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Peace, Bread & Land Band (USA): Liberation Music (No label, 10", with 13" x 10" envelope sleeve and booklet, 1971)
Elaine Brown
Pressed in a run of 1000 copies, this rare EP features melodic folk/rock with full electric band backing and all-original material. As the title suggests, this was issued as a fundraiser for various far-left groups. Despite playing at 33rpm, this is a fairly short record, with six tracks totalling around sixteen minutes. The band had mutated out of the sixties outfit Spike-Drivers, a number of whose recordings were later compiled into the LP 60s Folkrocking Psychedelia From The Motor City. GRADE: C+.
Peace, Bread & Land Band (USA): Milltown Blues (No label, 7", 1973)
Elaine Brown
Despite the different format, and the presence of only four tracks, this has a similar running time to its predecessor. Musically it’s in the same ballpark, if perhaps a little heavier, with a great guitar solo on the closing ‘Scream Song’. Most (but not all) of the songs from these two releases were later compiled, along with some other material, onto a retrospective LP. The band later evolved into Modality Stew.


Peach Cobbler (France/USA): Georgia Peach (Ajax 049, CD, USA, 1995)
Sue Garner (joint lead vocals, guitar, bass, spoons), Monique Alba (guitar, accordion, percussion, jew’s harp, kazoo, tapes)
Avant-garde blues isn’t a genre I ever expected to encounter, but this collaboration between the former members of Vidéo-Aventures and two prolific American indie musicians mixes pre-war blues with musique concrète to unique effect. So if you’ve ever wanted to hear a fusion of Robert Johnson and Pierre Schaeffer, this quirky, fractured, charming little album provides your chance. GRADE: C+.
See also Vidéo-Aventures

Peachtree Pickers (USA): Big Banned Sound (No label IBM0300, 1972?)
The band name and punning album title made me expect some sort of would-be humorous bluegrass, but thankfully this is nothing of the kind. Instead it’s straightforward folk with massed vocals and simple acoustic guitar backing, sounding like a school project LP (although from the voices, I’d say all the singers were adults). As a footnote, this must have been a minuscule pressing, as it comes with a plain white sleeve with an undersized yellow paste-on on the front. GRADE: C.

Annette Peacock (USA): I’m The One (RCA LSP-4578, with inner, 1972)
Annette Peacock (lead vocals, keyboards, vibraphone)
For those who don’t like jazz, this is the Peacock album to get: whilst there are still jazzy elements to a number of cuts, the overall style mixes rock and singer/songwriter elements, with most tracks overlaid by electronic effects. In her own way, Peacock was as important a pioneer of electronic music as Fifty Foot Hose, United States Of America or White Noise, and this album stills sound fresh and unsettling today. A stunning metallic green and red cover completes the deal. GRADE: B–.
Annette Peacock (USA): X-Dreams (Aura AUL 702, UK, 1978)
Annette Peacock (lead vocals)
Peacock’s finest album drops the electronic and avant-garde edges of her early seventies work, but is still a slyly exploratory set that subtly pushes a few boundaries. The first two cuts (‘My Mama Never Taught Me How To Cook’, with its endless double entendres, and the lengthy ‘Real And Defined Androgynes’) sound like edits from funky jams, but the rest is more soulful and song-based. In particular, ‘Too Much In The Skies’ is effortlessly sensual, sounding like Sade with a hundred times the talent, whilst her radical reworking of Elvis Presley’s ‘Don’t Be Cruel’ is nothing short of breathtaking. GRADE: B.
Annette Peacock (USA): The Perfect Release (Aura AUL 707, UK, 1979)
Annette Peacock (lead vocals)
This is every bit as sensual as its predecessor, but much funkier and rather more commercial in feel. The end result is a consistently fine LP, but one that never equals X-Dreams’ highpoints. GRADE: B–.
Annette Peacock (USA): Live In Paris (Metronome 0060.476, West Germany, 1981)
Annette Peacock (lead vocals)
Although not enormously expensive, this live set is surprisingly difficult to track down. Musically it continues in the vein of The Perfect Release, mixing in a couple of X-Dreams cuts. However, the tracks are not the most obvious choices and the end result is a good, rather than great, LP. GRADE: C+.
Annette Peacock (USA): Sky-Skating (Ironic 2, with insert, UK, 1982)
Annette Peacock (lead vocals, keyboards, programming)
Recorded without any additional musicians and issued on her own label, this is very different from any of Peacock’s previous work. Essentially it’s an off-kilter singer/songwriter set, with most songs featuring nothing more than multilayered vocals and piano. Whilst the whole thing has an intensely personal feel, songs this quirky would have benefited enormously from band arrangements, whilst her frequent use of semi-spoken vocals doesn’t work particularly well in this context. GRADE: C.
Annette Peacock (USA): Been In The Streets Too Long (Ironic 3, with insert, 1983)
Annette Peacock (lead vocals, keyboards)
Not exactly a new studio album, this mostly compiles unreleased recordings from the mid-seventies (between I’m The One and X-Dreams). It consists largely of voice-and-piano material not dissimilar to Sky-Skating, though the majority of cuts feature sparse accompaniment from other musicians and ‘So Hard, It Hurts!’ is a full band instrumental. Aside from the excellent ‘½ Broken’ (an eerie electronic piece) it’s all rather lukewarm, indicating why the material wasn’t released at the time. GRADE: C.
Annette Peacock (USA): I Have No Feelings (Ironic 4, with insert, UK, 1986)
Annette Peacock (lead vocals, bass, keyboards, programming, effects)
With Peacock accompanied only by a percussionist, this is in a similar style to her last two albums. However, both the songwriting and arrangements are of a higher standard, making for a more consistent and enjoyable LP. GRADE: C+.
Annette Peacock (USA): Abstract-Contact (Ironic 5 cd, CD, UK, 1988)
Annette Peacock (lead vocals, keyboards)
Adding a rhythm section here works wonders: whilst this doesn’t equal Peacock’s very best work, it’s excellent mellow jazz/rock with a pleasingly organic flow. The CD version adds three bonus tracks, but they’re merely taken from her last three LPs. GRADE: B–.
Annette Peacock (USA): An Acrobat’s Heart (ECM 1733 159 496-2, CD, with slipcase, Germany, 2000)
Annette Peacock (lead vocals, piano)
This unusual album sees Peacock accompanied by a string quartet, creating some very haunting and melancholy moods. Without any other instrumentation, the disc could have become a little one-dimensional, but fine material and performances throughout make it a triumph. GRADE: B–.
Annette Peacock (USA): 31:31 (Ironic US1, CD, with digipak, 2005)
Annette Peacock (lead vocals, keyboards, programming)
Issued in a handmade paste-on cardboard digipak as a numbered limited edition, this album had a conceptual running time of 31’31” and a conceptual (and considerable) price of $31.31. Musically, it’s her first full band work since X-Dreams and The Perfect Release and sounds like a logical follow-up to those LPs. GRADE: B–.

