Get this crazy baby off my head!



Audience - Audience - 1969 - Polydor

Great late sixties art/prog. rock. Check out their 1971 ‘House On The Hill’ album. A.O.O.F.C would be interested in your opinions of this album.


1. Banquet
2. Poet
3. Waverley Stage Coach
4. River Boat Queen
5. Harlequin
6. Heaven Was An Island
7. Too Late I'm Gone
8. Maidens Cry
9. Pleasant Convalescence
10. Leave It Unsaid
11. Man On Box
12. House On The Hill


Tony Connor - Drums
Keith Gemmell - Woodwind
Howard Werth - Guitar, Vocals
Trevor Williams - Bass, Keyboards, Vocals
Nick Judd - Keyboards
Bobby Keys - Sax
Jim Price - Horns


Formed in 1969, Audience are no ordinary group. Unusual in line up and eclectic of influence they crammed four albums into as many years, toured extensively and influenced a few slightly more well known prog rock bands along their way. Their debut album, for Polydor Records, made its reputation (according to the Guinness Encyclopaedia of Popular Music) as ‘one of the most sought-after artefacts of the art-rock genre’. Copies now change hands at prices of £200 and upwards. They played their first gig at the Marquee Club in February 1969 alongside Gilbert and George, would you believe. Germaine Greer was among those in attendance. With a line up of nylon strung acoustic guitar, electric sax, clarinet and flute, bass guitar and drums they were certainly out to create something new. Audience’s deal with Polydor was strictly a one-off affair, so when Tony Stratton Smith approached them with a view to joining Charisma Records they needed no second bidding. He’d only just set up the label at that point and they had only recorded a couple of things by Rare Bird and Van Der Graaf Generator, two other well known progressive rock bands at that time. Audience were attracted by the idea because Charisma was in many ways the first of the indies. The approach from Charisma came after the band supported Led Zeppelin at London’s Lyceum ballroom in October 1969, and thereby hangs a tale. Listen to ‘Maiden’s Cry’ on their first album and you may just be struck by a passing resemblance to a certain Zeppelin classic. ‘I’m not the only one to say that the basic chord structure is very similar to ‘Stairway To Heaven’, says Howard Werth. ‘I wrote it a couple of years before the Zeppelin song’. A similar coincidence occurred with ‘I Had A Dream’, an Audience classic from 1971 which predated Dylan’s similar ‘Knockin' On Heaven’s Door’. Anyhow, be that as it may, several reviews of this prestigious Lyceum show awarded a victory on points to Audience. The gig had been promoted by Stratton Smith who was suitably impressed with the support act and immediately thought of them as an ideal band for the label he was planning. The Audience story continued on Charisma Records with ‘Friend’s Friend’s Friend’ (Charisma CAS 1012: 1970 - now on Virgin CASCD 1012) followed closely by ‘House On The Hill’ (Charisma CAS 1032: 1971 - Virgin CASCD 1054) and ‘Lunch’ (Charisma CAS 1054, 1972 - Virgin CASCD 1054). ’House On The Hill’ was promoted in Europe on a package tour along with Van Der Graaf Generator and Nice spin-offs Jackson Heights. In the US, they toured with Rod Stewart and the Faces. Another Charisma stable-mate Genesis, were the band most often to be found supporting Audience at that time in the UK. © WebRing Inc. , www.audienceareback.com/index.htm


Lyle said...

Many thanks for this! "House on the Hill" is a classic album - I've been wanting to hear this one for a looong

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi1 Lyle. Thank you for comments. You know your music! Keep in touch with A.O.O.F.C

bulfrog said...

dead link, can you please re-up, thank you

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,bulfrog. Try