January 23, 2019

"Music from Macbeth" on sale now!


Original "Music from Macbeth" is finally on sale these days. Here below you can see the front/back cover and the booklet included I've edited for Esoteric Recordings.
Any contributions about it (opinions, reviews, critics...) will be very appreciated...

 (photo by Elena Blasi)


no©2019 Luca Chino Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)

January 21, 2019

Dave Thompson reviews "Elements 1970-1971" on "Goldmine" magazine.



Excellent journalist Dave Thompson reviews TEB's "Elements 1970-1971" album on "Goldmine" (the Music Collector's magazine) at https://www.goldminemag.com/blogs/spin-cycle-blogs/reviews-third-ear-band-curved-air-bay-city-rollers-the-bordellos-unicorn-bananarama-underground-freaks-rock-art-sex-clark-five
Here's the verdict:


Dave Thompson
January 11th, 2019

"If you don’t know the Third Ear band, stop reading and look them up on Youtube. We’ll see you back here in about thirty minutes. If, on the other hand, you do know their music… and have been waiting for a CD package that comes close to the quality of your original vinyl… this is what you’ve been looking for.

Effectively, Elements is a deluxe edition of the group’s self-titled second album, four songs named for the elements of earth, air, fire and water. Except “songs” is not a word that hangs easily over the group’s oeuvre, as forty minutes of haunting oboe/cello/violin/hand drum-led improv (more-or-less) transports you to places that even the more outre prog rock rarely venture.

They’ve been described as “challenging,” but that’s not strictly true. Rather, the Third Ear Band was the ultimate destination of a lot of what was going on musically at the end of the sixties, only armed with a vision that refused point-blank to sit comfortably among your expectations. Hence, as this package makes clear, a somewhat dishevelled recording career.

Disc one is the original album, a couple of out-takes, and three BBC session recordings. (More, from a BBC concert broadcast, conclude disc three). Disc two, however, places the group in what might well have been their most natural environment, and their soundtrack to the German TV drama Abelard and Heloise. A medieval romance decorated with the mindbending art of Herbert Fuchs, it provided an exquisite setting for the band’s musical inclinations and, taken, for the first time, from the original master tapes, the music sounds amazing.
There’s more unreleased material spreading across the remainder discs two and three, as sessions for the group’s ultimately scrapped third album are unearthed for the first time. The original line-up had splintered just months before the recordings began, and the new look TEB was perhaps still finding its feet. But what was to be titled The Dragon Wakes nevertheless ushered in a brand new electric era… a preface to their so majestic soundtrack for Polanski’s MacBeth… and it’s great to finally hear it here.

The Third Ear Band was never going to be toppermost of the poppermost; was never going to ascend to the highest echelons of even left field prog success. Peter Mew, who engineered Third Ear Band, described the sessions as the “weirdest” he had ever been involved with; journalist Richard Williams mused, “what they have to do with pop music, I don’t know.” But while they flourished, the Third Ear Band had no peers, and took no prisoners. Elements, which one hopes is simply the first shot in a wholesale reissue package, is a terrific place to start (re-) acquaint ing yourself."

no©2019 Luca Chino Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)

January 17, 2019

Carolyn Looker about Andrew King's interview with "Uncut".


In his recent interview with "Uncut"'s Tom Pinnock, Andrew King told a funny story about Glen:

"(...) He was a lot older than anybody else – allegedly he had taken part in the Second World War, which makes him 20 years older than me. My favourite [of his war stories], which might be completely fictitious, is that he bailed out of an aeroplane over Cairo, floated down in a parachute, landed by the side of a swimming pool surrounded by half a dozen rich Egyptian ladies, and stayed there being looked after by them until the end of the war."

Because I remember Glen told me a story like that, I asked Carolyn Looker to tell us how things really are.  She says:


"Ha ha!! Glen had some amazing stories from those days but that one... hmm l don't think so!!! He and another guy did spend a few weeks in a resort in Heliopolis enjoying themselves and forgotten about by the airforce... how it came about l'm not too sure!! You know Glen, he was a great storyteller. Really funny. In the Star and Garter home [last hospital residence of Glen in Richmond] he was visited one Christmas by some "bigwig" from the airforce who asked about his military experience. Glen gave him an amazing Biggleswade type story about flying his plane and being shot down surviving to battle yet again!! I was with him and found it hilarious. You see even then when he was really ill he still had that wonderful imagination. That should read BIGGLES as in boys own stories not Biggleswade!"


no©2019 Luca Chino Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)

January 12, 2019

An interview with Andrew King on "Uncut" magazine on line.


