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GREENSLADE

Symphonic Prog • United Kingdom


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Greenslade picture
Greenslade biography
Founded in London, England in 1972 - Disbanded in 1976 - Reformed in 1999

After the demise of COLOSSEUM in '71, keyboardplayer Dave Greenslade founded his own band GREENSLADE, featuring Tony Reeves (bass), Dave Lawson (keyboards, clarinet, flute) and Andrew McCulloch (drums), he had left KING CRIMSON. In '73, GREENSLADE released their eponymous debut album, followed by "Bedside Manner Are Extra" ('73), "Spyless Guest" ('74) and finally "Time and Tide" ('75). Then the band call it a day and Dave Greenslade went solo. The album "Shades of Green" ('97) is a comprehensive compilation-CD and "Live" ('99) a live-CD including recordings from '73 and '75. A few years ago Dave Greenslade and Tony Reeves teamed up to re-unite GREENSLADE with John Young (guitar and vocals) and Chris Cozens (drums). They released the albums "Large Afternoon" and "Greenslade live 2001" (same line-up except John Troter on drums).

The first two albums are an excellent blend of classic, jazz, rock, blues and symphonic rock with elaborate compositions and inventive and exciting dual-keyboardplay by Greenslade and Lawson. The omnipresence of the Mellotron is very pleasant with majestic waves of the violin-Mellotron (like early KING CRIMSON) and glorious eruptions of the sumptuous choir-Mellotron. In comparison with the 'progrock-dinosaurs', GREENSLADE played more varied styles, the songs were shorter and it lacked the usual 'progrock self-indulgence' (like ELP and YES), no endless soloing. I'm very pleased with the swinging and powerful sound of the clavinet, an underestimated keyboard within the progrock world (only Rick WAKEMAN was a frequent user). A good start to this unique band is the compilation "Shades of Green" and an even better introduction is the live-album "Live" (with tracks from '73 and '75), containing some spectacular play on the Minimoog (with pitchbend). It's the most keyboard-loaden album with hints from WAKEMAN, MANFRED MANN'S EARTH BAND and SUPERTRAMP. GREENSLADE is a band to discover and they deserve more appreciation by the progrock aficionados.

: : : Erik Neuteboom, The NETHERLANDS : : :
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GREENSLADE discography


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GREENSLADE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.64 | 250 ratings
Greenslade
1973
3.55 | 220 ratings
Bedside Manners Are Extra
1973
3.32 | 146 ratings
Spyglass Guest
1974
2.98 | 137 ratings
Time and Tide
1975
2.34 | 51 ratings
Large Afternoon
2000

GREENSLADE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.08 | 41 ratings
Live 1973-75
2000
4.05 | 19 ratings
Live 2001 - The Full Edition
2002
3.33 | 14 ratings
Live in Stockholm - March 10th, 1975
2013
3.00 | 4 ratings
The Birthday Album - Live Switzerland 1974
2016

GREENSLADE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

GREENSLADE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.33 | 6 ratings
Shades of Green 1972-1975
1997
4.29 | 7 ratings
Feathered Friends
2006
2.66 | 10 ratings
Spyglass Guest & Time and Tide
2011
3.00 | 1 ratings
Sundance - A Collection 1973-1975
2019

GREENSLADE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.33 | 3 ratings
Temple Song
1973
2.14 | 2 ratings
Catalan
1975
3.10 | 2 ratings
Gangsters
1976
4.67 | 3 ratings
BBC On The Air
1999

GREENSLADE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Time and Tide by GREENSLADE album cover Studio Album, 1975
2.98 | 137 ratings

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Time and Tide
Greenslade Symphonic Prog

Review by mickcoxinha

3 stars Greenslade has been somewhat peculiar in being a quartet with two keyboardists, and not in the usual arrangement of most keyboard duos where one mostly play piano and harpsichord and the other plays organ and synths, but two keyboardists that play everything. You would expect that there would be lots of instrumental passages in this album, but it is not the case.

