Tuesday, 24 January 2012

"Think About The Times: The Chrysalis Years 1969 to 1972" by TEN YEARS AFTER. A Review Of The 2010 EMI 3CD Retrospective.



This review is part of my Series "SOUNDS GOOD: Exceptional CD Remasters 1970s Rock And Pop" Download Book available to buy on Amazon to either your PC or Mac (it will download the Kindle software to read the book for free to your toolbar). Click on the link below to go my Author's Page for this and other related publications:

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"…Only Thing I Understand Is Living…"

Released 26 July 2010 as a 3CD set - "Think About The Times: The Chrysalis Years 1969 to 1972" on Chrysalis/EMI 5099964214726 takes its title from a track on the 1970 TEN YEARS AFTER album "Watt" – and breaks down as follows…

Disc 1 (76:53 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 8 are the album "Ssssh" – released August 1969 in the UK on Deram SML 1052 and in the USA on Deram/London DES 18029
Track 9 is "If You Should Love Me" – the non-album 7" single B-side to the 'American' release of "Love Like A Man" issued in 1970 on Deram DEM 7529
Tracks 10 to 17 are the album "Cricklewood Green" – released April 1970 in the UK on Deram SML 1065 and in the USA on Deram DES 18038

Disc 2 (79:17 minutes):
Track 1 is "Love Like A Man (Single Edit)" – a non-album version [A-side] issued May 1970 in the UK on Deram DM 299
Tracks 2 to 9 are the album "Watt" – released December 1970 in the UK on Deram SML 1078 and Deram XDES 18050
Tracks 10 to 19 are the album "A Space In Time" – released August 1971 in the UK on Chrysalis CHR 1001 and in the USA on Columbia KC 30801

Disc 3 (60:16 minutes):
Track 1 is "I'd Love To Change The World (Single Edit)" – a non-album 7” single version [A-side] issued September 1971 in the USA on Columbia 4-45457
Tracks 2 to 10 are the album "Rock & Roll Music To The World" – released October 1972 in the UK on Chrysalis CHR 1009 and in the USA on Columbia KC 31779
Track 11 is "Choo Choo Mama (Single Edit)" – a non-album 7” single version [A-side] issued November 1972 in the USA on Columbia 4-45736
Track 12 is "Love Like A Man (Recorded Live At Bill Graham's Fillmore East)" – a non-album 7” single version [B-side to “Love Like A Man”] issued May 1970 in the UK on Deram DM 299

Housed in a double jewel-case with a fairly skimpy (but informative) 8-page booklet - EMI have released many multiple CD sets in this 'retro' series with the same generic packaging - Robin Trower, Frankie Miller, Barclay James Harvest, The Groundhogs, UFO and The Edgar Broughton Band among them. All are remastered and pitched at mid-price.

In this case (as is with most of the others) – the superb remastered sound comes courtesy of PETER MEW at Abbey Road. It should also be noted that "Ssssh", "Cricklewood Green" and "Watt" are different remasters to the 2002 versions done by PASCHAL BYRNE at Alchemy Audio in London. The other big draw here for TYA fans is the difficult to find and hugely popular albums "A Space In Time" and "Rock & Roll Music To The World" from 1971 and 1972 respectively – available remastered - and reasonably priced at last.

Musically – as one reviewer rightly says – some tracks are plodding and none are 'live' and therefore not really representative of the band at their best. But dealing with what we do have - there is so much on here to savour. "Working On The Road", "I'm Coming On" and "Choo Choo Mama" are great boogie tunes. I also love the acoustic vibe of "Circles", the Prog Rock keyboards of "Standing At The Station" and the string arrangements of "Over The Hill". There are even wise deliberations on beliefs on the trippy treated vocals of "Religion" (lyrics above). It isn't all genius - of course not. But there are 5 studio albums & five rare 7" single sides on here – and that's an awful lot of Classic Rock music for not a huge amount of wonga.

Niggles - packaging wise its workmanlike at best. I would have much preferred it if this entire series has gone down the road of Columbia's "Original Classic Albums" mini box sets – albums in repro card sleeves with the full session info available via download from Sony’s website. But alas…

Too often overlooked - TEN YEARS AFTER still hold huge swathes of fans in serious affection – and on re-hearing these remasters and Alvin Lee's terrific axework – it's easy to know why.

Rock & Roll Music To Us...

Recommended.

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Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

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