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Music : Quintessence, After Quintessence & Shivas Quintessence - 7 Albums Collection 1969-2011
Allmusic / Biography by Bruce Eder
Quintessencewas among the first true progressive rock outfits signed by IslandRecords. Led by Australian-born Shiva Shankar Jones (keyboards, vocals)and Raja Ram (flute, violin, percussion), the group also included AlanMostert (lead guitar), Sambhu Babaji (bass), Maha Dev (guitar), and JakeMilton (drums), all of whom, in addition to a common interest in Indianmusic, also shared the Hindu faith. The groups roots lay in the hippiecommunity in the Notting Hill area, which was to London roughly whatHaight-Ashbury was to San Francisco. Their breakthrough performance tookplace at a festival called Implosion, where they put on a good enoughshow to get noticed by Island Records, which signed them and got theirdebut LP, an elaborately packaged concept album entitled In BlissfulCompany, out before the end of the year. Its mix of rock, jazz, andIndian elements was popular enough at the time with their core audience,especially one track entitled Notting Hill Gate, a tribute to thehippie community, which found a slightly wider audience; the bandsubsequently recut the song in a more pop-oriented rendition as asingle. The group had a strong reputation from their live work, andtheir early recordings seemed to build from this base. Quintessencescareer reached its commercial peak with their self-titled second album,which got to number 22 on the U.K. charts. They did one more album forIsland and then jumped to RCAs new British progressive rock Neonimprint for two LPs in the early 70s. Jones departed soon after therelease of the groups second album for the new label, and they split upnot long after that. In 1973, Jones became part of the big-bandprogressive outfit Kala, which recorded one album for the Bradleyslabel, and in subsequent decades he restarted his own version ofQuintessence.

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1969 In Blissful Company
Repertoire Records UK 2004 / REPUK 1009
CD / Digipack / Reissue / Remastered
1969/1970 Island Records ? 2004 Island Records / Rerpertoire Records (UK) Ltd.
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1970 Quintessence
Repertoire Records UK 2004 / REPUK 1016
CD / Digipack / Reissue / Remastered
1970 Island Records ? 2004 Island Records / Rerpertoire Records (UK) Ltd.
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1971 Dive Deep
Repertoire Records UK 2004 / REPUK 1063
CD / Digipack / Reissue / Remastered
1971 Island Records ? 2004 Island Records / Rerpertoire Records (UK) Ltd.
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1972 Self
Esoteric Records EU 2008 / ECLEC2076
1972 & 1971 Sony BMG Music ? 2008 Cherry Red Records / Esoteric Records
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1972 Indweller
Esoteric Records EU 2008 / ECLEC2089
1972 Sony BMG Music ? 2008 Cherry Red Records / Esoteric Records
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2010 After Quintessence: The Complete Kala Recordings 1973
Hux Records / HUX115
& 2010 Hux Records / Made in EU
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2011 Only Love Can Save Us
Hux Records / HUX121
& 2011 Hux Records / Made in EU


1969 In Blissful Company
Original Release:
Tracks 1 to 8 originally released as (UK) Island ILPS 9100 in 1969
Tracks 9 & 10 originally released as single (UK) Island WIP 6075, 1970
Allmusic / Review by Chris Nickson
Whileits easy to dismiss Quintessences first album, In Blissful Company,as hippie-dippy nonsense, that would be throwing the baby out with thebath water. Granted, there are several moments when the mix of jazz-rockand Indian influence go well over the top, as on Ganaga Mai, and noone is going to mistake these guys for, say, Shakti. But they were stillfar ahead of their time, if you consider this from more of a worldmusic perspective. And theres pleasure to be had from Notting Hill(in both versions - the CD appends the very different single version,plus the non-album B-side, Move Into the Light). Theres no doubt theybelieved in what they were doing, and lead guitarist Alan Mostert doesadd some stirring lines into the mix under Raja Rams vocals and flute.Its certainly pleasant, progressive in its own way, and while theres acertain sloppiness and muddiness to much of the playing (in best hippiefashion), that actually adds to its appeal in a perverse way. They diddevelop over the course of four more albums, but never became a majorattraction, and in some regards this remains a high point.

