Sunday, June 24, 2007

by request: QUINTESSENCE - Dive Deep

What a welcome release this has been. Never previously released on CD, this reissue comes sounding a whole lot better than the album ever did but without any additional tracks.
This is the last of the "holy trinity" of Qunitessence albums, the remaining two being somewhat lower down the list of must have albums.
Unlike the self titled Quintessence this album marks somewhat of a change in direction by the band whilst at the same time remaining true to form. Whereas the second album was a fusion of studio and live performances, these are primarily studio recordings but with a live feel. During the time that this album was made Quintessence continued their touring and left no-one in any doubt over the power and reach of the band live. While most of the songs led to the improvised playing which had some dancers almost in ecstasy the studio recordings eschewed that aspect and as a result are considerably diminished in my view as a result. The reputation of Quintessence as a powerful live act was maintained by this album although, unlike their west coast cousins without religion the Grateful Dead, they were able to produce a decent album bouyed by the live act. The strains are beginning to emerge within the band characterised by a poorer quality of the songwriting and a more self-indulgent approach as typified by the mere six relatively lengthy tracks.
The first of these, Dive Deep treads no new ground, preferring the obvious safety of the blistering guitar solo which bears much similarity to St. Pancras on the second album but without the range. On Dance for the one, Raja Ram's flute again goes over the same ground as on the earlier albums. Brahman and the Seer are the weakest songs in my estimation although in performance the improvisation is the saving grace but which is denied the listener here. Epitaph for tomorrow and the Sri Ram chant are the remaining tracks and are strong in their own way but the latter in particular is a little lengthier than it perhaps ought to be.
The sleeve notes record the emergence of tensions within the group which led to their most unfortunate demise following this album.
It may not be the strongest of the Holy Trinity but it does represent the band just after their peak whilst they were still a great draw as anyone witnessing their performances will bear out. I would certainly recommend this album although I do mourn particularly the lack of unreleased live tracks which would raise this album to the heights for which it was intended.

1. Dive Deep
2. Dance For The One
3. Brahman
4. Seer
5. Epitaph For Tomorrow
6. Sri Ram Chant

LINK: @192

Please leave a comment


Anonymous said...

Hi RockAnthology,
Many thanks for answering my request. I will always remember Quintessence's live act back in 1970-71, they always went down well at the open air rock festivals at the time (that shows my age!)
Steve W.

WOODY said...

thank's for sharing QUINTESSENCE.
I remember them as a part of an
ISLAND Compulation-Record in the early seventies. This brings back long forgotten memories.

Anonymous said...

I have just discovered your blog and this album in particular. My old vinyl is soooo scratchy and hissy after all these years - what a bounty to find this. Would you by any chance have their other album as well ("Quintessence") that you could post??
PS I did find your post of their other album - "In Blissful Company" but have not listened to it yet
Once again - many, many thanks!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks So much for this fantastic quality album. Hippy music at it's best.

Ashfield said...

Any chance anyone could reload this classic Much Love

. said...

In couple of days...

Renan said...

Great! I was looking for it too.
I'll come later get it
Thanks a lot!