[Hidden Rarities #8] Asgard (UK)

Asgærd is an English band which unfortunately has very little information. The band formed in the early 1970s and their name in Nordic mythology means ‘Castle of the Gods’. Not to be confused with other bands of the same name, one French and the other Italian. The band consisted of vocalist and guitarist Rodney Harrison (Please and Bulldog Breeze), James Smith on drums and Ian Snow, both joining Stonehouse Creek, Peter Orgil a violin, Ted Bartlett on vocals and bass Dave Cook. In 1972, they published a rare 45 rpm ‘Children of a new born age’ in Side A and ‘Friends’ in Side B, for the Threshold Records. The record label that produces the Asgærd is the same as the Moody Blues, for which in the same year they produce their unique Full-Length. ‘In the Realm of Asgærd’ is an album composed of 8 medium-length tracks, all written by Rodney Harrison and recorded in the Decca studios. The band’s sound is a Symphonic Prog Rock, reminiscent of the Moody Blues precisely, with a good dose of personality and the addition of the violin. The themes of the lyrics are mainly related to Tolkien-style ethics, as the band’s name implies. In 1973, they released a second 45 rpm again for Threshold Records, containing two other songs taken from the album, ‘In the Realm of Asgærd’ in Side A and ‘Twon Crier’ in Side B. Unfortunately, the band broke up in the same year and the artists involved will each take a different way. The album is a rarity in its original vinyl version, and until 1994 has never been reissued, the first CD reissue is Japanese. We have to wait for 2002 and 2003 for two other versions on CD, unofficial though, to which must be added two other official reprints in 2010 and 2011, one in CD and another in vinyl always unofficial of unknown date. A group that is a case in point of what we want to treat in this editorial ‘Hidden Rarities’. Besides being a piece for collectors, the musical quality is exceptional and makes this album a true hidden masterpiece.


(1972) In the Realm of Asgærd [Threshold Records]


Ted Bartlett / Vocals
Dave Cook / Bass
Rodney Harrison / Guitar, Vocals
Peter Orgil / Violin
James Smith / Vocals
Ian Snow / Drums

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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