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Audience - Friend's Friend's Friend CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.71 | 77 ratings

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Psychedelic Paul
5 stars AUDIENCE were a four-piece, London-based Jazz-Rock outfit. This album "Friend's Friend's Friend" (1970) - released on the Prog-Rock Charisma label - was the second of four albums released between the years of 1969 and 1972. Their first album, the self-titled "Audience" (1969), failed to gain much recognition, so they did comparatively well to release four albums in total, considering how many other bands have quickly fallen by the wayside after releasing a debut album with poor album sales. Audience followed this particular album with "The House on the Hill" in 1971 and a final album "Lunch" in 1972. A bonus track was added to the original eight songs on the "Friend's Friend's Friend" album on the 1992 CD reissue. Let's join the Audience now and have a listen.

We begin with "Nothing You Do", a rip-roaring, toe-tapping, Jazz-Rock number, designed to really lift the spirits up into the "progosphere". It's a bright and brassy song, with the horn section in full flow. One of the best features of the song is the uplifting vocal harmonising in the style of some of Uriah Heep's uproarious songs. The lead vocalist deserves a word of mention too, because on first hearing, his voice does sound somewhat nasal and high-pitched, but once you become accustomed to his nasal twang, then you may come to love it. Despite the uplifting nature of the music, the lyrics tell the sad story of a broken relationship:- "Nothing you do could make me feel towards you, What you obviously feel towards me, Nothing I hear from you is more than a mere excuse, Confirming my every fear." ..... It's a bittersweet ballad with attitude! Onwards now to Song No. 2 and "Belladonna Moonshine", another rumbunctious brassy number with a jaunty and jazzy rhythm. There's a quick-tempo honky tonk shuffle in the mid-section which really livens things up. It's insouciant, it's vibrant, and it's very pleasant too. Take a look at these playful lyrics:- "Jeremiah Cade though a singer by trade, He couldn't sing a note without the liquor he made, He could never make it big 'til the night he took a swig, From his homebrewed Belladonna Moonshine." ..... Who needs moonshine anyway, or any other alcoholic spirits, when you can have your spirits lifted by listening to this joyfully intoxicating piece of music. Next up comes "It Brings a Tear", a song more likely to bring tears of joy with its happy vibe. It's an impassioned power ballad, opening with a delightful flute solo and with the sound of those uplifting vocal harmonies in full flow again. It's a song full of radiant energy as warm and bright as a hot summer's day. If you could SEE this music, then it would be shining in full Technicolour brilliance! We've reached the halfway point now with "Raid", the longest song on the album at over 8 minutes long. This epic song opens with a relentless pounding and pulsating rhythm, followed by a sensational and sophisticated saxophone solo in the middle section. It's a tale of barbarous Vikings rampaging, pillaging and ..... Well, we won't go into that, but you can guess the rest.

Side Two open with "Right on Their Side", another sonorous and thunderous burst of British Jazz-Rock going full steam ahead. Song No. 6 is "Ebony Variations", an instrumental, classically-inspired number, as the song title implies. It's a jolly and joyous piece of music, where the saxophonist really gets to play his heart out and demonstrate his musical mettle in no uncertain terms. He's really having a blast here. On now to Song No. 7, and "Priestess", an impassioned and impressive 6-minute song featuring a gorgeous flute solo. Don't have nightmares though, because it's a dark satanic tale of nefarious goings-on in the middle of the night as these lyrics reveal:- "Bathed in moonlight, Devil worshippers chanting, Throughout the night, Music grew ever haunting. High on her throne, Satan seated beside her, Face cold as stone, Prince of Darkness to guide her." ..... Yes, it's that kind of a song, but try not to let that put you off, because this is great music! You may want to sleep with the lights on though after hearing it for the first time. And so, we come to the final song on the album dear friends with the title track, "Friend's Friend's Friend", a melodic and gently lilting saxophonic ballad which closes the album in salubrious and symphonious style.

This amazing band deserves to be heard by a much wider Audience. "Friend's Friend's Friend" is a bold and brassy rejuvenating album that's guaranteed to brighten up the dullest of days with its vibrant spirit and rollicking attitude. Audience represent one of the finest exponents of classic British Jazz-Rock. Tell all of your friends about this superb album, and tell your friend's friends too!

Psychedelic Paul | 5/5 |


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