A triple header of music from this legendary group – two albums, and a bonus disc
of rare material too! First up is the group's self-titled set – one that also goes under the name of Soundtrack – a record that's a bit folksy, a bit psychedelic, and certainly trippy and theatrical enough to get the attention of even the most jaded popster in the 60s – Principal Edwards Magic
Theatre were a completely unique group who had the extra benefit of strong early support from legendary BBC DJ John Peel, who produced the album for his own Dandelion label! There's a sound here that's eerie and almost ancient at times – that post-hippie sensitivity to the past, often expressed here with folksy instrumentation and poetic themes, but never in a mode that's too dippy or silly. At some level, a few of these tunes have the same fragile folksy mode as the Bridget St John records on Dandelion – but overall, the sound is much looser, freer, and more collaborative. Titles include "Enigmatic Insomniac Machine", "Third Sonnet To Sundry Notes Of Music", "To A Broken Guitar", and "Death of Don Quixote". Next is The Asmoto Running Band – the second album from Principal Edwards Magic
Theatre – and arguably even better than the first, thanks to some really focused production from Nick Mason! The sound here has more of the building elements of psychedelia you'd expect from Mason's history with Pink Floyd – and a bit less of the flowery looseness of Principal Edwards' debut – and the new focus is a really welcome addition, as it helps the group find a new level of power in their music they might never have attained! There's still plenty of folksy instrumentation and trippy themes in the tunes – but the guitars are more electric, the studio tricks more dynamic, and the overall record is a much more pleasing bit of ear candy that stands up well to the test of time. Titles include "Freef", "Total Glycerol Esther", "Mc Alpine's Dream", and "Asmoto Running Band". CD 3 features a huge amount of unreleased material – including some BBC Top Gear sessions, some Live At Hampstead tracks, and demos – plus the bonus tracks "Lament For The Earth" and "Ballad Of The Big Girl Now & The Mere Boy".