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CMU Open Spaces album cover
3.00 | 21 ratings | 1 reviews | 5% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Henry (4:42)
2. Voodoo Man (4:36)
3. Slow And Lonesome Blues (5:06)
4. Chantecleer (6:11)
5. Japan (2:44)
6. Clown (2:34)
7. Mystical Sounds (3:11)
8. Open Spaces (11:34)

Total time 40:38

Line-up / Musicians

- Larraine Odell / lead vocals (1,2,4-8), tambourine, bells
- James Gordon / lead vocals (2,4,6), maracas (2,8), tambourine (2,5), bells (8), percussion
- Ian Hamlett / lead (1) & rhythm guitars, flute (1,7)
- Terry Mortimer / guitar, piano (1,5,7), e-piano (2), organ (1,2,4), viola (8), lead (6,8) & backing vocals
- Ed Lee / bass, guitar (3)
- Roger Odell / drums, congas (4), glockenspiel (8)

Releases information

Artwork: Ray Leeves

LP Transatlantic - TRA 237 (UK, 1971)

CD Strange Days - POCE-1085 (Japan, 2006)
CD Esoteric - ECLEC 2093 (UK, 2008) Remastered by Paschal Byrne

Thanks to clarke2001 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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CMU Open Spaces ratings distribution

(21 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(5%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(19%)
Good, but non-essential (57%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (10%)

CMU Open Spaces reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars A weird eclectic group that ended up recording two albums on a folk specialist label Transatlantic, CMU is not a folk rock group as often described. Their line-up was never really stable during the group's existence, but at the time of their debut album, they were a sextet featuring male and female vocals (something very common in folk and folk rock circles), but also multi-instrumentalists like guitar/flute or keyboards/guitars/violin.

Opening on the quirky and mad Henry track, CMU offers a cool eclectic music that borders pop music, but remains "rock" enough to interest most progheads, with plenty of tempo changes and fun twists. Voodoo Man is a blues with an early-Doors vibe. As you'll guess by reading the title of the following track, we have another blues-rock track, this time more pedestrian and acoustic and overstaying a bit its welcome, even if it has a controlled chaos passage and ending. Chantecleer is probably the most experimental track of the album with its electronics twiddlings and it is probably the main reason for this group's presence on this site.

Opening the flipside is a slow uninteresting Japan track, where the group tries to sound Asian, but only succeeds to India's level. The Zappa-esque vocals of Clown are much catchier, but I am reminded of 10CC or later70's Queen. The hippy-like Mystical Sounds features flutes. The epic title track Open Space is the other cornerstone of the album, opening on a dronal violin and very slow drums, creating an intense and anxious climate as the violin cranks up slowly the power and speed. I can't help but think of String Driven Thing's Machine That Cried at this point. Unfortunately the crescendo dips into a black hole, from which the band will take a couple of minutes to escape, but once it does, it has morphed into a slight mid-eastern influenced jazz feel that slowly increases intensity only to plunge again a the black hole and remain there.

PS: the See For Miles 2on1 CD released in 93 is unfortunately missing one of this album's key track, Chantecleer, for time reasons, so if you're really interested in the group, try out the brand-new Esoteric single-album reissue. Not quite essential and even less groundbreaking, but definitely worth throwing an ear on it to check out the light gentle madness that shook these guys

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