A white vinyl reissue of Steve Hillage's first recordings - with Bonus track. The Arzachel vinyl re-issue bandwagon rolls on, this time pressed on white vinyl. The additional bonus track, which wasn't on the original album, Holst's 'Saturn The Bringer of Old Age' is retained from the previous black issue from 10 years ago.
I always enjoy listening to Arzachel's enthusiastic, youthful psych madness, it's great fun, wonderfully carefree and a bit over the top, and very 1968/'69. But isn't it strange that a day's recordings way back in 1969, by what was basically a bunch of music-mad teenagers (I think Steve was only 17) have generated such a flow of re-issues over the years. I suspose that's what happens with some murky ownership issues and original vinyl copies fetching £400 or more in the collector's market - plus of course it is delivers so very good music.
If you want a vinyl version and haven't got the money (or madness) for a original this is as good an edition as any. However if you want the artist-approved, fully bonus-tracked, illustrated booklet deal, you'll have to track down a copy of the Dave Stewart's re-mastered CD and his fat, entertaining 'Copious Notes' booklet.
"One of the great lost albums of British psychedelia, original copies of Arzachel's 1969 self-titled debut fetch huge sums on the collectors' market and it is not difficult to understand why. Originally released in 1969 on the small Evolution label, this album quite simply contains some of the best psych to ever come out of the UK. However, like so many other great albums of the era, it soon dropped entirely from the radar due to bad promotion. In fact, it may not have ever been rediscovered at all if guitarist Steve Hillage and keyboardist Dave Stewart had not gone on to be so well known. Hillage would soon become famous for his work in Gong, and Stewart would become a legend of British prog with Egg, Hatfield and the North, National Health, and his work with wife Barbara Gaskin in the 1980s. Contains bonus track from a lacquer of the same period.""
- Garden of Earthly Delights Arzachel
- Queen St. Gang K. Mansfield
- Leg Arzachel
- Clean Innocent Fun Arzachel
- Azathoth Arzachel
- Metempsychosis Arzachel
- Saturn The Bringer of Old Age G. Holst
- Steve Hillage guitar, vocals
- Dave Stewart keyboards
- Hugh Mont Campbell bass, vocals
- Clive Brooks drums
Simeon Sarsaparilla (lead guitar and vocals)
Sim was born in Seatoller, Cumberland, in 1948, and has been playing guitar for 11 years. His dark Northern ruggedness is offset by the coolness of his manner. These two qualities are reflected in his playing - heavy, emotional work, and soft, subtle sounds. He believes that music is the only really physical art form - and is in a lifelong search for the ultimate musical power, on the same scale as the rocky Lake District crags from whence he came.
Njerogi Gategaka (bass guitar and vocals)
Njerogi was born in Miami Springs, a small border town in the north of the Kenyan Rift Valley. He trained to be a Manjanga drummer for the local Kyuma dances, but came to England with family in 1962. He lived in Brighton for five years, then moved to London, where he formed Arzachel with Sim, Basil, and Sam. He believes that music stems largely from the sexual urge, both of which have an integral part in the rhythm, having been taught this as part of his drum training.
Sam Lee-Uff (organ)
Sam was born in Lewisham in 1949 - he could play the piano when only two years old, and began to take organ lessons at the age of seven. He was expelled from public school, and spent eight months living on crusts, playing a battered accordion on street corners. This he refers to as his "hang‑up" period. When the Psychedelic scene began to blossom, Sam joined various unsuccessful groups. Arzachel was a result of his meeting up with Sim and Njerogi. Sam's favourite artists include Heinz; Mike Ratledge, Holst; P.J. Proby; Vincent Crane. He believes music to be an expression of one's inner being - this expression, he says, will lead to the ultimate spiritual liberation of one's personality.
Basil Dowling (drums)
Basil was born in Tottenham in 1947; as one would expect, he was an ardent Tottenham Hotspurs F.C. supporter in his younger days, but decided that it would no longer be wise to go to football matches when his wiry bushy hair reached shoulder length. He has been in seven groups, playing every conceivable style of music from dance band to skiffle. Basil is a heavy, violent drummer; he has been known to break fourteen sticks in as many bars. He believes that if it were not for Arzachel's music, his violence would still be expressed in seat-‑slashing and toilet‑roll throwing.