This is the first official re-release on vinyl under licensed courtesy of BMG Rights Management, UK, remastered from an original master copy out of the vaults of BMG. The album was originally released in 1970 on Transatlantic. Marsupilami is one of those early ’70s groups that should’ve emerged but didn’t, like Audience, Gravy Train, Gnidrolog and a few more. This south-west England sextet, built around the Hasson brothers Fred (vocals) and Leary (keyboards) and the latter’s girlfriend Jessica Clarke (flute and vocals), released two superb albums that have gone way too long without being noticed. Marsipulami’s sombre and slightly spooky flute-laden music, often evoking mythology, certainly was groundbreaking stuff and should’ve caught many more “underground public” ears, but the offer was plentiful in those times and the places in the sunshine a bit scarce. The opening ‘Dorian Deep’ is often sombre and brooding, heavy, organ-driven, with the fuzz guitar and the flute adding more drama, Fouracre’s drumming being very strong, this leaves Hicks’ bass playing often the anchoring role, but does it brilliantly. ‘Born To Be Free’ starts off as languid flute-driven piece before suddenly exploding into another frenzied jam, although the Leary Hasson organ solo gives this one a jazz tinge… that is until the harmonica solo comes in! Finally the flute reclaims the piece and the listener is thrown back to that now seemingly distant mellow beginning. The imagery in ‘And The Eagle Chased The Dove To Its Ruin’ drips with the rhythmic energy of classic psychedelia and is probably the listeners’ declared favourite track. Side two starts with ‘Ab Intio Ad Finem (The Opera)’ which runs for nearly 11 minutes. It begins with a musical box kind of sound before a march gradually takes over. Some churchy organ creeps in and after 2 minutes, an excellent organ/tribal drum jam ensues and after a minute or two, some delightful flute chips in. It then becomes a guitar freak out, before flute leads the band back into a pastoral section, before everything takes off again on a wild jazzy jam at around the 7 minute mark, really great prog stuff. ‘Facilis Descencus Averni’ is a different beast altogether, perhaps even more jarring than the most manic moments of ‘Dorian Deep’ and a another high-powered jam, with a drastic switch to a meditative flute passage… before the great vocal part restates itself. There is a vibe that reminds occasionally of Quintessence and at other times of Iron Butterfly, but Marsupilami has more to offer. Earthy, powerful and intriguing, Marsupilami was one of the first true progressive rock bands. This is a must for all lovers of early British prog rock. The album comes with 6-sided cover-sized insert sheet with comprehensive story by singer Fred Hasson and additional Glastonbury story by organ player Leary Hasson, rare and unseen photos and lyrics. Don’t miss it!