Thursday, September 9, 2021

VA - Looking Towards the Sky, Progressive, Psychedelic & Folk Rock From the Ember Vaults [2010]


VA - Looking Towards the Sky, Progressive, Psychedelic & Folk Rock From the Ember Vaults [2010]

One of Britain's most successful independent record labels during the 1960's and 1970's, Ember Records tended to focus on pop-oriented material and R&B sides licensed from American labels, but in an effort to keep up with the times, they dipped their toes ever so lightly into hipper stuff during the era of long hair and fashionable protest, and Looking Towards the Sky: Progressive, Psychedelic and Folk Rock from the Ember Vaults features 15 tracks in which the label stepped out of their comfort zone. Of course, the fact that Ember didn't have a strong background in any of the above-mentioned genres might have something to do with why this music generally sounds rather toothless; most of the material here sounds crisp and professional, but also suggests the work of session musicians trying to sound hip for the sake of a client, rather than the real thing, even when the acts are legitimate. The folkie cuts on this collection at least boast some impressive names.

For progressive rock, this is pretty song oriented. Looking Towards the Sky covers the more folk- and folk-rock influences end of the underground. But with excellent bands like Blond on Blond, this music does have a lot of amazing flourishes and is highly enjoyable. (Amazon)




Track lists

01 9.30 Fly Life And Times 5:12

02 Dorians Help For My Waiting 2:58

03 Blonde On Blonde Heart Without A Home 5:29

04 Blue Beard Losing You 3:07

05 Rusty Harness Goodbye 2:58

06 Paddy Maguire Doin' The Best I Can 3:18

07 Knocker Jungle I Don't Know Why 3:17

08 Knocker Jungle Reality 1:48

09 Blonde On Blonde Sad Song For An Easy Lady 4:19

10 9.30 Fly Mr. 509 7:26

11 Dorians Good Love 3:15

12 Davey Payne & The Medium Wave Looking Towards The Sky 2:11

13 Milt Matthews Inc. Disaster Area 4:33

14 Blonde On Blonde Circles 7:26

15 Back Street Band This Ain't The Road 2:17




  1. Hi BB.. No one else commenting so I'll say I found this to be a pleasant enough collection (one I've never seen) but nothing too extraordinary, which is ok cause they can't all be that way by definition. The Paddy Maguire number "Doin' The Best I Can" reminded me of Procol Harum.

    1. Hi mrRadio.
      Thanks for that. I really like the opening track and the Knocker Jungle tracks, A cross between t.Rex and Love.


  2. Hi B... Lost this one along the way... please put link back when you get a chance.
    I have got you backed-up I think as there's a few before it.. I hope you saw those.
    It's obviously your well-deserved hugely grateful following that keeps those alive.

    1. Hi mrRadio,
      New link established, tested and working.