To the Shores of His Heaven [Import]
The elusive and mysterious mándu is known mainly for his impressive vocals on two lobby loyde albums ('obsecration' and 'live with dubs'). However, there is more to his story... mándu arrived in Melbourne (from qld.) in the early seventies with hopes of securing a record contract. With a series of unsuccessful bands behind him, the singer had developed a new persona (mándu) and written a peerless batch of songs that would form the basis of his extraordinary concept album 'to the shores of his heaven'. Ex-pop star-turned-label boss john blanchfield was so blown away by mándu's audition that he signed him on the spot and immediately put him into armstrong's studios to rehearse and record. Inspired by the organic approach used by van morrison for his classic 'astral weeks' album, blanchfield, with producer-engineer ern rose, set about creating a purpose built ensemble utilizing some of Australia's most talented and creative musicians - including guitar maestro phil manning (chain), bassist barry sullivan (wild cherries, chain), and drummer gary young (daddy cool). Keyboard player peter sullivan also works wonders with his absolutely beautiful string arrangements. The resultant album; 'to the shores of his heaven', is one of the best and most original records ever made in this country - and a must hear for fans of tim buckley, van morrison and terry reid - at turns gentle and ethereal, spacious and mystical. Sadly, despite the stellar musical backing, a striking image, and mándu's incredible voice, the album was a disappointing flop. A follow up single, a highly original take on the rolling stones' classic "gimme shelter", suffered a similar fate and after that, mándu turned his back on a solo career. He joined as vocalist in lobby loyde's southern electric in late 1975 and recorded the classic 'obsecration' album before leaving on the eve of the band's move to the UK. Apart from teaming up with loyde on the 1980 LP 'live with dubs', there have been only sporadic sightings of mándu, a disappointing end to such a promising start - luckily we have this classic to remember him by. 'to the shores of his heaven' has been digitally remastered by gil matthews, packaged in a 6 panel digipak with a 24 page book with liner notes by ted lethborg, a review from ian McFarlane and rare photos.