Shide & Acorn

Legend of the Dreamstones

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Two years before recording their sole album (which itself was only released on a private pressing), Shide & Acorn made these 1969 rehearsal tapes, which were exhumed for CD reissue about 25 years later. Frankly, considering both the limited interest in the band and the extremely low fidelity of the tapes, it's a find that's not even of archival value, except to those nutcases who want every damn last folk-rockish recording ever made in the 1960s. The sound quality is straight-out lousy and the vocals are usually too faint to make out, making proper appreciation of their musical merits impossible. True, from what you can hear, there's some promise to Shide & Acorn's brand of British folk-rock in the haunting acid folk flavor to some of the melodies and arrangements, sometimes bolstered by flute, fiddles, and harmonies, occasionally getting into electric rock (at times even sounding a little like early King Crimson and Soft Machine). That promise actually wouldn't come to much, though, as the sole album they issued while together was average at best. When recordings of this sort of murky sound quality have any use at all, it's usually because they're the only available documents of artists of some significance. Since Shide & Acorn weren't among such artists, the usefulness of this CD's existence must be questioned, particularly as the fidelity's of the sort that most customers routinely return for a refund unless they know exactly what they're getting into before they buy it.

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