After a four pages review about the "TEB" remastered editions on the last issue (February 2019), "Uncut" journalist Tom Pinnock collected some opinions by Blackhill manager Andrew King about Glen Sweeney and the band on the Blog section of the Web magazine (HERE).

Here's the very interesting interview (where Andrew King finally changes his opinions on the band)...

The Third Ear Band remembered: “Glen thought it was very good PR for us to be heavily involved in the druids”
Tom Pinnock
January 11, 2019


Manager and producer Andrew King recalls the strange world of Glen Sweeney
 


In a recent Uncut, I wrote about a couple of excellent deluxe reissues from a group that, despite the endless reassessment of the past, still remain obscure – the Third Ear Band. In the late ’60s and early ’70s, however, they were quite the sensation, outselling many other artists on the Harvest label, and supporting the Stones and Blind Faith in Hyde Park. Delightfully, their mix of improvised and otherwordly cello, violin, percussion and oboe still sounds strange in 2019, as you might discover if you track down a copy of their new Elements CD boxset on Cherry Red. As fascinating as their eerie music, though, is their incredible story, involving druids from Dorking, working for Roman Polanski, alchemy and an unlikely Egyptian sojourn during the Second World War for leader and percussionist Glen Sweeney.
The band’s manager and producer Andrew King explains more below – and you can track down the Uncut featuring my four-page Third Ear Band review, and New Order on the cover, until January 18th.

The Third Ear Band sold pretty well at the time, didn’t they?
"They sold better than almost any of the funny things we did on Harvest, apart from maybe Edgar Broughton. For instance, they always sold more than Kevin Ayers, which surprised me. They were pretty unique, I must say. I did listen to a bit the other day; it’s quite extraordinary. They were very strange. Glen Sweeney, good lord, what a guy."

How did they go down live?
"People never got up and started jumping around when they played, because it was the other way – it was more Quaaludes than speed – but they did go down well, yes. There was a small and devoted band [of fans] which gradually grew."

They seemed to be into all the countercultural interests of the era – drugs, mysticism…
"…and the concept of the drone – every hippie thing under the sun could be connected to it, one way or another. The whole aura around them was, I think, a manifestation of what Glen wanted. I think he controlled it – it’s hard to say how. Maybe he did it instinctively. The third ear, the whole mystic thing, he had it sussed."

He sounds a bit like a cult leader.
"Yeah, he was. The band was very much not a cult, though, it was very much four individuals, and he wasn’t seen as a spiritual leader, but he could be quite bossy. He was a lot older than anybody else – allegedly he had taken part in the Second World War, which makes him 20 years older than me. My favourite [of his war stories], which might be completely fictitious, is that he bailed out of an aeroplane over Cairo, floated down in a parachute, landed by the side of a swimming pool surrounded by half a dozen rich Egyptian ladies, and stayed there being looked after by them until the end of the war. "

What do you remember about the sessions for the second Elements LP?
"Allegedly they were completely off their heads on acid, but I naively didn’t realise it. I don’t remember them being any stranger than anybody else around that time, but maybe they were tripping away, a lot of people were. I would say it was all completely improvised. Glen might have a rhythm on his drums to start it going. All the Third Ear Band stuff was done in Studio 3 at Abbey Road. The engineers were very discreet and well behaved, but I did sense that they wondered, “What the fuck’s going on here? What the fuck’s all this about?”"

They played some big gigs – with Al Stewart, with the Stones at Hyde Park…
"[Blackhill] were quite ruthless – if someone had got a tour, we’d stick one of our other bands on it. And when we were doing the concerts in Hyde Park we’d stick all our bands on. I remember on the morning of the Stones concert, Paul Buckmaster phoned me up and said [poshly], “Andrew, what do you think I should wear? Should I wear a dark suit?”"

Ursula Smith was an important part of the second album. What was she like?
"She was a pretty good cellist. I think she’s still married to Steve Pank, who was the roadie. He famously once drove 40 miles the wrong way down the M1 with the band in the back. Steve was a legend for getting lost, always. It’s a miracle they ever got to any gigs at all with him driving. "

If there was a lead instrument, it was surely Paul Minns’ oboe.
"Paul Minns was a pretty extraordinary bloke – I say he’s the John Coltrane of the oboe, I think it’s quite amazing what he plays. There’s nothing to compare it with, his improvisations, I think they’re brilliant, utterly brilliant. Because of the way the reed’s constructed in oboes, you can make incredible noises with it."

