dimanche 30 décembre 2007

CACTUS "s/t" - 1970

CACTUS needs no introduction, does it?

This supergroup failed to sell a lot of records and never reached real success.

This debut is some pure outstanding Hard Boogie Blues Rock.
For those who don't know, CACTUS is Tim Bogert and Carmine Appice from VANILLA FUDGE, Rusty Day from TED NUGENT's AMBOY DUKES and Jim McCarty from MITCH RYDER'S DETROIT WHEELS.

Their debut is a winner, from the hard-hitting version of "Parchment Farm", to the thundering closer "Feel So Good", this truly is a must-have.

I decided to post this one because of the similarities with the GRANICUS' cover. And, as a Sunday message, I had to post a heavily Blues-influenced record.

"Oleo" in the player will surely enlighten your sunday.


CACTUS "s/t" - 1970 - USA - Atco 503052 (French press)

mercredi 26 décembre 2007

GRANICUS "s/t" - 1973 - #100 post!!!

This was supposed to be my christmas message but unfortunately I didn’t find enough time to post any song lately…

What we have here is one of the best ever Heavy Rock album of all time. Period.
This band is so much better than anything else you know of the era, you might never want to play any other record once you own this one.

GRANICUS is simply the greatest US incarnation of a Heavy Rock band, well... typically the kind of band you’d love to be in :
• the singer has one the greatest voices I know, and honestly a lot of records suffer from weak vocal lines, but Woody Leffel just smokes!
• The lead guitar is strong, raging and inventive, so is the rhythm guitar. You can tell the 2 guys are cool by the way they play their instruments...
• The multi-layered rhythm section is rock-solid and groovy at the same time. Something you need to listen to believe.

The 8 songs here are absolute killers! It can’t get any better than this. This record is one of the greatest examples of how a Rock record should sound like. If you don’t know GRANICUS, you don’t know Rock music. Too bad the record hardly sold when released and the band called it quits very quickly. This is a true waste, but I guess the band was ahead of its time and people were not ready for them.

Because it’s Christmas time, and because this record is an absolute must-have, you’re granted 3 songs from this bomb.
“You’re In America”, the opener, is the track I played endlessly when I first discovered the LP. “Bad Talk” is pure head-on Rock’n’Roll, banging and grooving, and “Paradise”, the last number here, is intense, frenzy and emotionally outstanding.

The other numbers are all utterly incredible and must-listens. Sure you’ll have to pay $100+ for an original US copy, but FUCK it’s worth several thousands!


GRANICUS “s/t” – 1973 – USA – RCA APL1-0321

lundi 24 décembre 2007


I would have loved to post a message today and add some good music for Christmas time but my nefew just gave me no time to do so.

I can only post that picture of a LP ornament that should be found in every Christmas tree all around the world.

Have a great Christmas celebration with your friends and family.

Party hard, drink and smoke too much. Smile and get high on happiness, it only happens once a year.

See you pretty soon with more record and more Rock!

dimanche 23 décembre 2007

John Hammond "s/t" - 1962

What about a "last-Sunday-before-Christmas'" Blues selection? This one goes out to my friend Nico, I'm sure you'll love this one...

John Hammond is a traditional solo Blues artist. This is his first ever release, 45 years ago on Vanguard.
On this self-titled LP, the guy goes into immortal classics (by Blind Lemon Jefferson, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry and so many others) with his own view and passion.

John Hammond plays honest and tries to stay true to the original songs he covers.
I really like the version he does of "Hoochie Coochie Man", so I decided to throw it in the player. No guitar this time, but the man, a mere harmonica and the spirit of the Blues!


JOHN HAMMOND "s/t" - 1962 - USA - Vanguard VRS-9132 ('68 reissue)

vendredi 21 décembre 2007

BLOODROCK "2" - 1970

From Fort Worth, TX comes BLOODROCK with their second and gold selling effort : 2.

The band is linked to GRAND FUNK RAILROAD : Terry Knight is behind the two bands, as a manager and a spiritual adviser too. There are sound similarities that's for sure, but please remember GFR was a power-trio...

I've never been completely convinced by BLOODROCK's compositions, but their sound production is thick and massive, their songs are well-written and technically convincing.
I feel like the band lacks attitude to me. Sure they can play! but who cares? Know what I mean?

