giovedì 26 maggio 2016

Locksley Hall - Locksley Hall (OR Records Vinyl Rip) 1969 - 1970

Biography : Locksley Hall was one of the better known psychedelic bands in the Pacific Northwest during their existence from 1967 thru' 1970. The album was recorded in 1969 at the legendary Audio Recorders in Seattle with long time Northwest guitarist Ned Neltner (Mark Five, Gas Company, Junior Cadillac) producing and Sonics engineer Kearny Barton at the console. It remained unreleased until the limited edition came out in 1996. The album reminds us of every band who ever played the Fillmore West in the late sixties and blends together elements of It's A Beautiful Day, Jefferson Airplane and Big Brother and The Holding Co. Recommended.("Fuzz, Acid & Flowers")

While a lot of co-ed groups of the era sound rather generic, Locksley Hall manages to escape identity in a slightly different way. This album plays almost like a sampler of West Coast music. On various songs they sound like Country Joe & The Fish, Jefferson Airplane, The Charlatans, Big Brother & The Holding Company, and the Association.
Despite the crudeness of the recordings there’s a definite sense of professionalism here. They’re more appealing as a hard rock band than a soft rock band, but the only real dud here is the good timey song that ends side one. Both the male and female vocals are quite good, though as is often the case they sound much better apart than together. There is some excellent guitar playing here and a few very solid songs, most notably a long rocker on side one. The mix of styles is a bit disconcerting, but overall, this is much better than a lot of genre albums that did end up getting major label releases at the time. The LP was recorded in Seattle for Epic in the late 1960s but not released at the time. ("The Acid Archives")

Tracklist
01.Locksley Hall (Poem)
02.Boy
03.Let me blow out your candle
04.Baby blue eyes
05.D-O-P-E
06.Some say love
07.What does a lonely heart do?
08.Que-Bell
09.Wake up (Tubby’s tune)
10.When autumn leaves turn to gold
11.Locksley Hall (Poem)

Line-up
Ben Stanley - Guitar, Vocals
Shannon Svenson - Vocals
Kevin Svenson - Vocals
Roy Castleman - Bass, Vocals
Denny Langdale - Keyboards
Randy Thompson - Drums

sabato 21 maggio 2016

REPOST : Exkursions - The Exkursions (1998 Hidden Vision Records) 1971 (REQUEST)

Biography : Chicago based psychedelic blues band with heavy fuzz guitar sound. Led by Mike Johnson who later went on to record solo projects and even earn songwriter of the year award. Band broke up because the other two members wavered in their faith. Since a number of sealed copies were unearthed last year, the value has gone down. History of the Jesus Movement "Pretty irresistable Christian bluesy guitarpsych exkursion featuring the prolific Mike Johnson in his younger days as a bible-carrying Hendrix epigon. Has to be one of the coolest x-ian LPs of all time, with a confident powertrio groove, laidback Jimi-style vocals, and several truly great tracks like "Third Eye". Despite being a private press originals aren't difficult to find. Two tracks can be found on the "Holy Fuzz" compilation if you want a sample."
"If you weren’t paying attention, you wouldn’t notice that this is a Christian album, which is a good sign. Mike Johnson is a truly talented guitarist and a few songs here have a fuzz sound to die for. The songwriting doesn’t match the performances, and there are a few bluesy/hard rock clichés, but for the most part this is solid hard rock and one of the best in the Christian realm." allmusic.com

Tracklist
01.Picture Woman
02.Dry Ground
03.Baby You Lied
04.What Happened To Me
05.Third Eye
06.You & Me
07.It's Been Set Down
08.Would You Believe

