Aslan Is Not A Tame Lion (Myrrh MYR 1007) 1974 UK *
Here’s further proof that the best albums put out by Myrrh were the ones that didn’t even make it over to the States. This one fine hunk of British rock with a female lead and progressive flourishes, not unlike the band Curved Air (minus the violin). Also notable in that the band features two players that would later go on to form After The Fire: John Russell and Peter Banks (and they got some shaggy do’s here!). The main influence , however, is Pauline Filby, lead vocalist and composer of all the material (excluding the opening tune, a vibrant cover of Tom Paxton’s ‘You Better Believe It’). ‘Agape’ and ‘Living Water’ are exceptional tracks, both exploring progressive art rock with mood and time changes, faint shadows of ATF’s upcoming Signs Of Change subtly creeping in. Some fine moody passages as well, Bank’s stately organ and textured mellotron juxtaposed with acoustic guitar to create an atmospheric quality some have termed “folk/psych” (check out ‘To A Fountain’ in particular). ‘Muddy Ground’ and ‘Miracle Of Birth’ have slow gentle moods that build to heavy climatic peaks, while ‘The Juggler’ expresses the melodic folkrock side of the group. The electric guitars take center stage for hard-rocking ‘In The Forest’, then shift into playful mid-tempo ‘Boogie For Narnia’. Lyrically avoids clichés and in the tradition of proressive rock opts for the more metaphorical. Obviously us Americans were not deemed to be ready for such a work back in 1974. A rare and costly item now, as is Pauline’s earlier solo folk lp Show Me A Rainbow. Beautiful cover of the face of Aslan the lion. Produced by Tony Hooper of the Strawbs. The ribbon weaving through the logo says “Aslan is not a tame lion”, which is sometimes referred to as the album title. CD and vinyl re-issues exist. (The Archivist, 4th edition by Ken Scott).
There is a cool history of Narnia and other groups linked to ATF on After The Fire’s web site here.
This one was on Heavenly Grooves. Thank you Donald for the rear cover photo.
|Song #||Song Title||Time|
|1-1||You'd Better Believe It||3:12|
|2-1||To A Fountain||3:19|
|2-2||Miracle Of Birth||4:08|
|2-3||In The Forest||3:03|
|2-4||Boogie For Narnia||2:37|