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Peter Banks - Can I Play You Something? CD (album) cover

CAN I PLAY YOU SOMETHING?

Peter Banks

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
1 stars Yes, please

This somewhat strange compilation album contains recordings featuring Peter Banks in various constellations, including his pre-Yes bands The Syn and Mabel Greer's Toy Shop. The subtitle of this collection has it that that the contents are from 1964 to 1968, but actually some of the cuts are of a more recent origin. The rendition of Peter Gunn, for example, is said to have been recorded live in 1980. The recordings are not presented in chronological order but instead arranged in some other, more or less random order. Some of the tracks are demos, some are live recordings, and some are spoken "link" pieces that I suspect that Peter created shortly before he gathered this compilation album together in the late 90's. Given the diverse sources and widely divergent sound quality and levels of completion this is actually one of the least coherent compilation albums that I have ever heard.

The Syn's most well-known singles are fun to hear but these are available elsewhere, for example on that band's compilation Original Syn. The Mabel Greer's Toy Shop pieces are of great historical value, but are not terribly interesting in their own right. There is very little if anything at all that may be said to point in the direction of Yes. Even calling this "Proto-Prog" would be a considerable stretch of the term. This is mid 1960's Psychedelic Pop. Peter Banks would do much more interesting things later on, first with Yes and then with Flash.

This odd collection is recommended only as an historical document.

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Posted Sunday, December 6, 2015 | Review Permalink

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