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Record Collector article on Andy Roberts, HOME GROWN

Significant Moments...

Fans of Andy Roberts HOME GROWN album, released in the early 1970's, don't need reminding just how good this record is. The album contains some absolute gems, including Applecross, Moth & Lizards in Detroit, Queen of the Moonlight World and The One-Armed Boatman & the Giant Squid. However the Christmas 2004 edition of Record Collector, labelled the album one of the UK's Top-Twenty Neglected Brit-Folk Gems!
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Home Grown: RCA - the first album

Home Grown: B&C Records

HOME GROWN ... so good, they released it twice

 

' One of the UK's Top Twenty Neglected Brit-Folk Gems'

 

This article appears in the Christmas edition of
RECORD COLLECTOR

'Infinitely listenable and beautifully arranged, with excellent guitar work from Andy. A lovely, peaceful album.'

That was Disc's thumbs-up judgement on the by turns quicky and mesmerising, and strangely atmospheric, rough-hewn debut album from a fellow known at that time as a musical member of poerty/performance ensemble The Liverpool Scene. In fact, it was so good he made it twice…

The album, on which Andy was backed on some tracks by Mighty Baby, had been recorded under a production deal with folk-rock svengali Sandy Roberton. Initially, Sandy's productions appeared under license to RCA, but somewhere between 1970-71 his allegiance switched to B&C/Pegasus. Consequently, in June 1971, Andy found himself in a slightly embarrassing position of talking it up all over again:


 'For some reason I don't fully understand B&C have decided to re-release HOME GROWN,' he explained to Sounds. 'At least, I couldn't have understood it at all if they'd just re-released the album as it was, but we've remixed some and re-recorded some of it, and changed some of the tracks which didn't quite work the first time. So in effect this is an almost different album. It's certainly better than the original one and bears more relation to me as I am now - but it's still 18 months old, vintage Roberts. To confuse the issue still further, there's an album going to be released in the States which will also be called Home Grown because apparently they like the title, but that one will only have three tracks from the original album, and four or five totally new ones which haven't been released here yet…' AR

 

In between the two UK Home Grown releases, Andy - who had fingers in all sorts of overlapping artistic pies at that time (recording and performing with The Scaffold, Grimms, and Ian Matthews - with whom he would form Plainsong in 1972) - has endured a brief, ill-fated experience as a member of a band called Everyone. The band's van had crashed with one fatality and financial ruin, although an eponymous album - half of it written and fronted by Roberts - subsequently trickled out, to little fanfare, on Charisma. Having briefly considered quitting music altogether, his interest was revived by working on what would be released later in 1971, on Pegasus, as Nina and the Dreamtree - like Home Grown, a work with an atmosphere all its own though much more luxuriantly produced and yet still, today, an under-appreciated classic.
COLIN HARPER - RECORD COLLECTOR