venerdì 29 giugno 2018

Cochise - Cochise (2002 Kissing Spell) 1970

Biography There was a lot of talent involved in the making of Cochise's debut album. Guitarist Mick Grabham went on to play in Procol Harum; bassist Rick Wills would later join Foreigner; B.J. Cole would be an in-demand pedal steel player on many sessions over the next few decades; drummer Willie Wilson would play with Pink Floyd; Dick Taylor, who'd just left the Pretty Things, produced; and Storm Thorgerson of Hipgnosis (famous for working on Pink Floyd LP covers) designed a striking and, for the period, daring cover of a woman's unadorned breasts. The credits on a résumé don't always guarantee an outstanding album, however, and Cochise is one of those '60s-turning-into-'70s records that treads an uneasy line between eclectic diversity and a lack of direction. It's so-so period 1970 British rock, distinguished just slightly by a more country-ish flavor than the norm, courtesy of Cole's pedal steel. It's not country-rock, however, and some of the songs in fact owe little or nothing to the form. Numbers like "Painted Lady" and "Moment and the End" are tense, meandering hard rock tunes; the latter cut, in fact (as well as sections of some others, like "Velvet Mountain") sounds kind of like late-'60s/early-'70s Guess Who LP filler. There's a wistful rural feel to parts of the material that suggests some promise, but that mood's shattered by an unnecessary, pedestrian heavy rock cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "59th Street Bridge Song."

01.Velvet Mountain 3:28
02.China 3:57
03.Trafalgar Day 5:11
04.Moment And The End 6:00 
05.Watch This Space 3:59
06.59th Street Bridge Song 3:42
07.Past Loves 3:41
08.Painted Lady 7:06
09.Black Is The Colour 0:56

Stewart Brown - guitar, vocals
B.J. Cole - dobro, guitar, pedal steel, cello, steel guitar
Mick Grabham - organ, guitar, piano, keyboards, vocals
Rick Wills - bass, vocals
John "Sly" Wilson - percussion, drums, vocals

martedì 29 maggio 2018

Chain - Toward The Blues (2007 Picar Records) 1971

Biography Over 40 musicians have been a member of Chain, one of Australia's premier blues bands that has been going strong for over three decades. Formed from the remnants of Perth band the Beaten Tracks in 1968, the Chain were named by singer Wendy Saddington after the classic soul track "Chain of Fools." Saddington soon left and the band released one of Australia's first progressive blues singles, "Show Me Home," in 1969. Soon after, the Chain shortened their moniker to Chain. In June 1970, Chain recorded the classic live album, Live Chain, at Caesar's Palace discotheque, and along with other Australian acts like Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs, Carson, and the Adderley Smith Blues Band, were considered at the forefront of the Australian blues movement. Signing a new deal with Infinity, the blues subsidiary of Festival, Chain released the single "Black and Blue," which reached number ten on the national charts in May 1971. The classic album Toward the Blues peaked at number six in 1971 and is considered one of Australia's greatest blues albums. The follow-up single, "Judgement," established Chain as the nation's leading progressive blues band. Chain Live Again was released in October 1972 and Chain went on to appear at the first Sunbury Festival in January 1972. In 1973, the band singed with the new Mushroom label and issued the Two of a Kind album. Chain's rotating lineup broke up in 1974 and Mushroom issued the retrospective History of Chain album. Six years later, interest in Chain was still strong and they played at the Mushroom Evolution Concert in January 1982 to celebrate Mushroom's tenth anniversary. They re-formed permanently in 1983 and released Child of the Street in October 1985. Their next album, Australian Rhythm and Blues, was released in April 1988, followed by Blue Metal in May 1990. Several members undertook a tour of Australia in 1991 as Blues Power, while another member, Matt Taylor, toured as Matt Taylor's Chain, who released the album Walls 2 McGoo (Trouble in the Wind) in 1992. The original Chain again undertook a national tour in 1995.