If anything, the fact that the album is very short (a little bit over 30 minutes) and has ten songs already tells something about what Time and Tide has to offer. It could have worked, though, if there wasn't only one song with prog credentials. The instrumental Catalan is not the most inventive thing made by Greenslade, but at least it has some great solos, although the repetitive main theme is a bit boring. If the album had three or four songs like it, coupled with short instrumentals like Time (not really a instrumental since it has a choral), Tide and Gangsters, it could have been a great album.

However, the only other song that is really interesting apart from the aforementioned ones is The Ass' Ears, which is not long, but has great playing. The rest ranges from failed experiments to straight pop songs with occasional five second instrumental flourishes that add nothing really important.

Maybe the best thing about Time and Tide is that the band broke up afterwards, since, while still mostly enjoyable, Time and Tide shows that Greenslade (the band, the musician would release a better solo album in the following year) had ran out of ideas and was not able to work on the songs enough to make a consistent release and even the short instrumentals, barely filled the record with 30 minutes of music. As they proved that pop rock was not their thing as well, the best thing was to call quits.

It is not a bad album, and maybe except for a couple of songs, the prog fan will not ask himself "why I am even listening to this?", but it is not something essential either.

 Spyglass Guest by GREENSLADE album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.32 | 146 ratings

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Spyglass Guest
Greenslade Symphonic Prog

Review by Beautiful Scarlet

3 stars It's okay.

There is a good mix of singing and instrumentals although pretty much every song is to short on here. The singing has backup a lot of the times and is less loud then on previous albums. If you disliked lawsons vocals on other albums this one might acclimate one to his voice as it is quite tame. Honestly the whole album is tame, very inoffensive music which is saying alot as Greenslades other works are also very safe. The album has a good flow, alternating well between instrumental tracks and singing tracks. Recommended for fans of the more lighthearted side of music/noodle free.

Overall it's pretty average Greenslade and pretty average music overall thus three out of five.

 Greenslade by GREENSLADE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.64 | 250 ratings

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Greenslade
Greenslade Symphonic Prog

Review by Beautiful Scarlet

4 stars When I first heard this album I was somewhat disappointed as I came expecting I Spider Part Two. That is not what Greenslade offers on their debut, this album will please fans of the band members earlier bands (Colosseum, Web, King Crimson circa Lizard). The music is less jazzy and overall more chipper. Anyways, I fortunately tried out Bedside Manners Are Extra and loved it right away so I tried this album again and slowly warmed up to it.

Feathered friends opens the album with a minute long instrumental opener that is soon joined by the singing of Dave Lawson. Delivery his lines with their own intonation, his voice is absolutely hit or miss and this song will allow one to see if they can tolerate his voice at its most unhinged. I think this is the best song on the first side as it feels the most complete.

An English Western is a short one that shows Greenslades love for westerns. This song is probably the most representative of the Keyboardists later years as sound track musicians. The song is okay and has neat key lines, still pretty forgettable.

Drowning man opens with deep keys that soon becomes a very old timey song with string synth, stately percussion and anthemic singing. I don't think this song really goes well on the album.

Temple Song is a very calm song with chimes and vibes.

Melange is cool song that kind of reminds me of a condensed Valentyne Suite, present bass, great keyboard playing and a little bit of vocalizations for the right flavour.

What Are You Doin To Me is rather similar to Feathered Friends and quite good. The vocals work well the music, driving home the melody/emotion. (Lawson sounds a bit like Mick Jagger on this one and the sequel from chorus to verse is superb)

Sun dance has some sublime piano playing, very pretty. After about a minute the band comes in to allow for lovely keyboard leads to soar. Eventually the music becomes quieter so that when it comes back, it comes back more energetic and thunderous. (Tempo change?) The section is followed by a return to the opening piano theme, just beautiful. Wonderful closing to the first chapter for the little green man, Greenslade.

Overall I think this is a great album that is definitely lopsided, side two being much stronger.

 Bedside Manners Are Extra by GREENSLADE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.55 | 220 ratings

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Bedside Manners Are Extra
Greenslade Symphonic Prog

Review by Beautiful Scarlet

5 stars What a delicious album, the music here is so gentle it goes with anything. It exudes a calm yet engaging demeanour that beckons me to it with a smile. The music truly matches it's beautifully entrancing artwork (who is the green guy!? Fella needs to be adapted into media of some kind, aside from music of course)

If you've heard Greenslades follow up release or debut the music here is in the same vein, although Lawsons voice have achieved a nice in between of those albums styles (not as over the top as on the debut or subdued like on Spyglass). What separates this album from Greenslades other works is the uniform strength of its compositions all are thoroughly excellent. The tracks are also bolder with drum solos on Drum Folk adding a wonderful character to the track and good length to really complete each song to its best version.

