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How it works

Highlighting in album tracklistings denotes 'contains Mellotron', leading to some tracklistings being solidly highlighted. If a tracklisting has no highlights, the Mellotron is so indistinct that there's no point, which should be made clear in the text and the rating. On 'multi-part' tracks I've tried to indicate which parts contain Mellotron, although this isn't always possible. I've added album timings to as many entries as possible, although some of them may not be completely accurate as I may be working from timings on LP labels/sleeves. If there's no timing at all, there's a variety of possible reasons; hopefully one will be added at a later date. A handful of entries have no cover image; although I've had some LP sleeves photographed, a few of the reviews are from tape/CD-R copies of out of print rarities, with no cover art. I've downloaded some images, but I can't guarantee the quality of these.

Ratings (music):
  • ½: utter shite
  • *: shite
  • *½: very poor
  • **: poor
  • **½: below average
  • ***: average
  • ***½: good
  • ****: very good
  • ****½: excellent
  • *****: classic

Ratings (Mellotronness):
  • 0: nothing audible
  • ½: next to nothing; maybe background use on one track
  • T: one decent track, or a couple with background use
  • T½: one or two tracks
  • TT: two decent tracks
  • TT½: two or three tracks
  • TTT: good use, borderline worth buying for that alone
  • TTT½: worth buying for the Mellotron
  • TTTT: lots of 'Tron
  • TTTT½: loads of 'Tron, though not necessarily innovative
  • TTTTT: stuffed to the gills and preferably innovative

A quick word or two on the 'ratings' system; the * rating is a regular 'how good do I think this album is?' one, and is mostly based on my own taste, though I do try to make allowances for perfectly good records that I just don't like. Problematically, I find it difficult to justify giving the full five to anything less than pretty much flawless albums, which causes problems with 'mostly utterly brilliant' efforts like In the Court of the Crimson King or Selling England By the Pound, both let down by one ropey track. There seems to be a bit of a jump from *** 'average' to ***½ 'good', with no 'above average' rating, but if I drop 'average' to **½, it doesn't feel right, even though on a scale of five, **½ is actually as much the median point as ***. The 'T' rating is meant to tell you something about the album's Mellotron content, which is why it goes from '0', not '½'. I don't feel I could give any album 'null points', but if there's Mellotron credited, but it's entirely inaudible, I reserve the right to give it a big fat zero on the Ts. Please remember that this is no slur on the album itself, although the * rating may well be.

A thought on compilations: I normally avoid these, as there's little point in telling you that 'Strawberry Fields Forever' is on every Beatles compilation ever (with the ludicrous exception of 1), or there are 73 Moody Blues 'best ofs' available. However... many late-'60s bands were primarily singles artists and what's really needed in those cases is a review of a good overview compilation, so you'll find a few of these. There are also a few cases where the compilation is the only way to easily obtain a band's music, or several relevant albums or singles are combined onto one useful 2-CD set, so they've gone in, too. As time goes on and I review more and more albums, I'm beginning to realise that I may be starting to repeat myself. It's actually quite difficult to find anything much to say about a middling sort of album; you know, perfectly pleasant, but rather unexciting, so apologies for reusing a few favourite phrases, particularly with regard to an album's Mellotron content.