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THE WILDE FLOWERS

Canterbury Scene • United Kingdom


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The Wilde Flowers biography
The WILDE FLOWERS never released a record during their existence, but their influence exceeds that of many groups with lengthy discographies. The band served as the wellspring of the so-called Canterbury sound: future SOFT MACHINE members Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers, and Hugh Hopper all played with the WILDE FLOWERS before the SOFT MACHINE were founded, and Pye Hastings, David Sinclair, Richard Sinclair, and Richard Coughlan played in the group at various points before forming CARAVAN. The musicians who wandered through the WILDE FLOWERS (who went through several lineups between 1963 and 1969) came from a far more intellectual, artistic, and jazz-oriented background than was the norm for pop musicians in the mid-'60s. Thus, although the group played beat fare much like thousands of other British combos in their formative days, when they began to write their own material, it betrayed the bemused whimsy -- replete with odd jazzy flourishes, droll obtuse lyrics, and adventurous chord changes -- that would come to characterize the Canterbury bands, and prove influential on the development of psychedelia and progressive rock. At long last, a wealth of the WILDE FLOWERS' demos and unreleased recordings was released in 1994.

: : : Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide : : :

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  • Parchman Farm Tales Of Canterbury: The Wilde Flowers Story, 1994

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2.41 | 16 ratings
Tales Of Canterbury: The Wilde Flowers Story
1994

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THE WILDE FLOWERS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Tales Of Canterbury: The Wilde Flowers Story by WILDE FLOWERS, THE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1994
2.41 | 16 ratings

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Tales Of Canterbury: The Wilde Flowers Story
The Wilde Flowers Canterbury Scene

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

3 stars The Canterbury Sound is a special subgenre, little but very interesting. Its mixture of jazz and pop made a soft and easy listened form of progressive rock. The genre originated from this band "The Wilde Flowers" which existed in the sixties but never released anything then. This is a collection of demoes which is very insteresting for every prog lover. Afterwards members of this band formed Soft Machine and Caravan.

Musicians on the record are Robert Wyatt, Hugh Hopper, Brian Hopper, Kevin Ayers, Richard Coughlan, Grahan Flight, Richard Sinclair and Pye Hastings. The three tracks 17, 18 and 19 is actually with another band "Zobe" with Dave Lawrence, Bob Gilleson and John Lawrence.

I think this collection is underrated. You have to think about how early this was. Well many tracks feels a bit too simple and amateurish but other tracks are very fine and romantic. I like the lightness of the music and that it's the opposite of over produced music. "Impotence" is a typical Canterbury song with a soft pop melody in a jazzy landscape(8/10) and the romantic little "Memories"(7/10) or the little blues thing with wind instrument "Parchman Farm"(7/10) would I also recommend. "It's what I feel" with (I think) Richard Sinclair on vocals is very nice(7/10) as well as the lovely "She loves to hurt" which is more professional than others(7/10). The three Zobe songs are different from the others and I would recommend a closer listening also to them.

Many of the tracks aren't timeless gems and should perhaps just be heard as references but over all I think this album is pleasant and appealing. If you don't have enough spirit to hear it all I recommend "Impotence", "It's what I feel", "She loves to hurt" and "Memories". I consider the album an interesting start of wonderful bands. Three stars!

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 Tales Of Canterbury: The Wilde Flowers Story by WILDE FLOWERS, THE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1994
2.41 | 16 ratings

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Tales Of Canterbury: The Wilde Flowers Story
The Wilde Flowers Canterbury Scene

Review by siLLy puPPy

3 stars This is an interesting listen. Although this is the beginning of the Canterbury scene it is not the place to begin to explore that subgenre. This is simply the stomping ground for the who's who of that scene that would go on to produce the awesomeness of Soft Machine and Caravan.

Despite the negative reviews that depict this as naïve British pop, I have to say that it's not bad for what it is. I actually like pop music and I really like the British pop of the 60s. It's not even close to the standards of the greats of the era but there is certainly some decent pop tunes to be had here.

