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on 8 July 2011
Greenslade's first two studio albums, Greenslade and Bedside Manners are Extra, were unique in that here was a band based on drums, bass, and two lead keyboards. The music was in-demand psychdelic blues and jazz. Sadly by the time Spyglass Guest was released, the creative oomph had left the band and they were stretched for new material, even having to do a somewhat pointless cover of Theme For and Imaginary Western to fill the album up. Time and Tide saw a further descent into pop-rock anonymity and much much shorter tracks, many more of them with Lawsons strange vocal stylings - it sounded like a collection of bits that hadn't been considered for the first three albums. Both these albums are here on their own CD, tho the runtime of each means they could easily have been squeezed onto a single CD with room to spare for "extra" b-sides or demo versions. Curious...... Ah well, at least Greenslade stands the test of time and still sounds fresh and interesting, perhaps more relevent than many modern bands from their keyboard approach to rock music. Worth having in your collection - but check out their first two albums also on this dual release series, they're five stars each!
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Like many longhaired spotty-teenagers in the early to mid 70’s - I was completely drawn in by PROG ROCK and its mind-expanding themes. I’d be sat there on a Saturday morning (before Alan Freeman’s Rock Show on Radio 1) with my Garrard SP25 turntable, Dustbuster and Emitex Cleaning Cloth whirling away - whilst I devoured the graphically drawn lyrics on Genesis and Yes gatefold album covers. It wasn’t long before my complex-rhythms addiction spread to Uriah Heap, Gentle Giant and Badger – in fact anything with a Roger Dean album cover on it. It was therefore a natural progression that I would stumble on Dave Greenslade’s keyboard vehicle – GREENSLADE. I thought the first two albums "Greenslade" and "Bedside Manners Are Extra" (both issued in 1973 on Warner Brothers) had good moments - but their 3rd LP "Spyglass Guest" saw a level of sophistication that was undeniably better – and in places – even rather beautiful. Which is where this timely UK 2CD reissue comes in…

UK released May 2011 - Rhino/Edsel EDSD 2098 (Barcode 0740155209834) contains Greenslade’s 3rd and 4th studio albums on two CDs and mellotrons out as follows:

Disc 1 (38:49 minutes):
1. Spirit Of The Dance
2. Little Red Fry-Up
3. Rainbow
4. Siam Seesaw
5. Joie De Vivre [Side 2]
6. Red Light
7. Melancholic Race
8. Theme For An Imaginary Western
Tracks 1 to 8 are their 3rd album "Spyglass Guest" - originally released August 1974 in the UK on Warner Brothers K 56055 and in the USA on Mercury SRM-1 1015.

Disc 2 (32:33 minutes):
1. Animal Farm
2. Newsworth
3. Time
4. Tide
5. Catalan
6. The Flattery Stakes [Side 2]
7. Waltz For A Fallen Idol
8. The Ass’s Ears
9. Doldrums
10. Gangsters
Tracks 1 to 10 are their 4th album "Time And Tide" – originally released April 1975 in the UK on Warner Brothers K 56126 and in the USA on Mercury SRM-1 1025.

The 20-page booklet is much better than I thought it would be – all the original album artwork is here including the lyrics and inner gatefold pictures; there’s a knowledgeable history on the band and the albums by ALAN ROBINSON and best news of all is the hugely upgraded sound. PHIL KINRADE has done the remastering at Alchemy Studios in London and a superlative job it is too – far better than the dull Eighties CDs I’ve had for years just to have the music. Speaking of which - the music is keyboard-driven Prog Rock with sophisticated Jazz rhythms, chord changes and a lyrical lightness of touch that was even fun at times. Bandleader Dave Greenslade played a huge array of instruments - ARP Synthesisers, Fender Rhodes, Clavinet, Glockenspiel, Harmonium, Mellotron and even Tubular Bells. The band also featured Dave Lawson on Various Keyboards and Lead Vocals, Tony Reeves on Bass with Andrew McCullock on Drums. Ace sessionman and guitarist Martin Briley joined them for "Time And Tide”.

