Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation - Dr. Dunbar's Prescription-Blue Whale-Remains To Be Heard (1969-1970 uk blues, progressive rock - 320K and WAV)

The first CD is a 2 for 1 that has Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation's second album Dr. Dunbar's Prescription and The Aynsley Dunbar's new band Blue Whale.

The Second CD is Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation's last album Remains To Be Heard

The Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation's second album was much the same as their first, offering competent late-'60s British blues, given a slightly darker cast than was usual for the style via Victor Brox's somber vocals.

Like their debut, it was dominated by original material, and as on its predecessor, the compositions were rather routine blues-rock numbers, though they benefited from arrangements by highly skilled players.

The best of these tracks were the ones that utilized Brox's gloomy, almost gothic organ, if only because it made them stand out more among the company of the many similar bands recording in the prime of the British blues boom.

Otherwise the main fare was straightforward blues-rock that was well played, but rather average and forgettable, the most distinguished ingredient being Dunbar's hard-hitting, swinging drums.

If only because it has some original songs that were better than anything on the first album ("Fugitive," "Till Your Lovin' Makes Me Blue," and "Tuesday's Blues," the last of which has some songwriting and guitar work quite similar to Peter Green's late-'60s style in those departments), it's a slightly better listen, though not up to the standards of somewhat similar groups like Fleetwood Mac and John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers.

Blue Whale veered more towards progressive rock with lots of improvisation. It includes four long tracks written by the band's vocalist Paul Williams and a version of Frank Zappa's Willie The Pimp. The best track is It's Your Turn.

Although the Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation broke up in late 1969 after their third album, singer Victor Brox was convinced by manager Bryan Morrison to assemble a posthumous fourth LP.

Unfortunately, Remains to Be Heard came close to being the Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation in name only.

For drummer-founder Dunbar is only on four of the ten tracks, and the rest include contributions by various musicians who weren't in the group, among them Brox's wife (singer Annette Brox), drummer Keith Bailey (who played with Graham Bond for a while), and some African drummers.

The material isn't up to the group's usual standards either, with three of the tracks being leftovers from their third LP, 1969's To Mum, From Aynsley and the Boys; cut by the quartet of Dunbar, Brox, guitarist Jon Morshead, and bassist Alex Dmochowski, the recordings had been left off that record since they were cut prior to Tommy Eyre (who appears on all of that LP's tracks) joining the band.

Sadly, even some of the tracks with Dunbar aboard aren't up to snuff; you know an outtake should remain an outtake when it begins with the lyric "be my monkey woman, I'm gonna be your monkey man" (as "Invitation to a Lady" does), though "Downhearted" is a worthy effort in the downer-blues-with-organ style that was perhaps the group's strongest suit.

Many if not all of the post-Dunbar recordings sound kind of like demos and/or unfinished songs in progress, and none sound especially worthy of future attention, except maybe for the brooding, jazzy "Toga" (with violin, wordless hummed vocals, and African-tinged percussion), though even this seems like a sketch with lyrics that have yet to be filled in.

It all adds up to a sad and unrepresentative end for a worthy group, desirable only for completist collectors.

Dr. Dunbar's Prescription/Blue Whale:

01. Change Your Low Down Ways

02. The Fugitive

03. 'Till Your Lovin' Makes Me Blue

04. Now That You've Lost Me

05. I Tried

06. Call My Woman

07. The Devil Drives

08. Low Gear Man

09. Tuesday's Blues

10. Mean Old World

11. Willing To Fight

12. Willie The Pimp

13. It's Your Turn

14. Days

15. Going Home

The Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation Personnel:

*Alex Dmochochshi - Bass

*Aynsley Dunbar - Drums

*John Moorshead - Lead Guitar, Vocals

*Victor Brox - Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards, Horns

*Tommy Eyre - Keyboards

Blue Whale Personnel:

*Aynsley Dunbar - Drums

*Peter Friedberg - Bass Guitar

*Ivan Zagni - Lead Guitar

*Paul Williams - Vocals

*Roger Sutton - Lead Guitar

*Charles Greetham - Saxaphone

*Edward Reay-Smith - Trombone

Remains To Be Heard :

01. Invitation To A Lady

02. Blood On Your Wheels

03. Downhearted

04. Whistlin' Blues*

05. Keep Your Hands Out

06. Sleepy Town Sister*

07. Fortune City*

08. Put Some Love On You*

09. Bloody Souvenir*

10. Toga*

11. Warning

12. Cobwebs


*Aynsley Dunbar - Drums (* Not Present on these tracks)

*Alex Dmochowski - Bass Guitar

*John Morshead - Lead Guitar

*Victor Brox - Piano, Organ, Vocals, Percussion

*Annette Brox - Vocals (tracks: A4, B1 to B5)

[ Rip and Scans by LARRY ]

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