Battered Ornaments, The

Band members               Related acts

- Pete Bailey - drums, percussion, vocals

- Nisar Ahmad Kahn - woodwinds, vocals

- Roger Botter - bass, guitars

- Chris Spedding - guitars, keyboards, vocals

- Rob Tait - drums, percussion, vocals



- Pete Brown (solo efforts)

- The People Band (Pete Bailey, George Kahn, Roger

  Potter and Rob Tait)

- Chris Spedding (solo efforts)





Genre: progressive

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Mantel Piece

Company: Harvest

Catalog: SKAO-422

Country/State: UK

Year: 1969

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: minor ring wear on front; gatefold sleeve; UK pressing

Available: SOLD

GEMM catalog ID: SOLD

Price: SOLD


Ah, Pete Brown and His Battered Ornaments ...  Having achieved considerable recognition for his work with Cream, the late-60s' saw poet/writer Pete Brown deciding to take a stab at rock stardom in his own right. Following a brief collaboration with The Graham Bond Organization,  Brown found himself working with The Battered Ornaments - whose line up consisted of drummers Pete Bailey and Rob Tait, keyboardist Charlie Hart, sax/woodwind player George Kahn, singer Graham Layden, bassist Butch Potter and guitarist Chris Spedding.


The band's second LP, 1969's "Mantel Piece" was actually recorded with Brown still in the line up (he's credited with writing or co-writing eight of the nine selections).  Unfortunately, during the recording sessions, the dreaded specter of personality conflict reared it's ugly head.  With Brown and Spedding increasingly at musical odds, frustrations came to a head the day before the band's appearance at The Rolling Stones' famed Hyde Park concert.  In what amounted to a revolt, Brown was summarily fired, leaving the survivors to erase and rerecord his vocal tracks.  In theory Brown's loss should have spelled disaster for the band.  Luckily it didn't work out that way. First off, given Brown's rough hewn vocals were always an acquired taste, Spedding proved a more than competent replacement, turning in some surprisingly impressive performances.  Musically the set proved equally engaging.  Exemplified by material such s "Sunshades", "Late Into the Night" and the instrumental "Staggered", the album was every bit as eclectic as the debut.  Jazz, rock, country, early world beat ... it's all here!  Melodic, yet challenging, it's a great album!  To out ears the highlights include the rollicking, pedal steel guitar propelled "Then I Must Go" and the freak out "Twisted Track".  


"Mantel-Piece" track listing:

1.) Sunshades  (Chris Spedding) - 

2.) Late Into the Night  (Chris Spedding - Pete Brown) - 

3.) Then I Must Go   (Chris Spedding - Pete Brown) - 

4.) The Crosswords and the Safety Pins   (Pete Brown) - 

5.) Staggered (instrumental)  (Nisar Ahmad Kahn) - 

6.) Twisted Track   (Chris Spedding - Pete Brown) - 

7.) Smoke Rings   (Roger Potter - Pete Brown) - 

8.) Take Me Now   (Roger Potter - Chris Spedding - Pete Brown) - 

9.) My Love's Gone Far Away   (Chris Spedding - Pete Brown) - 


Brown reappeared fronting Piblokto!.  Spedding reappeared with a solo career and as an in-demand sessions player, while the rest of the band released an LP credited to The People Band (see separate entries).



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