The Best of Unicorn

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This See for Miles compilation collects the "best" of Unicorn, a U.K. soft rock/country-rock outfit often remembered solely for its connection to Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour, who produced two and half of the group's albums (he also contributes fine pedal steel guitar work on some of the band's songs). Crosby, Stills & Nash were reportedly an early influence on Unicorn, although the group eventually developed a sound somewhat similar to Poco or Firefall, placing an emphasis on the kind of pretty, lite country-rock-flecked harmonies commonly found in the more commercial AM radio country-rock groups in America. Unicorn also has an English slant to its lyrics (most of the songs were written by guitarist Ken Baker but sung by drummer Pete Perryer). There are no songs from the band's first album here, but that's not a big oversight. Except for "I Believe in You (The Hymn)," the material is mostly split between 1974's Blue Pine Trees and 1976's Too Many Crooks (Rolling Stone magazine gave this particular album a five-star review upon its release). "No Way Out of Here" appeared on Gilmour's 1978 self-titled solo album. "Sleep Song" is, as Gilmour points out in his liner note blurb, about a trip to the dentist, not a "common subject for a popular song." Unicorn covers CCR's "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?" and Jack Tempchin's "Slow Dancing." By the time 1977's slick One More Tomorrow album was released, the band was trying somewhat desperately to find that elusive hit single and, because of this, those corresponding tracks have a more commercial California rock sound similar to what Fleetwood Mac was doing at the time.

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