Mike Johnson - guitar, vocals
Fyl Jonnzen - drums
Leon Wilson - bass

giovedì 19 maggio 2016

Energy - Energy (2012 O-Music Remaster) 1974

Biography : For some reason the Swedish prog/hard rock/jazz fusion group ENERGY's lone 1974 self-titled LP has never been reissued, making it quite rare and often pricey. However, for those who possess a copy of this obscure album with its flaming cover art, it's a hard album not to love. ENERGY without a doubt came from the world of guitar driven jazz fusion, although guitarist Amadeo Nicoletto's tasteful, yet powerful, jazzy, neo-classical leads lend an air of power to ENERGY's sound, making it of interest to fans of 70's prog as well as jazz. This album has been included in several books pertaining to heavy metal such as Martin Popoff's "Golmine Heavy Metal Record Price Guide", however, ENERGY is not quite heavy enough (in terms of guitar riffs) to fit into the proto-metal category. Certainly, fans of highly electric 70's guitar work will find much to enjoy on this LP, although the mood of this LP is one of varying dynamics, ranging from mellow, reflective jazz to edgy hard fusion. These guys could really play! All the members of ENERGY were obviously superior musicians, however I believe that it was the band's unique sound and reluctance to land smoothly into the jazz fusion or prog genres which may have played a role in why this great LP has seemingly slipped through the cracks over the past 40 years. So before you drop $100 on a copy of this LP you may want to check out the samples posted on youtube just to be sure ENERGY fits your expectations. For me, I love this LP with all my heart and dream of a CD reissue of this lost classic, preferably with bonus material!!!! 

Tracklist
01.Subtle Forces 5:00
02.Metamorphosis - Impression 7:37
03.Up to Seven 5:27
04.Porta Marina 10:24
05.John 6:29

Alvaro Is - piano, electric piano, organ
Amedeo Nicoletti - guitar
Björn Inge - drums
Bosse Norlén - bass
Luis Agudo - percussion

sabato 14 maggio 2016

The Habibiyya - If Man But Knew (2007 Sunbeam Records) 1972

Biography : The Habibiyya "If Man but Knew" Inspired by a trip to Morocco and a religious conversion to Sufi Islam, the Habiyya (a group that included members of Mighty Baby and The Action) created these beautiful spiritual devotionals, utilizing an array of unusual instruments and gorgeous collective singing. Folksy, atmospheric work with plenty of Mid-Eastern touches -- the only album ever issued by The Habibiyya, and one of the oddest sets ever from early 70s Island Records! The album's got a very spare, dream-like sound -- one that was inspired by the group's visit to Morocco before the record, and carried off here in a blend of percussion, piano, organ, and flutes - plus more exotic instrumentation like koto, shakuhachi, and mandola. The sound is often quite spacious -- stretching out on its own, almost organic accord -- and when vocals are included, they're often very low in the mix, echoing the sufi roots that inspired the group. The Habibiyya’s sole album stands as one of the earliest and most beautiful pieces of world music ever recorded in Britain. The musicians involved (including three members of UK underground legends Mighty Baby) had been profoundly affected, both musically and spiritually, by visiting Morocco in 1971, and became adherents of the sufi faith. Upon their return to London they made If Man But Knew, featuring exotic instruments such as koto, shakuhachi and mandola alongside guitar, organ and drums, conjuring a hypnotic, other-worldly ambience in the process. It makes its long-awaited CD debut here, accompanied by detailed liner notes, previously-unseen photographs, five rare bonus tracks and an introduction by the group’s leader, Ian Whiteman. acidvisions.com

Tracklist
01.Two Shakuhachis
02.Koto Piece
03.Eye-Witness
04.Mandola
05.If Man But Knew
06.Fana-Fillah
Bonus Tracks
07.Procession of the God Intoxicated
08.Peregrinations
09.Peregrinations Continued
10.Another Ode
11.Bird in God's Garden

