this band are often overlooked in the history of 60s Psych...unjustly so! They sound like a cross between the Mamas and Papas and the Byrds with a bit of Airplane thrown in for good measure...but end up sounding quite unique ..a large part due to the beautiful voice of Sandi Robison
It is also the strength of the songs...very melodic... and the lyrics are rarely hippy drippy and often quite insightful
the first half of the disc has their first album which is ok but not brilliant ..but it is the second album from track twelve onwards that makes this cd worth it....great songs like Lonely Leaf..Too Many Do...Time is After You..well they are all good with magical harmonies that just ooze West Coast sunshine
"Turn on a friend to the good life..and your heart will be filled to the sky" as you may gather..i like it!
after several listens i realised that the first album is just as good as the second..maybe needs a few more plays but Then came love and Dark on you now are particularly good
The Great Conspiracy is not only their best album, but one of the best-ever in my opinion. I owned this on vinyl in the early days and loved its freshness and 'one-take' feel right from the start. Everyone who heard it, loved it and they still do to this day. Go onto TGC album start point... Great compositions - some extended like mini-operas, lovely guitar work and smooth vocals and a band that, as a whole, seemed to really enjoy motoring along with its music. What more can anyone ask? If you love driving harmonies and tasteful rock guitar and want fresh music (not the muti-layered, no-soul, stuff) don't hesitate. Buy.
Upon initial listening then the PBC appear like a less arresting version of the Mamas & Papas but then their slightly different more frantic harder edged style starts to attract. 1st track 'It's A Happening Thing' trying for a hit (back then) is nice & breezy with massed vocals & captures that magical year 1967 fairly well; 'Then Came Love' is different via gentle baroque overtones with heavenly harmonies much in the style of Mamas & Papas. Then comes a spread of 4 fairly similar tracks 'Twice Is Love', 'Second Hand Man', 'You Can't Be Found', 'Why Did I Get So High' which takes us along the light psychedelic folk rock path with at times some beautiful vocals & rhythms, but tending to jump from one idea to another & now sounds dated. As Lillian Roxon stated at the time lacking some of the necessary melodic touches. Next 'Dark On You' is better & allows the voice of Sandi Robison to shine (The Love Exchange also did a great version of this called 'Swallow The Sun')...a fine vocal on this pretty folk rock number with Byrds like jangle guitar. The dramatic 'The Market Place' impresses with a strong demanding lead vocal from Lance Fent (though Lance would soon leave) with swirling flutes & other psychedelic notions & even the fluttering guitar break fits in...this is good or even brilliant. Then it's back to various up-tempo folk rock outings via 'You Should Know', 'The Most Up Til Now', 'You Took Too Much' with each being a little too frenetic. Opening track on the 'Great Conspiracy' LP is 'Turn On A Friend' & is not that impressive but next 'Lonely Leaf' is an improvement being more soulful & shows that Sandi has a beautiful voice (up there with Cass Elliot) & the lyrics seem more thought out. 'Pleasure' continues this improvement and then a really brilliant 'Too Many Do' shows some interesting ideas & their new guitarist seems like he's going to ignite like Lemon Piper's Bill Bartlett but it never quite happens. This doesn't matter as the style fits in well with the shifting harmonies & is a beautiful effort. 'Living Loving Life' is more excellence with a nice fuzzed guitar break & some great harmonies "we've been hitching a ride all our life". 'Captain Sandwich' shows that they don't take themselves too seriously which is fine & shows a fun side. 'Ecstasy' is another strong performance full of thick harmonies, tasteful guitar & absorbing lyrics. 'Time Is After You' is a bit random/frantic but then goes thru a nice change (as the guitarist plays some unusual harmonics). 'Wonderment' via a fierce ragged guitar break ends the original LP proper, with 3 bonus 'I'm A Fool' (great vocal from Sandi & beautiful harmonies), 'It's So Hard' (another good one) & 'Peter Pan'.