Annette Peacock (USA): 4 Emilia-Romagna W/LV (Musica Jazz MJCD 1195, CD, 2007)
Annette Peacock (lead vocals, keyboards)
Accompanied only by a drummer and percussionist, Peacock offers a surprisingly varied set of material, from singer/songwriter numbers through to mild avant-gardism and even a borderline trip-hop number. It’s nice stuff, showcasing her stunning voice to excellent effect, though I definitely prefer her in a full band setting. This obscure CD was apparently a giveaway with the November 2007 issue of the Italian magazine ‘Musica Jazz’. GRADE: C+.
See also Paul Bley, Bley-Peacock Synthesiser Show

Peak (USA): Dream Again (Rockness Monster, CD, 2003)
Katie Shields (principal vocals), Lisa Harvey (drums)
This band from Hawaii offered solid guitar-led hard rock with some supple playing, and a definite psychedelic undertone in the lead and rhythm work. There are also a few faint progressive edges, with their influences seemingly drawn from bands like Cream and Rush. The actual songwriting isn’t as impressive as the playing, but notwithstanding the terrible male vocals on ‘No Answer’ this is a competent enough set throughout. GRADE: C+.

Peanut Butter Conspiracy (USA): Is Spreading (Columbia CS 9454, 1967)
Sandi Robison (lead vocals, percussion)
‘Jefferson Airplane without the darkness, invention or relentless originality’ might be a fair summation of this enjoyable but fairly unremarkable psychedelic pop LP. The Airplane aren’t the only influence, however, as the Conspiracy drew inspiration from almost everything that was hip and saleable at the time, including the Mamas & The Papas (most notably on the baroque ‘Second Hand Man’). Interestingly, the Airplane’s longest-serving drummer, Spencer Dryden, had briefly been a member of the band in its earlier incarnation as the Ashes. GRADE: C+.
Peanut Butter Conspiracy (USA): The Great Conspiracy (Columbia 9590, 1968)
Sandi Robison (lead vocals)
Their second LP isn’t a huge stylistic leap forward from their debut, but it’s far better. Whilst they still resemble Jefferson Airplane (and, less predictably, Fairport Convention on their first LP), they’ve improved significantly as songwriters, and some subtle and clever touches pepper the disc – not least the prominent bass work on ‘Turn On A Friend’, the slow and haunting verses to ‘Lonely Leaf’ and the raga-like middle section of ‘Too Many Do’. GRADE: C+.
Peanut Butter Conspiracy (USA): For Children Of All Ages (Challenge 2000, 1969)
Sandi Robison (joint lead vocals)
The tracks that make up this album weren’t originally intended for release under the Peanut Butter Conspiracy name, having been penned and recorded by bassist Al Brackett while the band’s other main writer, guitarist John Merrill, was concentrating on his Ashes project. Consequently, it’s very different from the group’s earlier albums, consisting of heavier soul/rock with horns and Brackett singing (although the band’s usual vocalist Sandi Robison fronts a couple of the better tracks). GRADE: C+.
Peanut Butter Conspiracy (USA): Spreading From The Ashes (Big Beat CDWIKD 245, CD, 2005, recorded 1967)
Sandi Robison (joint lead vocals)
Aside from a handful of cuts from singles, this lengthy 26-track compilation mostly features unreleased recordings by both the Peanut Butter Conspiracy and its predecessor the Ashes. Like their studio albums, it’s pleasant, engaging and insubstantial stuff, with the moodier and folkier Ashes material being among the best. However, the finest number of all is the closing live version of ‘You Should Know’, which is significantly extended, featuring lashings of fuzz guitar. GRADE: C+.
See also Various ‘Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls’

Leonard Pearcey, Jennifer Rice & Joy Hyman (UK): Singaround (Pye Golden Guinea GSGL 10436, 1969)


This folk LP is a bit of a mixed bag, but at its best (gentle readings of ‘Scarborough Fair’ and ‘The Keys Of Canterbury’ and a closing version of ‘Misirlou’ that borders acid-folk with its pattering bongos) it’s genuinely lovely. I could have done without their Welsh language version of ‘These Are The Days’ and a brief stab at yodelling, but at least 75% of this is very listenable. GRADE: C+

Pearls Before Swine (USA): These Things Too (Reprise RS 6364, 1969)
Elisabeth Rapp (occasional vocals)
Although credited as a band project, this was largely the vehicle of singer/songwriter Tom Rapp. His bittersweet melodies and untutored, lisping voice create subtly psychedelic atmospheres, with gentle band backing and some discreet orchestrations. The most unusual number is probably ‘Frog At The Window’, which appears twice: first as a borderline novelty song (which could have inspired Paul McCartney’s ‘Frog Chorus’) and again as an Italian-flavoured madrigal. GRADE: C+.
Pearls Before Swine (USA): The Use Of Ashes (Reprise RS 6405, 1970)
Elisabeth Rapp (occasional vocals)
In the same style as its predecessor, but in a different league artistically, this is a stunning collection of haunting folk/rock songs. The subtle baroque arrangements perfectly tease out the nuances of the poignant lyrics, creating ancient atmospheres that perversely sound contemporary today. GRADE: B–.
Pearls Before Swine (USA): City Of Gold (Reprise S 6442, 1971)
Elisabeth Rapp (occasional vocals)
The country/rock flavour of the opening two cuts bodes ill for the LP, and Rapp seems to be demonstrating an increasingly strong Bob Dylan influence. Thankfully, most of the rest is business as usual, with some beautiful original compositions (especially the mesmerising ‘Raindrops’) and a gorgeous cover of Judy Collins’s ‘My Father’ sung by Rapp’s wife Elisabeth. On the downside, I’m baffled as to why the band chose to cover ‘Seasons In The Sun’. GRADE: C+.
Pearls Before Swine (USA): …Beautiful Lies You Could Live In (Reprise RS 6467, 1971)
Elisabeth Rapp (occasional vocals)
This has none of the country leanings of City Of Gold, so it’s far more consistent. At the same time, the highpoints aren’t quite as high, but it’s a fine LP by any standard. GRADE: C+.

