The sleeve notes for Eye’s Of Blue’s Crossroads Of Time opens with a bit of an odd one “Sometimes a band can anticipate history to their own detriment. There is such a thing of being too far ahead of the game and finding everyone else is still playing by the old school rules…The story of Welsh band Eyes of Blue is such a case in point”.

eyes_of_blue_crossroads_of_timeCrossroads of Time was first released back in 1969 but this is a new, expanded and remastered version out on Esoteric Recordings.

Originally formed in 1966 Eyes Of Blue won Melody Maker’s “Beat Contest” the same year and signed to Decca’s Deram label, which the band claim was not as much of an opportunity as it may have seemed with Deram wanting to turn them into “a bubblegum act” and after the 1967 single “Supermarket Full Of Cans” was released they parted company.

The band say they were essentially a soul act playing with groups like The Who, The Small Faces and Steampacket xith Rod Stewart…but then they heard the doors which “ changed everything”. Around this time they caught the attention of Lou Reizner who was working for the A&R department of Mercury records and so they signed to the label via a licensing deal.

Crossroads Of Time was recorded at Olympic Studios in London between March and July 1968 and finally released in 1969.  It’s mix of original tunes and covers (7 +7 Is (Love) and Yesterday (The Beatles)) with the songs Love Is The Law and Crossroads Of Time being penned by Graham Bond (Graham Bond Organisation) who with the band had formed a close relationship.

As the opening sleeve note quote suggests, the album is “progressive” before prog’ became huge…the band cites the Yes coming to their gigs, standing at the back and taking notes. The album is a mix of rock, a smattering of West Coast influence with classical feel thrown in for good measure.

It was a sales flop! But don’t let that put you off getting yourself a copy of this album, there’s lots on here to commend and whilst musically it feels a bit confused, falling as it does between the bands soul roots and melodic rock, it’s a record that is relevant and enjoyable and, perhaps more importantly, it paved the way for the much more proggy In Fields Of Ardeth.

Stuart Smith

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