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PETER BARDENS – The Answer

In his illustrious career keyboardist Peter Bardens has briefly been a member of such bands as Them, Fleetwood Mac, and reputedly was in the earliest incarnation of Shotgun Express with Rod Stewart and Beryl Marsden. In the mid 60’s he also had his own band, Peter B’s Looners, which played soul and R’n’B instrumentals, and then in 1969 he finally recorded his first solo album ‘The Answer’. He called in some favours for the recording sessions, enlisting the help of Steve Ellis on vocals, Bruce Thomas (later of Elvis Costello’s Attractions) and most notably an uncredited Peter Green on guitar. Green’s work is the most prominent on the album, with Barden’s keyboards doing some nice work in the background. ‘The Answer’ has a nice piano intro before Green comes in on guitar, and is mostly an atmospheric instrumental, with a brief vocal refrain towards the end. ‘Don’t Goof With A Spook’ is a looser, more jam inspired track, stretching out to over seven minutes, and Green’s guitar-work gives it a suitably ghostly feel. ‘I Can’t Remember’ has some Latin percussion and a funky vibe to it, and once again the guitar-work is first rate, while ‘I Don’t Want To Go Home’ keeps the lazy groove, but is the most structured song here, and is lightened towards the end with some jazzy flute. ‘Let’s Get It On’ is a good-time boogie, and is the first time that Bardens can shine on the piano, with guitar kept to minimum on this one. The final track is a lengthy Latin/blues work-out, with some superb guitar and organ interplay, and an energy which keeps it from dragging throughout its thirteen minutes. Two years after this album came out Bardens formed Camel, and the rest is history, but if you are interested in hearing what he was up to before he went prog then this is a most enjoyable album, and is also a must for fans of Peter Green. It was re-issued on CD in 2005 in a hideous sleeve, but thankfully the music has not been tampered with, so give it a try.
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