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Articles Home » 1973 Articles » D.Beaver And Combinations - 1973 Combinations
D.Beaver And Combinations - 1973 Combinations

ARTIST: D.Beaver And Combinations
ALBUM: Combinations
LABEL: TMI Records
YEAR: 1973


LINEUP: D. Beaver - piano, organ, clavinette, ARP, accordion, lead vocals * Jimmy Jamison - lead vocals * Paul Allen Taylor - guitar, lead & background vocals * Tommy Cathey - bass * Joel Williams - drums, acoustic 12 string * Carl Marsh - recorders, oboe, bassoon, octave bassoon * J.A. Spell - fiddle * Steve Spear - bass * Jimmy Tarbutton - guitar * David Mayo - lead & background vocals, piano * Leo Leblanc - pedal steel * Reni Crook, Jackie Cook - background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 I'm Gonna Show You * 02 Don't Give Up * 03 Come Hear It * 04 Anthony Beechum * 05 Here It Comes * 06 Combinations * 07 Another Bad Year * 08 Anastasia * 09 Please Stand By * 10 I've Had Some Time * 11 The Wizard Of Menlo Park * 12 Get The Phone * 13 It's Gonna Take Time * 14 42nd All Star Review * 15 Halfway * 16 I Wouldn't Bet On You

Formed by Memphis song writer and keyboardist David Beaver, previously with Tennessee prog rockers Englewood and recording one rather bland album 'Ship Of Fools' in 1971, this record is often mistaken as a solo effort from Beaver, but apparently was a band effort. As a group, Combinations included a young local singer 'Jimmy' Jamison, who would thrill and wow the majority of our readers in Target, Cobra and of course Survivor. Jamison splits vocal chores with Beaver and guitarist Paul Allen Taylor gets a shot on one track making for a varied album with a lot going for it, although their labels parent company RCA virtually ignored the group and 'Combinations' sank without a trace. Some gigging took place on a local level including an outdoor festival appearing under Memphis progressive legends Leviathan and power pop gods Big Star, but a second album was shot down when RCA dropped everything TMI Records related and the group was never to be seen again.

The Songs
This is a terrific album plain and simple and shame on RCA for not giving it the push it deserved. For those of you wondering about Jamison's contributions, he opens up the record with 'I'm Gonna Show You', but if you're looking for a classic AOR tune you've come to the wrong place. The D. Beaver & Combinations sound can be described as Badfinger and The Beatles meets Kansas and early Ambrosia. Songs like 'Don't Give Up' and 'Anthony Beechum' have a distinct British pop psych sound while the baroque 'I Wouldn't Bet On You' has enough of a Left Banke feel to make Michael Brown proud. The album's benchmark is 'The Wizard Of Menlo Park'; a charming prog tune with pop sensibilities about none other than Alexander Graham Bell and if I hadn't told you the guys were from Memphis, you would be forgiven for thinking they were UK born and bred. Marvelous stuff!

In Summary
I have to thank Mr. Stephen Allen for turning me on to this album several years ago, but why this remarkable record has yet to see reissue on CD is a continual mystery. 'Combinations' is one of my 'Deserted Island' albums and for those who think American rock from the early 70's is either ham-fisted or blue jean dull (a fair complaint), you need to give this record a spin.

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#1 | Harvey Mettle on January 28 2009 14:46:56
On finally hearing this a few years ago, I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of what I would call "progressive rock" tracks on this versus "singer songwriter". Some pretty rocking stuff in places.
#2 | misterpomp on February 19 2009 23:28:11
Too kind to mention me Eric - hope you are keeping well. Still a favourite this one - why oh why not on CD - would sound great...
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