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Audience

Audience

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Album Review

It feels completely weird to regard Audience's self-titled 1969 debut album as an "art rock" album, or even stranger, "prog rock." Yet, along with In the Court of the Crimson King (the first album by King Crimson) and early Yes efforts, it is exactly that, despite the fact that it is far more rockist and basic. But vocalist and guitarist Howard Werth wanted to be as far away as possible from the band's previous incarnation as the Lloyd Alexander Blues Band. So, along with reed and woodwind man Keith Gemmell, drummer Tony Connor, and bassist Trevor Williams — yes, that one — the band put their flutes and arty lyrics about poets and meadows first and got right to it. There is no psychedelia on these sides, though there is a certain amount of flower power in the laughable words. Audience were in the process of self-discovery here, and they fail as often as they succeed. Cuts like "Waverley Stage Coach" and "Harlequin" borrow wonderfully from the heaviness and imagery of the Move's best sides, while "Poet," "Pleasant Convalescene," and "River Boat Queen" are pure twee twaddle.

Biography

Formed: London, England

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '00s

British art-rock unit Audience was formed in London in 1969 by singer/guitarist Howard Werth, saxophonist Keith Gemmell, bassist Trevor Williams, and percussionist Tony Connor. Set apart from their contemporaries thanks to their use of acoustic guitar and saxophone, the group issued their self-titled debut LP in 1969; although the album was a commercial failure, Audience soon landed with Charisma Records, teaming with producer Gus Dudgeon to record the 1970 follow-up Friend's Friend's Friend. House...
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Audience, Audience
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Contemporaries