Here at long last is Godley & Creme’s lost Marmalade LP, intended to have been released in 1969 as Frabjoy and Runcible Spoon, resurrected by the Grapefruit label and collected with their other late 60s material.
The CD starts with a rustic take on ‘Im Beside Myself’, replete with Jew’s harp, banjo and harmonica, a sound surprisingly similar to their final 1988 LP Goodbye Blue Sky although they had been all over the musical map in between. ‘Chaplin House’, about a student lodging in Stoke-on-Trend where Godley went to art school comes next. Godley’s angelic falsetto takes centre stage, and it is abundantly clear why Marmalade label honcho Giorgio Gomelsky wanted to make an LP with these guys. This track, together with the even more amazing ‘Cowboys and Indians’ and the equally convincing ‘It’s The Best Seaside In The World’ were included in Kevin Godley’s digital 2015 memoir, Spacecake. Tech savvy readers could extract the tracks as low bitrate MP3s, but here they are presented in high quality – and boy do they ever sound good!
The final three tracks from the LP sessions, ‘Fly Away’, ‘Take Me Back’ and ‘Today’ would later appear on the 1970 Hotlegs LP, but are already fully formed and simply breathtaking despite being just rough mixes. The original take of ‘To Fly Away’ released as a Godley solo track on the 1969 Marmalade album sampler 100° Proof is also included but unfortunately suffers somewhat in comparison as the sound quality isn’t as good. In addition, the spunky Graham Gouldman track ‘The Late Mr. Late’ from the same sampler also appears, under the pretext that Godley is on backing vocals, together with two hitherto unpublished Gouldman demos with Godley on lead vocals. While definitely of interest, these Gouldman penned tracks can’t really hold a candle to the Godley & Creme originals.
Frabjoy and Runcible Spoon only ever released one single, and obviously it is included here. It couples a less rustic version of ‘I’m Beside Myself’ with the beautifully frail ‘Animal Song’ that certainly would have fitted on the LP even though from a session a few months earlier.
To wrap up, there is the 1967 single from the very first Godley & Creme venture, The Yellow Bellow Room Boom together with an unreleased acetate. All four songs are very good, though not of the Frabjoy and Runcible Spoon sessions recording quality. The package is rounded out with what may have been the last collaboration before before Godley & Creme got fully immersed in the Strawberry Studios activities. Commissioned by the Blinkers club as a promo single for their activities, it couples the throwaway ‘Hello Blinkers’ jingle already made available on the Bubble Rock Is Here To Stay compilation with a real gem of a B-side where Godley’s pitch perfect voice once again is to the fore.
A landmark release meticulously compiled and annotated by David Wells that should appeal to any lovers of 60s music while being a dream come true for 10cc fans.