vendredi 30 novembre 2007

DARK "Round The Edges" - 1972

Time has come to unleash the rarest records of all time (50 copies were pressed back in '72), and a hell of a record : DARK "Round The Edges". It's simply impossible to find any original copy nowadays, so rush on the Akarma reissue (1.000 copies on a 180gr clear vinyl, housed in a beautiful heavy gatefold cover + a 6-page booklet with lyrics, photos...). Kissing Spell did also reissue this must-have, but it doesn't compare to the job Akarma did on this one.

Let's put in straight : this is a monster!
It took the band 2 years to come up with this LP (and some personal changes). The six tracks are stunning : the riffs are 100% efficient, the bass is booming as rarely heard, the drumming is excellent and the songs themselves are catchy.
The sound production is also impressive (knowing this has been recorded in 3 days with hardly any money).

Progressive at times, Rocking at others, HEAVY all the way!

I picked "Darkside", the opener, and for those who haven't heard any DARK song before, prepare to be blown away. Wait for the fuzzed-out guitar to detonate...


DARK "Round The Edges" - 1972 - UK - Akarma AK007

mercredi 28 novembre 2007

BANG "s/t" - 1972

Jen from EyeEatMusic blog recently posted 3 BANG songs, so this post goes out to her, as I’ve read she’s fond of the band (and she leaves many comments on here too).

BANG is the American answer to BLACK SABBATH. Not that they sound like BLACK SABBATH or anything (even though they sound "a bit" like BLACK SABBATH). My saying is they fed on the monolithic riffs, massive structure and their singer had that special Ozzy-like kind of singing.

But, BANG is an American band, so they strictly don’t sound the same. They have an all-American way of Rocking and Rolling. And they’re not as heavy as B.S. was, not as Metal neither.

That said, this debut is solid gold, something you have to own by any means, if you’re into Heavy 70’s Rock. I could only advise anybody to also check their two other releases.

There you go with "Questions", side 2, track #3.


BANG "s/t" - 1972 - USA - Capitol ST-11015

CATFISH "Get Down" - 1970

Let's have a short Blues interlude (you know I love it dontcha?) with this '70 LP called Get Down by CATFISH, their debut.

CATFISH never meant to reinvent the Blues or create something new, but the band is humble and has what it takes to play the blues.
"300 Pound Fat Mama" is dedicated and so is "Tradition" (let's face it, it sounds traditional doesn't it?), the song I picked for the player.

The cover may not strike you at first sight (not even at all) but don't judge a record by its cover, this is head-on Blues, no compromise, no bullshit. And the guy, Bob Hodge (later Catfish Hodge) he has a voice and knows how to use it. He surely ate gravel before singing and have a good sip of whisky.


CATFISH "Get Down" - 1970 - USA - CBS 64006 (UK press)

mardi 27 novembre 2007

BUDGIE "s/t" - 1971

Back again!
I've been celebrating one of my best friends' birthday this week end (he just turned 30) and got myself singing, drunk, "When the Music's Over" & "L.A. Woman" (I wasn't in the pitch really, but who cared back then? Who listened actually? It was 6 in the morning and the others had already felt asleep). And no one here wants to hear about this anyway...

So, here we go today with BUDGIE, the Metal band from Cardiff. Yes, they were Metal, and they influenced a shitload of Metal bands (METALLICA among others who covered "Breadfan" - for those few of you who don't know...).

Their debut is essential, an absolute must-have. As the back cover has it, "(...) they are a Rock band, a freaking good Rock band." I can only agree.

If you like heavy riffs, funky yet punishing bass lines and ballsy drums, then don't look further. I remember being kinda "disappointed" by this high-pitched, almost female vocals at the very beginning, but once you hear what the guy can do with his voice, you can only enjoy the whole thing even more!

I personally advise people to own BUDGIE's three first LPs (until Never Turn Your Back On A Friend), and make sure they pay a listen before going through the rest of their discography.

The original UK copies on the MCA red & pink label (MKPS 2018) are harder & harder to find, thus the price skyrockets (£80 on average).

"Guts" is the opener, a true classic...


BUDGIE "s/t" - 1971 - UK - MCA MAPS 4959 (early 70's repress)

vendredi 23 novembre 2007

STRAY "Suicide" - 1971

STRAY today with their sophomore release : Suicide.
I can't tell if I like this one better than their self-titled debut...

