Quantum Jump was a 1970s British band, consisting of singer and keyboard player Rupert Hine, guitarist Mark Warner, bass player John G. Perry (then of Caravan) and drummer Trevor Morais (then of The Peddlers). Their sound was a hybrid of fusion, progressive rock, funk and jazz rock. They released two albums when they were alive and kicking, Quantum Jump (1976) and Barracuda (1977). They disbanded at the end of 1977. Later on an album with a collection of remixed tracks came out entitled Mixing (1979). The bands eponymous album was reissued in 2014.
This version was newly re-mastered from the original tapes and includes five rare bonus tracks, taken from a single and the already mentioned 1979 remix compilation album Mixing. It also includes a booklet that fully restores the original album artwork and a new essay. The album, which was written and arranged in 1973-1974, misleads you right from the start. The first three tracks Captain Boogaloo, Over Rio and The Lone Ranger show a musical style which can be described as rather funky; something that is less enjoyable for our readers.
Therefore it wasn't so strange that one of these songs was released as a single. The label's MD believed that the song The Lone Ranger was a potential hit single if only it had something more "interesting" for the intro. This was later on fixed by Hine, who sang the longest word in the world (listed in The Guinness Book of Records) a capella, replacing the original intro to the song altogether. The word in question, taken from the language of the Maori, New Zealand's indigenous people, was the name of a hill in Hawke's Bay, New Zealand. On the record, the word (made to sound as if it were Native American, in keeping with the Lone Ranger and Tonto theme) is chanted. The Lone Ranger was first released in 1976. However it was banned because people thought some of the lyrics were deemed to have "drugs" and "homosexual" references. The BBC stopped playing the record and it failed to chart as a result. Strangely enough a re-release of the single became an unexpected hit in1979. It eventually reached number 5 in the UK Singles Chart.
The tracks after the three opening pieces move into a total different direction musically. It goes much more into the musical direction some of the musicians were known for before they joined this band. A more Canterbury music/jazz rock/progressive rock kind of style comes to the surface and therefore more enjoyable for lovers of our beloved genre. I guess they chose to start with the more commercial sounding tunes to get more buyers for this album. After the five more serious compositions (which can be compared with the music of Caravan, Todd Rundgren's Utopia, National Health, Brand X and Camel) the original album ends and the bonus tracks can be heard. They start with Drift. This was a B-side for the single. It's a short jazz rock kind of instrumental track. Next are all remixes done in 1979 of the album tracks which in a way had a kind of commercial sound. I guess it's not so strange they are the same three opening songs from the original album plus the first real serious tune that followed those songs on the album. Not that I heard many differences compared to the original versions. So for me they didn't really have to add the remixed versions of Captain Boogaloo, The Lone Ranger, Over Rio and No American Starship (Looking For The Next World) to this reissue.
Quantum Jump soldiered on for a second album, recorded in late 1976 as a trio with the help of various musician friends, most notably Caravan multi-instrumentalist Geoffrey Richardson. Barracuda was released in April 1977. Unfortunately, the album had been expensive to record, and when it didn't sell well enough, Quantum Jump disbanded at the end of 1977. A reissue of Barracuda will be released as well.
The band's self-titled debut album is certainly a fine album to listen to when you skip the first three tracks. Anybody who hears one of the first three tracks has the urge to press the stop button right away. But don't do this, otherwise you will miss a lot of great music on the rest of the original album. Recommended to fans of Caravan, Todd Rundgren's Utopia, National Health, Brand X and Camel who aren't afraid to hear some funky music as well!
*** Henri Strik (edited by Astrid de Ronde)
Where to buy?
All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2015