Working on the premise that there was life in pop beyond the bubblegum hits that dominated the charts in the late 60 and early 70s, Bob Stanley has here galvanised a bunch of unknowns into a sub-genre that seems to have fallen though the floorboards between the sturdy chairs of psych and prog. Heavily informed by The Beatles of The White Album in both sound and production values, as well as by the likes of The Bee Gees and Scott Walker, the proponents of this Baroque sound clearly loved strings, woodwind and more than a dash of melancholic whimsy, all bound up inside a suitably dreamy narrative. Consortium’s Copper Coloured Years sums it up as well as any of them: melancholic, dreamy pop that’s heavy on harmony and evocations of some lost golden age. Lori Balmer’s Here Before the Sun is only up-tempo in comparison, and Graham Gouldman’s Nowhere to Go is just simply heart-breaking. The track listing reads like a list of “Who?” rather than Who’s Who, but no matter, for all the tracks herein had recording values way above their standing. A collection of intelligent, well-produced pop-songs, put together with care and dedication, there could be no-better starting point for the exploration of this dusty corner of UK pop history. Lovely.
Various Artists - Tea & Symphony: Compiled By Bob Stanley
Mr Stanley opens the tea caddy of delights
Castle | CMQCD 1541
Reviewed by Jan Zarebski
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