AAA 100% Analogue This LP was Remastered using Pure Analogue Components Only from the Master Tapes through to the Cutting Head
Harvest SHVL752 / Pure Pleasure - PPAN SHVL752 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl -
Limited Edition - Pure Analogue Audiophile Mastering
Mastered by Sean Magee at Abbey Road - Pressed at Pallas Germany
Pure Pleasure Records has produced a sonically textured re-mastering. The stringed instruments and reeds are fluid and not piercing. Brown’s voice is jagged but never too harsh. The slide guitar has a mind-bending resonance (and sounds even better with headphones). The double vinyl sides enhance the sequential flow of the material. The glossy gatefold jacket is top-notch and the black-and-white cartoon graphics will bring a smile to rock fans. Sound 4/5 Audaud
Pete Brown was a Londoner and a veteran of the underground scene. Born in 1940, he first came to prominence as a poet. He was just 14 when his first poem appeared in "Evergreen Revue" in the US. Then in the early sixties he worked alongside another British poet Mike Horowitz. His direct involvement with rock music came when he was asked to form a songwriting partnership with Jack Bruce to write lyrics for Cream and the partnership proceeded to produce the lyrics for many of their finest songs: "Wrapping Paper", "I Feel Free", "Sunshine Of Your Love" and "White Room".
After the demise of Cream, Brown continued to write with Bruce but also began his own recording career with The Battered Ornaments who included Chris Spedding. After an initial 45, which with its wailing saxes and effective vocals was underrated, the band recorded this album which was a mixture of jazz-rock and blues. "Dark Lady", "The Old Man and Station Song" were among the fine tracks and the latter later got a further airing on the "Before Singing Lessons" compilation. "Station Song" and "Dark Lady" had earlier featured along with "Travelling Blues" on the ultra-rare promo-only Harvest Sampler in 1969.
This release breaks the long sides down to four sides of vinyl which enhances the sound quality considerably. Also of interest is that it has been mastered in the same studio at Abbey Road as was the initial release and from the same original analogue tape masters
A Meal You Can Shake Hands With In The Dark has been reissued on 180-gram vinyl. Drawing on diverse musical influences, the album mixes jazz, rock, blues and folk in a dizzying (and sometimes, uneven) representation. The opening track, “Dark Lady” is a cacophonous horn-laden psychedelic-blues piece. Brown doesn’t possess a pure voice, but he sings with emotional intensity. There is a certain sinister imagery in the lyrics and the music. “The Old Man” employs a slack-type tuning as Chris Spedding injects some grooves into the guitar runs. It sounds very late sixties British with wah-wah, and atmospheric descending lines, like The Spencer Davis Group.
Brown reveals his socio-political conviction on the piece he wrote with Jack Bruce, “The Politician”. It begins with hipster, free-form verse that addresses the cultural state of London. This scat diatribe is reminiscent of beatnik comedian Lord Buckley. After an avant-garde, screeching tenor riff from Nisar Ahmed Khan, the band breaks into a rollicking “mojo” jam. Spedding is agile on slide guitar and this could be the group’s best performance. Side 4 also utilizes more structure on the 12 bar blues opus, “Travelling Blues” (Or “The New Used Jew’s Dues Blues)”. It’s traditional, but with a dash of English sarcasm. Brown contributes tough vocals and a solo on trumpet.
The closest thing to a pop song is “Rainy Taxi Girl” The addition of flute (Khan) and a Middle Eastern-flavored tango arrangement is interesting. The phrasing (both vocal and instrumental) is different from what was being played at the time. “Sandcastle” also employs exotic ambiance with jazzy percussion and flute accents. It is difficult to describe Brown’s music. He does seem to incorporate some progressive rock elements.
Pure Pleasure Records has produced a sonically textured re-mastering. The stringed instruments and reeds are fluid and not piercing. Brown’s voice is jagged but never too harsh. The slide guitar has a mind-bending resonance (and sounds even better with headphones). The double vinyl sides enhance the sequential flow of the material. The glossy gatefold jacket is top-notch and the black-and-white cartoon graphics will bring a smile to rock fans.
A Meal You Can Shake hands With In The Dark is offbeat, yet weirdly appealing.
1. Dark Lady
2. The Old Man
3. Station Song
4. The Politician
1. Rainy Taxi Girl
2. Morning Call
4. Travelling Blues (Or The New Used Jew's Dues Blues)
Brown then suffered the humiliation of being thrown out of the band the night before they had a Hyde Park gig with The Rolling Stones. Brown's response was to form a new band, Piblokto!
Pete Brown (vocal, trumpet)
Nisar A. Khan (tenor saxophone)
Dick Heckstall-Smith (tenor saxophone)
Chris Spedding (guitar)
Charlie Hart (organ)
Butch Porter (bass)
Rob Tait (drums)
Pete Bailey (conga)
Production: Andrew King and Dick Heckstall-Smith