Barclay James Harvest

Discography

Mandalaband - The Eye Of Wendor

Mandalaband - Eye Of Wendor CD artwork


MANDALABAND was the brainchild of David Rohl, musician, composer, producer and now eminent Egyptologist, Director of the Institute for the Study of Interdisciplinary Sciences and Editor of the Journal of Ancient Chronology Forum. His was the guiding spirit behind the two albums which appeared on the Chrysalis label under the Mandalaband name in the latter years of the seventies. To trace their origins, we must journey backwards in time to 1967, when the young David Rohl left school in the midst of his "A"-level exams in order to form a band called the Sign Of Life, who played their first London 'gig' at Battersea Town Hall on September 28th, 1968. His interest in mythology in general, and that of Egypt in particular, was reflected in the change of name of this band to Ankh, the hieroglyphic determinative for life in Ancient Egypt. Ankh, by then consisting of entirely different musicians from the earlier band, recorded some demos at Stockport's Strawberry Studios with Eric Stewart, part-owner of the studios, former lead singer of The Mindbenders and later to achieve fame and fortune in 10cc. On the strength of these demos, Ankh were signed up by Vertigo for an album to be produced by BBC DJ Tommy Vance. However, Vertigo declined to issue the finished product, and the band split up. Disillusioned, Rohl went to study photography at Manchester College of Art, during which time he was commissioned to photograph The Moody Blues - examples of his work can be seen on the inside of the gatefold sleeve of A Question of Balance.

Rohl's next venture drew on his experience of working with Eric Stewart and within his own band, when, at the age of 23, he set up a new recording studio just outside Stockport. Camel Studios, in Poynton, was the birthplace of the original Mandalaband. Tony Cresswell had auditioned as session drummer for Camel Studios and became a founder member of the new band. David and Tony then recruited Vic Emerson, a keyboard virtuoso who worked as an arranger and co-director of Camel before joining the fledgling outfit. Meanwhile, bassist John Stimpson and lead guitarist Ashley Mulford's band Friends had broken up and they too became part of the band after recording at Camel. The final piece fell into place when David Durant, a singer and friend of Stimpson and Mulford, auditioned and became the voice of Mandalaband.

They quickly drew the attention of major record companies, and Chrysalis won the race to sign them. Their first live gig, at Warwick University of 30th January 1975, was swiftly followed by a support slot on Robin Trower's UK tour in February, but problem arose when Rohl was prevented from producing their debut album, Chrysalis preferring instead to bring in John Alcock. Rohl, who says that he has always been happier in the background than performing in the limelight departed from the band he had founded, and the album, an ambitious concept inspired by the Tibetan people's brave resistance to the Chinese invasion and subsequent occupation of their country, largely written by Rohl, went ahead without him. The recording was not a qualified success, and Rohl's stand was vindicated when Chrysalis Managing Director, Chris Wright, asked him to return to remix the tapes at Air Studios. Despite his ministrations, the album never quite captured the power and epic sweep of Rohl's original vision. The four movements of "Om Mani Padme Hum", affectionately known as "Oh My Papa" by the band, took up the whole of the first side of the debut album, Mandalaband (Chrysalis CHR 1095), which was released on October 24th, 1975, (and re-issued on CD by Edsel in early 1992). With its mantras taken from Tibet's national anthem, sung in Tibetan over a highly complex arrangement for band, choir and string synthesizers, "Om Mani Padme Hum" was as far outside the mainstream of the 'rock' idiom as it was possible to get, and fell on confused and bemused ears! The album was engineered by Tim Friese-Greene, who is now well-known for his success with the band Talk Talk.

