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Quintessence - In Blissful Company CD (album) cover




Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

3.31 | 41 ratings

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Psychedelic Paul
4 stars QUINTESSENCE were a quintessentially English Psych-Folk band. Their unique brand of Indian-influenced psychedelic folk music came to be defined as Raga Rock. The London-based, six-piece band released five albums between the years of 1969 and 1972, beginning with the album we have here "In Blissful Company" (1969), and followed by "Quintessence" (1970), "Dive Deep" (1971), Self (1972), and finally "Indweller" (1972). There were also two later offshoots of the band, named Kala's Quintessence and Shiva's Quintessence. The 2004 CD remaster of "In Blissful Company" included two bonus tracks added to the original eight songs on the album. It's time now to cook up a hot Madras curry and settle down with the sitar for some psychedelic Raga Rock.

"Giants" opens the album with a real giant of a song. It's a four and a half minute long psychedelic freak-out, featuring not only the sound of a wailing acid guitar, but some wailing vocals too. Tune in, turn on, and drop out to this psychedelic blast from the past. In the immortal words of Austin Powers, "It's groovy baby!" Onwards now to the intriguingly-titled "Manco Capac", who, just in case you wondered, was the first governor and founder of the Inca civilisation in Cusco, Peru. This Lovely song is overflowing with Love and flower power. It's sensual, it's spiritual and it's a song with perpetual appeal 50 years on from its recording. Take a look at these inspirational and devotional lyrics:- "High on a mount in the sacred place, The Holy sun is born to the lake, He radiates his life - the sun's so, In water and cosmic energy the God's flow, And he is the spirit in the lake of time, His eyes are the Truth you seek, His face is blue wishing cloud skies." ..... Hallelujah brother! This spiritual slice of late 1960's psychedelia will take you on a cosmic journey along the free love freeway, without the aid of any psychedelic substances. Far Out, Man! Onto Song No. 3 now and "Body", another song drenched in swinging psychedelic 1960's vibes. If you're looking for fun and feelin' groovy, then chill out to this mellow and laid-back groove and dream about going to San Francisco and wearing some flowers in your hair. And now we come to an uptempo and uplifting number "Gange Mai". What's it all about you may well ask. Well, it's all about the sacred (but very polluted) River Ganges as these lyrics reveal:- "Gange Mai, The river, Gange Mai, Holy water." ..... Yes, that's it in a nutshell. It's a lyrical, spritual hymnal tribute to the Indian river and Hindu goddess Ganga. The title of the next song, "Chant", might give you a clue as to what to expect. You won't be surprised to hear it's a devotional song full to the brim with repeated chants of "Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna", so you might be inclined to put on a robe and shave your head for this spiritual number. Then again, perhaps not.

Onto groovy Side Two now and it's time to get on the magic bus for "Pearl and Bird". It's an enchanting and entrancing, laid- back devotional groove, with the golden-voiced rich mellow tones of the singer inviting us on a spritual journey. This inspiring music is your ticket to musical heaven. Onto Song No. 7 now and the best-known song by Quintessence which they'll always be remembered for, "Notting Hill Gate", which just happens to be the district of London where the band originally hails from. This bright and lively, flutey psychedelic number was released as a single in 1970 and reached No. 22 in the UK charts. We come to the end of this inspirational and spiritual album now with "Midnight Mode", an epic 9-minute midnight mass, featuring a gorgeously-long flute solo. which Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull would be proud of. It's a song full of Indian mysticism and psychedelic guitar grooves. It's hippy, it's trippy, and if you're in the right kind of mood, the music will make you feel part of an ever-expanding, loving, joyful, glorious, and harmonious universe.

If you've remained in blissful ignorance of this marvellous album for the last 50 years, then give "In Blissful Company" a listen. This beautiful, inspirational and spiritual album will take you on an emotional, mind-expanding, psychedelic journey of love and devotion. Who needs a dopamine high from drugs to reach the heights of spiritual ecstasy when you can achieve an emotional and devotional high with this wonderful debut album. "In Blissful Company" is indeed a blissful album, which is best listened to in romantic company. It's fabulous, baby!

Psychedelic Paul | 4/5 |


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