Why Did I Not Pay More Attention: Greenslade

When I was younger (I’m 55), I listened to a lot of music.  As much as I could get my hands on.  As much as radio would gift me with.  As much as friends had that I didn’t.  What I could borrow, and what Jean from Art’s Record Shop would let me open and listen to (I miss that woman.  She fed me musically as much as any radio ever did).  I consider myself lucky given the music that I have been able to listen to.  However, there was much I may have heard, but couldn’t get into because other things took more precedence and that was where my dollars ended up at, invested in the other stuff.

Greenslade was one of those bands.  Progressive music like Gabriel and Hackett-era Genesis, Yes, ELP, Barclay James Harvest, and others, Greenslade made a decent name for themselves.  What set Greenslade apart was their use of several keyboards to play their jazz-influenced, progressive style, and, for a few albums, no guitars.

Fronted by keyboardist, David Greenslade, the band was active from its formation in 1972, beginning with their eponymous debut,  on through their final album of their original incarnation, Time and Tide (1975).  The band split in 1976.

There was a reformation in 2000, which yielded Large Afternoon.

What initially drew me to them was their intriguing use of Roger Dean’s artwork on Greenslade (1972), and Bedside Manners Are Extra (1973).  Dean’s work was already familiar by his work with Yes.  I did NOT buy the album, nor did I really pay too much attention to their music back in the ’70s.

Recently, feeling that I should take some steps backward musically, I decided to catch up with Greenslade and make my long-overdue acquaintance with the band via their five albums.  I listened to all that I could through YouTube. and found myself a fan.  As I listen further, I expect to become a BIG fan.  It brings me a lot of joy to experience this feeling.

I heard a lot of ELP here although they were around the same time so influence should not factor in too much.  Musically, I seem to prefer Bedside Manners Are Extra.  Of the album’s six tracks, it was hard to pull one that I preferred out of the box.  But “Pilgrim’s Progress”, “Time To Dream”, and “Sunkissed You’re Not” are excellent tracks.

“Spirit Of The Dance”, “Melancholic Race”, and “Little Red Fry Up” are excellent tracks from Spyglass Guest, the band’s third studio set that underscores their building excellence and maturity.

The bad thing is that all of this is being listened through a dismal laptop speaker.  Once I re-position in Illinois, unpack the equipment, and settle in, I expect the LPs to bring me immense joy.

Guess that I’m going to be doing a lot of this in the future.  For now, there’s Greenslade.

I promise to report back in the near future on whether this was worth my time.  I’m sure it was though.  If you have a suggestion as to a band to pick up on, let me know via the commenting section.  Be my record store clerk and recommend away.

[While we’re here, let me challenge you with this: Find a band that you neglected from years back, and dive into them.  Go to all the resources you have available to you, e.g. YouTube, and dig in deep.   After a little time, write up your experience of the band you decided to do this with.  Send it to me.  I’ll post it.  We may become inspired yet again.]