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Steel Mill - Green Eyed God CD (album) cover

GREEN EYED GOD

Steel Mill

 

Heavy Prog

3.89 | 56 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Of unknown origin

Steel Mill are one of the most mysterious groups to have existed (or not!). The sleeve-notes of the CD re-release of their one and only album detail how the author tried in vain to track down some historical information about the band. All roads were however dead-ends, to the extent that even the British Musicians Union has no record of the any of the band members.

The band released two singles in 1971, followed by one album. "Green eyed god" in 1975. Quite why there was such a gap in between is not clear. Their debut single, also called "Green eyed god", now changes hands for princely sums. The version of that track included here is considerably longer than the single, but it would have been good to have the single edit as a bonus track. In this case, less really is more. The track "Green eyed god" is a superb mix of styles, starting with a gentle flute solo similar to some of Focus' early work. A brief vocal section is introduced over the flute, before all hell breaks loose as the track becomes a rocking guitar piece. The album version simply toys around with these themes more, the single version being more concise and hard hitting. (The producer of the album does recall that the flute parts for this track were recorded in the toilet to get the right effect!)

The other single released by Steel Mill is included here as a bonus track, having been inexplicably left off the original album. "Get on the line" is a more orthodox pop rock track, with a highly infectious chorus. Alan Freeman (enlightened UK DJ) rightly described the track at the time as having a "mighty sound",

The remainder of the album is in truth generally fairly average guitar and flute driven rock (but not particularly Jethro Tull like). "Summer's child" is a fine if naïve soft ballad, with some nice flute. "Mijo and the laying of the witch" has shades of Audience to it when John Challenger, the "wind instrumentalist" of the group, adds sax. Iron Butterfly's "In-a-gadda-da-vida" is another good reference point.

The album sounds somewhat dated and derivative now, but at the time, it was actually pretty original. If you get the opportunity, it is worth a listen, but I would not recommend paying the inflated prices of the collectors market (where the album is most likely to be found) just to hear the music.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |

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