood.

Very much May, 1970 UK progressive rock. Surprisingly, it also got a US release, on Harvest Records via Capitol Records. Was it issued on cassette and 8-track tape? Probably so. Never saw the single for sale, however. It sounds a lot better on the Archive CD than it did on the Repertoire CD (which sounded like a dub of a dub of a cassette, 70’s style). When I got my original UK LP of this, I threw away my US LP of it.

I believe my favorite cut after all these years is “Postwar Saturday Echo”. When I first got the LP, it was definitely “Up On The Ground”, which has a bit of Deep Purple feeling to it. Heavy keyboards. And Gustafsson could really sing, too.

But it’s sort of funny – those groups / artists with only one LP. Hard to stay excited when nothing new ever walks down the pike, as regards some artists. The sole LP becomes sacrosanct, you love it and that’s all she wrote. But it takes some effort to be remembered with just one statement. My favorite “only one album” act is usually Holland’s Bonfire. That album still drives me nuts, 30+ years later. It’s like an instrumental magical puzzle, that album.

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