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Tracklist: 1. On the Mountain of Fruit 5:12 2. Discotechnique 2:43 3. Hey Rainy Day 4:12 4. We Are the One 4:27 5. 24 Hours Movie 5:02 6. Annie 4:04 7. Yam Jam 3:50 8. Have You Ever 6:00 Line-up: Tony Duhig - electric and acoustic guitars John Field - flute, various percussive instruments Glyn Haward - bass, vocals Dave Duhig - electric guitar (Tony's blood brother) Alan Price (of Animals fame) - drums (on tracks 5 & 8) Written & produced by Jade Warrior. Artwork by John Field. Recorded at "Nova Sound" studio, London, in 1973. Digitally remastered from original master tapes by Denis Blackham at "Country Masters", in 1998. This CD is dedicated to the memory of Tony Duhig (died in 1992).
Prologue. After Jade Warrior's self-titled debut album (1971) and two following ("Released", 1972, and "Last Autumn's Dream", 1973) were released on the 'swirl' (old) Vertigo label, the band were at the peak of their creative activity in the first half of the 1970s, and prepared a whole double album for just about six months. The release of Jade Warrior's double LP did not, however, go in line with Vertigo's swirl strategy, and then the band members have logically decided to offer Vertigo to halve that "double" material and release it as two separate LPs: first "Eclipse" (in 1973), then "Fifth Element" (in 1974). Sad to know that as a result all ideas, searches for compromise settlements along with both LPs and the band itself were killed by the 'swirl' people at "Vertigo" (who, by the way, earlier killed another great band Clear Blue Sky, - if you wish, read about this in the review on Clear Blue Sky's second album within an Overall View on their creation / discography right here.
The Album. After I listened to "Fifth Element" I immediately recalled how Jade Warrior tried that each new album they recorded would sound at least slightly different from the previous one. The same goes for this album, which, thanks to "Hi-Note", was released twenty-five years after it was recorded (though, I still don't know about "Eclipse", whether this album was released by the UK's "Voiceprint", or some other label, or has it ever been released at all?). Despite the fact that there is no saxophone in instrumental equipment of "Fifth Element", the presence of famous drummer Alan Price on two tracks here (on 24 Hours Movie & Have You Ever), helps to make this work, in my view, one of the two most diverse Jade Warrior albums in the first half of the 1970s along with "Released". Also, both aforementioned songs (tracks 5 & 8 respectively) are the most interesting and progressive on the album, though I consider the last track a winner. Anyhow, both 24 Hours Movie and Have You Ever are real killers from the progressive point of view. Everything is there on these songs that can please prog ears: regular changes of moods and tempos, diverse vocal themes and rich, powerful, truly bombastic instrumental arrangements, filled with diverse flute and guitar solos, as well as interplays between both these instruments, always supported by a tight, strong rhythm-section and very heavy, sometimes maniacal and hypnotic yet, at the same time, full of positive energy guitar riffs and moves. There are also very nice and original interplays between piano and guitar solos on 24 Hours Movie. By the way, piano and some other keyboards sound on a half of the album's tracks, while apparently there is no keyboardist nor keyboards at all in the album's line-up and instrumental equipment. Another composition-masterpiece on the album is Yam Jam (tracks 6), full of unique Eastern colours along with very specific melodies, performed here by flute, bass guitar, and varied percussive instruments, while solos by piano and guitar were done more usual way - just to accentuate the beauty of Eastern themes. Yam Jam is the instrumental composition, as well as On the Mountain of Fruit, which is also percussion-based piece with Jade Warrior's distinctly original interplays between flute and guitar or bass and very, very fluid guitar solo. Discotechnique and Hey Rainy Day, flowing fluidly one into another are in many ways similar among themselves structurally too, as well as Annie. Apart from vocals (that sound mostly meditative-philosophically here), all these three tracks feature gentle and, at the same time, variegated roulades of acoustic guitar and interplays between two acoustic guitars and flute, long and virtuosic guitar solos and, as usual, a wide-variety of sounds of percussive instruments. We Are the One is the only track on the album that sounds slightly differently of Jade Warrior's typical compositions that I've just mentioned above, let alone heavy and bombastic 24 Hours Movie and Have You Ever. There are just a little of percussive sounds on We Are the One and all the instrumental parts, that surround vocals here, consist of interplays between flute and organ and even a guitar appears just closer to the end of piece.
Summary. The fact that Jade Warrior embodies four different musical forms, all of which, at the same time, remain within the frame of the band's original, firm, really legendary stylistics, just confirms the idea that "Fifth Element" is one of the most diverse album, though, the main significance of this album is different, of course. Another masterpiece, created by brilliant innovators Jade Warrior, could have remained lost for us fans forever if only it wasn't for "Hi-Note" that released it a few years ago. However, as far as I know, the fatum of the album-predecessor is still undecided, at least for me. Having found The fifth element genre of Progressive, should I now search for Jade Warrior's "Eclipse(d)" Fourth Element, similar to those movie-makers still searching for a Fifth Element of nature?
VM. August 30, 2001
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