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Reissue CDs Weekly: T2 - It'll All Work Out In Boomland | reviews, news & interviews

Reissue CDs Weekly: T2 - It'll All Work Out In Boomland

Reissue CDs Weekly: T2 - It'll All Work Out In Boomland

Atmospheric prog-rock gem from 1970 gets the multi-disc treatment

T2's tremendous guitarist Keith Cross in action

It'll All Work Out In Boomland was issued by Decca at the end of July 1970. A poor seller at the time, it began attracting attention in the mid-Eighties when prices for original copies began creeping up. Around 2000, it was picking up about £100.

It'll All Work Out In Boomland was issued by Decca at the end of July 1970. A poor seller at the time, it began attracting attention in the mid-Eighties when prices for original copies began creeping up. Around 2000, it was picking up about £100. These days, a first press of British rock band T2’s sole album generally sells for between £300 and £400. There’s the odd outlier where it has fetched over £1000. It’s a wallet buster.

Despite T2’s commercial failure, Decca must have been interested in the band as there were two British pressings of the album in 1970: one without the band name on the label, the other with – it was worth correcting the error of omission. Also, it was issued in Australia, Canada, France, the US and other territories. Nonetheless, T2 remained obscure until the collector’s market latched onto them. Unsurprisingly, there’s been a string of reissues on CD and vinyl, legit and non-legit. Previously unreleased material began surfacing in the early Nineties.

T2 It’ll All Work Out In BoomlandNow, a three-disc digi-pack version of It'll All Work Out In Boomland has emerged. Disc One is the 1970 album. Newly remastered from the master tapes, it sounds mighty fine. Disc Two is as per 1997’s T.2. album of tracks recorded for a proposed but shelved second Decca album. Disc Three is as per 2012’s 1971-72 album of demos. Nothing is previously unheard.

A bass, drums and guitar three-piece, T2 are usually pegged as prog rock. Fair enough. They were a rock band with a progressive outlook but weren’t twiddly diddly merchants with a penchant for show-off musicianship and leanings towards classical music. Some jazz is in there but their approach was mostly concise. Even so, …Boomland features just four tracks. “In Circles”, the enigmatically titled “J.L.T.” and “No More White Horses” were on Side One of the original album. The 21-minute “Morning” filled Side Two.

While the overstretched “Morning” takes things as far as they can go, it’s “J.L.T.” and “No More White Horses” which instantly make the case for T2. There’s a mid-pace dolefulness about the delivery, positing T2 as a hard rock-inclined, ornature-free analogue to Procol Harum. The arrangements of these two attractive songs and the dramatic performances show a keen grasp of dynamics. Rolling block chords along the lines of those underpinning Cream's "I Feel Free" and periodic swells increase the atmosphere of despondency.

T2 It’ll All Work Out In Boomland_Peter DuntonBeing assured wasn’t enough. A second album was recorded and is heard on Disc Two. It’s pretty good, though not as striking as what had came out and lacks the intensity of …Boomland. The material was presented to Decca later in 1970 but the label let the band go. Line-up changes followed and the band ploughed on into late 1972 before splitting. Disc Three, most of which features just one original member, catches this less essential end-of-days T2.

The T2 which signed with Decca and made …Boomland were Keith Cross (guitars, keyboards, harmony vocals), Peter Dunton (drums, lead vocals, pictured above left) and Bernard Jinks (bass guitar, harmony vocals – he also used the last name Fitzgibbons). That drummer Dunton was the singer was unusual enough, but he was also the songwriter and the band’s driving force. He had a lot of previous experience to draw from.

In 1967, Dunton and Jinks were in the band Neon Pearl which was based in Germany (their 1967 recordings were issued in 2001). One member was Adrian Gurwitz, who formed Gun. After he did this, Dunton and Jinks formed Please who recorded “No More White Horses”, later re-recorded by T2 (Please’s essential, superb recordings were first released in 1996). Next, Dunton left Please, joined former Decca band The Flies and wrote their “Magic Train” single, issued by RCA. They split in late 1968, so he reformed Please with the loyal Jinks and another former member of Neon Pearl.

T2 live adStill flighty, Dunton then went off to join Gun in April 1969. Jinks followed him into the band for short period. The remaining members of Please became Bulldog Breed, who made an album for Decca which hit shops in January 1970. On it, the four-piece included guitarist/keyboard player Keith Cross and Jinks. When Bulldog Breed fell apart Cross and the steadfast Jinks swiftly formed Morning with Dunton. Under that name they signed with Decca in March 1970 and recorded It'll All Work Out In Boomland. In May 1970 they changed their name to T2 as an American band was also named Morning.

Getting to T2 was tortuous, and the band were clearly about the ties between Peter Dunton and Bernard Jinks. Guitarist Keith Cross slotted in perfectly. Considering the member’s previous associations, it was unsurprising Decca picked up Morning/T2. Also considering the member’s jumbled history, it’s surprising that It'll All Work Out In Boomland is so coherent an album. Cross’s edgy playing is tremendous.

Despite what’s known, some mysteries remain. The new reissue’s brief, uninquisitive liner notes do not explain why the intriguing T2 handle was chosen. The curious album title is also not explained, and it would have been good to know about the equally peculiar cover artwork. Please are not mentioned: a major oversight as one of their songs was recycled by T2. That said, this is a fine tribute to the atmospheric It'll All Work Out In Boomland. Start with the three tracks which used to be Side One, let them bed in and then grapple with the ambitious “Morning”.

Comments

Just a couple of things. Although Keith Cross is pictured on the sleeve of Bulldog Breed and joined them late on he didn't play guitar on the album that was Rod Harrison. Secondly according to Peter Dunton the title means It'll all work out in the end. JLT stands for Jolly Little Tune. Finally, once again Esoteric have made a mess of things on this reissue as they do with so many and failed to include the three BBC live tracks which were on the earlier Acme label release and which show just how powerful and virtuosic they were in a live setting.

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