Pebble (UK): A Gift With Love From Pebble (Great Western DHMP 005, 1976?)
Elaine Roni Arthur, Lucy Stevens, Kate Evans, Sue Richards, Janet Griffiths
Only a few copies are known of this obscure Christian private pressing, which alternates between uptempo electric pop/folk (not particularly good, though better than much of the genre) and haunting acoustic folk. With material like ‘Good King Wenceslas’, ‘In The Bleak Midwinter’, ‘Mary’s Boychild’ and ‘O’ Little Town Of Bethlehem’, a strong Christmas theme runs through the LP. Having a progressive folk feel and an arrangement that slowly builds, the latter is the best song by some margin. GRADE: C.

Peccatum (Norway): Strangling From Within (Candlelight, CD, UK, 1999)
Heidi Solberg Tveitan (joint lead vocals)
This interesting debut album covers a broad spectrum of metal, progressive and neoclassical styles, with plenty of experimentation thrown in. There is some impressive music on offer, but the sheer breadth – from doom to death metal and everything in between – means that this occasionally resembles a ‘various artists’ compilation rather than a cohesive piece of work. GRADE: C+.
Peccatum (Norway): Amor Fati (Candlelight, CD, UK, 2000)
Heidi Solberg Tveitan (joint lead vocals, keyboards)
This has both the same strengths and weaknesses as its predecessor, but is overall a touch more coherent. Once again, it’s a little disjointed and unpredictable, but there are some great moments from start to finish. GRADE: B–.
Peccatum (Norway): Lost In Reverie (Mnemosyne Productions MNEMO-001, CD, with slipcase, 2004)
Heidi Solberg Tveitan
This is rather less metallic than its predecessors, though there are still some death metal passages, with a more atmospheric feel and even some industrial undertones. Like their previous work, its main failing is that it’s not terribly cohesive, but it’s an impressive set by any standards. GRADE: B–.
See also Hardingrock, Starofash

PEE (USA): The Roaring Mechanism (Absolutely Kosher, green vinyl, 1998)
Kelly Green (joint lead vocals, guitar)
Despite a few interesting moments and some math-rock touches, this is largely messy indie guitar rock, with amateurish vocals and occasionally sloppy playing. There’s definitely an audience for this kind of thing, but it certainly isn’t me. GRADE: D.

Pegasus (Holland): Pegasus (Universe Productions LS-12, 1979)
Jopie Jonkers (joint lead vocals, percussion, cittern, vlier), Frankie Jonkers (joint lead vocals, percussion)
Pegasus was founded by three former members of the brilliant electric folk band Deirdre, but is a very different outfit, offering delicate and intricate acoustic folk. Whilst the rock energy of Deirdre is somewhat missed, this is simply beautiful music, recalling countrymen like Chimera and Opo. Indeed, as with Deirdre, the only slight drawback is Jopie Jonkers’s notable Dutch accent. GRADE: B–.
See also Deirdre

Bob & Carole Pegg (UK): He Came From The Mountains (Trailer LER 3016, 1971)
Carole Pegg (joint lead vocals, violin)
Slightly more traditional than their work with Mr Fox, this is pleasant enough folk/rock, but not among the best of the genre. I could particularly have done without the slight country leanings of the penultimate track, ‘Angeline’ – though this is followed by the best cut, the Sandy Denny-like ‘Susan’s Song’. The album was actually recorded before they formed Mr. Fox, then temporarily shelved. GRADE: C+.
Bob & Carole Pegg (UK): And Now It Is So Early – The Songs Of Sydney Carter (Galliard GAL 4017, 1972)
Carole Pegg (joint lead vocals, percussion, violin)
By far the better of their two albums as a duo, this excellent LP offers a rather eerie, low-budget sound, with the couple playing all the instruments themselves. Some cuts are acappella, some have basic percussion and others have crude, stripped-down electric backing, not dissimilar to early Steeleye Span or Malicorne. All are superb, and in parts the feel is quite psychedelic. GRADE: B.
Carolanne Pegg (UK): Carolanne (Transatlantic TRA 266, 1973)
Carole Pegg (lead vocals, guitar, harmonium, tambourine, violin)
The renamed Carole Pegg’s only solo album is brasher and rockier than anything she had done before, with a sometimes overly bright sound, notable country influences and some fairly heavy drums. It also manages to take in haunting, introspective ballads (‘The Sapphire’ and ‘Winter People’) and even a ten-minute Mr Fox-like folk/rock epic (‘Fair Fortune’s Star’), making for an inconsistent but interesting set. The disc is also notable for its striking, almost falsetto, vocals, which could have been a significant influence on Kate Bush. GRADE: C+.

Carole Pegg & Radik Tülüsh (UK/Russian Federation): Goshawk (7-Star SSCD 52, CD, with digipak, UK, 2014)
Carole Pegg (lead vocals, guitar, finger cymbals, violin)
This collaboration between the Mr Fox veteran and a former Tuvan punk musician and throat singer is startling in a number of ways. Notably, Pegg’s voice has changed considerably since the seventies, acquiring a weary maturity that lends these sparse songs distinction. If the album is perhaps slightly lacking in variety, it’s certainly ambitious enough, aiming to fuse British and Tuvan folk traditions, and when it best succeeds – notably with the haunting ‘I Am Hare’ and the highly experimental ‘Ochy Bala’ – the results are remarkable. GRADE: C+.
See also Mr Fox

Fernand Péna & Puzzle (France): Fernand Péna Et Puzzle (Centaur CR 20698, 1977)
Mylène Briais (occasional vocals, guitar), Patricia Laidet (occasional vocals)
This is a lovely, dreamy album of progressive folk/rock with excellent original compositions and a gentle, relaxed mood. There is also some complexity in parts, with well-handled tempo changes and powerful lead guitars, but mostly the mood is laid-back and haunting, sometimes recalling Pink Floyd. The LP is now a very rare and expensive collectors’ item. GRADE: B–.