Line-up
Ian Whiteman - shakuhachi, piano, vocals, Bina organ, pipe organ, oboe
Susan Archuletta - shakuhachi, koto, vocals, viola, guitar
Conrad Archuletta - shakuhachi, vocals, nay flute, zither, banjo
Zahara Archuletta - viola, shakuhachi, flute, koto, vocal
Mike Evans - mandola, guitar
Roger Powell - drums, Safi drum

martedì 10 maggio 2016

Phantom's Divine Comedy - Part.1 (1993 One Way Records) 1974

Biography : How do you rate an album like this? On originality, it gets about a zero, but as a hint at what another Doors album could have sounded like, it gets a nine out of nine -- "Tales From a Wizard" aping the group at its most pretentious, and "Devil's Child" as a parody of numbers like "Love Me Two Times." Other titles, like "Spiders Will Dance (On Your Face While You Sleep)" (which opens up seemingly bent on parodying "Alabama Song") and "Stand Beside My Fire" are equally self-explanatory. Actually, it's hard to imagine Morrison, Manzarek, Krieger, and Densmore coming out with something quite this unimaginative -- they always added something new to each album -- unless they were producing themselves and Morrison was really wasted. But the album is a good imitation of what the Doors' music sounded like if you weren't listening too closely to it on the radio. At the time, it fulfilled a need for some listeners, and it was an early indicator of just how large Jim Morrison loomed in the back of some listeners' consciousnesses, long before Oliver Stone ever got near a movie camera. The sound is decent but unexceptional, not that this is a big consideration on this sort of album. There never was a Part 2, incidentally, or at least not one that saw the light of day, but this record did point the way toward careers for Doors tribute bands like Crystal Ship, L.A. Woman, and Soft Parade. Review by Bruce Eder

Tracklist
Intro
01.Tales From A Wizard 5:34
Prelude
02.Devil's Child 2:34
03.Calm Before The Storm 3:38
04.Half A Life 4:17
05.Spideres Will Dance (On Your Face Will You Sleep) 4:22
Wizard
06.Black Magic/White Magic 3:36
07.Merlin 5:37
Entrance
08.Stand Beside My Fire 5:44
09.Welcome To Hell 5:11

Line-up
Phantom (Tom Carson) - vocals, guitar, piano
W (Gary Meisner) - bass
X (John Bdanjeck) - drums, percussion
Y (Dennis Craner) - bass
Z (Mike DeMartino) - piano, organ

domenica 8 maggio 2016

REPOST : Heavy Metal Kids - Heavy Metal Kids (2009 Remastered Cherry Red Records) 1974 (REQUEST)

Biography : The Heavy Metal Kids never became stars, never won any readers polls, never had a hit record. But, if you could roll back time to that moment in 1974 when the very first needle hit the very first pressing of their eponymous debut album, it would be impossible to predict that sordid fate. Quite frankly, Heavy Metal Kids rises so far above the rest of the period pack that -- Sparks and Cockney Rebel notwithstanding -- there was no more exciting proposition to be found on the new-release shelves. Part unrepentant boogie band, part pub rock leviathan, and part good-time distillation of the best of Slade and the Faces, fronted by the utterly irresistible cackle of singer Gary Holton, the Kids' flash, slash, and sashay assault had a cosmic energy that could transform even the ballads ("It's the Same," "Nature of My Game") into fists-in-the-air anthems. A decade later, the band could have so rewritten the notion of the power ballad that suffering through the 1980s might never have been necessary; a decade earlier, the British Invasion could have been the new prog. Imagine Jim Steinman producing Them, and you're close to the majesty of Heavy Metal Kids. As it is, the only people who seem to have truly noted what the Kids were doing were the Rolling Stones -- the laconic reggae of "Run Around Eyes" is a dry run for the Stones' later romp through "Cherry Oh Baby." Heavy Metal Kids hits so many peaks -- "Ain't It Hard," "Always Plenty of Women," "Hangin' On" -- that the end of the album comes so quickly that even they seemed to be taken by surprise. The closing "Rock n' Roll Man," heralded by one of the most triumphant roars in rock history, is followed not by the sound of needle scraping label, but by a violent reprise for what remains the Kids' finest hour: the stomping, storming "We Gotta Go." And that is not only a juxtaposition that will have you talking Cockney for the rest of the day, it also tells you everything you need to know about the Heavy Metal Kids. Nothing can be taken for granted -- and nothing was. Including the fame and glory that this album still demands. Review by Dave Thompson

