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15 Feb 2017

Chad Stuart And Jeremy Clyde "Of Cabbages And Kings" 1967 US Psych Folk Rock,Baroque Pop

Chad Stuart And Jeremy Clyde  "Of Cabbages And Kings" 1967 US Psych Folk Rock,Baroque Pop
 In the autumn of 1967 the duo released their most ambitious album Of Cabbages And Kings. It's psychedelic, satirical work different from that used to do Chad & Jeremy. During the years 1967-1968 the duo continued to actively record and perform, but interest in them has been gradually fade. In many ways, the reason for it was the policy of the company Columbia Records, which did not consider it necessary to invest in the "promotion" of the next record. Album 1968 The Ark could be an event in the music world (Chad and Jeremy experimented a lot in the studio, trying to find new moves), but Columbia does not make an effort to promote the record. Last duet album was released by another company already after the duo officially ceased to exist. So in late 1968 he ended the history of Chad & Jeremy. After the collapse of the duo Jeremy remembered about his education and became an actor. In the mid-70 Chad and Jeremy were going to the studio and recorded some demo material, and in 1983 reaffirmed itself, releasing a new album. Since then, they appear and disappear from view, preferring to take part in various concerts devoted to 60-th year..................

Among the most expensive and varied instrumentation in pop history, in superb Simon and Garfunkel meet Sergent Pepper's mode - this is a hi- fi treasure. Built around clear sensitive vocals and delicate, skilful acoustic guitar, with a crystalline, delicacy of sound. This was singled out for some desperately cruel reviews at the time. It was seen as the kind self-indulgent, hyper-expensive album that could bankrupt a lable. Accused of pretentiousness, undanceability and derivitiveness ( of Simon and Garfunkel)! There are at least half a dozen strong tracks - most of which were cut before Pepper was even issued. A weakness is the sampled soundtrack-cliche nature of most of the orchestral effects - straight lifts. This is a singer-songwriter / folk-rock / neoclassical genre of its own, a very expensive and ambitious Pepper inspired piece, whose social commentary still seems surprisingly pertinent in Bush's America. Hard to think of an equally good album that has got so many critical thrashings! emporium......

Andy Shernoff of the Dictators once wrote a song called "Who Will Save Rock and Roll?," which featured the memorable verse "June first, '67/Something died and went to heaven/I wish Sgt. Pepper never taught the band to play." Maybe Shernoff was going a bit far to make a point, but the unfortunate truth is that once the Beatles released their magnum opus, it would be many years before an album that was simply a collection of great songs would seem to be enough in the eyes of the rock cognoscenti. Seemingly every act of any significance during the late '60s made a high-gloss concept album, and Chad & Jeremy were no exception; while they had a sure knack for smart and subtle folk-influenced pop with outstanding harmonies, the times demanded more of them, and in 1967 they released their response to the Sgt. Pepper's phenomenon, Of Cabbages and Kings. Taking its title from Lewis Carroll (whose Through the Looking Glass is quoted at the outset) and credited to Chad Stuart & Jeremy Clyde, Of Cabbages and Kings opens with six lushly orchestrated, self-consciously arty pop tunes, beginning with "Rest in Peace," a smart but cheeky number in which a man who carves gravestones tells listeners just how he feels about his customers. Side one also gingerly flirts with controversy with "Family Way" (about an unwed girl who finds she's pregnant), and allows Chad & Jeremy to ponder the sorrows of a musician's life in "Busman's Holiday." If the songs are often too wordy for their own good, they confirm that Stuart and Clyde were gifted songwriters who could work outside the standard pop framework of the day, and Stuart (who orchestrated the album) was a talented and imaginative arranger who gives the material a sound that's both rich and intimate. It's side two where things go seriously awry; "The Progress Suite" is a wildly pretentious five-part tone poem cluttered with sound effects and voice-overs that charts the rise and fall of the modern age (or something like that), and while they manage to inject a certain amount of whimsy into the proceedings, at close to 27 minutes it goes on far too long and raises the eternal question "Sure it's art, but is there another reason why I should care?" The trouble with the second half of Of Cabbages and Kings is that it clearly confirms Chad & Jeremy had the talent and the ability to create something more ambitious than "A Summer Song" or "Yesterday's Gone," but no one had the sense to rein them in once the album began to teeter on the edge of collapse. Ultimately, it's the simpler but still adventurous first side of this album that succeeds, while "The Progress Suite" sounds like the score to a movie that wisely never got made; shut this off at the halfway point and you might think it's a Mark Deming......

After a string of pop hits that were, and largely remain, underrated for their artistry, Chad Stuart and Jeremy Clyde were looking for the project that would boost their esteem beyond the teen idol level. Releases like Pet Sounds and Sgt. Peppers had raised the bar for pop production considerably, and in September of 1967, Chad & Jeremy entered the studio to create their response, Of Cabbages And Kings. Although the album didn't have the commercial impact the duo hoped for, it has stood as one of the underrated gems of 60's pop. Sundazed has assembled the original album's six bonus cuts for reissue, and it's a reissue that should delight any fan of Brit-pop who is familiar with it, and happily inform those who aren't.

Producer Gary Usher ran interference with the Columbia accountants, providing Stuart and Clyde the time and resources they needed to realize their ambitions, and their ambitions were high. Using sounds ranging from didgeridoo, horns and strings to flushing toilets and the verbal antics of their labelmates, The Firesign Theater, they produced a set of original songs that included the five movement "Progress Suite," a collage of music and found sounds.

The result was an album worthy of inclusion in the pantheon established by its noteworthy predecessors, but ultimately it wasn't the album Chad & Jeremy fans were looking for, and save for the relative handful of us who revered it both then and now, it became best remembered more as a novelty near the end of a career (they would record one more album, the similarly ambitious The Ark, before Clyde departed to pursue an acting career on British stages) than as a triumphant peak.
by Shaun Dale ............

 Jeremy Clyde - guitar, vocals
- Chad Stuart - guitar, banjo, harpsichord, organ, tack piano, ukelin, sitar, arranger, vocals

A1 Rest In Peace
A2 The Gentle Cold Of Dawn
A3 Busman's Holiday
A4 Can I See You
A5 Family Way
A6 I'll Get Around To It When And If I Can
B The Progress Suite Movements 1 To 5
1 Prologue
2 Decline
3 Editorial (Vocal)
4 Fall
5 Epilogue (Vocal)

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..