01 Giants
02 Manco Capac
03 Body
04 Gange Mai
05 Chant
06 Pearl And Bird
07 Notting Hill Gate
08 Midnight Mode
Bonus Tracks
09 Notting Hill Gate (Single Version)
10 Move Into The Light

Tracks 09/10 Recorded in Mono

1970 Quintessence
Original Release:
Tracks 1 to 11 originally released in 1970 (Album Quintessence by Quintessence, catalog# ILPS 9128)
Track 12, not present in original album, is a bonus track from 1970s compilation Bumpers by various artists, catalog# IDP 1
Allmusic / Review by Richie Unterberger
WhileQuintessences second album had a guileless sincerity to its spiritualstriving that was uncommon in pop music, its very much a relic of itshippie age. The good points An uncalculated, genuine wish to bothreflect the eras ideals and to use its music as a tool to achieve them,as well as a willingness to blend aspects of jazz, Indian music, andreligious invocation into an overall psychedelic-progressive rockstructure (complete with flute and some acid rock guitar). The badpoints An absence of conventional songwriting chops, exacerbated by thebands tendency to ramble on in formless jam-like passages, thoughactually none of the tracks here exceed six minutes. Certainly itseclectic, with a commune-like vibe permeating the proceedings, thoughthe recordings quite professional. Jesus, Buddha, Moses, Gaurangasounds rather akin to the Were Only in It for the Money-era Mothers ofInvention, though minus any hint of satire or irony in the over-the-topbeatific lyrics. Overall, though, it feels a little like listening tothe house rock band of a pan-religious cult that doesnt have anythingof particular value to sell. The 2004 CD reissue on Repertoire adds alive version of Jesus, Buddha, Moses, Gauranga (originally released onthe first pressing of the 1970 Island compilation Bumpers) as a bonustrack.

01 Jesus, Buddha, Moses, Gauranga
02 Sea Of Immortality
03 High On Mt. Kailash (Excerpt From Opera)
04 Burning Bush (Live)
05 Shivas Chant
06 Primus
07 Twilight Zones
08 Maha Mantra
09 Only Love
10 St. Pancras (Live)
11 Infinitum

Bonus Track
12 Jesus, Buddha, Moses, Gauranga (Live Version)

1971 Dive Deep
Original Release: Island UK ILPS 9143
Allmusic / Review by Sharon Mawer
Inthe early 70s, progressive rock was heading in several differentdirections. There was the ultra-classical influenced Emerson, Lake &Palmer which ultimately ended in overblown performances that became toocomplicated for the casual pop or rock fan to enjoy, there were thebands that became heavier and more song-orientated like Deep Purple, andthen there were the bands that had religion at their heart, mainlyEastern religions, the Incredible String Band and Quintessence fell intothis latter category with all its members devotees of the Hindu faith,unusual at the time for Westerners. Dive Deep, Quintessences thirdalbum, was effectively more of what had come before, with longinstrumental passages, sometimes with definable themes and sometimessounding as if the band had instructions to jam and see what happened.Not afraid to stretch their songs to around the ten-minute mark, therewere only six tracks - of which Epitaph for Tomorrow had a guitar solorunning through it and which could be described as the forerunner ofTubular Bells -- and the final track, Sri Ram Chant, made liberal useof the sitar, Raja Rams flute, Indian rhythms throughout, and a mantramentioning Krishna at every opportunity. Much simpler was the titletrack, Dive Deep, which opened the album and owed more to 60s folkthan prog or religious rock. This led into the 11-minute track Dancefor the One with a six-minute intro of meandering flute, never oncemanaging a recognizable tune. Quintessence never made it into the bigleague, and this was not totally surprising based on the evidence ofDive Deep, which was their final album for Island before trying theirluck on the newly founded Neon label (part of the RCA group and home towhat RCA hoped what be their progressive equivalent of Harvest, Vertigoor Deram). Apart from one further week at number 50 in the charts withthe album Self, Quintessence never really happened and the internalarguments that led the group to split increased.

