Third Ear Band

Genres: Pop / Rock
Decades: 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
Links: discogs other databases wikidata wikipedia


Described by founder Glenn Sweeney as ‘electric-acid-raga’, the music of the UK-based Third Ear Band employed the drone-like figures and improvisatory techniques beloved by fellow pioneers the Soft Machine and Terry Riley. However, the esoteric, almost preternatural sweep of their work gave the band its originality as they studiously invoked an aura of ley-lines, druids and cosmology. Sweeney (drums, percussion) had been part of London’s free-jazz circle prior to forming two avant garde ensembles, the Sun Trolly and the Hydrogen Juke-Box. Paul Minns (oboe, recorder), Richard Coff (violin) and cellist Mel Davis completed the line-up on the Third Ear Band’s 1969 debut, Alchemy. The band found the hazy summers of the late 60s an ideal setting for their always original ideas. They were the ideal act to open an open air festival, setting the tone for whatever progressive rock band would follow.

Ursula Smith replaced Davis on...

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