To the music - no matter how much affection I once had for these albums - in 2011 a lot of it sounds horribly dated. Tony Reeves vocals still feel strangulated to me. But there is still wonderful stuff on here nonetheless - in particular the instrumental that ended Side 1 of "Spyglass Guest" - "Siam Seesaw". Alan Robinson’s liner notes describe it as "…thoughtful, elegant and a real gem…" and he's right. I’ve waited decades to hear it sound this good – and I’ll admit that at 52 – a little Proggy tear of joy came out of my eye on rehearing it. "Little Red Fry Up" has the guitar of former Colosseum axeman Dave "Clem" Clemson, while Andy Roberts of Liverpool Scene and Plainsong did acoustic guitar on the lovely "Siam Seesaw". "Joie De Vivre" is excellent (lyrics above) – featuring Violin work from Graham Smith (String Driven Thing) trading off keyboard codas with Greenslade. "Red Light" is the nearest they ever got to a single track – clever lyrics with the keys aping the melody. "Rainbow" opens with rainfall and a sinister piano lead-in – it’s then added to by treated drum and cymbal patterns, which fades into a prettier piano passage halfway through that is beautifully produced by Jeremy Ensor. It’s very Prog, but it’s actually very good. "Spyglass Guest" ends on a cover version of Cream's "Theme For An Imaginary Western". In fact the album saw their only chart action in the UK - 3 weeks - peaking at Number 34.

1975s "Time And Tide" saw collaboration with Patrick Woodroffe on the album artwork (they would work later on 1980s double "The Pentateuch Of The Cosmogony") – Woodroffe’s art bearing more than a passing resemblance to Roger Dean’s iconic work. While it might have looked the part, the opening "Animal Farm" is awful and the bitchy "Newsworth" isn’t much better. The Treverva Male Voice Choir lends itself nicely to "Time" which in turn segues into the full-on Mellotron instrumental "Tide" - as a duo, they're very good. "Doldrums" is nice (like an outtake from "Wind And Wuthering"), but most of the rest sounds wildly out-of-place for 1975 and even tedious.

1976 would see the arrival of PUNK which would blow away all this Hippy nonsense – and rightly so. But for a brief moment back there - to me and many others who held this band and that period of music in great affection - a 25-minute Mellotron solo seemed like the most natural thing in the world – and even beautiful somehow…

To sum up – this 2CD set is a five-star reissue of three-star material – making available again two rare vinyl LPs with enhanced packaging and really great sound. And at less than a fiver, if you’ve any affection for even parts of them - it’s a deal.

I’m off now to get a haircut and find a real job…

PS: their first two albums "Greenslade" and "Bedside Manners Are Extra" are also reissued May 2011 on Edsel as a 2CD set for the same cheap price...
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on 11 July 2011
If you've found yourself on this page then you almost certainly know what Greenslade sound like and have probably made up your mind about whether you like them or not.

They never competed with prog giants like Genesis, but they carved their niche and produced excellent music. Sure it was 'of its time' but, for me, it still sounds great. My personal fave was always 'Spyglass Guest' which had a warmth and a reliance on really good songs rather than musicianship. However, the other ablums are all fine too, so dive in!

For a price little more than a London pint, you should buy both these 2CD sets. I did.
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on 19 September 2011
Greenslades third and fourth album. Largely ignored when they first came out in the seventies. Lo and behold, we did them an injustice: these albums weren't bad at all. Actually, there is more to them than caught our ears back then. It's not as tight as the first two albums, but highly pleasurable all the same. Certainly, they lacked personality, maily because there were too many personalities at work: Dave, Dave and Tony each had their own musical perspective. And some of the tunes never made it and never will. But this apparent lack of unity did lead to variety. I don't think anybody considered Dave Lawson a great singer, but then again, he's not as irritating as some reviewers make him out to be. In fact, I like these albums better than I did back in the seventies, when everything progrock had to sound like Yes - and if it didn't, you could pack it in. This CD is good value for not too much money. Recommended; Greenslade deserves re-appreciation.
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on 20 March 2013
This is good value for money concept, two original records in one package, remastered with great sound and fine artwork. Greenslade was and is not for everyone; but here's a chance at a reasonable cost.
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on 4 May 2012
It brought back so many great memories and even better feelings. I'd forgotten just how much I liked Greenslade and at this price it is a real steal. Go on treat yourself
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on 14 June 2011
Spyglass Guest - probably represents the peak of this outstanding band's performances, before the departure of the unique Tony Reeves on bass. On Time and Tide, the band seems to descend into anarchy.
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on 4 July 2013
Having the first two albums I was expecting the quality to drop off but these two are at least as good. Time & Tide is best of the lot. Must get Going South now.
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on 8 December 2015
Brill albums, excellent price. Thanks
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on 10 May 2016
A must for all prog rock rock fans.
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