Philamore Lincoln has always been something of a shadowy figure in the psych pop universe, even among hardcore collectors. His lone album, originally released by Epic in 1970, never saw a legitimate CD reissue until 2010, and he seemed to have been swallowed up by the earth shortly after its initial unveiling. Helping to make the legend more tantalizing over the years were the rumors of Yardbirds members' involvement, partly spurred by Yardbirds bassist Chris Dreja's photo credit, but as it turns out, Jimmy Page did indeed add some guitar to the sessions. Given its release date, The North Wind Blew South sounds like it could have been sitting on the shelf for a couple of years, as the wispy, Donovan-like psych pop that takes up much of the album feels more like 1968 than 1970. The album is heavily front-loaded, opening with the dreamy but majestic title track before moving into the bouncy, orchestral psych pop of "You're the One" (with some tasty Page licks) and the good-timey, Small Faces-like "Lazy Good for Nothin'." Despite the anomalous greasy rocker "County Jail Band," North Wind stays largely on the soft side of psych pop, with "Early Sherwood" sounding like a Sunshine Superman outtake and "Temma Harbour" (later a British hit for Mary Hopkin) even dipping into a mellow bossa nova feel. The album ends on a curious note with the somewhat throwaway-sounding brassy blues instrumental "Blew Through," but overall, Lincoln's gentle vocals and breezy delivery perfectly suit his songwriting (he penned every tune here himself) and producer James Wilder finds just the right arrangement for each track, making this a bit of a lost classic of the U.K. soft-psych world. ~ J. Allen
07004OPhilamore Lincoln - The North Wind Blew South (CD)http://oldies.s3.amazonaws.com/i/boxart/w340/91/81/5013929181120.jpg24.9831.14USDDiscontinuedGrapefruitCDPop-RockPhilamore-Lincoln2010-03-23
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