It has to hurt to be dumped from the band you lead, but that's what happened to Pete Brown
with the Battered Ornaments
-- and to add insult to injury, right on the eve of a prestigious support slot opening for the Rolling Stones
at London's Hyde Park in 1969. But Brown
, already an acclaimed poet who'd penned many of the lyrics for Cream
, dusted himself off and founded Piblokto!. This, their first album, was actually far more accessible and commercial than his work with the Battered Ornaments
. The inventive title track percolates, and "High Flying Electric Bird" (which was the B-side of the band's first single) features Brown
on the highly unusual rock & roll slide whistle, mimicking a birdsong. But it's "Golden Country Kingdom" that's the highlight; long and involved, it's a wonderful and highly affecting piece of prog rock that stands as the best thing Piblokto! ever put on tape. It stands as a contrast to the more laid-back "Firesong," although "My Love's Gone Far Away" offers a more soulful organ sound.