Dandelion 1971 / Cherry Red 2011 / Guerssen 2015
A classic LP finally gets its sonic due and expands to embrace previously hidden horizons.
Like Donovan before him, John Trevor Midgley wasn’t content to confine his acoustic picking to the folky ball, and, perhaps, it was this hunger for wrapping worldly observations in deceptively simple but, in fact, imaginative garb that made Beau, as the artist is mostly known, a prize runner at John Peel’s Dandelion label. “Creation” was his second album for the label but there was more to its story which the veteran is eager to tell now with the LP’s enhanced edition available as an official, remastered download.
The “Recreated” version on Cherry Red may correct the original’s problems by four new mixes – a silky sad “There Once Was A Time” removes stereo separation of guitar and voice – but retains its actual freshness. With a great attention to detail, “Nine Minutes” (not the song’s length) throws the listener in the contemporary turmoil, its web of acoustic strum stressing the grim situation of vandalism depicted, while the more anxious “Ferris Street” rings with an echoing drone. Elsewhere, a clavioline adds a cosmic edge to the gently textured “April Meteor” and electronic effects take the whispered words of the title track into space. Yet when it comes to real scorching, nothing here equals the surprise arrival of searing acid guitar on “Silent Returns”, courtesy of TRACTOR’s Jim Milne whose bandmate Steve Clayton spikes the psychedelic soup with mad drumming. That was the climactic end of “Creation”.
A vinyl edition on Guerssen reverts to the original mix, its value’s upped by expanded liner notes from Beau and a ballad “The Smoke Of Eden” that previously was issued out of context on the artist’s ‘archival. But “Recreated” picks up from there with a universal swirl of “Shadows Of The Moon”, synthesizer dancing around a 12-string, an enchanting cut written for that album yet omitted to be recorded in 1978, whereas the waltz of “Rank & File” sees Beau at the firm troubadour grounds as does “The Special Night” from Beau’s unreleased record, “High Mass”. At the same “Sky Dance” which was to land on that LP, is presented in its original, sulphuric form as opposed to its sweet variant issued under the John Trevor name (also included here), and “Able Seaman Sperm”, from 1995, shows there’s still much creative zip in the veteran.