This band was from Scotland, their name is derived from a novel by the poet John Gray in 1728. The musicians of Beggars Opera were Martin Griffiths (vocals), Rick Gardiner (guitar and vocals), Alan Park (keyboards), Gordon Sellar (bass, acoustic guitar and vocals), Virginia Scott (Mellotron and vocals) and Raymond Wilson (drums and percussion).
Their debut album "Act One" (1970) contains fluent and tasteful organ driven progrock with powerful "Sixties" sounding guitarwork. The long track "Raymond's Road" is a splendid tribute to the "classics" featuring Mozart's A la Turka, Bach's Toaccata in d-fuga en Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite on the Hammond organ…
Beggars Opera were a progressive rock band from Glasgow, Scotland, and were formed in Glasgow in 1969 by guitarist Ricky Gardiner. Ricky Gardiner (guitarist) went on to play for David Bowie on the Low album and with Iggy Pop on the Lust for Life album as well as the famed Idiot tour of 1976. He co-wrote The Passenger with Iggy Pop. Alan Park (organist) worked with Sir Cliff Richard for many years as musical director.
Perhaps the stars were right, or perhaps his American company, flush from the unexpected success of Murphy’s former bandmates in Love and Rockets, just decided to give Murphy a well-deserved publicity push. Whatever it was, with Deep Murphy scored an honest to goodness American radio/MTV hit thanks to the tender, lively “Cuts You Up,” a love song with solid energy and an inspired vocal.
Beggars Opera's third album offered up another dramatic change in pace and style from a band that had already demonstrated its musical schizophrenia well enough. Considerably more song-oriented than either of its predecessors, Pathfinder set out its stall with the pounding pop of "Hobo" before delving deep into period preoccupations with a truly visionary assault on "MacArthur Park" – imagine Vanilla Fudge if Brian Auger had created their arrangements. Eight minutes seem too short a time in which to layer all of the group's ideas, but they succeed with room to spare, and deliver what is probably the definitive reading of the song…
Pioneering progressive rock group Beggars Opera from Glasgow released several splendid albums for the Vertigo label in the early Seventies. The line up included vocalist Martin Griffiths, guitarist Ricky Gardiner and keyboard player Alan Park, who ensured a strong classical influence. ‘Waters Of Change’ was the group’s second effort, first released in 1971. It follows the pattern set by debut album ‘Act One’, and features highlight tracks ‘Time Machine’, ‘Silver Peacock’ and ‘The Fox’, given greater depth by the addition of Mellotron player Virginia Scott.
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music
Swimming in mellotron
“Waters of change” was Beggar’s opera’s best album in my opinion, full of strong melodies and well constructed songs. Having introduced themselves with the innovative, classically driven “Act one”, the band invested in a mellotron, which instantly became the dominant instrument in their sound. The band moved away from the intricate symphonic prog of their first album, towards the art rock of the Moody Blues and Barclay James Harvest.
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection
What a mindblowing debut-album this is! The very melodic and harmonic music from this five-piece band is based upon an incredible dynamic and propulsive rhythm-section and splendid, very exciting Hammond organ work, often accompanied by a powerful and fiery electric guitar. The interplay between the musicians is magnificent and the excertions on keyboards and guitar are very compelling, in the spirit of the late Sixties and early Seventies.
Yet another good melodic bluesy hard rock, pop-metal, and arena rock along the lines of Def Leppard and Bon Jovi that got lost and overlooked in the hair band shuffle of the early 90's. Beggars & Thieves is certainly not a metal release, but for those rare moments of mellowness, a good listen from start to finish. Bassist Phil Soussan also played with Ozzy Osbourne and Dio. Drummer Bobby Borg was also played on Warrant's "Belly to Belly Vol. 1." Louie Merlino was in a band with Dana Strum (Slaughter) in the mid 80's.
The guys from Spiritual Beggars have been producing their own brand of vintage-style hard rock for over twenty years, in between working with their other respective bands. The group, a side project formed by band leader Michael Amott (Arch Enemy, ex-Carcass) in 1993, have endured the ever changing world of the music business since then, and 2016 will see the release of their ninth studio album ‘Sunrise To Sundown’, which has been described as the “next chapter of the book” and one they are clearly excited for. And with good reason!…