RITCHIE FRANCIS gtrGARY PICKFORD HOPKINS vclsPHIL RYAN keyb'ds A BWYNDHAM REES drmsRAY WILLIAMS bs
By rights, The Eyes of Blue should have an exalted place in the pantheon of art-rock and progressive rock bands. They were around before almost all of them, and doing film work and making music in a jazz-rock fusion idiom before the latter had been understood, and they were signed to two major labels in succession, Deram and Mercury. Instead, except for drummer John Weathers, who later joined Gentle Giant, The Eyes Of Blue are scarcely remembered at all. The Eyes of Blue started out as a jazz and rhythm-and-blues oriented outfit (Graham Bond wrote the notes for their first album), doing songs in that vein as well as less well suited material such as "Yesterday."... Read More...
1 Crossroads of Time 5:002 Never Care 3:183 I'll Be Your Friend 3:484 7 + 7 Is 2:325 Prodigal Son 5:276 Largo 3:147 Love Is the Law 5:168 Yesterday 4:229 I Wonder Why 3:1310 World of Emotion 2:4811 Inspiration for a New Day 3:09
The Eyes of Blue's debut album is a rather typical bottom-drawer late-'60s psychedelic effort, going over much of the musical map without charting new territory or doing especially interesting songs. Chunks of British harmony pop, soul, trendy Eastern-tinged psychedelia, and early progressive classical-dipped melodies and arrangements all bump around in the mix, though they don't cohere too memorably. The Welsh group did have a more organ-based sound than many of their U.K. peers, and the band's keyboardist, Phil Ryan, has admitted that Graham Bond was a big influence on his style on this album. Bond's input wasn't limited to this; he also wrote two of the songs, "Crossroads of Time" and "Love Is the Law" (though they were credited to "D. Stewart," aka his girlfriend, Diane Stewart), both of which Bond himself would record slightly later on his 1969 album Love Is the Law. The Eyes of Blue's version of "Love Is the Law" sounds more like the early Bee Gees than Graham Bond, though it's actually one of the better songs on the record. "Crossroads of Time" is likewise one of the relative highlights, starting off with an atomic explosion and Phantom of the Opera organ, though its lyrics are pretty blatant hippie sloganeering. It's an indictment of the weakness of the group's original material (by guitarist Ritchie Francis) that the most notable other track is one of the most eccentric covers of the Beatles' "Yesterday" you'll hear, arranged to sound almost like a classical hymn
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