Pendlefolk (UK): The Pendlefolk (Folk Heritage FHR007M, 1970)
Jean Douglas (joint lead vocals), Diane Whitford (joint lead vocals)
Dour and dolorous even by the standards of the Folk Heritage label, this competent traditional folk album mixes acapella numbers and pieces with simple acoustic guitar backing. GRADE: C+.

Pendragon (USA): Hic Jacet Arthurus Rex Quondam Futurus (Pendragon Productions/Dun Raven, 1975?)
Mary Lee Drouin (joint lead vocals, bodhrán)
From the cover, this looks like Pagan folk in a similar style to Gwydion or Yellow Autumn, but whilst there are some slight similarities it’s more rooted in British traditional folk (resembling bands such as Dando Shaft, Magenta and Stained Glass). With delicate but intricate acoustic instrumentation and a good selection of songs, jigs and reels, this is a fine LP that gives no hints of its American origins.


Pénélope (France/UK): Pénélope (Tréma 310 051-052, double, with book sleeve, 1978)
Anne-Marie Gancel (joint lead vocals), Edith Becker (occasional vocals), Christine Gennaro (occasional vocals)
This ambitious rock opera was put together by a stellar cast of Anglo-French session musicians, including Alan Hawkshaw, Mo Foster, Peter Van Hooke, Frank Ricotti, Ray Cooper, Slim Pézin, Ray Russell, Christian Padovan, Claude Engel, Georges Rodi and Marcel Engel. I expected it to have some progressive elements (though given the era and the French connection, it could just have easily been disco). In fact, it’s neither (though it does use disco rhythms here and there): it’s orchestrated pop, with Anne-Marie Gancel’s voice resembling Olivia Newton-John’s and the music sometimes recalling Newton-John’s late seventies work. Given the talent involved, it’s beautifully put together, but you’d have to like French pop a lot more than me to get much out of this. GRADE: C.

Pennine Folk (UK): Both Sides Of The Pennines (Alfa JEF/TDS 6601, 1968)
Margaret Worrall (joint lead vocals), Ann Macconnell (joint lead vocals)
Housed in a beautiful, minimalist silkscreened sleeve, this mostly offers quiet, dark, mournful traditional folk in the style of many of the Folk Heritage releases. However, band leader Ken Wilson was also a songwriter, and the LP features several of his numbers, as well as covers of contemporary singer/songwriter material, with a brighter and more breezy mood. GRADE: C+.
Pennines (UK): Manchester Morning (Penny Farthing PELS 514, 1971)
Margaret Worrall (lead vocals)
Their second album (which has a similar line-up though a slightly different band name) concentrates almost entirely entirely on Wilson’s material, making it radically different. This time round, the band performs with full electric backing, including occasional fuzz guitar and some woodwind, creating some genuinely lovely moments. There’s even a minor excursion into progressive folk on side one’s closer, ‘The King Comes Riding’. GRADE: C+.

Penny Wager (UK): Light Of Other Days (Folk Heritage FHR022S, 1972)
Ann Rhodes (joint lead vocals, organ)
This is a lovely traditional folk/rock LP from a male and female duo plus guests on guitar and bass, playing mainly cover versions (including a gentle interpretation of Fairport Convention’s ‘Meet On The Ledge’). GRADE: C+.

Pentangle (UK): The Pentangle (Transatlantic TRA 162, 1968)
Jacqui McShee (lead vocals)
Compared to their later albums, this short LP sounds a touch tentative, but it’s a superb piece of work in its own right, and its fusion of folk, jazz, blues, world music and proto-progressive elements was unprecedented for 1968 (and is still remarkably fresh today). GRADE: B.
Pentangle (UK): Sweet Child (Transatlantic TRA 178, double, 1968)
Jacqui McShee (joint lead vocals)
This astounding double album (the first live and the second studio) was a landmark for both the band and for acid- and progressive folk in general. Whether they’re playing folk, jazz, acoustic rock or their own distinctive blend of all three, the band demonstrate their peerless mastery of their instruments on every cut, while Jacqui McShee sings like an angel. The CD reissue adds numerous bonus cuts, including the seven remaining songs from the live show. GRADE: B+.
Pentangle (UK): Basket Of Light (Transatlantic TRA 205, 1969)
Jacqui McShee (principal vocals)
Inevitably more concise than its epic predecessor, Basket Of Light is Pentangle’s finest album, with magnificent performances fully matched by some brilliant compositions. ‘Light Flight’ is an effortlessly beautiful opener, and the same standard is maintained throughout, including definitive versions of ‘Once I Had A Sweetheart’, ‘The Cuckoo’ and ‘House Carpenter’. The band’s influence, and echoes of this album in particular, would reverberate endlessly around the seventies underground folk scene, from numerous outfits who never made it beyond a private pressing to Krautfolk luminaries like Bröselmaschine and Hölderlin. GRADE: A–.
Pentangle (UK): Cruel Sister (Transatlantic TRA 228, 1970)
Jacqui McShee (joint lead vocals)
Album number four is slightly different, dropping all the jazz influences and introducing electric guitar, with wholly traditional material. Reflecting shifting trends, the results take them closer to the sound of bands like Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span or Trees, although this is still distinctively Pentangle, with a more acoustic, delicate and intricate feel than any of those groups. Some listeners downgrade the LP for including the side-long ‘Jack Orion’, but it works extremely well, and if this appears less original than their earlier work that could simply reflect the fact that the rest of the world had caught up with them. GRADE: B.
Pentangle (UK): Reflection (Transatlantic TRA 240, 1971)
Jacqui McShee (principal vocals)
Another partial change of direction, introducing elements of American (and particularly Appalachian) folk for the first time, as well as a few singer/songwriter-styled numbers. The result is the weakest album by the original incarnation, which isn’t to say that it’s in any way a weak album. GRADE: B–.
Pentangle (UK): Solomon’s Seal (Reprise K44197, with insert, 1972)
Jacqui McShee (principal vocals)
Pentangle went out with a bang rather than a whimper – Solomon’s Seal may not have had any extended prog folk excursions or breathtaking cross-genre fusions, but it’s a simply wonderful acid-folk LP, with beautiful, haunting melodies and marvellous arrangements. Sitar is used to brilliant effect in a couple of places, and unusually for Pentangle there are some excellent electric guitar leads. GRADE: B.
Pentangle (UK): Open The Door (Spindrift 111, 1984)
Jacqui McShee (joint lead vocals)
Recorded with almost the same line-up as the sixties and seventies albums, Open The Door remarkably recaptures the same sound, with not a hint of eighties production. Consequently, it’s a fine album and one of the year’s few really outstanding releases, without fully equalling the magic that characterised their very best work. GRADE: B–.
Pentangle (UK): In The Round (Spindrift SPIN 120, 1986)
Jacqui McShee (principal vocals), Pam McShee (occasional vocals)
The loss of Danny Thompson’s distinctive bass playing significantly changes the band’s sound, and here they offer a more generic soft rock and folk/rock sound. It’s a good deal patchier than its predecessor, with a few rather ordinary cuts, but when it’s good (‘She Moved Through The Fair’ and the Clannad-like ‘Suil Agrar’, sung by McShee’s sister Pam) it’s excellent. GRADE: B–.
Pentangle (UK): So Early In The Spring (Pläne 88648, West Germany, 1989)
Jacqui McShee (principal vocals)
The eighties finally caught up with Pentangle – abandoning the subtle acoustic interplay of old, this album is fullblown electric folk, complete with crashing, portentous drums (especially the almost industrial beat of ‘The Blacksmith’ – entirely in keeping with the subject matter). But it’s still mostly a good album, and the two prog-folk workouts ‘Bruton Town’ (for some reason retitled ‘Bramble Briar’) and ‘The Baron Of Brackley’ are among the finest folk/rock cuts of the decade. GRADE: B–.
Pentangle (UK): Think Of Tomorrow (Hypertension Music 831 697, with insert, West Germany, 1991)
Jacqui McShee (principal vocals, handclaps)
Seemingly incapable of releasing a bad album, Pentangle manage another minor gem. Much subtler than So Early In The Spring, Think Of Tomorrow concentrates mainly on original songs rather than traditional interpretations. One or two of the male-sung tracks are rather average, but for the most part this is delightful stuff. GRADE: B–.
Pentangle (UK): One More Road (Permanent PERM CD 11, CD, 1993)
Jacqui McShee (principal vocals)
A beautiful studio finalé to their very lengthy career, and again very authentic to their original sixties work. Even the male-sung cuts work pretty well. GRADE: B–.
Pentangle (UK): Live 1994 (Hypertension Music HYPD 200 152, CD, Germany, 1995)
Jacqui McShee (joint lead vocals)
Featuring a well chosen cross-section of material and consistently brilliant performances, this superb live album demonstrates the band’s intricate yet powerful style at its very best. GRADE: B.

