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Few groups epitomised the spirit of the late 1960s and early 1970s like Principal Edwards Magic Theatre. A collective of musicians, dancers, poets and sound and lighting engineers, based around the music of Root Cartwright, the group produced one of rock’s first forays into multi-media presentation and found themselves championed by, and recording for, the great John Peel.

This set brings together both albums recorded for Dandelion Records – Soundtrack and The Asmoto Running Band – plus five recently unearthed BBC session tracks, unreleased demos and a fantastic live recording made at London’s Hampstead Theatre in September 1971. Together, those unreleased recordings shed new light on this most intriguing of groups, and point towards the direction a third Principal Edwards Magic Theatre album might have taken.

Recent years have seen a revival of interest in PEMT, including lengthy pieces in both Record Collector and Shindig! magazines. Their musical eclecticism, blending rock, folk and classical elements with wit and invention, warrant the consideration of all serious aficionados of such things.

DISC ONE:
SOUNDTRACK
1. ENIGMATIC INSOMNIAC MACHINE 2. SACRIFICE
3. THE DEATH OF DON QUIXOTE
4. THIRD SONNET TO SUNDRY NOTES OF MUSIC
5. TO A BROKEN GUITAR
6. PINKY: A MYSTERY CYCLE

BONUS TRACKS
7. BALLAD (OF THE BIG GIRL NOW AND THE MERE BOY)
8. LAMENT FOR THE EARTH

DISC TWO:
THE ASMOTO RUNNING BAND
1. MCALPINE’S DREAM
2. MCALPINE VERSUS THE ASMOTO
3. THE ASMOTO RUNNING BAND (HOU’AMIH)
4. ASMOTO CELEBRATION
5. FURTHER ASMOTO CELEBRATION (AFTER THE BALL)
6. TOTAL GLYCEROL ESTHER
7. FREEF (‘R) ALL
8. AUTUMN LADY DANCING SONG 9. THE KETTERING SONG
10. WEIRDSONG OF BREAKING THROUGH AT LAST

DISC THREE:
HIDDEN TREASURE: SESSIONS, LIVE AND DEMOS
1. THE BALLAD (OF THE BIG GIRL NOW AND THE MERE BOY) (TOP GEAR, 1969)
2. THIRD SONNET TO SUNDRY NOTES OF MUSIC (TOP GEAR, 1969)
3. PINKY: A MYSTERY CYCLE (TOP GEAR, 1969)
4. KING OF THE (TOP GEAR, 1970)* 5. THE FORTIETH DAY OF WINTER (TOP GEAR, 1970)*
6. VOLLABAST (LIVE AT HAMPSTEAD THEATRE)*
7. TWO WOMEN (LIVE AT HAMPSTEAD THEATRE)*
8. WEASEL (IN THE WARDROBE) (LIVE AT HAMPSTEAD THEATRE)*
9. SCARLET HALFMAN (LIVE AT HAMPSTEAD THEATRE)*
10. THE EGG AND THE ANTROBUS (LIVE AT HAMPSTEAD THEATRE)*
11. RAINY DAY ANNE (DEMO)*
12. DEAR JOHN & MARY (A STATE OF AFFAIRS) (DEMO)*
13. MINISTRY OF MADNESS (DEMO)*

ALL RECORDINGS PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
* SONGS PREVIOUSLY UNISSUED
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