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Comus : Song to Comus Import


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Audio CD, Import, July 5, 2005
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 5, 2005)
  • Original Release Date: 2005
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Castle Music UK
  • ASIN: B0007W0KJ2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,275 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Diana (CD01)
2. Herald
3. Drip Drip
4. Song to Comus
5. Bite
6. Bitten
7. Prisoner
8. Diana
9. In the Lost Queen's Eyes
10. Winter Is a Coloured Bird
See all 21 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. After the Dream - Comus
2. Fiesta Fandango - Comus
3. New Tide - Comus

Editorial Reviews

Taking their name from a character in a John Milton poem, Comus was a short-lived but powerful folk-rock band that mixed elements of King Crimson with the influences of Pentangle, Fairport Convention and other more traditional folk outfits. This 2 disc Complete Collection contains the band's debut, First Utterance (1971) plus the Dawn EP and to Keep from Crying (1974). Castle Music. 2005.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
80%
4 star
10%
3 star
0%
2 star
10%
1 star
0%
See all 10 customer reviews
The second album is different - much more conventional!
P. Bryant
That being said this album is worth buying for the first disk alone.
Jonathon M. Rose
A previously unreleased one is included to end up the first cd.
PortugueseMusicFan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By rogar131 on May 1, 2006
Format: Audio CD
The four stars is a bit of a weighted score. Really, we are essentially dealing with two different bands with the same name and some similar personnel, but varying the musical approach wildly.

The first disc, which contains the band's debut album, First Utterance, plus some single and previously unreleased material, is an amazing document of the grey area between the folk-rock and progressive rock genres in Britain in the late 60's/early 70's, a cross pollination that resulted in bands like the Strawbs, the Incredible String Band, and perhaps most well-known, Jethro Tull. Comus became a distant footnote in that hybrid form, but First Utterance is a marvelous document of that footnote. Savage, dark, and unabashedly pagan, it plays like the folk-rock equivalent of early Black Sabbath. The musicianship is strong, with an anything-goes style probably closer to the ISB than the other aforementioned bands, with bongo breaks, string quartet passages, and angry acoustic guitar strumming behind tales of human sacrifice, rape, and old-school (and I mean OLD school) eerieness. To me, it seems like this great band that I knew existed but had never heard, which of course means it never sold. This one is a *****, easily.

Which makes the second disc all the more dissapointing. Given a second chance at the brass ring by a then-fledging Virgin Records, the creative heads of the first Comus formed a new band, and cut the album "To Keep From Crying". The UK music scene had moved away from the folkies and into the Bowie/T. Rex glitter rock chart domination. "Crying" sounds like a half-hearted attempt to jump on the same bandwagon.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By P. Bryant on November 12, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Note - this is a review of the first album on this cd release. The second album is different - much more conventional! Here goes:

In 1971, when hippies still roamed the earth , many strange records were made, and none stranger than this one. It's a complete one-off. Where to begin. Shall I describe it as an acoustic death metal album? Could be. It's not so much a piece of music as a pagan ritual involving some kind of sacrifice, and Comus are not a band, they're a very small cult. One thing which is sacrificed from the get-go is traditional song structures. Like the Incredible String Band, these melodies stretch out, meander, get lost, find themselves again, always surprising the listener with sudden flights of beauty as the two gorgeous high choirgirl female voices twine together creating lovely dreams which get pulverised by the guy with the goat-like bellow, a dead ringer for Roger Chapman (from Family, a contemporary band) and also strangely called Roger (Wootton).

The album creates its own unique style with acoustic guitars, violin, flute, percussion (as opposed to drums), and its two opposing male female ugly/beautiful lustful/chaste voices. It's demented, exciting, disturbing and really creepy, and very compelling, and it couldn't be sustained at this pitch - when they were allowed to make their second album, a couple of years later, the magic had completely vanished and they were just another second-rate folk band.

In 1971 Comus were completely ignored, and understandably so - too nasty and weird for folkies, too acoustic for anyone else. But great music will always survive, and so Comus crawls like an unstoppable cockroach back to the surface.

This record is for the adventurous.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By PortugueseMusicFan on November 11, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I always loved "first Utterance", since I bought it after the first listening...the idea I had, contemplating the cover art was a kind of disturbed world...but I wasn't expecting that musical depth, neither the spooky lyrics, the erotic and morbid passages...and also the sublime beauty of the angelic "The Herald"...it's a pity that Bobbie Watson's voice had so little solo exposition, in fact she is terrific in that extended song...
All the album lives up with that devilish affair...the loss of innocence/the innocence's lust!! We can dance with devil in search of "Diana", the free goddess of hunting...and running out chasing pure young virgins, frightening them with licking lips...well, this is all very pagan, isn't it? And Roger Wootton the perfect incarnation of that melancholic devil, his impressive intonation is catchy as a gargoyle in a gothic cathedral...at the end there's a sad Christian and a prisioner in his dungeon, reaching for freedom...the record's coda is a frenzy repetition of the word "insane", certainly a unusual moment even in 1971...I think Comus, without knowing, invented the acid-psych-gothic-folk or something like that!!
Well, "To Keep From Crying" (1974) is another different story...the group, now augmented by other musicians, seated down and forgot the morbid imagery...the music and lyrics are more dream-like tales, sometimes a little urban or sentimental, driving all to a more conventional collection of songs, without losing a certain eccentricity of the past..."Touch Down" is the greatest moment, a perfect ballad...but all the album is very interesting, balancing like a troubled ship in the ocean, growing up with several listenings...
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