Monday, May 26, 2008

It's A Beautiful Day - Choice Quality Stuff (1971)



Αυτός είναι ο τρίτος δίσκος των It's A Beautiful Day (έχω ήδη ανεβάσει τον 2ο) ο οποίος διαφέρει αρκετά από τους προηγούμενος. Καταρχήν είναι σε μία περίοδο όπου στο γκρουπ μπαινοβγαίνει κόσμος ενώ υπάρχει και μία στροφή σε πιο rock ήχους. Ο δίσκος επίσης χωρίζεται ουσιαστικά σε δύο μέρη. Στην πρώτη πλευρά, την rock, υπό τον τίτλο Choice Quality Stuff και στην δεύτερη όπου το ύφος είναι πιο ήρεμο σαν αυτό δηλαδή που ξέραμε στις δύο πρώτες δουλειές τους. Για να είμαι όσο μπορώ αντικειμενικός θα αναφέρω πως αυτός ο δίσκος κατά την άποψή μου σημαίνει και την μουσική κατηφόρα των It's A Beautiful Day. Η κοπιά που βλέπεται είναι του 1971, Ολλανδικής προέλευσης, με αυτή την σήμανση στο οπισθόφυλλο, που για να είμαι ειλικρινής δεν έχω ψάξει να δω αν ίσχυσε.

Personnel:
DAVID LaFLAMME flute, violin A B C D
LINDA LaFLAMME keyb'ds A
VAL FUENTES drms A B C D E
PATTIE SANTOS vcls A B C D E
HAL WAGENET gtr, vcls A B C
MICHAEL HOLMAN hrmnca, vcls, bs A B C
FRED WEBB vcls, horns, keyb'ds B C D E
TOM FOWLER bs C D
BILL GREGORY gtr C D E
GREG BLOCK violin E
BUD COCKRELL bs, vcls E
DAVID JENKINS ld gtr
JOHN NICHOLAS bs

ALBUMS:
1(A) IT'S A BEAUTIFUL DAY (Columbia 9768) 1969 47
2(B) MARRYING MAIDEN (Columbia 1058) 1970 28
3(C) CHOICE QUALITY STUFF (CBS 30734) 1971 130
4(D) LIVE AT CARNEGIE HALL (Columbia 31338) 1972 144
5(E) TODAY (Columbia 32181) 1973 114
6(A) 1001 NIGHTS (Columbia 32660) 1974
7(-) IT'S A BEAUTIFUL DAY (San Francisco Sound SFS 11790) 1985
NB: (1)-(6) were issued on CBS in the UK. (1) to (3) also issued in France by CBS. (6) is a reissue of (1). (1) has been reissued on vinyl and CD. (2) has been reissued on vinyl (San Francisco Sound) 197? and CD (San Francisco Sound SFS 04800). TRC have released (3) and (4) on CD, together with a Greatest Hits disc.

45s:
1 Bulgaria/Aquarian Dream (San Francisco Sound 7) 1968
2 White Bird/Girl With No Eyes (San Francisco Sound) 1969
3 White Bird/Wasted Union Blues (Columbia 44928) 1969 118
4 Soapstone Mountain/Good Lovin' (Columbia 45152) 1970 -
5 Anytime/Apples And Oranges (Columbia 45536) 1972 -

One of the leading second-generation San Francisco bands, this group's music was dominated by the excellent violin playing of classically-tutored La Flamme, who also produced their records. Their debut album made an enormous impact and contained the stand out song White Bird. This was one of the classic albums of the era and the twin vocals of La Flamme and Pattie Santos blended together beautifully on tracks like White Bird, Hot Summer Day and Girl With No Eyes. Side Two is dominated by the sleepy, drug-influenced Bulgaria and the Eastern-influenced Bombay Calling, it is slightly marred, however, by a rather tedious drum solo on the final track Time Is.
Linda La Flamme then left the band and Fred Webb was also introduced on keyboards for follow-up Marrying Maiden. Jerry Garcia guested on this record, too, playing banjo and pedal steel guitar. Although inferior to their debut effort, this album contained some fine tracks too, Don And Dewey and Hoedown were effective instrumentals, whilst the laid-back back harmonies of the first LP were in evidence on The Dolphins, Essence of Now, Let A Woman Flow and Do You Remember The Sun?. However, the follow-up Choice Quality Stuff marked a clear downward turn. The laid-back mysticism of their earlier songs had been replaced by a rather unimaginative 'good time' sound. The album had its moments, however - The Grand Camel Suite was a competent instrumental - but it was enormously disappointing. The follow-up live album was unable to reverse this trend and further personnel changes reduced the band to a mere shadow of its former self, as did subsequent albums.
It's A Beautiful Day reformed for a performance at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco on November 29th 1997. The line-up consisted of original members David LaFlamme, Mitch Holman, Val Fuentes and Hal Wagenet, plus long-time vocalist Linda Baker LaFlamme and new keyboardist Larry Blachshere.
Two tracks, Bulgaria and Aquarian Dream appeared on the Fifth Annual Pipe Dream, which was very rare prior to its reissue a few years back. More recently, Matthew Katz's Then And Now, Vol. 1 includes Girl With No Eyes, The Dolphins and a 1980 tribute to John Lennon entitled John. Then And Now, Vol. 2 also contains Aquarian Dream and Wasted Union Blues; and Turds On A Bum Ride Vol. 5 (CD) includes Aquarian Dream.
Bill Gregory had earlier played in New Orleans band Nectar.
(Vernon Joynson/Patrick Brown)

Tracks:
1. Creed of Love
2. Bye Bye Baby
3. The Grand Camel Suite
4. No World For Glad
5. Lady Love
6. Words
7. lace Of Dreams
8. Oranges & Apples
9. Anytime
10. Bitter Wine
11. Misery Loves Company

3 comments:

Calum Carlyle said...

I'd quite like to hear this album, it sounds very interesting. I enjoyed the first LP by this band a lot.

Rochacrimson said...

Great album by a great band!
Any chance to post 1001 Nights from 1974?
Thanks spaniolos!

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