01.Thirty Two-Twenty Blues 4:09
02.Snatch it Back and Hold It (adapted from the stage version) 5:02
03.Boogie 10:43
04.Booze is Bad News Blues 7:45
05.Albert Goose's Gonna Turn the Blue's Loose's 7:04
06.Black and Blue 4:49
07.Undgemend 3:27
08.Blow in D 6:00
09.Mr. President 3:39
10.Leaving 2:46
11.Two of A Kind 4:43
12.Forever 5:06
13.I'm Gonna Miss You Babe 3:29
14.Gertrude Street Blues 5:00

Matt Taylor - Vocals, Harmonica
Phil Manning - Guitar, Vocals
Barry Sullivan - Bass
Barry Harvey - Drums

sabato 12 maggio 2018

REPOST : Gravestone - War (Garden Of Delights) 1980

Biography In the eighties, Gravestone from Illertissen, Swabia, became quite famous as a hard rock group. What many people don't know is that they initially - and with a different line-up - released two LPs with progressive rock and critical lyrics, namely "Doomsday" (AVC K 793102 ST) from 1979 and "War" (AVC LP 80020 ST) from 1980, in small editions of 1000 copies each. Meanwhile both albums have been released as CDs on Garden of Delights; both drawn from the master tape. In addition to a very detailed band history the booklets of both CDs contain a lot of photographs, a complete discography also of the group's late period, cover and label reproductions, etc. "War" contains more vocals than "Doomsday", namely four tracks sung in English, two in German, and one instrumental piece.

The origins of GRAVESTONE go back to 1975, when Rudi DORNER and Mike SCHMIDT formed a band called HEIZKÖRPER. In 1976 they were joined by Berti MAJDAN and changed the name of the band to OREGON. In early 1977 they were also joined by Wolfgang RITTNER and Andy MÜLLER, and at the suggestion of of Berti MAJDAN they changed name again to GRAVESTONE.
GRAVESTONE, like several compatriots of the time, initially experienced nothing but failure. Their two early LPs - 1979's ''Doomsday'' and 1980's ''War'' - remain relatively unknown even to this day, yet they hung around long enough to enjoy a small taste of recognition following the colossal 80's success of fellow countrymen like SCORPIONS and ACCEPT. Capitalizing on this sudden surge of interest, vocalist Berti MAJDAN - with a new line up featuring guitarists Mathias DIETH and Klaus REINELT, bassist Thomas SABISCH, and drummer Dieter BEHLE - released three additional albums from their home base outside the southern city of Stuttgart - namely 1984's ''Victim of Chains'' (featuring bassist Oli ORLITTA), 1985's ''Back to Attack'', and 1986's ''Creating a Monster'' - before morphing into a new band named 48 CRASH, who played a much more commercial brand of hard rock, releasing an album called ''Some Like It Hot'' in 1990.
1993 saw the release of an eponymous collection of GRAVESTONE's best 80's output, and guitarist DIETH went on to work with both U.D.O. and SINNER in later years.

01.War 3:54
02.Waiting for Peace 5:52
03.Durchbruch 4:42
04.Mörike 3:41
05.It's Over 2:58
06.Hascher Blues 4:37
07.Summer '79 10:27

Rudi Dorner - lead guitar
Taki Gradl - rhythm guitar
Dieter Behle - drums
Andi Muller - keyboards
Dietmar Orlitta - bass, vocals, harmonic

