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"...Advocating Love....But You Don't Know Why..." - Best Of by ASHTON, GARDNER & DYKE (CD Remasters),
This review is from: The Best of Ashton Gardner and Dyke (Audio CD)
In 1964 THE REMO FOUR managed two UK 7" singles on the Pye offshoot label Piccadilly and a further attempt at stardom in 1967 on Fontana - each are sought after 45's now. The band included Keyboard Player and Lead Vocalist TONY ASHTON and Drummer ROY DYKE. Not getting anywhere for 4 years (they never got an album out), in 1968 the duo then teamed up with Bass Player KIM GARDNER of THE CREATION and formed - ASHTON, GARDNER & DYKE. And that's where this obscure CD compilation comes in...
Released in 1999, Repertoire REP 4035-WG breaks down as follows (75:52 minutes):
1. Resurrection Shuffle
2. Ballad Of The Remo Four
3. Let It Roll
4. Billy And His Piano With...
5. I'm Your Spiritual Breadman
6. Hymn To Everyone
7. Maiden Voyage
8. Why Did You Go
9. New York Mining Disaster
10. The Falling Song
11. Oh Mathilda
12. Momma's Getting Married
13. What A Bloody Long Day It's Been
14. Rolling Home
15. Can You Get It
16. I'm Dying For You
17. Paper Head, Paper Mind
18. You, Me And A Friend Of Mine
19. It's Gonna Be High Tonight
20. Picture Sliding Down The Wall
Track 1 is "The Resurrection Shuffle" - their 2nd UK single and their most famous hit. It's a non-album track and was released on Capitol CL 15665 in January 1971. Its B-side is Track 6 - "Hymn To Everyone" from "The Worst Of" album.
Tracks 2, 13 and 19 are from their 3rd album "What A Bloody Long Day It's Been" - released February 1972 in the UK on Capitol Records EA-ST 22862.
Tracks 3, 5, 6, 12 and 17 are from their 2nd album "The Worst Of" - released February 1971 in the UK on Capitol Records E-ST 563.
Tracks 4, 8, 9, 10, 14 and 20 are from their debut album "Ashton, Gardner & Dyke" - released 1969 in the UK on Polydor Records 583 081.
Track 7 is "Maiden Voyage (Single Version)", their debut 7" single released 1969 in the UK on Polydor 56306 (it's B-side "The Sun In My Eyes" is not included on here). It's a genuine rarity on vinyl and currently listed at £60+ in value.
Tracks 11, 16 and 18 are from their 4th and last album "The Last Rebel", a soundtrack released on Capitol Records 1C 062-80964 in Holland in 1973. Tracks 18 and 16 were also the A&B sides of a Dutch 7" single on Capitol Records 1C 006-81012.
Track 15 is "Can You Get It" - a non-album track issued as the A-side of a UK 7" single on Capitol CL 15684 in May 1971 (failed to chart). Its B-side was "Delirium" (not included here either).
The problem with A, G & D was "The Resurrection Shuffle" (lyrics above) - an absolutely storming upbeat pop single that peaked at Number 3 in the UK charts in early 1971 after huge radio-play. To say it was popular at the time is an understatement. Like Thunderclap Newman's "Something In The Air" in 1969 - it was beloved at the time - an instant classic that's remembered with huge affection even to this day (Clarence Clemons - Springsteen's saxophonist did a fab cover of it on his "Rescue" album in 1983 you should check out). But it had the effect of obliterating everything else in its path because all after that seemed like a disappointment - especially the lame follow-up "Can You Get It" which was essentially a poor man's rethread of RS. Worse - in common practice with the times, RS was a non-album track - so even if you went out and bought the album that surrounded the single "The Worst Of" - it wasn't on there. Throw in the fact that nothing on the LP matched it or even sounded similar - then it's easy to see why the group failed to capitalize on that initial firestorm (collector's should also note that the track is said to include both George Harrison and Eric Clapton on it). The end result for A, G & D is that are now remembered as a one-hit wonder - yet they managed 4 albums - most of which are very hard to find - and actually deserve a bit of a reappraisal...
The first album sounds very Procol Harum circa "A Salty Dog" and their superb cover version of The Bee Gees' "New York Mining Disaster 1941" has echoes of "Everyday" by Yes - it's a very cool track in a trippy Sixties kind of way. The instrumental "Billy And His Piano With" rollocks along very nicely while the funky rock of "Let It Roll" is a very Juicy Lucy album track kind of listen. I also like the live "Momma's Getting Married" which bombs along with great vocals from the gruff-sounding Ashton. It's not all brilliant by any means, but there are goodies on here worth rediscovering.
It doesn't say who remastered what, but the songs are licensed from Tony Ashton so we can presume he has his own masters - the sound quality is uniformly great and the playing time generous. The dull artwork does it no favours and the 3-way foldout 6-page inlay is basic to say the least, but it's the sound I'm after - and its real good.
Tony Ashton spent time with Medicine Head and Family and then joined up with Jon Lord of Deep Purple and Ian Paice in the mid Seventies to some success on Polydor. Kim Gardner went into Badger while Ron Dyke recorded with several bands in Germany.
This is not a CD you see every day of the week, but I'd urge you to seek it out.
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Initial post: 10 Jan 2013 11:32:53 GMT
Last edited by the author on 20 Nov 2013 23:11:27 GMT
Mr. Mungo says:
Great review; for me the missing track is Don't Want No War No More from the Worst of... album. See my review of same. The Worst of Ashton, Gardner & Dyke - Germany
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