01 Dive Deep
02 Dance For The One
03 Brahman
04 The Seer
05 Epitaph For Tomorrow
06 Sri Ram Chant

1972 Self
Original Release:
UK RCA Victor SF8273
Tracks 01-08 1972 Sony BMG Music Entertainment Ltd.
Tracks 09-10 1971 Sony BMG Music Entertainment Ltd.
Allmusic / Review by Dave Thompson
By1972, the magical aura that once surrounded Quintessence had long sincedissipated, just as the band itself had shed much of the evocativepanache that characterized their greatest moments. One more album on theunfamiliar pastures of RCA was not going to correct their decline, butSelf emerged a delight regardless, chiefly courtesy of the live secondside that caught the band in full flight at Exeter University. Despitebeing just two songs long (Freedom and Water Goddess), theperformance rolls back the years so effectively that the faintlyworkaday weight of side one is barely even relevant to the albumsglory. There, of course, the bands customary blending of Indian mantraand jazzy heartbeats is as eclectic as ever, and the only downside isthat the group has not really moved on from its original vision.

01 Cosmic Surfer
02 Wonders Of The Universe
03 Vishnu-Narain
04 Hallelujad
05 Celestial Procession
06 Self
07 Freedom
08 Water Goddess
Bonus Tracks
09 You Never Stay The Same
10 Sweet Jesus

1972 Indweller
Original Release: UK RCA Victor SF8317
EsotericRecordings add to their recent reissue of Quintessences first albumfor RCA Records with this, their final vinyl outing from 1972. Hailingfrom the heart of Londons alternative underground society in NottingHill, Quintessence were inspired by Eastern philosophy and spiritualteachings creating a unique fusion of Psychedelia, Jazz and Ethnic Rock.Indweller saw them continue their musical explorations in this vein,creating a classic of the Progressive / Acid Rock genre. The Esotericre-mastered edition was produced from the original analogue master tapesand features a booklet with liner notes and new essay.

01 Jesus My Life
02 Butterfly Music
03 Its All The Same
04 Indweller
05 Holy Roller
06 Portable Realm
07 Sai Baba
08 On The Other Side Of The Wall
09 Dedication
10 Bliss Trip
11 Mother Of The Universe

After Quintessence: The Complete Kala Recordings 1973

Original Release:
Tracks 01-08 from the 1973 LP Kala
Tracks 09-10 from the 1973 LP Bradleys Roadsbow: Live At The Marquee
Tracks 11-12 Live in 1973 (previously unreleased)
Tracks 13-14 feature new vocals from Phil Shiva Jones (previously unreleased)
Digitallyremastered collection of tracks from this 70s band formed by formermembers of Quintessence (vocalist Phil Shiva Jones and guitarist DaveMaha Dev Codling). Featuring two previously unreleased live tracks andtwo brand new vocal takes, this CD debut of Kalas complete works hasbeen compiled with the full co-operation of Phil and Dave. In June thisyear, Shiva and Daves reformed Quintessence will be performing at the40th Glastonbury Festival - 40 years after storming the very first.

01 Travelling Home
02 Sun
03 Thirsty Generation
04 Pearl
05 Meditations
06 Still Got Time
07 Hallelujah
08 Honey Of Love
09 Come On Around To My House
10 Before You Leave
11 Going Down Slow
12 Honey Of Love
13 Meditations (2010 Mix)
14 Still Got Time (2010 Mix)

2011 Only Love Can Save Us

01 Only Love Can Save Us / Mother Of Love Chant
02 Sun
03 Notting Hill Gate / Magic Carpet Ride
04 Jesus Buddha Moses Gauranga
05 Parvati Devi
06 Hallelujad
07 Cosmic Surfer
08 Giants
09 Reptillian Corporate Sign Language
10 New Age Breadhead
11 Dolphin Dreaming
12 But What Am I

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