The Freshmen – Peace On Earth
The Freshmen were one of the most successful pop groups on the Irish showband scene of the 1960s, with a reputation for sunny, Beach Boys-inspired music. But in 1970 the band were signed to the CBS major label, and CBS had plans to break the group internationally. Taking their cue from ‘The Troubles’ which had just erupted in Northern Ireland (where the Freshmen originated), they began recording a concept album on the subject of peace and harmony amongst all the people of the world. The heavily orchestrated resulting album used sonorous Irish actor Micheál MacLiammóir to narrate passages between the tracks, and the suite was given a live performance in Dublin.
However, the album sank without trace, and the Freshmen were soon dropped by the record label. In a recent TV interview focusing on the Freshmen, singer Derek Dean considered the ‘Peace On Earth’ album to have been well-intentioned but naive, adding that the music wasn’t very good, or at least wasn’t Freshmen music. He recalled that CBS withdrew all publicity for the release before it had a chance to sell. Despite this, and despite the fact it has yet to receive a CD reissue, the music on the album isn’t bad. It has a Jimmy Webb feel to it – indeed Webb wrote one of the songs – and is a very well-produced album. ‘Banquet For The World’ was released as a single backed by a band original ‘Time Hasn’t Changed Her’, and there were a further four singles issued through the CBS label before the band were dropped.
01 – And God Created Woman
02 – Lost Generation
03 – Peace
04 – Who Else Can We Blame
05 – The Time Is Here, The Time Is Now
06 – Banquet For The World
07 – Banquet For The World (single version)
08 – Time Hasn’t Changed Her