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The Sallyangie - Children of the Sun CD (album) cover


The Sallyangie


Prog Folk

2.92 | 17 ratings

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3 stars While this sole collaboration between older sister and younger brother OLDFIELD under the name of SALLYANGIE is at least of historic value, there is little evidence to suggest that it catapulted their solo careers. In Mike's case, his enthusiasm for "Opus 1" aka "Tubular Bells" motivated him to make the rounds of record company execs a few years later, but, if his participation in "Children of the Sun" had any impact, it appears to have closed more doors than it opened. As for Sally, it was Mike's own success that may have been the single most significant catalyst, though she held off until 1978 before releasing her first record.

With Sally being the elder by 7 years and the principal vocalist, this fledgling disk more closely resembles her later solo work than the more intricate instrumental excursions of Mike. Still, his furiously strummed acoustic guitars portend a virtuoso in the making, while his inevitably child like backing vocals contribute to a naivete of spirit. The flutes of Ray Warleigh and the string arrangements of JETHRO TULL's Dave Palmer play second fiddle to the jangly guitars while further sweetening the mixture. Apart from the female lead vocals, this can stand side by side with other artists of its time like NICK DRAKE, INCREDIBLE STRING BAND and FRESH MAGGOTS. Most tracks are relatively brief and have a not entirely finished air to them,

While none of the pieces have pierced the passage of time to become overlooked classics, the quality is uniformly sound, with "Balloons" and "The Murder of the Children of San Francisco" being favorites. While "Song of the Healer" is the only track to resurface more or less unaltered in Sally's discography (although it does not appear to have been on the original vinyl), "River Song" appears to be cut from the same cloth. Both of these are among the more progressive offerings here.

More recent reissues include bonus tracks, three of which are instrumentals by Mike, little more than expansion of exercises without sister's cooing on top, and 2 songs by Sally, which are more dramatically divergent from the mood of the original release. In fact they are very catchy and slick romantic numbers closer to the works of PETULA CLARK than anything Sally explored at least in the first and best known 5 years of her solo career. I admit I enjoy the contrast after almost an hour of ponderous psychedelia.

As pleasant as this is overall, and as much as I wish I could say that it's worth hearing on its own merits, I must conclude that, considered in the context of its time, this is distinctly average, but it gains a half star for historical credibility rather than sunny precociousness.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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