A great 'lost' album from the 1960s - we've heard that claim before - but this time it really was an essential and groundbreaking album that got 'lost'. Through replacing the Beatles at the Star Club, Hamburg and after a request to Paul McCartney, Roger Bunn recorded some demos at the Beatles office in London in 1968 and somehow the tapes were sent to Philips Records in Amsterdam. Dutch producer Frans Peters teamed Roger up with arranger Ruud Bos and some fine classical and jazz musicians to record in Holland.
All the album songs - including music and lyrics by Roger and John Mackie - were very original and far ahead of anything that was happening in the UK and USA at the time. Remember that in those prehistoric pre-Euromusic days there was little co-operation between countries for projects of this sort. This LP was one of a kind and that's probably the reason the album got lost. Deals were struck for it to be released in Germany and the UK - but both were on labels that gave Piece of Mind minimal or no promotion.
We have added seven demos and studio recordings to the set, among them Roger's predictive vision of "In The Future" and the cynical "You and I" which tell of a world of never ending wars and home computers. And "Life Is A Circus", a classic song of its time - recorded - and only released in 2019 - by David Bowie.
Roger tells his own story in the 36-page booklet which includes tales of the musicians he worked with and for in his struggles against the machinations of the powerful big labels and reward organisations of the record industry - both then and now. Piece of Mind is a difficult album to put in a musical bag, with its fusions of jazz, blues and rock - and it is easily seen why Roger's music influences others rather than allows itself to be influenced by anyone. But if you liked the 'Top Gear' sounds of the late 60s and had thoughts of travelling East to Afghanistan along with Roger on the Hippy Trail, you'll like it. And as you take the Coltrane/McCoy Tyneresque "Road To The Sun" you'll wonder why this album never got to be one of John Peel's fave raves....
A neat review here:
TRACK LISTING: Road To The Sun; Jac Mool; Fantasy In Fiction; Jac Mool (slight return); Crystal Tunnel, Three White Horses; Catatonia; Suffering Wheel; Guido The Magician; Powis Square Child; Old Maid Prudence; Humble Chortle; Jason's Ennui; 110 degrees East + 107 degrees North; Previously unreleased: A Weekend In Mandraxia; Life is a Circus; Falling Ships; In the Future; Lin-da's Jukebox; You and I; In love with you babe; Up for Grabs