Sidetrack's only known recorded effort is this 1969 demo album which originally appeared
in a blank sleeve with the album's labels glued to the cover!
Very little information is known from this group. This seems to be a professionally recorded demonstration copy for an intended Elektra release, which never happened.
The Sidetrack consisted of Alan, Christopher and Peter Brown, Kenneth Gullmartin, Andrew Higgs and John Lewis.
This album is something pretty special: a recording that makes one regret Elektra¿s lack of foresight in not making it commercially available as well as the opportunity to develop Sidetrack¿s considerable potential which slipped through the label's fingers.
The album has is own special atmosphere, which is end of 60's styled, song driven with some colourful melodic clarity in expression-. It is well arranged, often with multilayered keyboards (piano's, harpsichord, organ), bass and drums but almost no guitars.
The songs fit well together as if there's a story line between them. The baroque elements are also very special which are worked out now and then, at first only a little bit on Baby, and well adapted into the composition on Sweet Substitute. Blues for Matthew has true Bach-like arrangements, a complex almost symphonic track with string-,band- and vocal arrangements. A blues element of harmonica is mixed greatly into this rather unique track. The first tracks on the second side are rather short. A separate song easily remembered into as a pop standard and to take out of the context of the album, might be Summershi. 2314-B is the second long track, with a jazzy/bluesy, half composed, half improvised evolution of organ, harpsichord, bass, harmonica, and some complex rhythms. Also this track has a rather baroque symphonic theme further on, which is equally successfull and in a catchy way mixed with the other styles. After such an impressive complex track, Knowing what you hold so dear is held much simpler, a short song accompanied by some acoustic guitar arrangement only.
A very enjoyable album which deserves this first reissue. Only a shame there isn¿t a real cover designed for it, we don¿t have real band info, not even a photograph.
But An unusual album that is highly recommended.
1. The Sidetrack - Rock & Roll (3:35)
2. The Sidetrack - Peace Of Mind (2:56)
3. The Sidetrack - Summership (2:10)
4. The Sidetrack - 2314 - B (3:02)
5. The Sidetrack - Knowing What You Hold So Dear (3:54)
6. The Sidetrack - Baby (6:25)
7. The Sidetrack - Colors (2:32)
8. The Sidetrack - Wild Eyes (3:23)
9. The Sidetrack - Monkey (2:49)
10. The Sidetrack - Sweet Substitute (11:07)
11. The Sidetrack - Blues For Matthew (1:50)
This album is something pretty special: a recording that makes one regret Elektra's lack of foresight in not making it commercially available as well as the opportunity to develop Sidetrack's considerable potential which slipped through the label's fingers. But it's here now!!!