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Published on Feb 11, 2012
From RYM: " Accolade's one of those short-lived late-'60s/early-'70s English bands that attempted to expand musical boundaries, mixing traditional English folk with some rock influences. In one respect the band (bassist Eden Abba, woodwind player Brian Cresswell, singer/guitarist Gordon Giltrap, drummer Ian Hoyle and guitarist Don Partridge) was quite different from many of their contemporaries - namely they were brimming with talent. Prior to their collaboration in Accolade, both Giltrap and Partridge had enjoyed some solo recognition. Giltrap had released a pair of critically praised solo albums, while Partridge (who was actually working as a street musician (what the English term a busker)), enjoyed a fluke UK hit with the song "Rosie"). Unfortunately, Accolade's pastoral stylings guaranteed instant obscurity in the States. In fact, it's somewhat of a mystery how they even got their 1968 debut released by Capitol (a label hardly renown for its willingness to take a chance on cutting edge sounds).
Produced by Don Paul, 1969's cleverly-titled "Accolade" is hard to accurately describe. Recorded with former Artwoods bassist Malcolm Pool replacing Abba, the collection exhibits a smooth and calming sound throughout. Largely acoustic (though you don't really realize it), material such as "Maiden Flight Eliza" (featuring some weird Mamas and Papas-styled harmonies - we're not kidding), "Prelude To a Dawn" and "Never Ending Solitude" wasn't exactly mainstream rock, nor did it fall under the banner of Fairport Convention-styled English folk. Imagine well crafted cocktail jazz with the addition of a touch of English folk ("Ulyssees") and you'll get a feel for the LP. While that doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement, the result is actually a fascinating album that we repeatedly come back to. Our favorite tracks? Abba's only contribution, the bluesy "Nature Boy" and the surprisingly hard rocking "Gospel Song".