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AMAZING BLONDEL

Prog Folk • United Kingdom


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Amazing Blondel biography
AMAZING BLONDEL existed throughout the early seventies. Originally formed by John David GLADWIN, Terry WINCOTT and Eddie BAIRD after leaving another even more obscure band called METHUSELAH. For these three, the band was essentially a three piece singing and playing krumhorns, recorders, lute, theorbo, guitars, dulcimers, flute, piano, harpsichord, mellotron, organ, tabor, cittern tubular, bells, glockenspiel and percussion. English mostly acoustic 1969-76. Middle-age renaissance guitar, organ and other instruments, multipart harmony vocals, etc., bordering on the prog movement in England at the time. The musicians had earlier played rock and thus the music cannot be termed classical either. Among lots of famous guest musicians can be named Boz BURRELL, Eddie JOBSON, Steve WINWOOD and Mel COLLINS.

"The Amazing Bondel" was a collection of soft acoustic rock numbers that included one medieval-styled song that seemed to go over better than anything else, and that was the direction they aimed for in their future releases. "Evensong" is a folk album that harked back to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Madrigals and ballads performed on period instruments became their specialty and the trio's creative ideas led to the concept album "Fantasia Lindum", which belongs more to progressive-rock than to folk-rock. "England" used the same technique to craft elegant, lushly-arranged pop songs. GLADWIN left and the surviving duo veered towards STEELEYE SPAN's hard-folk with "Blondel", entirely composed by BAIRD, "Mulgrave Street", "Inspiration", "Bad Dreams". The band reunited 21 years later for "Restoration" (1997), an album which harkens back to their halcon days.

Their third and fourth albums "Fantasia Lindum" and "England" represent the most musically sophisticated of the material, which any progressive fan without an aversion to folk music should have no trouble enjoying. Most fans of early GRYPHON, FAIRPORT, and other British folk rock will be delighted with this band.

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Songs For Faithful AdmirersSongs For Faithful Admirers
Import
SECRET RECORDS 2013
Audio CD$7.85
$13.40 (used)
Live in TokyoLive in Tokyo
Import
Talking Elephant 2009
Audio CD$9.49
$14.93 (used)
England/BlondelEngland/Blondel
Import
BGO Records 2010
Audio CD$11.16
$15.48 (used)
Bad DreamsBad Dreams
Import
Talking Elephant 2009
Audio CD$11.73
$20.76 (used)
On With the ShowOn With the Show
Import · Soundtrack
Dream Catcher UK 2007
Audio CD$7.49
$11.22 (used)
Amazing Blondel & A Few FacesAmazing Blondel & A Few Faces
Import
Edsel Records UK 1995
Audio CD$54.96
$9.99 (used)
The Amazing Elsie EmeraldThe Amazing Elsie Emerald
Import
101 DISTRIBUTION 2010
Audio CD$6.35
$7.25 (used)
Evensong/Fantasia LindumEvensong/Fantasia Lindum
Import · Remastered
Bgo 2004
Audio CD$9.50
$9.25 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Amazing Blondel - Bad Dreams CD US $32.63 Buy It Now 10h 35m
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AMAZING BLONDEL shows & tickets


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AMAZING BLONDEL discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

2.90 | 18 ratings
The Amazing Blondel
1969
3.00 | 25 ratings
Evensong
1970
3.25 | 26 ratings
Fantasia Lindum
1971
3.28 | 30 ratings
England
1972
3.36 | 17 ratings
Blondel (The Purple Album)
1973
2.64 | 6 ratings
Mulgrave Street
1974
3.00 | 6 ratings
Inspiration
1975
1.52 | 4 ratings
Bad Dreams
1976
2.86 | 6 ratings
Restoration
1997
2.13 | 4 ratings
The Amazing Elsie Emerald
2010

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

3.33 | 2 ratings
Live in Tokyo
1977
2.67 | 5 ratings
A Foreign Field That Is Forever England. Live Abroad
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
Dead - Live in Transylvania
2011

AMAZING BLONDEL Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

3.67 | 4 ratings
Englishe Musicke
1993
3.50 | 2 ratings
Evensong / Fantasia Lindum
2004
3.00 | 1 ratings
Going Where the Music Takes Me
2004
2.00 | 1 ratings
On with the Show (In Per Ostendo)
2007
4.00 | 1 ratings
England / Blondel
2010

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

AMAZING BLONDEL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Amazing Elsie Emerald by AMAZING BLONDEL album cover Studio Album, 2010
2.13 | 4 ratings

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The Amazing Elsie Emerald
Amazing Blondel Prog Folk

Review by thongordamien

4 stars It was a sense of nostalgia that led me to catch up on a number of the bands i loved as a teenager of which the Amazing Blondel were one. I bought this album expecting that quirky traditional folk rock sound that i remembered but was surprised to find a laid back slightly jazzy almost eagles style of music. So at first i was disappointed then after one or two more listens i found more and more friends commenting on how much they enjoyed it and realised that I was too. These are well written easy listening pieces that are perfect summer listening. Not a great progrock album but definitely a really good one.

