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Blonde on Blonde - Rebirth CD (album) cover

REBIRTH

Blonde on Blonde

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

2.70 | 23 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
2 stars Probably one of the first group willing to openly yell their influences by naming themselves after an artiste's album, in this case Bob Dylan's Blonde On Blonde, you won't find much open and flat out Dylan splattered out on the course of this album or their other two. This Welsh psych-rock quartet formed in 68 and still has a very much 60's sound. Although their debut album was released on the legendary Pye label, and appeared on the first Wight Festival, and the band became a regular fixture on some TV show, but al of this failed to produce much fame and sales. Having found a new record deal, but losing Ralph Denyer and Richard Hopkins, BOB didn't managed to finish their second album on time, even though David Thomas and Richard John came in as replacement. So Rebirth, the band's second album was finally released in November 70 (18 months after the debut) and the album's sound was quite dated by then. With a slightly/vaguely "prog" artwork, BOB mostly revolved around the drummer/guitarist duo of Hicks and Johnsion, but newcomer Thomas had more than his space to write music and his voice is sometimes close to Cressida's Angus Cullen.

Indeed it was either gutsy or quite clumsy to release a typical late 60's psych-rock sound when the whole industry was renewing its standards almost every month. BOB's psych hovers between Byrds, Moody Blues, tripped-out Rolling Stones (the lengthy sitar-laden Circles) and more of typically 60's sounds. I must say that I don't find much on BOB's three albums to call particularly progressive, finding many group more precocious being a lot more inventive: even the fuzz guitars sounded clumsy, the sometimes interesting interplay being blues-derived (the 12-mins Colour Questions, where they're slightly more actual-sounding ala Steamhammer or Cressida). The album-closing Release might jusrt be my preferred peace.

As if BOB's career had not been held back enough it appears that the group took another break and changed again their line-up (but keeping D Thomas) before finally releasing (late 71) their third (and final) album Reflections On A Life, which found itself directionless, musically outdated and the group wouldn't survive this new failure, with most members abandoning the music business forever. Some would call Rebirth the group's best moments, and I won't dispute it, but let's be honest: even their best moments simply didn't cut it.

Sean Trane | 2/5 |

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