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Anonymous - Inside The Shadow (us 1976)
The songs on 1976's Inside the Shadow, built around Marsha Rollings' lovely voice and Ron Matelic's heavily Byrds-influenced guitar (the ultra-jangly "Pick Up and Run" could be an outtake from 5D), are an impressive lot, with a stronger sense of melody and structure than the aimless jamming that typifies so many psychedelic albums.
Matelic's songs are determinedly on the poppy end of psychedelia, with catchy choruses, soaring harmonies, and plenty of hooky instrumental riffs to keep the listener's attention. Even the nine-minute "Baby Come Risin'," with its extended jam middle section, sounds more composed than one would expect.
No Longer Anonymous was recorded in 1977 by a revised lineup of the band -- Rollings, unfortunately, is gone, and the new version of Inside the Shadow's high point "We Got More" shows how much she's missed -- and originally released under the name J. Rider. Matelic's liner notes claim that this album was originally intended as a demo tape of the group's most commercial songs.
Indeed, this is a more determinedly rock-oriented affair. Despite the reissue's flaws, this CD is the best (not to mention least expensive) way to hear these two largely unknown but eminently worthwhile albums.
by Stewart Mason
RON MATELIC vcls, gtr A
JOHN MEDVESCEK drms A
MARSHA ROLLINGS vcls A
GLENN WEAVER vcls, gtr, bs A
A1. Who's Been Foolin'? (3:18)
A2. J Rider (4:35)
A3. Up to You (3:23)
A4. Shadow Lay (6:10)
B1. Pick Up and Run (5:09)
B2. We Got More (5:16)
B3. Sweet Lilac (4:29)
B4. Baby Come Risin' (9:24)
came in a blue and white cover, black and white label, with insert. 500 copies were pressed.
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