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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Julian’s Treatment A Time Before This

The albums that time (thankfully) forgot
A Time Before This /Julian’s Treatment
Waiters on the Dance /Julian Jay Savarin

One can only imagine that the execs at the Youngblood label in 1970 were persuaded to record and release a double album whose titles and characters included Altarra, Princess of the Blue Women, Twin Suns of Centauri and Alda, Dark Lady of the Outer Worlds, in the hope of cashing in on the then burgeoning space-age zeitgeist.

Whilst echoes of Floyd’s Ummagumma can be detected (and obliquely inspired by the success of In The Court of the Crimson King), this sprawling mess of a double album was the brainchild of sci-fi author and keyboardist, Julian Jay Savarin. What it has in the way of organ-driven motifs, stodgy riffs and histrionic vocals belting out preachy message of doom, gloom and space travel, it lacks in sophistication, vitality, and perhaps most important of all, a modicum of credibility.

The second album by Savarin, Waiters on the Dance released in 1973, continues with yet more leaden, portentous themes although ultimately all were destined for black-hole of obscurity.

Still, obscurity is the lifeblood of the reissue market and these days it seems the “lost classic of progressive era” tag is applied to just about anything that was recorded in the early 70s with a Mellotron or Hammond organ on it. Whilst these admirably lavish reissues (remastered from original tapes) earn their curiosity status, they’re far from being classics - lost or otherwise.

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