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July: July *

Album Reviews:

Uncut (p.101) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[A] charming period piece that virtually defines wistful English pop-psych; floaty songs with silly lyrics, politely enunciated vocals, exotic guitars, all awash with phasing and playful studio trickery."

Record Collector (magazine) (p.91) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[S]imply a classic of its era. Among its delights are the wonderfully trippy 'Move On Sweet Flower,' and 'The Way,' bolstered by sterliing sitar playing from lead singer/writer Tom Newman, and tabla from John Field."

Album Notes

July has come to be highly prized, mainly for the presence of "My Clown," which is considered to be one of the great psychedelic singles of all time. Tom Newman, who went on to glory as the engineer of choice for Mike Oldfield, handles the vocals for the majority of the album (the exception being Chris Jackson's "Crying Is for Writers"), as well as the majority of the songwriting. Tony Duhig, who later moved on to start Jade Warrior and Assagai, provides guitars and a strong sense of Indian music, although the greater part of his participation is via warbling and groaning guitars, and a fortunately blazing solo in the midst of the otherwise painful "Crying Is for Writers." Very good psychedelia, for the most part, but a bit dated in places and heavily influenced by much of the music coming from the direction of San Francisco at that time. The first six cuts are perhaps the most essential, going by the original vinyl release: "My Clown" and "Dandelion Seeds" are delightful, while "Jolly Mary" is simply good fun. [Originally released in 1968, July was reissued on an import-only Japanese CD in 2005. The 2008 CD reissue on Rev-Ola adds four bonus tracks, including the non-LP 1968 single "Hello, Who's There?" and the 45 versions of three songs from the album, "My Clown," "Dandelion Seeds," and "The Way." It also has lengthy historical liner notes from British psychedelia expert David Wells.] ~ Steven McDonald


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