The First Impression / The Good Earth

Band members               Related acts

- Ray Bowerman - drums, percussion (Good Earth)

- Ray Dorset - vocals, lead guitar (Good Earth)

- Colin Earl - keyboards (Good Earth)

- Dave Hutchins - bass (Good Earth)

- Pete Watkinson - vocals (First Impression)





- The First Impressions

- The Good Earth

- The Legends

- Mungo Jerry





Genre: pop

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Swinging London

Company: Saga Associated

Catalog: FID 2117

Year: 1968

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: UK pressing

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 4256

Price: $100.00

Cost: $1.00


Anyone believing record labels are into music for the sake of art is either naive, or simply plain stupid.  Labels are for profit institutions who know how to recognize and exploit popular trends.  That's certainly the case for England's London-based Saga Records.  Best know for releasing classical and jazz material, 1968 found the company hastily jumping aboard the growing youth market with the release of the hysterically packaged "Swinging London" album.  Clearly meant to capitalize on London's reputation as a 'happening' and cosmopolitan city, it's ironic that by 1968 such cultural icons as Carnaby Street were already past their prime.  There's also a certain irony in the fact the album is quite good.


Musically the album features two bands. Eight tracks are dedicated to The First Impression, with The Good Earth handling the other four selections.  So what's it sound like?  First Impression efforts such as the title track, 'Big Time News' and 'Young Man Seeks Interesting Job' lean towards a somewhat dated pop-oriented sound (imagine something playing in the background of an Austin Powers movie and you'll get a feel for the overall sound).  There catalog is kind of cool in a retro  way, though with the exception of 'Clap Hands, Big Deal' and the psych-lite "All Lead Back To You" it tends to blur together.  With the exception of The Who-style rocker 'Jack Sly', the four Good Earth efforts aren't quite as impressive, with material such as 'Help Yourself' and 'Down Home Train' coming off as competent, if rather standard blues-rockers.  Not perfect, but more than enough interesting items to warrant the investment ...


It gets kind of odd here.  After recording an album for Saga, Good Earth mutated into Mungo Jerry.  Mungo Jerry subsequently enjoyed a massive hit with "In the Summertime" leading Boulevard Records (which was really Saga under a different flag), to reissue the original 1968 LP.  Before the album could reissued Mungo Jerry management threatened legal action, leading Boulevard to drop the four Good Earth tracks in favor of three needless Beatles covers by Russ Sainty (anyone know anything about Mr. Sainty?).  

"Swinging London" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Swinging London (The First Impression)  (Britten) - 

2.) Jack Sly (The Good Earth)   (Ray Dorset - Hutchins) - 

3.) Split Down the Middle (The First Impression)   (Cumming - Britten) - 

4.) Help Yourself (The Good Earth)   (Ray Dorset)

5.) Big Time News (The First Impression)   (Britten) 

6.) Young Man Seeks Interesting Job (The First Impression)  (Britten) 


(side 2)

1.) Down Home Train (The Good Earth)   (Colin Earl)

2.) Captain Green (The First Impression)   (Britten) 

3.) All Lead Back To You (The First Impression)   (Britten) 

4.) Clap Hands, Big Deal (The First Impression)   (Cumming - Britten) 

5.) Piccadilly Sunshine (The First Impression)   (Britten) 

6.) Unwashed, Unwanted (The Good Earth)   (Ray Dorset - Colin Earl - Hutchins - Bowerman) - 



Back to Bad Cat homepage/search