Tracklist
01.Hangin' On 3:11
02.Ain't It Hard 3:00
03.It's The Same 5:49
04.Run Around Eyes 2:59
05.We Gotta Go 4:51
06.Always Plenty Of Women 3:27
07.Nature Of My Game 3:37
08.Kind Woman 4:26
09.Rock N Roll Man 7:37
10.We Gotta Go (Reprise) 1:30
Bonus Track
11.It's The Same (Live) 3:42

Micky Waller - guitars
Ronnie Thomas - bass & vocals
Gary Holton - lead vocals
Danny Peyronel - keyboards & vocals
Keith Boyce - drums & percussion

mercoledì 4 maggio 2016

Marcus Hook Roll Band - Tales of Old Grand-Daddy (2014 Parlophone Records) 1973

Biography : Marcus Hook Roll Band wasn't a long-lived band, nor did they get much attention when they were active between the years of 1972 and 1974. Nevertheless, the studio-based group occupies an important place in Australian rock & roll history because this creation of famed producers Harry Vanda and George Young also featured George's brothers Malcolm and Angus Young, who would go on to form AC/DC after the dissolution of Marcus Hook Roll Band. Musically, MHRB didn't sound much like AC/DC at all. There were echoes of the Easybeats, Vanda/Young's big '60s success, but they were closer to the fizzy bubblegum of the Sweet, only with heavier guitars. That was all evident on their lone album, Tales of Old Grand Daddy, which appeared in Australia in 1973 and was succeeded by several singles. None of the recordings were a hit and soon the project came to an end, with Vanda/Young pursuing a very successful production career highlighted by the early AC/DC records. Tales of Old Grand Daddy got its first wide international release in an expanded edition in 2014 via a CD that also contained the non-LP singles. 

CD Review : A midpoint for the collaboration of Harry Vanda and George Young and the missing early chapter in AC/DC's career, the Marcus Hook Roll Band was an Australian studio creation of the early '70s. Despite the heavy connection to AC/DC -- it features Malcolm and Angus Young on guitars while some of the songs contain musical elements that would later resurface on AC/DC albums -- it sounds very little like that sleazy heavy rock band and, despite boasting a song called "Goodbye Jane," it doesn't even sound as nasty as the big-booted Slade. Instead, this is very much in the vein of the Sweet, tempered with a little bit of the garage rock of the Easybeats and a lot of slicked-up, radio-ready studio sheen. Tales of Old Grand-Daddy shows bits of album rock indulgence -- "Silver Shoes" marches like the second side of Abbey Road -- but it's best when it's all about trashy riffs, big beats, and singalong vocals. Strictly speaking, it's not glam -- compared to all the glitter emanating from the U.K., it's not as sexy or cheap; it's polished and assured -- but it's a kindred spirit and a whole lot of fun. Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

01.Can't Stand the Heat 3:11
02.Goodbye Jane 3:34
03.Quick Reaction 3:03
04.Silver Shoes & Strawberry Wine 5:48
05.Watch Her Do It Now 3:40
06.People and the Power 4:52
07.Red Revolution 3:10
08.Shot in the Head 3:26
09.Ape Man 2:51
10.Cry for Me 3:55
11.One of These Days (Previously Unreleased) 4:38
12.Natural Man (1972 A-Side of Regal Zonophone RZ 3061) 3:48
13.Moonshine Blues (1974 B-Side of Can't Stand The Heat BASF 06 19196-0) 3:14
14.Louisiana Lady (1973 A-Side of Regal Zonophone RZ 3072) 3:04
15.Ride Baby Ride (Previously Unreleased) 3:09

