Stackridge (album)

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Stackridge
Studio album by Stackridge
Released August 6, 1971 (U.K.)
Recorded March – April 1971
Genre Progressive rock, power pop, folk
Length 50:34
Label MCA Records,
Decca Records,
Demon Records (CD-reissue),
Angel Air,
(CD-reissue)
Producer Fritz Freyer
Stackridge chronology
Stackridge
(1971)
Friendliness
(1972)

Stackridge is the 1971 debut album by the English group Stackridge. It was one of the first releases on the MCA Records label in the U.K. It first appeared on CD in 1997 released by Demon Records in the U.K. In 2006 it was re-issued again by Angel Air.

The Stackridge style is rather hard to categorize. According to the liner notes of the Demon Records CD the group claimed a wide range of influences including The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Frank Zappa, Syd Barrett, Robin Williamson, The Marx Brothers, Flanders and Swan, Bing Crosby, Tom Lehrer, Gilbert & Sullivan, Frederick Delius, J.S. Bach and Igor Stravinsky. This may be about as good a description of their style as one is likely to find.

The album has an unusual combination of styles from acoustic folk ("Percy The Penguin"), classically-influenced progressive rock ("Essence of Porphyry"), Beatlesque power-pop ("Grande Piano", "Marigold Conjunction") and country style folk-rock (Dora the Female Explorer). The album contains the original version of "Slark" which was later re-recorded in a much shorter version for a single. "Slark" was the highlight of many concerts, combining folk and progressive rock elements to create the first Stackridge epic.

"Dora the Female Explorer" was the only single released from the album and sounds like it must have been the inspiration for the children's television show Dora the Explorer. The real reason for the similarity in title is not fully known. Lyricists Andy Cresswell-Davis and James Warren had hoped to adapt six of the album's songs into a cartoon-book for children but, unfortunately, the project was never completed.

The album was recorded on 16-track equipment at De Lane Lea Studios, London, between March and April 1971 with recording engineer Martin Birch. It was produced by Fritz Freyer. Deep Purple were in the studio next door working on their album Fireball.

On some versions of the album, such as the U.S. edition released by Decca Records (DL-75317), the title of the song "32 West Mall" was shortened to "West Mall." Decca had also changed the titles of songs by other British artists, such as The Who, for U.S. release.

Track listing[edit]

Side One

  1. Grande Piano 3:21 (Davis/Warren)
  2. Percy The Penguin 3:40 (Davis/Warren)
  3. The Three Legged Table 6:47 (Warren)
  4. Dora the Female Explorer 3:45 (Stackridge)
  5. Essence of Porphyry 8:04 (Warren)

Side Two

  1. Marigold Conjunction 4:58 (Warren)
  2. 32 West Mall 2:25 (Davis/Warren)
  3. Marzo Plod 3:05 (Warren)
  4. Slark 14:07 (Walter/Davis)

The 2006 re-issue on Angel Air includes these bonus tracks

  1. Let There Be Lids
  2. Slark (single version)

Personnel[edit]

  • Andy Cresswell-Davis - lead vocals, backing vocal, lead guitar, acoustic guitar, piano and harmonium
  • James Warren - lead vocals, backing vocals, bass guitar, acoustic bass guitar and acoustic guitar
  • Michael Evans - violin and backing vocals
  • Michael "Mutter" Slater - flute and backing vocals
  • Billy "Sparkle" Bent - drums and triangle

Other credits[edit]