Exposé Online banner

Exposé Online

Not just outside the box, but denying the existence of boxes.
Covering music from the fringes since 1993.


Lodestone — Time Flies
(Cherry Red Explore Rights Management EXM027, 1971/2022, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2023-03-23

Time Flies Cover art

It’s more than a little hard to find details about this lost corner of the transition from psychedelic rock to progressive rock. Lodestone never released anything aside from Time Flies, and it was only available on the German Philips label, apparently in very limited quantity. The musicians credited were Gerry Morris (guitar, bass, vocals), Phil Chesterton (drums, percussion, guitar, vocals), John Da Costa (keyboards, guitar, vocals), and John Hollis (lead vocals, guitar, percussion), all of whom had worked with each other in various other bands. The center of the story seems to be a group called The In-Sect, which released what might be termed a psychedelic knock-off album in 1965 — it was possibly not a real band, but a group of musicians hired to capitalize on the new trend. Da Costa, Chesterton, and Hollis all participated in the project, and it eventually became The Flies, a band which recorded a few psychedelic singles between 1966 and 1968 with only Da Costa remaining of the three. Chesterton, Hollis, and Morris were all in The Cymbaline, which put out several singles from 1965 to 1969; Da Costa and Chesterton were in the short-lived Infinity. However it happened, these four guys who knew each other got together with producer Tony Atkins and recorded Time Flies, which is a science-fiction concept album sitting stylistically somewhere between elaborate psych like The Pretty Things and early progressive rock. Composition duties are spread around all four members, with Chesterton getting a slight majority of the tracks. The story concerns four space travelers who spend 300 years in suspended animation while their ship carries them to a new world. When they awake, they discover just how monumental the changes can be over such a timespan. The music features keyboards prominently in many of the arrangements, with Hammond organ playing a big part, along with occasional harpsichord. Guitar parts sometimes venture into psychedelic fuzz and wah-wah, though not on every track. Rhythmically there are echoes of the 60s along with some more sophisticated prog-leaning parts, though no odd meters or jazz intrusions. The vocals are uniformly strong, with many good harmony parts. There are also occasional orchestral enhancements. The recording has been remastered, though it’s still a little muffled by today’s standards — probably a limitation of the source material. On the merits of the music, Time Flies is quite an enjoyable listen for anyone interested in the early days of progressive rock.

Filed under: Reissues, 2022 releases, 1971 recordings

Related artist(s): Lodestone

More info


What's new

These are the most recent changes made to artists, releases, and articles.