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AMBER

Prog Folk • United Kingdom


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Amber picture
Amber biography
This short-lived band was really just a duo, consisting of Keith ("Mac") MacLeod and Julian McAllister, a couple early members of the sixties Hertfordshire/St Albans-area folk and blues scene. While evidence of both British acid folk and American blues are present in their music, the real prominent sound comes from a rather heavy vibe of psychedelic sitar and Eastern hand drums. The story goes that MacLeod obtained the sitar from George Harrison via their mutual friend DONOVAN and MacLeod decided to record some tracks with another friend Jullian McAllister, which were produced by YARDBIRDS vocalist the late Keith Relf. The tracks would not surface until 2000 when Shagrat Records discovered the tapes and issued them in a limited vinyl release.

In addition to his association with DONOVAN, MacLeod had played with a number of well-known and regional acts of the day (ARGENT, Mick Softly's SOFT CLOUD, THE OTHER SIDE, EXPLODING MUSHROOMS, HURDY GURDY), and had crossed musical paths at one time or another with the likes of Boz Skaggs, Maddy Prior, the KINK's bassist Jim Rodford and the PENTANGLE's John Renbourn. His closest brush with fame came when DONOVAN offered (then rescinded) the future hit
"Hurdy Gurdy Man" to MacLeod, a song generally considered to be inspired by MacLeod's own story. But success eluded MacLeod himself, who left the music business shortly after the AMBER recordings for a career in carpentry. Rumors surfaced of an AMBER reunion around 2007, although to-date nothing new has been released.