What do you remember of their performance on Glastonbury Tor?
"That was really funny – straight out of Monty Python. Glen thought it was very good PR for us to be heavily involved in the druids, so for some solstice or another, or an equinox, we went down there and the druids all showed up and we walked up to the top of Glastonbury Tor. Marching up the hill, Glen was probably complaining about his leg… yeah, it was a war wound. He made out it was anyway. The druids did whatever druids do, sort of moved around and shook their robes and what have you, and the Third Ear Band played, and then we went down again and had a roast lamb and two veg lunch with them. I always remember, we went through all that crazy druid stuff, then they all suddenly turned out to be quantity surveyors from Dorking."

Were they serious about alchemy and magick?
"They were very good musicians; I don’t think they gave a shit about alchemy one way or another. I think they all thought they’d found a way to make some great music and they were going to have a go at it, and they did. Looking back at it now we can laugh at some of the hippie excesses, as they look to us now, but at the same it was very serious stuff. The music doesn’t sound dated at all, that’s the thing."

How did they come to be involved in Macbeth?
"Through one of Polanski’s producers, Hercules Bellvile, he was a nice chap. It was a great experience for everyone, going down to Shepperton in Polanski’s huge Rolls-Royce. It was very exciting. Polanski was just so bright and so smart, he was always 10 paces ahead of anybody. He knew more about everything – he knew every technical thing backwards, he knew exactly what he was trying to do."

It really was the perfect film for them to soundtrack.
"There’s something magic about the Third Ear Band. You don’t realise it at the time, then it’s hard to pin down years later, but there was something special there, there really was."


 no©2019 Luca Chino Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)

January 09, 2019

TEB album is one of the best reissue of 2018 (according Rocklistmusic)!

  


Julian White runs the interesting project of Rocklistmusic at http://www.rocklistmusic.co.uk/. The idea is simple but very incisive:  he tracks all the lists published by the main English and USA rock magazines and makes "the list of the list" for documenting the best records of the year. 
In the section Re-Issues/Compilations (read at http://www.rocklistmusic.co.uk/tysofar.htm) you can find our TEB with the Elements album...

Re-Issues/Compilations

Brian Eno - Discreet Music/Ambient 1 & 4/Music For Films
Rolling Stones - Beggers Banquet
Super Furry Animals - At The BBC
Paul McCartney & Wings - 1971-1973 Box Set
Manic Street Preachers - This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours 20th Anniversary Edition
Terry Callier - The New Folk Sound Of.../What Color Is Love
Neil Young - Songs For Judy
Buzzcocks - Another Music From A Different Kitchen/Love Bites
The Moody Blues - In Search Of The Lost Chord
The Fall - 58 Golden Greats
Third Ear Band - Elements 1970-1971 / Music From Macbeth
Badfinger - Badfinger/Wish You Were Here
The Beta Band - Hot Shots II
Stereolab - Peng!/The Group Played "Space Age Bachelor Pad Music"


 no©2019 Luca Chino Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)

January 08, 2019

An old review about Gonzo's "Spirits" and "Exorcisms"...


An old review from the Web it's this one taken from "Exposé" - American Website devote to "exploring the boundaries of Rock" - written by Peter Thelen (http://www.expose.org/index.php/articles/display/third-ear-band-exorcisms-spirits-3.html). 
He reviewed Gonzo Multimedia's "Spirits" and "Exorcisms" releases:


"Third Ear Band from the beginning was one of the strangest sounding bands, and remains so to this day. I remember bringing home the LP of the band’s first album Alchemy (bought blindly because it was on the reliable Harvest label), playing it all the way through, and just scratching my head in bewilderment. Sounds built up from violin, cello, oboe, recorder, and hand drums, and that’s all! A blend of improvisation seemingly rooted in jazz, Eastern themes, folk, and very little rock, it was definitely the strangest album in my collection up to that point. Truly, in retrospect, it was a precursor of what we call world music today. I was aware of a few more albums coming out in the early 70s, including the soundtrack to Roman Polansky’s Macbeth, then they disappeared, or so I thought. Fast forward to 1988, and the band is back in action on an Italian tour with two original members, drummer Glen Sweeney and oboist Paul Minns, now documented on the album Live Ghosts, opening a second chapter of the band’s career which lasted from that point until around 1993 when they finally called it a day. During that period they were championed by the Italian labels Materiali Sonori and ADN, releasing many more albums both studio and live, and did several more tours of Italy, usually just a handful of dates each time. In recent times, the Gonzo Multimedia label has picked up the mantle and begun releasing archival recordings from both the early 70s and the 88-93 period, the latter where the two releases at hand were culled from. 


