Nektar – Boston Tapes - 1970
*Remastered for digital download only (2006)
Roye Albrighton / guitar, lead vocals
Derek "Mo" Moore / bass, backing vocals
Ron Howden / drums, percussion
Allan "Taff" Freeman / keyboards, backing vocals
Mick Brockett / lighting, projections and visual effects
Arrangements by Nektar
Music by Roye, Taff, Mo & Ron
A NEKTAR composition.
The very first original Nektar studio reel to reel master tapes were recorded in a converted shop front studio in the Jamaica Plains section of Boston
in the summer of 1970. Never released, and long thought missing or deteriorated, those tapes eventually resurfaced in good condition then were digitally
transferred to CD at a studio in Osnabruck, Germany.
The Boston Tapes contain the earliest recordings by Nektar, some songs were actually written before Nektar was even a band. "New Day Dawning"
was a piece that Roye brought from "The Rainbows," then Mo, Ron & Taff put their spin on it. Roye's "When the Summer comes along"
was one of two songs within "New Day Dawning" that ended up on the Boston album, yet soon after returning to Germany in 1970, those songs within
the piece were changed to ONE song… the more upbeat "Norwegian Wood…"just for our early live shows, so THAT is the version that ended up on
"Sounds Like This."
As many fans might have never heard these early sounds of Nektar (also due to the order that albums were released in the USA), "Boston" is a
glimpse into the roots of the band which began with the two prior bands that existed before November 1969… The Rainbows and Prophecy. Each provided input
for the live repertoire that became arranged into Nektar mainstays of those early 1970 shows around Hamburg in Germany. Roye joined Mo, Taff and Ron on
November the 5th 1969 and they played their first gig together just ten days later. NONE of those early gigs were recorded until we all went to Boston
in the Summer of 1970! Thus the Boston tracks ARE the only true 1970 Nektar versions available. When the Boston album was recorded in Jamaica Plains,
each track was aimed at a potential "singles market," thus they needed to be around five minutes long for airplay, which, for the NEW band Nektar,
was hard to do!
The resulting tape never escaped to vinyl OR to the public ear, as we thought some of those Boston tracks just didn't do this new band justice… thus
updated versions of these songs went on "Sounds Like This," to record Nektar's backlog of STILL unreleased "short" pieces before
RTF was produced in 1973. In retrospect, some tracks are now somewhat of a collector's item, especially the Bryan Hyland cover song "Sealed with
a Kiss" plus there were other ditties that DIDN'T go on that Boston album, (such as "Odd y'see")… as they were deemed "too
Another of Roye's songs got the treatment from Mo, Taff and Ron… "Do you Believe in Magic?" Well, we have many LIVE versions of it, but
they don't sound as good as the studio versions when mixed together back to back, …There are many differences, some subtle, some are quite obvious.
The words are almost unchanged… it is a "love gone wrong song"… far from the subject matter within later compositions. The first recording epitomizes
where Nektar was at in 1970… an unmistakable Nektar sound, the mix of soft and heavy, with interwoven tapestries of Hammond, the Beatle influenced bass
lines, vocal harmonies and unobtrusive guitar made for a very "clean" 1970 record, as we were hoping for "airplay" of everything on
that 4–track Boston tape.
There were songs on the Boston tapes that barely survived once Nektar returned to Germany that summer, including "Where Did You Go"… in fact
it wasn't even in the live set much longer either, having been pushed out by the ever lengthening of our "Space Opera" and other songs by
the fall of 1970. The second song being "What Ya Gonna Do" (Woman Trouble) which by the fall of 1970 was also embedded in our set, where it
has remained on stand–by for forty years, often becoming part of "The Rockers" medley.
The original Candlelight was re–recorded for possible release on the out–takes contained on disk 2 of "Sounds Like This", so because Roye's
riff sticks with you… it was an excellent song for its time, and deserved another hearing. Three of the songs were updated, then recorded again on "Sounds
Like This" in 1972
Mick Brockett ©2010 TheNektarProject.com