Peter Bardens

Long Ago, Far Away: The Recordings (1968-1971)

Following a sort of carousel-calliope intro, with one unmistakable bend, Peter Green enters “The Answer” and quickly transforms the proceedings. Keyboardist Peter Bardens released an album of the same name in 1970, featuring an uncredited Green, guitarist Andy Gee, and future Elvis Costello bassist Bruce Thomas.

Previously, he led Peter B’s Looners (with Green and Mick Fleetwood), which morphed into Shotgun Express (featuring Rod Stewart). The Answer, along with Bardens’ eclectic self-titled followup, two singles, and the extended “Long Ago, Far Away,” are collected in a two-CD set that straddles blues, psychedelia, and prog. Other players include guitarist Vic Linton, singer/violinist Victor Brox (of the Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation), and drummer Reg Isadore (pre-Robin Trower).

The trippy “Don’t Goof With A Spook” gets a hefty dose of Green’s reverb, while “Let’s Get It On” is a shuffle in the manner of Jimmy Reed, with Bardens’ jangly piano complemented by wah guitar. Churning 13 minutes of “Homage To The God Of Light” swirls around a single chord.

This is definitely a timepiece, but Bardens, who later formed Camel and worked with Van Morrison before dying of lung cancer in 2002 at 56, is deserving of the recognition it offers.

This article originally appeared in VG’s October 2022 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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