Re: Malone Dies,a diary.
Long before the American grunge phenomenon, the UK version of Nirvana were an entirely different beast. The songwriting team of Patrick Campbell-Lyons and Alex Spyropoulos were more concerned with the lighter side of 60's psychedelia. Released in 1967, 'The Story Of Simon Simpoath' lays claim to being the world's first concept album, pre-dating The Pretty Things' 'S.F. Sorrow' and The Who's 'Tommy'. It traces the story from life to death of the titular hero via a series of short songs which are similar in tone and innocence to the work of Mark Wirtz. Although never reaching any degree of classic status, most of the songs are strong enough to cater for Lyons' somewhat plummy vocals and the saccharine sentiments. Indeed, 'I Never Had A Love Like This Before' and 'The Courtyard Of The Stars' in particular, hold a defiant and tuneful flower up to the aggression of the concept albums which would subsequently follow. The orchestral skills of the band are also there to be heard on the well constructed 'Wings Of Love' and 'Pentecost Hotel'. This reissue includes the whole album in both stereo and mono mixes and throws in some fine bonus tracks which will doubtless persuade older fans into flying back in time once more.