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Wilde Flowers - The Wilde Flowers (Mega Blowout Sale)

SKU 23-BP 123
"The Wilde Flowers never released a record during their existence, but their influence exceeds that of many groups with lengthy discographies. The band served as the wellspring of the so-called Canterbury sound: future Soft Machine members Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers, and Hugh Hopper all played with the Wilde Flowers before the Soft Machine were founded, and Pye Hastings, David Sinclair, Richard Sinclair, and Richard Coughlan played in the group at various points before forming Caravan.
The musicians who wandered through the Wilde Flowers (who went through several lineups between 1963 and 1969) came from a far more intellectual, artistic, and jazz-oriented background than was the norm for pop musicians in the mid-'60s. Thus, although the group played beat fare much like thousands of other British combos in their formative days, when they began to write their own material, it betrayed the bemused whimsy -- replete with odd jazzy flourishes, droll obtuse lyrics, and adventurous chord changes -- that would come to characterize the Canterbury bands, and prove influential on the development of psychedelia and progressive rock.
At long last, a wealth of the Wilde Flowers' demos and unreleased recordings was released in 1994. Twenty-two tracks, recorded between 1965 and 1969 by various aggregations of the band. Some of the fidelity is primitive, and the performances are much more tentative and less virtuosic than what the musicians would tender on their Soft Machine and Caravan records. But the songs are playful and melodic, pushing the boundaries of the British Invasion pop they began with toward something more idiosyncratic and adventurous.
Several of the songs, like "Memories" (three versions, considerably different from each other, are included here), ended up in the Soft Machine's early repertoire. Indeed, it's a shame that the Softs didn't record more of them; the chief flaw of these tracks is that the arrangements and instrumental proficiency are underdeveloped, and the Soft Machine could have transformed them into prime stuff.
A few of the cuts were recorded in late 1969, and could have easily slotted in on the Wyatt-era Soft Machine albums. Wyatt and Hugh Hopper appear on most of the 22 tracks; to a lesser extent, Kevin Ayers, Pye Hastings, and even Mike Ratledge also pop up. Comes with an excellent booklet of photos and an extensive history by Wilde Flowers guitarist Brian Hopper, brother of Hugh."-Ritchie Unterberger/All Music Guide
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  • UPC604388103522
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