Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Jack Bruce

Jazz Rock/Fusion

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Jack Bruce Songs For A Tailor album cover
3.72 | 64 ratings | 5 reviews | 16% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 1969

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Never Tell Your Mother She's Out of Tune (3:41)
2. Theme for an Imaginary Western (3:30)
3. Tickets to Water Falls (3:00)
4. Weird of Hermiston (2:24)
5. Rope Ladder to the Moon (2:54)
6. The Ministry of Bag (2:49)
7. He the Richmond (3:36)
8. Boston Ball Game 1967 (1:45)
9. To Isengard (5:28)
10. The Clearout (2:35)

Total time 31:42

Bonus tracks on 2003 remaster:
11. The Ministry of Bag (demo version) (3:47)
12. Weird of Hermiston (alternate mix) (2:33)
13. The Clearout (alternate mix) (3:02)
14. The Ministry of Bag (alternate mix) (2:54)

Total Time 43:32

Line-up / Musicians

- Jack Bruce / vocals, bass, piano, organ, guitar (5,7,9), cello (5), composer & arranger

- Felix Pappalardi / vocals (5,9), percussion (7), guitar (9), producer
- George Harrison / rhythm guitar (1)
- Chris Spedding / guitar (2-4,6,9,10,12-14)
- Harry Beckett / trumpet (1,6,8,14)
- Henry Lowther / trumpet (1,6,8,14)
- Dick Heckstall-Smith / tenor (1,6,8,11,14) & soprano (1) saxophones
- Art Themen / tenor saxophone (1,6,8)
- John Mumford / trombone (8)
- Jon Hiseman / drums (1-4,6,8-14)
- John Marshall / drums (5,7)

Releases information

Artwork: Ink Studios with Roger Phillips (photo)

LP Polydor ‎- 583 058 (1969, UK)

CD Polydor ‎- 835 242-2 (1992, US)
CD Polydor ‎- 835 242-2 (1997, UK) Remastered by Steve Fallone
CD Polydor ‎- 065 603-2 (2003, Europe) Remastered by Paschal Byrne with 4 bonus tracks previously unreleased

Thanks to Blowin Free for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy JACK BRUCE Songs For A Tailor Music

JACK BRUCE Songs For A Tailor ratings distribution

(64 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(16%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(64%)
Good, but non-essential (19%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

JACK BRUCE Songs For A Tailor reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars Jack Bruce's first solo album starts out spectacularly, with Never Tell Your Mother She's Out Of Tune, a wonderful, bass heavy, fun song, with wild staccato horns. Is it progressive? Back in nineteen sixty nine it was. Then followed by the now classic Theme From An Imaginary Western, this album promises to be a great ride.

With this set, Bruce seems to be shedding the blues roots he, Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker used as the foundation for Cream, now moving towards the more experimental world of the progressive musician. This album being recorded in 1969, the songs still have somewhat of a simple feel, compared to Bruce's later works, but the foundation is definitely there.

Another highlight for this prog fan is Rope Ladder To The Moon, a spacy song with a hist of eastern themes.

This is a very good album, one that I find myself returning to frequently.

Review by Easy Money
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Songs for a Tailor was Jack Bruce's first released album after his split with Cream, and although he displays some similar roots in psychedelic rock, blues and RnB/jazz as he did with Baker and Clapton, this album clearly shows that of the three, Bruce was by far the better and more creative writer. At this early point in his career Bruce sounds poised to rival the greats, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Donald Fagen, take your pick, Jack Bruce really had it going on back then with the jazz influences and unique chord structures. Echos of The Beatles, Hendrix, Ceam, Robert Wyatt and Syd Barret are extended with techniques taken from early proto-fusion jazz artists and the new progressive rock scene in London. If Jack had assembled a permanent band playing this material, they would have been one of the best on the scene.

With half of jazz rock pioneers Colosseum on board along with Mountain's Felix Papalardi, and with songs that will show up on Mountain and Colosseum albums, this album takes on an almost 60s 'super group' vibe, possibly an answer to Jack's bandmate's effort in Blind Faith. But it's this lack of a real band that is this album's downfall too. Despite all the clever songwriting and excellent instrumental skills involved here, this still sounds like a 'solo album', which means a little bit better than a demo. There's a rushed unfinished feel to a lot of the production and a certain sameness that makes the songs somewhat numbing over extended plays. Having a real band on board would have pumped some life into these very deserving tunes.

