You can’t really judge a funny record until you’ve had it for a couple of months – so, a little belatedly, I’m overjoyed to report that after “The Laughing Policeman”, “Gorilla” is the funniest thing on record.

I’ve tried very hard, but I just can’t be bored with it. The one that always breaks me up on “Gorilla” is “Intro And Outro” – but they’re all gems.

And there’s even some serious (well, almost serious) music in the shape of “Music For The Head Ballet”, which illustrates that as well as fantastic comic creativity, The Bonzo’s are supremely good instrumentally too.

I can’t recommend this enough – so just go out and get it, immediately.

BOBBI LYNN – “Earthquake”
Stateside have put out a number of soul things this week, the one by new girl Bobbi Lynn being the best of a good bunch.

She sounds like a cross between Lulu and the incredibly lovely Diana Ross – what more could anybody wish for? There’s a driving, stomping beat with a great arrangement featuring piano that’s one minute crashing out with full round chords and the next minute cool and witty.

The song itself isn’t so very different from a lot of Detroit products – Earthquake, Heat Wave, what’s the odds – it’s the fantastic vocal performance by Bobbi and the overall production that sets the single out of the ordinary.

TIM BUCKLEY – “Once I Was”
Tim’s a very big name in America, and dramatically growing in popularity here. “Once I Was” might well be the one to get him into the charts – beautiful ringing guitar chords, melancholy mouth-organ – and his delicate, high-pitched voice rising above it all, sometimes breaking out in powerful outbursts.

This is a fine song written by him, from which Tim gets every possible ounce of feeling – with a lot of credit to recording director Jerry Yester.

Every sound fits perfectly into place, with an easy, rolling backing hand-in-hand with lyrics of loneliness and despair. It really is amazing how the Elektra label never fail to come up with mind-blowing sounds.

You might call Canned Heat the American answer to John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers – they are all dedicated to the blues and really know what they’re on about. Great, exciting music results from their re-working of a number of old blues classics, including such world-beaters as “Dust My Broom”, “Help Me” and “Goin’ Down Slow”.

The don’t just copy the masters, either – Canned Heat aren’t afraid to branch out into their own personal interpretations while still respecting the old tradition.

Instrumentally very nice all through, but I have one or two doubts about the singing, which doesn’t really have the strength to drive the message home, but the guitar work more or less makes up for that.

All in all, a very good record, and a must for blues addicts.

TOM RUSH – “No Regrets”
Following his highly-successful recent visit to our green and pleasant land, behold a terrific new single by hero Tom Rush. “No Regrets” was written by Tom – no connection with the Edith Piaf classic – but this sad, personal masterpiece gets over similar emotions with at least as much effect.

Piaf fans savage Intro’s record reviewer – but this Tom Rush record has class that would stand out in any company. Tom’s deep, mournful voice blending with his twelve-string guitar sweeps over and through you, with sensitive piano and lonely flute all building up the atmosphere set by the lyrics.

Quite an overwhelming experience listening to it – a true blue beauty.

These wonderful American groups that nobody here has ever heard of keep on cropping up. Here’s another one to add to the collection – H.P. Lovecraft, named after an author who used to write science fiction stories about the earth being taken over by alien beings.

They’re a group out of the same mould as Country Joe and the Fish, The Doors, The Jefferson Airplane and all the rest, making thoughtful, stimulating music.

I was particularly struck by the unusual arrangements and the beautiful harmony singing – lots of good strong voices and lots of great ideas to use them. And the sleeve is a work of art on its own!

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