This week sees Monday Magick make its return after an absence due to stifling heat and not feeling like posting last week. This entry also sees the return of a previous Monday Magick featuree, Thelemic bluesman Graham Bond, who penned this week’s choice cut, the Aleister Crowley-inspired “Love is the Law”, from British Jazz & Blues-influenced Prog/Psyche outfit Eyes of Blue’s 1968 debut ‘Crossroads of Time’.
“Love is the Law” was written by Bond, a storied white R&B bandleader with a penchant for illicit substances and an interest in the occult, and also appeared as the title track to his own album also released in ’68. The version cut by Eyes of Blue, which reminds me of both Procul Harum and The Animals, puts a little extra “stank” on the composition. The vocal, which turns the latter part of Crowley’s maxim from his ‘Liber AL vel Legis’ that to “do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law” into something of a ballad, is still haunting. While the organ chops are precisely what one might expect considering Bond’s bona-fides. But the gutbucket grind of the main groove just feels a little funkier here. And the drum track on this one just has that head-bobbing feel a Hip-Hop head like myself is bound to appreciate.
Eyes of Blue would go on to release another album, ‘In the Fields of Ardath’ featuring a couple more tunes written by Bond, in 1969. They also collaborated with Quincy Jones, and recorded as backing musicians for several other acts over the years. Additionally, drummer John Weathers and keyboardist Phil Ryan became member of Prog-Rock act Gentle Giant, and experimental jam-band Man, respectively.
Music is magick!