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"CAPTAIN BILLY’S MAGIC 8 BALL" - A New Series Created By William Mesnik, The Mind Behind “Mesmerized”- EPISODE # 19 - "HERE'S TO THE ALSO - RANS" FEATURING THE ALBUM "RIVER" BY TERRY REID IN HIGH DEFINITION WITH NARRATIVE

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“CAPTAIN BILLY’S MAGIC 8 BALL” – “HERE’S TO THE ALSO-RANS”

EPISODE #19: RIVER by Terry Reid (Atlantic, 1973)

My discovery of Terry Reid, and his masterpiece, River, was pure accident, occurring about 20 years ago, early in my obsession with collecting 8 tracks. It was the tape’s pink cartridge that caught my eye initially, and his name sounded familiar.

Around the same time, I discovered the website 8 Track Heaven, a corner of the blogosphere dedicated to the humorously revolutionary proposition that it was Capitalism’s penchant for planned obsolescence that condemned the 8 track to the trash heap. The site’s retro philosophy stirred a psychological stew within me, comprised of nostalgia for 70s music, and my identification with “the forgotten.”

Maybe it’s because, as an actor, I can recount, (as can the majority of my colleagues), a litany of career near misses and disappointments, I have always been obsessed with such outsider artists as John Fante, Daniel Johnston, Arthur Inman, Henry Darger, and the blue-eyed soul singer, Terry Reid. I admire the person who doggedly perseveres with their artistic imperative throughout a lifetime of obscurity and psychological turmoil. It’s the engagement with the process that matters, and if recognition comes posthumously, or it doesn’t, so be it.

River, from 1973, is a stunning achievement, a complete artistic statement, obviously influenced by Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks, which flows from cut to cut in a relaxed undulation, inflected by Jazz, Bossa Nova, Blues, and Folk. Terry’s voice, acknowledged as one of the all-time greats, (remember he was Jimmy Page’s first choice as lead singer for Led Zeppelin) – bobs in, out, around, and through the musical flow, as if improvised spontaneously, creating an immersive effect.

Produced by Tom Dowd for Atlantic, this was Terry’s big shot. The fact that it didn’t sell didn’t destroy him, he kept soldiering on. Gratefully, Terry Reid is still alive and continues to ply his singular craft, playing clubs, and sharing his story of endurance.

Alternate takes were released in 2016 as The Other Side of the River, a tribute to the enduring impact of this effort. Rave on, Terry.

All tracks are written by Terry Reid

“Dean” – 4:45 “Avenue” – 5:08 “Things to Try” – 4:25 “Live Life” – 5:11 “River” – 5:45 “Dream” – 5:20 “Milestones” 5:52


By Rich Buckland 07/19/2021 06:20 AM

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