Pentangle (UK): Finale – An Evening With Pentangle (Topic TXCD824D, double CD, with digipak and booklet, 2016, recorded 2008)
Jacqui McShee (principal vocals)
Released eight years after the event, this double album captures Pentangle during their reunion tour in 2008, with all five original members present and correct. Offering a fine cross-section of material, it’s a powerful reminder of what a remarkable band they were, though over the course of 21 songs their lack of variety also becomes obvious. GRADE: B.
Pentangle (UK): On Air (Strange Fruit SFRSCD 046, CD, 1997, recorded 1969-1972)
Jacqui McShee (principal vocals)
Compiling studio sessions from 1969 and 1972 with six live cuts from 1970, this superb collection captures Pentangle at their very peak in wonderful sound quality. As a footnote, whilst the booklet credits Jacqui McShee with guitar as well as vocals, I wonder whether this is correct – she certainly doesn’t appear to have played any instruments on her other recordings. GRADE: A–.
Pentangle (UK): The Lost Broadcasts 1968-1972 (Hux HUX 049, double CD, 2004, recorded 1968-1972)
Jacqui McShee (principal vocals)
As its title indicates, this substantial 42-track set compiles a number of Pentangle radio sessions previously thought lost. Quite a number of the songs were recorded off-air, so have indifferent (but perfectly satisfactory) sound quality whilst others are from the master tapes. The performances are quite variable too, from some pleasant but unexceptional material from different combinations of the members through to some stunning full band stuff. Compared to the On Air set, this sounds a little like the scraping of a barrel, but taken on its own merits it’s a fine album. GRADE: B.
Pentangle (UK): The Time Has Come (Castle Music CMXB664, quadruple CD, with digibook sleeve, 2007, recorded 1967-1973)
Jacqui McShee (joint lead vocals)
This enjoyable boxed set features studio recordings (mixing album tracks, singles, B-sides and outtakes) on the first two discs, the complete June 1968 Royal Festival Hall set featured on Sweet Child on the third, and fourteen previously unreleased cuts from live and TV performances on the fourth. Some interesting cuts include a fantastic twenty-minute ‘Pentangling’, a couple of numbers from the soundtrack to ‘Tam Lin’, plus ‘Green Willow’, which unexpectedly has an almost glam-rock beat. As an odd foonote, the Royal Festival Hall set is in a different running order from the remastered Sweet Child double CD, which also features the full performance, and here almost all the audience noise and between-songs announcements have been removed, shortening the set considerably. Altogether, this is a superb overview of this wonderful band’s stellar career. GRADE: A–.
Pentangle (UK): Captured Live (Classic Rock Legends ECRL3002PAL, DVD, 2003, recorded 1972)
Jacqui McShee (principal vocals)
This fairly short DVD (six songs) captures a French TV broadcast between Reflection and Solomon’s Seal. The film quality is grainy, with numerous artefacts, but it is well filmed and the band’s performance, in a studio set without an audience, is simultaneously sedate and musically astounding. GRADE: B.
See also Jacqui McShee, John Renbourn Group

People (UK): Out Of Reach/Unchained Melody/Glastonbury (Decca, 10" acetate, 1971?)
People’s sole commercial release was the rare 1971 Deram single ‘In Ancient Times’/‘Glastonbury’, but this unreleased acetate features a completely different version of the latter – this time with female vocals – plus two instrumentals. ‘Glastonbury’ itself is a minor acid-folk marvel: dark and eerie, with understated vocals and swirling strings. The two instrumentals also feature prominent strings, delivering an unusual sound somewhere between MOR and light progressive; whilst I wish they’d chosen something less obvious than ‘Unchained Melody’, these are also enjoyable. GRADE: B–.

