Although a fourth Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation album (Remains to Be Heard) would be cobbled together from outtakes and recordings done without Dunbar, their third LP, To Mum, From Aynsley and the Boys, was truly the final proper full-length release by the original group. Dunbar had expressed some interest in moving further afield from the blues-rock format around the time the record was done, and the addition of keyboardist Tommy Eyre (from the Grease Band) to the lineup was one step in that direction. The enlistment of John Mayall as producer was perhaps another step in attempting to refine their sound. Still, much of To Mum, From Aynsley and the Boys is pretty standard late-'60s British blues-rock, in line with the previous two albums by the band. Eyre does inject some of the arrangements with a jazzy, more R&B feel, particularly on "Leaving Right Away" and the instrumental "Unheard," the latter of which sounds like a rock band trying to do modern jazz and finding themselves a bit out of their depth.
The Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation's second album was much the same as their first, offering competent late-'60s British blues, given a slightly darker cast than was usual for the style via Victor Brox's somber vocals. Like their debut, it was dominated by original material, and as on its predecessor, the compositions were rather routine blues-rock numbers, though they benefited from arrangements by highly skilled players. The best of these tracks were the ones that utilized Brox's gloomy, almost gothic organ, if only because it made them stand out more among the company of the many similar bands recording in the prime of the British blues boom.
On their self-titled debut album, the Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation flashed a British blues-rock approach that was rather similar to that of John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers circa 1967. That was unsurprising considering that leader and drummer Dunbar had played on the Bluesbreakers' 1967 A Hard Road album, and that bassist Alex Dmochowski would later play with Mayall himself. Although everyone in the Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation was a skilled player, the record ultimately comes off as rather second-division late-'60s British blues, though in a little heavier and darker a style than Mayall's. That's not to say it's mediocre, but the material (mostly original) is only average, and not quite up to the level of the musicians' instrumental proficiency. Too, Victor Brox isn't the greatest singer, though he's okay, and while Jon Morshead plays guitar well, his style sometimes seems quite influenced by Peter Green (listen especially to his work on the cover of Percy Mayfield's "Memory of Pain").
Of the numerous British blues-rock bands to spring up in the late '60s, the Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation was one of the better known, though solid reception on tours did not translate into heavy record sales. Musically, the group recalled John Mayall's Bluesbreakers during the 1966-1967 era that had produced that group's A Hard Road album, though with a somewhat more downbeat ton…
Diamond Dogs is a concept album by David Bowie, originally released by RCA Records in 1974. Thematically it was a marriage of the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell and Bowie's own glam-tinged vision of a post-apocalyptic world. Bowie had wanted to make a theatrical production of Orwell's book and began writing material after completing sessions for his 1973 album Pin Ups, but the late author’s estate denied the rights. The songs wound up on the second half of Diamond Dogs instead where, as the titles indicate, the Nineteen Eighty-Four theme was prominent.
The Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation's third and fourth (and final pair of) albums, To Mum, from Aynsley and the Boys and Remains to Be Heard, are combined into this two-CD reissue, which adds lengthy historical liner notes by British blues-rock expert Harry Shapiro. Although Remains to Be Heard would be cobbled together from outtakes and recordings done without Dunbar, their third LP, To Mum, from Aynsley and the Boys, was truly the final proper full-length release by the original group. Dunbar had expressed some interest in moving further afield from the blues-rock format around the time the record was done, and the addition of keyboardist Tommy Eyre (from the Grease Band) to the lineup was one step in that direction.