Overall this is an excellent album, that handles the flow of tracks perfectly, alternating vocal track/instrumental thrice and going into one another smoothly. Recommended to fans of more laidback melodic music like Camel, Rare Bird or Caravan.

 Greenslade by GREENSLADE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.64 | 250 ratings

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Greenslade
Greenslade Symphonic Prog

Review by Psychedelic Paul

4 stars The English band GREENSLADE are named after their founder and keyboard player, Dave Greenslade (born 1943). Greenslade sounds like an ideal name for a Prog-Rock band, conjuring up images of magical castles, occupied by fairies, elves & goblins. It's handy to have a proggy-sounding surname if you're going to name the band after yourself. It's a good thing Dave Greenslade wasn't named Smith, Brown or Jones. Dave Greenslade and the bass player Tony Reeves had previously been members of the Jazz-Rock band Colosseum. This album is the first of four albums released in the 1970's. The self-titled "Greenslade (1973) album was quickly followed by " Bedside Manners Are Extra" (1973), "Spyglass Guest" (1974) & "Time & Tide (1975). A comeback album "Large Afternoon" was released in the year 2000. Dave Greenslade also released five solo albums between the years of 1976 and 2011. The fantasy artwork for the "Greenslade" album was designed by renowned album cover artist Roger Dean. All but one of Greenslade's albums featured the familiar figure of the Greenslade wizard on the album cover.

The album takes flight with "Feathered Friends". Is it a bird, is it a plane? No, it's a bluesy Jazz-Rock number. If you listen carefully, you can hear the mellifluous sound of a Mellotron in the background, which comes as no surprise, when Greenslade are often referred to as a Mellotron band, alongside other melodic Prog-Rock luminaries such as The Moody Blues, Barclay James Harvest and Genesis. Next up is "An English Western". What's it all about you may well ask. Well, it's impossible to say, because it's a bright and breezy, proggy instrumental with not a cowboy or indian in sight. And now we come across a "Drowning Man", a sad lament, which is only to be expected with a song title like "Drowning Man". Although we may have arrived too late to save him, the music is saved by some uplifting and rousing keyboard virtuosity from Dave Greenslade. "Temple Song" closes Side One. We're getting all flowery with this pleasing little Jazz-Rock ditty, as these lyrics reveal:- "See the flowers in the garden, All the petals there are falling, falling, falling." ..... This charming song sounds as English as, well..... an English country garden!

Side Two opens with "Melange", which IS a bit of a melange, which can't be a bad thing as variety is the spice of life, or so we're told. It's seven and a half minutes of Jazzy prog, underlaid with the gorgeous sound of the Mellotron, so relax and enjoy "Melange", while you eat a blancmange. Onto the penultimate and sixth song on the album now with "What Are You Doin' to Me", a rollicking, rock & rolling, Jazz-Rock barnstormer of a song. The album is brought to a radiant close now with "Sundance", the stunning highlight of the album. At nearly nine minutes long, it's the longest song on the album, which gives Dave Greenslade time to really get into his element and let loose with some very impressive keyboard dexterity. Take it away Dave!

If you're in the mood for some melodic and Jazzy prog, imbued with the mellifluous and hauntingly beautiful sound of the Mellotron, then "Greenslade" might be just the album you're looking for. It's a worthy addition to the progosphere and after listening to this first album, you may be inspired to check out Greenslade's later albums too!