>>Bio by ClemofNazareth (Bob Moore<<

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Buy AMBER Music


This Is Your NightThis Is Your Night
Tommy Boy 1996
$2.95
$1.48 (used)
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Voodoo Remixes [Single] by Amber (CD, Jun-2005, JMCA Enterprises) USD $14.99 Buy It Now 2h 25m
Guantanamo Baywatch: Desert Center (Amber Color Vinyl) LP USD $24.32 Buy It Now 2h 43m
Anita Best - Pamela Morgan - The Colour of Amber - CD - 11 Tracks (5). USD $10.64 Buy It Now 3h 9m
Ltd Rare Melvins Beer Hippy 10" Vinyl Amber Wax Yellow & Red Splatters USD $121.81 Buy It Now 3h 26m
THE VALIDS-Congratulations & Barbara Ann-Classic Doo Wop 45-AMBER RECORDS #855 USD $24.99 Buy It Now 3h 35m
Amber Pacific-The Possibility and the Promise CD NEW USD $15.74 Buy It Now 3h 41m
Amber This Is Your Night Japanese CD single (CD5 / 5") promo XDCS-93240 USD $32.60 Buy It Now 3h 58m
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AMBRE (FOREVER AMBER) MUSIQUE DE FILM - DAVID RAKSIN (CD) USD $15.30 Buy It Now 5h 2m
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Amber The Hits Remixed CD album (CDLP) USA TBCD1424 TOMMY BOY USD $20.62 Buy It Now 5h 9m
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Electric Frankenstein - Get off my back US AMBER VINYL 7" USD $15.96 Buy It Now 6h 4m
Amber Pacific - Possiblity & the Promise [New CD] USD $14.97 Buy It Now 6h 5m
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Black Amber Tell Us 7" Paladin PAL10 EX 1976 Tell Us/Angela USD $8.64 Buy It Now 7h 27m
Amber Love one another rare German 4 mix 2001 CD single USD $1.98 [0 bids]
7h 29m
Amber Colour of love rare Australian 6 track 1996 CD single USD $1.98 [0 bids]
7h 29m
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Amber This Is Your Night (Promo 2) 12" Tommy Boy 1996 USD $10.64 Buy It Now 7h 41m
Amber Rose by Amber Rose (Album CD, Aug-1997, Virgin) Sealed USD $24.99 Buy It Now 7h 42m
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Still Point by Amber Asylum (CD, May-2007, Profound Lore) USD $9.99 Buy It Now 9h 4m
NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA-AMBER GALACTIC-JAPAN CD BONUS TRACK F04 USD $24.50 Buy It Now 9h 15m
AMBER RUN - 5AM NEW CD USD $11.89 Buy It Now 9h 24m
Amber Pacific - Possiblity & the Promise [New CD] USD $12.96 Buy It Now 9h 35m
Fading Days - Amber Pacific (CD Used Very Good) USD $13.24 Buy It Now 9h 39m
Pre-owned ~ Show & Tell & Friends by Amber Thompson (CDs, Apr-1999, Daywind) Lot USD $14.99 Buy It Now 11h 12m
Music from Soundtracks of Duel in the Sun and Forever Amber LP USD $7.49 Buy It Now 11h 22m
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Mechanism by Noer the Boy (Vinyl, Aug-2017, Liquid Amber) USD $23.97 Buy It Now 12h 8m
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Live At Perthshire Amber - Julie Fowlis (CD Used Like New) USD $12.94 Buy It Now 13h 31m
The Amber Snider Band Amber Snider Format: Audio CD NEW & SEALED USD $11.75 Buy It Now 14h 15m
Amber Martin-A.M. Gold CD NEW USD $19.11 Buy It Now 15h 15m
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Amber - Sexual (Li Da Di) 5 Track CD Single USD $6.00 Buy It Now 16h 25m
Amber Brooke Band : Destructive Behavior CD USD $12.97 Buy It Now 16h 40m
LATVIAN`S WOMEN CHOIR-DZINTARS: SONGS OF AMBER CD NEW USD $14.28 Buy It Now 16h 56m
Freedom Steps - Amber Hunter (CD New) USD $17.14 Buy It Now 17h 45m
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soft blink of amber light - Contemporary Choral Music by Dominick DiOrio, Jocely USD $4.00 Buy It Now 19h 12m
Amber Sexual 12" Vinyl - Substance records 2000 USD $6.66 Buy It Now 19h 55m
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SAMI ABADI Amber & Topaz JAPAN CD PANA006 2010 OBI USD $52.25 Buy It Now 22h 22m
Gay Happening, Vol. 19 CD Amber, Zelma Davis, Perry Twins USD $9.99 [0 bids]
22h 23m
DREAM DISCIPLES - In Amber - CD - Import - **BRAND NEW/STILL SEALED** USD $17.49 Buy It Now 23h 30m
ANTIQUE ROLL RECORD EDISON AMBER ROLL , VERY OLD ANTIQUE. GOOD CONDITION USD $30.82 [0 bids]
23h 32m
JD STARR ROCKIN YOU AROUND 70002 Amber and ASHLEE ELECTRIC RECORD VINYL USD $33.25 Buy It Now 23h 53m
MTV PARTY TO GO Canadian Limited Edition (CD 1996) Amber Reel 2 Pac R. Kelly+ USD $8.01 Buy It Now 1 day
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(O517) Amber Soul, Devil Inside Me - DJ CD USD $2.60 Buy It Now 1 day
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One More Night CD Single by Amber CD 1997 Tommy Boy - 10 Mixes!! USD $7.00 Buy It Now 1 day
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House CD "Voodoo 8 Remixes" by Amber 2005, JMCA Enterprises USD $10.00 Buy It Now 1 day
AMBER DE LAURENTIS By George CD MINT Blues / Piano Live At The Tin Angel SUPERB! USD $2.80 Buy It Now 1 day
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MARK STONEY : Amber EP - v. rare 2002 UK DEBUT solo 3-track CD, BOBBY JEALOUSY USD $19.96 Buy It Now 1 day
This Is Your Night by Amber (Cassette, Jan-1997, Tommy Boy TBC-1170) USD $0.15 [2 bids]
1 day
AMBER INN-LIFE INSTANTANEOUS- SACRAMENTO CA. PUNK EP NM- 1994 USD $8.75 Buy It Now 1 day

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AMBER discography


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AMBER top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.98 | 5 ratings
Pearls of Amber
1971

