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IS A FRIEND ?

The Parlour Band

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The Parlour Band Is A Friend ? album cover
3.73 | 17 ratings | 2 reviews | 29% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Forgotten Dreams (2:41)
2. Pretty Haired Girl (2:52)
3. Springs' Sweet Comfort (5:09)
4. Early Morning Eyes (3:52)
5. Follow Me (4:56)
6. Evening (4:58)
7. Don't Be Sad (3:21)
8. Little Goldie (3:20)
9. To Happiness (3:04)
10. Home (7:37)
a) Once More Loneliness
b) Fortress
c) Home

Total Time: 41:50

Line-up / Musicians

- Peter Filleul / lead vocals, keyboards, rhythm acoustic
- Pix / vocals, lead vocals (6), wah wah Gibson
- Craig Anders / vocals, electric & acoustic & slide guitar
- Mark Ashley Anders / vocals, bass
- Jerry Robins / percussion

Releases information

LP Deram SDL 10 (1972)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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THE PARLOUR BAND Is A Friend ? ratings distribution


3.73
(17 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(29%)
29%
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(41%)
41%
Good, but non-essential (18%)
18%
Collectors/fans only (12%)
12%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

THE PARLOUR BAND Is A Friend ? reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
3 stars Somewhat of a `one-and-done' act, The Parlour Band hailed from the Channel Island of Jersey between England and France, and they were fortunate enough to have their 1972 debut `Is a Friend?' released on the Decca progressive label imprint Deram. While you'd be hard-pressed to consider them a fully-fledged `prog rock' band (although they could boast cool-points for supporting Canterbury prog notables like Caravan and Khan on tour in their time), and nor would you probably consider their sole album a true classic, their colourful and lively arrangements offered plenty of variety, with the group performing a highly melodic kind of adventurous soft rock music. The focus was mostly on tightly written and crisply performed vocal-driven tunes, all wrapped in silken group harmonies.

The foot-tapping `Forgotten Dreams' is a punchy opening rocker brimming with tasty Hammond organ, but even with countrified guitar licks and sighing harmonies worked in, it's a shame the band doesn't try to stretch it past barely two and a half minutes. The first real signs of magic emerge on the sun-kissed pop perfection of `Pretty Haired Girl', the band grateful that `she makes us stoned...', and it effortlessly drifts into the bluesy, spacey wisps of drowsy ballad `Springs' Sweet Comfort'. The jangling guitars of the catchy `Early Morning Eyes' are met with snarling flare-ups, shimmering electric piano droplets and breathy vocals, although the near-five minute `Follow Me' wears a little thin and could have seriously shortened an over- buoyant and gratingly joyful near-gospel-like second half!

The flip-side's `Evening' is certainly one of the more ambitious pieces here - backwards effects, sweetly murmuring bass, rattling drums and swooning Queen-like harmonies weave between a reprising symphonic theme powered by organ and piano, but banal lyrics like `I can make a lover hit the ceiling' let it down a little (dig that snaking outro, though)! Placid acoustic guitars and sparkling electric piano float through hopeful ballad `Don't Be Sad', the Argent-like `Little Goldie' is richly romantic, and `To Happiness' could almost be a gentler Uriah Heep outtake. The near-eight minute closer `Home' sees the band play their strongest prog hand, but while the three-part suite doesn't offer numerous instrumental passages or wild soloing, it does have the group deliver all manner of exquisite harmonies that remind of the Beatles, Supertramp, and even the Beach Boys.

After this debut, the band would change their name to A Band Called O, then simply The O Band, and turn to something closer to a more straight-forward, American-modelled AOR sound. As for their sole Parlour Band legacy, while not every track on `Is A Friend?' is a memorable killer, and the album has a professional polish that might leave some wishing for a few more rougher edges, it still remains a tight collection of cool tunes performed well, and if describing it as undemanding or a perfect background listen doesn't sound like a negative, then there's tons to enjoy here.

Three stars.

Latest members reviews

5 stars How far I go back with loving this album should tell you something about it. Nearly 30 years old I am, and I became addicted to this record's sweeping beauty when I was only 17. I own an original copy that I lucked into a few weeks ago in my collectiion, but I've owned it in as an original, CD, ... (read more)

Report this review (#74946) | Posted by | Friday, April 14, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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