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Monday, September 1, 2014

News: Havenstreet's very rare album "The End of the Line" to be reissued on Sommor

News coming out of Spain is that Sommor Records will be reissuing the very obscure 1977 album from Havenstreet. This was one of those albums, that after first hearing about it, I turned every stone over looking for a copy. Finally I got a chance to hear it in 2005 at Meister Dirk's pad. What a disappointment. Of course I'd been told it was a Canterbury like record, so my expectations were not set properly. It's not Canterbury at all (except maybe the vocals which vaguely recall Richard Sinclair). But it is a folk rock album - and that genre has many fans. So I think this title will be well received by those who love obscure folk rock. I've heard many people praise this record, beyond collectors looking to profit. I had this one only in the main list prior.

This double CD will feature two unknown cassette releases as well as rehearsals for the album proper and a lost 4th album from 1979. These collectively will be known by the title "Perspectives".

This is the CDRWL's first encounter with the Sommor label, but it appears they are in the Guerssen circle. All looks above board to me. Here's the label's description:

"The genesis of Havenstreet goes back to 1969, when Phil Ridgway and Jeff Vinter played in The Gas, an experimental psychedelic band heavily influenced by Barrett-era Pink Floyd. The two friends started to write songs their own songs, ending up as a folk duo. With the offer to record some of their material at a friend’s studio, they recruited more musical friends…so Havenstreet was born. The influences had expanded now to bands and artists such as Peter Hammill, Strawbs, Traffic, Procol Harum, Stackridge, Keith Tippett, Bert Jansch…In the early-mid 70s they recorded a couple of albums which circulated as private cassettes among friends and relatives. In 1977, Havenstreet released “The End Of The Line”, a self-released album in a private edition of 250 copies. It was collection of very English songs with evocative, literate lyrics and a stunning progressive folk-rock sound. It featured one of the earliest known tributes to Syd Barrett on the song “When the madcap meets the world”. 

This expanded double set reissue of Havenstreet’s sought after album includes: 

*The original “The End of the Line” album from 1977. 

*A new album called “Perspectives” which presents the best tracks from the privately pressed cassettes The Autumn Wind (1974) and Transition (1976) plus rehearsal recordings for The End of the Line (1975/1976) and previously unreleased recordings for the group’s projected fourth album (1979), which was never completed. These amazing tracks range from electric acid-folk to Barrett-esque psych-pop, pastoral folk and Caravan styled prog-rock. 

*16-page LP-sized booklet with photos and detailed liner notes. Remastered from the original master tapes. 

“Attractive songs combine with relaxed, amateurish male vocals and intricate lyrics to form a coherent work with a clear personality. Stylistically it’s reminiscent of melodic, rural-prog-rock like Caravan or Hatfield & The North, with occasional flute and sax ornaments. A few tunes with full guitar-rock setting betray a possible Richard Thompson influence”- Patrick Lundborg (Galactic Ramble) 

“…Combining the back-to-basics acoustic feel of the nu-folk generation with a swirly, psychedelic vibe, ”The End of the Line” could actually be an album that was made in 2014. But this album was privately released in 1977. Now finally remastered and brought into the present, the retrospective feeling is amplified and should appeal greatly to fans of 70s folk and progressive music. This reissue is a must have even for the lucky few who own an original copy of the album as it comes with a bonus disc, ”Perspectives”, that compiles non-LP tracks from 1974-79. The quality of the extra material shines through…” – Michael Bjorn (Strange Days Magazine) 

Tracklist: THE END OF THE LINE: German Castles - When The Madcap Meets the World - Old Ways and Schooldays - Music in the Night - Suspended Animation - The H.S.B Song - Yesterday Was Summer – Rain - The Castle - Out of the Fireglow - The Keeper of the Tower - The Photograph - After Time 

PERSPECTIVES: Aftermath - Falling Leaves In Autumn - Fat Old Engine - Family Laughter - Just An Illusion – Klok – Damascus – Grasshopper - Your Not Being There - The Ballroom Of Despair – Aftersong - Village Vespers"

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