SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell reviewing Truth – The Columbia Recordings 1969-1970 by The Flock cd

TRUTH – THE COLUMBIA RECORDINGS 1969-1970   The Flock

I’m guessing that most readers first heard The Flock on the famous CBS ‘sampler’ album ‘Fill Your Head With Rock’ in 1970 (an album that’s been discussed on SMART elsewhere), its where I first picked up on them with their electrifying cover version of The Kinks ‘Tired Of Waiting For You’. Indeed the front cover of FYHWR shows Jerry Goodman of The Flock hair streaming playing like the devil on his electric violin. The Flock hailed from Chicago and had been around since 1966 (as The Exclusives) releasing several singles before recording their eponymous album in 1969 and the following years ‘Dinosaur Swamps’. Both these albums are contained on this new release plus rare and unreleased tracks new to CD. Signed to CBS this hugely musically talented band were part of the jazz/rock scene along with labelmates Chicago (or Chicago Transit Authority as they were then) and Blood, Sweat & Tears. Now both those bands went on to have illustrious careers as we all know. The mystery is why TF didn’t and by 1971 had all but broken up. They don’t know and neither do I. John Mayall saw them play in America in 1969 and told the press ‘The Flock are the best band ive heard in America’ coming from one of the founding fathers of the British music scene this was high praise indeed. Their debut album is so musically innovative its unique fusions of jazz/rock/blues and quality of musicianship is awesome just listen to ‘Introduction’ ‘Clown’ ‘I Am The Tall Tree’ and the aforementioned ‘Tired of Waiting’ and its clear these are guys at the top of their game.  I suppose because they weren’t ‘commercial’ or necessarily airplay friendly in the way of their contemporaries therein lies a large part of why they lost out on the big time. I think they are a musicians band lauded by their peers if not the record buying public. If that first album wasn’t great enough the follow up ‘Dinosaur Swamps’ was if anything even more accomplished ‘Big Bird’ should have been released and promoted as a single it certainly knocks spots off Chicago in my book, ‘Lighthouse’ and ‘Crabfoot’ are just two more highlights of creativity. Jerry Goodman’s violin and Fred Glicksteins vocals and lead guitar work together so perfectly. After the break up Goodman went off to the Mahavishnu Orchestra and the others went their separate ways. About 10 years ago their was a limited release of some Flock material and I managed to get in touch with Fred Glickstein and had a very interesting chat about the whole Chicago scene, I brought up another favourite of mine The Ides Of March, only for him to say they were good friends of his and they had shared the same bill often! He sent me some photo’s which hang on my wall. Great guy, great musician. This 2CD release has been remastered from the original masters and sonically sounds amazing and is certainly a definitive package with new liner notes by Fred. Anyone who has any interest in jazz/rock and hasn’t got into The Flock you are missing a rare treat. Well done Esoteric Records for a fine and much welcome package. Enjoy.

For more information go to https://www.cherryred.co.uk

Til next time…….Colin

 

Terry Pack… Great piece, Colin

Peter Howard… My mate John at djtees does a fill your head with rock album cover tee. Pretty cool and it attracts only interesting strangers, who instantly recognize it .

Pete Fisher… remember listening to Fill Your Head With Rock back in 1970 with Bernard Jeffrey at his place.

Steve Reents… I had this album. Interesting fusion of jazz and rock.

Who was the best group you saw on Hastings Pier?

Alan Esdaile… I was recently interviewed on the Chris Gentry Show on Carnival FM, who was the best group I saw on the pier. I was stumped to come up with an answer and mentioned well possibly The Who or maybe The Equals but then again I loved Wally and Gracious and not forgetting Curved Air, The Kinks, Leo Sayer, Genesis, Budgie and loads more. Anyway I said I would think on it and decided that the best group and best night has to be Osibisa.  What was yours?

Kev Towner… Hawkwind

Peter Fairless… The Jam – Saturday, 23rd April 1977

Steve Foster… The Clash twice !! …The Jam were playing the Marquee in London on the 23 April 1977 ??..did they ever play the pier ?

John Wilde… Osibisa. Hawkwind. Curved Air. Magma.

Peter Fairless… Pick one!

John Wilde… Oh ok. Osibisa.

Phil Thornton… music and show I would say Genesis. most memorable event might be Hawkwind, Golden Earring or possibly Magma !

Sarah Harvey… Be Bop Deluxe

Richard Lavender… Golden Earing. After we dug their lorry out of the deck.

Allyson Breeds… Madness, but to be fair, I have ONLY seen Madness on the pier

Chris Giles… Golden Earring

Tony Ham… Conflict, Poison Girls, U.K. Subs, Sham 69, Dragster. Crass, Poison Girls, Conflict and Annie Anxiety were all on the same night, June 13th 1981, £1 a ticket!

Chris Baker… The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Ten Years After ( I think that was on the Pier ).  Just realised I forgot to mention Pink Floyd and Hawkwind! Brilliant gigs!

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Melody Maker Rock Contest Hastings Pier featuring Stallion, Daisy, Bracken 27th April 1974

27th april?? 1974 stallion, daisy, bracken, Stallion H Ob 1974 copy

cutting supplied by Andy Knight

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Stallion photo by Chris Meachen. Not sure this was from the same gig but would be around this time.

Phil Thornton… I was there ! I joined Stallion after seeing their performance !

Yvonne Cleland… I was there. I was doing Daisy’s sound at the time…

Steve Kinch… Great times!

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Daisy photo supplied by Yvonne Cleland (August 1974)

Yvonne Cleland… .. featuring Will Thomson, Kevin Hoad (Moff) and Tony Barraclough. Terry Corder was there but not in this shot.

Kevin Sherwood… Daisy were very good that night.

Yvonne Cleland… Daisy were exceptionally good that night.

Jo Turner… Oh I loved these competitions and have great memories of jumping in the back of someone’s van frequently in later years to follow local bands doing the competition rounds. Was it Michael Mepham who had the van?

Wesley Magoogan… I remember that well, there were lots of shenanigans between us and Stallion lol.

Rusty Butler – The Marquee November 1973

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Supplied by Colin Norton

Colin Norton… Rusty Butler at the Marquee in London in November, 1973. It seems a lifetime ago now, maybe because it was 🙂 Top left: Dave Greenfield – Keyboards, Top right: Tony Savva – Vocals, Bottom left: Eddie Renouf – Lead Guitar, Bottom right: Colin Norton – Drums and Dave Poxon – Bass Guitar.