I must admit that when I first heard Dragons BFI, shown above, that I thought it had to be some neo Pizzicato Five 60s reincarnation, or maybe the soundtrack to an Austin Powers genre film. I certainly had never heard it before, yet I already knew it well: The lush melodies of the Age of Aquarius, blended with acid moods and groovy beats, sort of like the album Spirit - an old fave - and also Something, Anything, in its eight track sensibilities and innovative tone.
It turns out that BFI was an old tape that was shelved after the band members failed to find a label to release it. 1970 was a transitional time, with the hippies already fading and the Vietnam war cynicism rising, which was out of phase with BFI's optimistic and upbeat idioms, psychedelic cliches, and nicely flanged drum solos. This was not guitar rock: The Hammond and the Leslie, the bass and harmonized vocals more reminiscent of R&B taken with a dose of Hair and The Fifth Dimension, hopefully embraced in '67, hopelessly out of date and square by 1970.
But now it barely matters. Three years of fast change in music are put in trivial time perspective now, among the many innovative and radical introductions to music an art that made the 60s such a Renaissance, a trove for culture historians.
Dragons were the Dragon brothers, one of them became "The Captain" of "The Captain and Tennile" who still play disco in Vegas for baby boomers on a gambling vacation. They did session work along the way, and all were, or are, excellent, competent, albeit slightly square, musicians and engineers, which is the way we want them - they summarized a Warhol-surfaced period in time when the moon rose among the flower children and they danced the dance of lives to come, except nobody knew it then, or cared particularly.
Until now: Get BFI the Dragons, only if you are old enough! Like MOBA, the cheesy and the trite are taken as equal elements of art. Its luxurious hole-in-the-middle stereophonic multitrack presentation with glorious analog tone will bring you there, or bring you back, or maybe somewhere else!
Read this review on Amazon, too.