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Oliver Standing Stone album cover
3.04 | 7 ratings | 1 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1974

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Of On A Trek (1:21)
2. Trance (3:50)
3. Flowers On A Hill (2:09)
4. Freezing Cold Like An Icberg (3:49)
5. Royal Flush (3:24)
6. Cat And The Rat (5:32)
7. Instamatic (2:08)
8. Telephone (3:11)
9. Getting Fruity (2:04)
10. Tricycle (1:07)
11. Motorway (3:18)
12. Primrose (2:22)
13. In Vain (2:00)
14. Multiplex (1:07)
15. Orbit Your Factory (4:50)
16. Tok Tic (6:09)
17. Whwre's My Motorbike (1:17)

Total Time: 49:38

Line-up / Musicians

All audible song and notes conceived and uttered or fingered by OLIVER CHAPLIN with a contribution from some smaller winged creatures. Recorded mostly on the farm in Wales during early 1974 within shouting distance of the Standing Stone. Everything was recorded by Oliver directly onto a Teac 4 channel machine using one microphone and/or direct injection guitar - no synthesized sounds. Subsequently mixed by CHRIS CHAPLIN.

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OLIVER Standing Stone ratings distribution

(7 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(14%)
Good, but non-essential (86%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

OLIVER Standing Stone reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ClemofNazareth
3 stars I saw an (allegedly) original copy of this album sell at auction for nearly $1,100 USD (around 800 euros) not too long ago. The 1974 vinyl release consisted of only 250 copies, so I'm surprised this guy managed to get his hands on one.

Oliver Chapman was brother to BBC sound engineer Chris Chapman; still is, I suppose if he's still alive. This was a self-produced, self-released album that finally saw a reissue in 1999 thanks to Tenth Planet's Wooden Hill label. I've no idea how legitimate the CD version is given Chapman's well-documented disdain for the music industry, but nonetheless I'm glad folks are finally able to hear this unique and engaging album.

Chapman's music has no easy label or frame of reference that I can tell. It's been compared to Captain Beefheart and there are definitely some of the same sorts of musical experimentation, as well as creative use of instruments to produce sounds not normally heard from those instruments. Chapman's vocals and eclectic guitar riffs dominate though, and vary from everything from psych to folk to a disjointed form of American country. At times the guy reminds me more than a little of the much later Butthole Surfers with their tendency toward amped-out and largely intelligible vocals, bluesy fuzz guitar and abrupt tempo shifts. Check out tracks like "Trance" and "Freezing Cold Like an Iceberg" for the best examples of this style.

Elsewhere the guy mellows considerably, at least for a bit. "Royal Flush" for example is framed around light woodwinds and an odd guitar picking style before launching into a vocal rant, returning just as quickly to the folksy flute/picking theme. The instrumental "Instamatic" has a bluegrass country feel with what sounds like dueling lead and rhythm guitars along with banjo, and "Getting Fruity" also has a strong country feel set to a toe- tapping rhythm with tasty lead guitar licks at erratic intervals.

Oliver seems to drift further away from psych and more into folk territory as the album wears on, reaching a folk-bard pinnacle with the bongo/acoustic ditty "In Vain" and the catchy, blues-tinged "Primrose".

Toward the end "Tik Tok" becomes something of a dirge sampler, mixing bongo, acoustic and fuzzed electric guitar, disjointed lyrics and a fadeout ending that sort of summarize the sounds of the entire album.

I'd love to know what happened to this guy. This album was mostly recorded on a 4-track TEAC deck in his home, and issued on a private label after being cleaned up and mixed by his brother Chris. To the best of my knowledge he never toured to support it or ever released anything else. Too bad, as on the whole this is a charming and highly creative album with a collection of songs that suggest all manner of genres and sounds, but somehow remain unique. Worth a spin if you can find the Tenth Planet or Wooden Hill versions; if you stumble across a copy of the original vinyl, head straight to eBay and scoop up some coin. Three stars out of five and well recommended.


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