As the author of the Jefferson Airplane book "Take Me To A Circus Tent" and a former radio disc-jockey, I am often asked to write and or discuss various music supplies and recordings from the 60's and 70's.
1977 would see Nektar having to deal with the impossible, the first studio record without guitarist Roye Albrighton. Having collected every note from the band previously (and since) I knew the only way to give "Magic Is A Child" a fighting chance would be to view it as its own entity and not against other Nektar recordings.
Dave Nelson both on the vinyl LP and in the live theatre did better than anyone could have anticipated. There are players over the years that can't be replaced: Roye Albrighton, Mick Taylor from the Stones, Keith Moon from the Who, Duane from the Allman Brothers, etc. Nektar tried and here is the result.
Rather then take on the Herculean task of attempting to duplicate fifteen to twenty minute progressive songs that were extraordinary, the theme of the record would be nine shorter tunes. In fact the longest on the LP "Listen" was originally part of the Nektar set before Roye's departure.
"Away from Asgard" is well crafted and a perfect opener for the new direction. "Love to Share (Keep Your Worries Behind You)" with terrific vocals and catchy instrumentation is the forgotten track from the record. It is the only tune that never made it from the LP to the concert stage. "Train from Nowhere" is captivating as we take a ride into uncharted territory. The lyrics have been overlooked and are worthy of intense study. "Listen" would be the closest resemblance for obvious reasons to the pre Nelson Nektar. "Spread Your Wings" closes the festivities with clever words and tasty sounds in the background.
If you are getting into Nektar, this should be your last purchase (Still a must) after everything else from "Journey To The Center Of The Eye" to "Recycled" is proudly displayed in your collection.
Make sure to look for the remaster from 2/21/05 with the bonus!
Enjoy the music and be well,
Author of the Jefferson Airplane book "Take Me To A Circus Tent"