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Sky Sunlight Saxon & Rainbow Starburst - Heavenly Earth (1977)


Brian Eye-zen – Electric Piano
Ed – Drums
Rainbow Neal - Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar
Sky "Sunlight" Saxon - Vocals, Tambourine

As Sky's cosmic mind expanded, his band names became increasingly unwieldy. This moniker refers to a loose crew of musicians assembled around Sky and Rainbow Neal to perform a series of shows at the Orpheum Theatre on the Sunset Strip in September-October 1977. The musicians changed between the different nights, and it's reasonable to assume that both World Peace Band guys and Yahowa 13-related guys may have been part of the line-ups.

The September 9 show was preserved on tape and edited into an album, which was released later in the year. For this particular night, the line-up was Sunlight, Rainbow, Brian Eye-Zen on organ, and a guy known only as Ed on drums, who in fact came up from the audience. The LP, titled "Heavenly Earth" and released on the band's own Sunbow label (#001), reeks of underground hippie DIY vibes far from the Lord Tim-fuelled hipness of the 1960s Seeds. Front and back cover look very much like those local private press 1970s LPs popular among hardcore psych fans and that's pretty much what it sounds like too, from the lo-fi nature of the recording to the amusing stage raps from the lead singer; the only difference being that this guy is the once world-famous Sky Saxon. The music varies in quality but should appeal to any fan of 1970s cosmic garage-psych; if the album had been made by a bunch of unknown guys it probably would have been a lot more coveted than it is today -- a nice little paradox that makes you wonder about the retro psych music scene. In any event, there are three Seeds covers including a very good take on "Nobody Spoil My Fun"; "Pushin Too Hard" is renamed "Pushin' too fast" by Sky, who also changes the lyrics to deal with environmental concerns.

The rest is made up of recent Sky-Rainbow originals, all of which are quite enjoyable, the closing "Star Jewels" being a druggy epic in which Sky rattles off the names of various precious stones with great drama. The band provides solid backing from Rainbow's rhythm and Ed's drums, while Brian Eye-Zen's keyboard fills up the space from the lack of bass, as well as providing nice Daryl Hooper runs on the Seeds numbers. My main objection is the lack of guitar leads, and it seems Rainbow Neal wasn't comfortable as a solo player, while his rhythm playing is always excellent. Apart from the music there is an amusing exchange between Sky and a heckler in the audience who misses the "old" Seeds and demands that Sky cuts off his beard, an argument that Sky elegantly deflates in his "God Rap". The LP used to be around in the 1980s but is seldom seen nowadays.(source)

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