“tell my lover come back to me” is the line spoken by Jeff Martin, lead singer of The Tea Party in the song The Bazaar from the The Edges of Twilight, The band’s third album released 25 years ago today.
The Canadian band caught my attention with its previous release Splendor Solis.
They really struck gold with Edges of Twilight though from an artistic and sales prospective. Edges of Twilight went double platinum (over 160,000 units) and earned The Tea Party Juno Award Nominations including “Best Rock Album” and “Group of the Year”. It also propelled the band to stardom in Canada, making them more of a household name.
Formed in 1990, The Tea Party line up revolved around three permanent members:
Jeff Burrows – drums and percussion
Stuart Chatwood – bass guitars
Jeff Martin – guitars, vocals
Jeff Martin was often compared to the Doors Jim Morrison because of his voice, but the leanings of Martin and the band evoke more of Page and Plant then they do of Morrison and company. The band had and has a huge world music influence to go with its blues rock leanings. To me there is always a Middle Eastern tinge to things that evoked mystical places such as Morocco or Egypt.
- “Fire in the Head” 5:06
- “The Bazaar” 3:42
- “Correspondences” 7:28
- “The Badger” 3:58
- “Silence” 2:51
- “Sister Awake” 5:43
- “Turn the Lamp Down Low” 5:16
- “Shadows on the Mountainside” 3:39
- “Drawing Down the Moon” 5:26
- “Inanna” 3:48
- “Coming Home” 5:53
- “Walk with Me” (includes a spoken word piece by Roy Harper)
Kicking off the album is the epic Fire in the Head, which has Martin, Burrows, and Chatwood along with a broken mellotron. Roy Harper, who was to be given the track for his upcoming album with Jeff Martin, instead had it hijacked when the trio jammed on it in the studio.
“The Bazaar” is Martin, Burrows, and Chatwood supplemented by harmonium and goblet drums. Jeff Burrows described the song as fusing “the exotic with heavier rock side of the band better than any other song”.
Sister Awake took on a life of its own from this album as it was released as a promotional single in Canada and Australia. The album Alhambra bridges The Edges of Twilight and Transmission albums. It includes amongst others a remix of “Sister Awake” by Rhys Fulber.
Turn the Lamp Down Low is my 2nd favourite track from this album. An epic song that starts slow and builds to a massive wall of sound with a crunchy guitar riff and epic drums, it has that Zeppelin quality of When the Levee Breaks.
What really stands out on this song and the album throughout is the drumming of Jeff Burrows. He is an absolute beast who not only hits hard but has impeccable timing as well.
When I saw the band in 2017 for the 20th anniversary of Transmission, the follow up to The Edges of Twilight, Burrows spent two plus hours absolutely destroying his kit.
If you are looking for a chance to see The Tea Party live again, this summer is your best chance. They are touring Canada as part of the Saints and Sinners tour with Big Wreck, Moist, and Headstones.
Songs from The Edges of Twilight should be in their set. Hopefully that allows us to relive the glory of this great album released 25 years ago!