Exposé Online banner

Simon Dupree & the Big Sound — Part of My Past - The Simon Dupree and the Big Sound Anthology
(EMI 7243 593727 2 3, 1968/2004, 2CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2005-09-01

Part of My Past - The Simon Dupree and the Big Sound Anthology  Cover artThere’s no doubt that a complete collection of the recordings of Simon Dupree and the Big Sound has historical value. Aside from being a curious footnote in the story of the psychedelic 60s with their one hit, “Kites,” the band is of course a curious footnote in the history of Gentle Giant, the simple pop band with a silly name that gave birth to a progressive powerhouse. The musical merits of such a collection are subject to debate, however, since the band never really found a successful place in their own time, first playing British blues rock after the fad had passed, then flailing desperately for a hit to follow their moment in the spotlight. Maybe it’s just hindsight, but they do seem to be a band in search of an identity, musicians of talent unsure of what to do with their gifts. The blues-based material is well-played and features some interesting arrangements with organ and trumpet. The psychedelic material runs quite a gamut, from the hilarious (even stupid) “Broken Hearted Pirates” to wonderful gems like “Part of My Past,” “Castle in the Sky,” and “Thinking about My Life.” Of particular interest are the tracks recorded for the never-issued second album, a Mellotron-heavy set of florid late-60s British pop, maybe not a match for Odessey & Oracle, but a solid entry in the history of psychedelia. Some of the vocal arrangements are quite elaborate, showing where the Shulman brothers learned some of the tricks they would utilize in their later endeavors. This collection is amazingly well conceived and executed, with thorough liner notes and the best sound you could expect for sources of the time, well worth the expense for fans of Gentle Giant or psych-rock.

Filed under: Archives, Issue 32, 2004 releases, 1968 recordings

Related artist(s): Gentle Giant, Simon Dupree & the Big Sound

Latest news

Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more

Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

Previously in Exposé...

Percy Jones - Tunnels – Jones, who is probably best known for his impeccable and highly energized fretless bass work in Brand X, brings that pedigree to this, his newest project band. Also featured in the lineup are drummer...  (1994) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues