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Mighty Baby - Mighty Baby CD (album) cover

MIGHTY BABY

Mighty Baby

Crossover Prog


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stefro
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars An overlooked late-sixties psych-rock gem, Mighty Baby's self-titled 1969 debut somehow got lost amongst all the 'Atom Heart Mothers' and 'In The Court Of The Crimson Kings' upon it's initial release. Although a fairly straight-forward of R'n'B, folk, rock and psychedelic influences, which, technically-speaking at least, is closer in spirit to the likes of The Beatles, The Doors and Jefferson Airplane than it is to any of the genre's popular progressive rock acts, 'Mighty Baby' showcased an inventive and surprisingly-experimental outfit whose West coast-leanings contrasted nicely with their UK beat-group origins. Songs, such as the impressive, country- flecked rocker 'A Friend You Know But Never See' start as seemingly-simplistic late-sixties psych-tinged rock, before breaking headlong into complex, overlapping rhythms that spin off into Jerry Garcia-inspired oblivion and back again via semi-progressive instrumental passages that feature Cajun violins, bluesy-guitars and folk-pressed vocals. Fans of The Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service and Wizards From Kansas, as well as early rainy-day UK psych purveyors The Move, Tomorrow and The Magic Mixture should find much to admire on this enjoyable album, and whilst there may not be the complex keyboard passages, rampant experimentation and surreal conceits that ordain the best 1970's prog, Mighty Baby's brand of all-encompassing Beatles-ish psych-folk-rock remains refreshingly unique. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
Report this review (#308282)
Posted Thursday, November 4, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Mighty Baby was a Savoy Brown-related band, in that guitarist Martin Stone was a member and played of Savoy Brown's debut Shake Down from 1967 (that album was unknown to many American fans of the band due to it never being released here). Mighty Baby managed two albums, this being their debut, appeared on Head Records in the UK and US (in the US it was oddly distributed by Chess Records, a label I associate with R&B, blues, and early rock and roll, like Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, etc.). Also we get a Roger Powell on drums, not THAT Roger Powell from Utopia, a British musician with the same name. I noticed Ginger Baker was a big influence on his drumming as he did a lot of those same type of cyclical fills that Baker did (Baker would likely be less than impressed if he heard it, given his unnecessary contempt for other drummers). It's the kind of album I felt should have been on Decca (due to the Savoy Brown association), but being on Head meant the album received limited distribution at the time making it a bonified rarity. While Savoy Brown pretty much stuck to a blues format (competing with contemporaries like Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac, Ten Years After and John Mayall's Bluesbreakers), Mighty Baby obviously stretched out and took a more diverse format, in a psychedelic format. The opening cut "Egyptian Tomb" is a great piece of psych with early prog leanings. "A Friend You Know But Never See" is more in the straight up heavy psych vein, with some of those Ginger Baker type drum fills I mentioned. "I've Been Down So Long" is more in the country vein bearing more than a passing resemblance to the Grateful Dead. Even some of the vocals sound like Jerry Garcia minus his trademark guitar playing (I could even imagine the Dead playing this song live and it could easily pass as one of their own). "House Without Windows" and "A Point Between Fate and Destiny" are clearly in the prog/psych vein, while "I'm from the Country", unsurprisingly has more of that country/Grateful Dead feel to it.

While an original LP, regardless if its a UK or US pressing, will cost you a pretty penny, go seek out a reissue. This is really worth your time!

Report this review (#1867414)
Posted Wednesday, January 17, 2018 | Review Permalink

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