East of Eden - UK progressive rock/jazz outfit East of Eden were formed in Brighton in 1967 by violinist and multi-instrumentalist Dave Arbus. Joining Arbus for the band's first album, "Mercator Projected" with its heavily Eastern rock influence, released in 1969, were guitarist Geoff Nicholson, bassist Steve York, drummer Dave Dufort and sax player Ron Caines. They became very popular in London's underground pubs, and even though the novelty single and hit "Jig-a-Jig" was completely untypical of their usual style, it did fairly well for them. "Snafu" was also their most commercially successful album, making it into the UK Top 30. It also did well on the Continent. At this stage, York would go on to join Manfred Mann's Chapter Three, and he was replaced by Andy Sneddon, and drummer Geoff Britton replaced Dufort. They signed to Harvest Records in 1970 ( both previous albums had been released on the Deram label ), and released a number of good albums for the label, the best being 1971's "New Leaf", with its excellent "Bradshaw the Bison Hunter", a track we've featured on The Dinosaur Days in the past. Arbus quit after "New Leaf", later appearing on Roger Daltrey's self-titled solo album. He was replaced by Mushroom's Joe O'Donnell, and the band continued touring and recording, splitting in 1978. Stand-out albums at this stage were " It's the Climate" and "Silver Park". Greatest Show on Earth guitarist/vocalist Garth Watt-Roy was also a member of the band in the mid seventies. East of Eden were revived in the late nineties, and a new album, "Armadillo", with Arbus back in the fold, has recently been released. 

East of Eden 
East of Eden - Bradford the Bison Hunter, from "New Leaf" in 1971, their 4th album. Another UK outfit who we've featured on quite a few occasions over the years. They were formed in Brighton in 1968 by violinist and multi-instrumentalist Dave Arbus. The other members were Ron Caines on sax, Andy Sneddon on bass, Geoff Nicholson on lead guitar and Geoff Britton on drums. Their debut album, "Mercator Projected", released on Deram Records in 1969, was an excellent example of Eastern influenced progressive rock. Original copies of the album are quite scarce, although it has been released on CD, which is more than we can say about other albums by this very competent, but underrated band. "New Leaf", their first album for EMI's Harvest label, is widely regarded as one of their best albums. Arbus later quit and he appeared on Roger Daltrey's (The Who) self-titled solo album. He was replaced by formed Mushroom violinist Joe O'Donnell. They went on to record a further few albums before finally s plitting in the late seventies. Although they reformed in the late nineties. 
 

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Biography by Bruce Eder
East of Eden is a perfect illustration of the futility that Decca Records in England faced in cultivating progressive rock (apart from the Moody Blues. A critically acclaimed jazz-fusion band with a strong Eastern music influence, they were a natural for stardom during the late '60s; indeed, they might've taken the wind out of the sails of the Mahavishnu Orchestra very fast, but they never became more than a cult act in England, with a strong local following in London, especially on the underground scene, even as they attracted serious audiences in continental Europe. The band was formed in Bristol, during 1967, by Dave Arbus (flute, sax, trumpet), Ron Caines (alto sax), and Geoff Nicholson (guitar, vocals). Caines and Nicholson had previously played together in an r&b-based band, and the Caines and Arbus had been playing together for a couple of years. Future Wings member Geoff Britton was their original drummer, although the group's rhythm section was never an essential focus of their work, and went through quite a few musicians. Arbus had been trained in the violin, but it wasn't until he saw Jean Luc-Ponty playing on stage in Paris that he realized the possibilities that the amplified instrument offered. He add the electric violin to his repertory, greatly broadening the band's range and sound, and the following year they moved to London. The group was signed to Decca's progressive rock imprint Deram label in 1968, and cut two LPs, Mercator Projected and Snafu, of which the latter made it into the British top 30, while a single, "Ramadhan," got to number two in France. Their one big hit in England, "Jig-a-Jig," made the Top Ten there and became something of a stylistic albatross around the band's neck, since it didn't resemble their usual sound or anything else they normally played. Caines and Nicholson left the band as the '70s began, and Arbus kept it together. They jumped to the Harvest label, but their work there never caught on, coinciding as it did with a change in style and a veering away from Eastern music to a country-ish sound. Arbus left in the early '70s and was replaced by future Rory Gallagher collaborator Joe O'Donnell. The band carried on thru the mid 1970's as almost exclusively a European act, recording and releasing albums in Europe only. The three original core members reunited in 1999 for the recording and release of the album Kalipse. 

 

Jeff Allen
Dave Arbus
Geoff Britton
Geoff Nicholson
Ron Gaines

Mahavishnu Orchestra
Soft Machine
Blood, Sweat & Tears
Dreams
The Free Spirits
The Moody Blues
Procol Harum
King Crimson

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East of Eden - 1969 - Mercator Projected - 4/5

East of Eden - 1970 - Snafu - 4/5

East of Eden - 1971 - New Leaf - 3.5/5

East of Eden - 1971 - The World of East of Eden - 3.5/5

East of Eden - 1999 - Kalipse - 2/5

East of Eden - 2004 - Graffito - 4/5

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