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Greenslade: Spyglass Guest (Esoteric Recordings) Out now




4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)



Esoteric Recordings have been poking about in the vaults to unearth a previously unreleased live BBC concert and session recordings from November 1974 by British band Greenslade.

Which comes on a bonus second disc in the two-CD set which also delivers a newly re-mastered edition (from the original master tapes) of their classic album “Spyglass Guest”, originally issued in 1974.

Former Colosseum keyboard player Dave Greenslade formed the band two years before these recordings. The band featured former Web and Samurai member Dave Lawson (keyboards, vocals), former Colosseum bass player Tony Reeves and drummer Andrew McCulloch (formerly with King Crimson and Fields).

The collective musicianship calibre ensured that the group would be innovative, ground breaking and dynamic in their approach. But it was also perhaps the deliberate absence of a guitarist within the line-up that first caught the attention of many.

Issued in August 1974, “Spyglass Guest” was their most successful album and among the eight tracks, it featured fan-favourites “Joie de Vivre”, “Spirit of the Dance”, “Melancholic Race” and their take on the Jack Bruce / Pete Brown composition “Theme for an Imaginary Western”.

But despite their ranks being minus a guitar player, this record was notable for the appearance of guitarist Clem Clempson (formerly a member of Colosseum) on two cuts: “Little Red Fry Up” and “Siam See Saw”.

Respected for their consummate live performances, this expanded edition of “Spyglass Guest” includes a bonus CD of previously unreleased recordings made for BBC Radio One’s “In Concert” and “Sounds of the Seventies” in November 1974. Both recordings released for the very first time.

The package features an illustrated booklet with many rare cuttings and an essay by Malcolm Dome, which includes exclusive interviews with Dave Greenslade and Dave Lawson.



By Christopher Weston




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