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 The Amazing Elsie Emerald by AMAZING BLONDEL album cover Studio Album, 2010
2.13 | 4 ratings

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The Amazing Elsie Emerald
Amazing Blondel Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

1 stars Ignoring the misleadingly salacious cover, this reunion of the late 1970s 66.6% of AMAZING BLONDEL (minus John Gladwin who did appear on the "Restoration" comeback in 1997) remains superficially consistent with their product of that bygone age. John "Rabbit" Bundrick even returns as guest on keyboards.

Soft rock is still the stock in trade, but far more uniformly than ever before.. With glossy somnolence this sashays from one mellow string synth-heavy tune to another, and without the counterbalancing of more truly upbeat material, this can presumably only tug at synthesized heart strings because I felt nothing. Overproduction also coats every tune with a sickly syrup of sorts, a presumed prophylactic against melodic and character protrusion. I half expect Pet Clark to start singing after the intro to "Maybe", but why would she bother?

The only track that doesn't sound like a mediocre out-take of their glory years is "Fool's Gold", which could have sat quite well on the "Inspiration" album, and features fine accordion by Wincott. "Next Time" is also decent, but in general you are far better off listening to the "Going where the Music Takes me" compilation if you want more of this ilk.

One mystery is how they could only come up with 34 minutes given the quality, but that's definitely a plus. Amazing, Elsie, in all the worst ways.

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 The Amazing Blondel by AMAZING BLONDEL album cover Studio Album, 1969
2.90 | 18 ratings

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The Amazing Blondel
Amazing Blondel Prog Folk

Review by androvick

4 stars Finally after decades of searching for this album I finally found one. Unless you listen to this music on vinyl you will never truly know how good it really sounds. It was recorded and mastered so well, it is an ambassador of how analog vinyl will always sound so much better than any digital compact disc all be it a vinyl remaster. A little bit heavier than their later music, which is more folky than prog. It's a reverse to Magna Carta who started out folky but who then became prog like. I give this album four stars because I wouldn't rate it as a master piece, but as it truly is an excellent addition to any prog rock collection, that is if you can find an original Bell vinyl copy.

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 England by AMAZING BLONDEL album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.28 | 30 ratings

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England
Amazing Blondel Prog Folk

Review by the philosopher

1 stars The one thing I get on my mind by listening to this England of the Amazing Blondel is a movie showing bees and butterflies and great harmonie. Everone is smiling and dancing on the road. Animals live together with men in some kind of supersweet paradise full of beautiful flowers and trees.

I don't like this supersweetness. In fact, after the first two songs it realy starts irritating me and I want to stop listening. Just in case of reviewing this record, I forced myself to listen it at least two times, but I find this quiet challenging. The instrumental part is not interesting for me. Okey, this is a combination of rock and some orchestric, classical music, but I cannot place this music in a progressive context. The songs are not complex in structure or progression. The melodies are far too easy and the vocals are all so optimistic and happy sounding that it keeps annoying me.

The main instrument besides the (background) orchestra and strings is the flute. Don't expect any virtuosity here. This is no Ian Anderson playing the flute.

The first good song on the record starts in side two- song three. This is a string arrangement without vocals, which is the first progressive song. The good thing about this song is it's neutral sound and the absence of vocals. The last song is also quiet good and is also without vocals.

Sweet, sweet, sweet. I do NOT recommend this to prog-listeners and even to folk-fans - as I am myself. This kind of sweetness is not comparible with Steeleye Span e.a. This is hardcore sweetness.

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 Blondel (The Purple Album)  by AMAZING BLONDEL album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.36 | 17 ratings

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Blondel (The Purple Album)
Amazing Blondel Prog Folk

Review by Andrea Cortese
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars This is the first album recorded after the departure of writer Gladwin. Baird and Wincott decided to continue as a duo. Baird proved to be a valid writer too but the music was subjected to a significant change of direction.

While the sound remains predominantly acoustic, the sound is "updated" (acoustic instruments are less varied) and "modern" (thanks to drums and bass guitar played by Steve Winwood).

The fantastic opener "The Leaving of a Country Lover" starts with deep orchestral murmurings and then developes one of the most beautiful melodies I ever heard. The closer is even better, short, sad, aching, intense and romantic as never before.

In the middle a bunch of (folk) feathers and, above all, the most satisfying record from the band, in my opinion, although there is no high points as in "Fantasia Lindum" self titled suite.

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 England by AMAZING BLONDEL album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.28 | 30 ratings

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England
Amazing Blondel Prog Folk

Review by Andrea Cortese
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars This is their fourth album and the last with John Gladwin, who wrote the most part of their discography until then, and shortly after the recordings left to go solo. After his departure the remaining two members Baird and Wincott decided to go on, shortening the name in "Blondel".

