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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An ovation for the Opera
This is an album that will apeal to lovers of 60s pop/rock,particularly those of a psych persuasion,here are some of the highlights:the album opens with the 60 second "intro" which melts into "Mother Writes"which is a lively piece of fuzzed up 60s pop,"Mary jane"is a wonderful piece of uk pop/psych with its piano and fuzzy guitar in the background with a mellow floaty...
Published on 30 Jun 2004 by S. Robertson

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mostly average (relatively - in terms of 60's psychedelia) but worth a listen.
Elmer gantry's velvet opera - difficult to compartmentalise, but for me this is definitely NOT psychedelia, having instead elements of the hippy, poppy, rock, and occasional, very mild psyche-like leanings.

`Intro' -introduces, then blends into, rather than melts into, the next track - `mother writes' - a poppy 60's number with a tiny hint of fuzz. `Mary Jane'...
Published on 8 Oct 2005 by a reviewer


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An ovation for the Opera, 30 Jun 2004
By 
S. Robertson "superfinebert" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera (Audio CD)
This is an album that will apeal to lovers of 60s pop/rock,particularly those of a psych persuasion,here are some of the highlights:the album opens with the 60 second "intro" which melts into "Mother Writes"which is a lively piece of fuzzed up 60s pop,"Mary jane"is a wonderful piece of uk pop/psych with its piano and fuzzy guitar in the background with a mellow floaty chorus of Mary Jane,"Walter Sly Meets Bill Bailey"is a rather rough sounding instrumental with booming bass and fuzzy guitar to the fore,but slightly ruined by it's middle section,"Air"is a piece of raga rock with the lovely sitar accompanied by a bass line,rather languid and great for sitting on you paisley patterned bean bag,"Flames"was the single taken from this album(the sigle version is included as a bonus)it's a real lively piece of 60s pop/rock,with a catchy chorus,this also features some wigged out guitar playing,"Whats The Point In Leaving"is a class piece of UK pop/psych with the mellotron lovingly taking control of proceedings,very Beatlesque actually,"Long Nights Of Summer"is just beautiful again awash with floaty mellotron,and a rather cstchy guitar line,one of the best tracks on the album,"Dream Starts"is a strange number with its backward taped effects beginning and heavily treated vocals,a weird piece of UK psych,"Reactions Of A Young Man"is another tasty treat with rather tasty accoustic guitar lines and again the track is awash with mellotron,and very effective vocal parts that are laced with yummy sitar,a lovely piece of pop/psych,"Now Shes Gone"ends the actual album,the mellotron once again takes precedent over proceedings with a touch of flanging effect thrown into the mix,i must add that the vocals are spotless throughout this album!On the Repertoire cd you get 6 bonus tracks,the picks are "Salisbury Plain,Dreamy which is a yummy and rather quiet piece of acid pop with nice vocals and accoustic guitar and "A Quick B"is a raunchy piece of guitar driven blues type rock.
The repertoire cd issue is worth getting as to my ears the quality is spotless,a real under rated little gem of an album.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A scorching release, 23 Sep 2009
By 
N. Watts (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera (Audio CD)
Wow, what an album. This is another (almost) lost sixties treasure. What is most resonant is the amount of variety on the album, and yet it still all works as a complete whole. You get the opening Hendrix influenced 'Intro/ Mother Wtites', the catchy pop psyche of 'Mary Jane', jazz-blues with a humouros cover of 'I was Cool', a superb instrumental in 'Walter Sly', hippy rock with 'Air' and mod with the motown sounding 'Looking For A Happy Life'.

Next up is the albums highlight 'Flames', which has to be one of the decades best singles. Featuring an incredible bubbling bass line, crunchy guitars and awesome lead (and harmony) vocals, this track is worth the price of admission alone.
Things cool down with the next track, the Beatles influenced and mellotron drenched ' What's The Point of Leaving'. There's more mllotron and lovely minor chords on 'Long Nights Of Summer' before the three psychedelic tracks that closed the original album. Featuring many of the era's sonic tricks (phased instrumentation, backwards tapes, distorted vocals, tempo changes) the original album ends just as strongly as it started.

In addition this CD features all the bands' mono singles from the time ('Mary Jane' is especially different from the album version), so this set is definitely good value for money. This album would be reccomended to fans of mid-late sixties psychedelic/ beat music, and would probably appeal to fans of early progressive rock too. Enjoy!!!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mostly average (relatively - in terms of 60's psychedelia) but worth a listen., 8 Oct 2005
This review is from: Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera (Audio CD)
Elmer gantry's velvet opera - difficult to compartmentalise, but for me this is definitely NOT psychedelia, having instead elements of the hippy, poppy, rock, and occasional, very mild psyche-like leanings.