Harry Vanda (The Easybeats, Flash And The Pan) - Vocal, Guitar
George Young (The Easybeats, Flash And The Pan) - Vocal, Guitar, Piano, Bass)
Angus Young (AC/DC) - Guitar
Malcolm Young (AC/DC) - Guitar
Ian Campbell - Bass
Howie Casey - Sax
John Proud - Drums
Freddie Smith - Drums
Alex Young - Sax

sabato 30 aprile 2016

Boomerang - Boomerang (2001 Black Rose Records) 1971

Biography : Boomerang's eponymous 1971 debut also proved to be their last (though a shelved second album remains stashed away somewhere), and its surprisingly stripped-down and unfettered blues-rock approach will probably surprise those familiar with vocalist/organist Mark Stein's earlier work with psychedelic overlords Vanilla Fudge. Clearly inspired by the white-knuckled intensity of Led Zeppelin's first two albums, economic hard rockers like "Juke It," "Cynthia Fever," and "The Peddler" attempted to deliver the same thrilling brand of sheer power masking barely reigned-in virtuosity. Like every other six-stringer of the day, guitar wunderkind Ricky Ramirez (press clippings claimed he was 15 at the time of this recording) was thrust into the role of guitar hero whether he liked it or not; and, despite falling well short of achieving headline status (witness his nonexistent post-Boomerang career), he handled himself convincingly enough throughout, even contributing a nifty backward solo to "Hard Times." As for the band's true frontman and centerpiece, Mark Stein, tunes like the bluesy ballad "Fisherman" and the aforementioned "Juke It" reveal just how much future Deep Purple singer David Coverdale borrowed from his bluesy style. Not to beat a dead horse, but, also like Purple's Coverdale-fronted Mark III lineup, Boomerang offered frequent vocal sparing matches between Stein and bassist Jo Casmir. The duo trades vocal licks with particularly successful results on the extremely funky "Mockingbird," and the entire group's ability to mesh with lush string arrangements on the almost Allman Brothers-like "Brother's Comin' Home" serves as a final reminder of Boomerang's restrained versatility and unfulfilled promise. That fact notwithstanding, all of the above help make this self-titled release an obscure delight for enthusiasts of early-'70s hard rock. allmusic.com

Tracklist
01.Juke It 4:55
02.Fisherman 3:35
03.Hard Times 4:10
04.Mockingbird 4:02
05.Cynthia Fever 3:45
06.Brother's Comin' Home 4:44
07.The Peddler 5:18

Mark Stein - Organ, Piano & Vocals
James Galluzi - Drums & Percussion
Richard Rameriz - Electric & Acoustic Guitars
Joe Casmir - Bass Guitar & Vocals

venerdì 29 aprile 2016

REPOST : Crystal Circus - In Relation To Our Times (2001 Akarma Records) 1968 (REQUEST)

Biography : Crystal Circus put out an extremely Strawberry Alarm Clock-sounding single in 1967, "In Relation (To Our Times)"/"Merry-Go-Round," and an entire album of mostly unreleased material credited to the band surfaced on CD in 2001. The Strawberry Alarm Clock connection was not coincidental, since Crystal Circus recorded for the same label, All-American, on which the Strawberry Alarm Clock had first recorded. Also, Crystal Circus were produced by Bill Holmes, who also worked on recordings by the Strawberry Alarm Clock. Certainly "In Relation (To Our Times)" closely approximates the sound of "Incense and Peppermints" without sounding too explicitly derivative. Its B-side "Merry-Go-Round" is a poppier effort, with sunshine pop harmonies and production not much unlike those on Turtles records of the period. The Crystal Circus CD In Relation to Our Times includes these and ten other songs, and was said to be an untitled 1968 album that had gotten to the pressing stage, but was never released. The album's actually decent pop-psychedelia, again in the mold of the Strawberry Alarm Clock. In fact the argument can be made that it's rather more solid than the Strawberry Alarm Clock's own LPs, though it's lacking a classic on the order of "Incense and Peppermints." 