Rohl returned to engineering, at Indigo Sound in Manchester, working with such luminaries as Marc Bolan, Thin Lizzy and Barclay James Harvest, whilst the remainder of the band, with new vocalist Paul Young and additional guitarist, Ian Wilson, (both formerly of local band Gyro) renamed themselves Sad Café and recorded another album. Chrysalis failed to see their potential, and Sad Café and their album were sold to RCA, with whom they went on to have hits with songs such as "Every Day Hurts" and "My Oh My"; Paul Young also tasted success in Mike and The Mechanics. In 1976, Rohl took over from Eric Stewart as Chief Engineer at Strawberry Studios where he produced a series of albums and singles for artists such as Barclay James Harvest, Maddy Prior , Tim Hart and Roy Hill. Chrysalis retained his services as a writer and performer during this period, and at their suggestion the Mandalaband name was retained for his next project, a series of three albums based around the theme of a fabulous gemstone with mystical properties. The first part of the trilogy, The Eye of Wendor: Prophecies, was set in a prehistoric world peopled by characters who would not be out of place in a Tolkien bestiary (in fact, the opening theme was originally penned for a soundtrack to The Lord Of The Rings).

Recording the album called for a new approach, as Rohl no longer had his own band; instead, he created the "Mandalaband Club" from friends, acquaintances and colleagues met during his many years in the music business. Musicians of the calibre of Justin Hayward, 10CC, Barclay James Harvest, Maddy Prior, Paul Young and many others gave their services free and were recorded singly or in groups in the small hours when the studios were free. The whole album took nearly two years to record, and the resulting tapes were then painstakingly pieced together and mixed down by David with assistance from Martin Lawrence, who was fresh from engineering Godley & Creme's mammoth project Consequences.

The main characters in the tale of Wendor are played by individual vocalists: Justin Hayward sings the part of King Aenord, ruler of Carthilias, Maddy Prior plays his daughter, Princess Ursula, and Eric Stewart is Florian, the young hero whom the prophecies tell will retrieve the Eye of Wendor from the evil Witch Queen, Silesandre. The narrative vocalists, Graham Gouldman, Kevin Godley and Paul Young, describe Florian's adventures in his quest and the characters he meets, including Almar the alchemist in his laboratory, the primeval sea-serpent Elsethea and Damien, the old Kings's heir. The major instrumental contributions were made by Rohl himself, Barclay James Harvest's Woolly Wolstenholme, Kim Turner and Steve Broomhead (who both later joined Woolly in his band Maestoso), Phil Chapman and the late Ritchie Close (to whom this CD release is dedicated), not forgetting members of the Hallé Orchestra.

The album The Eye of Wendor: Prophecies, was finally released on Chrysalis (CHR 1181) on 12th May, 1978, and, whilst it didn't set the world alight, sold respectably in Britain, Germany, Holland, Canada, Japan and Australia. As time has passed, it has achieved cult status and commands high prices on the collectors' market. This RPM issue is its first appearance on CD, and is mastered from the original mixdown master tapes to give a new clarity and depth to the album.

The original album included an illustrated story sheet which was omitted from the RPM CD issue, as David felt that the music has stood the test of time better than the rather derivative, sub- Tolkien text. That sheet promised that the story was "to be continued": so far as the Mandalaband project was concerned, that rash statement was the kiss of death! Whilst The Eye of Wendor cost just £8,000 to complete (a derisory sum for an album of such complexity, even in 1978), any follow-up would have been considerably more expensive, and Chrysalis decided not to take the risk. However, David has since continued to work occasionally in the industry, collaborating with Woolly Wolstenholme on soundtracks for TV, including Cosgrove Hall's animations for Cinderella, The Pied Piper (which received two British Academy Awards) and Gerald Durrell's "The Talking Parcel", Thames TV's series "S.W.A.L.K" and "The Squad", and writing the music for "The All Electric Amusement Arcade" on his own. Since then, he has written and produced recordings for the band Vega and a fine song called "Peace on Earth" for a children's version of Live Aid. He continued to study the ancient world, preparing a PhD thesis entitled A Test of Time: A reinvestigation of the chronology of the Ancient World, and is currently planning a TV project which would combine the two abiding themes in his life - music and the study of Man's ancient past.

In the meantime, we could do a lot worse than re-appraise his earlier work; The Eye of Wendor has worn very well, and repeated listens revel hitherto unnoticed nuances in the music, which make each playing a voyage of discovery. The Eye of Wendor has a strange history, but it lives on, and we are now its guardians - the story continues. ....



