Come With Me
Sea Of Dreams
Reminds Me Of You
Mr. Crow and Sir Norman
Please No More Sad Songs
Girl At The Window
Big Chief Woolley Bosher
A Better Life (the weather man knows)
Hurry Up John
'The Idle Race'
UK / Liberty / LBS 831 32E (stereo)
Australia / Liberty/Festival Records / SLYL-933,597 (stereo)
Australia / Liberty/Festival Records / LYL-33,597 (mono)
Produced & Arranged by Jeff Lynne
Engineer: Robin Cable
(see lyric pages for songwriting credits)
Released November 1969
A second Idle Race LP was issued in November 1969 shortly before Lynne's departure. The album may have lacked the lavish gatefold packing of their first lp but was equally if not more impressive in content than the first, resplendid with a moody band portrait.
It was the first album to bear the credit "Produced by Jeff Lynne," who according to Roger Spencer basically bluffed his way through the whole process! As it turned out, the self titled lp shows a maturity well beyond the experience shared by the constituent members. The album is well paced and hangs together perfectly, lyrically and aurally superior to the first, featuring marvellous, melodic arrangements that even Lennon/McCartney would have been proud of!
Perhaps more Beatlesque than the Birthday Party lp, you can hear elements of "Here There and Everywhere" and "She Said, She Said" (from Revolver) in the closing pair of "A Better Life" and "Hurry Up John". Other tracks, however, were totally original in their concepts, such as "Mr. Crow and Sir Norman" (an extension of their ideas from the first album) and the delightful "Big Chief Woolley Bosher".
In one sense this LP could have been seen as a regressive step as at the time many of their musical contempories were venturing into experimental music born out of heavy blues. The Idle Race instead, offered a set in which ballads such as "The Girl at the Window", "Please No More Sad Songs", and "Sea Of The Dreams" were more reminiscent of mid period Beatles, ala Rubber Soul and Revolver.
More importantly, and of course in hindsight, the second Idle Race album bore the sonic seeds that were to germinate and develop into the 'eventual sound' that the world would come to recognise as that of the Electric Light Orchestra.
The quality of the music was impressive and was well deserved of the critical acclaim it received from most areas of the music media at the time. But like The Birthday Party before it, failed to register with the record buying public. The unsolved mystery can be found at FBI headquarters... Stored in the X-Files!
The opening track "Come With Me" had been issued as a single some months earlier, and it seems likely that the failure to chart of this overly commerical piece signalled to Lynne that the Idle Race were sadly not destined for success.
THE BIRTHDAY PARTY
IDLE RACE (self titled album)
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