Hill Climbing For Beginners (Myrrh Gold MYR 1004) 1973 UK *



















Perhaps the best album issued by Myrrh in the ‘70s. And I’m not referring to the neutered and de-clawed version that ended up being released in the US. Apparently the original UK issue was deemed too rough-edged for the American market, hence the band had to re-enter the studio to produce the less folky, more homogenized version. How typical – these executive types clearly didn’t realize what a work of art they had on their hands. If you’ve never heard the original you’l1 undoubtedly still enjoy the later pressing – but once you’ve heard this one, listening to the other is like following up filet rnignon with chopped steak. Here the acoustic guitars are given prominence over electric (save for the rough fuzz guitar on the closer ‘I Have Seen The Lord’). The percussion is more folky and innovative, with such instruments as bongos, tympani, and gong-like cymbals. The songs are all the same and are performed in the same order, but there’s more of a raw hands-off interpretation – away from rock, more towards folk. For those not familiar with either version, suffice it to say it’s a progressive folk masterpiece which reaches its apex on the stunning mysterious 11minute ‘Song Of The Cross’ where haunting harmonies, brilliant violin work, and jamming acoustic guitars mix magically. The whole work is very unique and refreshing. Much better cover art, too (a brown-tinted photo of the guys in a field beside a fence). I kid you not – this version is infinitely superior in every way.   (The Archivist, 4th edition by Ken Scott).




















Song #Song TitleTime
1-1Stranger In The Word4:22
1-2I Used To Be Blind5:23
1-3Jesus I've Been Walking6:44
2-1Hill Climbing For Beginners3:27
2-2Start Of A Run3:36
2-3Song Of The Cross10:55
2-4I Have Seen The Lord4:40