Spring – Same (1971)

FrontCover1OK, so SPRING wouldn’t be what you call a complex prog rock band. They were a song- oriented prog-band that’s not too far off from the MOODY BLUES. But for those wanting more Mellotron, you can’t go wrong with this album, as three guys are credited to playing it (vocalist Pat Moran, guitarist Ray Martinez, and keyboardist Kips Brown). The rest of the band consisted of bassist Adrian “Bone” Maloney and drummer Pique Withers, yes the same Pique Withers who became a member of DIRE STRAITS (who then went by Pick Withers). All the hype of three Mellotrons are true, according to the CD reissue I have (the long-out-of-print US reissue by The Laser’s Edge) claims that the only overdubbing was acoustic guitar. “The Prisoner”, “Grail”, “Shipwreck Soldier”, “Golden Fleece” and “Gazing” are all prime example of early, Mellotron-heavy prog. “Boats” is an acoustic piece that’s more folk-like, while “Song to Absent Friends (The Island)” is a piano-oriented ballad that bears more than a passing resemblance to what Elton John was doing at the time (the Spring album was produced by manager Gus Dudgeon who also produced and managed Elton John).

SpringCertainly this album has its detractors. The pace seems the same throughout, and Pat Moran’s singing is an acquired taste. But I don’t care if the music doesn’t have the complexity of GENTLE GIANT (or the Swiss prog band ISLAND with their 1977 album “Pictures”) to make great music, as SPRING proves that. The old LP was released on RCA/Neon, with the triple gatefold (like YES’ “Going For the One”), and has became quite a collector’s item. It’s great that the Laser’s Edge, and later Repertoire in Germany had reissued this gem. Both reissues also contain three bonus cuts from a never completed second album from ’72. Those songs were “Fool’s Gold”, “Hendre Mews” and “A Word Full of Whispers”. At this point, the band dropped the Mellotron altogether, and let the Hammond organ dominate. Bassist Adrian “Bone” Maloney also left, replaced by Peter Decindis. These three songs are nowhere as bad as many claim they are. They make perfectly fine early organ-driven prog. Great album for those who like the not so complex early British prog. (by  proghead)

Kips Brown (keyboards)
Adrian ‘Bone’ Maloney (bass)
Ray Martinez (guitar, mellontron)
Pat Moran (vocals, mellotron)
Pick Withers (drums, glockenspiel)

01. The Prisoner (Eight By Ten) 5.35
02. Grails 6.45
03. Boats 2.00
04. Shipwrecked Soldier 5.24
05. Golden Fleece 7.00
06. Inside Out 4.49
07. Song To Absent Friends (The Island) 2.47
08. Gazing 5.54
09. Fool’s Gold 6.29
10. Hendre Mews 7.11
11. A Word Full Of Whispers 3.56

All songs written by Spring