Launching November 11th on the Grapefruit Record Label, the self-titled album features the first ever CD release of an aborted project from the late 1960s.
Leviathan features Stuart Hobday vocals, Roger McCabe bass guitar, Brian Bennett lead guitar and Gary ‘Roscoe’ Murphy on drums. Their psychedelic progressive rock output earned them a cult following worldwide especially in Europe and the US.
“We are really appreciative for all Leviathan fans worldwide that still remember and listen to our music. We are also thankful to Grapefruit for the vision and recognizing that our fan base is big enough and dedicated enough to warrant the release of this CD,” states drummer Gary Murphy.
He continues.”Our music is also experiencing a trickle – down effect where new, younger fans are becoming aware of the band. These are fans that weren’t even born when we were touring!”
The band started life as the Mike Stuart Span, a six piece soul band based in Brighton, on England’s south coast. Bennett joined in 1967 after the brass section & keyboards had parted company.
As the Span they gained recognition and were acknowledged by psychedelic collectors, following their first release “Children of Tomorrow” on the “indie” Jewel label in early 1968.The single saw a re-release earlier this year featuring a colour picture sleeve.
Their publicity generated a cameo appearance in the film Better A Widow, successful tours of Germany and Belgium, a support appearance with Cream in the UK , performance of a 20-minute science fiction fantasy entitled Cycle and jamming with legendary Jimi Hendrix at the Speakeasy.
The Span was also chosen to be featured group in a BBC Television series called A Year In The Life. The episode charted the band’s progress over twelve months. Shortly afterwards they were signed by Elektra Records in 1969. In the United States, label boss Jac Holzman, who signed the Doors in 1966, immediately commissioned an album, but insisted on a change of name to Leviathan.
The release of the intended debut album was cancelled at the eleventh hour by Holzman – a crushing blow that led to the break-up of the band.
Despite the dissolution of the band their music lived on and maintained popularity. Leviathan is the long-awaited; first-ever CD release of one of the legendary aborted projects of the late 1960s British psychedelic progressive scene.
Taken from the original Elektra master tapes, the package adds three non-LP tracks, including a rare remix of ‘Remember The Times’ that was only issued at the time in Australia.
Complete with a lavish sixteen-page booklet that tells the band’s story and includes priceless period photos and memorabilia, this release is the final, tantalizing missing piece in the Mike Stuart Span/Leviathan jigsaw.
In addition to belatedly satisfying the band’s many admirers, it is also an essential purchase for anyone who has more than a passing interest in the late Sixties British rock scene.
“All band members are delighted to see at long last the CD version of all of the Elektra material released, 47 years after it was originally recorded. We are all still alive to see it finally realized! Now we don’t have to worry about wearing out the vinyl version,” concludes Murphy.
The Leviathan CD will be available at a number of outlets. From Amazon starting November 18th, and may be pre-ordered here.It can also be ordered direct from Grapefruit by clicking here.
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Contact Person: Keith Hunt
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