Mighty Baby “Mighty Baby”

Mighty Baby

When the Action broke up in the late 60s, they reformed minus Reggie King as Azoth. The Azoth name was short lived, leading the band to settle on Mighty Baby. The Action had played the club circuit for years, releasing many excellent mod singles before plunging into the world of psychedelia. This band had always worked hard, and now they were finally given the luxury to record a long player.

Mighty Baby’s album was released in 1969 off the small independent Head label. At this point, Mighty Baby could technically and instrumentally hold their own against rock’s finest: The Grateful Dead, King Crimson, Collosuem, Caravan and the Allman Brothers. The album is miles away from the soulful, sweaty mod garage of their mid 60s singles and could best be described as a melding of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young harmonies, Allman Brothers guitar improv and Notorious Byrd Brothers psychedelia.

Few debut openers are as good as the revolutionary Egyptian Tomb. It’s a sleek, powerful piece of psychedelia with strong west coast style guitar interplay. At 5:30 minutes, this great song never falls flat and is definitely one of the defining moments of British acid rock. Same Way From The Sun has a similar stoned vibe with psychedelic echo and sounds like it could have been lifted from a really good latter day Byrds album. The spacious, pounding A Friend You Know But Never See, yet another highlight, rocks really hard with some interesting raga style guitar and has a strange mountain air aura. Other works such as the rural I’m From The Country provided a sound Mighty Baby would further explore on their next album, the equally brilliant Jug of Love from 1971.

Mighty Baby along with the Action and various band member’s solo careers are one of rock’s great lost family trees. During their peak they were innovative and unstoppable, thus the “English Grateful Dead” label really doesn’t do them any justice.

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Egyptian Tomb”

[ Mighty Baby @ amazon ]

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  • mark

    Thank you for this posting… after realizing that I was returning again and again to listen to “egyptian tomb”, I decided to spring for the album… and what a wonder-full delight it has been! Along with Jugs of Love, this album has been lingering just on the fringes of my conscious thought for these last several months! Both of Mighty Baby’s albums are remarkably different and yet, somehow, very similar: they both suggest a sort-of-spiritual quest… (definitely “sort-of” in this album). The fringes seem to be the territory of my mind where songs collect that have no definite, catchy, repetitious, phrasing or choruses… and yet, they still seem cogent and coherent…
    I find this album remarkable for its coherence (as I do their second album)… they seem to be searching for a sound and a purpose even.
    What strikes me after following this blog for the past year and a half is how it has taken me on a journey of sorts… a search within the fringes of music for something that is quite ineffable. Just why is it that we all feel a compulsion to listen, and return again, and again, to certain songs, albums, groups… following them, attempting to decipher the chords, the layers?… Why is it that we are drawn into some music and merely glance off of the surface of other music?
    Anyway, it remains a true journey that I continue to enjoy…
    Thanks for the guidance that you and this blog have offered!

  • Hi Mark… Thanks for your post! I know what you mean.. I notice it comes in waves… I keep returning to uncover the goods! After a few weeks of searching I go back to other genres..but the psychedelic energy from the early days appeals to me because it is evidence of others living out the dream where the goal is the ineffable.. our modern society is trying its best to hide this from view.. but its in this older music for anybody with a chance to hear it!!

    that and the great harmonies that are desperately lacking in modern music!!

    enlightenment is real, there is another world introducing itself to all of us at all times.. and it responds when somebody enquires… looking for this sort of music is an IN-CHOIR-E.

  • Nice things you all say about the Babe. Thanks. It was a short intense journey a long time ago into an infinite ocean and in the end we ran out of steam.

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