People’s Victory Orchestra & Chorus (USA): Weltschmerzen (People’s Music Works, 1971)
Carla Lund
The opening ‘Memories’ is eight-and-a-half minutes of pure weirdness: snatches of rock alternating with pulsing African percussion overlaid with chanting, avant-garde sound effects and snatches of classical music. The remainder of the album consists of more conventional songs, but the oddness level is still pretty high: the music is often rooted more in the country and chanson traditions than in rock, and all kinds of classical embellishments appear when least expected. The excellent musicianship, fulsome arrangements and high production values indicate that considerable money was spent on this, but it’s hard to imagine a target audience for a record this eccentric, even at the turn of the seventies. Contrary to the chronology given in ‘Acid Archives’, this was definitely their first album, as confirmed by the promotional sheets issued with their rare sampler flexidisc (which features segments from this album and The School). GRADE: C+.
People’s Victory & Orchestra & Chorus (USA): The School (People’s Music Works PMW2, with cover-mounted photograph and

booklet, 1972)
Carla Lund
Their very different second album is a lavishly packaged affair, with the textured cover featuring a real photograph set into corner mounts. The predominant style this time round is louche Rolling Stones-like rock, though interspersed with children’s choirs, sound effects and all other kinds of avant-garde weirdness. The most interesting cut is probably ‘Ballet For A Small Apartment’, in which a strange female vocalist (halfway between Kate Bush and opera in style) fronts an epic ballad that gradually adds more and more orchestration. For some reason, the album is divided into a ‘Girls’ Side’ and a ‘Boys’ Side’, mainly with vocals from members of the relevant gender. According to the band’s promotional material, more than 150 musicians were involved in the making of their first two albums, indicating that they did indeed have huge amounts of cash to throw around. GRADE: C+.
People’s Victory Orchestra & Chorus (USA): Victory Gardens (People’s Music Works PMW 3, with book and box, 1979)
Carla Lund
The band’s magnum opus, Victory Gardens was a sort of audio play accompanied by a box and an 84-page book containing virtually a full novel, with each copy being individually numbered. Musically, it’s a mixture of nostalgic songs, country music, choral pieces and vast orchestrated passages recalling a film soundtrack or classical work. In total, they pressed 1200 copies of this bizarre set; once again, one wonders how they afforded it all or who bought the disc. GRADE: C+.

Peppermint Rainbow (USA): Will You Be Staying After Sunday? (Decca DL 75129, 1969)
Bonnie Lamdin (joint lead vocals), Pat Lamdin (joint lead vocals)
This album of heavily orchestrated harmony pop sounds a couple of years earlier than its release date. The band, originally called the New York Times, were signed to Decca on Cass Elliott’s recommendation, and did not participate in the songwriting for their sole LP. GRADE: C.

Pererin (UK): Haul Ar Yr Eira (Gwerin SYWM 215, with insert, 1980)
Nést Howells (occasional vocals, keyboards)
Pererin’s albums are classics of seventies-style acid-folk and easily the finest Welsh language LPs of their type. On this stunning debut the band offers mainly acoustic arrangements with a tranquil, spacy feel, although their forays into electric material are extremely impressive too – witness the thrilling rock segments in the highly psychedelic ‘Royal Charter’. Some beautiful vocals from Nést Howells (ex-Brân) add the finishing touch to a stunning LP. GRADE: B.
Pererin (UK): Teithgan (Gwerin SYWM 230, with insert, 1981)
Llio Hâf (keyboards, flute, backing vocals)
Nést Howells’s vocals are a major loss, but if anything the material on their second album is even better than on Haul Ar Yr Eira. The opening ‘Y Drws’ has the most achingly beautiful melody imaginable, and the standard never drops, with much more electric instrumentation and a notable prog-folk edge their debut lacks. GRADE: B.
Pererin (UK): Tirion Dir (Gwerin SYW 242, with insert, 1983)
Sioned Webb (synthesiser, mandolin, pipes, backing vocals)
This may be a touch more straightforward and acoustic than Teithgan, and perhaps just a notch below either of their first two in terms of quality, but it’s still easily among the ten best British folk/rock LPs of the 1980s. GRADE: B–.
Pererin (UK): Yng Ngolau Dydd (Sain C639N, cassette, 1985)
Mair Davies (cello)
The band’s fourth and final album drops most of the rock and progressive elements of their earlier work, offering pleasant but unexciting folk with mainly acoustic arrangements. ‘Cyntaf Dydd O Fai’ shares a tune with Steeleye Span’s interpretation of ‘All Around My Hat’.

See also Brân

Christine Perfect (UK): Christine Perfect (Blue Horizon 7-63860, 1970)
Christine Perfect (lead vocals, keyboards)
Recorded between leaving Chicken Shack and joining Fleetwood Mac, Christine Perfect’s first solo album is an enjoyable set of melodic R&B, also including her brilliant final single with the Shack, ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’. Alongside several of her own compositions (the best of which is the richly melodic ‘Close To Me’), she tackles a number of cover versions, including Fleetwood Mac’s ‘When You Say’, produced by its writer Danny Kirwan. Her version certainly trumps the Mac’s as, unlike Kirwan, she succeeds in singing it in tune. The LP was issued in the States on Sire in 1976 as The Legendary Christine Perfect Album, to capitalise on the huge success of Fleetwood Mac, and later on CD as The Complete Blue Horizon Sessions (Blue Horizon 88697192162, 2008, with slipcase), adding five bonus tracks but oddly omitting ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’. GRADE: C+.
See also Chicken Shack, Fleetwood Mac

Linda Perhacs (USA): Parallelograms (Kapp KS 3636, 1970)
Linda Perhacs (lead vocals, guitar, electronics)
Read almost any reference book or record dealer list, and the writer will inform you that this is one of the greatest female psychedelic LPs ever. I simply don’t get it. Aside from the unusual, trippy title track (which is excellent), this album is not psychedelic in any shape or form, being a fairly straight singer/songwriter LP with a heavy debt to Joni Mitchell. If you like the idea of a more ethereal hippie variation on her style, you could love this, although the first Joan Armatrading album occupies similar territory but has vastly better songs. On the other hand, to bowdlerise the famous sleeve note on Beat Of The Earth’s album, if you are looking for psychedelic music, do not buy this record. GRADE: C+.
Linda Perhacs (USA): The Soul Of All Natural Things (Asthmatic Kitty AKR119, CD, with gatefold minisleeve and booklet, 2014)
Linda Perhacs (principal vocals)
Perhacs’s extremely belated return was greeted with disbelief and delight by fans of Parallelograms; having never bought into that LP’s mystique, I didn’t have high expectations. In fact, it’s decidedly superior to her first, with some lovely, trippy material that showcases her voice to fine effect. GRADE: C+.

