Thursday, April 10, 2014

Timebox - The Deram Anthology (1967-69)

Mike Patto =Vocals, Guitar
Ollie Halsall =Vocals, Guitar
Clive Griffiths= Bass
Chris Holmes =Keyboards
John Halsey =Drums

This Southport band started in 1966 on Piccadilly with two blue-eyed soul 45's. A year later they gave their debut on the Deram label with the fine "Walking Through The Streets Of My Mind". This CD (Deram 844807-2 / 1998) contains their 1968 sessions on Deram as well as the remaining four 45's for them. Highlights are "Gone Is The Sad Man", "Poor Little Heartbreaker" and the above mentioned "Walking Through The Streets Of My Mind". Although this CD is out of print I wouldn't pay the 100 $ or more some dealers want to have.

Retrospective of the finest recordings for the Deram label 1967-69 by this British psychedelic quintet with a penchant for a soul/ pop sound. While they first recorded on the Picadilly label, their best stuff is generally considered their output for Deram, which includes the singles 'Walking Through The Streets Of My Mind', a cover of the Four Seasons' 'Beggin'', 'Gone Is The Sad Man', 'Poor Little Heartbreaker' and 'Yellow Van'. The band included bassist Clive Griffiths, vocalist Mike Patto and guitarist Pete 'Ollie' Halsall. 24 tracks total. 1998 Decca release.
Timebox were a fine band that, sadly, never had much luck on the charts. They were unknown in America and managed only one Top 40 single in their native England, a cover of the Motown tune "Beggin'." That one success aside, most of their singles give the unfortunate impression of having been released upside down, because the B-sides (often written by the band) tended to be more interesting than the rather pre-fab commercial songs that their record company insisted on putting on the A-sides. "Gone Is the Sad Man" and "Poor Little Heartbreaker" are particularly strong examples of this.

While all five members of Timebox were impressive, the standout member was clearly Peter "Ollie" Halsall. Not only was he one of the few competent vibraphone players in rock music (check out "Misty"!), but he developed into a superb and distinctive guitarist as well. As Timebox's drummer later observed, "Ollie may not have been the greatest guitarist in the world, but he was certainly among the top two."

After their keyboard player quit in 1969, the remaining members of Timebox continued under the name Patto, moving in a less '60s soul, more '70s blues-rock-with-prog-tendencies direction. They released three albums in the course of the early '70s without much commercial success, then broke up.

Halsall and singer Mike Patto are both dead now. This CD, along with the Patto albums, is a fine testament to their
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