Greatest Show on Earth

The Going's Easy

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As had been the case with the Greatest Show on Earth's (GSOE) debut long-player, Horizons (1970), the follow-up, Going's Easy (1970), made very little impact despite their originality and certainly better-than-average material. The band's rather auspicious origins were the invention of EMI Records subsidiary Harvest, who set out to manufacture a British version of Blood, Sweat & Tears or Chicago -- both of whom successfully fused a brass and woodwind section into the framework of a rock & roll combo. After a less-than-stellar initial outing, GSOE returned to the drawing board and reconvened with a disc of longer and more jammed-out sides. They had also been listening to their stateside counterparts. The extended track "Borderline" is a group-credited composition that seems to lift several distinct features from the David Clayton Thomas version of Blood, Sweat & Tears. Colin Horton Jennings' (vocals/flute/guitar) bluesy lead vocals seem to practically mimic Thomas'. In fact, GSOE even goes one better than Blood, Sweat & Tears with an exceedingly heavier rock vibe. The acoustic and lilting "Magic Touch Woman" as well as the dark, pastoral "Storytimes & Nursery Rhymes" include some well-crafted harmonies that could easily be mistaken for latter-era Hollies. This is particularly interesting as the Hollies actually scored a minor hit with "Magic Touch Woman." "Love Magnet" is another lengthy track that features some of the band's best ensemble work. Mick Deacon's (vocal/keyboard) electric organ solo is especially noteworthy, giving GSOE a really jazzy workout. Lacking consumer or industry support, GSOE disbanded by mid-1971. Even while the group was able to sell out shows throughout the rest of Europe, the total lack of interest back home inevitably sealed their fate.

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