Overall though, this is an excellent freshman effort from Jack Bruce, one of the best songwriters to come from the world of rock music.

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!

Fresh out of Cream, JAcj Bruce went out shopping for heavy friends to make his debut solo album, and one can only be impressed by who he managed to lure back in the studio. Outside Harry Georgesson (only present on the opening track, but remember Goodbye's Badge song?), we also find Swinging London jazz-scene stalwarts jazzers Harry Beckett and Henry Lowther (both on trumpet) and Art Themen (sax). From another side of JB's alumni, Colosseum dudes DHS (sax) and Hiseman (who had replaced Jack and Ginger in Graham Bond's ORGANization), and Chris Spedding (most likely via lyricist Pete Brown's Ornaments), future Nucleus drummer John Marshall (then with Graham Collier) and finally Papparlardi (the Mountain man and Cream producer). Heavy friends, uh?? Gladly the really heavy dude Leslie West was out of reach ;o))). As for the megalomaniac JB, he sings, basses, pianoes, organs and even cellos on one track.

SFAT is actually JB's second album, since TWL was recorded in 68, but only released two years later (after the present), and this "debut" album is filled with songs intended for Cream but unused, due to that band's early demise. And in some ways, despite some sometimes drastically different arrangements, it's clear that some tracks could've been featured on any of the last three Cream releases, but it's hardly a rule of thumb. Take away the brass from the opener Never Tell, and you've got an almost-classic Cream tune. Other Cream-related tunes are Weird Of Hermiston, Boston Ball and Clearout, all three written during the Cream-lifetime, but neither are particularly strong (IMHO), but two of them features the heavy brass section.

You'll also find two of JB/PB tunes that have been most inspirational to loads f musicians (including Colosseum, who used both tracks in their live shows) like Imaginary Western and Rope Ladder, both could've been Cream numbers, but here dramatically changed, the latter featuring Jack's cello talents. Ministry Of Bag and Richmond are average, but don't feel like fillers. Isengard's intro is the album's most acoustic moment and it also features Felix on vocals alongside JB, but halfway in JB's bass comes unleashed and Spedding's guitar follows

The album's title was a dedication to Jeannie Franklin, a hip LA tailor that made clothes for cream and that died in the Fairport Convention van accident that also killed drummer Lamble. SFAT is JB's most emblematic solo album, but don't expect loads of Cream histrionics or even TW's Lifetime delirium. This is a bunch of fairly-short songs (max 3:30, except for the lengthier Isengard), but little space for major solos. The album is relatively uneven (read too diverse to be really cohesive), but has no real weakness either, and is certainly an important release for its time, and has managed to remain in the publics' subconscious ever since.

Review by DangHeck
4 stars Being a non- yet could-be future fan of Cream [even at sub-30, I feel I'm late to the party], it surprised me just a bit to see this: Jack Bruce's 1969 solo debut was recorded and released well enough after Cream's 1968 dissolution. The other thing I found interesting and noteworthy was the producer of Songs for a Tailor, Mountain bassist-vocalist Felix Pappalardi (yet another band I feel I should honestly know better by now... like numerous others). Three years prior to Mountain's own debut, Pappalardi had first produced the 1967 self-titled debut by The Youngbloods, then, apparently as his sophomoric production(?!), Cream's beloved Disraeli Gears that same year(!). Before I move on, of most notable claim here, Pappalardi later produced The Flock's third album, Inside Out (currently sitting at an unremarkable 3.23 Stars). To wrap up (final) first thoughts, unsurprisingly stacked, Songs features George Harrison (a.k.a. L'Angelo Misterioso), Dick Heckstall-Smith and Jon Hiseman (Graham Bond Organisation, Colosseum), Henry Lowther, John Marshall (Nucleus, Soft Machine), and Chris Spedding.