This second album is worth listening though (the 3 first BLOODROCK LPs are winners and you should own them), because of "Lucky In The Morning" (try the player!), "Cheater", "Dier Not A Lover" and, of course "D.O.A." (for Death On Arrival).


BLOODROCK "2" - 1970 - USA - Capitol ST-491

jeudi 20 décembre 2007

STEAMHAMMER "Mountains" - 1970

Time has come to give you one of my favorite records from 1970 : Mountains by STEAMHAMMER.

This one is really amazing : British Blues Rock with a Prog attitude and an undecent groovy approach.

Martin Pugh's (later to form ARMAGEDDON with K. Relf and B. Caldwell) guitar work is rich, textured, varied and utterly beautiful. The vocals are soft and comforting when the rhythm section is tight and clear. The sound production is also very enjoyable.

About STEAMHAMMER, they started as a backing band for Freddie King, before they got signed to CBS and released two albums before Mountains.

All of the 8 cuts of this album are impressive, so I went for the title track. Smooth and strong at the same time. This is a work-of-art I promise!

Note that there should be a sticker on the front cover of this album, mine is missing.


STEAMHAMMER "Mountains" - 1970 - UK - B&C CAS 1024

mardi 18 décembre 2007

FELT "s/t" - 1971

Absolute must-have LP from Alabama. FELT released this debut on Nasco (9006) that is truly impossible to find in any condition (I've never seen a copy), so if you ever come across one, prepare to pay hundreds and hundreds of bucks. That said, Akarma did, once again, a great job with the reissue, so go get it!

FELT is truly a winner. All the numbers here are powerful and diverse with acid guitar work, hammond, great vocal lines and great well-written songs.

Myke Jackson (singer, guitarist, composer, frontman) was only 17 when this monster was recorded, I can't help thinking about what could have the band become.

I picked "World" out of the 6 tracks, try it and go buy your LP immediately!


FELT "s/t" - 1971 - USA - Akarma AK127

lundi 17 décembre 2007

The LITTER "Emerge" - 1969

I'm back!

Thanks for all your recent comments.

Emerge is the LITTER's third release.

The LITTER, out of Minneapolis, started as a Garage band in 1966.

With Emerge, they open up to Hard Rock, still heavily influenced by British bands such as The YARDBIRDS, The WHO...

Check it out as soon as you can, this is a really good album and a great addition to any Psych/Prog/Hard Rock collection.

Emerge is cheaper than the two other albums and you might pay $50/$80 for a US copy in mint condition.


The LITTER "Emerge" - 1969 - USA - Probe CPLP 4504

mercredi 12 décembre 2007

PALADIN "s/t" - 1971

PALADIN is gifted.

Their debut is creative and eclectic. The guys happily fuse Jazz and Funk with Ethnic music, Prog and Psychedelic elements. A lot of bands of the era come to mind when listening to PALADIN : SANTANA & TRAFFIC mostly.
With wild energy all the way, honest and fresh Pop elements come to enrich the album even further.

Back in '71, this record was way ahead of its time because of this perfect mix of Latin/Cuban/Afro and Eastern influences.

Make sure you check this one!

Their second release a year later, Charge!, is somehow Heavier than their debut, with a Roger Dean cover.


PALADIN "s/t" - 1971 - UK - Island ILPS 9150 (French press)

mardi 11 décembre 2007

GINHOUSE "s/t" - 1971

I read somewhere that GINHOUSE's sole album was an ass-kicking Psych/ProgLP.

And when I saw a UK copy at a record fair, I traded it for some "real" ass-kicking LPs.

What we have here is a trio that has ideas, a few are good, but they can't make it.

They fail at any attempt of making good music.

This is my sensibility that speaks, some of you may think this is a Psych/Prog jewel, but, honestly, there are plenty of average Psych/Prog albums that sound so much better than this one!

Picking a song was very risky (please note that songs on the player are supposed to make you buy the reviewed LPs, this one is not!), try "I Cannot Understand" (the most interesting song here, well... the one that sounds like a decent song).

The little bonus that we have with this record is the gimmix cover.

This is fairly rare and sells for £60/80 on average.

GINHOUSE "s/t" - 1971 - UK - B&C CAS 1030

lundi 10 décembre 2007

UFO "UFO 1" - 1970

Here comes the space Rock outfit that goes by the name of UFO, from the UK.

This is their debut, released in 1970 on the Beacon label (original UK copies rarely show up, and sell for £60/£80 in mint condition).

