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Greenslade - Bedside Manners Are Extra CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.52 | 192 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars I have been aware of Dave GREENSLADE for some time now. Like his work with COLOSSEUM, such as "Valentyne Suite" (1969) which is truly a must have album for those who enjoy bluesy progressive jazz rock. And let's not forget his next band, simply called GREENSLADE. "Bedside Manners Are Extra" is their second album, released later the same year as their debut. Cover artwork is by Roger Dean, and the band logo was also created by Dean as well (which isn't hard to tell). All four members had been in established bands. We all know Dave GREENSLADE himself and his involvement with COLOSSEUM. Bassist Tony Reeves was also of COLOSSEUM (and appeared on their first two albums, "Those Who Are About To Die Salute You" and "Valentyne Suite"). He also played in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers (in which another COLOSSEUM member, Dick Heckstall-Smith had played in). Andrew McCulloch was a brief member of KING CRIMSON, and had appeared on their album "Lizard", and keyboardist/vocalist Dave Lawson was a member of WEB during their final album ( I Spider from 1970, the previous two WEB albums, "Fully Interlocking" and "Therphosa Blondi" featured John L. Watson instead), and the one album from 1971 when WEB changed their name to SAMURAI.

Anyway, GREENSLADE's music tended to much more conventional progressive rock, those who aren't too keen on the jazzy/bluesy COLOSSEUM would have less problems here, but then the high-pitched vocals of Dave Lawson (he definately sounds a lot different than on I Spider) is an acquired taste and might throw off many people. You won't find much trace of that old COLOSSEUM sound here, despite the presence of two ex-COLOSSEUM members. Only half the songs on "Bedside Manners Are Extra" have vocals, the rest are instrumental. This album is also packed with Mellotron, I never imagined Dave GREENSLADE being a tron user, mainly because his works with COLOSSEUM were obviously dominated by organ and piano, but this album is loaded with it, and a good reason to buy this album, to fill a hole in your Mellotron collection. The title track starts off deceptively like soft rock, but most of the rest of the piece tends more to the Romantic prog spectrum. Most of the rest of the album has a more bombastic keyboard-dominated style of prog, but much more restrained than say, Keith Emerson or Rick Wakeman. "Pilgrams Progress" is an instrumental piece with a recurring theme played on tron flute. There's the occasional ELP-like passage too. "Time to Dream" has an almost GENESIS-like feel to it, especially the use of Mellotron. "Drum Folk" gets frequently criticized for the use of drum solos twice, but the great passages (including more wonderful use of Mellotron) makes up for it. The final cut, "Chalichill" is an all-instrumental piece with a great jam at the end with a wonderful Moog solo. This is truly an underrated prog rock album (likely because of Dave Lawson's singing), and aside from CURVED AIR, one of the greats found on the Warner Bros. label (a label you can't get more mainstream than that, it's nice to see GREENSLADE and CURVED AIR on a label too full of overly-commercial crap).

I can't get over the photo of Dave GREENSLADE you find in the gatefold of the LP and that expression on his face.

No doubt, like RARE BIRD, this band also had two keyboardists and no guitarist, even if the music sounds nothing like RARE BIRD. It's an interesting fact that Dave GREENSLADE's first solo effort, "Cactus Choir" (1976) featured ex-RARE BIRD vocalist Steve Gould.

If you can get over Dave Lawson's singing, you got yourself some more excellent prog rock, this album really grew on me.

Proghead | 4/5 |


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