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Articles Home » 1977 Articles » Lavender Hill Mob - 1977 Lavender Hill Mob
Lavender Hill Mob - 1977 Lavender Hill Mob

ARTIST: Lavender Hill Mob
ALBUM: Lavender Hill Mob
LABEL: United Artists
YEAR: 1977


LINEUP: Nickey Prigeno - vocals, bass * Ronny Jones - vocals, lead guitar * Gerry Hardy - vocals, flute, sax * Hector Jacob - vocals, 6 and 12 string guitars * Chuck Chandler - vocals, keyboards, synthesizers * Vito Fiory - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Magic Lady * 02 Head Over Heels * 03 Loneliest Man On The Moon * 04 Warning * 05 The Party Song * 06 No One Compares * 07 Chibougamau * 08 Losing You

Not to be confused with the classic British film starring Alec Guinness, Lavender Hill Mob hailed from Quebec releasing two self titled albums on United Artists. Sadly, there has never been much information available on these guys on the Internet or any other source for that matter, but from the map of Montreal on the front cover and the obligatory band shot on the back, it's clear they were proud of their Quebecois roots with the Provincial Fleurdelise prominently waved by one of the group's members.

The Songs
Oddly enough with all this patriotism on display, Lavender Hill Mob delivers a very English sounding album on their debut. Comparisons to Paul McCartney & Wings, 10cc and Pilot are immediate and pomp fans will swoon over the opening 'Magic Lady' with its Aviary styled chorus and structure. Vocalist Nicky Prigeno vocal style is very similar to New England's John Fannon especially so on 'Loneliest Man On The Moon', a very nice ballad and one of the better songs on the album. Unfortunately as with many releases of the period, there is a tendency for Lavender Hill Mob to cover too many musical bases (Alexis anyone?) including a misguided attempt at rhythm & blues on side one's final track 'Warning', a dreadful side-step with pomp disco on side two's 'The Party Song' and 50's boogie-woogie ala Queen with 'Chibougamau'. None of this works very well, but the rest of the album is so strong even the weaker tunes are somewhat tolerable.

In Summary
This album has been overlooked for too long, but seems to be gaining something of a reputation among the Japanese 'Niche Pop' crowd in recent years, but I won't hold my breath for a CD reissue which it certainly deserves. Check out Gemm or Ebay and don't be afraid to drop a few bucks for a copy of this forgotten slice of Canadian AOR!

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#1 | Eric on January 21 2011 13:40:01
An update, apparently these guys released some singles previous to their debut and toured Eastern Canada with ELO in '77. The hunt is on for the 45's...
#2 | gdazegod on January 21 2011 23:38:50
Might be an idea to try and track down their second album too. This one was hard enough to find..
#3 | trillion1999 on October 08 2011 21:46:40
Used to see both albums all the time before I read this review and wouldnt you know it as soon as that happened I never saw them again.One day in a flea-market at the fringes of the city I saw a copy.This time it was not just a Dollar though but allmost 5 Dollars so I passed it up.Until that twofer appears I hope I have to do with downloading the first.Thank you very much for the review and
#4 | super80boy on January 13 2014 02:50:07
Side One starts off well with the polished pomp of 'Magic Lady'. I wonder if that was issued as a single? The rest of the songs are good with the ballad 'Loneliest Man On The Moon' being exceptional. Side Two falters a bit with the (what were they thinking??) goofy 50's vibe 'Chibougamau'. The album ends with the smooth AOR ballad 'Losing You', which starts to gain intensity halfway through with guitar riffing.
#5 | gdazegod on January 13 2014 03:33:31
I quite like this album, goofballs aside. Still trying to track down the second one. You don't have that one do you Gil?
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