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Paul Brett

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Paul Brett Schizophrenia album cover
2.98 | 6 ratings | 2 reviews | 17% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Custom Angel Man (2:43)
2. Charlene (3:19)
3. Song of Life - Song of Death (2:53)
4. Slow Down Ma! (3:01)
5. Saviour of the World (5:04)
6. Limp Willie (1:57)
7. Tale of a Rainy Night (3:25)
8. Take Me Back and I Will Love You (4:25)
9. Autumn (5:03)
10. Make It Over (4:25)
11. Bee (0:59)
12. Dahlia [bonus] (3:27)

Total time: 40:44

Line-up / Musicians

- Paul Brett / Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Electric Guitar, Vocals
- Stuart Cowell / Electric Guitar
- Bob Voice / Percussion, Vocals
- Rob Eberhard Young / Flute, Piano, Oboe

Releases information

LP Dawn DNLS 3032 (1972) UK
CD AIRAC-1334 (2007) Japan
CD Esoteric (2009) UK

Thanks to ClemofNazareth for the addition
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Schizophrenia by Paul BrettSchizophrenia by Paul Brett
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PAUL BRETT Schizophrenia ratings distribution

(6 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(0%)
Good, but non-essential (50%)
Collectors/fans only (17%)
Poor. Only for completionists (17%)

PAUL BRETT Schizophrenia reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ClemofNazareth
3 stars The third and final studio album from Paul Brett’s Sage took on a more electric and rather more conventional tone than the two that preceded it, and in some respects that makes it the least appealing of the trio for me. That said, Brett’s wonderful guitar playing, solid supporting cast and great song selection still place this record above the fray compared with much of what was being released as the mid-seventies approached.

The band had become a quartet by this point (with a few guest artists thrown in for good measure), although the group wasn’t making the commercial impact they or the label expected and wouldn’t be around much after the record released. Too bad because these many years later I find myself wondering why they didn’t take off back then. The musicianship on this album is mostly impeccable, the songwriting creative and engaging, and most of the songs combine tight guitar work with catchy rhythms to the extent that they should have been FM radio-friendly, especially back then when both DJs and listeners were more open to exploring the fringe beyond Top-40.

Along with a noticeable shift from acoustic and folk-tinged instrumentation, the band also moved a bit away from the eclectic percussion so prominent on their first two records. While Bob Voice still whips out his bongos from time to time (“Slow Down”, “Autumn”), the bulk of songs here feature more conventional drumming and not so much else. Strawbs drummer Rod Coombes also appears on ‘Slow Down Ma!” (with his name misspelled in the credits).

On the backside of the album Brett’s acoustic guitar prowess resurfaces on songs like “Tale of a Rainey”, “Autumn” and the brief instrumental “Bee”. His penchant for 12-string is most noticeable on these tracks, something Brett would become rather renowned for in subsequent years.

I’ve read some reviews that point to this album as the highlight of the Paul Brett Sage discography but I would disagree – the first was definitely the most adventurous and creative from a musical standpoint, while with several songs on this one the group appears to be taking the easy route with jam-like arrangements and easygoing lyrics. Still a very good record, but I can’t quite rate it as high as ‘Paul Brett Sage’ or even ‘Jubilation Foundry’. A solid three stars nonetheless, and recommended to most fans of mid- seventies rock music (though it may not appeal to purist prog fans).


Review by kenethlevine
3 stars Over the course of his 40 year career, PAUL BRETT has insisted in dabbling in all manner of musical styles, not all of them traditionally progressive. While I remain convinced he is a folky at heart, his feats at the helm of PAUL BRETT'S SAGE in the early 1970s reflect his eclecticism across the psychedelic rock spectrum.

By 1972, this style was growing a bit longer in the tooth and yielding to full grown prog or the soft rock boom, but Brett wasn't through exploring, and his stunningly clean playing really rescue this final Sage installment from the recycling centre. "Custom Angel Man" and "Slow Down Ma" are model examples of guitar oriented psych with surprisingly strong vocals from Brett. Side 2 is more acoustically oriented, with "Take Me Back and I Will Leave You" being the most progressive of the lot, segueing from Strawbs styled ballad to...well...Strawbs styled rocker with nary a trace of contrivance. The presence of Rod Coombes on drums and new Strawbs guitarist Dave Lambert on keys (the guitar role was pretty much under Brett's domain) might have something to do with the sound, but this is more ragged than anything that group could come up with. "Tale of a Rainy Night" and "Autumn" are also fine predominantly unplugged tunes.

In several instances, Brett veers into insipid pop territory as on "Charlene", or Christian cliche in "Saviour of the World", or filler like "Limp Willie", which predates EAGLES "Life in the Fast Lane" but otherwise reminds me why I dislike the Eagles.

This certainly can't compare favourably to Brett's late 70s work from most progressive perspectives, but it would be sage to at least arrange a trial of the "Schizophrenia" treatment if you get a chance.

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