The Hour Glass was formed in 1967 from the ashes of two other groups - The Allman Joys, from Florida, and The Men-its, from Alabama. They consisted of the brothers Gregg Allman (lead vocals/keyboards/guitar) and Duane Allman (lead guitar), plus Paul Hornsby (keyboards/guitar), Mabron McKinny (bass) and Johnny Sandlin (drums). It was when playing in St Louis that they met Bill McEuen (manager of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band), who helped get them signed to Liberty Records.
They relocated to L.A., where they recorded their debut album with producer Dallas Smith. Liberty seemed to be much more interested in Gregg Allman as a solo act than the band as a whole, and so the album turned out sounding far from what they wanted, with a soul / pop sound complete with horn arrangements, and with little room for the band's instrumental skills to be showcased. The material was also almost entirely made up of covers chosen by Smith, with only one original alongside songs by Goffin & King, Jackson Browne, The Impressions, Del Shannon and Jimmy Radcliffe. It also featured a very strange, psychedelic spoken word reading of Edgar Allen Poe's poem "The Bells".
The band were very unhappy with the results, as their recording career was seemingly being completely controlled by their label. And it wasn't as if Liberty were getting any success from the arrangement - the album flopped. Still, it can be listened to today as a very nice white soul album.
|> Power Of Love (1968)
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