It's Smoke Time - Metronome 1967
Tracks: 1. My Friend Jack / 2. Waterfall / 3. You Can't Catch Me / 4. High in a Room / 5. Wake Up Cherylina / 6. Don't Lead Me On / 7. We Can Take It / 8. If the Weather's Sunny / 9. I Wanna Make It with You / 10. It's Getting Closer / 11. It's Just Your Way of Lovin' / 12. I Would If I Could But I Can't / 13. Have Some More Tea / 14. Victor Henry's Cool Book / 15. Sydney Gill / 16. It Could Be Wonderful / 17. Keep a Hold of What You've Got / 18. She's a Liar/ 19. I Am Only Dreamingm / 20. Universal Vagrant / 21. Dreams of Dreams/ 22. My Birth / 23. Jack Is Back / 24. That's What I Want/ 25. Playing with Magic / 26. My Friend Jack [Alt.]
The Yorkshire band The Smoke released only this single album during the almost ten years of their existence. Their great single, "My Friend Jack" from early 1967, should have been their big breakthrough, but because of the controversal lyrics it was banned by BBC, and therefore never became the big British hit it had deserved. Besides being very much in the style of early Pink Floyd the single had everything a hit single single needed; a great melody, a catchy riff, solid production and a modern sound. The single was in fact a hit in several Europen countries, and the band became relatively big in Germany.
Unfortunaly none of the succeeding singles had the qualities of "My Friend Jack", and though some of them were quite good, none of them came near the top of the charts.
This their only album was released in the wake of their European succees, and though there are several fine songs, the album seems rushed with many songs sounding like demos.
The album does show, though, that the band-members were competent songwriters. Most songs were self-written, and songs like "High in a Room" and "Waterfall", might with the right production have been hits. The playing is tight enough, but the vocals generally lack conviction and strength.
Among the extended list of bonus-tracks you'll find many of their singles, recorded during 1965-1974, along with some previously unreleased songs. Among them a handful are quite strong; examples could be "Sydney Gill", "It Could Be Wonderful", "Am I Dreaming" and "That's What I Want".
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