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Greenslade - Bedside Manners Are Extra CD (album) cover

BEDSIDE MANNERS ARE EXTRA

Greenslade

 

Symphonic Prog

3.52 | 192 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Engineer pulls smart move on unsuspecting drummer!

Following on from their 1973 debut album, the Greenslade line up remained unchanged for this release the following year. In terms of content, this is very much a case of more of the same, but at the same time new and improved. If the dual keyboards of Dave Greenslade and Dave Lawson appealed to you the first time round, they certainly will do so again here.

The opening (title) track is surprisingly downbeat with a reflective lyric and delicate vocals. A sudden infusion of quicker electric piano type keyboards and then lilting mellotron cause regular variations in the mood. After a quiet intro, "Pilgrim's progress" turns out to be one of the liveliest and most upbeat pieces Greenslade have recorded. There's more than a hint of ELP in the melodic keyboard runs. The closing track on side one, "Time to dream" reflects the more muddled atmosphere of the first album, but still has more bite. This track actually sounds remarkably like the post Russ Ballard output of ARGENT.

The feature track on side 2 is the 8 minute "Drumfolk". This diverse instrumental once again opens with an ELP like organ workout. Unfortunately the ELP similarities continue with the unforgivable indulgence of a needless drum solo (as admittedly suggested by the title). Fortunately, the engineer has the presence of mind the fade the drum solo in full flow, and replace it with some fine flute like keyboards. Drummer Andy McCulloch cannot take a hint however, and returns for the last word!

"Sunkissed you're not" is a bluesy, slightly funky piece which doesn't really work. The lyrics are just a little too off the wall, and the melody fragmented and weak. The final track, "Chalkhill" retains the upbeat feel of the entire album in a spirited instrumental.

"Bedside manners are extra" undoubtedly represents Greenslade at their peak. While that peak is still some way below that of their prog peers, this is a worthy album of enjoyable music. Pity about the drums solos though.

The album is complemented by a fine Roger Dean gatefold sleeve design.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |

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