Competing with Stephen Stills, Neil Young and Richie Furay for creative space within Buffalo Springfield, it’s not surprising that bassist Bruce Palmer never wrote or sang any material for the short-lived super-group (before they knew they were super). Post Springfield, after years of dealing with pot busts and Canadian deportation issues, Palmer would eventually channel his individuality into his only solo album, The Cycle Is Complete – an esoteric, meandering, slightly psychedelic instrumental LP featuring 4 folky/jazzy, multi-layered jam improvisations, backed by members of the 60s group Kaleidoscope… and funkster Rick James (before he knew he was Rick James). The All Music Guide, giving it 4-1/2 stars, posits “the end result is something along the lines of latter-era Traffic and the psychedelic soul of Rotary Connection.” But that description suggests coherence, which Cycle rarely trafficks in. The album was, as you might imagine, totally ignored back in the day. In 2010, Collector’s Choice would re-issue the LP on compact disc, but… in a vastly different form, featuring totally different mixes for much of the material – while substituting around 11 minutes of the LP with unreleased material. Julian Cope’s Head Heritage explains: “The majority of the album consists of a pair of tracks cut from the same hours-long cloth of improvisation that was excerpted and stitched together into two sprawling instrumentals, “Alpha-Omega-Apocalypse” and “Oxo.” However, both of these tracks on the CD reissue do not match those found on the original Verve-Forecast album. Although “Oxo,” from the original album, is present in its entirety on the CD, it’s as the final 7 minutes of “Alpha-Omega-Apocalypse,” while conversely: “Alpha-Omega-Apocalypse” (from approximately 4:20-9:00) is used as the first 4:40 minutes of the CD version of “Oxo.” Outside of these two overlapping transpositions, about 11 minutes of previously unreleased material is present on the CD version while much of the album version of “Alpha-Omega-Apocalypse” (remains) unique to the LP. So, The Cycle Is Complete on CD is not…complete.” Further… the CD’s liner notes offer no explanation for the missing/additional music (though the track times are relatively similar). Palmer would disappear from the radar after this album’s release, resurfacing in the 80s for a brief time with Neil and a couple different Springfield revival bands in the 90s. Too bad… he had a lot to offer creatively, which both of these albums make clear. Hear the CD version of “Interlude,” below. Find both versions of The Cycle Is Complete – Vinyl (HERE) & CD (HERE) – at Amazon.
Calm Before The Storm (9:55)/(10:12)
Timing = (Vinyl)/(CD)
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