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Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera - Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera CD (album) cover


Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.75 | 16 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Finally I get to write a review of this! One of my all time favourite albums ever recorded by any band from anywhere! I go way back with this album, I was 16 years old when I first heard it, and I must have heard it a zillion times, still hearing something new and different each time. Don't judge a band by what they become later. John Ford and Richard Hudson would join the deplorable Strawbs, Elmer Gantry would go to the furthest extremes of bluesy rock in Stretch, and guitarist Colin Forster simply vanished from music! Much of this recalls The Move and some Syd Barrett (bless the poor lad who died today) at his most together and least atonal, but the whole album sounds to my ears like they were recording as so many bands were their answer to The Beatles and also to The Zombies who had recorded Oddesey and Oracle- another big fave. So what happens when The Zombies melodic sense meets the Beatles and The Move? You get this album, and I'll go so far as to say that it's the greatest British mod psychedelic pop album there is along with The Koobas and Kaleidoscope. The best thing here is that it's all over the map and successful at everything it tries. There's the riotous roadhouse blues freak out insanity of Elmer's take on Oscar Brown JNR's "I Was Cool," there's an abundance of melodic psychedelia, there's hard edged rock (listen to them kick it out on the soul meets bonecrushing "Flames"), and you even get a few glimpses of what would become progressive in "Reaction's Of A Young Man." Don't even think about the second Gantry (if you wanna know the truth behind the cat his real name is Dave Terry) gone and Forster gone album under the name Velvet Opera which is spotty, this is one you need to get, I would urge anyone into any kind of good music to find this album and own it, and treasure it. I mean that, this album's as good as anything out there back then by bigger named acts and every song here is amazing. The playing by all four band members is done in the same style as The Idle Race and The Move- not any long solos but real tastefully done. The vocals are great with Gantry sounding strong and full of energy. The whole band know how to adapt their sound to all the wide range of music covered here, from Mod R&B to psychedelic pop to spaced out moments like "Dream Starts" with it's bizarre vocal effect. I don't like saying this, but this is one of those albums that makes me almost cry when I hear it, I remember my youth and a time of hapiness and strugle gone forever, most important of all it brings back all the happy times and gives me more of them. I love this record, a masterwork sounds like the right wording for it!
| 5/5 |


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