Sunday, October 28, 2007

Billy Nicholls - Would You Believe

In 1968, while still in his late teens, Billy Nicholls recorded one of the finest albums of British psychedelia. Nicholls was clearly a product of his surrounding influences as traces of the Zombies, the Kinks, and Between the Buttons era Stones are blended to create lavishly produced pop. Harmonies drip from every corner and strings constantly rise and fall just as you would expect from the greats of the era. The title track would sound right at home on Odessey and Oracle and "London Social Degree" pays Nicholls' debt to Ray Davies.

Unfortunately the album did not see an original release date and only a few promotional copies made it into circulation. Though he would later go on to work with Pete Townshend and eventually recorded a follow up, its hard to imagine the greatness he may have achieved if success had given him the opportunity to shake the obviousness of his influences.
In 2006 Castle released an expanded 2-disc version of the album. If this is your cup of tea, snatch it up as this album tends to fall in and out of print.

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Anonymous said...

I heard Would You Believe for the first time about 10 years ago and the first thing that struck me was Steve Marriott screaming at me through the left spekaer. Billy was signed to Immediate which would explain the Small Face doing back up vocals. Wouldn't suprise me if the other three Small Faces were also on the recording.
Ed Falling Leaves.

A. Scott said...

That's a great tidbit and I hadn't noticed it before (though I can certainly hear it now!). Oddly enough after writing this post I broke out Odgen's Nut Gone Flake. I guess the connection was at least made subconsciously.