The album "Mercy and the wild sea" is in fact the full soundtrack taken from a rock-opera written by "Richard Price" fusing together a specially commissioned movie with an accompanied rock music sound track and also a narrated storyline. Briefly, the subject matter for the project involves a dramatic 34th Century space adventure following the journey of a disgraced female commander by the name of Mercy (vocalist Corinne Lucy). For anyone further interested in the story a skeletal outline of the story is put together with the track titles outlined below.
The album soundtrack and movie recorded in 2016 was originally put together for the Edinburgh Fringe festival where an album soundtrack was actually distributed to the audience at each of the various shows. Besides the film content it is very relevant here to emphasize that the Edinburgh performance was a combination of fairly heavy rock music interposed with a narrated radio styled dramatic story line. It is doubtful whether the entire audience would have been prepared for an onslaught of the heavier styled psychedelic rock music and maybe was a reason why such a negative and unfair review was published within the "Scotsman" newspaper :-
Sometime later,following the Edinburgh festival, and has happened many times in the past, copies of the album soundtrack were found for sale in a charity shop assigned to the local public rubbish tip. This discovery then aroused much interest on the progressive rock collectors market leading to the subsequent relaunching of the album on vinyl,
The music itself can be categorized as being adult orientated rock with a distinctly psychedelic rock edge. It is extremely well put together with lashings of sumptuous driving guitar, melodic keyboards and fronted, on most tracks, with the most beautiful of female vocals. The set opens with a full on instrumental blast of hard driving fast moving acid "wow wow" guitar that rocks you to the core and then after a fairly lengthy narrated section a transition period of peaceful acoustic guitar lines. The acid guitar resumes once again at full throttle to lift you once more to a state of psychedelic euphoria. From this point on the pace of the music slows down somewhat and there is a shift in style from a distinctly psychedelic feel to that more akin to middle of the road adult orientated rock ballads with exquisite female vocals laid over some wonderful instrumental backing especially lovely piano chord arrangements and nicely considered instrumental arrangements. Then once again another shift to some nice rocking instrumental guitar and piano sequences which take over before a further return once more to the slower female led vocal rock ballads..
From a negative point of view the narration after first play becomes quite irritating but apparently the album package, thank goodness, also includes a doctored set whereby the spoken word has been reduced substantially. BTW It is good to know that a UK West Midland accent survives up to at least the 34th Century
Summary: An extremely enjoyable album combining separate track elements of both classic adult orientated rock and fully charged acid guitar rock.
Artwork: Fantastic cover artwork beautifully designed by Costas Charitou, the gatefold sleeve also contains an 8 page 12" booklet featuring original concept material with storyboard artwork for the associated film (Better Feeling Films)
1. Events (A Scarborough Fair Variation)
- when aging Alexander Selcraig desperately tries to pull himself together and face the terrifying council of elders to tell of news he has just received of someone that he thought was dead for a 100 years
2.The Apprentice- Selcraig relates some of the history of his first connection with the Federation Academy before his own career as an Elite Commander and his move into the Intelligence Services.
3. Symphony In You- Assigned to spy on Mercy Kreutznaer, a disgraced Elite Commander who has been grounded for consorting with pirates, Selcriag realises he's fallen in love with her.
4. Just Didn't Happen - Unable to keep up the pretence Selcraig confesses all, with disastrous consequences. Mercy is declared "persona non grata" in all Federation space and a bounty is now on her head.
5. Runaway- Mercy goes AWoL after attacking her commanding officers but returns to see Selcraig for one last time before leaving Earth.
6. Look Around You - Mercy's is picked up by her former contacts in the Phantom Services Corporation, a mysterious group of mercenaries and pirates. They travel to a nearby space station and disappear.
7. Time To Go Stealing - Now a fully-fledged Phantom Mercy and her fellow commanders run riot and effectively govern some sectors of the galaxy
8. We Fight To Win - With massive bounty on her head Mercy attracts the attention of Bounty Hunters who lay an elaborate trap to capture or kill her, a massive battle results with only two ships surviving: Mercy and one Bounty Hunter
9. The Wild Sea - In the final dogfight Mercy's ship is fatally damaged but she manages to evade the bounty hunter but crashes into an obscure planet.
10. Carry Me Down (To The Water)- Mercy manages to send one last message to the Phantom Services Sentinels: "...don't attempt a rescue, I'll soon be dead".
11. So Far To Go - Mercy overcomes the trauma of the crash and realises there is hope of survival with the resources available on the planet. She manages to send one last signal to the Phantom sentinels but they cannot establish where she is and she's lost of 100 years. They never give up looking for her and eventually find her, in a rare gravity environment, ageing only 4 years since being AWoL. She wants to see Selcraig again and they get a message to him - the message that inspired him to go before the Council. He explains the story to the Elders and with an archive of secret documents he gathered before retiring they are persuaded, it seems, to allow her home.
12 So Far To Go (Reprise: the journey home) - The Phantoms are given a secure route back to Earth with Mercy and she's brought before the Council herself, we see her ship travelling from a remote part of the galaxy back to Earth. There are plans for military action against the Empire in the area that Mercy had been operating in and the Elders have assigned her a mission to prepare the area for attack. The dying Selcraig is assimilated as an Elder himself so that his knowledge and expertise can also be deployed in the planning and preparation for the battle.
The line up for this album comprises of local Birmingham based musicians who were initially assembled for a theatrical project to be performed at the Edinburgh festival in 2016
RICHARD PRICE: Guitarist, Scriptwriter, Composer, Arranger, Producer
Richard also plays guitar in English Midlands rock band entitled Love Commandos whose album Siren is available in all good record stores
Singer as "Mercy", Lyricist/Composer.
She started out busking, where she trained her voice until it could be heard for miles around, and quickly began writing her own songs, some inspired by her own life, some conjured from her rich imagination. She recorded and produced her debut album, Clockwork. and continues to make music in a genre she calls "prog pop for the acoustic guitar".
Jon has been playing bass for many years in both original and cover bands covering classic rock, gospel & alternative rock genres. As well as his involvement in the Mercy & The Wild Sea project, he is bassist and a founding member of Coventry-based covers band Stereofix.
CONRAD FARMER: Drummer
A self taught professional drummer experienced live and in the studio playing all types of music in various cover bands.
ALEX PRICE: Piano/Keyboards
Alex is trained in both classical and jazz piano. Winner of the 2010 Dudley Festival Young Jazz Pianist Award.