East Of Eden
East of Eden (band)
East of Eden was a British progressive rock band, who had a Top 10 hit in the UK with the single, "Jig-a-Jig", in 1971. The track became something of a stylistic albatross around the band's neck, since it did not resemble their usual sound or anything else they normally played. Although some might consider this group as being a symphonic progressive band, others state that their style is mostly jazz oriented. Combining flutes, violins and tape loops to folk, gypsy and psychedelic music, the East of Eden style was always heavily supported on a pure rock base; strong and experimental.
Their professional career began back in 1967 when they were formed in Bristol by Dave Arbus (born David Arbus, 8 October 1941, Leicester) (violin, flute, saxophone, trumpet), Ron Caines (born Ronald Caines, 13 December 1939, Bristol) (alto saxophone), Geoff Nicholson (born Geoffrey Nicholson, 27 June 1948, near Bristol) (guitar, vocals), and Geoff Britton (born Geoffrey Britton, 1 August 1943, Lewisham, South London) (drums), who later joined Wings. In 1968 they moved to London, and the group was signed to a recording contract with Decca's progressive rock imprint Deram label.
In 1969 they released the Mercator Projected album, followed shortly after by the Snafu and Jig-a-Jig albums (both released in 1970). Snafu made it into the Top 30 in Britain of the UK Albums Chart, whilst a single, "Ramadhan," got to number two in France. Caines and Nicholson left the band as the 1970s began, and Arbus kept it together. They jumped to the Harvest label, but their work there never caught on, coinciding as it did with a change in style and a veering away from Eastern music to a country-ish sound. Arbus left in the early 1970s and was replaced by future Rory Gallagher collaborator Joe O'Donnell. The band carried on as almost exclusively a European act, recording and releasing albums in Europe only.
The band broke up in 1978 having undergone various changes in membership. Important members in late line-ups included guitarist Andy Sneddon (born Andrew Sneddon, 8 May 1946, Ayrshire, Scotland), bassist/vocalist David Jack (born 24 January 1948, Glasgow, Strathclyde, Scotland), drummer Jeff Allen (born Jeffrey Allen, 23 April 1946, Matlock, Derbyshire) and violinist Joe O'Donnell (born 26 December 1948, in Limerick, County Limerick, Eire).
The three core members (Arbus, Caines and Nicholson), reunited in 1999 for the release of their album Kalipse. Like most of their earlier work, it was only a cult hit.