Wide Open is a progressive rock milestone and a consummate example of underground psychedelic hard rock at its most inventive and powerful. As the title suggests, a free-flowing and expansive musical blending of rock, blues and jazz, and to leaven out the sound there’s a touch of acid folk thrown in for good measure.
It’s a very English-influenced sound but far from being a slavish copy of the overseas role model, the album bears a uniquely Australia flavour. It continues to be held as one of Australia ’s prime rock collectables, with original pressings of the album selling for as much as US$600.00 on eBay in recent years.
The tightly structured songs and the superb guitar work of Dennis Wilson and Tim Gaze (Tamam Shud) combine to stamp the record as a tour de force, where style, content, technique and sonic bearing meet in perfect equilibrium.
Furthermore, the whole shebang is held together by the restlessly exploratory bass lines of the great Bob Daisley (who later went on to a stellar international career with Rainbow, Ozzy Osbourne, Gary Moore, Uriah Heep, Chicken Shack – the list is endless!) and the muscular, yet agile drum patterns of Dannie Davidson (Tamam Shud, Band Of Light).
Is it any wonder then that all these elements add up to make Wide Open one of the most sought-after artefacts of the entire Aussie progressive rock era?
On the 17th July 2005 , Kahvas Jute, featuring new drummer Mark Marriott (an experienced session player), played a gig at famed Sydney venue The Basement which was filmed for future DVD release.
The set list that night featured six tracks from Wide Open, seven new songs, a cover of Cream’s ‘Politician’ plus an impromptu jam on the old Yardbirds number ‘The Nazz are Blue’ featuring guest vocalist Jimmy Barnes (5 of the audio tracks feature as bonus tracks on the CD reissue).
If anything, the gig showed the band to be better musicians than ever, with the added elements of experience and maturity shining through, while also managing to capture the Kahvas Jute sound to perfection.
Aztec Music’s reissue of Wide Open has been digitally remastered by Dennis Wilson. Packaged in our usual 6 panel digi-pak, with rare photos, and liner notes by Ian McFarlane.
1. Free - 5:13
2. Odyssey - 3:59
3. Up There (T. Gaze, D. Davidson) - 2:49
4. She’s So Hard to Shake - 4:17
5. Vikings - 4:32
6. Steps of Time (D. Davidson) - 3:22
7. Twenty Three (T. Gaze) - 3:49
8. Ascend (Bob Daisley) - 3:11
9. Parade of Fools - 9:09
10.Politician (Bonus Track) (P. Brown, J. Bruce) - 6:43
11.She’s So Hard To Shake (Bonus Track) - 4:21
12.Ascend (Bonus Track) (Bob Daisley) - 1:47
13.Ascension (Bonus Track) (T. Gaze) - 1:46
14.Parade Of Fools (Bonus Track) - 11:04
All songs by Dennis Wilson except where noted
Bonus Tracks – Live at the Basement 2005
*Dennis Wilson - Guitar, Vocals, Acoustic, Bottleneck, Wah Wah Guitars
*Bob Daisley - Bass, Vocal Harmonies
*Dannie Davidson - Drums (tracks 1-9)
*Tim Gaze - Guitar, Vocals, Piano, Steel Guitar
*Mark Marriott - Drums (tracks 10-14)
[Thank you MARCAO BRITO for this post]