Apr 7, 2010
UNIT 4+2 - UNIT 4+2 (FONTANA 1969) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve + 12 bonus
POSTED BY REQUESTS...
Unit 4+2 was a one-hit wonder that probably deserved better. As one of the better acoustic-electric bands of the mid-'60s, the group stormed the charts with one memorable hit, "Concrete and Clay," scoring on both sides of the Atlantic, but they were never able to come up with a follow-up that was as catchy.
...Their 1966 release "I Was Only Playing Games" had some proto psychedelic elements, and a heavy orchestral accompaniment that rather anticipated elements of the sound that the Moody Blues would perfect at Decca early the next year. Unit 4+2 was less successful in their orchestral-psychedelic experiment, and after three failed attempts at another hit, they left Decca in 1966 and signed with Fontana Records. They continued to record pop-flavored singles (and the label subsequently put out an LP), all of which seemed less and less attuned to the times in which they worked.
Garwood, Halliday, and Meikle exited in 1967, and were replaced by Ballard and Henrit (the Roulettes having broken up that year). The band continued as a quintet, strengthened in some ways by the new lineup; the Roulettes had been a first-rate rock & roll band, with a great ear for hooks and first-rate material, and Ballard and Henrit toughened up the sound of Unit 4+2. In 1968, the band made a valiant effort at getting in front of the pop music pack with a cover of Bob Dylan's "You Ain't Going Nowhere," which failed to compete with the version by the Byrds.
They moved back into a full-blown psychedelic mode in 1969 with their final single, ""3.30" b/w "I Will," filled with harpsichords and lavish orchestration. It failed to chart, and the group disbanded in 1969 -- Ballard and Henrit hooked up soon after with ex-Zombie Rod Argent in the band Argent, which had exactly the kind of heavy, arena rock-type sound needed to compete in the early '70s.[allmusic]