Linda Perhacs (USA): I’m A Harmony (Omnivore Recordings OVCD-239, CD, with gatefold minisleeve, 2017)
Linda Perhacs (principal vocals)
Aside from the title track of Parallelograms, the opening ‘Winds Of The Sky’ may be the best thing she’s ever done: a richly melodic, subtly trippy piece of soft rock with a stunning hookline. Not everything that follows works – the title track is a blissful, mellow mood in desperate search of a song – but this is overall her best album by some margin. GRADE: C+.

Polly Perkins (UK): Liberated Woman (Chapter One CMS 1018, 1973)
An absolutely bizarre solo set from the Academy vocalist, mixing fuzz guitar-driven barroom rock and music hall/cabaret-type stuff with an overall feminist or lesbian concept. The extremely politically incorrect ‘A Cannibal Maid And Her Hottentot Blade’ has to be heard to be believed. GRADE: C.

Polly Perkins (UK): Polly (Greasepaint SM8/GP3/6575, 1977)
Perkins’s second and final album is trad jazz, including versions of numerous standards. It’s all nicely done, with excellent singing, first-rate small group arrangements and an effective production. GRADE: C+.
See also Academy

Katie Perks (UK): Hat Music (Plastic Head PLAS LP 003, with insert, 1984)

Pop/New Wave

Katie Perks (lead vocals)

Perks’s albums were at one point hyped as being psychedelic, but in fact they’re eighties electropop in a similar style to early Jane Siberry. The big difference is that whereas Siberry is a prolific songwriter, almost everything here is penned by backing musician John Hyde. The big difference in the songs is that Siberry’s have a lot more hooks and a great deal more ambition. GRADE: C–.

Katie Perks (UK): Shine The Light (Plastic Head PLAS LP 010, 1987)

Pop/New Wave

Katie Perks (lead vocals)

Whilst this is in the same basic style as her first, it features a much more interesting set of songs, both musically and lyrically, with influences ranging from jazz (‘The Blues’) to folk/rock (‘Rambling Shambling Man’) to progressive rock (‘The Floating World’). Perks’s unusual voice – somewhere between Toyah Willcox, Tracy Hitchings and Marianne Faithfull – also lends it distinction, but there’s still a terrible eighties production to contend with. GRADE: C.

Katie Perks (UK): Sea Of Air (Plastic Head PLAS CD 022, CD, 1990)


Katie Perks (lead vocals)

This is the album on which Perks’s reputation rests, and it’s by some margin her best – rockier, folkier, more experimental and more psychedelic, with some excellent acid guitar leads. As it is, it’s a solid album; without the obnoxious programmed drums, it could have been a very good one. The CD version includes four bonus tracks from Hat Music and three from Shine The Light. GRADE: C+.

Chuck & Mary Perrin (USA): Brother And Sister (Webster’s Last Word 2101, 1967)
Mary Perrin (joint lead vocals)
This is one of the most expensive American albums, selling for around the four-figure mark. Consequently, it’s surprising that it’s straightforward singer/songwriter folk with simple backing from acoustic guitars and electric bass. That said, the compositions are excellent, the siblings’ voices harmonise beautifully and the songs are packed with atmosphere and melancholy, so this definitely has the X-factor that separates the truly big-ticket items from the also-rans. GRADE: C+.
Chuck & Mary Perrin (USA): Next Of Kin (Webster’s Last Word 2319, 1969)
Mary Perrin (joint lead vocals)
Quite different to their debut, this adds electric band backing on several cuts, and ups the pop and soft rock quotient considerably. Whilst there is some lovely material here, and whilst this is decidedly more varied than their first, I think their starker debut probably has the edge for me. GRADE: C+.
Chuck & Perrin (USA): Life Is A Stream (Sunshine 818T-2210, 1971)
Mary Perrin
Their much less rare third and final album also has band backing, as well as extensive strings. The latter add a twee, MOR edge to the proceedings, and overall this is far too sweet and lightweight for my tastes. That said, the songs themselves are pleasant enough (especially the lovely ‘Corrine’) and without the clichéd orchestrations this would probably have been a C+. GRADE: C.

Persephone’s Dream (USA): Evening Mirage (No label, CD, 1997)
Judilynn Niedercorn (principal vocals)
This unusual album – created by a duo of multi-instrumentalists plus a guest vocalist – has a decidedly odd style. Its thin, skeletal sound (complete with what sound like programmed drums) reminds me of many one-man bands, and I can also hear a few hints of early Glass Hammer. However, where Glass Hammer’s sound was dense and high-tech, this is ethereal and folky, with a definite gothic edge and a few neoclassical tinges. It’s certainly atmospheric enough, but it’s also rather amateurish and doesn’t always hang together, not helped by its excessive length. Nonetheless, it’s an interesting debut that blends disparate influences in an unusual way. GRADE: C.
Persephone’s Dream (USA): Moonspell (No label PD 25155-2, CD, 1999)
Karin Nicely (principal vocals)
Expanding to a four-piece, Persephone’s Dream offer a much more accomplished and progressive second album. Their style is still unusual – atmospheric and gothic, spare and slightly eerie, with strong hints of post-punk in the guitars and some African tinges in the percussion. Whilst the results aren’t always entirely successful, they’re certainly very intriguing. GRADE: C+.

Persephone’s Dream (USA): Opposition (No label PD91694-2, CD, 2001)
Karin Nicely (principal vocals), Kim Finney (keyboards, backing vocals)
Album number three moves their sound much closer to conventional gothic metal, but the spare, eerie moods and strong emphasis on percussion remain. Again, this is a solid and enjoyable album, but they’re a bit short on really memorable riffs or tunes – and the disc is a bit long. GRADE: C+.
Persephone’s Dream (USA): Pyre Of Dreams (No label NGC - 4650 - a, CD, 2007)
Colleen Gray (joint lead vocals), Heidi Engel (joint lead vocals)
It all comes together here for Persephone’s Dream – with all traces of their original awkwardness gone, they deliver a powerful and varied tapestry of symphonic rock and metal. The result is a very good album – if only they could stretch out a bit on the instrumental sections next time, they could make a truly great one. GRADE: B–.
Persephone’s Dream (USA): Pan – An Urban Pastoral (Progrock PRR401, CD, 2010)
Ashley Peer (joint lead vocals)
This is by far their most ambitious album: a continuous tapestry of songs, instrumentals, percussive interludes and sound effects, including spoken voices in a variety of languages. Their original neoprogressive style has long since disappeared, and most of the metal elements are absent here too, replaced by a folkier style interspersed with more dramatic moments. I can hear echoes of everything from Renaissance to RIO, and whilst not everything works well this is an admirably bold, ambitious and creative set. GRADE: B–.

