Andrew Gold: The Fraternal Order of the All – Greetings from Planet Love

Andrew Gold: The Fraternal Order of the All – Greetings from Planet Love

It’s possible that this album, originally released in 1997, was the first true example of the ‘Regressive’ music genre. Instead of borrowing influences and using them as inspiration for creating new sounds, Andrew Gold completed the circle by cloaking his new song ideas in the sounds of his late ’60s pop heroes, reproduced in painstaking detail. The result is part homage and part pastiche, starting and ending with the Beatles, but with all sorts sandwiched between.

Whilst not exactly residing in ‘one hit wonder’ territory, Andrew Gold’s career as a solo artist hinged on just a few key songs released in the second half of the ’70s. His career then focused on writing and production, and later into the world of TV soundtracks and commercials. A short-lived collaboration with 10cc led to a longer period partnering with Graham Gouldman in Wax.

This album was released just after this period in Wax and is very much a solo effort. Gold plays all the instruments and sings all the vocals on his original songs, and it appeared on his own record label. It’s a true labour of love from a skilled musician and producer, but with the caveat that he is not in the top echelon of popular songwriters.

The result is a patchwork, in many ways. There is a fascination in the way that this set of songs and soundscapes has been put together, but on the other hand there are undoubtably more coherent and entertaining ways that the project could have been presented. The song stylings are so well done that it has the feeling of a compilation album, and the instrumental breaks and sound effects sprinkled through the set add to the confused narrative. Overall, it feels like it’s a personal ambition that has been satisfied, with less attention paid to the entertainment value provided to the listener.

It turns out that my favourite track on the album is the one Andrew Gold-style song, co-written with Graham Gouldman, titled King of Showbiz, with its distinctly ironic lyrics. It’s at this point I have to question whether or not I have any idea what is going on, and so far, I still don’t have the answer. I’m sure that this was an itch well scratched for Andrew Gold, and if you are into your ’60s pop, the minutiae of production and re-creating sounds from the past then this could be an exciting listen for you. As much as I admire the spirit and ingenuity of the artist in creating this project, personally, I didn’t get as much out of the experience as I was hoping for.

01. Greetings From Planet Love (0:35)
02. Rainbow People (2:46)
03. Love Tonight (5:45)
04. Chasing My Tail (2:29)
05. Swirl (1:19)
06. Tuba Rye and Will’s Son / Balloon in the Sky (3:44)
07. King of Showbiz (4:12)
08. Whirl (0:58)
09. Freelove Baby (2:44)
10. Groovy Party at Jimmy’s Magic Pad (2:29)
11. It’s Beautiful (0:52)
12. Wink of the Third Eye (2:00)
13. It Has No Eyes But Sight (0:55)
14. Twirl (0:58)
15. Space and Time (3:24)
16. Time is Standing Still (4:48)
17. Ride the Snake (1:47)
18. Mr. Plastic Business Man (4:14)
19. Ccosmicc Ccarnivall (0:32)
20. Tomorrow Drop Dead (4:34)

Total Time – 51:05

Andrew Gold – All Instruments, Vocals
~ with
Jimmy Caprio – Backing Vocals (track 2 & 9), Bass (track 16)
Graham Gouldman – Guitar, Bass, Backing Vocals (track 7)
Jimmy Herter – Vocals (track 16), Keyboards (track 16)
Ed Tweddle – Maracas

Record Label: Cherry Red Records
Country of Origin: U.S.A.
Date of Release: 28th July 2023
Original Release: 1997

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