Elektra 1968 / Esoteric 2016
Ahead of their days but lost in time, multinational collective’s attempt to conquer the world.
They came from four countries, and Joni Mitchell, who allegedly named them, sensed this group’s potentially wide range of influences but, despite such a promise, “Eclection” has a strange uniformity to it. The quintet’s only record that may sound rather dated now is, in retrospect, quite futuristic in its capturing of the ’70s sonic scheme.
Not yet MOR, the band excelled in elegant, easy listening songs such as “Still I Can See” or “Nevertheless” where Kerrilee Male and Georg Hultgree’s voices blend so sweet, although without the piquancy the latter’s writing would acquire in SAILOR. Undoubtedly inspired by the West Coast ensembles of the era, they were also indebted to English folk – no wonder bassist Trevor Lucas and drummer Gerry Conway would go on to form FOTHERINGAY with Sandy Denny and then followed her to FAIRPORTS – with “St. George & The Dragon” adding theatrical, lysergic layer to traditional roots.
If such a cultural mix is painstakingly outlined on the baroque-tinctured “In Her Mind” and “Violet Dew” that are enveloped in strings, full-blown psychedelia kicks in on “In The Early Days” thanks to guitarist Michael Rosen’s trumpet patterns. There’s depth to the likes of “Confusion” with its tentative rocking raga and, recorded with a new female singer, single “Please” points a way towards serious grooves, which weren’t to arrive, as the band broke up soon after the record hit the shelves.
These songs lack deliberate naivety as well as overt sophistication so typical for their era; that’s why the album has a natural emotional timbre even now