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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Second Hand - Reality

The London Scene in the late '60s from the Underground-era was an amazing time period for bands such as Pink Floyd, Family, Traffic, and The Soft Machine. But there was one band that took the Psychedelic and Prog-era into a full proto-metal version of Procol Harum. That band was Second Hand. Formed in 1965, they were known as The Next Collection until they were signed by Polydor Records and changed their name to Second Hand and released their debut album in 1968 called Reality. This is humor, political, post-apocalyptic, and almost a Fairy tale quality of their first album.

Unlike their musical influences from The Creation, Small Faces, and The Who, Second Hand were a combination of The Action meets The Who meets Procol Harum with their first album. The opening track, A Fairy Tale starts off as a mellotronic homage to The Who's 1965 classic I Can't Explain and starts off into a childhood wonder about a mother telling her son a story before bedtime while Rhubarb! is a rumbling hard rock political statement into hell. The homage of the circus and '30s big band jazz music with the one and only Denis James the Clown. Steam Tugs is a bluesy mellotron number that shows that you can have a good time at a house party with the sexual soulness inside to be covered with the blanket of steam tugs and looking back the childhood-era of the 1950s with the Traffic/Dave Mason pop sound of Good Old '59 (We Are Slowly Getting Older).

The World Will End Yesterday is another proto-metal number set into a ballad that takes place in a post-apocalyptic world in a fictitious planet; A tribute to Denis James again with him being a DJ in a ballad; An emotional garage classic psychedelia music to Mainliner is almost bizarre and tiwsted that would make the band almost take an acid trip. The 8-minute piece Reality becomes more symphonic prog in a Deep Purple way and the finale of The Bath Song is another rock opera that is mysterious of the killing of an innocent vicitim while taking a Bath. Second Hand would release two more albums before calling it a day in 1971. The two members from Second Hand Kieran O'Connor and Ken Elliot would later form the Sci-Fi band Seventh Wave in 1974. An X-ray cover of a skeletal hand at a London Hospital that is twisted and weird? Who would have thought about that!

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