The Cressida Story
If ever there was an award for the best example of a “band who re-emerged from obscurity after the longest time” Cressida would undoubtedly be in the running. Originally in existence for just two years, their story started out like that of many others: five young musicians forming a band and setting out on a path filled with promise.
Cressida was formed at the end of 1968. They began playing clubs around London and across the country and it wasn’t long before they were signed up by a successful record producer. A recording contract with the new Vertigo label soon followed and they went on to release two albums which were critically acclaimed but sold in modest numbers. They toured the country and the continent, honing their live performances at venues such as the famous Star Club in Hamburg.
However, inexperienced management, a lack of gigs and only modest sales led to tensions within the band. Their failure to achieve the commercial success they needed to keep going led to Cressida’s eventual demise. Its members went their separate ways: some joined other bands, and others left the music scene completely. It seemed that Cressida like so many others were destined to disappear into obscurity.
But that was not to be the end of their story.
For the next 40 years their original albums continued to be reissued and new generations of progressive rock fans were introduced to their music. In part, driven by the extraordinary rise in the value of Cressida’s original vinyl records (they were now selling for £1000+) and a critical reappraisal of their early recordings, Cressida, unbeknownst to its members had acquired cult status amongst progressive rock fans.
A chance meeting with a record collector and dealer eventually led to previously unheard recordings of their earliest demos being unearthed, sparking the interest of Record Collector magazine who released an album of these Cressida recordings, finally bringing the original members together again in 2011 to perform live for the first time in 40 years!
The London reunion attracted fans from around the world and was met with critical acclaim. The audience reaction to this previously obscure band’s surprise re-appearance after a gap of four decades, was nothing short of astonishing. They believed this would mark the end of the story of Cressida, but as it turned out, there was one more chapter to come …
To read Part One of the The Cressida Story 1968-70, click Here
To read Part Two of the The Cressida Story 2011-13, click Here