Saturday, May 1, 2010

Ten Years After: A Space In Time

The decision on what music that I feature in this blog often comes to me in the most unusual ways and today’s album feature is no exception. I had not considered Ten Years After’s “A Space in Time” until last evening – although I should have because it is an excellent example of how bands evolve into other directions while still maintaining their roots. Last night, the weather was so nice I got my acoustic guitar out and was playing on our back deck and the chords to “I’d Love to Change the World” popped into my head – the characteristic Em, G, Am, C, B7 along with the bass progression of E, F#, G, A, B, C, B.

When I came into the house, I set out to find a cover version of this song for Monday – still not considering this album from 1971. While there were several covers that I found, I was not satisfied with any and that’s when it hit me to feature this album. I was first exposed to Ten Years After through Jim Roach’s weekly artist feature on WDVE. I always managed to capture these three hours on tape and the basic song structures helped me to learn how to play guitar. Some of those songs included “Good Morning Little School Girl,” “Let the Sky Fall,” and “Rock & Music to the World.” I had all of their best on tape, so I only ever purchased one Ten Years After album and this is it.

I’d Love to Change the World

“I’d Love to Change the World” was the single release from “A Space in Time” and it charted at #40. Most folks who lived in that era will at least remember this song of social consciousness, as it was their only Top 40 release. Even with the single’s lackluster chart performance, it aided in making “A Space in Time” Ten Years After’s best selling LP of all time.

Let the Sky Fall

The album featured numerous other gems. It was a departure from their previous LPs being more acoustic and it featured synthesizer as many other bands of the era had incorporated this new instrument into their repertoire. The album also provides several examples of studio techniques such as backwards guitar, chorus, and phasing effects. My favorite cut on the album was “Let the Sky Fall” which had both backwards guitar and the Coral Electric Sitar.

The Entire LP

While writing this week’s post, my brother called and reminded me that I won a contest on WDVE for correctly answering a music trivia question about the band. I was rewarded a prize from a local record store; however, I had forgotten this episode and do not recall the prize, but i do remember the answer to the question, “What did the name ‘Ten Years After’ reference?” The answer my friend, “they started 10 years after Elvis.” I have compiled a You Tube playlist for the entire album; however, one song was not available – “Once There Was A Time.” I substituted a live recording from the Fillmore East in 1970 to round out the album’s selection.

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