Having rechristened themselves as Samurai, the bulk of Web regrouped for a new album, signing to the Greenwich Gramophone Company. Replacing the departed Tom Harris were two brass players, Don Fay and Tony Roberts, the former having played on Elton John’s debut album. Samurai recorded their eponymous album at Wessex Sound with Robin Thompson at the controls. The funky little groove of “Saving It for So Long” starts the album and picks up right were Web’s I Spider left off. Dave Lawson’s compositions are exemplary, and the additional horns add yet another dimension to the band’s jazz-influenced progressive rock. “More Rain” slows a bit, highlighted by Fay’s flute and Lawson’s plaintive lyrics, while “Maudie James” and “Holy Padlock” feature Lawson’s distinct vocal delivery. “Give a Little Love” powers away with Tony Edwards’s guitar, and “Face in the Mirror” contains a fury reminiscent of Van der Graaf Generator. The final track, “As I Dried Away the Tears,” again offers everything Samurai has to offer: superb musicianship, precise execution and expert arrangement; it’s a wonder why the album didn’t set the charts on fire. But their record label was short-lived, and to obscurity Samurai would remain. Lawson then joined Greenslade, where he would remain for that band’s course; but little if anything would be heard of the other members, save Roberts who did extensive session work. Following his tenure in Greenslade, Lawson would work with many others, including Stackridge and Roy Harper, before launching a career in sound design.
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Taken from The Strawberry Bricks Guide to Progressive Rock, here is an Album of the Week to enjoy and discuss.
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"Always ready with the ray of sunshine"