Marc Brierley

Autograph of Time: The Complete Recordings 1966-1970

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This two-CD set includes both of Marc Brierley's solo albums (1968's Welcome to the Citadel and 1969's Hello) on the first disc, with a shorter second disc containing his 1966 Transatlantic EP and a non-LP single apiece from 1969 and 1970. It's the complete output of a minor singer/songwriter on the late-'60s British folk-rock scene, reminiscent of artists such as Donovan and (much less frequently) Al Stewart, at times sounding like a more pop-leaning Ralph McTell. Brierley didn't have nearly as strong material or voice as the best British folk-rock artists did, however. His recordings are rather bland and forgettable, if mildly pleasant in their varied arrangements, which bring in touches of baroque orchestration, jazz, and psychedelia. Welcome to the Citadel is the less impressive of the albums, and while Hello isn't all that remarkable an improvement, it does benefit from fuller and more colorful production (by one-time Donovan manager Ashley Kozak). As for the non-album material, the 1966 EP finds him -- not too surprisingly -- sounding very influenced by the pre-electric mid-'60s Donovan, as well as, to some degree, by guitarist-singers such as Bert Jansch. While those five tracks are the most derivative he recorded, to be honest, in a way they're the most enjoyable. Filling out the program are the 1969 single "Stay a Little Longer Merry Ann"/"Flaxen Hair" (whose A-side was produced by a pre-fame Andrew Lloyd Webber) and the 1970 single "Be My Brother"/"If You Took the Bandage Off (You Wouldn't Be So Blind)," both of which are in line with the more rock -oriented sound of the Hello album. The booklet features detailed liner notes by Brierley himself.

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