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CHIMERA

Psychedelic/Space Rock • United Kingdom


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Chimera biography
It all started around 1963 when two Beatles groupies, Lisa Bankoff (piano) and Francesca Garnett (vocals) decided to start writing their own songs. After having a tape refused by EMI in 1965, they went to Rome where both their mothers were living. There they recorded a tape of own songs but it remained into a cassette until they came back to UK in 1967.

It was in Rome, in May 1968, that they had the opportunity to approach Nick Mason while the Pink Floyd were taking part to a festival. Back to UK, Nick Mason offered to become their manager with David Gilmour as producer. With Nick Mason as manager the two girls signed off a contract with Blue Morgan and assembled a band including Ian Milne on keyboards and two unknown musicians.
The band didn't last long so they had to hire the instrumentist through melody maker. After some changes in the lineup, when they were recording the album, the label closed down. Nick Mason tried a deal with Atlantic, but the band rapidly disbanded.

Lisa Bankoff wrote: The project fell to pieces mainly because I had a car accident shortly after the recordings were finished and couldn't walk for a couple of years. Our producer was called Mal Luker. Almost all of those musicians appear in the album lineup: MAL LUKER (The Smoke) who is currently a successful producer in films industry (OST of Pirates of Caribbean), the bassist NICK SOUTH (Alexis Korner), the guitarist BOB WESTON, the drummer Roy Temro and the appearance of NICK MASON and RICK WRIGHT. Atlantic declined its interest, then later Bob Weston joined the Fleetwood Mac.

There was a brief reunion in 1975 but nothing more happened until 1980 when ten survived tracks were discovered in the Morgan's archives during a project for reissues. The tape was remastered from a cassette copy, but it remained in the archives only to be rediscovered in 2001, year of the final release of their album. A couple of tracks feature Nick Mason and Rick Wright. The album was released 32 years after being recorded. All their music, except those 10 tracks seemed lost forever, but 9 more tracks have been resumed somewhere and included in a later edition of the album. It's not official, but it looks like one of the reasons why the tracks remained unreleased was that Nick Mason was owning the rights and didn't allow the material to be published. This is what a Lisa's friend says. FRANCESCA and LISA wrote a book about their life in London during the late '60s / early '70s called M...
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Buy CHIMERA Music


Day StarDay Star
Grass Records (Dead) 1995
Audio CD$7.99
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Earth LoopEarth Loop
Grass Records 1996
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LughnasaLughnasa
Flute
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Best of & the Rest of BritishBest of & the Rest of British
Action Replay (UK) 1994
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CHIMERA discography


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3.90 | 2 ratings
Chimera
2002

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CHIMERA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Chimera by CHIMERA album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.90 | 2 ratings

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Chimera
Chimera Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

4 stars The amazing story of this album begins in 1969 just to be relaeased 32 years after the end of recordings. Who is curious to know why, can give a read to the band's bio. The ten tracks, all written by Lisa Bankoff, are a mix of British psychedelia with folk elements that add a touch of "hippyness".

Most of the tracks were produced by Nick Mason, and he and Richard Wright appear on two tracks, but this is no more than a curiosity for Pink Floyd's completionists. Only "Lady with Bullets in Her Hair" is floydian enough to be compared. Lisa's music is more close to the athmospheres of Fairport Convention or to the early Renaissance.

The quality is not perfect because the original masters are lost and the tracks are copied from a tape, but not perfect doesn't mean poor. It's better than many of its contemporary productions, anyway.

This is an important document of that period, and it's a pity that Lisa and Francesca didn't have the possibility to continue making music as they were very talented.

I won't go track by track. I want to leave you the possibility to discover it on your own.

Looking at its absolute value and taking into account that it's just the printout of 10 spare recordings, it should be 3 stars, but if you think to all the things that happened behind it has more value.

Lisa lived enough to see it released, the drummer Roy Temro didn't. Also Rick Wright is no longer here. I rate it 4 stars as a small compensation to the injustice that was suffered by both the band and the album.

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