Czar – Czar (Fontana 6309 009) 1970

in Blog, Heavy Prog, Prog Rock, Psychedelia, UK Prog by Mike Warth

The Sound Machine is proud to present the arrival of yet another absolute gem of an original copy – the only album by the four-piece heavy prog maestros Czar released in 1970. Driven by organ and mellotron and with some tasty guitar work this is a stunning album – begging the question – who were Czar?

The band consisting of Derrick (Del) Gough, drums, Bob Hodges, keyboards and vocals, Paul Kendrick, bass guitar and vocals and Mick Ware, guitar and vocals was originally formed in 1966 and was known as Tuesday’s Children. Under this name they made a batch of decent psychedelic pop singles for a number of labels, the last of which was released on Mercury.

Parent company Philips clearly felt they were a worthwhile cause and suggested they make an album and sure enough recording sessions commenced at Philips Studios in Stanhope Place, London in January 1969 and continued through what was a particularly busy year. Not only were they working on these sessions they were also rehearsing, writing and working on new material and regularly gigging.

As the year progressed so did the band’s sound and image and they felt  the name Tuesday’s Children was not in keeping, being a bit too ‘poppy’ for where they now were. As a result they renamed themselves Czar. The first gig using their new name was at The Marquee in London on 17th January 1970.

With the recording sessions close to being completed the band suffered a blow when Del Gough decided to leave. Auditions were held and thankfully a suitable replacement (Alan from Hampstead) was found which enabled the sessions to be completed to the band’s satisfaction. His contribution can be heard on the track ‘Cecelia’.

The album finally hit the shops in May 1970 but was promoted poorly, despite the considerable work the band had put into it and as a result it did not sell well. It has been suggested the album was to have been released on Vertigo – it certainly meets all the requirements – but the mysterious inner workings of record companies being what they are it appeared on Fontana.

The band soldiered on however and continued writing new material and gigging. A succession of drummers passed through the band at this time and by the end of the year two new tracks appeared on a single ‘Oh Lord I’m Getting Heavy’ and Why Don’t We Be A Rock ‘N’ Roll Band’ (Philips 6006 071). Sadly a second album did not materialize and whilst the band continued to gig, further line-up changes occurred and they eventually called it a day some time in late’71/early ’72.

About the Author


Mike Warth – Retired teacher and Education Officer, old rocker, lover of prog, psych and folk – the latter for which I sometimes take some stick. (Why?) Currently having a ball working in The Sound Machine, Reading – independent Record Store par excellence and now working with Vernon Joynson on an update to Dreams, Fantasies And Nightmares.

2 Responses to “Czar – Czar (Fontana 6309 009) 1970”

  1. Jim says:

    I know someone who would love this album. Nice to meet you today mike (‘Monday mike’). I’m a Friday regular…

  2. Mike warthma says:

    Good to met you too Jim. You are very welcome in the shop any day of the week of course! Yeah . Interesting album this. Keep your eyes peeled for more goodies to come. Cheers. Mike

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