Jack Bruce’s “Songs For A Tailor” Get Deluxe Treatment

Jack Bruce was a genius – a tremendous player, singer and composer – but even a genius feels the need to be understood, especially when starting out on his own after working with peers in great ensembles which proved to be mere stepping stones for one’s shining talents. This is why, having had recorded an album titled “Things We Like” in 1968, the Scottish musician decided non-aficionados, who didn’t expect any experiments from him, would not really like instrumental jazz, so Bruce temporarily shelved the tapes and chose a better way to draw attention to his freshly minted individual career. Jack, and lyricist Peter Brown, came up with a stunning collection of pieces that the artist originally envisioned as songs and titled the platter, destined to become his solo debut, “Songs For A Tailor” after his friend Jeannie Franklyn, a clothing designer for CREAM and other bands, who perished in the infamous crash of FAIRPORT CONVENTION’s van. And now the 1969 platter, an instant classic, will see an expanded, definitive reissue.

It would become a classic even if it didn’t include “Theme For An Imaginary Western” and “Rope Ladder To The Moon” which the likes of COLOSSEUM and MOUNTAIN turned into perennials but these oxymoronically short epics forged Jack’s reputation once and for all. The presence of such kindred spirits as Dick Heckstall-Smith and Jon Hiseman – who helped him realize the previous longplay – as well as George Harrison and Chris Spedding, plus John Marshall and Henry Lowther, and a couple more luminaries didn’t hurt it either. It always sounded tremendous, yet the LP and 2CD/2Blu-ray box set that are planned for release on July 26th should enhance previous impressions of the album.

What comprises the vinyl disc and the first compact disc of the set is a newly remastered “Songs” – with CD augmented with four bonuses which first appeared on the record’s 2003 reissue, while the second CD adds a smattering of the earlier unheard working takes to a 2024 stereo remix by Stephen W Tayler, and Blu-rays contain all of these, plus 5.1 surround sound version, with a contemporary documentary rounding off the collection. The collection that is an inaugural entry in a very promising deluxe editions programme. Feels like a must-have.

Songs For A Tailor

CD 1 – original mix remastered:
1. Never Tell Your Mother She’s Out Of Tune
2. Theme For an Imaginary Western
3. Tickets To Waterfalls
4. Weird Of Hermiston
5. Rope Ladder To The Moon
6. The Ministry Of Bag
7. He The Richmond
8. Boston Ball Game 1967
9. To Isengard
10. The Clearout
bonus tracks:
11. Ministry Of Bag (demo)
12. Weird Of Hermiston (alternate mix)
13. The Clearout (alternate mix)
14. Ministry Of Bag (alternate mix)

CD 2 – new stereo mix:
1-10 – as on CD 1
bonus tracks:
11. Rope Ladder To The Moon (first demo)
12. Never Tell Your Mother She’s Out Of Tune (first attempt)
13. Vikings (To Isengard) (first attempt)
14. Rope Ladder To The Moon (second attempt)
15. You Burned The Tables On Me (instrumental demo)
16. Escape To The Royal Wood (On Ice) (instrumental demo)

Blu-ray 1:
96 kHz / 24-bit new 5.1 Surround Sound & stereo mixes & remastered original stereo mix
1-10 – as on CD 1
1-16 – as on CD 2

Blu-ray 2:
Rope Ladder To The Moon – the 1970 documentary

May 4, 2024

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