Exorcisms is a studio disc of demos from the 1988-89 period, the first the tracks are subtitled The Cambodian Embassy Rehearsals 1988, which is where the band was rehearsing for the upcoming Italian mini-tour that is documented on the Live Ghosts release. The band, just reunited after over a decade of inactivity, consisted of originals Sweeney and Minns, guitarist Mick Carter, and violinist Samuel Allen. The recordings open with “Druid Three,” and then move into a new version of “The Egyptian Book of the Dead,” both derived from the band’s Alchemy period, and then they move onto an eight minute version of “Live Ghosts” (the live version on the album of the same name a year later would be a full five minutes longer). The second part is subtitled The Magic Music Demos 1989, which contains demos of some of the cuts that appeared on the Materiali Sonori 1990 release Magic Music (“Behind the Pyramids” and “Reading the Runes”), another that appered on Live Forecasts (“Witches Dance”) and a couple more in addition to that. For these sessions, Allen and Minns had left, and the band now included violinist Ursula Smith (who had played cello on the band’s second album in 1970), and Lyn Dobson on sax and flute (who had played in Soft Machine and the Keef Hartley Band, and appeared on dozens of recordings over the years as a session man). This is the same lineup that went to Italy for a three date tour in January ’89, four tracks from the first date are documented on the New Forecasts album (originally a cassette release on the ADN Tapes label, Gonzo has now re-released it on CD), and a fourth date was hastily added on the last day before the band went back to England, and seven tracks from that show are released on Spirits – Live at Circolo Tuxedo, the live archival release under review here. A version of “Druid,” “Hyde Park Raga,” a short version of “Egyptian Book of the Dead,” “Spirits” (which is actually “Live Ghosts”) and others, but the real surprise here is “Lark Rise,” which was the closing track on their first album, and I don’t think any other live recordings exist of it. All taken, Gonzo is doing the needful work of getting this archival material out there for all to hear.

no©2019 Luca Chino Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)

January 03, 2019

TEB's album in "All About Jazz"'s Best Releases of 2018!


As every year, editor of the worthy ALL ABOUT JAZZ (https://www.allaboutjazz.com/John Kelman writes a list of his favourite albums. Introducing it, he explains:

"Once again, the chronic health problem that has reduced my writing pace to a crawl continues without any respite. My best of the year lists have traditionally been predicated upon having reviewed the releases chosen, but with only a relative handful of reviews to choose from this year (and with those choices, more than ever now, always representing music that moved me in a big way), there's simply no way to come up with the big lists I used to compile. 


And so, like last year, I figured I'd throw in a top ten (well, eleven) for jazz and beyond (meaning: anything else), including a mix of new releases and reissues/archival finds. But to let folks know that this lists barely scratches the surface of all the music I've been privileged to hear this year—and that, as ever, there are far more "best of" titles than even my previously large lists included—I'll also add, at the end, for anyone interested, a whack of releases would have been reviewed, had it been possible.

So, bearing that in mind, first up are just a few of the top recorded events in jazz and beyond for 2018 (in alphabetical order): 
(...)

Unreviewed But Still Faves
And now, those two additional lists of 2018 releases that I couldn't get around to reviewing, but sure wish I could have. Again, in alphabetical order, every one of these is top-drawer, regardless of genre, and worthy of attention:

Jazz
 
(...)

Beyond

The Beatles, The Beatles (White Album) Super Deluxe Edition Kate Bush, Remastered Part 1 & Remastered Part 2 
Rosanne Cash, She Remembers Everything (Deluxe) 
Ry Cooder, Prodigal Son 
Bob Dylan, More Blood More Tracks: Bootleg Series Vol. 14 Family, At the BBC
Grateful Dead, Pacific Northwest '73-'74 (The Complete Recordings) 
Jimi Hendrix, Axis Bold As Love (Mono + Stereo SACD Hybrid) Ashley Hutchings, Paradise & Thorns 
Paul McCartney, Egypt Station
Willie Nelson, Last Man Standing 
Procol Harum, Still There'll Be More 
Sanguine Hum, Now We Have Power 
Third Ear Band, Elements 1970-1971 
Richard Thompson, 13 Rivers 
The Sea Within, The Sea Within 
Frank Zappa, The Roxy Performances  

Digital version HERE

no©2019 Luca Chino Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)

December 31, 2018

A review of "Third Ear Band" remastered edition on "Prog" last issue.



