Tony, Caro and John

All on the First Day

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All on the First Day was extremely Incredible String Band-influenced in its minimal folk-rock, particularly in Tony Dore's vocals. While it might be a lot smaller in the range of instruments, and thinner in depth of production than the old Incredible String Band records, it's also mighty more tuneful and accessible to conventional pop ears. The threesome have a good knack for catchy tunes with minor chords aplenty, without any of the wavering drone-grate categorizing much of the ISB's output. Although many of the compositions address the hippie mindset of the early '70s -- making love, folky vignette story-songs, the apocalypse, and references to nature and fable-like figures aplenty -- they're relayed with just enough irreverent wit to tread the line between clever and indulgent. The homespun male-female harmonies are bolstered by imaginatively unpredictable, if low-budget, weird tinges of electronic effects, slide guitar swoops, violin creaks, wah-wah, Jew's harp, zig-zaggy guitar reverb, and flageolets (a small flute). It's a very likable album, heartily recommended to early-'70s British folk-rock fans looking for something of quality they likely have never heard of before, let alone actually heard. Originally issued in a quantity of a mere 100 copies in 1972, the album has been reissued with bonus tracks, and historical liner notes by the group. The five bonus tracks include two decent outtakes from the album, and tracks of slightly later vintage that have a more straightforward (and less interesting) period rock sound.

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