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The Lonely Bears


Review by Gary Hill

The personnel on this album are Tony Hymas (Jeff Beck, Jack Bruce, Ian Anderson), Terry Bozzio (Bozzio, Levin, Stevens; Frank Zappa; UK), Hugh Burns (Gerry Rafferty, Steelers Wheel), and Tony Coe (Spencer Davis, Henry Mancini, Caravan). This is one of a series of reissues of Lonely Bears discs that were only, until now, available in Europe. It is one of the more melodic of the band's albums, and is quite an enjoyable listening experience.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: The Early Years Volume 1 at

Track by Track Review
March Past 29 145 749 B
A nice percussive groove starts this track off. The song quickly takes on some extremely likable textures, both quite jazzy and somewhat reminiscent of King Crimson. This is my favorite cut on this disc. I defy you to listen to this track without tapping your feet.
Quanah Parker
This is a great cut, playing out like a rather delightful jazz piece, yet somewhat in a Crimson vein. You will most likely find the central themes to this composition running around in your head long after you have finished listening to the disc.
Kill King Rat
This track is a fairly frantic song, somewhat calling to mind some of Frank Zappa's jazzier works, and features some rather Dimeolaish guitar work at times. It covers a lot of musical territory as it winds through many changes. At times, the saxophone work here seems rather in the vein of some of Nik Turners work in Hawkwind.
Nice traditional jazz tones of sax with very minor keyboard accompaniment begin this number. It is a wonderfully smooth jazz balladic sort of piece. The sax really dominates the piece for a time before a lovely piano solo takes over. The traditional jazz modes carry throughout the piece, especially after the sax returns.
Entre Le Tigre Et L' Euphrete...
A wonderfully mysterious prog extended keyboard intro gets this one going in fine fashion. As the rest of the band joins in, they build on the themes begun in that intro. The mode here is a great rather dark and mysterious progressive rock jam with solid jazz overtones. This piece has some of the coolest textures I have ever heard in any song. It meanders in some great jazz directions while still staying focused on those original themes. This is a great groove that gets quite spacey at times.
Dancing For the Elders
With a drum intro, this song quickly jumps into high gear as a fast paced jazzy prog jam with some definite ethnic elements. The drums really steal the show on this composition. There is a great off kilter sort of break in the track that becomes an all out prog jam in very classic styles. This one also gets a bit funky at times. It covers a tone of musical ground, considering that it it is under 5 minutes long.
Starting in relaxing, melodic modes, after a time the cut changes gear, becoming atmospheric and mysterious. This tone is the one that carries it, and the disc, to its conclusion.
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