Home Read Albums Of The Week: Methuselah | Matthew, Mark, Luke And John Expanded

Albums Of The Week: Methuselah | Matthew, Mark, Luke And John Expanded

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “After a single for Decca as mod/soul band The Dimples, the Scunthorpe-based Gospel Garden cut a similarly  fashioned 45 for the Camp label before falling under the spell of emerging underground bands like Family and Jethro Tull. Honing their new sound on the burgeoning college circuit, they were signed by visiting Elektra label boss Jac Holzman and given a new identity: Methuselah.

With American songwriter Kenny Young as producer, in December 1968 they recorded a quasi-concept album, given the title Matthew, Mark, Luke And John after the four-part song suite that dominated Side 1. But Elektra failed to give the LP a U.K. release, and the U.S. issue was delayed until October 1969 — by which time the band had split, with John Gladwin and Terry Wincott turning their backs on electricity to work as Amazing Blondel.

Now highly regarded by collectors, the Methuselah album combined the group’s West Coast-influenced harmony vocals with a late ’60s psychedelic-into-progressive hard rock feel, largely down to the one-louder leads of Les Nicol, who’d been Mick Ronson’s main rival for guitar hero status in the Hull group wars a couple of years earlier.

While the album has been bootlegged several times, this new reissue is taken from the original master tapes and includes another 30 minutes of previously unheard tracks and mixes from the same December 1968 sessions. Newly remastered, and with a 28-page booklet featuring photos and band quotes, this issue is the definitive release of buried treasure from the British psych / prog scene.”