Caedmon’s self-titled debut record is perhaps one of the strangest and yet most alluring entries in the acid folk genre.
So much was riding against this band, it’s truly a wonder that an album was released at all. Firstly, the band sang Christian-inspired lyrics before “Christian music” was a popular genre. Secondly, their whimsical esoteric folk rock sound could have been very ideal for the hippie audiences of the late ’60s…but they were several years too late, especially by the time their record finally dropped. On top of that, they never developed anything more than a local following, despite touring throughout the UK.
Yet they persisted for about five years, and when they were ready to call it a day in 1978, they self-released this little esoteric record as a going away gift, of sorts.
Their appreciation and reputation only took off several decades later, when acid folk obscurities became hot collectors items in the vinyl community, and when tracks like “Sea Song” found their way onto the infamous and strongly recommended Lammas Night Laments and The History of UK Underground Folk Rock 1968-1978 compilations.
While originals are practically impossible to track down and afford, the good souls at Guerssen Records have answered the call and lovingly re-pressed this rare jewel on vinyl, so that we all may enjoy it.
It’s worth the buy for so many tracks here, but especially the opening “Ten Maidens Fair.” Where else can you hear synths clash with mandolin and fuzz guitar freak-outs, and on top of a traditional English folk-inspired melody no less? Why this song isn’t quoted as being one of the most unique of the ’70s is beyond me. Fans of Steeleye Span, Silver Apples and Stone Harbour will go nuts for this song.
It’s also worth getting this particular pressing, as great care was given to the packaging, the booklet and of course the sound. Guerssen even went the extra mile and pushed the last two tracks onto an accompanying 45, just like the first issue (apparently the original pressing plant found that the album was too long for a 12″ record, so the band decided to cut two tracks off and slapped them onto a 7″).
If your record collection contains the likes of Trader Horne, Dando Shaft, and The Incredible String Band, then you need to get your hands on a copy of Caedmon here before it vanishes into obscurity once again.