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Hatfield And The North - The Rotters' Club CD (album) cover


Hatfield And The North


Canterbury Scene

4.20 | 500 ratings

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Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars The second album by the Canterbury supergroup may not be quite as consistent as the debut but the best moments here are better than anything on the first album. "Mumps" alone deserves 10 stars. One of the greatest prog 'epics' ever, right up there with CTTE, TAAB, Supper's Ready, A Plague Of Lighthouse Keepers, etc, etc. I have the Caroline CD released in the '90s with bonus tracks; I'm not sure if all the CD versions have these bonus tracks or not, but I know the most recent CD release has some bonus tracks not on my copy. Anyway, I wanted to mention this because of the great live track "Oh, Len's Nature" which is a 'cover' of the Matching Mole song "Nan True's Hole"(apparently there is yet another song with these letters in a different order from another Canterbury group or artist). This song is further proof to me that if they wanted to, 70s proggers could be just as heavy as a metal band. I'm sure "Halfway Between Heaven And Earth" is on all the CD releases; this song is so good it should have been on the album proper.

In a perfect world "Share It" would have been a hit single, played on the radio for everyone to hear. Dave Stewert's synth solo in that song is just classy. "The Yes No Interlude" is a great instrumental with a killer bassline. "Fitter Stoke Has A Bath" is just one of the greatest songs to come out of the Canterbury scene period. The only two songs that don't match the greatness of the rest of the album, and what keeps me from giving this 5 stars, are "Didn't Matter Anyway" and "Underdub". "Didn't Matter Anyway" is not a horrible song by any means, but sounds closer to what Sinclair would be doing when he joined Camel. "Underdub"(get it? instead of overdub) is just a little jazzy piece that doesn't add much to the album, and certainly doesn't prepare you for the masterpiece that is "Mumps"

"Mumps"=20 minutes of some of the greatest music ever recorded. Some people don't like the 'Alphabet Song' Sinclair sings about halfway thru, but I love it. The Northettes of course sing beautifully on here. One of my favourite parts is the one with the saxophone: so funky and sexy. Oh yeah! This is coming from someone who doesn't care for sax too much. But realistically, I don't think there is a nanosecond on "Mumps" I would change. A very strong 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |


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