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Anti-synergism - or a case of less is much more
on 7 October 2003
Check out TYA early career, (i.e. after they stopped being Nottingham-based Viscounts). There was the eponymous first TYA album, which showed the band should not be included in the higher ranks of British blues boom (as were Fleetwood Mac, Chicken Shack and Savoy Brown). However, on hearing the original vinyl release of 'Undead' for the frist time approximately 35 years ago, I discovered something different and it has been a important favourite ever since. Musically it was more advanced than the usual blues riffs played then by many an average British band This was Hammond organ lead music, with Alvin Lee more restrained and less technoflash (witness the Woodstock performance). They were digging some jazz, tunes by written by other folk and by TYA, beit with a bluey feel. For instance 'Woodchopper's Ball', which reportedly had TYA jamming with Woodie Herman at the Newport Jazz Festival soon after. Indeed, I would suggest 'Undead' is an early jazz rock album. And then we had the third TYA album 'Stonedhenge', with yet another change of direction.
Lurch forward three decades and we have this remastered CD of 'Undead', the complete Klooks Creek gig. But what a real disappointment. I was hoping they had dug up more of the jazz flavoured material from the archives. But alas I discovered to give the 60's audience (and now us) a 70 minute set, TYA had been forced(?) to dip back into the bag of 2nd rate blues heard on their first studio album. As result we have a major dilution of what was a classic British rock album of the late 60's.
I strongly recommend go searching for the original Deram CD, unremastered and without the additional, (superfluous, detracting, distracting) tracks and ponder what TYA would sounded like if they had pursued that type of rock music?.