giovedì 10 maggio 2018

REPOST : Dragonwyck - Chapter 2 (2006 World in Sound) 1972

Biography In 1972, Dragonwyck became the Saturday night house band at The Viking. The Viking Saloon was a loud, packed, smoke filled rock club that featured live entertainment, hard liquor and a rowdy crowd six nights a week. It was THE place to get drunk,get high and listen to loud bands. Dragonwyck’s popularity at The Viking led to engagements at other Cleveland clubs (Otto’s Site, Tom Jones Backroom, The Crazy Horse, The Spectrum, The Avon and Amherst Jail Night Clubs, The Cove at Geneva on the Lake) and a series of High School and College concerts.
After 8 months of performing their new sound live, Dragonwyck set out to record a new album. As copies of the Dragonwyck II album began to circulate in early 1973, the interest of the press, audiences and agencies became much greater. As people began to realize the talents of the band,they began playing better venues and drawing larger crowds.,they performed at the Cleveland Agora (the premier venue in the area), with “Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks” and opened for the newly formed English band, “FOGHAT”.
With Dragonwycks’ unusual musical arrangements and lead singer Bill Petijohn’s stage theatrics, the bands live concerts were drawing more and more attention. By 1974,they moved to much larger clubs, added weeknight shows sponsored by Budweiser Beer at Cleveland’s House of Bud.
Concert dates supporting THE EDGAR WINTER GROUP and GOLDEN EARING added to Dragonwyck’s offers to tour nationally. However, John Hall had a promising career as a design engineer and had no desire to travel outside of the Northern Ohio area. Not wanting Dragonwyck to miss opportunities that were being presented to them, he asked to be replaced..Having found Hall’s replacement in keyboardist, Jerry Moran,whose playing was harder and more rock orientated than that of Hall’s orchestrated approach. Dragonwyck recorded a single,“Lovin’ The Boys” b/w “The Music” in 1974. Shortly after this release the band broke up. - When World In Sound Records,released in 2004 the music of Dragonwyck, Tom Brehm felt like doing it again. In 2006 he set up his 1968 original Dragonwyck guitar, a Gibson 335, and with other World In Sound musicians,the right line-up is found to return back on stage with the music written between 1968-73.
Dragonwyck personnel 2006: Tom Brehm - Guitar, Vocals; Steff Bollack - Drums; Karsten Kullinna - Bass; Josh Maccoy - Vocals; Winfried Rimbach-Sator - Keyboards. Review by adamus67

01.Kimberly 0:32
02.He Loves You 3:18
03.Fire Climbs 6:41
04.Relics 5:11
05.Freedom Son 3:57
06.Lady 3:47
07.Run To The Devil 3:45
08.Dead Man 4:15
09.The Music 3:14
10.Forever Only Last A Little While 4:40
11.Lovin' The Boys (Single 74) 3:14
12.The Music (Single 74) 3:07

Tom Brehm - guitars
Bill Pettijohn - vocals
John Hall - keyboards
Mikey Gerchak - bass
Jack Boessneck - drums

venerdì 4 maggio 2018

REPOST : Earth & Fire - Earth & Fire (Japan Mini-LP Digipack) 1970

Biography This top notch Dutch band from The Hague had their pinnacle during the early Seventies when they delivered some outstanding 24 carat symphonic rock albums. EARTH & FIRE was founded by the twin brothers Chris (guitar) and Gerard (keyboards) Koerts in '68. Soon bass player Hans Ziech, drummer Kees Kalis and singer Lisette joined them. Unfortunately Lisette had to give up singing because of a serious eye-disease and Kees Kalis left. They were replaced by Ton v/d Kley and the beautiful, very sexy Jerney Kaagman. She was a discovery by GOLDEN EARRING singer Barry Hay, they knew each other from the blossoming rock scene in The Hague. When EARTH & FIRE had a hugh success with three Sixties poprock oriented singles "Seasons", "Ruby is the one" and "Wild and exciting" (in '70 all reached the Dutch Top 5), the band decided to become professionals. Gerard Koerts bought a Mellotron, this instrument changed the Dutch progrock history because EARTH & FIRE used it for a more lush symphonic keyboard sound. Eventually they developed a very unique progrock style (a bit similar to the French progrock band SANDROSE and UK band JULIAN'S TREATMENT featuring lots of organ, Mellotron, strong and sensitive electric guitar and distinctive vocals from Jerney Kaagman. And EARTH & FIRE remained successful with their single releases, the Mellotron drenched "Storm and Thunder" ('72, #6), "Memories" ('72, #1), "Maybe Tomorrow, Maybe Tonight" ('73, #3) and "Love of Life" ('74, #2) all reached the Dutch Top 10. Also the albums in that era sold very well and gained worldwide recognition: "Songs of the Marching Children" ('71, reaching #12), "Atlantis" ('73, reaching #6) and "To the World of the Future" ('75, reaching #7) are considered as 'progrock classics', especially in Japan EARTH & FIRE is even more popular than FOCUS! Gradually their sound turned into more poppy, culminating into the success of the very commercial song Weekend, reaching #1 and remaining 13 weeks in the charts! Also the following albums "Gate to Infinity" ('77), Reality Fills Fantasy" ('79, reaching #2)), "Andromeda Girl" ('81, reaching #12)) and "In a State of Flux" "82) lost most of the symhonic ingredients.
The albums "Song of the Marching Children" and "Atlantis" belong to the best of the Dutch progrock history. The epic title tracks from both albums (between 16 and 19 minutes) are recommended: the sound is very warm and melodic with lots of changing atmospheres, accelerations and surprising breaks. The one moment you hear a mellow organ, twanging acoustic guitars and a fairy-like voice from Jerney, the other moment there are bombastic eruptions with majestic Mellotron, heavy floods of organ and some fiery electric guitar work, topped by the powerful voice of Jerney. By the way, she has been married for almost 30 years with Bert Ruiter, former bass player from FOCUS...!