The music follows the same patterns of the previous records and is even sweeter and charming, expanded by strings in a sort of symphonic folk pastiche.

On par with "Fantasia Lindum", Gladwin delights us with another beautiful side-long suite, entitled "The Paintings". Differently from the former, the latter is more predictable and does not feature any improvisation, so I cannot say it is at the same level.

Curiously, in spite of the sweetness of the whole record, it ends with a noisy blurp. I've almost jumped off my chair the first time I heard it.

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 Fantasia Lindum  by AMAZING BLONDEL album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.25 | 26 ratings

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Fantasia Lindum
Amazing Blondel Prog Folk

Review by Andrea Cortese
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Well, this is a big improvement from their previous work but it doesn't mean there's any rock or typical progressive folk attitude. Simply, the Amazing Blondel expanded the frontiers of the small medieval drops "EVENSONG" was made of.

The band embarks on a more adventurous and free number (good effort in improvisation) that embraces the whole first side of the record, opening with a memorable baroque clavier.

As I read somewhere in the internet, the "Fantasia Lindum" suite is the band's tribute to the city of Lincoln, the Lincolnshire countryside and the mediaeval Lincoln Cathedral. A variety of instruments are played, but the central sound is made of (in addition to the occasional clavier sequences) the two lutes of Gladwin and Baird and the wind instruments played by Wincott.

The other side of the album is less interesting and includes madrigal songs and two instrumental tunes. There is the hymn song "Safety in God Alone" and the pipe-organ-and-drums' duet of "Siege of Yaddlethorpe" with guest appearance of TRAFFIC's Jim Capaldi.

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 Evensong  by AMAZING BLONDEL album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.00 | 25 ratings

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Evensong
Amazing Blondel Prog Folk

Review by Andrea Cortese
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars When people asked Eddie Baird: "how 'd you describe your music?" he used to answer: "don't ask me, I have no idea".

Well, to be honest this band is not your typical progressive folk group. They play acoustic (gentle) folk with many references to the renaissance times (e.g. cither, lute, theorbe, crumhorn, tabor, harpsichord et alia) and absolutely no aggressiveness (very light percussion).

This album is, in particular, very luminous and happy sounding with no complexity in the songs' structure. Very different from the following (fantastic) work "FANTASIA LINDUM" with its memorable long acoustic elizabethan suite.

As many of their contemporaries (Steeleye Span, Strawbs, Gryphon) their production lost gradually the medieval feel and turned into a more "modern" sound. However, differently from their contemporaries, for the Amazing Blondel this process was very slow and they never opted for a full electrified folk.

Evensong: nomen omen; a name, a destiny.

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 Blondel (The Purple Album)  by AMAZING BLONDEL album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.36 | 17 ratings

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Blondel (The Purple Album)
Amazing Blondel Prog Folk

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars "Amazing" Folk Pop

Finally I have been able to put my hands on this album, which has for a long time been the missing piece in my Amazing Blondel collection. I now own it as part of a 2010 two-on-one CD release together with the group's previous album, England (just as their Evensong and Fantasia Lindum albums were released together some years ago). While England, for me, was something of a disappointment, this gorgeous little album entitled simply 'Blondel' has very quickly become my favourite in the Amazing Blondel discography. With this album the acoustic Folk group took a step closer towards the Pop and Rock world. Though the trio was reduced to a duo for this album, they invited a handful of guests to provide various instruments. For the first time we hear bass guitar (played by Steve Winwood) and drums. But this tendency should not be exaggerated as this is by no means a full-fledged Rock album. This is still strongly acoustic and it is still very much a product in the distinctive Amazing Blondel style. The progressive aspects are definitely present, but subtle.

In some ways Blondel might be seen as a transitional album between the group's Folk phase and their later Pop phase. As such it is an interesting mix between the two styles and the tunes are very charming indeed. Prog Rock fans might perhaps question the relevance of Amazing Blondel here, but anyone with a taste for acoustic Folk Pop should not miss this lovely album.

This album is a very good place to start if you want to investigate Amazing Blondel. A solid three stars and a worthy addition. Recommended!

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 Restoration  by AMAZING BLONDEL album cover Studio Album, 1997
2.86 | 6 ratings

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Restoration
Amazing Blondel Prog Folk

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars While I looped the "Amazing Blondel" loop with this album, I was not quite enthusiast to review this last album. It was released more than twenty years after the dreadful and well titled "Bad Dreams" and I was actually expecting the worse from this "Restoration".

What I have discovered is actually a quite pleasant folk album. After the deception of the opening track, the whole album flows nicely from one nice little folk song to another.

There is nothing great nor revolutionary featured on this work, but the whole is nice to listen to: some fine fluting overall and the acoustic guitar parts are rather enjoyable as well. Some tracks are instrumental and highlights the skills of man in charge of the classic guitar.

I have never been a deep fan of this band since none of their previous albums scored higher than two stars in my books. For this time, I will rate this one with three stars because it left a sweet mark on my mind.

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