Recital - Warner Brothers 1973
Two songs were released on a WEA single in 1973 and a third song was used as a B side for a reissue of "I Can not Let Maggie Go".
Musically, the album is a nice extension of the group's previous releases, where original arrangements which blend pop-rock music's classic instrumentation with rarer instruments such as various woodwings and strings instruments. The songs are melodic, in some cases quite complex and the lyrics often neat and well-written.
Virtually all songs are small pearls and none falls through.
Three of the group's members are accomplished songwriters and stand behind the thirteen songs of the album. Especially multitalented Pete Dello, who wrote the group's early singles, provides several fine examples of his songwriting art. The single "For You", which has a good share in common with "I Can not Let Maggie Go", and which could have been a nice successor in 1968/69. I By 1973, time was not really for that kind of song, so there was no comeback on the charts for Honeybus. "Julie en My Heart" is a melodic and catchy song which appeared in 1976 as a B-side. Also, "Lute Girl" and "I Can not Say It But I Can Sing It" are fine melodic songs; the former very folkish with the use of old-fashioned instruments.
"Baroque'n Roll Star" is a fun satirical song, while "Lovely Vanessa" is more bluesy and rocking with electric guitar and 10CC vocals. On the "Cross Channel Ferry" there are experiments with different beats, tempo and genre.
Ray Cane, who accounted for the majority of the songs on the group's first album, "Story" delivers two of the highlights of "Recital"; especially "Be Thou By My Side" is beautiful and moving song while "Big Ship" is more upbeat and one of the more rocking tracks.
Also guitarist Colin Hare delivers two songs. "She's a Lady" is a nice folkish song with congas and piano. "The Writing on the Wall" is an unpretentious song featuring kazoo; the album probably least interesting number of the album.
Great that this fine album has finally been released in its entirety - (most songs have been available on compilations earlier). So far, it has only been released on vinyl and ipresently there are no plans for a CD release.
Moreover, both the 1970's album "Story" and the "For Where Have You Been" collection have just been released on Mapache Records / Hanky Panky. Both are highly recommended. The latter contains eleven fine songs originally unreleased as well as the rare 1972 single "She Is The Female To My Soul" b/w "For Where Have You Been".
Also, Pete Dello's solo album "Into Your Ears" must be highlighted. It really sounds like Honeybus, but was made over a period when Dello had left the group who, however, contributed to the album.