Tag Archives: Sidney Sax

LP 294: Simon Park – Venus Fly Trap (EMI, 1975)

8 Sep

Side 1
01 Venus Fly Trap
02 I Can’t Stand The Rain
03 This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us
04 Soul Sarabande
05 5.56 Boogie

Side 2
06 Tides
07 Lay Lady Lay
08 Oh, You Pretty Things
09 Remember When
10 (There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me

Venus Fly Trap is Simon Park’s follow-up to Something In The Air and emerged on the EMI label during 1975.

The title track is one of four self-penned numbers. It features contrasting light / dark moog sounds with some furious percussion and organ work. 5.56 Boogie (just over four minutes long) continues this edgy vibe with an organic proto-1980s synth melody beloved of industrial documentaries. On the other hand Soul Sarabande is a gentle shimmering flute-glider that should have been used for romantic scenes in Crossroads. The dramatic keys of Tides complete this most satisfying quartet of tracks.

Other treats in store for you include a most atmospheric stab at I Can’t Stand The Rain and a suitably manic cover of killer Sparks number This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us. Squelch! Lay Lady Lay is transformed into a drugged-up six minute odyssey of sparse electronics and fractured chords while the surprising Bowie cover is from Hunky Dory – Oh, You Pretty Things – nice violin work. I’m led to believe that library supremo Roger Webb penned Remember When – a beautiful romantic number that’s wonderfully melodic and should really have closed the LP instead of the workmanlike version of (There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me .

Comments and feedback are welcome.

Preview

LP 273: Simon Park – Something In The Air (EMI, 1974)

6 Aug

Side 1
01 Funeral For A Friend
02 He’s Misstra Know It All
03 I Am The Walrus
04 Cowboy
05 7.48 Stomp

Side 2
06 Something In The Air
07 Palamino
08 The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
09 Sunbird
10 Honky Tonk Women

It’s hard to believe it nowadays but Simon Park had a UK Number 1 in 1973 with Eye Level, better known as the theme from Van Der Valk (the detective show set in Amsterdam and starring Barry “Frenzy” Morse). Take a bow record public.

The follow LP was called Something In The Air and is an altogether different beast. It starts with a malevolent surge of doom-laden electronics before a pummelling cascade of moog, bass guitars and mental percussion takes over. The track is Elton John’s Funeral For A Friend. A lush antitode in the form of a sublime He’s Misstra Know It All is next – a sweet concotion indeed which contains a wholesome taste of flute.

A crazed organ psych version of I Am The Walrus comes afterwards before an odd choice – the moody and downbeat Cowboy (originally written by Randy Newman). To round off this entirely magnificent opening half Simon treats us to one of his own compositions – the epic speed lounge that is 7.48 Stomp which comes complete with epic prog breakdown halfway through.

After a decent bash at the title track it’s time for a Jack Trombey tune. Palamino’s the name – and shades of Morricone’s the game. With a pinch of deranged wah-wah classical for good measure. Another Park goodie is the brief but memorable sundown moog groove of Sunbird. On the final lap it’s another treat – a tasty and lengthy Honky Tonk Women.

Comments and feedback are welcome.

Preview