 Time and Tide by GREENSLADE album cover Studio Album, 1975
2.98 | 137 ratings

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Time and Tide
Greenslade Symphonic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars This album is often linked with 'Bedside Manners Are Extra', which always seems strange to me as there was an album in between the two, 'Spyglass Guest', but given this again shows the man with many arms it is probably due to the artwork and not the music. 'Spyglass' was the last to feature the original line-up as bassist Tony Reeves left to pursue a career in production and was replaced by session guitarist Martin Briley. The new line-up didn't last long though, and 'Time and Tide' was to be the last album from Greenslade for more than twenty years. Dave formed a new version of the band at the turn of the century with Tony back on board, and keyboard player/vocalist John Young and drummer Chris Cozens. 'Time and Tide' has always felt to me to be of a band in flux, no longer really sure of direction, where they were going and what they wanted to achieve.

Greenslade (the man) was working more on his own, while some of the songs with vocals seem very at odds with what the band had been playing previously. "Waltz For A Fallen Idol" could have been produced for Rod Stewart, and it certainly doesn't seem like a Greenslade track at all. The backing vocals and falsetto just doesn't make sense at all, and the use of electric guitar also shows a band moving further away from their roots. Of all of the original Greenslade albums, this is the one I play least as while there are some delights to be heard, they are mixed with others which I can gladly skip.

This is the Esoteric reissue, which means there are some additional songs on the CD, one a single edit of "Catalan" while the other is a B-side. But we also have another disc, a Swedish Radio show which was recorded in March 1975, prior to the release of the album, and given this contains songs from other albums as well, this is the one I have been playing most. Opener "Pilgrim's Progress" is still a powerful, dramatic number and one can only wonder what would have come of the band if they had stayed together for another album. With an essay from Malcolm Dome inside, this is yet another powerful reissue from Esoteric, but it just doesn't have the punch and panache of 'Bedside Manners'.

 Bedside Manners Are Extra by GREENSLADE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.55 | 220 ratings

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Bedside Manners Are Extra
Greenslade Symphonic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

5 stars I am not sure when I first came across this album, but it wasn't when it was first released in 1973 but some time in the Eighties. I was immediately blown away by the concept of having two keyboard players, and no guitar, and while some likened them to ELP I never really saw (or heard) the link. Yes, there are long instrumentals, but singer (and second keyboard player) Dave Lawson had a very different voice to Greg Lake. I know he is often castigated for his vocals but I personally never felt there was an issue and actually enjoy his singing, especially on the opening title cut.

This was the second album by Greenslade, who were formed by Dave Greenslade after the break-up of Colosseum. He brought on board fellow Colosseum founder member bassist Tony Reeves, who had left after contributing to just one song on 'Daughter of Time', along with Lawson (Samurai, and had also been a member of The Alan Bown Set and Web) along with drummer Andrew McCulloch (King Crimson, Fields). Many fans say the debut Greenslade album is the best, while the third 'Spyglass Guest' was the commercially most successful, but this is always the album to which I turn. It captures a time when anything was possible, and the band certainly felt they weren't restricted on what they were doing. At this point within the British music scene there was the feeling that boundaries were there to be broken and pushed aside, and while Greenslade never really managed to capture the fan base of their contemporaries, to my ears it was never due to lack of songs or ability. Listening to this album on headphones, some 35 years on from its original release, still fills me with a great deal of pleasure and I know that many progheads who have overlooked this in the past will also feel the same way.

But wait, there's more! I have been fortunate enough to have in front of me the reissue on Esoteric, and as always, they never feel just making an album available again is enough. So, firstly we have three additional songs which were recorded for the Radio One 'Sounds of the Seventies' series, from October 1973. Then there is a second disc, a DVD featuring five numbers. The first three are a live in the studio promotional film, while the other two are from the wonderful OGWT. It has been a hard choice for me as to what to play most, and in terms of pure listening it is the CD, but the films are also well worth watching. This is a superb set, which has been making its way repeatedly back to my player, and deservedly so.

 Bedside Manners Are Extra by GREENSLADE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.55 | 220 ratings

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Bedside Manners Are Extra
Greenslade Symphonic Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars In my opinion, the British band Greenslade had one major fault which prevented it ever to approach my list of prog favourites. It's the vocals of Dave Lawson. To my ears they're awful bad occasionally, and harmlessly neutral at best. Luckily this band was pretty much instrumentally oriented, so the disliking of vocals is not that serious. The reason I'm now reviewing their second album is the recent re-release by Esoteric Recordings. As usual, the fine package with new interview-based liner notes and extra contents (this time with some visual material also) increases the appeal compared to the original album per se. The cover art of Roger Dean is among his finest ever, and in this cardboard-coated set it comes better alive compare to the normal plastic-coated CD.

