Upon Reflection: The Dawn Anthology Import
Cult Prog-folkies Heron First Formed in Maidenhead, in 1967, Inspired by the Likes of Dylan and the Incredible String Band. This 2-CD Set Comprises Everything that They Recorded for the Dawn Label Between 1970-72, plus Seven Previously Unreleased Sides. Compiled and Annotated by Folk Aficianado David Wells, the Liner Notes Feature Exclusive Interview Material and the Inlay Includes Rare Pics and Ephemera from the Bands Own Archives.
So if you know this band and like both the first and second album's sound....you could be seeing this as a 5 star item,.....but I thought that their first album was the prize here. It's nice to hear all of their music ,but if this were a set of two separate CDs....I'd have just kept the first(or only bought the first ,if I'd heard samples). As it is ....I'll be re-visiting the first disc often, and only occasionally listening to the second. Still a great item/deal though just for the fact the Lps are rare and a bit pricey.
Appearently, after the band had got a recording deal, they went into a studio to record a single, and hated the experience. They were used play in much more relaxed and organic settings. So to record their album, they got a mobile recording unit and some good friends and family members, and have set out to record an album in a field on a sunny day. This album, self titled, was released in 1970, and sounds like a timeless classic. Imagine Bert Janech's Pentangle recording with Devendra Banhart circa Nino Rojo, using Crosby Stills and Nash circa their first album for the harmonies, and the aesthetics of Simon & Garfunkle circa Parcley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.
You can defenitely hear that this was recorded out in a field and not in a studio. the sound is dirty in all the right places, and includes the sounds of birds chirping.
The first CD of this anthology includes this beautiful album, a 4-song EP from 1971, and some nice outtakes. The 2nd CD contains the group's sophomore and final album, Twice The Nice & Half The Price (the album's title reffers to it being a double album, which was sold for the price of one). It was also recorded in a field, but with a less acoustic setting. There is an extra guitarist, who plays a "clean" electric (plugged straight to the amp with no distortion), and in some songs, there are even some basic drums. This album defenitely holds some precious pearls as well, and is a truly beautiful sunday music, even if it falls a bit short comparing to the pure and simple magic of the first album.
This anthology, 2 CD's which includes the band's two albums, their EP and some outtakes (including the first recordings in the studio), and is the complete output of this short-lived, long-forgotten, but magestically simplistic and timeless band. Many years later the original band members have returned to that field and played a reunion concert which was recorded and released, though I still haven't heard it.
The band's characteristics were above all the rural atmosphere, which among other things hangs together with the fact that the vast majority of what the group recorded during this period took place in open air, often with birds singing in the background.
The group had three talented songwriters Tony Pook, Roy Apps and Gerald Moore. Especially Moore's songs stand out, and with the right promtion a song like "My Turn to Cry" from the second album (2LP set "Twice as Nice & Half the Price") could probably have secured the group a breakthrough hit. This unfortunately never happened, and in late 1972 the group disbanded. Heron subsequently reformed and more albums were released on smaller companies, including Relaxx.
On the first album is Moore's musical dominance less conspicuous than on the on sequel . Roy Apps contibutes with fine songs like "Yellow Roses" and "Car Crash" (written with Pook) - Moore himself wrote other album highlights such as "Harlequin 2, " "Little Boy "And" Goodbye ".
The EP / Maxi single features another nice and catchy song by Moore - "Bye and Bye".
On the second album from 1971, a handful of songs arew cover versions of older songs, including a fine version of Woody Guthrie's "The Great Dust Storm", but it is Moore's songs that are truly memorable.
Songs like "The Minstrel and the King", "My Turn to Cry, " "The Devil", "Big A"and "I Would not Mind" are all on very high level.
Fine notes, and short group biography is available on the CD booklet.