When Paladin folded in 1973 I noted that their keyboard player/violinist Pete Solley had joined Snafu. This was a progressive rock band formed by Bobby Harrison (ex Procol Harum) and Mick Moody (guitarist ex Juicy Lucy - check the latter out too!) which produced 3 albums. A year or two later I picked up a vinyl copy of Snafu's second album "Situation Normal". This was influenced by Pete Solley and was an OK country-rock based album. Having read that this first album had been re-released on CD and was reputed to be better and more rock than country I bought it.
It's all round a better album to me, more rock with excellent slide guitar, some mandolin on one track and violin included on a couple of others. The album opens with a rocking "Long Gone", some great vocals by Harrison on the track and nice guitar from Moody. "Said he the Judge" reminds me of a slow rock song in the Lynyrd Skynyrd mold. "Monday morning" features the mandolin and violin and has a country hoe-down theme. The next track, "Drowning in the sea of love" has a soulful/rock feel with backing wah-wah guitar work. "Country nest" is another laidback country-style song which has what sounds like a steel-pedal guitar rather than slide. "Funky friend" is what it says, a funky rocking track with some violin work again. "Goodbye USA" is another slow rock song with synthesiser work by Solley. The final track "That's the song" is back to rock with plenty of guitar and Hammond organ.
The CD comes in a cardboard gatefold sleeve which replicates the original vinyl copy. The front cover includes a Roger Dean design and when opened there's a photo of the group and their names/roles on the left side, track listing and other production credits on the right hand side. Enclosed in one sleeve is a pull-out sheet of excellent extensive notes on Snafu and the individual musicians put together by Chris Welch with input from Micky Moody. The latter also gives fairly detailed notes on each track.
I liked this CD at the first hearing and the package, whilst only cardboard is far superior because of its original-design finish and the included notes than many bland, noteless plastic-cased CD's. I understand that their last album, "All funked up" is another good funky rock album with no country influence as Solley had left by this time. Must seek that out next.
A short-lived act, like Paladin, but one that I never had the opportunity to see live unfortunately. And the name Snafu? From the American TV series, Sergeant Bilko, it was short for "situation normal, all fouled up" but not applicable to the group or this album! (By J. Bodicoat "Digger")
01- Long Gone
02- Said The Judge
03- Monday Morning
04- Drowning In The Sea Of Love
05- Country Nest
06- Funky Friend
07- Goodbye U.S.A.
08- That's The Song
09- Dixie Queen
10- Sad Sunday
Lead Vocals, Percussion – Bobby Harrison
Guitar, Mandolin, Backing Vocals – Micky Moody
Bass Guitar – Colin Gibson
Drums – Terry Popple
Keyboards, Backing Vocals – Pete Solley