Third Ear Band – early tracks re-released

Third Ear Band

Third Ear Band was much more than a standard rock band of Guitar / Bass / Drums variety. The Third Ear Band notional leader, percussionist Glen Sweeney, had his musical roots in the British musical avant-garde, and had worked in combos such as the Giant Sun Trolley and Hydrogen Jukebox, playing shows and guerrilla events at places such as the UFO club and, perhaps most memorable of all, the 14 Hour Technicolour Dream at the Alexandra Palace in North London April 1967.  By August 67, the Giant Sun Trolley had split and Sweeney formulated the idea of the Third Ear Band as a natural progression.

The Third Ear Band started appearing on all manner of gigs, impromptu gatherings, concerts and festivals and their notoriety spread, no doubt in part because of their unusual instrumentation – percussion, cello, electric guitar, oboe, woodwinds – and their sound and style was unique, even by the frequently out-there nature of contemporaries such as the Incredible String Band. Yet, given the outré sound and structure of the band, they nonetheless struck a chord with the counter-culture crowd and their albums actually outsold many of their more commercial or critically-acclaimed contemporaries.

The Third Ear Band were under the guidance of management company Blackhill Enterprises, who were leading lights in the Progressive Rock scene – looking after the likes of Pink Floyd, Michael Chapman, Edgar Broughton and Kevin Ayers,  and were also signed to the Harvest Record label.  Blackhill also organised several free concerts at London’s Hyde Park, including the Rolling Stones gig on the July 5th 1969, with TEB opening the show.

1970 was the high water mark for TEB. They toured the UK as special guests of Al Stewart, they also played concerts throughout Europe and their notoriety grew. However, by the end of 1972, the TEB concept would seem to have run its course. However, by the late 80’s the Third Ear Band sound had found something of a new audience with New Agers and those aficionados of the rave scene. The band, under the auspices of Glen Sweeney, made some new recordings, which are featured on this release.

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