Tracks : 1. Sea Horses 2. Homecoming 3. That Did It 4. Fields & Me 5. Crazy World Of Pod 6. 1999 7. About The Dove & His King 8. Season (Bonus) 9. Judas Queen (Bonus) 10. Mrs Browning (Bonus) 11. Country Boy (Bonus) 12. Your Father's Eye (Bonus) 13. Ten Years Ago (Bonus) 14. Kafkasque (Bonus) 15. Boundsgreen Fair (Bonus) 16. Miss Wendy's Dancing Eyes (Bonus)
Biography: Extracts from The Story of Freedom's Children by Tom Jasiukowicz (sleeve notes from Astra re-issue in 1997)
ever there was a rock band around which a legend was created, then
Freedom's Children were that band. Were they simply a broken-hearted
horde writing psychedelic love songs? Were they galactic flyers in tune
with astral days? Or were Freedom's Children just one of the best rock
bands the world ever heard, or is it appropriate to say categorically
that Freedom's Children were the best band the world never heard.
ironic suggestion, perhaps, but one with a lot of truth in it. That the
circumstances surrounding their existence played against them does not
detract from the fact that the original group formed in the year and in
the world of music, the ground was breaking.
contrast to the hit parade sounds of The Beatles, The Beach Boys and
The Monkees, groups like The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and Pink
Floyd were producing albums marked by their experimental creativity and
music styles termed acid rock or astral music.
1966, Ramsay Mackay and Colin Pratley had teamed up in Durban to
experiment with their music ideas. In Cape Town they met Kenny Henson,
who had been playing blues with Leeman Ltd., and together with Jimmy
Thompson, of the same band, they began to perform as Freedom's
Children. Their sound was acid-astral rock.
Africans had not been prepared for this group. The group created
controversy and newspaper headlines, in every small South African town
they performed at. Some towns banned them. But to those who understood
quality rock, Freedom's Children provided their break with conventional
thinking and music ideas.
Laxton replaced Kenny Henson on guitar in 1968 and Harry Poulus joined
on keyboards. The group travelled to England but, perhaps for the
reason that the group was from South Africa, and the politics of
apartheid swayed opinion, the musicians were refused work permits and
so their dream of attracting world acclaim faded. While the group
returned to South Africa disillusioned, began work on the recording of
the 'Astra' album.
album provided the magic of a classic rock album. There were dramatic
climaxes, socio-philosophical lyrics, hard, pulsating rhythms,
blistering lead guitar solos, sense-riveting sound-effects and soaring
Mackay left the group after the recording of 'Astra' and it was Julian
Laxton who drove the band on their last album, 'Galactic Vibes', and
where the music on it was still devastatingly good, the aura of 'Astra'
Mackay, Colin Pratley, Kenny Henson, Julian Laxton and Brian Davidson
all carried on producing music in their respective forms and styles,
through the Seventies and Eighties. But if the world of South Africa
had been perfect, and had Freedom's Children achieved their
breakthrough in England, one can only speculate how difficult the
success of this group would have been. The world would have heard some
good creative music.