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BIG SLEEP Bluebell Wood Esoteric (2007)

Big Sleep

By way of Welsh act Eyes Of Blue, Big Sleep did just that by the time this solo album was released on the collectable Pegasus imprint in 1971.

Shame really, as after an uncertain start it builds nicely into a work to rival that of period peddlers of keyboard-driven melodic prog (we're thinking the likes of Cressida here).

Ambitious arrangements couch well-developed compositions, the most satisfying being the longer works (notably Richie Francis's 'Aunty James', 'Saint And Sceptic' and the eponymous title track).

The quirky and eclectic nature of the material (from baroque to straight rock) suggests the band's undoing resided in its diversity and lack of direction rather than proficiency.

The fact they failed to work the album to the live circuit cannot have helped matters: with Bluebell Wood nailed down, Phil Ryan, John Weathers and Gary Pickford-Hopkins went their separate ways, tipping up into the likes of Gentle Giant, Man and Wild Turkey, and the prospect of bigger, better things.

24-bit re-mastered on CD for the first time, this release demonstrates admirable commitment to an unjustly neglected moment in pastoral rock of the day.


Review by Peter Muir

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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