Aubrey Small wasn't a singer songwriter, as I originally thought, but in fact a five piece band from Portsmouth comprising of Peter Pinckney (lead guitar/vocals), Rod Taylor (keyboards/vocals), Alan Christmas (guitar/vocals), David Yearley (bass guitar/vocals) and Graham Hunt (drums/guitar/vocals). Those of you reading carefully will have noticed that all five members share the vocals, although not in a Beach Boys way. Production was handled by John Anthony (Rare Bird, Lindisfarne, Genesis) and engineered by EMI man Ken Scott (Beatles, Pink Floyd, Pretty Things) and was recorded at Trident Studios in Soho, London, UK.
Now, I know I overuse the Beatles/Badfinger comparisons on this blog (I can't help it, that's the music I like!) and there's no way I can get through this post without mentioning them at least half a dozen times. Musically, that's exactly where these guys' heads were at. Album opener "Country Road" is a slow burning, almost hypnotic, psychedelic beast with backwards sound effects complete with Ham/Evans-alike harmonies, perfect way to start a record. Next up is "Gardenia" and after one listen you'll hear where the Bread comparisons come from. "Trying To Find My Way" is may favourite cut on the LP, this is the sound that Rockin' Horse would master on their own album couple of years later. Mike Vickers is drafted in for some Moog action on "It's Morning" where the Abbey Road influence is at it's most obvious.
|Aubrey Small (L-R Alan Christmas, Rod Taylor, Graham Hunt, David Yearley, Peter Pinckney)|
An album of this quality had all the potential to find a bit of acceptance from the mainstream, but this was 1971 after all, a year that so much quality music was released, that records of this quality just slipped by the public without attention. Kudos to Record Collector for giving Aubrey Small another chance to shine.
For loads more info on the Aubrey Small, check out their excellent website here.