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VINE VOICEon 10 September 2009
It's time for one of those 'how did this slip through the net?' reviews. Simple. It wasn't promoted. The late 1960s have long proved to be littered with obscure gems. In this case, it's an album by a trio fronted by an all-singing, all-dancing, multi-instrumentalist songwriter named Dave Lewis. 'Love And Poetry' encapsulates the era perfectly, as it represents just about every style of its time. The gentle acoustic opening recalls The Beatles' 'Mother Nature's Son', but quickly develops into fiery rock. 'Lost A Number, Found A King' opens with exotic flute and percussion before undergoing a similar change. Elsewhere, jaunty pop sits alongside a whimsical, string-laden Honeybus-like alternative, and 'High On A Mountain' sets off like The Kinks' 'Sunny Afternoon'. 'Midday Sun' features de rigeur backwards tapes.

The bonus tracks include four impressive singles sides, led off by 'Mrs Man' which is vaguely similar in feel to Dylan's 'I Shall Be Released'. 'Mr Sunshine' meanwhile is a bluesy little boogie. 'Every Little Minute' is a more middle of the road orchestra-backed song and 'Michael Fitzhenry' is an atmospheric blues with some Ian Anderson-like flute. The last two tracks are grittier, recent live performances that seem to owe something to Van Morrison. They sound out of place, but are impressive nonetheless. Throughout the vocals are confident and forceful, the playing exemplary and the production full-blooded and clear. This is a fine album full of strong material, if lacking in the one killer song that would top it off.
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on 24 April 2011
Over the last few years I've taken a chance on a lot of these re-releases from the psych era, with varying results. Sometimes there've been a few good tracks, but sometimes it turned out that the only track I liked was the one that had appeared on some or other sampler or boxed set. I think many people became aware of this band through the inclusion of 'Felix' on the Perfumed Garden and Real Life Permanent Dream boxed sets and 'Sunday' on Rubble 11-20, but rest assured that these are not the only good tracks on the album, and far from it, there are many other equally good tracks which could also have been chosen to represent the band. That's because this is one of those rare examples of a filler-free album.

The songwriting on this album is extraordinarily good with a wide variety of styles, and it is certainly in a category higher than your average psych album. This wasn't just a bunch of semi-musicians jumping on the psych bandwagon by using as much studio trickery as possible to cover up their lack of musical ability, as so often happened in that era, but a talented group of real musicians who produced an album of lasting quality that compares favourably with many a famous classic from the same period. The guitarist is a cut above the average psych player and plays some extraordinarily good leads for the era. All in all, a true lost classic that you won't regret buying.

(PS - the only downside is that when I compare 'Felix' from this CD (actually I bought the mp3 version, but I assume it sounds roughly the same) with the version on RLPD, there's quite a noticeable difference in sonic clarity, the Permanent Dream version is so much clearer and brighter. To have the whole album in Permanent Dream quality would be great.)
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on 24 August 2016
Stumbled recently over this gem. This album is most probably falling into the category of all the poorly promoted bands with great potential which got widely forgotten. Where many 60s records are nowadays sounding quite obscure Love & Poetry clearly stands the test of time. There are influences of the psychedelic Beatles era, Donovan, Pretty Things (S.F Sorrow), the early Family, Procol Harum - to name a few. But the sound and songwriting sounds never cloned. Love and Poetry perfectly captures the phase just before psychedelia mutated into the one-dimensional predictability of progressive rock. The album creates an authentic atmosphere of the late '60s with druggy, utopian themes and wild musical experimentation. Psychedelic rock mixed with folk and pop themes, spiced with backwards effects, innovative percussion, great orchestration, keyboards, flute and acoustic guitars. Simply great.
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on 24 May 2007
Having been reissued in various forms (most illegal) this is the definitive version of this classic UK '60's psych/prog album. Endorsed by original band members it features not only improved sound but also an expanded booklet and both of the previously unavialble on CD non-album single tracks. You also get two alternate album out takes although one seems to differ only slightly from the proper album version. If you don't know this album its one of the great late 60s acid rock into progressive recordings. Strong melodic compositions are underpinned with soaring guitar work, orchestration, backwards guitar, bells and bamboo flutes. A genuine artefact of the era and a classic album cover too!
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VINE VOICEon 16 December 2010
No really hard rockers on here, all gentle mid paced songs. A lovely feel of the late 60s early 70s. Think Traffic or Small Faces, nice and atmospheric and full of guitars and organ. A bit like Santana with Carlos turned right down low.
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on 24 May 2007
Having been reissued in various forms (most illegal) this is the definitive version of this classic UK '60's psych/prog album. Endorsed by original band members it features not only improved sound but also an expanded booklet and both of the previously unavialble on CD non-album single tracks. You also get two alternate album out takes although one seems to differ only slightly from the proper album version. If you don't know this album its one of the great late 60s acid rock into progressive recordings. Strong melodic compositions are underpinned with soaring guitar work, orchestration, backwards guitar, bells and bamboo flutes. A genuine artefact of the era and a classic album cover too!
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on 23 August 2015
Took a gamble on this and I'm glad I did. Good variety of early psycadellic music
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