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Balaklava [Import]

Pearls Before Swine Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 38.97
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Product details

  • Audio CD (28 April 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Get Back
  • ASIN: B00005NNHQ
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 701,304 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Guardian Angels
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Balaklava, the second album by cult sixties favourites, Pearls Before Swine, was the perfect crystallisation of Tom Rapp's weird and beautiful vision. The album opens with a scratchy spoken sample from a survivor of the Charge of the Light Brigade. Which runs into the brilliant, mystical psychedelia of Translucent Carriages, during which Tom asks, 'Jesus raised the dead; but who will raise the living?' It's a good indicator of the mind-altering material to come. The difference between this and other psychedelic albums though, is that it isn't affected in its weirdness; this isn't a stylistic stance; a knowingly psychedelic concotion. This is the product of a deep and visionary mind. So we get 'Images of April' with its heavy samples from nature, which sounds like Tom is floating in a blissed out state through a forest. We get the wide-eyed, awe-filled wonder of 'I Saw The World', and we believe what Tom is singing; that he is seeing the world afresh through visionary eyes. There's the haunting, beautiful acoustic song, There Was A Man, which tells the familiar tale of a man with magic powers who comes to town, bestowing his magic on the inhabitants, but the inhabitants turn on him, and he leaves disenchanted. This could be a metaphor for Tom Rapp's own talents, which have been largely overlooked in his lifetime. The recording that follows it, Guardian Angels, shows just how far ahead of the game Tom was. We are informed in the booklet that it was recorded 'in gaudaloupe, mexico in 1929 on 78 rpm'. This is the sort of thing that one might hear Tom Waits record now. A falsely authentic piece of old-tyme music replete with 78 rpm sound effect; it's a beautiful song, with some beautiful violin, and typifies the odd beauty that Tom Rapp's music possessed at its peak. Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars surprise album 16 Feb 2000
By Scott Duvall - Published on Amazon.com
I bought this album when it first came out. To be honest I had some extra money and was just sifting thru the albums available at the time, the cover captivated me and I bought it without hearing a single note. Balaklava quickly became my favorite album after a night out on the town. the melodies and Tom Rapp's voice were just so beautiful that I consistantly used the music to wind down and fall asleep to. I have since purchased the album twice more and have added the CD to my collection. The recording is definately a 60's type of listening album you won't be dancing to this one- your brain will be! I highly reccommend this CD if you like to kick back and be carried away by the music.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peerless 12 July 2001
By nick g black - Published on Amazon.com
If you thought PBS were unknown in the US, try the UK! I came across this album around 1972 or so.. did not even know if the band was called Balaklava OR Pearls Before Swine. No one had ever heard of them! But i loved that cover.. and went for it.
How well i remember listening to it, on long summer evenings. It is a truly haunting album, one of the very finest i've ever heard anywhere.. and the beginning Trumpeter Landfrey/Translucent Carriages I remember with a chill. Those whispers.. the sad grandeur of the lyrics.
Hard to explain to those who have not heard it, and maybe the zeitgeist for such music is long passed. But here was something truly extraordinary. I'd lump this album as a top 5 all-time favourite. And i hope you will too. Enjoy!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flashback 27 Dec 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
I first enjoyed this album in 1970. A friend, browsing through bargain bins found it and brought it home because he liked the cover...a common occurrence, I imagine. We listened to it once and were hooked...going on to find "One Nation Underground", "These Things Too", and "Use of Ashes". All these years later, while browsing...this time on the net...I found a webpage on PBS, indicating CD's for sale. I'm amazed...I've never met ANYone else who even knew of this group. A kind son gave me "Balaklava" and "One Nation Underground" for Christmas...and I'm still hooked...just ordered "Constructive Melancholy". It's like running into old friends...who haven't changed...who are maybe even better than remembered. The melodies, use of instruments, lyrics...all stand the test of time. If you've never heard them...take the chance...and welcome to the club! Thanks PBS...for then and now!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bring back the Cleft Palate 25 Jun 2000
By Bruce Kendall - Published on Amazon.com
You had to have been a habitue of the East Village, circa 1965 to have even heard of this group. I can only say that the music they produced is as fresh and as innovative now as it was then. Tom Rapp (he of the cleft palate and lead singer) is one of the most distinctive interpreters in the history of music, absolutely nonpareil. These are some of the most plaintive, poetic recordings you're ever going to come across. I urge you, if you are into discovering little-known masterworks , to buy this disc.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Haunting 12 Dec 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Haunting, beautiful, melancholic, distant songs. Melodies drift and remain fairly under-developed -- in other words, most of the songs don't have a clear "hook" or memorable stanza...but yet they cast a general spell. I enjoy it and am touched by it. The Leonard Cohen cover is actually one of the weakest tracks.
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