Track By Track:

THE EYE OF WENDOR

Electric Guitars: John Lees.
Acoustic Guitar: Steve Broomhead.
Bass: Les Holroyd.
Mellotrons, Synthesizers: Woolly Wolstenholme.
Piano: David Rohl.
Grand Piano: Ritchie Close.
Drums: Mel Pritchard.
Rototoms, Percussion: Kim Turner.
Flute: Phil Chapman.
Uilean Pipes: Gerry Murphy.
Strings: Hallé Orchestra.
Orchestral Score: Phil Chapman.



FLORIAN’S SONG

Lead Vocals: Eric Stewart.
Backing Vocals: Graham Gouldman.
Electric and Acoustic Guitars: Steve Broomhead.
Bass: Pete Glennon.
Pianos, 1st Grand Piano, Vox Piano, Solina String Synthesizer: David Rohl.
2nd Grand Piano: Ritchie Close.
Moog Horns: Woolly Wolstenholme.
Drums, Rototoms, Glockenspiel, Tubular Bells, Timpani, Congas, Tam-Tam: Kim Turner.
Alto Flute, Flute: Phil Chapman.
Trumpets: Andy Wardaugh, Mark Gilbanks.
Choir: The Gerald Brown Singers.
Strings: Hallé Orchestra.
Orchestral Score: Ritchie Close.

Lyrics

And as the morning sun draws the shadows from our eyes
We've sat and idly talked the hours away
Reminiscing of the days, oh so many years ago
When songs and laughter echoed through the glades
But sadly now, the wind of change grows restless with the years
And now you tell me tales of adventure
In a world of troubled times that seem so far away
Where kings and heroes wait the promised day
When the signs foretold will come to pass
So I must say goodbye to this place that I call home
And journey out into the great unknown
To a humble country boy with no ambitions of his own
Falls the task of winning back the magic stone
In the book of destiny
I write this humble plea
Give me heart and strength to do
All the deeds you set me to
The story starts today
So let's be on our way



RIDE TO THE CITY

Guitar: Jimmy McDonnell.
Bass: Noel Redding.
Synthesizers, Solina String Synthesizer, Grand Piano: David Rohl.
Fender Rhodes: Ritchie Close.
Mellotron: Woolly Wolstenholme.
Drums, Rototoms, Glockenspiel, Vibes, Congas, Percussion: Kim Turner.
Percussion: David Hassle.
Saxophones: Phil Chapman.
Trumpets: Andy Wardaugh, Mark Gilbanks.
Trombones: Andy Crompton, Mike Carlton, Dave Gorton.
French Horns: Micky Purton, Russell Hayward, Paul Bryan Farr.
Strings: Hallé Orchestra.
Orchestral Score: Ritchie Close.



ALMAR’S TOWER

Voice Box Guitar: Norman Barratt.
Synthesizers: David Rohl.
Steam Moog: Woolly Wolstenholme.
Synthesized Percussion, Foot Sweep: John Gilston.
Wood Blocks, Rototoms, Percussion: Kim Turner.
Boots: Steve Broomhead and Kim Turner.



LIKE THE WIND

Lead Vocals: Maddy Prior.
Backing Vocals: Friday Brown.
Guitars: Steve Broomhead, Jimmy McDonnell.
Bass: Alf Tramontin.
Vari-Speed Pianos: David Rohl.
Mellotrons: Woolly Wolstenholme.
Drums: Kim Turner.
Male Choir: David Rohl, Martin Lawrence, Kim Turner, Steve Broomhead.
French Horns: Micky Purton, Russell Hayward, Paul Bryan Farr.
Strings: Hallé Orchestra.
Orchestral Score: Ritchie Close.

Lyrics

Like the wind hovering high
Like the clouds drifting by
We can fly
We can fly
Freedom lies beyond the boundless sky
Like the wind, like the wind
We shall fly, far away
Leave your troubles and fears far behind
Take my hand
Like the birds soaring on high
In endless flight we'll sail the sky
We shall fly, we shall fly
Like the wind, like the wind
Into the sky



THE TEMPEST

Synthesizers: Woolly Wolstenholme, Kim Turner.
Piano: David Rohl.
Rototoms: Mel Pritchard.
Piano Strings, Wind Chimes, Vari-Speed Sizzle Cymbal: Kim Turner.
Strings: Hallé Orchestra.
Sound Effects: David Rohl.
Scream!: Kim Turner.



