2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
...seventies farewell for hippies turned Laurel Canyon...,
This review is from: Live In Tokyo (Audio CD)I was never that taken with the original Amazing Blondel, in their original Island Records incarnation, when they were muddling around in a medieval folk rock idiom, messing around with lutes and recorders. That's not to slight all the polytechnic lecturers who swear by patchouli, elbow patches and their worn copies of "Evensong", "Fantasia Lindum" and "England". Well, it is, but it was their reincarnation as acoustic west coast soft rockers that more than tickled my fancy.
And it was the stripped down duo of Eddie Baird and Terry Wincott that made my favourite Amazing Blondel album, "Bad Dreams". If they'd been fortunate enough to be based in Laurel Canyon rather than England, then a decidedly coked up future would have been there's for the taking. Naturally, it didn't go at all to plan, but there isn't a single dud amongst the ten tracks with 'Give Me A Chance' and 'Until I See You Again' as good as they were when I first heard them ten years after their release. It's an essential album.
"Live in Tokyo" came out a year after "Bad Dreams" in 1977, and this is its CD debut. Of course the fact that Amazing Blondel never actually toured Japan means that the title is a wee bit of a misnomer (apparently it was actually recorded in Scandinavia), but it really doesn't matter. Augmented by a string section and orchestra the music is truly beautiful and deserves to be required listening for anyone with pretensions to taste.
From the opening 'Help Us Get Along' (from "Mulgrave Street") through "Inspirations" 'The Lovers' to the closing 'Sad To See You Go', it's just a remarkable album and was their last prior to their nineties reformation. Quite why they've remained a cult act remains a mystery to me. LIsten to this once, and you'll be as perplexed as me.