Released last month Esoteric Recordings is pleased to announce the expanded and re-mastered release of the self- titled 1970 album by Third Ear Band.
Formed in 1968 around a nucleus of GLEN SWEENEY (percussion), PAUL MINNS (Oboe), RICHARD COFF (Violin, Viola) and URSULA SMITH (Cello), the Third Ear Band were unique in their exploration of exotic baroque music fused with experimental rock. Signing to Blackhill Enterprises in 1969, the quartet opened for many of the legendary Hyde Park free concerts by Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones and Blind Faith. One of the early signings to EMI’s progressive imprint, Harvest, their debut album, “Alchemy” was released in June 1969.
This, the band’s second album, was issued in June 1970 and gained good reviews in the underground music press. Always fluid with their line-ups, Ursula Smith and Richard Coff departed the band in September 1970, some weeks after recording a soundtrack to a German television film, “Abelard and Heloise”, to be replaced by Ben Cartland and Paul Buckmaster. At this point the Third Ear Band began to explore a more experimental rock direction, stating that they would go “electric” for their next album, tentatively entitled “The Dragon Awakes”. Despite an album’s worth of studio sessions being recorded at Abbey Road studios in late 1970 and the Spring of 1971, the project was eventually shelved.
This 3 disc digipack edition of THIRD EAR BAND features eleven previously unreleased tracks; the entire “Dragon Awakes” sessions, all previously unreleased, along with alternate session takes, two BBC John Peel sessions from 1970 and 1971 and a newly re-mastered version of the “Abelard and Heloise” soundtrack produced from recently discovered first generation master tapes. The set also includes a booklet with new essay by Third Ear Band Ghettoraga official archivist and biographer Luca Chino Ferrari.