I first found out about Mother Earth just before I left to go to university in 1994. A friend of mine, mad about music, had found out about them whilst he was in his first year in 1993. He played me Jesse and I was immediately taken with the song and the band.
There were other things too. There was an environmentalist strain passing through music in those years. Jamiroquai was its most commercially successful loudspeaker. World Party were also on the scene. I have never worked out whether Mother Earth shared those concerns, or whether environmentalism appeared in their music, but the band’s name suggested it.
And then there was acid jazz, the genre and the label. I’m not sure which came first, maybe they both did at the same time, but by 1994 the genre had become seriously cool, at least to late teens.
I listened to Jesse a lot, it was a dramatic touching song, a hand on the shoulder of a friend who was going through hard times. But for some reason I never made it on to a Mother Earth album. And I’ve never been sure why. Or perhaps I did and I didn’t think much of it.
But anyways, twenty five years later I was intrigued to get into a Mother Earth album, perhaps for the first time. The record label Acid Jazz have reissued the band’s 1995 album You Have Been Watching.
The album is, in the main, a colourful combination of funk and rock. There’s a rebellious streak in the tone of the vocals, a sense of resistance throughout the lyrics. Anti-war, free thinking. Its very hippy. Acid jazz, was in some ways, the 1990s response to the hippy movement of the 70s.
Very Together reminds me of a Sugar track.