THE FRATERNAL ORDER OF THE ALL – Greetings From Planet Love

Dome 1997 / Esoteric 2023

When the late great lonely boy went into a dream and embraced cosmic conscience.

Greetings From Planet Love

Over the last five decades there has been no deficit of semi-fictional ensembles attempting to harness the ’60s psychedelia, yet if THE RUTLES and SPINAL TAP platters were issued to universal acclaim, this album, to paraphrase its creator’s words, was released to “to hoopla and kudos” instead of to the public, the creator, the TFOOTA mastermind, being none other than Andrew Gold. Yes, a writer and producer, an associate of Joni Mitchell and Linda Ronstadt, a hitmaker behind such charming songs as “Lonely Boy” and “Spooky, Scary Skeletons” as a solo artist and “Bridge To Your Heart” as a half of WAX, his partnership with 10CC’s Graham Gouldman, one of the very few musicians appearing on “Greetings From Planet Love” alongside Gold who played almost all instruments here. Andrew used a pseudonym to realize his Beatlesque fantasy – originally not as overtly announced by cover artwork – but fueled it with incendiary sense of humor and mild cynicism to lead the listener through stylistic wormhole on a trip to much warmer times.

It’s a concept platter, of course – brief interludes “Swirl,” “Whirl” and “Twirl” go as far as to suggest an indigo-inducing spin of a temporal carousel – although the genuine wonder and constant movement of “Planet Love” emerge from the record’s melodic allure and polyphony, the many voices emanating solely from Gold’s vocal chords and filling the ether with multicolored rapture. From the piano-propelled pure pop of “Rainbow People” onwards, there’s infectious joy spread in spurts and shifts across the genre-bending universe of sounds where symphonic passages are married to raga drone and wrapped around sunshine rock. Yet while “Love Tonight” shrouds fragile balladry in diaphanous harmonies and cinematic sonics and “Tuba Rye And Will’s Son / Balloon In The Sky” floats on majestic orchestral waves, “Chasing My Tail” wavers amidst chiming strings and “King Of Showbiz” bounces off a dance groove before “Freelove Baby” offers heavy funk, splashed with brass and spiked with acidic guitars, and “Wink Of The Third Eye” introduces lysergic vaudeville to the album’s sparkly vibe.

Strangely, the echoes of THE BEACH BOYS, THE BYRDS, THE DOORS entering the platter’s space at various point don’t fill it with nostalgia – the deceptively sorrowful “Time Is Standing Still” addresses this paradox with quite elegantly – and the Bob-and-Fabs-channeling “Mr. Plastic Business Man” will resolve in smile, and not for nothing the intense “Tomorrow Drop Dead” is a future-facing mantra. Sadly, Andrew Gold passed away in 2011, but his works – even the so unusual, unconventional “Greetings” – remain on our planet to bloom on and on.


September 4, 2023

Category(s): Reissues
Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *