Tea Party – Splendor Solis

I started university in Windsor in 1993, and it seemed like everyone from there wanted to claim they knew these guys. Maybe they did, I dunno. But there was a lot of excitement about their hometown boys. Me, I never did get the first release, but I did buy this one and I’ve always loved every inch of it.

There’s a huge sound here, like it’s all being played perfectly in a big cave in, I dunno, Morocco or something. Whatever, it’s just so satisfying. And the tunes tell tales, smartly written, poetry really, and the music adroitly matches each. Sure, they have their tricks, those things they do that make them sound like only they can sound – Jeff Martin’s yelp, those drum fills, the song structures themselves, often enough… More than a few people said they had their Zeppelin moments in those Eastern-sounding riffs… But then they throw a curveball at you, like the drenched blues of Sun Going Down. Damn it all to hell, I love that tune.

Anyway, the hits here were huge, and the other tracks shoulda been. Not one fault on this record. Not a damn one.

Here’s all you need to know:

The River * Midsummer Day * A Certain Slant of Light * Winter Solstice * Save Me * Sun Going Down * In This Time * Dreams Of Reason * Raven Skies * Haze On The Hills * The Majestic Song.

Every time I play this, it take me back to the halls of residence, first year university. Everyone around me drunk, on the make, and listening to this album. Heady times… This band went on to do many other, very interesting things. But this is the record to which I always return.

The Splendor Solis is an alchemical text, sure, but this album has an alchemy all its own. If you don’t have this, go get you some immediately.

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Posted on March 31, 2014, in posts by aaron and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I remember a bit of a buzz around this band in their early days but I’ve never heard them (or heard much about them since).

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    • Well then this is the place to start, if you’re interested. Most of the tracks are on the youtubes. Look for the hits (The River, Save Me) and Sun Going Down (a personal fave). But try them all, I think you’ll be surprised how good it all sounds. This is a great record, and a great memento from my halcyon (haha) university days. I won’t ever be without this one, I still play it fairly often.

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  2. Yeah these guys were Zeppelin music /Doorish vocals….River is good and it’s a rocking disc from 93 in different kind of way….
    Liked,the next one Transmission and than kinda left the Tea Party …..
    Talented muso’s man….

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    • Yeah, that’s it! It was different than anything else going at the time. Now, of course, we just go ‘oh yeah, that’s the Tea Party’ but back then it was a pretty good breath f fresh air. Good call!

      I have most of their other records (though for some reason not Edges Of Twilight… why the hell is that?) and I like them all. But this one… you never forget your first, I guess… hahahahaaaa…

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