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Mighty Baby - Mighty Baby CD (album) cover

MIGHTY BABY

Mighty Baby

 

Crossover Prog

4.16 | 23 ratings

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Psychedelic Paul
4 stars MIGHTY BABY were a two-album Psychedelic Rock band from London, England, who were previously known as The Action. Their first album "Mighty Baby" (1969) was firmly rooted in American Psychedelic Rock. They had a change of direction with their second album "A Jug of Love" (1971), which had more of a laid-back spiritual feel to it, due to several members of the band taking up the Sufi faith in the interim period between the two albums. Let's take a mighty leap now into the psychedelic world of Mighty Baby's eponymously-titled first album.

We're in Raiders of the Lost Ark territory for the glorious opening number, "Egyptian Tomb". It's a trippy acid-drenched song that perfectly captures the American West Coast sound of the late 1960's, emulating such bands of the time as Quicksilver Messenger Service and Jefferson Airplane, only with a saxophone providing some additional flawless flourishes. The music brings to mind exotic images of pharaohs, sphinxes and pyramids, and camel rides across the desert beneath a burning red sun. Just watch out for those nasty scorpions and huge camel spiders though. There's more sunny psychedelia on the way with "A Friend You Know But Never See", another full-blooded blast of Psychedelic Rock with a powerful driving rhythm and some magnificent fuzzy guitar soloing. This is a perfect sunburst of rainbow-coloured psychedelia for listening to in a free-and- easy hippy commune on a sunshiny day in Southern California, or failing that, listening to at night with the lights off where you're free to do some California Dreamin' of sun, sand, sea and surfing, regardless of whether all the leaves are brown and the sky is grey, on a winter's day. There's a pleasant change of pace for "I've Been Down So Long", which begins as a nicely laid-back groove to put you in a mellow mood, but this is only a prelude as the dazzling guitarist has his amp turned up to eleven and he's more than ready to deliver another scorching hot guitar solo in a magnificent crescendo of sound. We're continuing the wild ride with more psychedelic red-hot vibes in "Same Way From the Sun", a footloose and fancy-free fuzz- toned guitar freak-out from beginning to end.

Opening Side Two is a "House Without Windows" which must be a very dark house indeed. The music is as bright as a sparkling crystal though, featuring six uninterrupted minutes of musical magic in another groovy psychedelic jam session. There's no let-up in the incredible pace with "Trials of a City", a bluesy psychedelic jam which barrels along at full-speed ahead. These London guys have really nailed it when it comes to playing American Psychedelic Rock. They sound like they were born and raised within sight of the Golden Gate Bridge, instead of the sprawling suburbs of London. We're slowing things down a bit now with "I'm From the Country", a pleasantly countrified, mellow diversion amongst the heavy Psychedelic Rock numbers. This is the kind of laid-back West Coast sound we're accustomed to hearing from any number of U.S. Country Rock bands, although it's rare to hear it played so authentically by a London-based band, where there's not a lot of sea and surfers to be seen. The final song "At a Point Between Fate and Destiny" has a somewhat solemn and spiritual air to it, which opens to the sound of a beautiful church organ. The music sounds mystical and hauntingly atmospheric and represents the real highlight of the album. It's a charming and blissful melody floating amidst a sea full of psychedelic rockers surfing on Californian waves of sun-drenched late-1960's music.

"Mighty Baby" is a mighty fine album for all of the psychedelic rockers out there who lived through the "Summer of Love" year of 1967 and want to rekindle those bygone, flower-power free-love days. You can re-live those halcyon days at any time of the year and travel back in time whenever you listen to this evergreen album of sparklingly effervescent psychedelia.

Psychedelic Paul | 4/5 |

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