Sweet Thursday (album)
|Studio album by Sweet Thursday|
|Label||Tetragrammaton Records (US 1969)
Great Western Gramophone (US 1973)
M.I.L. Multimedia (US 1998)
Sweet Thursday is the self-titled debut, and only, album by the late 1960s British rock band Sweet Thursday. Its chance of success was cut short by the almost-immediate failure of the record label.
The album was recorded at Trident Studios in London. It is notable for featuring keyboardist Nicky Hopkins (who worked with The Rolling Stones and The Who among many others) and Bluesbreakers alum Jon Mark (who would go on to form the group Mark-Almond). It was produced by Hugh Murphy, who later became known for his work with Gerry Rafferty. Recording and engineering was done by Barry Sheffield.
The album was originally released in the US in August 1969 on Tetragrammaton Records(catalogue T-112). (The band had signed with that label in November 1968, and the copyright on the label was from 1968.)
Radio commercials were used to promote the album and Tetragrammaton's other releases. However, by late 1969 Tetragrammaton was already headed for financial failure and bankruptcy (by legend, the same day the album was released).
Sweet Thursday's release history outside the US is less clear. It may have been originally released on Fontana Records in the UK. An initial European release in 1970 on Polydor (catalogue 2310051) appears to have been made, that featured an alternate album cover depicted a torn-off calendar page resting on a bed of leaves.
The album's style mixed typical mid- and late-1960s British rock elements such as R&B, blues, and psychedelia. The piano and organ based arrangements and slightly abstract lyric narratives also showed a pronounced debt to Bob Dylan's Blonde on Blonde. All but one of the album's songs were written by group members. Allmusic's Bruce Eder views "Rescue Me" as one of the better tracks, showing the influence that the group members had had, like many others in the British R&B scene, from playing in Zoot Money's Big Roll Band and the Cyril Davies All-Stars. Eder says that the band's songwriting is largely unmemorable, while Billboard magazine wrote in 1973 that the album "offers a strong mix of rock, ballads, and folky material, with strong vocals and instrumentals running throughout." In 1970, the St. Petersburg Times saw the group as "smooth" and the record worthy of inclusion in its "Unusual Albums" section.
The moody, evocative ten-minute track "Gilbert Street" was the album's centerpiece and generally acclaimed as its best track. Written by group friend Pat Gunning and named after a short side street in London's Mayfair area, the mid-tempo number, built around acoustic guitar and organ, describes a complex quest for a mysterious lady in blue. The fuzz guitar-laced refrain directs one to the Central line and the Bond Street tube station in order to reach this point. The song became a turntable hit when it was played on American progressive rock radio, such as by Scott Muni on WNEW-FM in New York.
Sweet Thursday never released another record.
The album was reissued on Great Western Gramophone – a joint venture label formed between Jerry Heller, a manager, and Clive Davis, an executive of Columbia Records – in the US in 1973 (catalogue KZ 32039). By now the album had attracted enough underground interest that the label took out a full page ad in Rolling Stone magazine to announce the re-release. During the second quarter of 1973, college radio stations such as WHUS-FM and WVOF in Connecticut, WVBU-FM in Pennsylvania, and WTUL-FM in New Orleans all reported adding the album to their playlists. Great Western also released "Jenny", backed with "Dealer", as a single from the album. Also in 1973, it was re-released for Line Records, a label in Germany (catalogue LLP 5044, 6.24350 AP).
Over the years the album, and others from Tetragrammaton, was subjected to vinyl bootlegging and CD releases of questionable legality. An April 1998 CD release from M.I.L. Multimedia became the first clearly legitimate one. The original Tetragrammaton LP has not been a big item on the collector's market, fetching only $20 by the mid-2000s. Some CD issues contain two bonus tracks, those being from the group's December 1968 Tetragrammaton single "Getting It Together" backed with "Mary on the Runaround", both composed by Jon Mark.
