Arcadium - Breathe Awhile (1969)
Arcadium was a little known British band that performed at the Middle Earth Club
in London back in the late '60s (other artists that performed there were Wooden O,
Writing on the Wall, and Tam White).
Their one and only album,
Breathe Awhile was released on the obscure Middle Earth label,
named after the nightclub. Remember, this was 1969,
prog rock was going through its growing pains,
so many bands still stuck to their psychedelic roots, and of course,
Arcadium was no exception. The album opens up with the amazing "I'm On My Way",
it starts off slowly, then they start getting in to some great jams.
Allan Ellwood gives us some nice organ work,
and Robert Ellwood (presumably a brother) gives us some nice psychedelic guitar work.
The rest of the band consisted of bassist Graham Best,
drummer John Albert Parker, and 12-string guitarist Miguel Sergides
(all credited to vocal duties, aside from the drummer). "Poor Lady",
a much shorter piece, also blew me away.
And then you have "Walk on the Bad Side",
which actually starts off rather discouraging in that cheesy psychedelic pop manner,
then the music kepts getting better and better as it progresses,
with some really intense passages.
"Woman of a Thousand Years" is not to be confused with the Fleetwood Mac song of the same
name (this pre-dates Future Games by two years, by the way),
it's a completely different song.
There's almost a Van der Graaf Generator-like feel to this song,
especially in the organ work. "Birth, Life & Death"
is the other lengthy epic with more mindblowing passages.
Admittedly the vocals aren't the strong point of this album,
although I've heard a lot worst. The CD reissue also includes two bonus cuts,
"Sing My Song" and "Riding Alone",
both from a single the band released around the same time of Breathe Awhile.
"Riding Alone" is the standout cut, in my book. Regardless,
I find this a great and solid album,
and I highly recommend this album to those in to the early prog/psych scene.
(info by: CGR)
1. I'm on My Way
2. Poor Lady
3. Walk on the Bad Side
4. Woman of a Thousand Years
5. Change Me
6. It Takes a Woman
7. Birth, Life and Death
8. Sing My Song (Bonus)
9. Riding Alone (Bonus)
Size: 100 Mb
Bitrate: 256 mp3