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Silver Apples - Clinging To A Dream album review

Fresh crop of classic Silver Apples.

Silver Apples - Clinging To A Dream album cover

Named from a line in a Yeats poem, Silver Apples became the world’s first electronic duo in 1967 after New York artist Simeon Coxe started coaxing other-worldly pulses and frequencies out of the heap of oscillators he called The Thing, complemented by drummer Danny Taylor. Pre-Can, Kraftwerk or Suicide, this was shocking to audiences anticipating guitar-led bands.

Although the duo recorded two albums, including 1969’s classic Contact, it would be decades before the duo’s impact was appreciated and they became one of the world’s most evocative cult bands. But their story is strewn with tragedy, including Coxe’s serious road accident and Taylor’s death in 2005. Happily, Simeon returned last decade, carrying on the Apples’ unique spirit (and Danny’s drums).

Recorded at Coxe’s Chicken Coop studio in Alabama, Clinging To A Dream is the first new Apples album in many years, boasting eleven excursions into a parallel world of glistening pop tones, sci-fi moon-whoops and galactic joyrides, including The Edge Of Wonder, Fractal Flow and Concerto For Monkey And Oscillator. Sometimes it’s like if Syd Barrett had migrated to 60s New York and found real kindred spirits. Miraculous and still progressing.

Kris Needs is a British journalist and author, known for writings on music from the 1970s onwards. Previously secretary of the Mott The Hoople fan club, he became editor of ZigZag in 1977 and has written biographies of stars including Primal Scream, Joe Strummer and Keith Richards. He's also written for MOJO, Record Collector, Classic Rock, Prog, Electronic Sound, Vive Le Rock and Shindig!