[Hidden Rarities #4] Spring

Spring is an English Prog group, formed in Leicester in 1970 based on an idea by Pat Moran, which later became famous as the sound engineer for bands such as Van Der Graaf Generator and Queen. The band immediately imposed itself, for the particularity that 3 members out of 5 played the Mellotron, one of the trademarks of Progressive music and of the band itself. It so happens that with the broken-down van, returning from a concert, they stopped right at Rockfield Studios, at the time there were several studios set up to host the bands during the recordings. So it was that the producer Gus Dudgeon, impressed by their sound, proposed them to record an album, which was published in 1971 for Neon Records. This was the only one of the band, is certainly one of the masterpieces of Progressive music, characterized by an excellent sound quality, obtained by recording live and mixing it subsequently. The melancholy air, the Mellotron parts that give a Symphonic touch and a very expressive voice are the main features of their sound. The success was elevated in the underground scene and this led them to appear in some dates with The Velvet Underground, but unfortunately the Neon Records fails, leaving the band without a contract. At the time of the failure, Spring was recording the material for the second album, which however remained in the archives until 2008, when it saw the light with the title “Untitled 2”. However, it contains incomplete tracks and have a lower value, although there are some interesting ideas. The band’s style was evolving and the Mellotron was no longer the principal element, but rather the addition of wind instruments and the romanticism of the first album seems to have disappeared, to give space to a more fairy-tales and jazzy backgrounds. There was no news from musicians, except for Pat Moran and Ray Martinez. Absolutely necessary to listen to this album by anyone who is attracted by the sounds of Prog, a classic example of Hidden Treasure of the highest value. The Mellotron, although it is omnipresent is not intrusive, the vocal is extraordinary and the sweet and romantic atmospheres alternate with more energetic moments, giving evidence of a musical preparation worthy of note. Unfortunately, as happened to other bands of the same period, the problems related to the record company, led the Spring to have to leave their second work unfinished and the career is ended so. Who knows how much more good they would have to give to music? The only consolation remains the masterpiece they left us with their debut album.


1971 – Spring [Neon Records]
2008 – Untitled 2 [Second Harvest]


Pat Moran: Mellotron – Vocal
Kips Brown: Organo – Piano – Mellotron
Ray Martinez: Guitars – Mellotron
Adrian Maloney: Bass – Guitar
Pick Withers: Drum – Glockenspiel

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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