Band members Related acts
line up 1 (1970)
- Ray Brooks -- bass
- Steve Baron Quartet (Bill Davidson)
- Earth Opera (Richard Grando)
Rating: ** (2 stars)
Title: Their First Album
Country/State: New York
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Comments: gatefold sleeve
Catalog ID: 5474
So what's the story with this New York-based octet?
Plain and simple, they apparently felt they were Blood, Sweat and Tears ...
"Their First Album" track listing:
1.) If You Just Think of Me (Nick Olivia) - 4:14 rating: ** stars
'If You Just Think of Me' started out with a nice, funky bass line and was even acceptable when the horns kicked in, but when Osborne's David Clayton-Thomas-styled vocals kicked in it lost direction and just started to implode, bouncing aimlessly across genres, including ballad, jazz-rock, and funk genres. Yeap, this was one big mess ...
2.) Light the Road (Nick Olivia) - 2:42 rating: ** stars
Propelled by James Strassburg's frenetic drums, 'Light the Road' was a hyper-speed rocker that could have been quite good were it not for the busy horn arrangement.
3.) The Immigrant (instrumental) (David Gross) - 5:34 rating: ** stars
One of two tracks penned by sax player Gross, the instrumental 'The Immigrant' was one of the set's more jazz-oriented numbers. Not a big surprise, the set focused on Gross' sax with the track sounding a bit like something Maynard Ferguson might have released in the mid-1970s.
4.) Just Like That (Nick Olivia) - 4:35 rating: ** stars
'Just Like That' was another track that bore an uncanny resemblance to BS&T. The ballad had an okay melody, but was a bit on the MOR side; certainly nothing particularly exciting.
5.) Thank You My Dear (Nick Olivia) - 3:35 rating: ** stars
'Thank You My Dear' was the album's most straightforward and commercial offering. Even with the horns, this one had some commercial potential, though the mid-section horn solos could have been dropped without any loss.
1.) I'll Go Blind (Nick Olivia) - 4:43 rating: *** stars
With one of the most conventional rock arrangements on the set (complete with some nice Bill Davidson fuzz guitar and one of the better prro-environmental lyrics you'll hear out of the early '70s), 'I'll Go Blind' stood as one of my favorite performance.
2.) The I Ching Thing (David Gross) - 5:31 rating: * star
Ah, time to get ethnic ... The second Gross composition, 'The I Ching Thing' started out with some experimental, oriental flavored meanderings before (who put on the Phillip Glass album ?), before moving into a breezy pop-tinged flute segment. If you liked Herbie Mann, then this was probably going to palatable to you. I dislike Herbie Mann, so draw your own conclusions.
-3.) Watch Myself Grow Tall (Nick Olivia) - 3:21 rating: *** stars
Watch Myself Grow Tall' signaled it was time for a 'big' ballad. I'll give the credit and admit this one wasn't half bad with some commercial potential.
4.) Nothing To Do Today (Nick Olivia) - 3:15 rating: ** stars
With a herky-jerky song structure and a hyperactive bass line, 'Nothing To Do Today' was actually mildly interesting.
5.) Young Man (Nick Olivia) - 4:02 rating: *** stars
Powered by Davidson lead guitar and a horn arrangement that actually improved the song, 'Young Man' returned to a more commercial orientation and could have provided the band with some radio play. Probably the best overall tune on the album.
Sales proved non-existent; certainly not helped by a dumb name and one of the year's ugliest album covers and as far as I know this is their entire discography.
As of 2015 Osborne was living in Florida
and still active in music.
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