You know the album you're listening to is WAY left of the dial when even www.allmusic.com doesn't feature any substantial information about it beyond listing its initial release date (1972). In addition, Wikipedia, which seems to have an entry on just about everything, doesn't even have a stub for this album, or the artists who created it. I have a hard time understanding why such little information exists about this album, because it – Bored Civilians by Keith Cross and Peter Ross – is one of the best albums I've heard in the last several years.
Perhaps one reason why no one has heard of this album is because the names of the artists are so hard to remember. For several days after hearing the album for the first time, I accidentally attributed it either to Christopher Cross (another – but very different – artist), or Bob Ross and David Cross (now THAT would have been an interesting collaboration). Truth be told, Bored Civilians is perhaps an appropriate name for the album, as the songwriting duo of Cross and Ross were too "bored" to come up with a better name for themselves.
But therein, perhaps, lies the strength of this album. One gets the impression, in listening to it, that it was recorded by two songwriting friends who had written several songs over the years, whether together or separately, and had come together to record them. That theory is a bit misleading, however, because the album is perfectly polished. The songs are layered with multiple stringed instruments and are tastefully and carefully arranged. In other words, a lot of thought went into the music, just not the marketing of it, I suppose.
I should also mention that Keith Cross did play with T2, a sort of cult rock band hailing from Britain in the early '70s. I imagine that at some point he was more well known, such that he would deem it fit to record an album under his own name. His cohort Peter Ross seems to be slightly more unknown, even back then.
Anyway, the album first came to my attention when my pal and local filmmaker Kyle McKinnon played it for me. The album had been electronically sent to him by a friend of his, who had stumbled across it God-knows-where. As far as I know, the album currently is not even available on compact disc. It was originally released in 1972, and I think may have been re-issued on compact disc by a Korean record label.
Now onto the music. The album is classic '70s rock, replete with folk influences and soft-around-the-edges production value. The album is reminiscent of many other artists from that decade, but keep in mind that this album was released in 1972 ... Cross and Ross were not exactly following trends in recording this, their only album. Highlights on the album are the songs "Dead Salute" and a sublime cover of Fotheringay's "Peace in the End."
Of course, I don't mean to frustrate any readers by mentioning this album in this Blog, because I have no idea how you'd find a copy of it. Maybe you'll get lucky, like I did, and someone will burn you a copy. Otherwise, I suppose you could always pick one up the next time you're in Seoul.
– John Seay