Today, post-internet, we have a Triple AAA pass to everything imaginable within the grasp of just a couple of key-strokes. Indeed, for many people a world where you couldn’t satisfy any whimsy via Google seems totally alien to them. Imagine, then, being a teenager in the late seventies, living on a farm in the middle of nowhere, where your only access to pop music is what gets delivered to you via FM radio. And imagine their innocent dreams of recording an album too. Turns out that the Emerson brothers parents supported their sons musical aspirations and built a studio on the farm specifically to make this record – a decision that woefully caused financial disaster and lost the family farm acreage (from 1,600 down to 65) thanks to a 18% bank loan. But, presumably, they had faith that the record was good enough to recoup costs. And, the thing is, it is and, in a mush more just and equitable (and innocent?) version of this world it might have. But, the sad reality is that the world isn’t like that is it? Of course, perhaps, if they had YouTube in 1978, Donnie and Joe would have been bigger than Bieber.
It’d be correct to say that my introduction to the 1979 released lost gem is from Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti’s most recent cover of their song Baby, which is to be included on their upcoming new album. But, it’s renaissance can be tracked back to record collector Jack Fleisher finding a still-sealed copy in a East Washington second-hand shop and posting about it on his blog. http://bubblingdusk.blogspot.co.uk/2010/06/dennis-harte-on-roundtable.html Then Ariel Pink bassist Tim Koh championed it and it appeared on a mixtape by Memoryhouse. It just goes to show, just ‘cos you can see it all, doesn’t mean you have seen it all.
Aside from the wonderful original version of Baby – which truly does stand out as a record highlight – the off-kilter filtering of seventies radio pop/rock throughout this record is a gem for any record collection. Opening with a luscious groove of Good Time, before the inexplicably good slow-funk-fuelled of Give Me The Chance – replete with psychedelic-space effects. Feels Like The Sun is what it says on the packet; gloriously so. While the sparseness of Love Is is wonderfully haunting. Don’t Go Lovin’ Nobody Else stands up next to Baby as another album highlight – guitar lines snake like psychedelic smoke around a grooving bassline.
Light in The Attic have reissued the album now. Without it’s actual vintage and backstory, this record, if recorded this year, would doubtlessly be celebrated for it’s worked-on authenticity. These days artists uproot themselves from their busy twitter-feeds to seek solitude, renting a house in the countryside to record in and re-discover a wide eyed innocence that they probably never even had and we lap it up. Dreamin’ Wild is testament, in case we need reminding that you cannot, ever, work on authenticity – shi’s either authentic or it ain’t. This shi’ is. - review by Andrew Tidball