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Ache - 1971 Green Man

ALBUM: Green Man
LABEL: Phillips
SERIAL: 6318 005
YEAR: 1971
CD REISSUE: 2000, Free Records (2 on 1 with 'De Homine Urbano') * 2011 Lucky Pigs Records


LINEUP: Peter Mellin - organ, piano * Finn Olafson - guitars, vocals * Thorsten Olafson - bass, vocals * Glenn Fischer - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Equatorial Rain * 02 Sweet Jolly Joyce * 03 The Invasion --- a) Fanfaronade --- b) Invasion --- c) Monologue --- d) Break Down * 04 Shadow Of A Gipsy * 05 Green Man * 06 Acheron * 07 We Can Work It Out


Denmark has never been known as a hotbed of progressive rock, but there were quite a few bands in the early days that are worthy of attention including Blast Furnace, Alrune Rod, Secret Oyster and the subject of this review - Ache. Considered the Danes answer to Procol Harum, the band formed in late '60s Copenhagen, notorious at the time for its openness to all things counterculture and with gigs at various festivals, universities, clubs and wherever they could set up, Ache got around to writing and performing music for the ballet 'De Homine Urbano' which was performed not only in Copenhagen, but Moscow as well. Don't ask me what the particulars of the ballet were since I haven't a clue but the music was excellent and released on the Phillips label in 1970.

The Songs
With their second album 'Green Man' the group attempted a shorter more accessible song style and again Procol Harum is the main point of reference, but elements of The Nice and even Deep Purple can be heard as well, particularly on the opening cut 'Equatorial Rain' featuring driving organ. Take one listen to 'Sweet Jolly Joyce' and you'll understand the Procol Harum comparisons although I've never been thrilled with the vocalist, especially when he sounds like he's floating in some kind of inertia above the band. Very odd, but considering the period and the bands background, maybe not so. For a six minute tune there's a lot going on in the four part opus 'The Invasion' which is really just an excuse for the band to stretch out and nothing more. Much better is 'Shadow Of A Gipsy' which believe it or not sounds a lot like early Kayak and was released as a single. From here we move on to the title track which is surprisingly poppy, borrowing from the San Francisco sound while 'Acheron' is an impressive instrumental with touches of Soft Machine's jazziness. Closing out the record is a progressive version of The Beatles 'We Can Work It Out' which sounds the type of thing Vanilla Fudge used to do and still sell records. Not the best version I've heard but passable.

In Summary
Ache released two more albums- 'Pictures from Cyclus 7' and 'Bla Som Altid' both worth picking up if you can find them. 'De Homine Urbano' and 'Green Man' have been reissued a couple times although I have my doubts the 2 on 1 CD in my collection from the Green Tree label is legit.

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