The guys are young (not even in their 20s) yet show a good sens of melody and some great musicianship. The 3 covers they throw in ("C'mon Everybody", "Melinda" & "Who Do You Love") perfectly suit their own material and the full length suffers no filler.

They will release a second album (Flying - recommended too!) before Michael Schenker, freshly departed from SCORPIONS, jumps in and gives the band a "Pop" direction (Phenomenon is the first album with Schenker).

This truly needs to be (re-)discovered for Heavy/Prog/Psych Rock lovers.


UFO "UFO 1" - 1970 - UK - Nova 6.21426

dimanche 9 décembre 2007

MEMPHIS SLIM & WILLIE DIXON "The Blues Every Which Way" - 1960

Here comes the Sunday's Blues selection!

I'm not sure those two Blues behemoth need any introduction, do they?

They're friends and know each other well, you can actually hear it through this whole recording.

Slim handles the piano and Willie handles the bass, they both sing on their own songs.

Songs tend to get personal and intimate. Three beautiful instrumentals among 10 tracks of original material. Try "Shaky" in the player, it might make you think about spending a few bucks on this one...

To me, this is the perfect soundtrack for a rainy, windy and cold Sunday afternoon in december. You take refuge close to the fire in the chimney, pour yourself a glass of your favorite whiskey, light a cig and let Willie and Slim do the talking. Now you know how I spent this day...


MEMPHIS SLIM & WILLIE DIXON "The Blues every Which Way" - 1960 - USA - Verve V6-3007

samedi 8 décembre 2007

The DOORS "Strange Days" - 1967

Jim Morrison would be (is?) 64 today, so what better than today for having a DOORS post?

Released in october 1967 (40 years ago, no less), Strange Days probably is my favorite DOORS' album.

It's dark and gloomy, intense and deep, desperately beautiful and poetic, both lyrically and musically.

We can't see the band on the cover. Jim refused to have a band photo as a cover and Joel Brodsky came up with this photo of a group of jugglers and acrobats shot in New York City (150–158 East 36th Street). Elektra insisted on having the DOORS somewhere on the cover, so Joel added an early band pic (the back cover of the debut actually) and the title : Strange Days.

Musically, there's a little revolution in the DOORS's sound, because a bass guitar is occasionally added. Ray Manzarek's organ and presence give more space to Robbie Krieger's guitar work. Robbie's playing underlines Jim Morrison's vocals and poetry.

Apart from "Love Me Two Times", Moonlight Drive" and "People Are Strange", the music is darker and oppressive.

The band goes into intricate songs, and really defines his pre '70 sound pattern.

"Moonlight Drive" is one of the first songs Jim Morrison ever written. It was supposed to appear on the first album but didn't make it. It's one of my favorite DOORS' song.


The DOORS "Strange Days" - 1967 - USA - Elektra EKS-74014

vendredi 7 décembre 2007

TEN YEARS AFTER "Cricklewood Green" - 1970

It’s hard to post a classic. It’s impossible to say something that hasn’t been said before, and picking a track is a hell of a test.
Saying that Cricklewood Green is TEN YEARS AFTER’s most revered album won’t get me nowhere. Neither will saying it’s their 5th LP.

Cricklewood Green is, in my opinion, the last great album TEN YEARS AFTER recorded, before turning their music into a more mainstream Pop direction. All titles are solid, the guitar magic is omnipresent (is Alvin Lee one of the 10 most talented guitarists ever?) and the whole band feels so comfortable with this album it gives the listener total satisfaction.

Vibrant, rocking, smooth, smart and efficient are words that come to mind experiencing this classic album.

“As The Sun Still Burns Away” is the last cut of Cricklewood Green. This is the one I picked because of its gloomy atmosphere and the subtle guitar work. I love the way Alvin Lee sings, caressing the tune. It also makes me think about the legendary “Fever” written by Cooley/Davenport.

The first UK issue of Cricklewood Green featured a black & white poster of Alvin Lee, and mint copies sell for £30 on average.


TEN YEARS AFTER “Cricklewood Green” – 1970 – UK – Deram SML 1065

By the way, ain't that inside picture amazing?

jeudi 6 décembre 2007

STRAY DOG "s/t" - 1973

STRAY DOG hails from Texas. The three-piece is granted a recording agreement by Greg Lake himself. They fly to England to put their first effort to tape. Unfortunately, their original drummer (who later ended in BLOODROCK) stays in the US, so they recruit Leslie Sampson (who played in Noel Redding’s ROAD).