Although THE WILDE FLOWERS never actually recorded an album we get to hear this historic gem as an archival artefact. Not exactly a masterpiece it is however an essential listen for those who like to hear how the evolution of certain sounds took place although there is little if any sounds of what is to come from any of these guys.

Thankfully Hugh Hopper, Robert Wyatt and Kevin Ayers would go on to form Soft Machine. And the same for the fact that Richard Sinclair, David Sinclair, Pye Hastings and Richard Coughlan would go on to form Caravan. An intriguing listen but don't feel like you're missing out if you skip it.

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 Tales Of Canterbury: The Wilde Flowers Story by WILDE FLOWERS, THE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1994
2.41 | 16 ratings

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Tales Of Canterbury: The Wilde Flowers Story
The Wilde Flowers Canterbury Scene

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars The band that spawned Kevin Ayers, Hugh Hopper, Robert Wyatt, Pye Hastings, Soft Machine and Caravan. The grandfather of the Canterbury Scene, in other words.

Musicwise, this is nowhere near the Canterbury Scene. Rockabilly, naive pop, rock, blues and everything that went around in the 1960s is on this album. Pink Floyd, Animals and The Beatles is obvious reference points.

The opening track Impotence is good. The rest is pretty bad. The Wilde Flowers never released an official album so this album therefore includes everything recorded the record label could lay their hands on. Herein lays the problem. The album is a mix of fish and cows. Which makes it an album which would only interest die-hard fans of these bands and artists. Music wise, it is a waste of time.

2 stars

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 Tales Of Canterbury: The Wilde Flowers Story by WILDE FLOWERS, THE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1994
2.41 | 16 ratings

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Tales Of Canterbury: The Wilde Flowers Story
The Wilde Flowers Canterbury Scene

Review by obiter
Prog Reviewer

2 stars It's a who's who of the canterbury scene but this ain't prog. You would not be suprised if Van the Man was singing. there's even bluesy twangs:

Booker White's Parchman Farm:... i'm going to be here for the rest of my life, but all i did was shoot my wife ... Chuch Berry .. Almost Grown

Some of the recording is truly dreadful: the pieman cometh sticks out as a particularly awful recording: think worst bootleg recording made on a mobile you've heard and you're coming close.

I'm a fan of the Canterbury scene so it's interesting to listen to so many of the main players in one group at an early stage. If I wasn't a fan then this would hold no interest for me, so it fits perfectly into the 2 star category.

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 Tales Of Canterbury: The Wilde Flowers Story by WILDE FLOWERS, THE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1994
2.41 | 16 ratings

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Tales Of Canterbury: The Wilde Flowers Story
The Wilde Flowers Canterbury Scene

Review by Speesh

2 stars A historically important collection, but I'm afraid that's really all it is. The Wilde Flowers could easily be described as The Yardbirds of the Canterbury Scene. Most of the famous Canterbury musicians played here at one time or another; including Robert Wyatt, Hugh Hopper, and Kevin Ayers of Soft Machine fame as well as Richard Sinclair, Pye Hastings, and Richard Coughlan of Caravan. It is essentially the base of the tree that is the Canterbury Scene, this is where it all began.

Now on to the music. The Wilde Flowers never recorded an album during their career, this collection is a set of recordings that were made throughout their days as a band. Unfortunately most of the recording is poor quality that detracts greatly from potentially good songs. The songs are predominantly British Invasion-esque pop songs. There are not many progressive tendencies in this album if any. However, there was a lot of potential in these recordings. Some of the songs have the potential of being very good: songs like Those Words They Say and Parchman Farm are catchy.

I'd recommend this collection for anyone who is a fan of the Canterbury Scene who is intrigued by historical recordings like these. Though outside of that demographic, the collection isn't worth that much. Still, I don't find it completely worthless, I find myself listening to it every once in a while.

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