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Paul Brett - The Unreleased Early Songs CD (album) cover


Paul Brett


Prog Folk

3.05 | 2 ratings

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3 stars With the PAUL BRETT SAGE albums being the only ones from Brett's extensive back catalog to be readily available in digital form, a mini resurgence in interest in the legendary prog-folk-psych band which he fronted from 1970-1972 should not be surprising. Apart from a solid comeback album, "Emergence", in 2014, and a 2016 single entitled "Bullet", the vaults have been cracked open just enough to allow 5 early recordings to escape, which form the subject of this review.

From the title, and from the instrumentation and mood, I would estimate that at least a few of these tracks herald from the first incarnation of Sage, graced as it was by the seductive flutes of Nicky Higginbottom. The melodies, arrangements, and vocal style and harmonies of the prototypical early 1970s songs "Ulysees the Traveller" and "Queen of my Day" would have fit perfectly well on Sage's debut, where they would have been among the more erudite offerings. They compare to early STRAWBS, and are the most progressive samples here. "The Time isn't write for your loving" is notable for its impressive riff and psych guitar solo, while "Love is a Four Letter Word" recalls AMAZING BLONDEL's first album's poppy side. The only weak link is the repetitive "Ragman", which exhibits the traits of the less memorable cuts on the SAGE debut.

If you are intrigued by this unjustly obscure artist, I would recommend picking up the first SAGE album and then circling back to this archive recording, although I suppose reversing those steps might save you both time and money. Not quite 3.5 stars.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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