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Two to catch up on - at a snip!
on 6 October 2011
This is an absolutely unbelievable price for such a fabulous set, featuring two of the better less-celebrated albums from the classic prog era. Apart from a brief reunion in 2000 minus key member Dave Lawson, Greenslade only existed for the two years from 1973-75 but in that time recorded no fewer than four albums.
Undoubtedly the best of these was the quite phenomenal BEDSIDE MANNERS ARE EXTRA, the second disc on this set, which for my money has to be one of the greatest prog rock albums ever made. From start to finish, it's a joy to behold, with at least three killer tracks and no fillers. With two keyboard virtuosos in the band in Lawson and Dave Greenslade (at the expense of guitar - well, ELP didn't need one, did they), there is continual breathtaking interplay held down by melodic, jazz-inflected bass and solid, inventive drumming from the great Tony Reeves and Andy McCulloch respectively. Lawson's vocals may not be the strongest in the field but they have their own appeal and fit the music superbly, giving the band a distinctive overall flavour.
The first disc, the eponymous debut, doesn't quite reach the heights of BEDSIDE MANNERS but is nevertheless a fine piece in its own right. I see it more as work-in-progress for the latter with hints of the great things to follow, though it is definitely enjoyable and worthy of continual listening. Played back to back, you can't go wrong.
If you missed these albums first time around, here's a great chance to catch up in a convenient 2CD format - for that price I'd be tempted to buy it myself if I didn't already own at least two copies of each album! Try it, you'll be pleasantly surprised.