Too many synth artists of the early to mid-'70s seemed more interested in demonstrating their dexterity with their instrument than actually showing why it was worth being dexterous with in the first place. The reason Tim Blake is important is because he took the opposite approach entirely. Schooled in Gong and soon to dignify Hawkwind, Blake is a composer first, a technician a very distant second. And if New Jerusalem, his solo debut, represents a peak which electronic rock in general has yet to top, Crystal Machine is at least equal to the task. In maintaining the earlier album's application of melody over mood, Blake totally separates himself from the ranks of sallow, clever souls who let their machines do all the talking – a lesson which, by year's end, both Jean Michel Jarre and Donna Summer's "I Feel Love" would both have translated into worldwide chart-toppers. More importantly, however, Blake also liberated the synth from the showroom and showman.
This history-making family, even with all the success it's had, the critical acclaim, and the adoration of its loyal fans, is still probably the most under-rated act of the "rock era." It sounds like a pretty bold statement, but think about it. How influential were songs like "Shout," "Twist And Shout," "This Old Heart Of Mine," and "It's Your Thing"? And that was before phase II of the Isleys story began. Now add to the list "That Lady," "Fight The Power," and "For The Love Of You." This was a living legend of a group at the time "Go For Your Guns" was released in 1977. Yes, 1975's "The Heat is On" topped the pop chart, but for my money, "Go For Your Guns" is the ultimate Isleys experience.