Sid Smith on English magazine PROG devotes to the so-called "progressive music" reviews on the last issue (# 93 - Nov. 30th, 2018) the Esoteric Recordings' reissue of "Third Ear Band". Here below the screenshot of it taken from PressReader.com


 Digital version here: https://www.pressreader.com/uk/prog/20181130/283210149284641

no©2018 Luca Chino Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)

December 29, 2018

"Alchemy" remastered edition in March 2019!


The Esoteric Recordings' remastered and expanded edition of "Alchemy"
 will be a double CD with four unreleased tracks!
The CD is scheduled for March 2019.
Here's the tracklist:
 


















CD One
 

“ALCHEMY" REMASTERED (Released in July 1969)

1. Mosaic 2. Ghetto Raga 3. Druid One 4. Stone Circle 5. Egyptian Book of the Dead 6. Area Three 7. Dragon Lines 8. Lark Rise

Bonus tracks


9.  Cosmic Trip*
10. Jason’s Trip*
11. Devil’s Weed*
(Recordings made in 1968)


Note:
* Recorded as National Balkan Ensemble
 






















CD Two
 

PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED STUDIO SESSIONS 1969

1. Unity

2. Raga No. 1 (mono)*
(Recorded at E.M.I. Studios on 24th January 1969)
Previously unreleased

    3. The Sea  
    4. Hyde Park Raga  
    5. Druid 
    (Recorded at E.M.I. Studios on 12th September 1969)
    Previously unreleased


    Note:
    *= same version of "Raga in D", already published by Gonzo in "Necromancers of the Drifting West" (2015)


    BBC RADIO SESSIONS
     

    6. Hyde Park Raga
    7. Druid One 

    8. Ghetto Raga


    (BBC Radio One “Top Gear” session – 27th July 1969)























    no©2018 Luca Chino Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)

    December 25, 2018

    A little gift for Xmas: the Ghettoraga Archive Youtube channel.


    A little gift for Xmas time dedicated to the Third Ear Band fans: here's the Ghettoraga Archive Youtube channel with old and unreleased (rough) videos of the band. Click on the Youtube logo on your right and go to the channel's dashboard.

    The last upload is a short excerpt from the first gig Third Ear Band played in Italy on September 8th, 1988 at S. Agostino's Cloister in Bergamo. From that concert, Materiali Sonori produced the album "Live Ghosts".
    Filmed by Francesco Paolo Paladino just for his own pleasure, this is a 15 minutes excerpt of "More Mosaic" played by Glen Sweeney, Mick Carter, Paul Minns and Allen Samuel.

    Soon here the full concert the band played in Piacenza at Circolo Tuxedo in 1989 recently documented on the CD "Spirits".  

    no©2018 Luca Chino Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)

    December 22, 2018

    Why Esoteric Records titled the remastered edition "Elements 1970-1971"...


    Some TEB listeners and fans disapproved the decision of Esoteric Records to title the remastered and expanded "Third Ear Band" edition as "Elements 1970-1971".
    The choice was not accidental or shallow, but it was the consequence of some deep considerations.

    "Elements" was one of the titles as the album became famous among fans and music journalists, even if often was replaced with the more appropriate "Air, Earth, Fire and Water".

    Because as a matter of fact, these 3CDs are a document of a specific period of the TEB story it seems more appropriate to title it "Elements 1970-1971": in fact this is not a mere reissue of the 1970 original album with alternate or unreleased tracks from that recording sessions, but it's a more elaborate document about a sort of 'work in progress' for projecting and realising that spectacular record.


    (Go inside the album  at Cherry Red-Esoteric Recording page: https://www.cherryred.co.uk/product/third-ear-band-third-ear-band-elements-1970-71-3cd-remastered-expanded-digipak-edition/)

    no©2018 Luca Chino Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)

    December 16, 2018

    The "Third Ear Band" CD's unreleased tracks: some philological evidence.


