Edwards Hand

Band members               Related acts

- Rod Edwards -- vocals, guitar, keyboards (1969-73)

- Roger Hand -- vocals, guitar (1969-73)


  supporting musicians (1970):

- Clem Cattini -- drums

- James Litherland guitar

- John Wetton -- drums,




- Ashman Reynolds (Rod Edwards) 

- Jade (Rod Edwards_

- Picadilly Line (Rod Edwards and Roger Hand)





Genre: pop

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Edwards Hand

Company: Edwards Hand

Catalog: GRT 10005
Year: 1969

Country/State: US

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: small promo sticker on back cover

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5935

Price: $25.00


Rod Edwards and Roger Hand started their musical collaboration as leaders of the band Picadilly Line.  Showcasing a strong set of UK flower power moves, their sole album, 1967's "The Huge World of Emily Small" attracted positive critical reviews, but didn't do a great deal commercially and after a series of equally commercially disappointing singles, by late 1968 the group had disintegrated.


CBS catalog number 63129


Picadilly Line manager Jon Miller subsequently put Edwards and Hand in touch with American A&R man/manager/ Lennie Poncher who wasted no time getting them signed to the newly established California-based GRT label.  GRT management subsequently hired George Martin (then in the midst of producing The Beatles "The White Album") to produce the pair's debut LP - 1969's cleverly-titled "Edwards Hand".    With the exception of a cover of John Cameron's 'If I Thought You'd Ever Change Your Mind' the album featured Edwards and Hand original tunes.  Perhaps not a major surprise, but musically the set sounded very much like a continuation of the Piccadilly Line catalog.    Exemplified by tracks like 'Banjo Pier', 'House of Cards', and 'Magic Car' the collection was full of heavily orchestrated psychedelic-tinged pop; what some folks refer to as 'Toytown'.  Powered by the pair's strong vocal harmonies, comparisons to early Bee Gees, or The Hollies during their psychedelic phase were quite apt.  That gave the album a somewhat dated sound - way more 1967 than 1969.  Great material if you liked the genre, but probably a bit too pompous, sentimental, and fey if you were looking for a more rock-oriented attack.  For what it was worth, I like the results quite a bit.


- The first couple of times I heard it, 'Banjo Pier' didn't do a great deal for me, but ultimately the song won me over.  Yeah, it was severely over-orchestrated, but Edwards and Hand turned in some gorgeous harmonies and underneath all the orchestration lay a catchy melody that would have made The Bee Gees envious.   rating: *** stars   

- Starting out as a fragile, flute-propelled ballad, 'Friday Hill' quickly morphed into a catchy slice of pop-psych.  Even better, the pair's harmony vocals were simply to-kill-for.  Besides, when was the last time you heard an oboe arrangement that complimented a pop song?  rating: **** stars   

- The title had me bracing for a sappy piece of self absorption and yeah the lyrics were pretty over-the-top, though it was nice to hear an upbeat view on love.  Luckily 'Episodes Being the First Part' had a killer hook and chorus that made it easy to overlook the other shortcomings.  rating: **** stars   

- Powered by some nice strumming acoustic guitars, 'Close My Eyes' was one of the album's most commercial tracks. Not particularly challenging, or original, but thoroughly pleasant, it also reminded me a bit of late-inning Chad and Jeremy.   rating: **** stars  

- Very pop-psych flavored, 'House of Cards' was the first disappoint.  The song wasn't bad, but simply sounded like the pair were trying too hard.   rating: ** stars    

- The lone non-original (John Carmon had produced the earlier Picadilly Line album), 'If I Thought You'd Ever Change Your Mind' was also the sappiest performance on the album.  With over-the-top sensitive lyrics, this one sounded very much like something The Bee Gees might have recorded early in their career.  For what it was worth, the vocals even sounded like the Gibbs brothers.   rating: ** stars

- The album's most 'English' sounding composition, 'Characters ... Number One' offered up a mixture of sound effects, Salvation Army musical moves, and Cockney accents.  Clearly intended to appeal to American ears, to my ears this one was a dreadful mess.   rating: ** stars 

- Another acoustic ballad, 'Orange Peel' was pretty, but instantly forgettable.  The chorus vocals sounded a bit like The Gibbs Brothers.   rating: ** stars 

- The album's most straightforward pop song, 'Sing Along with the Singer' was also one of the stand out performances.  Boasting an insidiously catchy melody, this one was extremely top-40 oriented, making it easy to see why GRT tapped it as the album's second single.   rating: **** stars 

- 'Magic Car' was another track way too cute for its own good and one of the most dated performances on the album.  As mentioned before, very 1967 toytown ...   rating: ** stars

- 'Days of Our Life' started out as a touchy-feely ballad complete with Baroque-styled harpsichord backing, before suddenly morphing into an up-tempo, psych-tinged pop number complete with nod to the old TWA airline.  Really strange and quite enjoyable.   rating: *** stars


GRT also floated a couple of singles off the album:

- 1969's 'Days of Our Life' b/w 'If I Thought You'd Ever Change Your Mind' (GRT catalog number 13)

- 1969's 'Sing Along with the Singer' b/w '' (GRT catalog number 21)


All told, far from perfect, but a sleeper that slowly grows on you, given a chance.  As you'd expect, the album attracted positive reviews in the States, but GRT simply lacked the promotional backbone to push the album.  GRT's quick descent into bankruptcy didn't exactly help the band.


"Edwards Hand" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Banjo Pier   (Rod Edwards - Roger Hand) - 2:47

2.) Friday Hill   (Rod Edwards - Roger Hand) - 2:36

3.) Episodes Being the First Part   (Rod Edwards - Roger Hand) - 3:53

4.) Close My Eyes   (Rod Edwards - Roger Hand) - 3:15

5.) House of Cards   (Rod Edwards - Roger Hand) - 2:11

6.) If I Thought You'd Ever Change Your Mind   (John Carmon) - 2:38


(side 2)
1.) Characters ... Number One   (Rod Edwards - Roger Hand) - 4:00

2.) Orange Peel   (Rod Edwards - Roger Hand) - 2:53

3.) Sing Along with the Singer   (Rod Edwards - Roger Hand) - 2:18

4.) Magic Car   (Rod Edwards - Roger Hand) - 3:15

5.) Days of Our Life   (Rod Edwards - Roger Hand) - 6:41