Greenslade – Greenslade
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Dave Greenslade (keys) and Tony Reeves (bass) formed Greenslade in 1972. The two had previously played together in Colosseum and they recruited Dave Lawson (Episode Six) as vocalist. For a drummer the group added Andrew McCulloch (King Crimson, Crazy World of Arthur Brown) and their self-titled album was released the following year. A considerably prolific band, they released two more albums in 1973, the first of which was Bedside Manners Are Extra. By the time they recorded a third album, Spyglass Guest, they had added Dave Clempson (Humble Pie) on guitar and Graham Smith on fiddle. The next year Reeves left the band, being replaced by Martin Briley. After releasing Time And Tide in 1975, they broke up in early 1976. A different lineup of the band made a brief attempt at it in 1977, but it just didn’t work, however 23 years later in the year 2000, the group re-formed to begin another journey through their style of progressive rock. They released Large Afternoon that year and an album of live recordings from the classic days of the band was also released in 2000. Dave Greenslade used the group to showcase his illustrious keyboard intricacies alongside Tony Reeves’ bass guitar, Andrew McCulloch’s predominant percussion work, and Dave Lawson’s vocals, all of which made Greenslade a quintessential prog album. The attention almost never veers from David Greenslade’s beautiful organ texturing, alternating between hard and delicate patterns while defining the album’s pure progressive sound. Reeves’ bass riffs are spatial and thorough, complimenting the keyboard runs when needed while falling in behind the music at the proper times. Although the three instrumental pieces ("An English Western," "Melange," and "Sundance") aim the spotlight straight at Greenslade, the vocal tracks are just as worthy. The lyrics are of a simple nature, unlike Yes’ brand of fantastical poetry, and they adhere perfectly to the instruments, especially on the sincere "What Are You Doin’ to Me." For this project and the rest of Greenslade’s albums, Dave Greenslade exchanges the jazz-infused stylishness of his Colosseum days for the complexities of a progressive rock realm, and his transition ends up being faultless. Bedside Manners carries on with the same rich, keyboard-led sound, while another member from Colosseum, guitarist Dave Clempson, joins on for 1974’s Spyglass Guest, in which the electronics were noticeably toned down.