Review of Early Recordings

by Elio Bussolino
issued on Rockerilla #113 (January 1990)

Long introductions are not necessary indeed to present a group that, until a couple of years ago, symbolized the purest and unpolluted character - someone defined it "mystical" - of the renaissance or, better still, of the psychedelic reviviscence, nor many circumlocutions to recognize the remarkableness of its very few, measured apparitions on record.
What David Roback and Kendra Smith were able to create, through a small handful of singles and one album, was a music that had in itself an arcane seduction, an extraordinary evocative power, a transparent and fragile beauty, a strength and a wealth that, paradoxically, arose from the inner weakness, from the precariousness of the complex artistic union founder between its two principal authors, from their indomitable "purity", from the dread of the great audience, of the stage floodlights. Opal handed over very little indeed to the label that took them over the day after Happy Nightmare Baby, but in that little there are also the five unreleased episodes that this Early Recordings shows in the window, a small treasure that has in the starting Empty Box Blues, in Brigit On Sunday - sung by the unspeakable, exotic keyboard player Suki Ewers - and in Harriet Brown the pieces of greater worth.
A good opportunity to recover nearly all the material released by the group on singles and EPs - Clay Allison's period included -, a good excuse to write the word "end" sadly at the bottom of Opal's adventure, but also some further good reasons to remember it longer.

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