DAWN OF A NEW DAY

Lead Vocals: Justin Hayward.
Backing Vocals: Justin Hayward, Fiona Parker.
Electric Guitars: Steve Broomhead, Jimmy McDonnell.
Bass: Alf Tramontin.
Synthesizers, Piano: David Rohl.
Mellotrons: Woolly Wolstenholme.
Drums, Vari-Speed Tambourine, Glockenspiel, Castanets: Kim Turner.
Percussion: David Hassle.
Glasses: Martin Lawrence.
Uilean Pipes: Gerry Murphy.
Choir: The Gerald Brown Singers.
Strings: Hallé Orchestra.
Orchestral Score: Terry Davies.

Lyrics

Come walk with me one last time
Through ages past, of man's golden greatness
Now all that remains is decay
Crumbling ruin, heartache and pain
We've stayed far too long in this place
Where no-one can be free from grief and sadness
What will be is now clear to me
There's little need for sorrow and tears lost in anguish
The scars of the past will surely heal
For destiny calls us across new horizons
We'll cast our hopes over the sea
In search of a world of richness so beautiful
Let the waters of life
Wash all the pain and hardship behind us
We'll set sail for the sun
And with every new day the darkness will fade
Freedom awaits with the dawn
For tomorrow will find us on our way, on our way



DEPARTURE FROM CARTHILIAS

Electric Guitars, Spanish Guitar, Backwards Guitar: Steve Broomhead.
Bass: Alf Tramontin.
Hammond Organ: Woolly Wolstenholme.
Solina String Synthesizer, Audio Piano: David Rohl.
Drums, Military Snare Drums, Glockenspiel, Tam-Tam, Asses’ Jaw: Kim Turner.
Percussion: David Hassle.
Fifes, Flute: Phil Chapman.
Choir: The Gerald Brown Singers.

Lyrics

Come, let's be on our way to freedom (on our way)
Far 'cross the mighty Sea of Wendor (we will go)
With hope renewed once more
We'll follow the road of life
Until the signs reveal
Where this journey leads us to
Come, let's be on our way to freedom (on our way)
Come, let's be on our way to freedom (on our way)



ELSETHEA

Lead Vocals: Graham Gouldman.
Backing Vocals: Graham Gouldman, Kevin Godley, Lol Creme.
Lead Guitar: Steve Broomhead.
Voice Box Guitar: Norman Barratt.
Rhythm Guitar: Jimmy McDonnell.
Bass: Graham Gouldman.
Piano, Fender Rhodes: Ritchie Close.
Mellotrons: Woolly Wolstenholme.
Synthesizers, Clarinet: David Rohl.
Drums, Percussion: Kim Turner.
Saxophones: Phil Chapman.
Strings: Hallé Orchestra.
Orchestral Score: Ritchie Close.

Lyrics

Elsethea, she's so wild
She's the queen of the waves
Mighty serpent of Wendor
Sending all to their graves
Hiding down below she waits
In the darkness of her cave
Slipping out into the lake
As silent as the grave
Then with one mighty roar
She'll strike us like a tidal wave
Elsethea, she's been around so long
Elsethea, in legend and in song
With lashing tail and gaping jaw
She'll drag you down into her world forever
(She's ruled the sea since history began)
Elsethea is timeless
She's been here for all time
All alone in the darkness
She's the last of her kind
No one knows from where she came
Or when she's lurking near
It could be many years
Before we hear from Elsethea
But then from fathoms deep
This mighty monster reappears
Elsethea, she's been around so long
Elsethea, in legend and in song
No one's safe from Elsethea
In her watery world she's queen forever



WITCH OF WALDOW WOOD

Lead Vocals: Kevin Godley.
Backing Vocals: Kevin Godley, David Rohl, Martin Lawrence, Kim Turner.
Lead Guitar: Steve Broomhead.
2nd Lead Guitar: John Lees.
Bass: Pete Glennon.
Piano, Synthesizers, Solina String Synthesizer: David Rohl.
Synthesizers, Choir Mellotron, French Horn Moog, Cathedral Organ: Woolly Wolstenholme.
Drums: Mel Pritchard.
Percussion: Kim Turner, David Hassle.
Flutes: Phil Chapman.
Oboe: Tony Spath.
Trumpets: Andy Wardaugh, Mark Gillbanks.
Orchestral Score: Ritchie Close.