While not a major find, this collection of material -- all previously unreleased, save the two songs ("In Relation (To Our Times)" and "Merry-Go-Round") from their 1967 single -- isn't at all bad pop-psychedelia. It's rather like finding an unreleased Strawberry Alarm Clock album that might make a decent candidate for the best LP that group ever made, had it borne the Strawberry Alarm Clock billing. Indeed, the Strawberry Alarm Clock influence is pervasive, especially on "In Relation (To Our Times)," but also on "Don't Say I Didn't Warn You," which sounds like the ultimate cross between the Strawberry Alarm Clock and the hardest-rocking sides by Paul Revere & the Raiders. Most of the other songs have nice, bouncy tunes with major/minor melodic alternations; pleasing sunshine pop harmonies; and appropriately psychedelic organ, fuzz guitars, trippy orchestration, vocal distortion, and odd effects. The lyrics might be superficially far-out, but again, impressions like those recorded in "Circus and Zoo World" are a good complement for this kind of candy pop-psych. Occasionally, they get into more of a straightforward garage-ish hard rock-soul blend, like on "Never Again," but it's the more ethereal and poppy numbers that stand out. Review by Richie Unterberger

Tracklist
01.In Relation (To Our Times) 2:24
02.Don't Say I Didn't Warn You 2:32
03.Girl Like You 2:12
04.Sittin' & Thinkin' 2:08
05.Twisted Conversation 3:38
06.Merry-Go-Round 3:26
07.Circus And Zoo World 2:49
08.Never Again 3:15
09.Castles (In The Sand) 2:58
10.Sweet High 2:51
11.The Difference Between Us 2:26
12.The World Of Seas & Rivers 4:33

Bruce Turner - Guitar, Vocals
Greg Munford - Guitar, Vocals
Bob Feldman - Bass, Vocals
Jack Bielan - Keyboards, Vibes, Vocals
Gary Solomon - Flute, Sax, Vocals
Terry Rae - Drums, Vocals

domenica 24 aprile 2016

Fields - Fields (2002 Fallout Records) 1969

Biography : A single self-titled album -- that's what the California power trio Fields left behind in 1969. Guitarist Richard Fortunato, bassist Patrick Burke, and drummer Steven Lagana had been deeply influenced by Cream, by the sound of things. Fields recorded this slab for UNI with producer Bill Rinehart (formerly of Emitt Rhodes' Merry-Go-Round). The first four cuts are solidly in the hard and heavy blues-rock terrain, with twinges of psychedelia tossed in the opening "Elysian Fields" and "Jump on You," two standouts with lots of great guitar work. Things begin to change a bit on "Sun Would Set," where the wasted psychedelia takes precedence over the rough and tumble; even with the Raelettes on backing vocals and the spaced-out wasted lyrics, it's still guitar-drenched and driven into the red so the impressionistic touches are hardly noticeable. Side two is comprised of a single cut -- "Love Is the Word" is nearly 19 minutes long and is one of those utterly ambitious and crazy experiments that actually worked, with bluesed-out acid rock guitar, whomping basslines, and a skittering though steady snare and shimmering cymbals. An overdriven organ enters the picture and then comes the fuzz. After about five minutes of power soloing, a Stax-inspired soul riff is established, the horns come pushing their way in, and we're off to the races. Along with the band, Northern soul chanteuse (courtesy of Motown Records) Brenda Holloway and the Raelettes come in from outer space and enter the groove, making this a full-blown psychedelic-soul tune that never, ever gives up its groove, grease, or grit. The vocals here are almost as deliriously powerful and lusty as the screaming six-string and overblown bass groove. Thank the gods that the Fields' LP has been dusted off, remastered, and reissued by Fallout on CD. Simply amazing. Review by Thom Jurek

Tracklist
01.Elysian Fields 3:44
02.Bide My Time 4:39
03.Take You Home 3:04
04.Jump On You 3:25
05.Sun Would Set 5:23
06.Love Is The Word 18:42

Patrick Burke - Vocals, Bass
Richard Fortunato - Vocals, Lead Guitar
Steve Langana - Vocals, Drums
Brenda Holloway - Back Vocals

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Welcome to the Electric Music for a Mind and Body

Welcome to the Electric Music for a Mind and Body