Alternative Fox presents a reissue of Pete Brown & Piblokto!‘s “Thousands On A Raft”, originally released in 1970.
London-based poet Pete Brown made a name for himself after joining Mike Horovitz‘s New Departures art group in the early 1960s, leading to a residency at The Marquee and a 1965 appearance at the Royal Albert Hall. Brown began co-writing lyrics for Cream the following year after a request from drummer Ginger Baker, yielding tremendous hits such as “Sunshine of Your Love”, “White Room”, and “I Feel Free”. Following encouragement from keyboardist Graham Bond (in whose band Baker had been before Cream), Brown began fielding demo recordings, leading to a contact with EMI’s progressive imprint, Harvest, fronting the band Pete Brown And His Battered Ornaments with guitarist Chris Spedding. When internal tensions saw Brown ejected by the group, he formed Piblokto! with Scottish guitarist Jim Mullen, future Vinegar Joe and Gong drummer, Rob Tait, bassist Steve Glover, and keyboardist/saxophonist Dave Thompson, who would also later join Vinegar Joe.
“Thousands On A Raft”, the group’s debut album for Harvest, clocks in at the hard-rock and experimental jazz edge of prog, as heard on the extended instrumental interludes of “Highland Song” and “If They Could Only See Me Now”; in contrast, Brown’s poetic sensibilities drive esoteric numbers such as “Got A Letter From A Computer” and the closing title track.