Graham Bond’s troubled life came to a tragic end on the 8th May 1974 under the wheels of a train in North London. He left a huge legacy that justifiably places him up among the pioneers of the mid-'60s movement that successfully fused R&B with jazz, blues, and rock.
His band, The Graham Bond Organisation included, at various times, John McLaughlin (Mahavishnu Orchestra), Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker (Cream), and Dick Heckstall-Smith (Colosseum). He had already played with Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated among others.
However, by the early '70s Bond found himself increasingly on the edge of not only the music world but of life itself. His drug and alcohol problems, combined with a growing interest in the occult, all helped to make his behaviour even more erratic and dangerously unpredictable.
In 1972 he teamed up with Cream’s lyricist Pete Brown and together they formed a musical alliance which was to produce Graham’s last recorded work. Mentally and physically he was clearly in decline. The same could not be said, however, of his music, and this last album, Two Heads Are Better Than One, remains a fitting epitaph.
Pete Brown was responsible for many of the lyrics that had helped make Cream the legend that they were. These include "Sunshine Of Your Love" and "White Room" among others. After Cream he formed the band Piblokto, and when this folded he teamed up with Bond, who was on the verge of being sacked from the Jack Bruce Band, to create the short-lived Bond + Brown partnership.
Their shared passions of rhythm and blues, jazz, blues, and rock also extended into a joint fascination with African music. They drafted drummer Ed Spevock from Piblokto, bass player deLisle Harper from Gass, guitarist Derek Foley from Paladin, and Graham’s wife Diane Stewart on vocals.
Two Heads Are Better Than One was partly recorded at Richard Branson’s Manor Studios and was engineered by Tom Newman who had also worked with Mike Oldfield on Tubular Bells, and would later release his own album The Faerie Symphony.