    Perhaps it can be interesting to write some explanations about the new recordings emerged from the EMI/Trident Studios/BBC radio programmes thanks to Cherry Red Records-Esoteric Recordings. A historical excursus can facilitate the order of things and clear up some philological evidence:

    1. "Third Ear Band" was published in June 1970. The album was recorded at Abbey Road Studios in some difficult sessions in April: this is stated by Paul Minns in his personal diary, so we have to assume it as the truth.

    TEB on stage for France TV (May 28th, 1970).

    Thus, it's not correct to consider the two tracks emerged from the vaults - "Earth" (take four) and "The Sea" ("Fire") - as part of those recording sessions that lead to the Harvest album because they were recorded months before:
    "Earth" (take four) was in fact recorded on January 6th, 1970 and "The Sea" (Fire)" on March 16th, 1970, as an effect of a creative process developing through the months, with attempts and errors, sketches and proofs... until the band started the proper recording sessions for the album.

    (Please note that a first version of "The Sea" was recorded on September 12th, 1969 at Abbey Road Studio (it will be published on the remastered edition of "Alchemy" in March 2019), confirming that the title was around from the very beginning...)

    Denim Bridges in September 1970.
    From a very first listening "The Sea" is clearly "Water" (but the sea is made of water, isn't it so?), a version very similar to the original one; more difficult is to tell what exactly is "Earth", because it seems there are no clear relations with the published version of it: a folk uptempo ballad with a solid rigid structure, no improvisations, only little variations from the main theme with violin and oboe leading. A rural, very earthly tune in the great pagan British folk tradition... that can be considered the link between the "Alchemy" phase with the following one.

    It's important to note that those were the titles written on the reel boxes, so editor Mark Powell made a simple philological choice publishing the things as they were, not as we think they might be (in a chrono/logical sequence).
     
    Paul Minns on oboe in 1970.
    Again, as every TEB listener well know, Glen was always obsessed by the titles for copyright reasons, so often he used to change the titles to the same tune...
    In fact...

    2. Some weeks later, on June 16th, 1970, the band played at "Sound of '70's" BBC radio programme three tracks: "Dog Evil" (actually "Mosaic"), "The Sea" (a.k.a. "Air") and "Druid One", already available among the fans.
    We have to consider two interesting things:

    a. TEB's attitude for giving different titles to the same tune, typical of Glen and
    b. here, "The Sea" has become "Air", confirming the idea that for the TEB every time is a brand new time, and a tune cannot be played two times in the same way...

    Bridges and House at Abbey Road Studios in February 1971.

    3. On July 2nd and 3rd, the band recorded in Germany at NDR Studios the soundtrack for the TV movie "Abelard", published for the first time on a CD in my old book "Necromancers of the Drifting West" (Stampa Alternativa, 1999), then on a single CD by Blueprint (1999). Now is included on the second disc of this Esoteric remastered edition because Powell got the original masters from NDR, even if Stampa Alternativa edition was taken from the original reel Paul Minns kept in his attic for years: if you compare the two editions few quality differences appear...

    4. In September, Ursula Smith and Richard Coff left the band. Sweeney and Minns reformed the group as Electric 3rd EarBand replacing them with Denim Bridges (on guitar) and Paul Buckmaster (on bass). One of the first documented recordings of the quartet (with congas player Gasper Lawall) was the session at the programme "Beat Club" (German TV) on September 11th, where they played "In D", "Hyde Park" and "Druid Grocking". The set is documented by a DVD produced by Gonzo Multimedia in 2015 as "The Lost Broadcasts" (HST069DVD), reviewed in this Archive at the page https://ghettoraga.blogspot.com/2011/11/lost-broadcasts-dvd-review.html


    Ad announcing "The Dragon Wakes" in August 1970.

    5. From November 1970 this new quartet (with Richard Coff  involved sometimes) started to record at Abbey Road Studios a new album announced as "The Dragon Wakes", never published. From a session set on November 11th, are now available on Esoteric new CD three unreleased instrumentals:

    - "Very Fine... Far Away"
    - "The Dragon Wakes"
    - "Sunrise"

    6. A new session is documented on December 5th, 1970 at the London Trident Studios where the TEB recorded three tracks (then re-recorded for the "Macbeth" soundtrack):

    - "Court Dance"
    - "Groom's Dance"
    - "Fleance"

    These tracks (described on the reel boxes as the "first version") will be included on the "Music from Macbeth" remastered edition that Esoteric Recordings will publish in January 2019.

    If "Court Dance" and "Groom's Dance" are an acoustic version of the tracks (i.e. in "Groom's Dance" there's no electric bass...), is very difficult to consider "Fleance" actually a different version, because it seems to me exactly the same...


