- LP + 7" edition just like the original release
- Original artwork
- 24–bit remastering from the original master tapes
- Four–page colour insert with lyrics, rare photos and liner notes
Caedmon’s legendary debut from 1978, originally released as a private pressing, one of the most sought–after progressive folk–rock albums from the UK.
Caedmon – a five piece student band in the 70s – recorded this album to mark their farewell concert in early 1978, before they went their separate ways after university. They had literally no idea of the myths, rumours, and tales that would embellish (and sometimes distort) the musical arc traced by this album in the decades to come.
The album contains twelve songs. Ten were written by the band. One was based on an ancient text by 7th century poet Caedmon. And the final track was a traditional gospel song, a regular much loved closer to their live set.
Angela Naylor’s lead vocals are supported by close harmony male vocals throughout. Acoustic guitars, mandolin and cello jostle with electric guitar, keyboards, percussion and bass. The resultant blend can only be described as eclectic, conjuring a slightly bizarre mix of folk ballad, bossa–nova, and psychedelic jazz and funk. Little did they know that this would be described as acid–folk in years to come. Unusual time signatures, tight arrangements, improbable instrumentation, oblique and poetic stories tackling spirituality, distorted fuzz guitar, and the odd recorder solo all combine to create something that was of its era, and yet simultaneously wildly out of synch with it.
1978 was the era of punk. Frustrated by the record company stranglehold on the market, bands were recording and releasing their own material on their own labels. Caedmon adopted this approach (if not the musical genre!) and recorded their farewell to fans in Barclay Towers Studio in Edinburgh, an attic flat, patronised by the Rezillos and others. Essentially each song was recorded ’live’ in two or three takes on a four track tape machine, with occasional overdubs.
Handling their own duplication and distribution, the pressing of 500 swiftly disappeared, but not before a last minute emergency rescue operation was necessitated. During the pressing, a call from the pressing plant informed the band that they had too much music recorded to fit on a 33rpm 12" vinyl. A quick decision resulted in 2 tracks being moved across to a 45rpm 7" single. The album, with its slightly less than commonplace contents, sold for £2.50 to friends and fans.
They were never a mainstream band. They were unsigned, boasted a small fan–base (mostly in Scotland), only occasionally played south of the border (notably at a disastrous gig at the Greenbelt Festival in 1977), enjoyed some success at the Edinburgh Fringe. And that was about it until....
Their niche fame came twenty years later. Both a re–release of the original album on CD by Kissing Spell records, and a burgeoning world–wide vinyl collectors market made possible by the internet, led to a sometimes feverish demand for copies of the original vinyl of 1978. At its height, you could pay £1, 500 for a reasonable quality copy of the original album (including 7" single and lyric sheet insert). A number of unlicensed re–releases followed on CD and on vinyl, being this Guerssen edition the first licensed reissue of the 1978 album since the Kissing Spell CD.
- A1Ten Maidens Fair –
- A2Maker Man –
- A3Death Of A Fox –
- A4Sea Song –
- A5Aslan –
- B1Living in The Sunshine –
- B2Storm –
- B3Columba’s Song –
- B4Smile On Your Face –
- B5Caedmon’s Hymn
- Side A: Beyond The Second Smile
- Side B: Give Me Jesus