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May 2, 2012


Compton & Batteau – In California (1970)


Artist: Compton & Batteau
Title: In California
Year: 1970
Format: LP
Label: Columbia

The 1969 Appaloosa LP was released by Columbia and after the album proved commercially stillborn the company effectively lost interests in the band. When the band collapsed violinist Robin Batteau joined his wife in California. Singer/guitarist John Parker Compton decided to join him, promptly packed up for California.

Once in California the pair began shopping demos and were promptly signed by Columbia A&R man Eddie Matthews, Produced by Abner Spector, 1970’s In California wasn’t a major change in direction from the Appaloosa album – perhaps a touch more country-rock oriented (thanks in part to support from several members of Poco who happened to be recording an album in the same studio), but featuring the same general sound – eclectic, but with some commercial touches.

Perhaps the biggest change was the emergence of Batteau. Appaloosa had pretty much been a showcase for Compton, but this time around Batteau contributed a couple of tracks to the mix (two of the best performances in my humble opinion) and handled a couple of vocals. As it turned out, his voice was far more commercial than Compton’s. (Bad Cat)

Track Listing

  1. Laughter Turns To Blue
  2. Silk On Steel
  3. Honeysuckle
  4. Elevator
  5. Homesick Kid
  6. Proposition
  7. Grotto Farm
  8. Essa Vanessa
  9. Zephys
  10. California
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5 Comments Post a comment
  1. May 11 2012

    According to John Parker Compton, a new Appaloosa album is now complete and ready for release. Check his web site for more information,

  2. May 14 2012

    This is a very nice early Batteau recording that I like a lot.

  3. Cy Pirie
    May 18 2012

    This will repay many plays….I found the whole thing joyful and captivating….the proceedings are enhanced by ‘sound-scapes’ from both within and without ‘doors of perception’…..wonderful and a great addition to the library of sounds to be found within the ‘phone’…..
    Cy at Pck

  4. neil
    May 29 2012

    I’ve had the chance to buy a mint copy a few years back and it’s a great LP, though maybe not as good as the Appaloosa masterpiece.
    Very recommended, though.

  5. miles
    Jul 16 2012

    cy pirie must be reading my mail. he’s always one step ahead of me, or maybe he’s just not the procrastinator that i am.

    “this will repay many plays….i found the whole thing joyful and captivating….wonderful and a great addition to the library of sounds to be found within the ‘phone’…..”

    despite the low bitrate, ‘compton & batteau’ is also a great addition to my library until i can find a decent copy in the racks somewhere. a beautiful record in the same rainy day baroque vein as ‘appaloosa,’ except for ‘honeysuckle’ and the ironically title track which ruin the mood and seem out of place to me on this otherwise exceptional recording.

    i recall seeing this LP so many years ago, but never was tempted for whatever reasons, neither did i connect the dots between them and appaloosa. my loss until now.

    leonard, thank you for opening my eyes and ears.

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