Touch - Touch (1969)"Discovering a treasure long buried and finding with delight it was all that the rumors made it to be. That is how I would describe Touch. Over the years we have heard of its legend status, but it was only heard by a few of the members of the prog community. It turns out it is a heavy foundation to what prog became in the 70's.
In 1968 a group of musicians from the West Coast of the United States came together to record this shining example of what we now call symphonic prog rock. Yes, it immersed in the psychedelic sound and yes, has some extremely poppish moments but in the end you can't deny that you have heard prog rock. This album is NOT proto-prog it is prog.
The keyboards played by Don Gallucci are certainly on par with what Keith Emerson was doing with the Nice at the same time, some great organ sounds and piano. He uses a variety of organs to achieve different moods since that would be his only choice at the time. The arrangements are very symphonic especially when you consider the time.
I contend that when you listen to "Friendly Birds" you will hear the origins of Yes and Genesis. There are parts of "Alesha and Others" and "Seventy Five" where I swear it is Jon Anderson signing. (Part of this is borne out in the liner notes where it states members of Yes consider this an early influence). I hear Pink Floyd and Kansas in other parts. (Again Kerry Livgren states Touch and the song "Seventy Five" were a major influence on his writing). I can hear where Uriah Heep were influenced in the music.
If anyone out there cares about the origins of this great music we embrace you cannot ignore this CD. Having undergone a re-master process and re-released in 2003 by UK Eclectic records you now can experience this again.
It has been unburied and the legend of this CD has to come to light. This album was written and recorded in 1968 and released in early 1969 before In the Court of The Crimson King. Unlike Piper at the Gates of Dawn and Freak Out this music is very structured using classical and jazz influences as well as having some of trappings of the psychedelic bands of the time. In other words it sounds more like the music from the period of 1970-75 than the music that came before it. It was also written and recorded in Los Angeles, Ca not England.
The only reason this CD is not well known is because the group refused to tour and it faded quickly after a successful start in 1969 because the record company would no longer support it. It is too bad because there are a couple of live in the studio tracks in the bonus section which showed these fine musicians could have pulled it off on stage. If they had then this album would be the album everyone would point to.
Ignore it at your own peril when speaking of the beginnings of the genre. It is essential to everyone who listens to prog." (Garion81 progarchives.com)
1. We Feel Fine (4:41)
2. Friendly Birds (4:53)
3. Miss Teach (3:29)
4. The Spiritual Death Of Howard Greer (8:52)
5. Down At Circ's Place (4:00)
6. Alesha And Others (3:05)
7. Seventy Five (11:12)
8. We Finally Met Today (3:43)
9. Alesha And Others [alternative version] (3:17)
10. Blue Feeling (11:46)
11. The Spiritual Death Of Howard Greer [alternative version] (8:07)
12. The Second Coming Of Suzanne (12:17)
John Bordonaro - Drums
Don Gallucci - Keyboards
Bruce Hauser - Bass
Jeff Hawks - Vocals
Joey Newman - Guitars
OK then, see you later