Andromeda

Definitive Collection

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AllMusic Review by

This two-CD set does include the entirety of Andromeda's sole, self-titled album (presented in sequence as the first eight songs), but there is so much more material here that this is much more than a mere expanded reissue of Andromeda. There's the non-LP single "Go Your Way"/"Keep Out 'Cos I'm Dying," and no less than 24 previously unreleased tracks, including the last six cuts on disc one and the entirety of disc two. Some of these additions are alternate versions of material from their LP and single, but most are entirely different songs. Sources are not given for all of these previously unavailable items, although five are identified as having been done for John Peel's Top Gear radio show in 1968, and two are noted as outtakes from Andromeda, two as 1967 recordings, and four as live 1967-1968 cuts. Although some psych/prog collectors may beg to differ, on the evidence of these tracks, Andromeda seem to have been a better band before their official album. Prior to Andromeda, they usually espoused a lighter, more melodic brand of British psych, sometimes strongly echoing the songs that Jack Bruce wrote and sang for Cream (check out "Ode to the Sea" especially) and the late-period Yardbirds (whom Andromeda sometimes supported live). Dig those couple of neat guitar-psych versions of "Exodus," and the tender folk-rock of "All in You," which differs from anything else the band recorded. The self-titled LP consists of erratic, undistinguished heavy psych with one foot in hard rock and one toe in metal, although the band does vary the mood with occasional quiet and reflective passages (see review under Andromeda entry for full details). Due to the wealth of material, this set is certainly preferable to other Andromeda releases -- legitimate or otherwise -- which contain less material, or only the tracks from the Andromeda LP.

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