The Flock: Heaven Bound: The Lost Album

US jazz-fusioneers’ previously unreleased album is no revelation.

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Emerging from the late 60s/early 70s Chicago scene, The Flock began as a unique collision of jazz fusion and rock, but never enjoyed the commercial success of peers Chicago or Blood Sweat & Tears.

When violinist and star player Jerry Goodman was poached by industry mogul Clive Davis for John McLaughlin’s Mahavishnu Orchestra during the recording of their third album, the air left their balloon. By the mid-70s, The Flock’s work was languishing unreleased. Listening to Heaven Bound it’s not hard to see why. While their opening salvos possessed wit and imagination and turned clichés on their heads, these tracks lack character and sometimes fall back on flat comedy. ‘You’ve heard of the Rolling Stones/here come the rolling clones,’ they sing, with scant self-awareness. With that violin gone, they sound like a thousand other rockers of the era: Foghat if you’re being kind; a wannabe Slade if you’re not. Noise Boys tries to summon up some glam-rock gusto and Mama is cod-country. Given their misfortune you can understand why The Flock played it safe, but this is a poor advert for a group which initially had both flair and ambition. Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has written about music, films, and art for innumerable outlets. His new book The Velvet Underground is out April 4. He has also published books on Lou Reed, Elton John, the Gothic arts, Talk Talk, Kate Moss, Scarlett Johansson, Abba, Tom Jones and others. Among his interviewees over the years have been David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Bryan Ferry, Al Green, Tom Waits & Lou Reed. Born in North Wales, he lives in London.