A collection of demos for an album that never came to pass, "Rolled Gold" finds mod heroes The Action on top form. Even as demos, the brilliance of these songs is unmistakable. The feel here is similar to that of "Odessey & Oracle" by The Zombies. These tunes would make someone like, say, Paul Weller green with envy. For those wary of a collection of demos from 1968, fear not, as the sound quality is superb and the cohesiveness of the songs is excellent. For those in search of medodic magic that few have equalled in the last 30 years, look no further. If nothing else, "Rolled Gold" offers irrefutable proof that Reggie King is one of the great male British singers of all time. Absolutely essential.
If you like late 60s British rock-psych, tough-not-fey production/vibe, white-soulful vox, and mixing electric/acoustic elements (think: a cross among BEATLES + ZOMBIES + TRAFFIC + SMALL FACES, even a lil' BYRDS feel occasionally), you shimply MUSHT try ROLLED GOLD, which compares to the cream of these groups' output!!
-"the Ac-WHO-"!? you might well say...'Where have they been all our life?'; 'A gem beyond price has languished all these years unsavored,' we repeat nearly speechless. Not since our belated introductions to Moondog...Skip Bifferty...Billy Nicholls...Stones' "Metamorphosis"...Dantalian's Vehicule...
It can easily be yours.
We very rarely care to replay any c.d. over and over but this one warrants such: well-crafted blend of nonchalance poetry and passion, delicacy and yarbles, hooks and chops and pacing and SONGS up there with the legends. The news that this cohesive album was only DEMO'S* ('haps fortuitous in retrovision) catapults one's estimation higher still.
Singer Reg King: on ROLLED'S strength his visage deserves a spot on some Rushmore-in-Avalon alongside fellow soulful Brits Winwood/ Marriott/ Reid/ Lloyd/ Stewart...: just hoarse enough/just sweet enough (+ a 'secret': optimal use throughout of unison doubletracking...perfection.)
ROLLED GOLD'S production is on the raw/monoish/hotly-compressed side-- a flute/piano occasionally to augment the basic guitar quartet formula & keep things unexpected-- suiting the songs & performances to a Tee (just to offer another clue to their magic brew).
This collection of demos for a projected 1968 album captures a band of rare depth and versatility for their time. Sure, by this time every artist worth his/her salt was stretching boundaries, but in many cases imagination wasn't matched by musical expertise. The Action display here a winning combination of cohesion, vibrant rock and colourful vision, all of it achieved without sitars or gimmicky effects. They do capture the spirit of the age, but without losing that mod sharpness of their earlier music.
"Love Is All" is a perfect example, containing an almost Eastern spirituality, yet retaining its English pop feel. Titles like "Strange Roads" and "Icarus" reveal their ambition and freedom. The former is a formidable track with a marvellous combination of jangle and fuzz that hints at a Hendrix influence. The sound is beefed up with a generous dose of harmony vocals which helps to make up for the rough demo quality.
'Rolled Gold' isn't a collection of instant pop songs but it has a high curiosity quotient and grows on you quickly. A good purchase for anyone into intelligent, late 1960s pop.
This CD replaces "Brain" by The Action, containing the exact same tracks at a lower fidelity. As I was told, the band released Brain from a 2nd generation copy of the recordings, which prompted the holder of the Rolled Gold masters to give them to the band. Whatever the truth of this, the CD is a marked upgrade in sound.
This dates from the period after the singles collected on "The Ultimate Action" but before tracks recorded as that action that are now bonus tracks on the "Mighty Baby" CD.
I'm someone who thinks the best thing they did was the first Mighty Baby LP. Other people prefer the Parlophone singles as the Action. Rolled Gold sits between the two but closer to the Mighty Baby LP.
How this collection of demos was deemed unfit for release is frankly amazing, when you judge it alongside some of the ropey,whimsical/twee Brit psychedelia that made the cut. This retains the Mod muscle that made The Action such a formidable live act, but is laden with inventive melodies and hooks.The quality is maintained more or less throughout the album, which is more than can be said for similar underground "legends" like The Creation. Up there with The Small Faces and The Kinks at times, and in Reg King, boasting one of the best white soul singers of his,or any era.
Although id heard of The Action i had no cds of theirs in my collection,till this.This cd is superb if you just buy it for 'strange roads' alone get it and if you dont love it i would think about giving up listening to music altogether.
The action ringing the changes..More jangle, no less soulfull. imagine the action meets the byrds. The sound is excellent, even if the production and performances could be a little tighter. price is too high though!!