January 01, 1996
(in-akustik Records INAK 11004 CD)
Moon’s Train – Rare Recordings ’65-’68
Those were the Golden Sixties. The young men's hair suddenly grew to shoulder length, the girls were wearing minis, and music was everywhere in the air. A trendy wind blew a sort of sound from the British Isles around the globe - a sound which was new and giving cause for concern as well as electrifying.
It's hard to say what elements this sound was exactly composed of. It may be correct to say that it was a clever synthesis of Blues roots and British Old-World-awareness of life, but this description misses the point of the phenomenon. There was simply more - a sort of energy which upset the relationship of generations and sexes, the expectation of the young ones and even the moral ideas of western societies.
More than music. And though: there had never been so much music before. In the beginning, the enthusiasm about afro-american Blues and Rhythm & Blues varieties was restricted to a small circle of connoisseurs, and fir first emulators performed - in Liverpool as well as in Manchester and London - in dim club caves in front of a mostly hand-sorted audience.
Then there was the mass euphoria. It was called "Beatlemania", but it could just as well have entered history as "Stones-Sensation". The Rolling Stones did not only have a talent to enter the scene as the Bad Boys of the British Rock evolution. They had sharper tongues, they were less compromising and finally not less ambitious than the four "mushroom heads" John, Paul, George and Ringo. The "Glimmer Twins" Mick Jagger and Keith Richards drew all public attention on them with the Stones. Bass player Billy Wyman had always been the one out of place. Strange enough, he has made a secret of his age till today, but he (who finally quite in 1993) had surely been the eldest of the group.
Though Old Bill belongs to the category "still waters", he is a crafty one. He has been open to new events, maybe because rolling with the Stones didn't charge him, maybe because he knew that there had to be more of a musician's life than his super-group. So, one night he head the band Moon's Train playing in a club - and he liked them so much that he decided to become their manager and producer. Not enough, Bill began an utmostly productive partnership of songwriting with the engine driver of this high pressure steaming music-machine, the keyboard player and singer Peter Gosling.
We all know that Moon's Train did not become the top act of the sixties. But, meeting on stage and in studios for cool sessions between 1964 and 1967/68. The up to seven musicians (plus guests) produced a damn good sound, and a damn timeless one - proved by the recordings complied on this CD.
With 17 titles, Gosling & Co transport an enthusiasm for experiments, a sense of humour, a relxation and an overwhelming pleasure which was missing in some of the famous recordings of those days between "Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!" and Woodstock. There was no stylistic finesse and no tone colour which they did not try. And what moon's Train made out of it! "The Life I Lead" is pushed forwards by powerful caribbean rock-steady-rhythms. "I Get Excited" is an exciting panorama of urban US rhythm & blues, with refrain choirs for several voices, laid upon an unquietly pulsing base.
"Home And Dry" is digging passionately in the roots of blues and gospel. "Marriage Is For Old Folks" is a jazzy swinging refusal to the undemanding settling in the harbour of marriage. While the "Telephone Talker" is using the impressive tone language of Stax-Soul. "Say What I Mean" is playing with the attractive contrast of psychedelic sound alienation and thriller signature tune. And when this rock train changes into a lower gear, it's sliding through the fields of typically British harmony pop ("My Love For You"), or, with its expressive singing and the power of the wind players, it's becoming a soul-train (as in "I'm Not The Marrying Kind").
Due to Bill Wyman, the rock & soul express train stopped for some time at nearly any important club-station of Great Britain - from the legendary "Speakeasy" to the famous Beatles' club "Cavern". Moon's Train performed with the Stones in the culty TV program "Ready Steady Go", and they jammed with Jimi Hendrix. Now, on CD, posterity can appreciate the great talents who had missed the connection to the charts' train those days. Here's Moon's Train - as you like it.
Full track listing
Moon's Train: Rare Recordings '65-'68