10 Songs, 33 Minutes

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About Accent

The Accent, consisting of Rick Birkett (guitar), John Hebron (vocals, guitar), Alan Davies (bass), and Pete Beetham (drums), originally hailed from Yorkshire, where they formed as the Blue Blood Group. A change of name presaged a change of locale to London, where they began making a serious name for themselves with their hard attack on their instruments and a heavy psychedelic sound, which secured them a residency at the Upper Cut Club. They came to the attention of Mike Vernon, who produced their one attempt at a single, "Red Sky at Night," on English Decca Records' Deram Records imprint. An eerie track with a heavy rhythm section, strange echo effects, and a melody that anticipates the tune behind Emerson, Lake & Palmer's "A Time and a Place" from Tarkus, "Red Sky at Night" came out something like what a Doors cover of "Tomorrow Never Knows" might've sounded like. The record never charted, alas, and the Accent disappeared, though guitarist Rick Birkett later recorded on Vernon's Blue Horizon label under the name Rick Hayward and was a member of the Zombies and Jellybread. "Red Sky at Night" has re-appeared on The Psychedelic Scene and older collections, such as Chocolate Soup for Diabetics, and its B-side "Wind of Change" has been anthologized somewhat less often. ~ Bruce Eder

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