Ishmael – The Charge Of The Light Brigade – 1975

I know you’ve always said I wish Ishmael United did an album with After The Fire. OK no one ever actually said that but here it is anyway. This is a fantastic album. It has that quirky Ishmael sound a lot of us would grow to love. You probably never heard of this album but there’s a reason. As explained by Ken Scott (The Archivist by Ken Scott, 4th Edition)…

“Probably one of the most controversial Ishmael albums and banned from a large chain of Christian bookshops due to the song content. The lyrics graphically announced of the dangers of occult, the stupidity of preaching to seagulls and the problems of Church unity. Oh yes, and the first and last album that is likely to contain a song called ‘I am just a Charismatic’. The Ishmael ‘dry humour’ which was added to help lighten some of the subject matter proved to be very unfunny to the less jovial Christians of the day.”

Well that explains that. Low and behold it has a Rock & Roll song., “Sixth Virgin” which id a style we never heard from Ishmael or ATF for that matter. Personally my favourite track is the ballad “Spiritual Stagnation” which was years ahead in it’s styling, remember it was 1975.

Tracklist
1 – Charge Of The Light Brigade – 3:40
2 – Spiritual Stagnation – 4:21
3 – Mission To Seagulls – 3:21
4 – Simon And The Gypsy – 3:12
5 – I Am Just A Charismatic – 2:50
6 – Laodecean Church – 3:18
7 – Christian Straitjacket – 3:18
8 – Sixth Virgin – 3:32
9 – King Of Glory – 5:10
10 – Amen And Praise De Lord – 5:20

Credits
Design – Dave Gillard (2), Geoff Gillard
Songwriter – Ian (alias Ishmael)
Band – After The Fire

Companies, etc.
Published By – Thankyou Music – 1975
Published By – Word (Uk) Ltd. – 1975
Pressed By – Tranco Limited
Designed At – Gillard Bros Graphics

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Rev Counta & The Speedoze – Life Begins At Thirty – 1980

This is yet another project from Ishmael (Ishmael United). It follows in the footsteps of Ishmael’s usual style which was fun/punk/reggae/rockabilly. Yea good luck in categorizing this album. Personally I categorize it as fun. Ishmael actually re-released this album along with Ishmael United as a single CD set. This album was a real treat for me when I found it as Ishmael United is one of my favourite albums and I had no idea there was more. In fact there are a few more albums, Ishmael never really used the same band name twice. For those who don’t know Ishmael has gone on to release over 20 very popular Christian children’s albums.

Tracklist
1 – All Mixed Up
2 – Love So Great
3 – Motex
4 – Hell Ain’t For Heroes
5 – For What We’re About To Receive
6 – Dr Heckle & Mr Snide
7 – Marksman
8 – No Coincidence
9 – 2 Years On A Camel (Full Of Eastern Promise)
10 – Every Circus Needs A Strongman
11 – Marmite Sandwiches
12 – Ferguson’s Mule
13 – Miss Us
14 – Wot A Life

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Ishmael United – If You Can’t Shout Saved – 1979

Ishmael United was headed by Ian Smale who refers to himself as Ishmael. This is the album that most people are familiar when you hear his name but it’s not his only album. He only had one album as Ishmael United but has others as Ishmael, Ishmael And Andy (Andy Piercy from ATF), and Rev Counta & The Speedoze. This album is very difficult to categorize but the recipe for this album is one part punk, one part new wave, one part pop, and 3 parts fun. This album was very well received and is popular to this day. There are many differing styles on this album but they mostly all share a common theme of fun. It’s impossible to pick a “single” for the album but for me Don’t Rock De Boat is my favourite track. Quick piece of trivia, Ishmael has gone on to produce several very successful children’s albums.

Tracklist
1 – Song Of The Last Generation – 3:26
2 – Star On Sunday – 2:14
3 – Bartimaeus – 3:31
4 – If You Can’t Shout Saved, You’ll Have To Face The Penalty – 3:13
5 – Jesus Trip – 2:07
6 – Don’t Rock De Boat – 3:23
7 – Crowd Trouble – 3:52
8 – Christian Schizophrenic – 2:43
9 – Now It’s All Gone Wrong – 3:13
10 – Caroline Robbins – 2:51
11 – Jesus Is Making A Comeback – 2:42
12 – The Glories – 4:21

Credits
Acoustic Guitar – Ishmael
Bass – Laura Mellor
Drums – Pedro Wills
Electric Guitar – Dale Evans
Engineer – Dave Aston, Les Moir
Keyboards – Dale Evans
Lead Vocals – Ishmael
Percussion – Pedro Wills
Photography – Photoflair
Producer – Andy Piercy
Vocals – Dale Evans, Laura Mellor, Pedro Wills

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