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Robert e. Lee Brigade - "Far Enough" (LP)

Robert e. Lee Brigade - "Far Enough" (LP)

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Genre: rock
Rating: 3 stars ***
Title:  Far Enough
Company: Columbia
Catalog: ELS-370
Year: 1970
Country/State: Toronto, Canada
Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+
Comments: Canadian pressing
Available: 1
Catalog ID: 5143
Price: $150.00

For a major label release this 1970 effort by The Robert E. Lee Brigade (naturally they were Canadian) is surprisingly hard to locate. Similarly good luck finding out much about this Toronto-based five piece - singer Frank Lee, bassist Jim Ledgerwood, lead guitarist Spyros Lagoudontis, keyboard player Gary W. Mertz, and drummer Edward Shaw. Judging by the enigmatic liner notes producer John Williams was apparently responsible for pulling the group together and giving them a recording contract.  

Recorded in Toronto's Sound Studios, 1970's "Far Enough" was co-produced by Williams and Phillip Brown. Musically the set wasn't particularly original, with the band taking stabs at pop ('Certain Tears'), lite-psych ('Ballad of a Thin Man'), and more rock oriented material (the martial ballad 'Cycle') - the latter also sporting a great Lagoudontis guitar solo. Powered by Lee's commercial and attractive voice, the set offered up an enjoyable mixture of originals and popular rock covers with self-penned tracks like 'She', 'Cycle' and 'One Way Love' proving to be quite good. That left me with the impression the covers were nothing more than an effort to fill out the debut LP once the band ran out of original material. Unfortunately with the exception of the rocked-up Dylan number, most of the covers (Beatles, Stones) were fairly rote remakes - competent, but hardly inspiring. That was a shame since with a couple more quality originals this could have been a major league discovery. Elsewhere Columbia tapped the album for a couple of single in the form of:

- 1970's 'You Can't Always Get What You Want' b/w 'Her Misfortune' (Columbia catalog number C4-2928)
- 1970's 'Merry Go Round' b/w 'Certain Tears' (Columbia catalog number C42947).  

The latter was easily the most commercial track on the LP, the 'A' side could almost have passed as something out of The Archies' catalog.

"Far Enough" track listing:
(side 1)
1.) She (Frank Lee - Spyros Lagoudontis) - 3:36
2.) You Can't Always Get What You Want (Mick Jagger - Keith Richards) - 3:56
3.) Blackbird (John Lennon - Paul McCartney) - 0:39
4.) Ballad of a Thin Man (Bob Dylan) - 3:40
5.) Lazy Sunday (Steve Marriott - Ronnie Lane) - 2:51
6.) Certain Tears (Frank Lee - Jim Ledgerwood) - 2:15

(side 2)
1.) Merry-Go-Round (Jim Ledgerwood) - 3:10
2.) Cycle (Frank Lee - Spyros Lagoudontis) - 3:58
3.) One Way Love (Gary Mertz) - 3;11
4.) Maybe Tomorrow (Tom) - 3:28
5.) And I Love Her (John Lennon - Paul McCartney) - 3:37
6.) Her Misfortune (Robert Chacra) - 2:11

There are also a paper of non-LP singles:

- 1970's 'Soft Summer Rain' b/w 'I'm Losing Time' (Columbia catalog number C4-2994)
- 1970's 'Walking Papers' b/w 'Lord Pity Us' (Columbia catalog number C4-2995)

In case anyone is interested, as of early 2007 Lagoudontis appears to have become a successful Toronto-based realtor.

This one also shows up in one of the Hans Pokora "Record Collector Dreams" books.
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