Indian Summer was an English post-psych band from the industrial Midlands that released a self-titled album on RCA/Neon in 1971.
Members: Bob Jackson (keyboards, vocals), Paul Hooper (drums, percussion), Roy Butterfield (guitar), Al Hatton (bass), Steve Cotteral (guitar), Colin Williams (guitar, vocals), Malcolm Harker (bass, vocals, 1969-71), Wez Price (bass, vocals, 1971-72)
Indian Summer was formed in Coventry in the summer of 1969 by keyboardist/singer Bob Jackson and drummer Paul Hooper. Their name refers to an uncharacteristically warm autumn season, as witnessed sometimes in the middle latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. With guitarist/singer Colin Williams and bassist Malcolm Harker, they toured the Midlands college circuit, where they were spotted by rock manager Jim Simpson, who represented Locomotive and fellow newcomers Black Sabbath and Bakerloo.
That fall, Vertigo Records manager Olav Wyper came up north to see Simpson’s two unsigned acts, Sabbath and Indian Summer, at Henry’s Blues House in Birmingham. Wyper picked Sabbath and linked the band with producer Rodger Bain to record their debut album for Vertigo. Meanwhile, Indian Summer cut a 10″ acetate of two songs, “Without You” and “Movin’ On Down the Road,” on the Brummie small-press Hollick & Taylor.
In 1970, Wyper — now the head of RCA’s progressive Neon division — made a second visit to Henry’s. Impressed with Indian Summer’s growth as a band, he set them up with Bain at London’s Trident Studios.
Indian Summer released their self-titled album in 1971 on Neon, a short-lived sublabel of RCA dedicated to the post-psych underground scene. The album features four songs per side, all group-composed numbers in the 5–6-minute range, including “Glimpse,” “Secrets Reflected,” “Another Tree Will Grow,” and “From the Film of the Same Name.” Harker handles vibes in addition to bass.
Bain produced Indian Summer fresh off his work on Sabbath’s first two albums, Black Sabbath and Paranoid (both 1970). He also produced 1970/71 albums by Hannibal, Budgie, Wild Turkey (Battle Hymn), Freedom, and Phillip Goodhand-Tait, in addition to Sabbath’s third album Master of Reality.
Indian Summer was engineered by Robin Geoffrey Cable, a tech hand on 1969–71 albums by the Idle Race, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Trúbrot, Shawn Phillips, Jade, Lindisfarne, Audience, Affinity (Affinity), Genesis (Trespass), Magna Carta (Seasons), Elton John (s-t, Tumbleweed Connection), Peter Hammill (Fool’s Mate), and the first four albums by Van Der Graaf Generator: The Aerosol Grey Machine, The Least We Can Do Is Wave to Each Other, H to He, Who Am the Only One, and Pawn Hearts.
Indian Summer was the third release on Neon (cat# NE 3), just behind albums by Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath (s-t, NE 1) and Welsh rockers Fair Weather (Beginning From An End, NE 2) and ahead of titles by Tonton Macoute (s-t, NE 4), Dando Shaft (s-t, NE 5), and Spring (Spring, NE 6).
Indian Summer was issued in the UK, Germany, Japan, and North America. Apart from Canada, all pressings are housed in a gatefold sleeve with a tinted lakeside view of tall cacti on barren land, populated by a single fox under dark sky. The sleeve designed was conceived by Keith MacMillan (aka Keef), also responsible for post-psych album covers for Cressida, Colosseum (Valentyne Suite), Raw Material (Time Is…), Nirvana, Heaven, Warhorse, Beggars Opera, Fresh Maggots, and Zior.
The inner-spread has a b&w medium shot of the bearded foursome with credits and liner notes by Wyper, who states “the same combination that earlier brought Sabbath to the world’s stage now takes up Indian Summer. History can repeat.”
Indian Summer reentered Trident and cut “Walking On Water,” an intended single that never came to fruition. The white-label acetate has “THE FANTASTIC” scrawled above the band name, suggesting a possible name-change to The Fantastic Indian Summer.
Shortly after Indian Summer, Harker jumped ship to his family’s engineering firm. For their impending tour, the band hired bassist Wez Price, formerly of beatsters The Sorrows. Upon their return from dates in Switzerland, Indian Summer disbanded in early 1972.
Williams left music for the motor industry, a backbone of Coventry’s economy since the late 19th century.
Jackson joined funk-rockers Ross for two 1974 albums on RSO. He joined Welsh popsters Badfinger and played on their intended 1975 album Head First, but legal wrangling left the band hogtied for several years.
In 1978, Jackson reteamed with Hooper in pop-rockers The Dodgers, which released the album Love On the Rebound on Polydor. Jackson then joined The Searchers and played on their 1979/80 comeback albums The Searchers and Play for Today. He then played on the 1981 release On the Rocks by the Byron Band, led by ex-Uriah Heep singer David Byron. After a second chaotic stint in Badfinger, Jackson joined perennial Brummie popsters The Fortunes.
Reissues and Archival Discs
Indian Summer was first reissued on CD in 1993 on Repertoire Records (Germany). During the 2000s, Italian post-psych specialists Arkama reissued the album multiple times on CD and LP. The disc has also been reissued on Belle Antique (Japan, 2017), Eclipse Records (Germany, 2020), and the Russian pirate labels ADA Sound Ltd. and Dogtoire.
In 2017, the label outlet of Record Collector Magazine issued a double-album titled Indian Summer, comprised or rarities from four sources:
- A four-song demo recorded at Zella Studios, Birmingham, in 1970. Including the album track “God Is the Dog” plus three previously unissued songs: “Everyman,” “The Fox,” and “Firewater.”
- The 1971 Trident acetate “Walk on Water.”
- The 1970 Hollick & Taylor sides “Without You” and “Movin’ On Down the Road” (retitled “Walking On Down the Road”).
- A seven-song live recording from the Mercers Arms on December 3, 1970, featuring everything from their eventual album (apart from “Emotions of Men”).
Record Collector issued the two-LP Indian Summer with a simple bright-color illustration of cacti and foxes. The release is part of the magazine’s Rare Vinyl series along with titles by Pussy, Red Dirt, Ambrose Slade, Orange Bicycle, The Smoke, Aubrey Small, and Agincourt.
- Indian Summer (1971)
Fashion was an English new wave trio (later quartet) that released three albums and a clutch of sing...
Odin was an English-European hard-rock/psych band based in Gaukönigshofen, Bayern, Germany, that r...
Bette Bright — aka Anne Martin — is an English vocalist from Whitstable, Kent, who emerged in the ...
Henry Franklin (born Oct. 1, 1940) is an American jazz double-bassist from Los Angeles who release...
" () The Thompson Twins were an English New Wave band from Sheffield that premiered as an art-fun...
Copperhead were an American psych-rock band from San Francisco that released a self-titled album ...
Curved Air are an English symphonic-psych band that released four albums on Warner Bros. between 197...
George Freeman (born April 10, 1927) is an American jazz-funk guitarist from Chicago. Discograp...
Roger Hodgson (born March 21, 1950) is an English musician, vocalist, and songwriter from Portsmou...
The Memphis Horns were an American brass/woodwinds ensemble that originally served as a house act ...
The Normal was the imaginary band moniker of English producer Daniel Miller (born Feb. 14, 1951),...
The Waterboys are an English folk and rock band that released a self-titled album on Island/Chicke...