Their debut didn’t sold much (as did their second offering in 1974).

Produced by Greg Lake, this debut is very tasty, great guitar licks all the way, some kind of out-dated Prog elements here and there that give the all thing a peculiar feel. The singer (and guitar player) “Snuffy” has a great voice and a very pleasant way of singing. The two ballads give the listener some room in a traditional Hard Rock vein.
STRAY DOG’s debut is one of those unknown albums people should rush to as fast as they can.
Very affordable and a beautiful textured cover...

“Tramp (How It Is)”, the opener, only is worth buying this album...


STRAY DOG "s/t" - 1973 - USA - Manticore MC66671

mardi 4 décembre 2007

WARHORSE "s/t" - 1970

I remember buying the WARHORSE debut for a mere 2€ ($3). OK, this is not a UK copy but a French original. The cover is not in a great shape, neither is the record itself, but it's still enjoyable though...

Note that UK originals on the higly collectable Vertigo label sell for £100+ on average.

This is a great record, heavy organ led tracks, a strong voice, great guitar leads and great Hard Prog tunes.

WARHORSE (not to be confused with the 90's Doom band) could be described as a perfect mix between DEEP PURPLE (for the guitar sound - bass player Nick Simper was in DEEP PURPLE) and URIAH HEEP. Some would link WARHORSE to BLACK SABBATH, I don't.
Their second release (from 1971) is also warmly recommended, less proto-Metal, but still fully entertaining.

"Woman Of The Devil" is the song I picked (mainly for its title).


WARHORSE "s/t" - 1970 - UK - Vertigo 6360 015

dimanche 2 décembre 2007

DUST "s/t" - 1971

Here comes DUST, out of New York, with their self-titled debut, released in 1971 on Kama Sutra, distributed by Buddhah.

You obviously know their drummer Marc Bell, 'cause the guy joined the famed Ramones as Marky Ramone...

What we have here is inspired Hard Rock with slight Psych/Prog elements here and there.
A very solid debut with rocking tracks and a couple of ballads.
Strong guitar work, great vocals, inventive bass lines (Kenny Aaronson played with Rick Derringer, Billy Idol, Bob Dylan (!), Joan Jett...), and genuine Punk drumming. Be sure to check this one as soon as you can.
In my book, the all-original US first press has a pink DUST logo, while some others say it's orange... If you know something about the genuine first pressing, please leave a comment. Anyways, it has the pink Kama Sutra label so check that first before buying the record.

"From a Dry Camel" opens side 2. It's the climax of this debut. Check it now!


DUST "s/t" - 1971 - USA - Kama Sutra KSBS 2041

samedi 1 décembre 2007

ARMAGEDDON "s/t" - 1975

Loud guitars, serious Hard Rock, must-have LP, awesome pedigrees.
ARMAGEDDON’s sole album is a real treat. I doubt there’s any other album of the era that sounds as convincing. Well, there’s some others actually, soon to be posted ;-)

ARMAGEDDON is a supergroup rocking on purpose. The band flourished on the ashes of CAPTAIN BEYOND (does this ring a bell, anyone?). Bobby Caldwell joined forces with Keith Relf (YARDBIRDS) + Martin Pugh & Louis Cennamo (STEAMHAMMER) and rushed into the studio to record this amazing record.
Some would say 1975 is no great year for Psych/Fuzz Hard Rock, well... play this one (loud!) and think twice.
Some say the band hails for England, for me it’s American.

“Buzzard” is one of the greatest (the greatest?) Heavy Rock cut out of the 70’s. And man, I mean it! “Silver Tightrope”, that maybe comes to soon in the record, is a beautiful Psych bitter ballad. “Paths and Planes and Future Gains” and “Last Stand Before” are some pure CAPTAIN BEYOND greatness. “Basking in the White of the Midnight Sun” is a frenzy 11+ minute long piece of Hard/Psych.
I try to only play the best, so check “Buzzard” on the player and worship the mighty ARMAGEDDON!

I can only advise anyone of you to own at least 2 copies of this record, you’ll burn one in a coupla months I promise.
An original US copy sells for $70 at least, and European vinyl freaks will have to pay €60 on average... But hey... This record is worth all of your other records.


ARMAGEDDON “s/t” – 1975 – USA – A&M SP-4513