STRAY's prolific career (the new line-up had a new record out last month) never gave the band the success it deserved. That said, their two earliest recordings are far better than the others (I'm not sure they should have released another album after Mudanzas in '73).

STRAY can be described as a Proto-Metal band with English & Irish Folk foundations. Progressive Hard Rock with R&B touches here and there.
I think Suicide is their greatest recording because of the special alchemy between Heavy Rock, their English roots, Prog moves and synth elements that boost the sound production.

Their first 2 albums are not easy to find on vinyl and tend to increase in value. 40€ for an original UK copy of Suicide seems to be a decent price.

Try "Jericho" on the player and get your own opinion about that great album.


STRAY "Suicide" - 1971 - UK - Transatlantic TRA 233

jeudi 22 novembre 2007

NUTZ "s/t" - 1974

NUTZ, from Liverpool, released their greatest album in 1974 on A&M. Their debut is varied, going through Prog, Folk, Blues and Hard Rock.
I bought this one for the cover only, as I didn't know anything about the band back then.

Good musicianship and imagination unfortunately failed to get them a real following and the band remained a support-band for BUDGIE or even BLACK SABBATH.

Their other offerings are far-less interesting and convincing. Still, the A-side of this debut is, in my opinion, more interesting than the B-side, more rocking, more innovative.

"Ain't No Thanks To You" is the slide-guitar Blues cut of their first album and thought you might like to hear it.


NUTZ "s/t" - 1974 - UK - A&M AMLS 68256

mercredi 21 novembre 2007

FUSE "s/t" - 1969

FUSE is known for including Rick Nielsen & Tom Petersson who later founded CHEAP TRICK.

These guys are young (from 17 to 21 years old) yet musically tight and interesting.
They sound fresh, fun and energetic.

Lots of different influences are partly recognizable across the 8 songs of this album, ranging from Northern Soul to Hard Rock. Sometimes sounding a bit "messy" (the late 60's hard rock production techniques sound dated and weak), this will make you bang your hand and move your feet.

"Show Me" sounds like a great introduction to this album.


FUSE "s/t" - USA - 1969 - Epic BN 26502

dimanche 18 novembre 2007

DAMNATION "The Second Damnation" - 1970

Today's "killer LP" award goes to DAMNATION's second offering, released in 1970 on United Artists.

What strikes first is the amazing lead vocals. This guy rocks hard! Then the terrific groove and cheesy guitar sounds.
Solid songs, catchy tunes all the way. Want pounding rhythm sections? Want ballads? Want innovative Hard Rock? Rush on DAMNATION (initially known as the DAMNATION OF ADAM BLESSING), the Cleveland's forgotten sons.

Very affordable ($30 on average) & highly enjoyable (as well as their 2 other releases). The band renamed itself GLORY after their third album and had a record out, but I never had the chance to pay it a listen.


DAMNATION "The Second Damnation" - 1970 - USA - United Artists UAS-6773

vendredi 16 novembre 2007

CORPUS "Creation A Child" - 1972

I’ve never come across an original US copy of this one. Privately pressed on Acorn in 1972 (Acorn 1001), this Psych Rock album is one of those crown jewels you have to spend a great amount of money to own. The record has recently been reissued by Akarma on both LP and CD and a bootleg from 1986 is also available. I bought the bootleg knowing I’d never have the opportunity to buy the original red-label Acorn press (later Acorn pressings have a green/pink label).

Musically, this Corpus-Christi, TX-based band offers a great dose of bar-rockers, some inspired idle ballads (Joy is really beautiful) and a couple of forgettable cuts.
The songs boast a soft and smooth guitar work, great vocals and a laid-back rhythm section.
Creation A Child is not an absolute must-have LP but it will please Psych Rock lovers.

“Marriage” is one my favorite tracks, along with the majestic “Joy”.


CORPUS “Creation A child” – 1972 – US – Breeder RPR 007 (1986 bootleg from Austria)

mercredi 14 novembre 2007

JERUSALEM "s/t" - 1972

This one goes out to Mr Southard, guitar player for SOLACE, and the man behind the Devil's Music blog.

JERUSALEM is a British band whose both albums have been produced by Ian Gillan, but only their debut saw the light of day, in 1972.

What we have here is pure acid Hard Rock, with strong guitars, great leads, a solid bass/drums structure and some ball-crushing tracks. No filler, all killers!

JERUSALEM counts as a real rarity in the 70’s Hard Rock collectors market so expect to pay at least 150€ for a UK copy and 100€ for a German copy. If you don’t own this one, go buy it now!