Greenslade was a quartet named rather accidentally after the founding keyboardist Dave Greenslade, formerly of COLOSSEUM alongside the bassist Tony Reeves. The line-up had two keyboard players (Lawson came from WEB and its continuation SAMURAI) and there were no guitars on the two first albums. Musically Greenslade operated between Colosseum-like jazz-rock and Yes/ELP-kind of symphonic prog. Bedside Manners Are Extra was recorded within nine days in July 1973 and released in November, the same year as the eponymous debut was released. One could presume, due to the short writing and production time, that the material would be weaker, but that's not the case here. Many listeners regard this album as their best one, and I agree. The opening title track, about two young lovers who have to depart for summer, starts as a calm, piano-centred ballad and proceeds through lively instrumental sections to more joyous final part, and the fairly decent vocals don't go into the horrible "pain in the stomach" style that Lawson sometimes used.

Three of the six tracks are instrumentals. 'Pilgrim's Progress' with its jolly atmosphere and suitably catchy organ melodies is perhaps the best. 'Drum Folk' that began the vinyl's B side is composed by Greenslade and drummer Andy McCullogh (who played on the King Crimson album Lizard, 1970). On the faster parts the music reminds me of ELP. The drum solo is well in line with the organic feel of the entire album that was mostly played live in the studio with no overdubs. The third instrumental, Reeves-Lawson penned 'Chalkhill', ends the album. The vintage keyboard sounds are the main clue rather than the composition; if you'd imagine a Greenslade instrumental into a Yes album for instance, they'd be not much more than decent fillers.

The two remaning vocal tracks are not as good as the opener, and the vocals get rather bad especially on 'Sunkissed You're Not'. The CD on the Esoteric re-release contains three songs (of this album) performed for BBC Radio One in October 1973 (shortly prior to the release of Bedside Manners). These well-played live versions do not alternate very notably from the studio originals.

The bonus DVD contains a promotional live-in-a-studio film of three debut songs, 'Drowning Man', 'Temple Song' and 'Melange'. The picture quality is slightly worn-out, but at least the camera work is pretty good, having none of the psychedelic visual gimmickry that ruined for example ELP videos of the time. And then there's "The Old Grey Whistle Test" TV performance of 'Pilgrim's Progress' and 'Bedside Manners Are Extra'. Both of these films capture the band and its essence very nicely. The original album I'd rate with three stars, but the re-release stretches out to four, after the obligatory rounding up of 3 stars.

 Catalan by GREENSLADE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1975
2.14 | 2 ratings

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Catalan
Greenslade Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars "Bona Nit"

Catalan was released as a single in 1975 to promote the Time and Tide album. The single version of Catalan is an edit with a running time of 3:52 compared to the album version's 5:06. The edited version appears on CD for the first time as a bonus track on the 2019 Esoteric Recordings re-issue of Time and Tide. Given that it was always the instrumentals that stood out on Greenslade's albums, it was a good and brave choice to pick an instrumental for release as a single. And Catalan works well as a single a-side.

With Catalan representing the instrumental side of Greenslade, the vocal side of the band is represented by Animal Farm, which is the b-side on this single. Not a bad single, but it adds little of value to the album.

 Gangsters by GREENSLADE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1976
3.10 | 2 ratings

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Gangsters
Greenslade Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Play for Today

Gangsters is an instrumental written by Dave Greenslade for the BBC TV series of the same name which began life as an edition of Play for Today in 1975. The tune was also included on the Greenslade album Time and Tide in the same year, and in 1976 it was released as a single. (There is also a version with vocals by Chris Farlowe that was used in the third series).

The b-side of the single is a non-album track called Rubber Face & Lonely Eyes. This is also an instrumental, and though not as strong as Gangsters itself, works very well as a partner track. It is a very rare track, appearing on CD for the first time as a bonus track on the 2019 Esoteric Recordings re-issue of Time and Tide that came out only last week. In the CD booklet, it is explained that Rubber Face & Lonely Eyes too was done for the Gangsters series.

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