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Red Jasper - Pull That Thumb (Off The Top Of Your Head) (EP) CD (album) cover


Red Jasper

Prog Folk

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Symphonic Team
3 stars English, green, and very pleasant indeed

In 1989, the year before the release of their first full-length studio album Sting In The Tale, Red Jasper released this EP featuring three tracks. When Sting In The Tale was finally re-released on CD in 2012, these three tracks were appropriately all added on as bonus tracks. The first two tracks, Pull That Thumb (Off The Top Of Your Head) and Flagpole, fit right in with the eclectic and somewhat erratic material that ended up on Sting In The Tale. As such, they have little to do with the greatness that the band would reach on later studio albums. The nine and a half minute plus England's Green & Pleasant Land?, on the other hand, is a superb piece of Red Jasper, clearly pointing towards the unique and distinctive sound the band would go on to perfect on subsequent albums such as A Midsummer Night's Dream and A Winter's Tale. This little epic was a very nice surprise for me! Had this track been on the original version of Sting In The Tale that would have constituted a major improvement, easily outshining even the best tracks from that album.

As I pointed out in my review of Sting In The Tale, the band had yet to find their own musical identity at this point in time. But England's Green & Pleasant Land? proves that they already before the release of that album had it in them to create progressive Folk Rock of the highest quality. Some of the band's trademark elements were already present here, most notably the very distinctive and brilliant lead vocals of Davey Dodds, as well as the sublime mandolins and whistles.

Something of a lost gem this; it is absolutely worth it getting the remastered CD-version of Sting In The Tale for this track alone!

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Posted Tuesday, June 5, 2012 | Review Permalink

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