'Western Justice' was recorded in 1974 by American Jack Rieley and the then 18 years old Dutchman Machiel Botman. This conceptalbum, at the time of release described as rockbook (LP and Diary), was issued with great critical acclaim, but failed to make substantial commercial impact. Most likely its message then was too complex. However, through the years the LP developed itself as a true collector’s item.
WHAT WAS (AND STILL IS) THE MESSAGE OF WESTERN JUSTICE?
The essence of Western Justice is that it does not reflect the political, but much more the social events and emotions during an imaginary change in climate. Continuing dryness in the Western World (America & Europe) does cause that international relations are shifting and that the balance of power has turned to the Third World (Africa & Asia), which still has access to natural resources. The social events and emotions are reflected by someone somewhere in the Western World in a diary and songpoems, whereby especially in the songs themes such as happiness and sorrow, hate and love, hope and despair are expressed.
BACKGROUND OF THOSE INVOLVED IN CREATING WESTERN JUSTICE
The diary was written by ex-journalist and ex-manager of The Beach Boys’ Jack Rieley. He wrote a.o. lyrics to outstanding Beach Boys albums such as 'Surf’s Up' and 'Holland'. Together with Machiel Botman he also wrote the eleven songpoems. The album was recorded in 1974 in The Netherlands and mixing was done in the Abbey Road studio’s in London. Machiel and, to a lesser extent, Jack did all lead vocals. John Leckie (of Pink Floyd, Lennon & Ono and Simple Minds fame) did all engineering. A group of outstanding Dutch rockmusicians laid down the basic tracks. More than 100 musicians participated in the project with Eddie Jobson (Roxy Music) guestappearing on electric violin and synthesizers.
Selection of other contributors on this huge project: Jan Hollestelle (bass guitar), Jan de Hont (guitar), Neppie Noya (percussion) and many more including a choir and an orchestra conducted by Gerard Stellaard.