Get this crazy baby off my head!



Mark-Almond - To The Heart - 1976 - ABC Records

A beautiful, subtle jazz album from Jon Mark and the late Johnny Almond. This is not jazz fusion, like many of Mark-Almond's albums, but contains six beautifully played mellow tracks. Jon Mark sings and plays classical guitar. Billy Cobham plays on five tracks. The late Tommy Eyre plays keyboards and composed "One More for the Road". Tommy played keyboards on the late Gerry Rafferty's classic "Baker Street". Try and listen to Mark-Almond's "Tuesday In New York" album, and The Johnny Almond Music Machine's "Patent Pending" album. [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 89.4 Mb]


1. Medley: New York State of Mind/Return to the City 6:44
2. Here Comes the Rain, Parts 1&2 10:08
3. Trade Winds 5:37
4. One More for the Road 6:48
5. Busy on the Line 4:56
6. Everybody Needs a Friend 5:56

All songs composed by Jon Mark & Johnny Almond except "New York State of Mind" by Billy Joel, "Return to the City" by Jon Mark, and "One More for the Road" by Tommy Eyre


Jon Mark - Classical Guitar, Vocals
Wolfgang Melz - Bass
Tommy Eyre - Piano, Electric Piano, Organ, Synthesizers
Billy Cobham - Drums on Tracks 1-5
Jimmy Gordon - Drums on Track 6
Milt Holland - Percussion
Johnny Almond - Baritone, Tenor and Soprano Saxophone, Flutes, Vibes
Jack Ellis - Trombone
Gary Barone - Flugelhorn
Greg Bloch - Violin, Electric Violin


British session musicians Jon Mark (vocals, guitar, drums) and John Almond (vocals, woodwinds, vibes, percussion) met while playing together in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and left in 1970 to form Mark-Almond, sometimes referred to as the Mark-Almond Band. Prior to his career with Mayall, Mark and Mick Jagger co-produced Marianne Faithfull's early albums, with Mark later writing material for her and touring with her. He also toured with folksinger Alun Davies, and the two formed an ill-fated band called Sweet Thursday. Almond, meanwhile, had played in Zoot Money's Big Roll Band, the Alan Price Set, and Johnny Almond's Music Machine. Both joined the Bluesbreakers in 1969 and appeared on the albums Turning Point and Empty Rooms; they left in 1970 and recruited bassist Rodger Sutton and keyboardist Tommy Eyre. Mark-Almond built something of a following through touring, with their live shows often featuring lengthy instrumental jams. Their roster grew to seven members by 1973 before they disbanded that year. Mark, despite losing a finger in an accident, recorded the solo album Songs for a Friend in 1975. He and Almond reunited that year and released To the Heart in 1976; they got a deal with A&M in 1978 and released Other People's Rooms, but neither LP was successful and the duo broke up for good. © Steve Huey © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/mark-almond-p4846/biography


Mark–Almond were an English band of the late 1960s and early 1970s, who worked in the territory between rock and jazz. In 1970 Jon Mark and Johnny Almond formed Mark-Almond (also occasionally referred to as The Mark-Almond Band). The melancholy tones of saxophonist Almond were an integral part of the group's sound, and Almond frequently played flute as well, including the bass flute. Characterized by a blend of blues and jazz riffs, latin beats, and a mellow rock aesthetic, and in contrast to the heavier guitar-driven rock of his contemporaries, composer and band leader Mark worked at producing warm and melodic works. In 1963, Jon Mark (born in 1944), using his given name Jon Michael Burchell, and a former schoolmate, Alun Davies; singer-songwriter, folk guitarist and skiffle musician, (later of Cat Stevens' band), recorded as a duo, an album entitled Relax Your Mind, on Decca Records. Mark and Mick Jagger co-produced Marianne Faithfull's early recordings, with Mark recording on at least one album, and touring with Davies again, as supporting guitarists for Faithfull. Upon returning, both Mark and Davies travelled extensively throughout the UK, and France, busking until they secured a job entertaining on a Cunard Line cruise ship, crossing the Atlantic sixteen times. Tired of their voyages, both moved away in differing musical directions. Five years later, the two united in a five-piece band, the short-lived Sweet Thursday. The band had only one recording, the eponymous Sweet Thursday on Fontana Records. The band was composed of Jon Mark, Alun Davies, Nicky Hopkins, Harvey Burns, and Brian Odgers. However, the album was not promoted by their record label, and the bandmates never toured. Fontana later declared bankruptcy. Johnny Almond, born John Albert Almond on 20 July 1946 in Enfield, Middlesex, previously played in Zoot Money's Big Roll Band and the Alan Price Set. He had recorded a 1970 solo record for Deram Records, Johnny Almond's Music Machine, as well as performing considerable session work in England. The two began playing together as sidemen on John Mayall and Eric Clapton's Blues Breakers album in 1965, and can also be heard on the (post-Bluesbreakers) records The Turning Point and Empty Rooms. From that experience they decided to form Mark-Almond. Davies, though invited, was initially unreceptive. He had found a position as guitarist in Cat Stevens' band, and was "getting a buzz off Stevens' work." Davies did later join Mark-Almond for an album and tour. Mark-Almond's first two albums, Mark-Almond (1971) and Mark-Almond II (1972) were recorded for Bob Krasnow's Blue Thumb label, and were noted for their embossed envelope-style album covers. "One Way Sunday" was a hit for them in the United States and received radio airplay on album-oriented rock stations in Boston, Massachusetts in 1970. The group then recorded two albums for Columbia Records, Rising (1972) and the live album, Mark-Almond 73 (1973), by which time the group's members had grown to seven. In October 1972, Mark was involved in an accident in Hawaii and lost most of his left-hand ring finger. Mark was quoted later in Melody Maker as "climbed like a native and fell like an Englishman.". "What Am I Living For" from Mark-Almond 73 gained the group the most U.S. radio airplay they would get, but nevertheless they disbanded later that year. Mark released a solo record for Columbia Song For A Friend in 1975. He and Almond reunited in 1975 and released To the Heart on ABC Records (which had acquired Blue Thumb) in 1976, which featured the drummer Billy Cobham. Other notable musicians who have recorded or toured with Mark-Almond include drummer Dannie Richmond, violinist Greg Bloch, keyboardist Tommy Eyre and bassist Roger Sutton. Eyre and Sutton later teamed in Riff Raff. A&M Records signed the duo in 1978 and released Other Peoples Rooms, but the record did not sell as well as earlier releases. A number of European releases followed, but Mark-Almond disbanded again in the early 1980s. Mark-Almond reunited again in 1996 for a CD release, Night Music, which featured keyboardist Mike Nock and others. Mark moved to New Zealand in the mid 1980s, and released a number of successful solo New Age music recordings on his White Cloud record label, as well as collaborating with other artists on traditional Celtic and folk recordings and producing other artists. A release of Tibetan Monk chants Mark recorded and produced with his wife Thelma Burchell won a Grammy Award in 2004. Almond lived in the San Francisco Bay Area. He died on 18 November 2009 from cancer, aged 63


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


p/w aoofc

ratso said...

Another great post Mr Fingal, for which I thank you. Empty Rooms was always a favourite John Mayall album...

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

Thanks,ratso.I love that album too. We've a lot in common, my old chum! TTU soon...P

Todd Gilbert said...

Great album. Do have the first Mark Almond?

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

Hi,Todd. I don't have the first album. Maybe somebody reading this can help out? Thanks for req, and I'll keep looking for it. TVM...Paul