Hatfield And The North - Essential Canterbury
Steven Sly | Kalamazoo, MI United States | 05/05/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Hatfield and the North released two studio albums in the mid 70's. For some reason the debut album never really clicked with me, but I do enjoy this, their second disc, "The Rotters Club". Along with Caravan, Hatfield seemed to be poised to be the next big thing from the Canterbury rock scene in 70's England. In fact the members of Hatfield: Dave Stewart, Phil Miller, Pip Pyle, and Richard Sinclair in retrospect were basically an all star lineup of artists that would influence a whole generation of music. The album is a cool mix of progressive rock, jazz fusion, and lengthy jams with each band member a master at their respective instruments. To me they have always sounded very similar to Caravan only with more of a jazz influence. The vocals are done by Richard Sinclair who has a unique approach that is distinctively English. No one else quite sounds like Sinclair. The lyrics are often non-sensical and are meant to be humorous. There is also a lot of hippy type sentiment in the lyrics as well, especially in tracks like "Share It". The highlight of the album is the 20 minute plus "Mumps" which features all of the elements that made this band great. If you are at all into the Canterbury sound this album is a must own."
Fredrick Johnson | 07/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I remember first discovering Canterbury groups through a high school friend many years ago. I was amazed music like this existed! Dave Stewart became one of my musical heroes. All the Hatfield crew are top-notch composers and musicians and they have a sense of humor as well (e.g., they don't take themselves too seriously). This is not your basic I-IV-V rock song with bridge and guitar solo. This is music to think about and wonder at - progressive, complex and melodic all at once.
I was also looking all over for the live Dave Stewart version of "Halfway Between Heaven and Earth," which I used to have on vinyl - I almost sprung for a very expensive Australian import. But lo and behold, it's an extra track on this release! Stewart's organ solo on this track is beyond belief - perfectly controlled, soaring and supremely melodic.
R.I.P Pip Pyle."