    Bridges playing at EMI Studios in February 1971.

    An evidence that force us to make some observations about the events: why they recorded a "first version" of the track many months before and then they decided to use the same? Were this tracks thought for "The Dragon Wakes" album or, as, early versions of the "Macbeth" project? And if "Fleance" is actually the same version, why they use that for the soundtrack without trying to record a better version? (or they recorded them but this one was the best)...

    7. On January 17th, 1971 the band played live on air at the BBC radio programme "John Peel Concert" three tracks (already published by Gonzo Multimedia in 2015 in a rough form):

    - "Water"
    - "Druid One"
    - "Eternity in D"

    this last one very different from "Raga in D" and "In D": was this track recorded in the studio before (and cancelled) or this is the first official 'appearance' of it?

    Interesting DJ John Peel presenting "Eternity in D" quite ironically said: "The next is from the third LP which will be realised in February, March, April, or May or somewhere... and the title of it is very secret or unpronounceable...", because the band was in the process to record "The Dragon Wakes" and there was apparently no evidence the TEB was recording the Macbeth soundtrack...
     
    Sweeney and House at Abbey Road Sudios in February 1971.

    8. In February 1971 TEB went to the Balham Studios (Bridges doesn't remember it and thinks it was Abbey Road Studios) for recording other tracks for "The Dragon Wakes" album.
    A rare 3:00 video document with the band recording a rendition of "Fire" is available on the Net at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LF7sZU_xUCg&feature=youtu.be, with the band playing

    Paul Buckmaster at EMI Studios in February 1971.
    Denim Bridges recalled: "I don't know why the session was held although I do remember it. I was never included in those matters. I hope the purpose will be discovered now the video is on the Internet. Because of the faux wind sound (from Simon's VCS3 I think) and the fact the Paul Minns played something reminiscent of the opening to 'Air' off the 2nd LP I'm assuming the track is supposed to be 'Air'. The performance soon departs from the above-mentioned version but with cello being replaced by both bass guitar and guitar that might be expected. That is also (probably) to be expected as TEB was primarily an improvisational band".

    Another track "Raga n. 1" (8:31), recorded at E.M.I. Studios (with Richard Coff again) was kept for years by Paul Minns, and I asked Gonzo Multimedia to include it on "Necromancers of the Drifting West" CD published in 2015 (HST311CD).

     
    Paul Minns recording a rendition of "Air" at Abbey Road Studios in February 1971.

    Other six tracks, never mixed, are still in Denim Bridges' hands, and we can only hope he can decide one day to realize them (read in this Archive at https://ghettoraga.blogspot.com/2010/09/very-rare-sampler-from-1971-recording.html).
    Interviewed by me in 2010 he explained: "The problem with much of our discussion is that sometimes the same (or very similar) piece of music had different titles. The piece "Eternity in D" was called "Genetic Octopogillar Goo", which was also used, at one time, for "The discrimination against Runny Custard", which I call "Custard" for short but "Discrimination" is a more appropriate title. "Discrimination" is now the title, ok? "Eternity in D" musically had nothing to do with the poem of the same title on your archive. Another example of using the same title  for different things. To the converse, the same (or very similar) piece had the same title...".

    Minns, Buckmaster & Sweeney recording at Abbey Road Studios in February 1971.

    9. Recorded and mixed on February 12th, 1971, finally we can now listen to "Mistress to the Sun", a rare vocal song is sung (and presumably composed) by Denim Bridges. A sort of art-song in the style of Faust's "IV" or Slapp Happy with a strong flavour of the '70's...
    The band intended to make a single out the new forthcoming album...

    10. Going back to Abbey Road Studios, on March 11th, 1971, TEB recorded and mixed another instrumental tune, "Evening Awakening", maybe for "The Dragon Wakes" album, even if the nature of this long piece of music (23 minutes) suggests it was a sort of jam in the studio or at least a mini suite formed by three different tunes:
    - a first (wonderful!) 9:40 tune in the same mood of the "Beat Club" TV studio recordings;
    - a second (quite boring!) 3:20 section based on some improvisations of Sweeney at the drum kit with bass explorations by Buckmaster and a hypnotic iterative sequence of notes by Minns on a distorted oboe;
    - a 10:00 extraordinary part with impressive percussive work by Coff on violin and great interplay of musicians inspired to Davis' "Bitches Brew" new course.


