Thursday, August 06, 2009

Pearls Before Swine : Balaklava 1968

Pearls Before Swine was an American psychedelic folk band formed by Tom Rapp in 1965 in Eau Gallie, now part of Melbourne, Florida. They released six albums between 1967 and 1971, before Rapp launched a solo career.

With high school friends Wayne Harley (banjo, mandolin), Lane Lederer (bass, guitar) and Roger Crissinger (piano, organ), Rapp wrote and recorded some songs which, inspired by the Fugs, they sent to the avant-garde ESP-Disk label in New York. The group took its name from a Bible passage: "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine..." (Mat. 7:6, KJV), meaning: do not give things of value to those who will not understand or appreciate it. They were quickly signed up, and recorded One Nation Underground (1967), featuring songs of mysticism, protest, melancholia, and some controversy in the case of “Miss Morse”, which spelled out an obscenity in code. The album eventually sold some 200,000 copies, although management and contractual problems meant that the band received little reward for its success. Being such a small label, the success of "One Nation Underground" prompted a number of cover variations.

The more mysterious-sounding and strongly anti-war Balaklava (1968) followed, inspired by the Charge of the Light Brigade. Rapp has said "The first two albums are probably considered the druggiest, and I had never done any drugs at that point. I smoked Winston cigarettes at that time, so these are all Winston-induced hallucinations." The album covers featured paintings by Bosch and Brueghel. The records themselves included interpretations of the writings of Tolkien and Herodotus as well as archive recordings from the 1890s, with innovatively arranged songs using an eclectic variety of instruments.


1. Trumpeter Landfrey 0:35
2. Translucent Carriages 4:00 (Herodotus/Harley/Rapp)
3. Images of April 2:44 (Rapp)
4. There Was a Man 2:59 (Rapp)
5. I Saw the World 3:28 (Rapp)
6. Guardian Angels 3:02 (Rapp)
7. Suzanne 5:01 (Cohen)
8. Lepers And Roses 5:23 (Rapp)
9. Florence Nightingale 0:17
10. Ring Thing 2:20 (Tolkien/Rapp)

The track No 6 was recorded in Guadalope , Mexico in 1929 on 78 r.p.m equipment and reprocessed for stereo

Tom Rapp – guitar, vocals, breathing
Jim Bohannon – organ, piano, clavinette, marimba
Wayne Harley – banjo, harmony
Lane Lederer – bass, guitar, swinehorn

Guest artists :
Joe Farrell – flute, English horn (tracks 3, 7)
Lee Crabtree – piano, organ, flute (tracks 5, 8)
Bill Salter – bass (tracks 5, 7, 8, 10)
Al Shackman – guitar (track 8)
Warren Smith – string arrangements (track 5)
Selwart Clarke – string arrangements (track 6)

By Tom Rapp

The translucent carriages
Drawing morning in
Dawn inside their pockets
Like a whisper on the wind

Every time I see you passing by
I have to wonder why ?

The soft touch of your words
Has been betrayed like love grown old
Or the silhouettes of children
Crying somewhere in the cold

Every time I see you passing by
I have to wonder why ?

The ancient night is coming back
The light is fading out
The tree is hid in shadow
In a fog of useless doubt

Go away go away
The imperative is drawn
All your symbols are shattered
All your sacred words are gone

The caravans are leaving
For the dawn of nothing
Lepers carry roses
To Jerusalem

In peace
Sons bury their fathers
In war
Fathers bury their sons

Love is silent
At the edge of the universe
To come in

Jesus raised the dead
But who
Will raise the living

Every time I see you passing by
I have to wonder why

Size : 74 MB
Format : Red Coloured Vinyl LP
Made in : Firenze - Italy
Year : 1968
Label : Abraxas/Esp - Disk
Bitrate 320

Take it HERE

1 comment: