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Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Prelude - How Long Is Forever

posted by on April 4 at 11:15 AM


I know what your thinking. “Is this some christian rock band?

No, not really, but I was as mistaken as you at first. Christian imagery is all over the first release by the British vocal folk-pop trio, Prelude. From songs titled, simply, God, to vague and odd christian-esque sounding ideas like the opening to the song Beauty Of The World which talks of Ceasar running through fields like the wind blowing the lace on a young girls breasts. (?)

More akin to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, (had Young the soft voice of a blonde Californian girl) then the other famous folk trio of the day, Peter, Paul and Mary, their records were released on the Dawn label in the UK. A label that was trying to compete with the likes of Vertigo for all things slightly prog and folky. There’s no prog here at all. In fact everytime I put on this album I’m transported right to the sunny beach at sunset in southern California.


Which is odd, because Prelude came from Britain. Husband and wife Brian and Irene Hume joined with Ian Vardy in 1973 to release this solid album of tunes which includes Prelude’s only American Top 40 hit, a cover of Neil Young’s After The Gold Rush.

If the lyrics are a little odd and confusing, all is forgiven after listening to the short little gems which are strewn across both sides of the album. The arrangements are simle with a little drums and electric bass added at times, but for the most part it’s a really simple and beautiful little gem. I play this one for friends at home all the time and Prelude still get the response they got 30 years ago, “Wow, this is great!… Who is it? …From the UK?… No way. Wow.”

Enjoy some nice samples at my blog.

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How rare is this? Could I stroll into Wall of Sound or some such place and find it? Sounds like these guys/gal have real songs behind the style! Thanks for the tip!

Posted by Pecknold | April 4, 2007 2:57 PM

-- cool post. though i hate christianity, i do love me some dude with beard and sheep art... that illustration is nice (and the folks making folk not bad either).

Posted by Aaro)))n Edge | April 4, 2007 3:40 PM

Prelude is good rural/country rock, and they're Geordies. The LP is not too hard to find, and usually cost $3-6 (or if your lucky $1 like mine). It was issued at least twice in the UK, first on Dawn then on Island (as After The Gold Rush). I have a US copy on Island w/a different sleeve...their version of After The Gold Rush charted top 40 in the US and the UK. They did two more LPs as well (another on Dawn and one on Pye), neither I've that I think of it...I think Dawn reissued, in 1974, How Long Is Forever again also as Dutch Courage. Never seen a copy tho'.

There IS another UK Prelude w/a self titled LP on Crochet. I've never heard it but it's said to be a couple young ladies w/trad UK folk.

Posted by nipper | April 4, 2007 4:05 PM

omg! nipper you're breakin' my heart!

"how long is forever", which was their first UK album, has a TOTALLY DIFFERENT TRACK LISTING than "After the Gold Rush", which was their first US album. the song "after the gold rush" was, justifiably, added to the second album on its release in the states because of the popularity of that song in the UK.

"After the gold rush" can be found for cheap, like you say, but I think I paid $16 for my gatefold copy of "how long", which by the way, is just a teensy bit better imho than "ATGR".

But either album is very good. "owl creek incident" and "Dutch Courage" (albums 3 and 4) are not as good. However "OCI" does have nice covers of loggins' "a love song" and Fairport's "Meet On The Ledge".

can you tell i'm a little obsessed with my british folk?

Posted by terry miller | April 4, 2007 5:26 PM

#1 yes there is a good cd comp of their best songs called "prelude: floating on the breeze - the dawn years".

it's got all the excellent 73-78 tracks.

Posted by terry miller | April 4, 2007 5:36 PM

nipper - actually "dutch courage" is the original name of the album that was released in america as "after theh gold rush".

confused yet?

go here: Prelude discography

Posted by terry miller | April 4, 2007 5:41 PM

OMG!!! THANK YOU Terry for the folk obsession correction!!! Now I can change my notes to be correct!!!

um...however, my copy of AtGR has the Dutch Courage sleeve, or at least is similar, but is (I'm almost positive) titled AtGR (you'll hafta call me for me to tell you how I know w/o holding the LP in my hands, natch)...hmmm, I'll have to dig it out and double check. This is gonna drive me NUTS!! (sigh) I just LOVE running down nerdy facts like this. (bigger sigh)

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