01.Wild and Exciting 4.06
02.Twilight Dreamer 4.18
03.Ruby is The One 3.28
04.You know The Way 3.48
05.Vivid Shady Land 4.13
06.21st Century Show 4.16
07.Seasons 4.09
08.Love Quivers 7.37
09.What's Your Name 3.38
10.Hazy Paradise (Bonus track) 3.47
11.Mechanical Lover (Bonus track) 2.15

Jerney - Vocals, elettronica
Hans Ziech - Bass
Ton van de Kleij - Drums
Chris Koerts - Guitar
Gerard Koerts - Piano, organ

lunedì 30 aprile 2018

Corporation - The Corporation (Repertoire Records) 1969

Biography The Corporation formed in 1968, when the Kondos brothers joined up with members of a band called Eastern Mean Time, and they started appearing at the Galaxy Club, located in Cudahy, Wisconsin, a southeastern suburb of Milwaukee. A few months later, they were discovered by Capitol Records executives, while playing at The Bastille club. The Corporation members were Daniel Peil (born Daniel Vincent Peil in Superior, Wisconsin; September 26, 1942  January 3, 2012) on lead vocals; Gerard Jon Smith on lead guitar and backing Vocals; John Alexander Kondos on guitar, flute, harp, piano, and backing vocals; his brother Nicholas Alexander "Sandie" Kondos on drums and backing vocals; Kenneth Bernard Berdoll on bass and backing vocals; and Patrick Daneil McCarthy on keyboards and trombone. Their debut, self-named album was a regional hit in early 1969 and was in the Billboard Top LP Chart for four weeks, while hitting number three in Milwaukee and doing relatively well in Little Rock, Arkansas. Τhe whole second side was taken up by The Corporation's version of John Coltrane's "India."
Except for appearances in Chicago and St.Paul, the band remained local, without television appearances or corporate promotion. A European tour was in the planning stages, but it fell apart when disagreements with Capitol Records surfaced. Within two years, The Corporation made two further albums, Hassels In My Mind and Get On Our Swing, on the Age Of Aquarius label, a custom rock imprint of Cuca Records. Cuca was a Wisconsin recording studio and pressing plant whose output was subsequently anthologised by Ace Records in a 3-volume CD.
The band broke up in 1970.

01.I Want to Get out of my Grave 5:31
02.Ring That Bell 4:52
03.Smile 2:51
04.Highway 3:04
05.Drifting 4:05
06.India 19:33

Kenneth Berdoll - Bass, Vocals
John Kondos - Guitar, Keyboards, Fute
Nick Kondos - Drums, Vocals
Patrick McCarthy - Keyboards, Trombone
Daniel Vincent Peil - Vocals
Gerard Jon Smith - Lead Guitar, Vocals