Along with "Frustration" and "Primitive Man", "She Came Like A Bat From Hell" is one of my favorite tracks from this LP.


JERUSALEM “s/t” – 1972 – UK – SDL 6

lundi 12 novembre 2007

BRAINTICKET "Cottonwoodhill" - 1971

I thought the last 2 posts would have brought more comments... Hope this one will!
Today comes the Swiss/German/Italian/Belgian conglomerate known as BRAINTICKET and their debut : Cottonwoodhill.

This is pure hallucinogenic acid music. After 2 very groovy, almost soulful tracks, the band goes into their monster track : "Brainticket", a 25+ minute trip into the brain of a demented, heavily drug-addicted psycho. Music, feelings, noise, fears and needs all melt up into a gigantic wall of sound.
Considered as Krautrock, Cottonwoodhill is more of a vibrant psych trip you won't get out of as sane as you were before.
Possessed female vocals over an hypnotising repetitive riff, that's what it's all about, and it's a hell of a great trip!

The German press on Bellaphon is the more common press (even though copies are rarely offered), but know that the all-original Swiss press is on Hallelujah (it's a joint-venture release) and is even harder to find. The Bellaphon logo is on the front cover of the Swiss Hallelujah press (contradictory?).


BRAINTICKET "Cottonwoodhill" - 1971 - Switzerland - Bellaphon BLPS 19019

vendredi 9 novembre 2007

ID "Where Are We Going" - 1976

This slab o'plastic is incredibly addictive...
New York's ID released this privately pressed LP in 1976, a visionnary "Space" Prog trippy concept album.

I first listened to this LP 3 months ago and it's my most recent score, I had to add this one to my ever growing LP collection because of the special feeling inside those 4 long tracks : the beautiful opener "Sunrise", the staggering two-parts "Where Are We Going", and the almost quieter and desperate "Solar Winds".
The production and sound are quite peculiar, kind of lo-fi, and the guitars can't sound more scorched and plaintive.
It will surely make you think about both Tony Hill's HIGH TIDE LPs, well... it does make me think about HIGH TIDE, mostly the guitars, because of those endless explosive solos.
The drumming is also very interesting.

Try "Where Are We Going (part 2)" on the player, ain't that trippy? Now run to your nearest record store and buy it, this is HUGE!


ID "Where Are We Going" - 1976 - USA - Aura AR1000

mercredi 7 novembre 2007

HAWKWIND "In Search Of Space" - 1971

Today starts a short selection of trippy songs, and how better should it start with but with the Brits from HAWKWIND, huh?

Their sophomore release "In Search Of Space" is my favorite HAWKWIND album (is it because of the arrival of Lemmy Kilmister? dunno...).
Sure it's spacy, trippy, psyched out and incredibly entertaining, pushing the Moorcock sci-fi tales into a brand new musical definition and representation.

For me, this defining piece of plastic could be seen as the first step into Art-Rock & Shoegaze as well as, obviously, one great contribution to the Hard Rock Prog scene. Italian bands from the era also fed on this gem. Not to mention the actual Stoner scene that owes a lot to such an achievement from HAWKWIND.
Try "You Shouldn't Do That" on the player (cut in 2 equal parts to fit the player) and get high brothers!

Note that the value of the vinyl mostly depends on the "Hawkwind Log", the booklet issued with the LP, the key to the universe of the band. I added a picture of the inside cover (that can't still be unfolded!) with the booklet to let you know about this beauty.


HAWKWIND "In Search Of Space" - 1971 - UK -United Artists UAG 29202 (French press)

lundi 5 novembre 2007

BLACK PEARL "s/" - 1969

This is a top notch album! Heavy duty guitars all the way, a great vocalist, catchy tunes, fantastically groovy and soulful. Another all-time favorite of mine.

Picking a song was no easy thing to do, as all of the 9 songs on this LP are killers ("Crazy Chicken", "mr. Soul Satisfaction", "Forget It", and the mighty "Reach Up").

Check "White Devil" (I picked this one for its title...) on the player and get your kicks.
Their live album is also very recommended.
I don't come across this one very often, and mint copies are pretty hard to find. Expect to pay at least $30 for one enjoyable copy.

The only little thing I have to "complain" about is the somehow weak production that the songs don't deserve. A bigger guitar sound and more bass would have made this one an absolute killer!


