(4 / 5)
A highly underrated British band who made some fine music back in the day. Gypsy formed in 1969 from top Leicester outfit Legay, who recorded for Fontana.
Gypsy signed to United Artists and paid their dues on the UK live scene, and landed support slots to such luminaries as Led Zeppelin and The Who.
They played two consecutive nights at the famed Isle of Wight Festival in 1969. After signing to UA, they released their self-titled debut album in early 1971.
Non-album single “Changes Coming” / “Don’t Cry On Me” gained airplay on rock radio in Europe where the band toured and had a cult following. They also appeared on the BBC TV show Top of the Pops in the UK.
In 1972, Gypsy released the album “Brenda And The Rattlesnake”, produced by John Anthony who had produced Lindisfarne, Van der Graaf Generator, Genesis and Rare Bird.
The band featured featured Robin Pizer (vocals, guitar), John Knapp (guitar, keyboards), Rod Read (guitar), David McCarthy (bass / vocals) and David ‘Moth’ Smith (drums), until the second album, when Ray Martinez replaced Rod Rhead.
Gypsy was influenced by US West Coast bands such as Buffalo Springfield, Moby Grape and HP Lovecraft.
Their second album was a more polished affair than their debut and won wide praise from critics and fans, hailed as a “breakthrough record.” But Gypsy failed to make commercial headway and were dropped by United Artists in 1973.
This new two-disc set from Esoteric Recordings has been remastered from the original master tapes and gathers together all the Gypsy recordings issued by UA in 1971 and 1972. It also features an illustrated booklet with an essay and a new interview with John Knapp.
Disc one gives us the “Gypsy” album, all 10 tracks, and the A and B sides of their previously mentioned single which was released in August 1971.
The second CD is all 10 cuts from their 1972 album, “Brenda And The Rattlesnake”. All 22 songs in this set were penned by three of band’s members. 11 by Robin Pizer, seven from John Knapp, four from David McCarthy.
By Robbie Daniels
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’