Band members Related acts
- David Stoughton -- vocals, guitar
- Peter Chapman -- horns
- Devi Klate -- vocals
- Joe Livols -- drums, percussion
- Mal Mackenzie -- bass
- John Nicholls -- vocals
- Steve Tanzer -- flute, piccolo
- none known
Rating: *** (3 stars)
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Comments: minor ring wear; original inner sleeve; minor hissing in spots
Catalog ID: 4103
Over the years I've owned five copies of this album. Each time around I've bounced between over-the-top enthusiasm for it's weirdness, to thinking it's just plain weird and promptly putting it up for sale (it always sells). So here's round six ...
as mentioned, virtually every aspect of this LP is bizarre ... First off you're
left to wonder if this is a band named Transformer, or it's an LP by David
Stoughton that happens to be entitled 'Transformer'. Beats me and I've seen it listed both ways in different references ...
"Transformer" track listing:
1.) The Sun Comes Up Each Day (David Stoughton) - 3:59 rating: *** stars
'The Sun Comes Up Each Day' started the album off with a pretty slice of baroque-influenced folk-rock ... It's always reminded me a bit of ARS Nova. Yeah, the lyrics and the vocals were a bit on the fey side (you can just picture English majors scribbling them into notebooks for future reference), but the melody was quite attractive and there's something unique about the way horns were recorded on these mid-1960s albums.
2.) The Summer Has No Breeze (David Stoughton) - 5:10 rating: ** stars
Devi Klate handled lead vocals on the jazz-tinged 'The Summer Has No Breeze'. Even though the flute arrangement drove me bonkers (the extended trumpet solo was even worse), Klate had one of those little girl Lolitta voices that was quite sexy and managed to salvage the first half of the track. Unfortunately the flute and horns went discordant throughout the middle section of the song.
3.) The Anecdote of Horatio & Julie (David Stoughton) - 8:00 rating: ** stars
If you want to be positive and generous, you'd consider 'The Anecdote of Horatio & Julie' to be ground breaking experimentation that was way ahead of its time. I'm generally negative and selfish, so I'll tell you this eight plus minute sound collage was very experimental and very ground breaking and basically unlistenable. Nonsensical vocal segments surrounded by an irritating array of sound bites and studio effects didn't make for a pleasant listening experience. Seriously, anyone who managed to sit through this one was liable to agree with the lyric "Horatio I'm so bored I could throw myself out a window ..." On the other hand, who needs water-boarding when you could have used this track as a far more effective interrogation technique. I can only guess that abundant quantities of mind altering substances may have made it slightly more enjoyable.
1.) Saving for a Rainy Day (David Stoughton) - 4:51 rating: *** stars
With some chunky electric guitar and all-over-the place drumming from Joe Livols, the antsy 'Saving for a Rainy Day' sounded like a modern rock band trying to sound retro ... that probably made very little sense, but this one just didn't have the feel of a mid-1960s release.
2.) Evening Song (David Stoughton) - 4:25 rating: ** stars
With Klate again handling lead vocals, 'Evening Song' was the collection's most folky track . Pretty with some very nice acoustic guitar work at the end, but ultimately not very memorable.
3.) I Don't Know It's You (David Stoughton) - 10:00 rating: ** stars
Clocking in at ten minutes, 'I Don't Know It's You' brought everything into the mix - baroque folk-rock, jazz, and experimental sound collages. The introductory and closing sections were quite tuneful and enjoyable, but that left the nine minutes of experimentation in the middle.
One of the rarer releases on Elektra (other than in the discography section, Stoughton wasn't even mentioned in Jac Holzman's book on Elektra
Records.. I don't think this one's ever see a reissue on CD and I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for a reissue.
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