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O.W.L. - Of Wondrous Legends (1971) [Remastered] (2008)

Progressive Rock, Folk | Author: sirk | 13-12-2018, 16:18
O.W.L. - Of  Wondrous Legends (1971) [Remastered] (2008)Artist: O.W.L.
Title Of Album: Of Wondrous Legends
Year Of Release: 1971/2008
Label (Catalog#) : Locust[Locust 110]
Country: USA
Genre: Prog Folk Rock, Baroque Folk
Quality: FLAC (tracks+cue,log,scans)
Bitrate: Lossless
Time: 00:50:25
Full Size: 324mb(+3%)

The year is 1971 and Stephen Titra, from Chicago, records an LP with advance money from Universal. The record company ends up passing on the album, and the project, Of Wondrous Legends, grinds to a halt. And just like that, the world lost a fabulous (yes, fabulous) folk LP. Dawson Prater, head of Locust Music, stumbled upon one of a handful of test pressings over 30 years later, managed to track down Titra, and finally released Of Wondrous Legends in 2008. By then, unearthing obscure psychedelic and freak folk recordings was the craze, with very mixed results, but rest assured that this album has nothing to do with those kinds of productions. In fact, Of Wondrous Legends is surprisingly "straightforward" and well recorded. Titra's songs are poetic, soaring, imbued with a fondness for Romanticism and Old Europe, with a current of humanism running through the lyrics. Most of all, his voice is very pleasant and he is surrounded by solid musicians. As a result, the album offers genuine pastoral folk of the highest caliber, up there with Shawn Phillips' Second Contribution (the closest comparison and, frankly, the best compliment one can make). Had this album been known a few years earlier, it could have been seen as an influence on contemporary folk artists like In Gowan Ring. There is not a single weak track on the album, with only "Renaissance & Rococo" sounding derivative (of King Crimson's "I Talk to the Wind" and "Cadence and Cascade"). "A Tale of a Crimson Knight" and "Breton Landscape" are the best soft numbers, while "Midnight Carnival" and "Everyman & the Philosopher King" lively up the set with a rocker edge. Of Wondrous Legends ranks among the very best previously unknown finds of the last decade, as it would rank among the best folk records of the late '60s/early '70s had it been released when it was recorded. A must-have, as much for collectors of obscure psych/folk than for fans of Simon & Garfunkel. Yeah, it's that good, that accessible, and that universal.

01. Legends (5:02)
02. A Tale of a Crimson Knight (4:12)
03. Be Alive (3:53)
04. Renaissance & Rococo (4:21)
05. Midnight Carnival (8:27)
06. Dawn of Albion (3:21)
07. Upon the Wings of Gabriel (3:02)
08. Breton Landscape (2:52)
09. Everyman and the Philosopher King (5:37)
10. Peace of Mind (3:49)
11. Salvation Song (3:49)
12. Sunset of Smiles (1:56)

Dick Boyell / string and horn arrangement
Steve Kauffman / drums, percussion
Al Keeler / marimba, orchestra bells, percussion, vibraphone
John Knudson / flutes
Sam Larderuccio / electric piano
Ellen Olsen / piano
Tommy Radke / drums, percussion
Frank Schabold / electric bass
Stephen Titra / audio production, composer, percussion, vocals

All thanks to original releaser

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