Persona Grata (Slovakia): Reaching Places High Above (No label, CD, with digipak and booklet, 2013)
Jana Vargová (occasional vocals, flute)
This album operates in two basic veins: messy, riff-driven progressive metal with some poorly handled tempo changes and more relaxed passages with flute and a bit of a late sixties feel. With some ethnic and neoclassical touches thrown in, it’s intermittently interesting, and includes some fine moments, but for the most part it doesn’t really hang together. GRADE: C.

Personnel & Patrick Chemin (France): Première Urgence (FLVM 3015, 1980)
Isabelle Sobkowiak (joint lead vocals)
This is an enjoyable and accomplished album of melodic guitar rock with psychedelic and progressive edges and occasionally jazzy and folky diversions. All the material was written by Patrick Chemin and is of a consistently high standard, with some outstanding fuzz and slide guitar work. GRADE: C+.
See also Phileas Fogg, Ultramarine

Pesky Gee! (UK): Exclamation Mark (Pye NSPL 18293, 1969)
Kay Garret (joint lead vocals)
Very much a product of its time, this Leicester septet offer an enjoyable blend of jazz, soul, blues and progressive rock, with plenty of period guitar and organ jamming. All the songs are cover versions, mostly of pretty familiar material (‘Season Of The Witch’, ‘Piece Of My Heart’, ‘Born To Be Wild’, etc). The band subsequently mutated into Black Widow. GRADE: C+.
See also Black Widow

Petals (USA): Parahelion (November Rain 2000 NR LP 1, with inner, some on blue vinyl, 1992)
Laurie Kern (occasional vocals, keyboards, tambourine, flute, whistle)
This is a charming album of backwoods psychedelia, with strong folk and pop edges and a nicely trippy edge. It’s not the most ambitious LP and there’s nothing exactly life-changing here, but for what it is this is lovely stuff. GRADE: C+.
Petals (USA): Cadis Center (November Rain 1000 NR CD 2, CD, 1994)
Laurie Kern (occasional vocals, keyboards, percussion, autoharp)
This is in the same basic style as their first, but their songwriting has taken huge leaps forward, with a procession of irresistibly joyous, catchy songs offering charming vignettes of a variety of odd characters. The effortlessly melodic opener ‘Everett Ruess’ and Hawkwind-like closer ‘Colors Of My Mind’ are probably the best things on offer, whilst the heavy ‘Tim’s Song’, fringing stoner rock, delivers the biggest surprise. GRADE: B–.
Petals (USA): Butterfly Mountain (Camera Obscura CAM057CD, CD, Australia, 2003)
Laurie Kern (joint lead vocals, guitar, percussion, recorder)
The band’s belated third and final album is a bit folkier than its predecessor, though still very recognisably in their usual mould. Their tuneful, beatific style remains as appealing as ever, but Cadis Center was definitely their magnum opus. GRADE: C+.

Marlis Petersen (West Germany): La Sône Des Pluies Et Des Tombes – Poèmes De Xavier Grall (Velia 2230 023, France, 1976?)
Marlis Petersen (principal vocals), Catherine Grall (occasional vocals)
Recorded and released in France, this sets Marlis Petersen’s dramatic spoken interpretations of Xavier Grall’s poetry against weird, minimalist music from an organist and a percussionist; the final result falls somewhere between Catherine Ribeiro & Alpes and Marble Index-era Nico. This is among the rarest French albums. As a footnote, this particular Marlis Petersen does not appear to be the famous opera singer, but another performer of the same name; she was born in 1968, and this certainly doesn’t look or sound like a product from the mid-eighties onwards. GRADE: C+.

Shirley & Larry Peterson (UK): In A Shetland Garden (Thule SLP 104, 1971?)
Cut by an improbably elderly-looking man and his seven-year-old daughter (who apparently had a penchant for yodelling), this has all the hallmarks of an outsider music classic. Disappointingly or pleasingly (delete according to taste), it’s actually a sweet and competent folk LP, with surprisingly good singing (and occasional yodelling) from young Shirley. GRADE: C+.

Shirley & Larry Peterson (UK): Two Voices (Thule SLP 112, 1976?)
Like their debut, the duo’s second album offers sweet, delicate and slightly cloying folk, and often sounds like it’s aimed more at children than adults. Nonetheless, it’s charming and winsome enough, with decent performances throughout, though Shirley (despite looking like she’s approaching her teens on the cover) still sings like a little girl – and still likes to yodel. GRADE: C+.
Shirley & Larry Peterson (UK): Isles Asleep (No label, cassette, 1993?)
Shirley Peterson (joint lead vocals, guitar, piano, mandolin)
The father and daughter’s reunion album, recorded when Shirley was 30, is probably their best. With the slight novelty element of their earlier work gone, this is a lovely, delicate set of Scottish folk, retaining the sweet and innocent feel of their first two albums. GRADE: C+.

Valentine Petit (France): Étreintes (Carrère 66889, with inner, France, 1990)
Valentine Petit (lead vocals)
The daughter of famous choreographer Roland Petit is backed by most of Art Zoyd on this album: Thierry Zaboïtzeff, Gérard Hourbette and Daniel Denis. Despite this, and despite Zaboïtzeff co-writing most of the material, it is a truly dreadful pop/dance effort. GRADE: E.

Patrick J Petri & Freddy Brua (France): Le Mandarin – Opéra Rock Initiatique (Edition du Kardan EDK700, CD, 1992)
Cécile Solin (joint lead vocals), Jackie Marsala (occasional vocals), Wanda Leine (occasional vocals)
A rock opera by Freddy Brua could have been interesting, given his classical background and the first four Wapassou albums. However, a few classical-tinged instrumentals aside, this is straightforward song-based music – typically French, perfectly pleasant and pretty forgettable. GRADE: C+.

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