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Sunday, January 31, 2010


ANTHOLOGY 1970-1977 (2003)

320 KBPS

I got this new 2 cd compilation "Time Machine: Anthology 1970-1977" based upon the recommendation of a friend. I was not disappointed! Stray began life as a psychedelic/progressive influenced rock band in the late 1960's. They were a classic opening band for many concerts. Among the groups they opened for were Kiss, Mountain, Ian Hunter, the Groundhogs, Yes, Gentle Giant, Hawkwind, Uriah Heep, Nazareth and others. The classic line up of the band included Del Bromham on lead guitar and keyboards, Steve Gadd on lead vocals, rhythm guitar and harmonica, Gary Giles on bass and Ritchie Cole on drums. Bromham was also the group's principal songwriter. Fans of the band include Rush drummer Neil Peart, Iron Maiden bassist Steve Harris and members of the Damned and XTC.
Stray did not get around to recording their first album until 1970. Their first album "Stray" included their best known track "All In Your Mind". It is a psychedelic/hard rock tour de force. The track was later covered by Iron Maiden. The first album also includes the classic "Time Machine". The band became less psychedelic with each successive album. However, the band still maintained progressive elements in their songs. Tracks like "Come On Over" and "Give It Up" utilized strings and horns to back the song and add depth. While essentially a hard rock band the band also maintained a good sense of melody and often used harmony vocals to good effect in songs like "Where Do Our Children Belong". Del Bromham is a forgotten guitar star from the seventies. Songs like "Our Song" showcase Bromham's acoustic prowess while the boogie "Georgia" shows he is adept at slide guitar as well. "Buying Time" shows Bromham was not afraid to utilize guitar effects. The set contains a few tasty rarities like "Mama's Coming Home", "Get Out Right Away" and "Georgia" which were either single b-sides or were unreleased at the time they were recorded and only released later on the Stray hits and rarities compilation "Tracks". It is interesting that catchy tracks like "Alright Ma!" and "Hallelujah" among others were either not released or were not successful as singles. A few good tracks like "Only What You Make It" and "Mister Wind" which are available on another 2 cd Stray compilation "The Definitive Stray" paired with the first album "Stray" were omitted. However the combination of good hooks along with excellent guitar playing and harmony vocals will make you want to hear more after purchasing "Time Machine: Anthology 1970-1977". With the exception of the "Definitive Collection"/"Stray" 2 cd set previously mentioned none of their original albums are currently available in compact disk. Hopefully this situation will be rectified in the near future. As the lyrics to "Time Machine" suggest "the time has come at last, let's go explore the past!"

Disc 1
1. All in Your Mind
2. Around the World in 80 Days
3. Time Machine
4. Yesterday's Promises
5. Son of the Father
6. Where Do Our Children Belong
7. Jericho
8. Suicide
9. Our Song
10. Mama's Coming Home
11. Move That Wigwam
12. Mr. Hobo
13. Come on Over
14. Alright Ma!
15. Oil Fumes and Sea Air
16. Hallelujah

Disc 2
1. Move It
2. Mystic Lady
3. Somebody Called You
4. Give It Up
5. Get Out Right Away
6. Georgia
7. Stand Up and Be Counted
8. As Long as You Feel Good
9. Down, Down, Down
10. Woolie
11. Feel Like I've Been Here Before
12. Houdini
13. Fire and Glass
14. Take It Easy
15. Percy the Pimp
16. Buying Time
17. You Went Away
18. I Wanna Be Free
19. One Night in Texas

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