Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Source: Japan 24-Bit Remaster
The Story Of Simon Simopath is Nirvana's debut album released by Island Records in 1967. It traces the story from life to death of the titular hero via a series of short songs which are similar in tone and innocence to the work of Mark Wirtz.
The certain level of 'obscurity' that the album has, makes it a classic for most fans. It was very highly acclaimed by critics making it one of the most important albums released in the psychedelic genre of the UK. Some people compare some of the arrangements to those in "Sgt. Pepper's", while others simply put it in a category all by itself because of the complex orchestrations.
The story deals with a boy named Simon Simopath who dreams of having wings. He is unpopular at school, and after reaching adulthood (in 1999) goes to work in an office in front of a computer. He suffers a nervous breakdown and is unable to find help in a mental institution, but gets aboard a rocket and meets a centaur who will be his friend and a tiny goddess named Magdalena, who works at Pentecost Hotel. Simon and Magdalena fall in love and get married, followed by a jazzy party.
"Pentecost Hotel" was released as a single with the non-album B-side, "Feelin' Shattered'." "Wings of Love" was the next single, also with a non-album B-side, "Requiem to John Coltrane." "Girl in the Park," from the second album All of Us featured the B-side, "C Side In Ocho Rios," which is an instrumental version of "In the Courtyard of the Stars."
Nirvana were a United Kingdom-based progressive rock band active in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Though the band only achieved limited commercial success, they were acclaimed both by music industry professionals and critics. In 1985 the band reformed.
Nirvana was created as the performing arm of the London-based songwriting partnership of Irish musician Patrick Campbell-Lyons and Greek composer Alex Spyropoulos. On their recordings Campbell-Lyons and Spyropoulos supplied all the vocals. The instrumental work was primarily undertaken by top session musicians and orchestral musicians - with Campbell-Lyons providing a little guitar and Spyropoulos contributing some keyboards.
Musically, Campbell-Lyons and Spyropoulos blended myriad musical styles including rock, pop, folk, jazz, Latin rhythms and classical music, primarily augmented by baroque chamber-style arrangements to create a unique entity.
In October 1967, they released their first album: a concept album produced by Blackwell titled The Story of Simon Simopath. The album was arguably the first narrative concept album ever released, predating story-driven concept albums such as The Pretty Things' S.F. Sorrow (December 1968), The Who's Tommy (April 1969) and The Kinks' Arthur (September 1969).
Island Records launched Nirvana's first album "with a live show at the Saville Theatre, sharing a bill with fellow label acts Traffic, Spooky Tooth, and Jackie Edwards."
Unable to perform their songs live as a duo and with the impending release of their first album, Campbell-Lyons and Spyropoulos decided to create a live performing ensemble and they recruited four musicians to enable them to undertake concerts and TV appearances. Though hired to be part of the live performance group rather than as band members, these four musicians were also included in the photograph alongside the core duo on the album cover of their first album to assist in projecting an image of a group rather than a duo. However they were not core founding members of the group and within a few months Nirvana had reverted to its original two-person lineup. The four musicians who augmented Campbell-Lyons and Spyropoulos on their live appearances and TV shows for those few months were Ray Singer (guitar), Brian Henderson (bass), Sylvia A. Schuster (cello) and Michael Cole (French horn, viola).
The band appeared on French television with Salvador Dalí, who splashed black paint on them during a performance of their second single "Rainbow Chaser." Campbell-Lyons kept the jacket, but regrets that Dalí did not sign any of their paint-splashed clothes. Island Records allegedly sent the artist an invoice for the cleaning of Schuster's cello.
Following the minor chart success of "Rainbow Chaser", "live appearances became increasingly rare" and the songwriting duo at the core of Nirvana "decided to disband the sextet" and to rely on session musicians for future recordings. Spyropoulos cited Schuster's departure due to pregnancy as the instigator for the band returning to its core membership. Schuster later became principal cellist of the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
In 1968, the duo recorded their second album, All Of Us, which featured a similar broad range of musical styles as their first album.
Their third album, Black Flower, was rejected by Blackwell, comparing it disparagingly to Francis Lai's A Man and a Woman. Under the title, To Markos III (supposedly named for a "rich uncle" of Spyropoulos who helped finance the album), it was released in the UK on the Pye label in May 1970, though reportedly only 250 copies were pressed it was deleted shortly after. One track, "Christopher Lucifer," was a jibe at Blackwell.
In 1971 the duo amicably separated, with Campbell-Lyons the primary contributor to the next two Nirvana albums, Local Anaesthetic 1971, and Songs Of Love And Praise 1972, the latter featuring the return of Sylvia Schuster. Campbell-Lyons subsequently worked as a solo artist and issued further albums: Me And My Friend, 1973, Electric Plough, 1981, and The Hero I Might Have Been, 1983, though these did not enjoy commercial success.
01."Wings of Love" – 3:20
02."Lonely Boy" – 2:31
03."We Can Help You" – 1:57
04."Satellite Jockey" – 2:35
05."In the Courtyard of the Stars" – 2:36
06."You Are Just the One" – 2:07
07."Pentecost Hotel" – 3:06
08."I Never Found a Love Like This" – 2:50
09."Take This Hand" – 2:17
10."1999" – 2:09
21. "I Believe in Magic" (B-side to "Tiny Goddess")
22. "Life Ain't Easy" (previously unreleased version)
23. "Feelin' Shattered" (B-side to "Pentecost Hotel")
24. "Requiem to John Coltrane" (B-side to "Wings of Love")
All songs composed by Patrick Campbell-Lyons and Alex Spyropoulos