sabato 28 aprile 2018

Flower Travellin' Band - Make Up (Won-Sin Music) 1972

Biography Flower Travellin' Band had followed the seismic proto-prog metal of 1971's career-defining Satori album by allowing themselves to be significantly neutered by a jazz-loving keyboard-playing producer on 1972's inconsistent Made in Japan -- which was in fact recorded in Canada. So as they returned to their homeland and attempted to work up new material for their next album, it was Afro-sporting singer Akira "Joe" Yamanaka who emerged as the dominant songwriter, rather than the band's former driving force, guitar Godzilla Hideki Ishima, whose confidence had clearly been shaken by recent events. And when it became apparent that these new songs were neither numerous nor strong enough to fill out a complete album, the band's visionary manager/producer, Yuya Utchida, suggested they record a live album instead. This, as it turned out, would be captured amid a typhoon that wound up compromising most of the recordings, but with a double LP already promised to Atlantic Records, Utchida was forced to go back to the aborted earlier sessions and rescue the better studio and concert material to create Flower Travellin' Band's fourth album (discounting their first foray as simply the Flowers), 1973's Make Up. Not surprisingly, the end results were inconsistent to say the least, ranging from the rambling psych-acoustic hodgepodge of "Look at My Window," to the Zeppelin-like heavy blues of "Shadows of Lost Days," to bassist Jun Kosuki's bizarre romantic ode to all of the strings he'd discarded over the years, obviously named "Broken Strings." Elsewhere, organs contributed by guest keyboardist Nobuhiko Shinohara managed to transform the title track into a powerful but still very derivative Deep Purple-style juggernaut, completed by Ishima's swooping guitar legatos and Joe's Gillan-esque yelps, and the tireless Utchida even joined the group on stage for a few songs, stealing lead vocals for a misplaced romp through his beloved "Blue Suede Shoes" (he'd begun his long career in the late ‘50s as an Elvis acolyte!). Then there was "Hiroshima": a 24-minute jam colossus occupying all of the original vinyl edition's third side that divided opinions into extremes of both pain (the seemingly interminable solo spots) and pleasure (Ishima's glorious bookending guitar theme, steeped in both Middle Eastern exoticism and Hendrixian acid dreams), and put the entire project's rampant confusion into full perspective. So even though some of these issues were deflected upon release by Make Up's peerless packaging inside a leather-bound attaché case, the album's eventual commercial and artistic failures would result in a tragic twist of fate, or at least of title in Flower Travellin' Band's breakup.

01.All The Days 6:39
02.Make Up 10:58
03.Look At My Window 6:08
04.Slowly But Surely 6:05
05.Shadow Of Lost Days 4:41
06.Broken Strings 7:17
07.Hiroshima 23:49
08.Blue Suede Shoes 3:51
09.After The Concert 7:24

Joe Yamanaka - vocals, percussion
Hideki Ishima - lead guitar, acoustic guitar
Jun Kozuki - bass, acoustic guitar
George Wada - drums
Nobuhiko Shinohara - keyboards
Yuya Uchida - vocals on "Blue Suede Shoes

domenica 15 aprile 2018

MacArthur - MacArthur (2016 Guerssen Records) 1979

Biography US foursome MACARTHUR was formed sometime in the late 1970's, consisting of Ben MacArthur (vocals, guitars), Bill Hefflefinger (guitars, keyboards, programming), Donald Stockford (bass) and Jeff Bauer (drums). While sources about them are scarce it would appear that they were an active live unit in their local area. But it was some years after the band folded that they gained recognition. In their initial lease of life they had released to limited quantity vinyl LPs, MacArthur and MacArthur II, issued in 1979 and 1982 respectively. These productions became sought after items in the collectors market, that the music on these albums had qualities not appreciated at the time of their release adding additional value to these items beyond the limited number of copies available. MacArthur reformed in 2006, their current line-up consisting of permanent members Ben MacArthur (vocals, guitars), Donald Stockford (bass) and Chuck Harrington (drums). David Asher (keyboards) lends his talents when needed, first and foremost for live purposes. And while talk and rumours about reissuing their original albums as well as the band recording and releasing new material have circulated, nothing substantial has come to pass yet. Avid collectors might note the existence of one bootleg however, as their first album was bootlegged in 1980 as The Black Forest.

01.Light Up
02.Laughing Like a Lark
03.Generations/First Contact
04.Push On
05.Of Only Then
06.The Black Forest
07.Prelude in C Major
08.Shock of the New

Ben MacArthur - vocals, guitars
Bill Hefflefinger - guitars, keyboards
Donald Stockford - bass
Jeff Bauer - drums

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