Now, getting right down to business, "Never Tell Your Mother She's Out Of Tune" introduces our album with an approach super foreign to Rock music up till this point; that is, until the verse enters in. Overall it's Rock 'n Roll, Ameri-Roots, Rhythm & Blues and a growling, angry sort of Jazz, all set to a strangely happy tune. It's cool hearing familiarity (sonically and popularly identifiable well into the next decade) presented in a most unfamiliar fashion. This is not what we think of as 'Progressive Rock', its status and significance still then unknown. And to consider it Jazz Rock, though I can't think of much better, seems like a stretch. It's avant-garde in certain aspects. Something particularly familiar to Progressive Rock of the late-60s is the Baroque-Soul of "Theme For An Imaginary Western". This sonically hearkens back most immediately, to my ears, to the signature sounds of Procol Harum. Delightful and equally as timeless as their best, most beloved material. Jack Bruce's strong vocals roll over light, emotional percussion with a great mix of piano and an almost Classical-sounding organ. These keys, throughout the album, are performed by Bruce.

"Tickets To Waterfalls" has an exotic sort of sound, but got me thinking of Van der Graaf Generator honestly. We are still in Psychedelic territory on this one, but the composition, in its relative simplicity, is actually quite interesting. There is absolutely no waiting here. Fantastic and exciting music! Entering mystica, "Weird Of Hermiston" continues on in the warm but forward-driving feel of the last. This has plenty of Creamy elements to it. Not even halfway through the album and I am thoroughly impressed. Acoustic guitar strums along over more solid percussion on "Rope Ladder to the Moon", and Bruce plays the cello to great effect! Awesome to hear this sort of Prog Folk. I shouldn't be so surprised. Either way, a lot of daring choices in arrangement and production, reminding me of the similar experimentations that Zep would make years later on Led Zeppelin III and IV.

Under a straighter, more Rootsy measure, "The Ministry of Bag" strolls right along, sort of like a gruff, British rendition of James Brown. Bruce's vocals at times made me think of Greg Lake, Lee Jackson(?), and. causing all sorts of internal confusion, Ozzy Osbourne. We return to smooth, funky English pasture on "He The Richmond", quite the peculiar title (I couldn't find anything on its origin with ease). Melodically super unusual and turning dark, the tone is just as mysterious as some tracks that preceded it. I like it quite a lot, but it's a classic case of guesswork when it comes to a site-wide assessment. To each their own. "Boston Ball Game, 1967" has quite the lilt, a strut far too complex to be drunken haha. Delicious funk and soul, whether or not Bruce's voice is to your liking. Hard to be honest about this'n, because the truly progressive elements it possesses are very cool and provocative (just "Good" then?).

With that earlier mention of Led Zep, it feels appropriate that Jack also wants us to dream a little, to slip into Middle Earth with him, specifically "To Isengard". With the interesting approach to the guitar, I'm unsurprised this is one of the few on the album where it's actually performed by him and not Spedding, for instance. Super pretty track. We get to hear his upper vocal register at the start; airy, heartfelt, even childlike. I'm more than pleased to report that "To Isengard" doesn't just stop at beauty, as we get a nice helping of intensity in the second half. If you don't know them, two very effective Tolkien homages that are coming to mind are Camel's three-parter, "Nimrodel / The Procession / The White Rider" (specifically to do with Gandalf), and Rush's "The Necromancer" (supposedly inspired by Saruman of Isengard). Our final track, "The Clearout", is a real rocker. Beefy bass and bright English idioms bring delight to these American ears haha. Super fun.

Highly digestible album, I was delighted at some of the ideas that were fleshed out by Mr. Jack Bruce. In a way, glad I waited. I was in the mood.

Trying to be more consistent, a natural round-up from a True Rate of 3.6/5.0.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Jack Bruce slips out from under the shadow of Cream. The first thing you'll notice on Songs for a Tailor is the way Bruce's unmistakable voice propels the album's short songs into a familiar place. At the same time, he has collected a set of songs that have a decidedly 'pop' feel to their rock, ... (read more)

Report this review (#609102) | Posted by dreadpirateroberts | Friday, January 13, 2012 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of JACK BRUCE "Songs For A Tailor"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.