    Ursula Smith playing cello on stage for France TV (May 28th, 1970).

    11. A new recording session, on June 4th, 1971, signed the end of the troubled "The Dragon Wakes" album with an 11:00 recording of "In D.

    Interesting compare this version to that played at "Beat Club" in 1970 because very little elements seem to have in common: this version in fact, with Richard Coff on violin, has a completely different time signature, very different (and high quality!) guitar work by Bridges, a great interplay between Coff and Minns on oboe, the real soloists of the tune...

    Since from the incipit, the version played in Germany has that chords sequence Bridges played in "Eternity in D", taken from Miles Davis' "So What". So, the title is the same, confirming the TEB attitude to improvise every time with no predefined harmonic/melodic structures, as a matter of fact, we have two very different tunes...


    Richard Coff playing  on stage for France TV (May 28th, 1970).

    12. In July and August 1971 the TEB went to Air Studio for recording the Macbeth soundtrack: so, apparently, a chronological approach to the things would suggest that the band before tried to record the third album and then they were involved into the Polanski's project (even if that session at Trident Studios seem to contradict it...).


    "The Dragon Wakes" (ghost album):
    Apart from the tracks owned by Denim Bridges, we can now suppose a track-list for the aborted "The Dragon Wakes", based on recordings at Abbey Road Studios between November 1970 to June 1971:

    - "Very Fine... Far Away" (November 1970)* - 2:30
    - "The Dragon Wakes" (November 1970)* - 10:27
    - "Sunrise" (November 1970)* - 12:55
    - "Mistress to the Sun" (February 1971)* - 6:24
    - "Fire" (February 1971)** - 3:06
    - "Raga n. 1" (February 1971)*** - 8:31
    - "Evening Awakening" (March 1971)* - 23:00
    - "In D" (June 1971)* - 11:00
    - "Eternity in D" (January 1971)**** - 6:28

    Note:
    *published in 2018 by Esoteric Recordings in "Third Ear Band" (PECLEC 32653) 
    **in video format only on YouTube channel 
    ***published in 2015 by Gonzo Multimedia in "Necromancers of the Drifting West"  (HST311CD)
    ****published in 2018 by Esoteric Recordings in "Third Ear Band" (PECLEC 32653)


    The Balham Studios recordings: 
    (February 1971)

    - "Air" (different version from 1970 track) - 7:31
    - "Mini Mac" - 4:21
    - "Ghoo" (a.k.a. "Eternity in D") - 3:58
    - "Game Six" - 2:34
    - "Discrimination" - 6:39 
    - "Fire" (different version from 1970 track)* - 3:06 

    Note:
    * Probably the same version of the video circulating on YouTube 


    no©2018 Luca Chino Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)

    December 13, 2018

    A crap useless DVD bootleg of the TEB on sale on the Web!


    Please, don't waste your money, TEB collectors! This time it's not worth.
    A DVD titled "Third Ear Band 1969-1971" with videos of the band is available on the Net at € 21,50 (HERE), but it shows just only well-known videos easily available for free everywhere.
    Here's the description of the "product": 

    "A rare and beautiful DVD (2 hours & 23 min'. excellent quality of picture and sound) of the unique UK 70s band with its unique blend of prog-folk-classic. (the disc is a top quality printable dvd-r disc with all the details and the band's photo beutifuly printed on the disc)."

    As for the t-shirts on sale on e-bay (see HERE), the worst thing is that someone is trying to make money from this NOT AUTHORIZED product and the  group members and their families don't get any royalties from this.



    no©2018 Luca Chino Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)

    December 12, 2018

    Carolyn says...


    Glen Sweeney's life partner Carolyn Looker, graphic designer of many TEB covers, received the new remastered expanded 3CDs writes me: 

    "Firstly, yes as always l enjoyed your writing. Some of the quotes from other band members were not quite as things were but l guess over time our memories deceive us! 
    So far l've only listened to  CD3 which has tracks 1 and 2 which l cannot remember at all! 
    Who is singing?
    I realise I appreciate the music far more now as l'm able to be a listener rather than being involved in the reality and stressy times of the gigs.   Anyway I truly think it's absolutely brilliant!
    Thank you for the link to Ghettoraga archive, I read it through and was totally engrossed! What a wonderful past we all had!  
    Thank you so much Luca for collecting all those memories and writing about them with such love.
    I will be in touch with any more that come to mind.
    All the best for now."

    no©2018 Luca Chino Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)