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Capability Brown

Capability Brown - Liar - 1976 - Charisma

Capability Brown was a versatile British rock band of 6 very talented multi-instrumentalists who played a mixture of soft rock, and progressive rock. However, unlike many pop and soft rock bands, CB were a very creative band, who also played original, and complex music, very much in the progressive rock style of the early seventies. It would be easy to classify Capability Brown's music as the West Coast soft rock variety. Indeed, some of their music is reminiscent of early Eagles, Poco, and CSN&Y. However, the band's music had a "harder" core, and although the band never really hit the big time, they received critical acclaim for both their musicianship, and original songs. Their second album, Voice, from 1973, included a 20 minute opus, "Circumstances" , a really inventive progressive rock tune, in the musical style of the great Camel, which featured stunning keyboards, mellotron, synth, acoustic guitar parts, some amazing, electric guitar, and incredible vocals. The track was very much in the Canterbury Rock vein, and similar to tracks recorded by bands like Caravan, Hatfield And The North, and Gentle Giant. "Liar" is a compilation of their first two albums, "From Scratch", and "Voice", from 1972 and 1973, As well as the band's own compositions by Tony Ferguson , and Dave Nevin , Capability Brown also covered songs by Rare Bird (Sympathy) and Lindisfarne (Wake Up Little Sister). Other covers include songs by Rare Bird (Redman), Steely Dan (Midnight Cruiser), Russ Ballard’s Liar, an Argent track recorded by Three Dog Night., and Lindisfarne's Alan Hull's ""I Am and So Are You". This track was also recorded by Affinity with Linda Hoyle. "Redman", "Midnite Cruiser" , "I Am and So Are You" , and "Liar" are on this album. It's a pity that "Circumstances" wasn't included, but that is always the "problem" with compilation albums. Check out the band's second album, "Voice".


01 - Midnight Cruiser - Walter Becker, & Donald Fagen
02 - No Range - Dave Nevin
03 - I'm & So Are You - Alan Hull
04 - Sole Survivor - Tony Ferguson
a - Escape
b - Sole Survivor
c - Cosmic Ride
d - Time Machine
05 - Keep Death Off T he Road (Drive On The Pavement) - Dave Nevin
06 - Redman - Curtis, Gould, Hall, Kaffinetti, Kelly (Rare Bird)
07 - Sad Am I - Tony Ferguson
08 - Liar - Russ Ballard


Tony Ferguson - Vocals, Guitar, Bass
Dave Nevin - Keyboards, Guitar, Vocals, Bass
Kenny Rowe - Bass, Vocals, Percussion
Grahame White R.I.P - Vocals, Guitar, Bass
Joe Williams - Vocals, Percussion
Roger Willis - Vocals, Drums, Keyboards


Capability Brown had and still have a cult following in UK music history as a "progressive" band, ultimately based on an outstanding piece from their second album, Voice. But largely their range covered mainstream pop music, treated in an "arty", alternative fashion. The band was a six-piece in which everyone sang and played instruments. The line-up consisted of Tony Ferguson (guitar, bass), Dave Nevin (keyboards, guitar, bass), Kenny Rowe (bass, percussion), Grahame White (guitar, lute, balalaika, keyboards), Joe Williams (percussion) and Roger Willis (drums, keyboards). Ferguson and Nevin wrote the majority of the band's material, and the band also excelled in covers of obscure material (Rare Bird's Beautiful Scarlet and Redman, Argent's Liar, Affinity's I Am And So Are You and Steely Dan's Midnight Cruiser). Capability Brown's forte was vocalizing. Together they sounded not unlike The Association: a massed choir of voices, ranging from baritone to high clean falsettos. Their first album, From Scratch, which included Liar, was average and unexceptional. The second album Voice, released in 1973, was their claim to fame, incorporating an over-20-minute richly melodic piece called Circumstances (In Love, Past, Present, Future Meet) - a stunning piece of music incorporating keyboards, a cappela voices, synthesizers and mellotrons, solo vocals, delicate harpsichord-like acoustic guitar sections, powerful electric guitar chords and massed vocal choirs. The band did not manage to record again after this, and in 1974 Tony, Roger and Graham were recruited by friend and Christie member Roger Flavell to join his group, Christie for a tour of South America. Thus Capability Brown was no more. © Prog Archives, All rights reserved


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


p/w aoofc

Kadek55 said...

Love this one!

Thanks a lot!!

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

Thanks, Kadek55. CB were a short lived band, but played exceptional music. Their version of "Midnite Cruiser" is brilliant! TTU soon

zico said...

This is absolutely recommented. Dont miss it. A great post once more from this special blog.

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

Cheers, gkapageridis. CB created some great music. They should not be forgotten. Thanks for your kind words. TTU soon

Unknown said...

I'm searching for the lyrics from de Voice Album, if its possible please post to me - I'm brazilien and its very difficult to me understand the words. Thanks a lot! Edner(San Carlos-Brazil)

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

Hi, Edner. The ony lyrics I know in detail are Midnite Cruiser @ http://www.
Sorry I can't help you with other songs...Thanks

hilke said...

great blog there's always something nice to discover you've got musical taste!


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

Hi,hilke or fairydust! Sounds very psychedelic! Doesn't Paris Hilton advertise Fairy Dust perfume? Who cares! She's not very musical! (LOL)!I feel that the'70's produced the best bands and albums. Capability Brown deserves a lot of credit. Thanks for comment and keep in touch.