Not too many people remember Splinter, which is a shame on a number of counts. For starters, their sound -- an amalgam of mainstream electric rock with pop and folk elements, surprisingly similar to Badfinger -- was intrinsically satisfying and made them one of the more pleasing and promising groups of the mid-'70s. For another, they were one of the few genuinely bright discoveries to come out of the Beatles' orbit in the period after the breakup of Apple. And they cut one great album featuring some superb work by George Harrison as a producer and musician. Co-founder Bill Elliott had already worked on the periphery of the Beatles' orbit in 1970 when, as part of the Elastic Oz Band (sometimes billed as "Bill Elliott & the Elastic Oz Band"), he'd worked with John Lennon on the single "Do the Oz," recorded to raise money and enlist support for the underground Oz magazine, which was being suppressed in England. The two singers, who harmonized very attractively together, hooked up with George Harrison just as the latter was setting up his own Dark Horse Records label. That ill-starred venture coincided with Harrison's disastrous 1974 tour of the United States and the release of his own Dark Horse album -- ironically enough, Splinter's debut LP and single were better received by those who heard them than Harrison's own album, which was doubly funny since the ex-Beatle guitarist lavished more attention on their LP The Place I Love than he evidently did on his own album. The duo sang beautifully -- Elliott's vocalizing recalled John Lennon, and their harmonizing brought to mind not only the group Badfinger at their best, but also memories of the finer massed vocal sections of All Things Must Pass. Moreover, Harrison's guitars (many of them, overdubbed many times), percussion, and keyboards were all over the album, along with Klaus Voormann's bass and some piano and organ by Billy Preston, thus establishing an even closer connection with the late Apple organization and its sound. Harrison's appearances throughout the album were under various guises: "Hari Georgeson," "P. Roducer," and "Jai Raj Harisein." The Splinter debut album and the accompanying single "Costafine Town" made the lower reaches of the American Top 100, but this was their only brush with success. They cut two more albums over the next three years, Harder to Live and Two Man Band, under the aegis of Dark Horse Records, and, after touring for a few more years, they finally split up in 1984. In recent years, Bob Purvis has re-emerged as a performer and composer, doing charity work for a British cancer research charity. ~ Bruce EderPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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