`Intro' -introduces, then blends into, rather than melts into, the next track - `mother writes' - a poppy 60's number with a tiny hint of fuzz. `Mary Jane' is next - a slightly knees-up, or pub-type poppy number, light breezy & cheerful, with a pleasant piano accompanying. `I was cool', is a somewhat bluesy number, slightly tongue-in-cheek perhaps, with rough vocals - well, a man crying hoarsely into the mike - overdone. Walter Sly is next; an instrumental of little psychedelic importance for the most part, with some incoherent vocal murmuring in the background in the middle of the tune, which, I feel, breaks up an otherwise lacklustre track. `Air' is a paisley inducing item, with a very Eastern feel to the music with the inclusion of the ever lovely sitar - think of the track `Utterly Simple' by traffic (their `Mr Fantasy' album), and you are there. A mellow track worthy of any hippy compilation! `Looking for A Happy Life' is a cheerful, perhaps saccharine, number, which also would not be out of place in a pub - the best part is the ending - not that that's a terribly good thing to say about a track! `Flames' is a bubbly rock track, with an almost Mod-like rhythm, which seems to want to dip a toe into psychedelia, though never actually does, unlike the following offering (one of the highlights) `What's The Point Of Leaving'. A softly sung, Beatlesque offering that almost seems out of place here! `Long Nights Of Summer' is less of the hippy, and more of the commercial pop - nice though, with background orchestration effect and mellotron use. `Dream Starts' - unusual, though the vocals are way too overproduced to be effectively lysergic (sounds like someone gargling the lyrics all the way through, or as though there's something wrong with the recording - just how cassettes used to become, once left in the sun too long - ruined!). Nice occasional backwards effects, though rendered useless given the mire of fruitless vocals. `Reactions Of A Young Man' again uses the sitar, though it hardly takes front stage, as it is in the background, and the vocals are again very pleasing. A pleasant track nonetheless, which leads into `Now She's Gone', with a light touch of mellotron - ok, nothing to rave about though.

Of the bonus tracks - `Salisbury Plain' is rather poppy, `Dreamy' is nicely hippyesque, with a touch of rocky tempo and slight sitar, and finally `A Quick B' has some pace to it, and sounds somewhat hic, what with the mouth-organ, though is pleasant enough.

Overall, though, this album seems to be more filler than form, more mediocre pop than psychedelia, and comes across therefore as having less style and substance than a lot of the rest that the era had to offer.

Try Amazon for the following: Twink's Think Pink, or Silver Apples, or Timothy Leary's stuff (LSD or You Can Be...) Modern trippers may enjoy Porcupine Tree's Voyage 34, or KLF's Chill Out, or Trance Tripping (out there), or The Beta Band's The Three E.P.'s - All available here at Amazon!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great record, 30 Aug 2009
By 
David Ferris - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera (Audio CD)
Elmer Gantry's velvet opera is one of the iconic records from the flower power era. A truly great record that has to be listened to.
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3.0 out of 5 stars like many bands of the time the albums never exceeded ..., 19 Sep 2014
This review is from: Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera (Audio CD)
Although some rave about this album and I had the original on vinyl its not a classic, like many bands of the time the albums never exceeded the live performances I saw them live and the memory as stayed with me since. But its still worth buying don't expect a classic just good old fashioned psychedelic music, the track Flames is always great.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A very exciting psychedelic album!Recommended!4,5stars!, 3 Sep 2012
By 
Ivan rubinic (Island Hvar,Croatia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera (Audio CD)
Ovaj debi popularne londonske skupine spada u sam vrh psih-underground-rock( s teatralnim"ispadima")albuma!Ne samo da pokriva taj stil nego ima i zacina kontura hard roka i jednu skladbu istocnjackog utjecaja-za to vrjeme uobicajeno!Postav su sacinjavali Colin Forster-git,John Ford-bas,Elmer Gantry-voc,git., i Richard Hudson-bubnjevi.Album je izdan 1968me za podlabelu CBS-a,Direction te stekli brzo sljedbu fanova i posebno Dj-a John Peela.Na albumu su mi najbolje skladbe Dream Starts,Reaction of a Young Man(najbolja meni)i Now she's gone te ostatak je na nivou vrlo uzbudljivih i orginalnih skladbi!Hudson i Ford su nakon ovog otisli u Strawbs te kasnije pod imenom dua bili planetarno poznati!Nakon drugog albuma i s neslavnom epizodom s laznim Fleetwood Mac,osniva se Strech s relativnim uspjehom! CD je od Repertoire s 6 bonusa u digipak ediciji!Vrlo preporucljivo!
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4.0 out of 5 stars ... of fond memories of "Flames" - it was as good as I remember, 17 Dec 2014
By 
Doug (Edinburgh) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera (Audio CD)
I bought this mainly out of fond memories of "Flames" - it was as good as I remember.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 23 Dec 2014
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This review is from: Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera (Audio CD)
I remember Alan Freeman playing some of this - a notable forgotten gem
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very good cd, in time delivery, 10 Sep 2011
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This review is from: Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera (Audio CD)
Very good and it was a real bargain. For these prices you still can buy cd's in favor of downloading them. I want the real thing!
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars just really realy superb! a great big smile on my face!!, 3 Feb 2006
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This review is from: Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera (Audio CD)
hahahahaha!!! iwent thru it and thought this is good!! then i got to the track called 'flames and i just got this big mad grin on my face! its just superb and is the catalyst for the whole cd! man i cant get it off the hi fi! got the riff like supremes 'cant hurry love, but heavy like ig's lust for life, but way way before ig done it! and it actually sounds better too! yes.. thats how good it is lol..!!!
great album for a filler for your psyche out and prog nights, also the sound from them years has never been matched. (you can even tell what instruments they use,its clear enough to get into anyway if thats yer thing!!!) sounds way ahead of its time, i thought it was 1974 or something, and i believe its 1967/68....
this comes under the title 'one of the best bands you probably never heard in your life!' yes!
and i mean that.. its true!
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Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera
Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera by Elmer Gantry & the Velvet Opera (Audio CD - 2000)
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