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Hatfield And The North - Hatfield And The North CD (album) cover

HATFIELD AND THE NORTH

Hatfield And The North

 

Canterbury Scene

4.28 | 793 ratings

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BrufordFreak
5 stars A great all-star group formed out of the ashes of Soft Machine, Caravan, Khan, and Matching Mole consisting of members Phil Miller on guitars, Pip Pyle on drums, Richard Sinclair on bass and vocals, and Dave Stewart on organ and piano with adjunct participation of Geoff Leigh on saxophones and flute, Jeremy Baines on pixiephone and the wonderful "Northettes" on background vocals (Barbara Gaskin, Amanda Parsons, and Ann Rosenthal). The album also featured on the fourth song the talents of guest vocalist Robert Wyatt before his paralyzing accident.

1. "The Stubbs Effect" (0:23) (>>) 2. "Big Jobs (Poo Poo Extract)" (0:36) (4.5/5) 3. "Going Up To People And Tinkling" (2:25) (4.75/5) 4. "Calyx" (2:45) (4.75/5) 5. "Son Of 'There's No Place Like Homerton'" (10:10) soft, slow to develop, jazz; the protracted intro takes 90 seconds until we're finally launched into the fully developed song. The third minute shows the most mature and complex development of the album. This is serious! Things quiet down for the fifth minute--all Dave Stewart, until percussives, bass, and vocal ejaculations arrive. Then The Northettes interject their spell-binding magic starting at the five minute mark, calming, soothing the listener for over two minutes. An album highlight, to be sure. At 7:37 the band takes back the control with an enjoyable Todd Rundgren-like march. What started with little hope or promise turned into quite a little gem! (18.5/20) 6. "Aigrette" (1:38) (5/5) 7. "Rifferama" (2:56) (8.5/10) 8. "Fol De Rol" (3:07) (8.75/10) 9. "Shaving Is Boring" (8:45) what begins as quirky, squeaky jazz develops into a more serious fare. (16.5/20) 10. "Licks For The Ladies" (2:37) (4.25/5) 11. "Bossa Nochance" (0:40) (>>) 12. "Big Jobs No 2 (By Poo And The Wee Wees)" (2:14) Richard doing what Richard does best. (9.5/10) 13. "Lobster In Cleavage Probe" (3:57) amazing harmonic arrangement! (10/10) 14. "Gigantic Land-Crabs In Earth Takeover Bid" (3:21) fun jazz fusion. (9/10) 15. "The Other Stubbs Effect" (0:38)

Total Time: 46:11

The album is lots of fun, with lots of short collective explorations, lots of experimentations with editing and mixing. Richard and Robert (on "Calyx") are at the peak of their vocal confidences--though I wish "The Northettes" got a little more air time (like their amazing work on "Lobster in Cleavage Probe"). We get a preview of some of the sounds made famous on Edgar Winter's "Frankenstein" and Todd Rundgren's "Adventures in Utopia" on "Rifferama." The album has only two longer songs, "Son of 'There's No Place Like Homerton'" (10:10) and "Shaving is Boring" (8:47), which are actually two of my least favorite songs on the album. I love the nonsensical tongue-in-cheek 'classical' vocal harmonies of "Fol de Roi" (3:09)--especially the "call-in" reprise over the telephone line at the end! There is great bass play throughout the album from Richard, as well as top notch guitar and drum play. The wide variety of keyboard sounds Dave Stewart was experimenting with on this album don't get much traction from him on successive recordings but are fun and interesting here. Not quite as jazzy or proggy as others from this sub genre. Still, there's a lot packed into this album. Check it out!

Five star songs: 2. "Big Jobs (Poo Poo Extract)" (0:38); 4. "Calyx" (1:06); 5. "Aigrette" (1:39); 6. "Rifferama" (2:58); 11. "Big Jobs No. 2 (By Poo and The Wee Wees)" (2:16); 12. "Lobster in Cleavage Probe" (3:58), and; 13. "Gigantic Land-Crabs in Earth Takeover Bid" (3:22).

A-/five stars; a minor prog masterpiece and a stellar example of the best of what the Canterbury Scene has to offer the Progressive Rock genre. A bit silly at times but otherwise this album stands up well over time. Not quite the type of album that draws me back as much as some others from the sub-genre, but definitely a good one.

BrufordFreak | 5/5 |

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