BLACK PEARL "s/t" - 1969 - USA - Atlantic 8220

HEAVY CRUISER "s/t" - 1972

I've been listening to this record a lot, but I still don't know what to think about it.
Neil Merryweather is the mastermind behind this unclassifiable LP.

HEAVY CRUISER is one of the numerous projects Neil Merryweather has been part of, and may also be the most unknown one. After this one, he went on to form MAMA LION with Lynn Carey who sings on some cuts on HEAVY CRUISER's debut.

This LP is a cauldron of boiling influences and experimentation. Classic late 50's Rock'n'Roll (check their bombastic covers of "C'mon Everybody" and "Louie, Louie") messes up with Folk ballads and Punk before Punk attitude.

"Miracles Of Pure Device", the last track, is really worth discovering, mostly for the second part of the song, some endless freaky keyboard dementia.


HEAVY CRUISER "s/t" - 1972 - USA - Family Productions FPS 2706

samedi 3 novembre 2007

THREE MAN ARMY "A Third Of A Lifetime" - 1971

Some people under-estimate this band, saying it's forgettable. I don't think so : they have some great tunes and a heavy load of great guitar works.

After the demise of GUN, the Gurvitz brothers (credited as Curtis on the US version) team up with ex-SPOOKY TOOTH drummer to give birth to THREE MAN ARMY. Actually, a great number of drummers are featured on this first album (Buddy Miles among others). Tony Newman from MAY BLITZ will join the band for their second release.

Pop tunes in a Progressive Hard Rock disguise would suit the band's sound well.
Again, great guitar work all the way, and some really tasty cuts.

"What's My Name" opens side 2 and I have to admit I didn't know which song to pick for the player. I think this one should make you wanna buy it.
The US version has the die-cut cover (see the bullet holes?) and is slightly cheaper than the UK one (originally released in the UK on Pegasus).


THREE MAN ARMY "A Third Of A Lifetime" - 1971 - UK - Kama Sutra KSBS 2044 (US press)

vendredi 2 novembre 2007

The CORPORATION "s/t" - 1969

This is one of the first real collectable records I bought. I heard this one at a party and been struck.

This 6-piece offers a refreshing dose of Soul tainted Psych Rock, up-tempo and energetic. They kinda make me think about COLOSSEUM, thus they're Americans.
In a certain extend, they're not far away from the British Canterbury scene.
But the climax of this album is the side long "India", the Coletrane cover.
Songs being limited to 10Mb on the player, I had to cut it into two parts to make sure it fits and to give you the possibility to listen to that piece of music history.
Honestly, this track is fantastic. Buy your own copy!
The CORPORATION "s/t" - 1969 - USA - Capitol ST 175

jeudi 1 novembre 2007

MAY BLITZ "s/t" - 1970

This is one of the top 10 records I couldn't live without. MAY BLITZ is, undoubtedly, one of the greatest bands our mother earth bore.

The short-lived, mighty MAY BLITZ released their debut on Vertigo, pushing the boundaries of Heavy Rock, inventing new ways, injecting more melodies a single tune can carry. Their music was heavy, loud, inspired and incredibly addictive.

Those three guys would change the face of British Rock for years to come.

How hard it is to select one song out of this unbeatable Heavy Rock maelstrom no one can compete with.
"Smoking The Day Away" opens the album and when you'll hear it for the first time (on vinyl!) I bet my ass you'll be crushed, will stomp your foot and bang your head, with eyes closed. The guitar part is nothing but astounding, breath-taking.
No more superlatives : buy it! An original UK copy in mint condition is a bit expensive (100/150€), but a German copy is affordable (40/70€). You won't regret your purchase, I promise.


MAY BLITZ "s/t" - 1970 - UK - Vertigo 6360 007 (German press)

BOB SEGER "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" - 1968

Look at this beautiful cover!

I'm not a Seger specialist but I guess he's part of the American music only American people can enjoy (I'm mainly talking about what the guy did after the 70's).

Anyways, this debut, initially titled "Tales Of Lucy Blue" is a hell of a great album. Diverse and still focused on good rocking Soul and Blues influenced psychedelia.

From the opener to "Love Has To Be Loved", this first album is a really strong introduction to the post-summer of love Psych Rock scene.

"Black Eyed Girl" is the longest track, kind of Detroit sounding Garage Blues Rock.


The BOB SEGER SYSTEM "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" - 1968 - USA - Capitol ST 172