ALBUMS: Across The Great Divide

On this excellent anthology subtitled Getting It Together In The Country 1968-1974, the influence of American music on British rock is examined

Various Artists Across The Great Divide: Getting It Together In The Country, Grapefruit 2019

Artist: Various Artists

Album: Across The Great Divide: Getting It Together In The Country 1968-1974

Label: Grapefruit

★★★★ (4/5 stars)


At one concert when Fairport Convention proffered their folk-rock sounds to a U.S. audience, someone in the crowd shouted “play some rock ‘n roll!”, to which guitarist Richard Thompson replied “this IS rock ‘n roll!  British rock ‘n roll!”…and so it was.

Across The Great Divide offers up 64 gems by UK acts, ranging from folk-rock to hippie-rock to country ‘tinged rock and yes, some good old rock ‘n roll!  Though the styles vary a bit, the one consistent theme throughout this wonderful compilation are the vocals, both lead and harmony, which are absolutely stellar and, if I dare say so, a cut above those of their U.S. contemporaries.

 

You get some well-known names here, like Mott The Hoople, The Hollies, Matthews Southern Comfort, The Faces, Traffic, Procol Harum, Rod Stewart, Idle Race and the aforementioned Fairport Convention with top selections from their respective catalogs. But the main reason to purchase this box set is to discover some of the wonderful lesser lights within, like Unicorn, Starry Eyed and Laughing, the marvelous Tranquility, Byzantium, Carolanne Pegg, Edwards Hand, Prelude, and many, many others.

Fans of Jefferson Airplane, Crosby, Stills and Nash, and The Grateful Dead should take particular note, but anyone who loves late ‘60s/early ‘70s vocal-fueled pop and rock will do well to pick up this set as soon as you can.

Track Listing

Disc: 1
Warming Up the Band – Heads Hands & Feet
Cajun Woman – Fairport Convention
Home Is Where I Want to Be – Mott the Hoople
Devil’s Whisper – Mighty Baby
Desert Island Woman – Chilli Willi & the Red Hot Peppers
Willowing Trees – Shape of the Rain
Abbot of the Vale – Tony Hazzard
Louisiana Man – the Hollies
Fading – Mason
Sleep Song – Unicorn
Boy, You’ve Got the Sun in Your Eyes – Open Road
Cousin Norman – the Marmalade
Clifftop – Richmond
Lady Came Fro the South – Starry Eyed and Laughing
Oil Fumes and Sea Air – Stray
Red Man – Rare Bird
The Pie – the Sutherland Brothers Band
Touch Her If You Can – Matthews Southern Comfort
Empty Street, Empty Heart – Quicksand
Ooh la la – Faces

Disc: 2
Country Girl – Brinsley Schwarz
When I’m Dead and Gone – McGuinness Flint
Forty Thousand Headmen – Traffic
New Day Avenue – Bronco
Try Again – Tranquility
Velvet Mountain – Cochise
A Souvenir of London – Procol Harum
Cinnamon Girl – the Deep Set
Day the World Ran Away – Stephen Jameson
I’ll Just Take My Time – Byzantium
It’s a Way to Pass the Time – High Broom
Going to the Country – Holy Mackerel
Liquor Man – Montage*
Jesus Is Just Alright – Shelagh McDonald
We Both Need to Know – Granny’s Intentions
Bye and Bye – Heron
Country Dan and City Lil – Timebox
And a Button – the Searchers
Take Me to the Pilot – the Orange Bicycle
The Jailer – Natural Gas
So Nice – Curtiss Maldoon
Million Times Before – Jawbone

Disc: 3
Open the Door – Carolanne Pegg
Country Comfort – Rod Stewart
Home for Frozen Roses – Northwind
Nice – Bridget St. John
Country Road – the Pretty Things
Home Grown – Andy Roberts
Sheriff Myras Lincoln – Edwards Hand
Circle Round the Sun – Marian Segal
Pretty Haired Girl – the Parlour Band
Hello Buddy – the Tremeloes
Tallawaya – Greasy Bear
My Name Is Jesus Smith – Man
Metropolis – Keith Christmas
Country Heir (Single Edit) – Deep Feeling
Johnson Boy – Prelude
Cottage Made for Two – Paul Brett’s Sage
See How They Run – Dave Cousins & Dave Lambert
Clear Blue Sky – Mother Nature
Dancing Flower – Idle Race
Wheel of Fortune – the Illusions
My Little One – Gordon, Ellis & Steel
I’ll Fly Away (Demo Version) – Plainsong

 

VIDEO: Across The Great Divide: Getting It Together In The Country 1968-1974 trailer

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David Bash

David Bash is the founder of the pop music festival International Pop Overthrow and a contributing writer for RockandRollGlobe.com.

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