Lyrics

Wandering tales will ring
The death of virgin souls
The weeping winds of mourning
Bring a sad lament upon a dying breath
The warlock's knife of serpent steel
Has spilled the sacrificial blood
From out the witch of Waldow Wood, Waldow Wood
Upon that stone in dead of night
A witch of pure unblemished white
Fell victim to satanic rite in Waldow Wood
Wandering tales will ring
Of how she gave her love
To one dispossessed of his soul
Who then vowed her heart in worship to the damned
The warlock's knife of serpent steel
Has spilled the sacrificial blood
From out the witch of Waldow Wood, Waldow Wood
In pools of death her love lies lost
Betrayed by one ordained in blood
Whose devil worship vanquished all the powers of good
So now she lies beneath the leaves
In lakes of withered poppy seeds
To wander far in fields of fantasy



SILESANDRE

Lead Vocals: Paul Young.
Backing Vocals: Paul Young, Ian Wilson.
Lead Guitar: Steve Broomhead.
Rhythm Guitar: Jimmy McDonnell.
Bass: Graham Gouldman.
Piano: David Rohl.
Fender Rhodes: Ritchie Close.
Mellotrons: Woolly Wolstenholme.
Drums, Congas: Kim Turner.
Percussion: David Hassle.
Trumpets: Andy Wardaugh, Mark Gilbanks.
Strings: Hallé Orchestra.
Orchestral Score: Phil Chapman.

Lyrics

After the sun sets behind the horizon
After day passes into the night
Somewhere out there in the kingdom of darkness
Queen Silesandre
Rides her mighty steed across the sky
Until the dawn heralds the day
When she must return to her domain
Far to the north
Where even the brave no longer set forth
Queen Silesandre rides on the north wind
Over the mountains and over the sea
Carrying victims back to Silesia
Forever to stay
Condemned to a life of slavery
So if you're alone in the hours of twilight
Hurry on home before it's too late
Silesandre, Daughter of Darkness
Will carry you off
To a world where only time can tell your fate



AENORD’S LAMENT

Choir: The Gerald Brown Singers.
Backing Vocals: Fiona Parker.
Spanish Guitar: Steve Broomhead.
Pianos, Synthesizer: David Rohl.
Cor Anglais: Tony Spath.
Strings: Hallé Orchestra.
Orchestral Score: Terry Davies.



FUNERAL OF THE KING

Electric Guitar: Steve Broomhead.
Bass: Noel Redding.
Grand Piano, Solina String Synthesizer: David Rohl.
Mellotrons: Woolly Wolstenholme.
Fender Rhodes: Ritchie Close.
Drums, Timpani: Kim Turner.
Saxophone: Phil Chapman.
Choir: The Gerald Brown Singers.
Orchestral Score: Terry Davies.



CORONATION OF DAMIEN

Choir: The Gerald Brown Singers.
Backing Vocals: David Rohl, Martin Lawrence, Kim Turner, Steve Broomhead. Electric Guitars: Steve Broomhead, Jimmy McDonnell.
Bass: Alf Tramontin.
Grand Piano, Synthesizers, Solina String Synthesizer: David Rohl.
2nd Piano, Fender Rhodes: Ritchie Close.
Percussion: Kim Turner, David Hassle.
Recorders: Richard Scott.
Trumpets: Andy Wardaugh, Mark Gilbanks.
French Horns: Micky Purton, Russell Hayward, Paul Bryan Farr.
Strings: Hallé Orchestra.
Orchestral Score: Terry Davies.

Lyrics

'Rejoice'
'Rejoice in the name of our new Lord and Sovereign - King Damien'
'Rejoice'
'Long life to the King'
'Honour him with gifts of gold and silver
Sing his name in songs of joy forever
May his reign be long, fruitful and wise'
'He wears the crown of Ænord's helm
The rightful heir to his father's realm'
'Lord Damien'
'We place the sword of Kings at his side
To grant him strength and wisdon to guide'
'Lord Damien'
'Rejoice in the name of our new Lord and Sovereign - King Damien'
'King Damien'



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