Harsh Reality - Heaven & Hell (CD)




Progressive Line



Regular price €7,90

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Original release 1969
Re-issue 2011 Esoteric
+ 4 bonus tracks

Carl Barnwell - Guitar
Mark Griffiths - Guitar
Cliff Jenkins - Guitar
Stephen Miller - Keyboards
Roger Swallow - Drums

Harsh Reality are a little-known, proto-prog band thought to have emerged in Wales in the late sixties. The band consisted of Carl Barnwell, Mark Griffiths, and Cliff Jenkins on guitars, as well as Roger Swallow on drums, and a pre-Caravan Stephen Miller on keyboards. They released a single for Phillips in 1968 (Tobacco Ash Sunday/How Do You Feel) before releasing their only LP, Heaven and Hell, on Phillips in 1969. A final single followed soon after, before the band split in 1969.

Their Heaven and Hell LP is now a highly-sought rarity, going for hundreds of pounds between eager collectors. For this reason, Harsh Reality is somewhat famous/infamous in collecting circles.

Though technically proto-prog, their work represented a marriage between the sounds of Procol Harum and early Deep Purple. The keyboard work is especially impressive, courtesy of Steve Miller, who later brought his keyboard stylings to the seminal Canterbury band, Caravan.

As for the other members, Barnwell later worked with Southern Comfort, while Roger Swallow went on to Principle Edwards Magic Theatre and the Albion Country Band. The rest of the band went into session work.