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Nirvana - Nirvana / Patrick Campbell-Lyons: Me and My Friend CD (album) cover

NIRVANA / PATRICK CAMPBELL-LYONS: ME AND MY FRIEND

Nirvana

 

Proto-Prog

3.00 | 1 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars Here's an odd addition to the Nirvana legacy courtesy of founding member Patrick Campbell-Lyons. This was originally released in 1973 as a solo album featuring several friends and studio musicians, but was reissued in 2001 as a Nirvana (UK) CD in the wake of a renewed interest in the band. This was partially a result of an earlier temporary reunion of Campbell-Lyons and original member Alex Spyropoulos, but in all honesty was probably just as much a byproduct of lingering confusion between this band and the much more well-known grunge group Nirvana (US) following the sensational death of Kurt Cobain. Nirvana (UK) had even succumbed to the temptation of capitalizing on their second 15 minutes of fame by recording an acid folk version of Cobain's "Lithium" on their 'Orange and Blue' collection shortly after Cobain's passing.

Campbell-Lyons put together this collection of original songs during a hiatus of island living off the coast of Spain in the early seventies, and following the dissolution of the original Nirvana lineup. The themes are mostly about relationships and experiences during this period, including the poppish acid folk ditty "Friends" in tribute to several acquaintances he made during this time; "Look Out For Cassius Clay" for John Conteh, a boxer he befriended while in Spain; and the organ-laden "Mother England" on which he put a poem of the late Dominic Behan by the same name to music.

The mood on these tracks is decidedly more upbeat and light-hearted than the last couple of Nirvana albums, and the arrangements are considerably closer to pop than most of the stuff he Campbell-Lyons and Spyropoulos recorded together. But at the same time there isn't nearly as much going on musically as there was on those records either, not surprising considering acid folk was rather passť by the mid-seventies and anyone from that period with hopes of still getting records released needed to move much closer to the center of the musical spectrum.

Campbell-Lyons shopped these tracks to Capitol and British labels, eventually getting a nod from the fledgling Sovereign Records. Unfortunately for him, the label folding shortly after this release leading to a quick deletion of the album from any active catalog or distribution vehicle.

I can't get too excited about this record or any of its songs. They are decent pop tunes with remnants of the acid folk days in the slightly hippy feel of the vocals and eclectic percussion, but this is Nirvana in name only and my overall impression is one of mild nostalgia and slight disappointment. "Jesus Christ Junior" is a bit of a throwback to the first Nirvana record, and "On the Road" recalls the acid folk heyday with its loose guitar strumming and carefree lyrics, but that's about it.

The original vinyl is impossible to find, but that's just as well since the CD reissue includes 7 of the 9 tracks from the last legitimate Nirvana album "Songs of Love & Praise" so at least it's a bargain. This is a little better than a collectors-only record but not by much. But a little anyway, so three out of five stars feels right and slightly recommended if you are (or were) a Nirvana fan.

peace

ClemofNazareth | 3/5 |

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