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Bread Love And Dreams - Amaryllis CD (album) cover

AMARYLLIS

Bread Love And Dreams

 

Prog Folk

3.43 | 18 ratings

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Psychedelic Paul
4 stars BREAD, LOVE & DREAMS were a Scottish Prog_Folk band who were discovered by a Decca records talent scout at the Edinburgh Festival in 1968. They went on to record three albums, "Bread, Love & Dreams" (1969), the mysteriously-titled "The Strange Tale of Captain Shannon and the Hunchback from Gigha" (1970), and this album "Amaryllis" in 1971. This final album is the "proggiest" and arguably the best of their three albums. Angie Rew & David McNiven were the two principal vocalists and players on the "Amaryllis" album, with three guest musicians brought in for the studio recording session, including two members of Pentangle.

"Amaryllis" opens in full bloom with "Out of the Darkness and into the Light", Part 1 of the Amaryllis suite which occupies the whole of Side One of the album. It's a mysterious-sounding song, loaded with a good dose of acid guitar flower-power. There are some lovely Folky harmonies between Angie Rew & David McNiven in this opening song, which gives an indication that this is a rather special album to be treasured forever. Part 2 of the Amaryllis trilogy is "Zoroaster's Prophecy", an 11-minute long religiously-inspired epic in the form of a suite. It's a real highlight of the album with several songs blending together into one long piece. It's a song of mystery and imagination with the lyrics weaving a tale of ancient Folklore. Closing out Side One is the third and final part of the Amaryllis suite, "LIght". This song is simply beautiful with those gorgeous male & female vocal harmonies blending perfectly together again. If this song doesn't move you with it's powerful emotional appeal, then maybe you need to check for a pulse, but for the rest of us, just lie back and enjoy, and let this romantic song bring some "Light" into your life. Side Two opens with "Time's the Thief", a pleasant acoustic guitar-driven, Folky ballad in the style of Fairport Convention. Song No. 5 "My Stair-Cupboard" isn't the most inspiring of song titles, but it's a lovely acoustic ballad in the Folk tradition of Fotheringay and Pentangle. Next comes "Brother John", a mournful and low-key song, although none the worse for that. Just turn the lights down low late at night and let Angie Rew's lovely voice carry you away on a magical ride into dreamland. The final song on the album, "Circle of Night" is a traditional Folky number where you can almost picture the singers gathered around a campfire with their hands joined together for a flower-power sing-along.

This is classic Prog-Folk at its beautiful best. "Amaryllis" is a long-forgotten album treasure that's now getting some of the recognition it truly deserves through the wonders of ProgArchives, YouTube and the Internet.

Psychedelic Paul | 4/5 |

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