Dec 23, 2010

PEARLS BEFORE SWINE - THE USE OF ASHES (REPRISE 1970) remastered




For their second Reprise Records outing, Pearls Before Swine worked primarily with Nashville-based musicians, including a small orchestra who provide a stately feel to the highly intimate nature of the material. According to Tom Rapp's comments in the liner booklet accompanying the Jewels Were the Stars (2003) box , the songs were written while he and his wife were living in the Netherlands, which Rapp said contributed significantly to the air of romanticism throughout. "Jeweller" opens the album with an exquisite tale that exemplifies Rapp's remarkable abilities to draw upon disparate metaphors such as shining coins and worshiping God, both involving the Use of Ashes -- hence the title. The rural mood created by the notable Music City USA stalwarts effortlessly fuses with David Briggs' baroque-flavored harpsichord on the delicate "From the Movie of the Same Name," featuring Rapp and spouse Elisabeth on non-verbal vocalizations as they "da-da-da" the melody. Although "Rocket Man" predates the Elton John cut by a couple of years, Bernie Taupin cites it as his inspiration for the lyrics behind John's 1972 Top Ten hit. The words are credited as having been influenced by a Ray Bradbury novella that dealt with the universal emotion of loss. Again, Briggs' keyboard runs relate the story with subdued refinement. By contrast, "God Save the Child" is one of the more amplified inclusions, making good use of session heavies Kenneth A. Buttrey (drums) and Charlie McCoy (guitar), especially when placed against the restrained string section. Another sonic texture in the tapestry is the jazzy "Tell Me Why," shimmering with an uncredited vibraphone lead gliding beneath Rapp's whimsical lines. These tracks are offset by the noir "When the War Began," the ethereal love song "Margery," and the mid-tempo retelling of the "Riegal," a ship whose 4,000 inhabitants perished during World War II. Rapp's juxtaposition of stark imagery reveals that while Pearls Before Swine might not have continued the bombastic direction set about on their earlier protest works "Uncle John" or "Drop Out," they maintained social and political relevance.
Here

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

in circa 1976-1977 i am first ever, heard on cassetes- nick drake,tim buckley,perry leopold,bill fay,gary farr and pearls before swine...since then i bought all pearls and rapps albums...he is one of my favoritues troubadour...wal

Anonymous said...

your choice as always is excelent...happy christmas and new year !!! wal

Rogerio said...

Thank you so much! This Blog is a Wonderful World of great music.Thanks, it's a Small Town Magic Pleasures. Ah, Perls Before is fantastic!

Georgie Hirezola said...

Thanks guys!!!
Happy Christmas

The Hawk said...

ahhh fantastic band!!

mike kemps said...

Great stuff. Thanks, Georgie.

mike kemps said...

Great band, their music somehow reminds me of something that a certain very successful Russian band Aquarium played throughoput their career, since early 80-s until present; taking their cue from Pearls Before Swine, wholesale, no doubt. Keep up good work.