Mar 7, 2009
DUNCAN BROWNE - GIVE ME TAKE YOU (IMMEDIATE 1968) Jap K2-HD mastering cardboard sleeve + 2 bonus
Duncan Browne's melancholy first album, Give Me, Take You -- released on music impresario Andrew Loog Oldham's Immediate label in 1968 -- is one wonderfully tender album. Many who are discovering it more than 20 years after its original release are comparing its dulcet introspective tone to Nick Drake's albums. It does fall into a similar English folk vein, though Browne's arrangements are, on the whole, more Baroque, giving the album a semi-classical, regal feel. Browne charted his own classical arrangements and wrote out vocal charts for a choir, but turned to his art school friend David Bretton for song lyrics. It's Bretton's lovely Pre-Raphaelite style phrases, used here in the guise of lyrical content, that fans of this album often react strongly to, one way or another. True, there's a youthful innocence and melancholy that comes off as somewhat naïve sounding, mawkish, and awkward in our modern age -- "Better a tear of truth than smiling lies" is one example -- but this is a minor quibble. Immediate issued only one single from the album, "On the Bombsite," but it failed to connect with listeners. At the time of its release, Oldham's Immediate was reportedly falling apart. He was in financial ruin and reportedly cut the sessions short to save money...[net]
Duncan Browne's "Give Me Take You" is one of those rare albums where humanity, mythology, poetry, spirituality and the innocence of childhood somehow all converge into a wondrous work that seems out of place in this world. The beauty of this album is haunting and once you hear it, it is tough to forget the experience. Duncan charted his own classical arrangements and choir and did it with a stark yet amazingly beautiful compactness that works even better than Robert Kirby's work on Nick Drake's "Five Leaves Left."