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Tractor - Tractor CD (album) cover

TRACTOR

Tractor

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.37 | 18 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Prog Team
4 stars This is the Thirtieth anniversary version of Tractor's essential album, and as well as the original album also contains a live track from Glastonbury earlier this year (yes, Jim Milne and Steve Clayton are again back playing live), a studio recording also featuring Nik Turner and four acoustic numbers from Jim Milne (two of which are songs from the main album). There are some great quotes in the press release, "They epitomise the confusion and occasional brilliance of the ear" (Uncut), or "1972 albums don't come any better than this" (Melody Maker), "Twenty years ahead of their time" (Q) or from John Peel "Jim Milne, the man responsible for some the most urgent and flowing logical guitar playing I've ever heard".

It seems somewhat strange now that many people have not heard of the band, and if it wasn't for label owner Chris Hewitt's long association with the band (he became their road manager back in 1972) the chances are there would be little of their material today. Their PA system was legendary, and was even hired by Motörhead on their 1977 tour, as well as providing sound for all of the bands at the free Deeply Dale Festivals that were organised by the band. With bands such as The Fall, Nik Turner, Frantic Elevators (featuring a young Mick Hucknall) performing and The Ruts actually coming into being at the event their place in musical history is secured.

But behind all of this is an album from 1972 that captures the spirit of that age. Yes, it is dated, extremely so in some instances, but that is now part of the appeal. They just don't make albums like this any more. There are solid slabs of distortion, combined with a Hawkwind-style intensity and space rock vision, or it can just be Jim and his guitar. There are enlightening moments of brilliance, as the mood switches such as on "Shubunkin" which has to be heard to be believed.

The release contains plenty of details and photos of the band, past and present, and for anyone interested in rediscovering forgotten gems this is a masterpiece.

Originally appeared in Feedback #71, Dec 02

kev rowland | 4/5 |

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