Greenslade - Large Afternoon


Year of Release: 2000
Label: Mystic Records
Catalog Number: MVS 142
Format: CD
Total Time: 45:19:00

The interest in the seventies band Greenslade suddenly grew after Mystic Records released a superb live album, whilst all four of the studio albums were re-released on CD. In the meantime the ex-Colosseum keyboardist released another solo album called Going South which sadly had all rhythm coming from a machine. Rumours had it that for the new Greenslade studio album old band member Andrew McCullogh would step in. Sadly this is not the case as the drum stool has been occupied by Chris Cozens, whose drumming sounds ? as if it was yet another drum machine. I really don?t know what happened, but the sound of the drums is so clinical you'd really think it?s a machine yet again (strange if you know that Cozens mixed the album)!

On this, the band's first studio recording in over twenty years, Dave Greenslade is accompanied by original bass player Tony Reeves together with John Young on extra keyboards and vocals. John is known for his work with Asia and Qango amongst others. On this new album some of the sounds are vintage Greenslade, yet Dave uses some newer instruments as well, which probably makes it difficult to digest for people who still love Time And Tide, Bedside Manners Are Extra and/or Spyglass Guest.

As always there's a nice balance between instrumental and vocal tracks. The opening track "Cakewalk" is probably an ode to the computer programme of the same name which probably is installed in Dave's home studio. None other than sleeve designer Patrick Woodroffe (remember the Greenslade/Woodroffe collaboration The Pentateuch of the Cosmogony?) wrote the lyrics for "Hallelujah Anyway." Dave is his "old" self again during the fab synthsolo in the title track "Large Afternoon." The intro for "Anthems" gets very, very close to the true spirit of "Joie De Vivre" from the band's Spyglass Album. The song also incorporates some great bass playing from Tony but then, probably for economical reasons, a sound which holds the middle between saxophone and accordion is used. Why not use either a real sax or a real accordion then?

The bluesy "In The Night" is probably my favourite not in the least because of the great singing by John Young, but also because of the lush strings in the background and that superb electric piano which has been a trademark for all those years. The most interesting track from a compositional point of view has to be "On Suite." Again the sound of the drums doesn't really do the song any justice as the drums sound too plain compared with the more complex nature of the song. Strangely enough John Young's voice sounds like a cross between Barry Manilow and Neil Diamond here, but don't let that frighten you! Again the same complaint as with the previous song, as once again a sax/clarinet sound is being pulled out of the synths (there must be musicians out there wanting to kill to be on an album like this!) but luckily there's once again some splendid bass playing here. In fact a lot of the songs/playing gets close to the Dave Greenslade solo material which he proposed on his Going South album. I might even be convinced into saying that "Lazy Days" is a leftover from those sessions. The final track "May Fair" is more like the Greenslade we all know and love: an uptempo song filled with interesting keyboard sounds which even holds medieval stuctures and is filled with classical "finesse."

I had high hopes when this album was first announced and I'm afraid to say it no longer is the Greenslade from the seventies as most of the songs sound very tame. The main setback however is the drumsound which really gets on my nerves, especially knowing it's a real drummer here. I feel really sad that McCullogh was sailing in Greece during the recording for this album! Maybe Dave and friends have to listen once again to their combined efforts from the seventies, but if it was their goal to leave that period behind then I must say they have truly succeeded! I just hope Dave isn't reserving his best prog compositions for Colosseum!


Tracklisting:
Cakewalk (4:56) / Hallelujah Anyway (6:46) / Large Afternoon (4:34) / No Room - But A View (3:38) / Anthems (6:09) / On The Night (5:19) / On Suite (6:46) / Lazy Days (4:18) / May Fair (4:13)

Musicians:
Dave Greenslade - keyboards
John Young - keyboards, vocals
Tony Reeves - bass
Chris Cozens - drums

Discography:
Greenslade (1973)
Bedside Manners Are Extra (1973)
Spyglass Guest (1974)
Time and Tide (1975)
Live (1999)
Large Afternoon (2000)
Live 2001 - The Full Edition (2002)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: November 1st 2000
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website: www.angelfire.com/music4/greenslade/
Hits: 888
Language: english

  

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