martedì 21 luglio 2015

Epitaph - Epitaph (2005 Digipack Edition) 1971

Biography : Along with Lucifer's Friend, Blackwater Park, and other bands even more obscure, Epitaph were members of a curious fraternity of '70s German bands that featured British singers. Founded in Dortmund in late 1969 by vocalist/guitarist Cliff Jackson and his compatriot James McGillivray, plus locally bred bassist Bernd Kolbe, Epitaph were originally named Fagau's Epitaph, but decided to shorten it after moving to Hanover, where they eventually signed with Polydor. Second guitarist Klaus Walz joined the fold halfway through the sessions for their eponymous debut (released in 1971), which, along with its successor, Stop, Look & Listen (1972), contained only five lengthy tracks, largely comprised of post-psych progressive rock, spiced with occasional jazz accents and widespread twin-guitar harmonies. Neither LP succeeded at introducing the band to a significant audience, though, and McGillivray had quit by year's end, being replaced by German drummer Achim Wielert, just as Epitaph were beginning to experiment with a more compact and direct hard rock style. This was previewed by the two singles they released in 1973, but Polydor still decided it was time to cut their ties to the group, who surprisingly headed off to America almost immediately, drawn by the promises of a start-up indie label called Billingsgate.

Epitaph wound up recording their third and most critically acclaimed LP, 1974's Outside the Law, in Chicago, afterwards embarking on a tour of the U.S. with ex-Karthago drummer Norbert Lehmann -- only to have it rudely interrupted when Billingsgate went bankrupt. Drained by their string of bad luck and feeling lucky simply to escape back to Germany without being held responsible for Billingsgate's debts, Epitaph called it quits in January of 1975. But Cliff Jackson couldn't resist reviving Epitaph just a few months later, gradually rebuilding their damaged reputation until a revamped band -- rounded out by guitarist Heinz Glass, keyboardist Michael Karch, bassist Harvey Janssen, and drummer Fritz Randow -- finally re-emerged with 1979's Return to Reality album. Now pursuing a semi-heavy metal angle, this edition of Epitaph recorded two more, poorly received LPs (1980's oddly named See You in Alaska and 1981's Live), and then Jackson reunited the Outside the Law lineup for 1982's Danger Man. Also given to heavier rock sounds, and also unsuccessful, the latter finally proved to be Epitaph's, well, epitaph, barring very rare concert reunions thereafter. Review by Eduardo Rivadavia

Tracklist:
01.Moving To The Country 5:14
02.Visions 5:26
03.Hopelessly 8:16
04. Little Maggie 8:35
05.Early Morning 10:04
Bonus Tracks:
06.London Town Girl 3:28
07.Autumn 71 4:29
08.Are You Ready 4:28
09.I'm Trying 5:33
10.Changing World 5:50

Line-up:
Cliff Jackson - Guitar, Vocals
Klaus Walz - Guitar, Vocals
Bernd Kolbe - Bass, Mellotron, Vocals
Jim McGillivray - Drums, Vocals

2 commenti:

Solidboy ha detto...

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adamus67 ha detto...

Comprised of 2 Germans and 2 Brits, Epitaph's sound is similar to the traditional British progressive heavy rock genre along the lines of Uriah Heep, Deep Purple, Led Zepplin. However, one can not overlook the effect which King Crimson had on Epitaph. Non-Crimson fans should note that the Crimson had a track titled 'Epitaph' on their 1969 debut LP; oddly enough, there is a track on Epitaph's debut which could easily be mistaken this track! Coincidence?

Does the group called may not use the Epitaph melotronów and try to match the mood of the times his compositions for the song, which served him for a name? Certainly not. And that's why the music on this CD, set in the rock roots, often escapes into space sound waves carried to melotronu. Epitaph uses the ideas of others - Wishbone Ash, Uriah Heep even, but still defends the music.

Recorded: 1971 Essex Studio - England, Windrose Studio - Hamburg . LP,features five rock tracks guitar driven. The album opens with 'Moving To The Country' is a straight forward rock number reminiscent of early Uriah Heep. Following this is 'Visions', a slow atmospheric ballad heavily influenced by King Crimson's 1969 track 'Epitaph', the track contains lush mellotron and the chord sequence and lyrics similar to Pink Floyd's 'Echoes'. Though derivative of both of these two great bands, 'Visions' sticks out as the best track on this album. 'Hopelessly' is another progressive heavy rock tour de force. This track builds slowly and contains an extended instrumental section. 'Little Maggie' contains a nice chorus hook and a playfully jangly blues/folk guitar similar to Jimmy Pages' work not only because of the length is similar to its predecessor. Binds melodic chorus song which middle part is filled with delicate guitar improvisations. The original vinyl closes the 'Early Morning', which is growing slowly, almost majestically contains a fairly complex arrangement and an ominous sound The initial feeling of nostalgia is balanced by moments of tempo rock song, juicy riffs and dynamic melody. Great end of the plate. This is probably the best song that he recorded Epitaph.

The album manages to stand on its own and should appeal greatly to fans of progressive heavy rock. (remastered & expanded in 2005+ 5 bonus tracks , which are quite derivative at times of more popular British bands.) In the early/mid seventies, the German and English Rock band Epitaph was one of the "big ones" in the German Rock Business. Their feeling for good and irresistible melodies paired with powerful Rock soon made them a name to be reckoned with. Comparisons to their Anglo-Saxon idols like Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Uriah Heep soon vanished with their own style and panache delivered on their 1971 debut album, Epitaph. Of particular note is the impressive ability and musicianship of the individual band members, giving this record a memorable and lasting presence.

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