AMBER Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

AMBER Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

AMBER Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

AMBER Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

AMBER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Pearls of Amber by AMBER album cover Studio Album, 1971
2.98 | 5 ratings

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Pearls of Amber
Amber Prog Folk

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Only one review before mine but it seems to say already everything. I was given this CD yesterday without knowing anything about AMBER in advance. "Originally recorded in 1971 but not officially released until 2000", says the album info. Funnily, as there are no running times but a "Discography" naming two titles with three tracks in both (dating 1971 and 1970, as a matter of fact), one could expect to hear an extended disc featuring two albums with long songs. Alas, only about 24 minutes of music here! But what can be done if this short-lived group didn't record more. A pity really, because the music is pleasing to a folk-rock listener.

Donovan is mentioned as a comparison. Why not. But happily these songs are not in the same irritating hippie-yippie Sunshine Superman mould as some of Donovan's best known songs. Also I like these vocals much more. As the songs are rather calm and hazy, Nick Drake came to my mind too for the atmosphere. Of course this stuff is more psychedelic but remains quite safely in the acoustically oriented folk troubadour music. The AMBER sound is distinctive because of the continuous use of sitar and tabla. Yet pure Raga-Rock this is not: Eastern influences are kept otherwise quite minimal.

So you really don't have to love either Raga-Rock or Psychedelia to enjoy this, if vintage folk is your thing. Sadly there's only five various songs of regular length ('Sea Shell Rock Me' has two versions), perhaps none strikingly jumping off as very surprising, but three solid stars feels like the right rating from me too. It makes me wonder why this music had to wait so long before release. I guess it's a lost little gem of Psych-Folk.

 Pearls of Amber by AMBER album cover Studio Album, 1971
2.98 | 5 ratings

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Pearls of Amber
Amber Prog Folk

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

3 stars Man, my eyes are burning from the pungent smoke emanating from this album even thirty-eight years after it was recorded. If you’re into heavy psyched-up sitar, grooving tabla, and vocals mildly reminiscent of Donovan (or maybe a coherent version of Spring’s Pat Moran), then this one is for you. Keith MacLeod, the original “Hurdy-Gurdy Man”, lays down some thick and herbal philosophy that recalls the finest days of post-Beatles George Harrison (from whom he borrowed the sitar played on this record), as well as faint resemblances to friends Donovan and the late Keith Relf (the Yardbirds). This stuff could have easily been worked into the riverboat scenes in Apocalypse Now.

Normally I don’t get into repetitive chanting of “red, blue, green and yellow” to the fingering thud of tabla and scorched-throat warbling; but this one has a certain charm to it. Possibly that’s because this is one of those recordings that sat in a vault somewhere for thirty years or so before Shagrat Records discovered it and released it on virgin vinyl. Gotta’ love that kind of respect for the classic age of psych music.

Not much to say about individual songs though, since they all sound about the same and all are prototypical Eastern-influenced psych of the highest order (pun intended). I will say it’s a bit disappointing the record only lasts about twenty-four minutes, but apparently that’s all MacLeod and bandmate Julian McAllister recorded back then. No outtakes, early recordings or anything like that; the boys simply borrowed Harrison’s sitar and jammed for a while, then walked away to other ventures. MacLeod ended up being a carpenter, and if I’m not mistaken McAllister did some regional gigs but never really hit big.

These are all short tunes, acoustic, and fairly simple and repetitive. The point seemed to be more about grooving the Eastern vibes than really making any kind of musical statement. On that point they succeeded. “Sing on the Sunlight” is the more interesting of the tracks here simply due to the crisp production quality and clarity of tempo. There are two versions of “Sea Shell Rock Me”, both quite trippy and not all that different from each other really. The closing “Earlie in the Morning” has a weirdly Appalachian feel to it, and pretty fair harmonized vocals. But that’s about it; like I said, nothing special but a decent representation of the times.

Two and a half stars really, rounded up to three only because of the late vinyl issue and tasteful artwork. Mildly recommended, but more for psych fans than folk ones.

peace

Thanks to ClemofNazareth for the artist addition.

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