East of Eden

Band members                         Related acts

- Dave Arbus -- violin, woodwinds, sax, bagpipes (1968-)
- Jeff Allen -- drums, percussion (1971-)
- Geoff Britton -- drums (1968)
- Ron Caines -- vocals, sax, keyboards (1968-)

- Les Davidson -- lead guitar (replaced Garth Watt Roy) 

- Dave Dufort -- drums, percussion (replaced Geoff Britton)


- Pete Filleue -- vocals, keyboards (1976-77)
- David Jack -- vocals, bass (1971-)
- Geoff Nicholson -- guitar, vocals (1968-)

- Garth Watt Roy -- lead guitar (1975)
- Andy Sneddon -- bass (1968-)
- Steve York -- bass (replaced Andy Sneddon) (1968-)
- Dave Weller -- sax 



- Manfred Mann's Chapter 3 (Steve York)

- Paul McCartney and Wings (Geoff Britton)

- Joe O'Donnell (solo efforts)




Genre: progressive:

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Mercator Projected By East of Eden

Company: Deram

Catalog: SML 1008

Year: 1969

Country/State: Brighton, UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: sticker on front

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5635

Price: $120.00


Violinist Dave Arbus, drummer Geoff Britton, singer/brass player Ron Caines, guitarist Geoff Nicholson and bassist Andy Sneddon first came together as East of Eden in 1968. Original based in Brighton, the band relocated to London where they quickly became critical favorites on the underground scene. Signed by Atlantic they debuted with the single "King of Siam" b/w "Ballad of Harvey Kaye" (Atlantic catalog number 584198). Dropped by Atlantic, they were quickly signed by Deram, by which time they'd undergone the first in a series of personnel shakeups, Britton replaced by Dave Dufort and bassist Sneddon replaced by Steve York. 

Before getting into a description of their first album, a little truth in advertising. For a sizable segment of the record collecting circle, the only thing worse than a horn band is one featuring a violin. Liner notes such as the following are likely to send many folks running as if threatened with botchulism ... 

"Take one electric violin which blows rock and Bartok, add one flute from the East, mix in Sumerian saxophones, bass, drums, guitar and liquid work pictures - mark 'East of Eden'." 

Add a couple photos showing a bunch of '60s hippy types decked out in ancient Egyptian regalia (shades of Spinal Tap) and you have all the ingredients for what should be an aural disaster. Well guess what? The band's 1969 debut "Mercator Projected By East of Eden" is surprisingly good ! Produced by Noel Walker, the set featured an interesting mix of genres. Not exactly the year's most original offering, the collection was wrapped in a vaguely Eastern flavor, though it included dollops of jazz ("Communion"), blues ("Centaur Woman"), progressive moves ("Waterways"), conventional rock ("Communion") and early stabs at world music ("Isadora"). Starting as a rather conventional rocker before morphing into a full scale freakout, "Northern Hemisphere" was one of the highlights. While the album won't change your life, it's a welcomed (and suitably bizarre) addition to our catalog and one we actually play from time to time. (Anyone understand the joke between the first two songs on side two?) (Elsewhere the album's notable for the classic sexy cover courtesy of photographer David Wedgbury.)

"Mercator Projected By East of Eden" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Northern Hemisphere   (Ron Caines) - 
2.) Isadora   (Ron Caines) - 
3.) Waterways   (Ron Caines - Geoff Nicholson - Steve York) - 
4.) Centaur Woman   (Ron Caines) - 

(side 2)

1.) Bathers   (Ron Caines) - 
2.) Communion   (Dave Arbus - Ron Caines) - 
3.) Moth (instrumental)   (Ron Caines) - 
4.) In the Stable of the Sphinx   (Dave Arbus - Ron Caines - Geoff Nicholson - Steve York) - 

Shortly after the album was released York left to join Manfred Mann (see separate entry). He was replaced by David Jacks.


Genre: pop

Rating: * (1 star)

Title:  Here We Go Again ...

Company: EMI Electola

Catalog: 1C062-98065

Year: 1976

Country/State: Brighton, UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: still in shrink wrap; German pressing

Available: SOLD 

Catalog ID: SOLD 5636

Price: SOLD $20.00


Co-produced by the band (now made up of percussionist Jeff Allen, lead guitarist Les Davidson, keyboardist Pete Filleue, singer/bassist Davy Jack horn man Don Weller) and Dennis Weinrich, anyone expecting to hear a collection of cutting edge progressive moves was bound to find 1976's "Here We Go Again ..." a thorough and complete mess.  Clearly struggling to find a market niche the result was an album that bounced all over the musical spectrum with little room for crafting any firm group image (which may explain why the set never saw a US or UK release).   Instrumental tracks like 'Like a Plate', 'Merci Merci', and 'Spain' were best described as formulaic and bland supper club jazz - imagine Jay Leno's studio band leading up to a commercial break and you'd have an idea of what to expect.  'Falling Down' and 'Talkin' On the Telephone' offered up pleasant, but forgettable slices of horn-propelled AOR - imagine Chicago if they'd been English.   That said, singer/bassist Davy Jack displayed an unexpected knack for writing catchy pop tunes.  Complete with cooing female backing vocals (think The Three Degrees), a great jazzy guitar break from Les Davidson, and even a light disco touch 'When All Is Said and Done' was a fantastic slice of radio friendly pop !!!   Almost funky, Jack's 'Jack of Diamonds' was equally enjoyable. Totally unexpected, but not enough to salvage this collection.


Standout track - 'When All Is Said and Done' ...

"Here We Go Again" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Like a Plate (instrumental)   (Les Davidson) - 3:23

2.) When All Is Said and Done   (Davy Jack) - 5:05

3.) Jack of Diamonds   (Davy Jack) - 4:45

4.) Falling Down   (Davy Jack) - 4:13

5.) Talkin' On the Telephone   (Pete Filleue) - 2:28

6.) Merci Merci   (Les Davidson) - 1:23

(side 2)

1.) Here We Go Again   (Pete Filleue) - 3:50

2.) Spain (instrumental)   (Les Davidson) - 3:24

3.) Heaven Knows   (Pete Filleue) - 2:58

4.) You Can Find the Star   (Davy Jack) - 6:08

5.) Let's Find Some Time   (Davy Jack) - 2:34