- Side One
- "Dealer" (Jon Mark) – 5:43
- "Jenny" (Mark) – 3:46
- "Laughed at Him" (Mark) – 5:10
- "Cobwebs" (Brian Odgers) – 3:23
- "Rescue Me" (Mark) – 3:41
- Side Two
- "Molly" (Odgers) – 3:04
- "Sweet Francesca" (Mark) – 3:57
- "Side of the Road" (Alun Davies) – 4:50
- "Gilbert Street" (Pat Gunning) – 10:22
- Alun Davies: Acoustic and electric guitars, vocals
- Jon Mark: Acoustic and electric guitars, vocals
- Nicky Hopkins: Keyboards, organ, piano
- Brian Odgers: Bass, woodwinds, flute
- Harvey Burns: Drums, percussion
- Allmusic.com review
- Sweet Thursday (Vinyl gatefold). Sweet Thursday. Tetragrammaton Records. 1969.
- "Sweet Thursday: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 4 April 2010.
- Cromer, Ben (12 June 1993). "Hugh Murphy Gets It Right With Gerry Raferty". Billboard. p. 66A.
- "Tetra Turning to Radio to Promote Its Albums". Billboard. 16 August 1969. p. 46.
- Neely, Tim, ed. (2005). Goldmine Record Album Price Guide. Iola, Wisconsin: KP Books. p. 568. ISBN 0-87341-375-X.
- "New Album Releases". Billboard. 6 September 1969. p. 94.
- "Signings". Billboard. 16 November 1968. p. 77.
- Callahan, Mike; Eyries, Patrice & Edwards, Dave (25 March 2008). "Tetragrammaton Album Discography". Both Sides Now Publications. Retrieved 3 April 2010.
- Eder, Bruce. "Deep Purple : Review". Allmusic. Retrieved 3 April 2010.
- George-Warren, Holly; Romanowski, Patricia; Pareles, Jon, eds. (2001). The Rolling stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll (3rd ed.). Fireside Books. p. 608. ISBN 0-7432-0120-5.
- Harris, Craig. "Alun Davies: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 10 April 2010. This Allmusic page states that Fontana went out of business at the time, but this is likely a confusion with the Tetragrammaton story, as Fontana persisted as a UK label into the mid-1970s.
- "Sweet Thursday". Rateyourmusic.com. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
- "LP Sweet Thursday – same – deutsche PROMO !!!" (in German). eBay. Archived from the original on 10 February 2013. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
- Eder, Bruce. "Sweet Thursday: Review". Allmusic. Retrieved 1 April 2010.
- Ober, Chick (26 February 1970). "'Paint Your Wagon' Hirt Style". St. Petersburg Times.
- "Pop Picks". Billboard. 24 March 1973.
- Heller, Jerry; Reavill, Gil (2007). Ruthless: A Memoir. Simon & Schuster. p. 245. ISBN 1-4169-1794-2.
- For 1973 as the Great Western reissue date, see Wall, C. Edward, ed. (1973). Media review digest, Part 2. Pierian Press. p. 281. ISBN 0-87650-059-9.; Coppage, Noel (August 1973). "[unknown]". Stereo Review. 31 (2).; and Kirsch, Bob (16 June 1973). "Hopkins Forsakes Studio for Solo". Billboard. p. 21. Allmusic seems to give the Great Western reissue date as 1971, but contemporaneous sources clearly indicate that is an error.
- Sutherland, Sam (7 April 1973). "What's Happening". Billboard. p. 31.
- Sutherland, Sam (14 April 1973). "What's Happening". Billboard. p. 27.
- Sutherland, Sam (2 June 1973). "What's Happening". Billboard. p. 30.
- "45 Sweet Thursday 'Jenny / Dealer' Radio Station Copy". eBay. Retrieved 4 April 2010.
- "Sweet Thursday – Sweet Thursday". Discogs.com. Retrieved 3 April 2010.