Titus Groan

Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1971-72)

- Stuart Cowell -- vocals, guitar, keyboards,
- John Lee -- bass
- Tony Priestland -- sax, flute, oboe
- Jim Toomey -- drums, percussion 



- Paul Brett Sage (Stuart Cowell)

- The Tourists (Jim Toomey) 


Genre: progressive

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Titus Groan

Company: Janus

Catalog: JLS-3024

Year: 1972

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: minor ring wear

Available: 1

Catalog ID:

Price: $100.00


A British quartet featuring the talents of singer/multi-instrumentalist Stuart Cowell, bassist John Lee, horn/woodwind player Tony Priestland, and drummer Jim Toomey, they pulled their name after a character in a Mervyn Peake novel. Overlooking their literary inspirations, knowing their repertoire consisted of early 70s progressive moves, you probably wouldn't think their lone self-titled LP had much going for it. Wrong !

Originally released by the English Dawn label (Janus acquiring American distribution rights), "Titus Groan" teamed the band with producer Barry Murray. With all four members contributing material, the collection found the band attempting to blend extended progressive moves (every one of the five tracks clocked in at over five minutes), with a more commercial orientation. To be honest, nothing here was particularly original and the progressive leanings occasionally dragged (the instrumental segment of Lee's "I Can't Change"). On the other hand, as lead singer Cowell wasn't half bad exhibiting considerable enthusiasm for the material, and selections such as " It Wasn't for You" and "Hall of Bright Carvings" boasted pretty melodies which were worth hearing a couple of times. Needless to say, English and American sales proved miniscule; the band quickly calling it quits. In 1989 the See for Miles label reissued the original LP, adding three UK 45 sides, under the title "Titus Groan Plus". 

"Titus Groan" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) It Wasn't for You (Stuart Cowell - Tony Priestland) - 5:30
2.) Hall of Bright Carvings (Stuart Cowell - Tony Priestland - John Lee - Jim Toomey) - 11:50
  i.) Theme
  ii.) In the Dusty High-Vaulted Hall
  iii.) The Burning
  iv.) Theme

(side 2)

1.) I Can't Change (John Lee) - 5:38
2.) It's All Up with Us (Stuart Cowell - Tony Priestland - John Lee - Jim Toomey) - 6:0
3.) Fuschia (Tony Priestland) - 6:24



After the band broke up Cowell joined Paul Brett Sage.


In the late-'70s Toomey reappeared in The Tourists.