A great 2CD package – featuring both Vertigo Records albums from Cressida – back to back in a single set, with bonus tracks too! While decidedly more rock-oriented than some of their progressive contemporaries in the UK jazz rock scene, Cressida still had a great approach to rock that used a lot of jazz-based chords and rhythms, in the manner that was being explored by other bands at the time – like Colosseum or Nucleus. On the self-titled Cressida album, the general instrumental mix features hard drums, organ, and guitars – plus vocals that are very much in a Moody Blues tradition, but which seem to have more of an early King Crimson approach to lyrics, touched by some of the Nick Drake
chord progressions on guitar. A hard one to pin down, but surprisingly enjoyable today – and the kind of record that lives way way past its noodly progressive roots! Titles include "Lights IN My Mind", "The Only Earthman In Town", "To Play Your Little Game", "Time For Bed", and "Down Down". Asylum has an even fuller, more ambitious feel than the first album – and the lineup is expanded slightly to make some great room for the legendary Harold McNair on flute! Tracks are bold and focused – with great lead vocals from Angus Cullen, who sometimes sings in a jazzy mode – but other times comes off with a raspy, heartfelt quality – and there's almost a Moody Blues-esque sense of mysticism going on with some of the best tracks. Titles include "Munich", "Asylum", "Goodbye Post Office Tower Goodbye", "Let Them Come When They Will", "Summer Weekend Of A Lifetime", and "Survivor". 2CD set also featuers unreleased demos for "Lights In My Mind" and "Mental State", the unreleased "Situation", and BBC Session versions of "Depression" and "Winter Is Coming Again".