TEN YEARS AFTER – CRICKLEWOOD GREEN – April 17, 1970
I couldn’t post the last two Mind-Blowers without acknowledging Alvin Lee and Company
and the indelible stamp “Cricklewood Green” had on those specific psychedelic times.
1969 and 1970 go down as the absolute zenith of Rock ‘n’ Roll with more concentrated talent and creative explosion of classic and iconic albums than any other year(s). This is factual, not just my opinion.
TYA’s Cricklewood Green is a perfect example; every track is excellent. I “grew up” with all of TYA’s albums and loved them all but this LP stood alone, it was cohesive; it was almost like a concept LP to me. While each song is distinctly different, they all connect and provide a classic solid LP of Psychedelic Blues Rock.
Let’s dissect this theory:
“Sugar the Road” (Alvin Lee) – 4:06
“Working on the Road” (Alvin Lee) – 4:18
(Alvin is definitely feeling the repercussions of touring (on the road) and his yearning for home
“50,000 Miles Beneath My Brain” (Alvin Lee) – 7:39
“Year 3,000 Blues” (Alvin Lee) – 2:27
(here the road runs deep, 50,000 miles deep and mental and emotional yearnings continue and in another numerical connection predictions of life in the year 3,000)
“Me and My Baby” (Alvin Lee) – 4:18
“Love Like a Man” (Alvin Lee) – 7:32
(a jazzy nightclub swing blues number about a good female/male relationship gets steamy when correct lovemaking instructions are applied)
“Circles” (Alvin Lee) – 3:59
“As the Sun Still Burns Away” (Alvin Lee) – 4:44
(the symbolism of Circles and the Sun are as old as time and we’re left with contemplative observations on present life and the ultimate future)
And here it is in its entirety: TEN YEARS AFTER – CRICKLEWOOD GREEN
TYA and 2001: A Space Odyssey – Dig this mini-MIND-BLOWER
2001: A Space Odyssey released on April 4th, 1968 was a big deal with everyone and especially us Hippies. The heavy symbolism and sounds of Strauss’ waltzes as background to the glorious images of a real space station in orbit and the slowly well-paced direction of Kubrick created a technical and realistic foundation for the film’s phantasmagorical ending – which was both the definition of psychedelic AND a true mind-blower.
This wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling psychedelic extravaganza was a must LSD Trip.
I’ve seen this film stoned and straight and it’s aces either way, but that ending sequence was epic and far out and an unseen entity prior to Kubrick. No concert light show could come close. And since the sequence was meant to literally put you into the main character, Kier Dullea’s, Point Of View surging through space and time; with good seats that’s just what happens. And by the time you emerge as the Starchild, well, whew, what a Trip!
A year later in February of ’69, Ten Years After released “Stonedhenge” and we all dug it and it was played a lot. Two months later 2001: A Space Odyssey played in selected theaters for its one year anniversary. I dropped acid and went to celebrate this great event. Toward the end of the film, we are literally inside Dullea’s space suit looking from his POV. We also hear him breathing, throughout nearly the entire pre-trip sequence, which is a perfect way to engage the audience.
Anyway I get back to my beach pad and put on Stonedhenge and the first track is “I’m Going to Try” and it starts with a heartbeat and heavy breathing and immediately I flashed on the breathing in 2001 and it was a cool connection and an archival stamp on a place in time and history for my experience of film, music and pure Hippie exhilaration!
But “I’m Going to Try” gets cooler when Alvin begins to sing – as it sounds as though he’s channeling Elvis – he starts out like Elvis and then becomes Elvis.
I heard him live on camera in an interview back then and I could hardly understand a word he said because of his thick English accent, but right there on camera he started playing guitar and singing and his voice was clear and totally understandable, he stopped, chatted with the interviewer and I lost him again.
But early on I appreciated Alvin Lee’s singing voice, maybe as much as his guitar playing and his amazing writing ability – which brings us back to Cricklewood Green, an album in which he wrote every song and produced the entire album.
Cricklewood Green came along at the right time in Rock History to represent an iconic example of Rock at its finest.
Just three months after the release of this album I was very fortunate to witness a true
World-Class Rock ‘n’ Roll Battle of the Bands:
TEN YEARS AFTER vs. GRAND FUNK RAILROAD!
Dig it! Far Out!!
CHECK OUT THE REST OF THE TOP 79 HISTORIC & CLASSIC 1970s ROCK ALBUMS!