Leeds Music Scene

Chairman Of The Board by Various Artists

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Reviewed on 29th June 2007.


Chairman Of The Board

By Various Artists

Opening with a version of one of the most covered blues numbers of the early sixties, this selection owes a lot to musicians who aren't the ones on the disc. But being original isn't what this stuff is about: it's a matter of fitting the music out as soundtracks for seven films from the stated timeframe - films whose sometimes embarrassing titles are ways of saying '' Surf ''. The key to getting that lifestyle into music seems to be the correct amount of guitar distortion, so that the sound flies over you like spray - and the styles best suiting the process are rhythm & blues on through psychedelic and into acid/progressive rock.

Eight bands supply 18 tracks, four by Farm (including Freddie King's 'San Ho Zay' referred to above) for Innermost Limits of Pure Fun; and another four from G Wayne Thomas' soundtrack for Crystal Voyager. The rest are a couple by The Sandals (from Endless Summer); a couple by Music Convention (from Children of the Sun); another two each by Smoghorn (from Super Session) and by Tamam Shud (from Evolution and from Morning of the Earth); and just one each from Ticket and The Protein Brothers.

Possibly the least buoyant feature of the CD is its title which - lumbering dullness aside - is likely to cause expectations of another type of music altogether, and if that's a harsh judgement, it could mellow in due course: give me just a little more time. Names of various bands of the era might drift into the listener's mind and leave an impression of fleeting visits from The Ventures, The Doors, Crosby Stills and Nash, Frank Zappa, The Grateful Dead, and Jethro Tull.

So there's pleasure to be had, and it wouldn't be too wrong to say things are pretty 1968 round here. Three of the films date from that year and are the source of seven of the tracks; one of which 'Coming Of Dawn' by Farm might sum up much of the overall experience, not least through being over thirteen minutes long.  Another, 'Evolution' by Tamam Shud quaintly begins with a recording of a steam train, takes up that sound very competently with instruments (a highly respectable blues idiom), has lyrics centring on the phrase 'music train' - and is surprisingly not a bad sound to be in the same room as; and that applies to most of what you get here.



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