Saturday, November 23, 2013

Orange Bicycle - Hyacinth Threads (The Morgan Blue Town Recordings)


 Former foot soldiers of the UK beat boom, Rob Storm & The Whispers enthusiastically boarded psychedelia’s bendy bus in 1967 with a modish name change to Orange Bicycle, scoring a French No 1 straight off the bat with Hyacinth Threads. Notwithstanding the song’s spidery harpsichord and impressionistic air of Summer Of Love dissolution, the band’s harmony pop heritage would ultimately prove to be by far the most dominant imperative in their brief career. As much as Orange Bicycle remain a hip name to drop in collectors’ circles, in truth they had more in common with Marmalade than Pink Floyd: the novelty pop of Jenskadajka could even be Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich.
Let’s Take A Trip scoops up almost everything they ever did, with the A-sides and flips of their 10 singles comprising Disc One and their rare-as-an-uplifting-episode- of-EastEnders 1970 album plus odds, ends, waifs and strays on Disc Two. It’s pleasing but slender fare for the most part: their version of Carry That Weight/You Never Give Me Your Money has more wow and flutter on it than Kate Bush in an aviary, but their take on Sir Elt’s Take Me To The Pilot is damn near definitive. Last Cloud Home and Competition take top honours.

This rather lightweight vocal harmony outfit, evolved out of Robb Storme and The . Whispers. They started playing quasi-psychedelic pop music in 1967. They had a No 1 in France with their debut single Hyacinth Threads although their future singles including a cover of The Rolling Stones' Sing This All Together did not happen at home.
Their album was produced by John Peel and was largely comprised of cover versions of Elton John/Bernie Taupin material such as Take Me To The Pilot, which was also released as a single. It also included Dylan's Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You and Denny Laine's Say You Don't Mind.
Laura's Garden can also be heard on Morgan Blue Town (LP) and Best And The Rest Of British Psychedelia (CD) compilations and it's typical of their harmony pop style.
A revitalised Morgan Bluetown label produced an album, Let's Take A Trip On... in 1988. Containing 16 tracks in all, it includes all the Columbia 'A' and 'B' sides (except the third), but none of the later Parlophone ones. Sadly there are no sleevenotes at all to suggest where the other tracks originate from.
Wilson Malone recorded a self-titled solo album as Wil Malone in 1970 for Fontana and was also in Motherlight.







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