MCC Thursday's Child Has Far to Go. 1979. GRV126
I was listening to my mp3 player the other day when a song called Sail Away came on. It was psych folk at its best - an ethereal woman's voice, lots of echo, a simple but haunting melody, grabbing you by the heart strings and twisting them tight. Who could it be? I wondered whether it was some of Judy Dyble's latest work. It was in fact the opening track of side two of this remarkable Grapevine album from 1979.
MCC consisted of Martin Colley, Rob Cox and Chris May and appeared to have been linked to the Reflections label, which had early pioneered the idea of Christians using progressive, cutting edge folk music and still has an on-line presence. The MCC members seem to have been involved earlier in the 1974 Sounds of Salvation album, which can be found here on this download site.
Many of the vocals on the MCC album were provided by other singers, the woman singer being Elga Askew.
This seems to have been a concept album based on the rather mawkish topic of a failing Christian marriage. Quite possibly it formed part of a touring show, using early 70s progressive musical styles to engage with 20 and 30 somethings.
Yet starting with the Moody Bluesish intro with a long fade-in, its production values are amazing. My second-hand vinyl copy came with a deep gouge in the first two tracks but my record player successfully played through it, slipping just a little, and editing software removed the clicks.
Worst failing? Like some other bands of the time they could not resist the temptation to attempt and parody West Indian music on the track Looking Up. It's not comfortable to modern ears.
MCC were responsible for the production. The copyright for the music was attributed to Parchment Music Ltd and the sleeve notes thank Sue McClellan for supervising the lead vocals and John Pac for his encouragement. Sue also helped with backing vocals.
The photo of the cover here, I'm afraid, does not do justice do the quality of the artwork.