Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Ophelias - The Ophelias

Strange Weekend Records

Thinking back to 1987 boggles the mind sometimes, however, pouring over the collection of vinyl the other day I pulled this from the shelf and a lot of that time period came rushing back.

The Ophelias were a San Francisco based band led by multi-instrumentalist and singer Leslie Medford. Pulling influences from all over the place, with a special nod to prog rock and the works of Peter Hammill, The Ophelias were one of the more refreshing and original bands around the San Francisco Bay Area at the time.

This LP features their first released material and what was often the foundation of many a live show. The self-titled LP was self produced by the band. I got my copy from Leslie himself as, at the time, we both were working at the same record store in Berkeley. This was one of the few co-worker bands I stood behind ever - attended numerous shows and really really liked.

Fortunately enough The Ophelias were signed to Rough Trade (where I then worked) and a small handful of other albums and some of the fancy new Compact Disc thingies, with better production (and some still readily available) were released. The Ophelias followed me through a large portion of my early years in California and I still appreciate and enjoy their music some 20+ years later and realize there are not many bands out there that did or could do what they did. Amazingly enough they produced a video that appeared on MTV's 120 minutes - a cover for Moby Grape's Lawrence of Euphoria. While not indicative of their talents or style this was still a great treat at the time.

Although there were several line-up changes, including David Immergluck of the Monks of Doom and the Counting Crows and New Zealand's Keith Dion (Producer, band leader for Noel Redding from The Jimi Hendrix Experience 1997-99 and Producer for Arthur Lee and Love's release "Electrically Speaking"), this represents the stew that started it all. The band was ranked as one of the best local SF groups in their day and shared a unique time period where the San Francico sound had been reborn and offered a unique and varied listen. I still love this album and I long to hear it one day remastered - who knows - stranger things have happened!

have a listen to The Ophelias


Anonymous said...

thanks for this. I have this record in my "needs to be digitised" pile. You saved me the effort - many thanks.

Anonymous said...

Go here:

AWESOME selection of incredibly obscure noise.

glart said...

Thanks, much. I've got all their others.

Ruben Chandler said...

Ruben Chandler, original and first, drummer of the band. They still owe me money for rehearsal time and for Leslie's overcharging the entire band for rehearsal and recording time.