Forgotten series: The British North American Act – In The Beginning … (1969)

No matter how obscure an album may be, it eventually gets reincarnated as a CD. The artifact we’re looking at this time around is the British North American Act’s In The Beginning…, which initially surfaced on the Now label in 1969 and fetches mighty high prices these days.

Although the band operated out of Montreal, Canada, they were actually an international aggregation, as the drummer hailed from Hungary and the lead singer and bassist were born in England.

Despite the release date of In The Beginning…, it sounds as if was recorded a few years earlier. The material, which is well written and original, flourishes with catchy pop persuasions similar to those once practiced by the likes of the Zombies, the Searchers and the Beau Brummels.

Feathery harmonies, complemented by plucky hooks and uncluttered arrangements make up the British North American Act’s radio-friendly missives. The guitars chime with purpose, while waves of rolling organ passages also complete the repertoire. A moody temper, pinned hard against folk fashioned figures further steers the band’s vision.

Particular winners on In The Beginning… (reissued in 2005 by Acid Ray Records) include “See How Free,” “Only A Dream,” “Don’t Run Away” and “All The World Is In Your Eyes,” along with “Joe Cool,” “I’ll Find A Way” and “If You’re Looking For Money,” which suggest a bit of a rawer side of the British North American Act.

Ruled by a haunting quality, coated with unpretentious performances and youthful innocence, the album is indeed a low-key affair. The British North American Act clearly boasted a good rapport and an awareness of the kind of music they played, and it would have been a joy to hear more tunes from them. Unfortunately, In The Beginning… marked the ending, but what a fine collection of songs it is.

Click here to purchase …

In the Beginning

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 on the national charts with "Stand By Me" - which is ironically one of her favorite songs, especially the version by John Lennon. She has also contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as associate editor of Rock Beat International. Paterson's own publications have included Inside Out, and Twist And Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.

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