Julian's Treatment - Time Before This (Music CD)

Release Date: 23 June 2014
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Although the underdeveloped sci-fi/fantasy-based storyline makes this record collapse under its own weight, on purely musical terms it's a rather nifty art rock collectible. The strident female vocals give this a human quality many similarly ambitious art rock efforts lack, and the organ-based arrangements are more accessible to pop-oriented ears than many keyboard-based prog rock opuses are. A couple of the tunes -- the lovely ballad "Altarra, Princess of the Blue Women," and the propulsive "Fourth from the Sun" -- even carried some hit potential, as absurd as that might seem. The 1990 British CD reissue on See For Miles, slightly retitled A Time Before This...Plus, adds five tracks that are hardly inconsequential. Although the sources for these tracks are not discussed in the accompanying liner notes, and bear a copyright date of 1973, they are in fact quite similar in arrangement, songwriting, and tone to the material on the Time Before This Album, favoring somewhat more extended structures (the five tunes total almost 25 minutes). Perhaps these were intended for use on leader/keyboardist/songwriter Julian Jay Savarin's solo album Waiters on the Dance (1973), which was part two of the trilogy that A Time Before This was supposed to inaugurate. The CD also adds historical liner notes by British neo-psychedelic musician Bevis Frond that dispense quite a bit of information on this hitherto quite mysterious band. ~ Richie Unterberger
Release Date: 23 June 2014