Nirvana (UK)


Band members               Related acts

- Michael Coe - viola, horns (1967-68)
- Brian Henderson - bass (1965-68)
- Patrick Campbell-Lyons - vocals, guitar (1965-)
- Sylvia Schuster - cello (1967-68)
- Ray Singer - guitar (1965-68)
- Alex Spyropoulos - keyboards (1965) 

 

 

- Patrick Campbell-Lyons (solo effort) 

 

 


 

Genre: psych

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  The Story of Simonpath

Company: Bell

Catalog: 6015

Year: 1967

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: US pressing' still in shrink wrap - we opened it to hear it - played once

Available: SOLD

GEMM catalog ID: SOLD

Price: SOLD

Cost: $66.00

 

Nah, we're not talking about the late Curt Cobain and his Seattle brats ... 

Born in Waterford, Ireland, singer/guitarist Patrick Campbell-Lyons moved to England in the early '60s. Originally planning to a college degree by 1965 he'd abandoned the idea in favor or pursuing a career in music. In the wake of stints with The Teenbeats and Second Thoughts (the latter opened for The pre-Who High Numbers), 1967 found Campbell-Lyons enrolling in a London art school. A chance encounter with Greek born keyboardist Alex Spyropoulosa found the two sharing a common interest in music, leading to the decision to form a band. Recruiting bassist Brian Henderson and guitarist Ray Singer, the quartet began performing at local clubs, quickly developing an interesting hybrid of rock and classical music influences. Catching one of their performances, producer Jimmy Miller brought the band to the attention of Chris Blackwell, who promptly signed them to Island Records (Bell Records acquiring American domestic distribution rights). With the addition of string players Michael Coe and Sylvia Schuster, the group released a series of psych-flavored UK singles with little success ("Tiny Goddess" b/w "I Believe In Magic", "Pentacost Hotel" b/w "Feelin' Shattered" and "Rainbow Chaser" b/w "Flashbulb" - the latter a UK top-40 hit).

Given the opportunity to record and album, you have to admire these guys for their willingness to push the creative envelope. As far as we know, their Chris Blackwell produced 1967 debut "The Story of Simonpath" stands as one of the first stabs at a rock concept LP. With Campbell-Lyons and Spyropoulos credited with penning all nine tracks, the collection offered up a weird sci-fi plotline (the back cover kind of describes what's going on - Simon's journey from a six-dimensional city to a nirvana filled with pleasures of all types. Don't even ask. We'll readily admit to being confused by the storyline). In spite of the freaked out plotline and some horribly dated lyrics ("Wings of Love"), musically the set was supported by a surprisingly commercial set of songs. Campbell-Lyons and Spyropoulos were both rather inconsequential singers (they occasionally sounded like a gay Marc Bolan), but original songs such as "Lonely Boy", "Satellite Jockey" and "Pentacost Hotel" (apparently a nod of appreciation to Blackwell and Island Records), were quite melodic and attractive. In spite of rave reviews from the critics (and a super cool cover), the collection quickly vanished in both England and the States.

"The Story of Simonpath" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Wings of Love (Alex Spyropoulos - Patrick Campbell-Lyons) - 
2.) Lonely Boy (Alex Spyropoulos - Patrick Campbell-Lyons) - 
3.) We Can Help You (Alex Spyropoulos - Patrick Campbell-Lyons) - 
4.) Satellite Jockey (Alex Spyropoulos - Patrick Campbell-Lyons) - 
5.) In the Courtyard of the King (Alex Spyropoulos - Patrick Campbell-Lyons) - 

(side 2)

1.) He was Just the One (Alex Spyropoulos - Patrick Campbell-Lyons) - 
2.) Pentacost Hotel (Alex Spyropoulos - Patrick Campbell-Lyons) - 
3.) He Never Found a Love Like This Before (Alex Spyropoulos - Patrick Campbell-Lyons) - 
4.) Take This Hand (Alex Spyropoulos - Patrick Campbell-Lyons) - 

 

 

 

 


Genre: psych

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  All of Us

Company: Bell

Catalog: 6024

Year: 1968

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: promo sticker on cover; US pressing

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 4

Price: $140.00

Cost: $66.00

 

The band's sophomore LP isn't a major departure from the debut, offering up another collection of mid-1960s English psych.  That said, 1968's "All of Us" doesn't appeal to us nearly as much as the debut.  That's kind of a strange statement given that Campbell-Lyons - Spyropoulos-penned tracks such as "Melanie Blue", "Trapeze" and "Girl In the Park" are highly melodic and commercial.  That may in fact be part of the problem in that much of this set comes off as being lightweight and even fey ("The Touchables (All of Us)" and "You Can Try It") ... never used that to describe an LP before!  Giving credit where due, there are a number of gems to be found here.  The heavily phased "Rainbow Chaser" is a nifty slice of psych, while "Tiny Goddess" stands as one of their prettiest ballads and "Miami Masquerade" qualifies as one of the year's weirder offerings.

 

"All of Us" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Rainbow Chaser   (Patrick Campbell-Lyons - Alex Spyropoulos) - 2:38

2.) Tiny Goddess   ( Patrick Campbell-Lyons - Alex Spyropoulos) -4:03

3.) The Touchables (All of Us)   ( Patrick Campbell-Lyons - Alex Spyropoulos) -2:59

4.) Melanie Blue   ( Patrick Campbell-Lyons - Alex Spyropoulos) - 2:40

5.) Trapeze   ( Patrick Campbell-Lyons - Alex Spyropoulos) -2:49

6.) The Show Must Go On (instrumental)   ( Patrick Campbell-Lyons - Alex Spyropoulos) -2:40

 

(side 2)

1.) Girl In the Park   ( Patrick Campbell-Lyons - Alex Spyropoulos) -2:41

2.) Miami Masquerade   ( Patrick Campbell-Lyons - Alex Spyropoulos) -2:48

3.) Frankie the Great   ( Patrick Campbell-Lyons - Alex Spyropoulos) -2:29

4.) You Can Try It   ( Patrick Campbell-Lyons - Alex Spyropoulos) -3:18

5.) Everybody Loves the Clown   ( Patrick Campbell-Lyons - Alex Spyropoulos) -2:00

6.) St John's Wood Affair   ( Patrick Campbell-Lyons - Alex Spyropoulos) - 4:18

 

 

 

 

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