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www.aftersabbath.com / aftersabbath.blogspot.com
Hard Rock, Proto-metal, Proto-Doom, Stoner Rock & Heavy Prog/Psych obscurities of the 60s and 70s.
Email: aftersabbath@live.co.uk
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    TDATS introduces sixteen new names for Volume 123, the second collection of Spanish bands, after 39: Bandera Inmortal. Most of the usual suspects were covered in that episode, and like The Netherlands for example, searching for further heaviness means looking through all the bands that only made singles, EPs and unreleased material. As such, only five of the 16 tracks here are from albums originally released at the time of the bands. Singles, EPs and archival recordings make up the rest. The searches never end though, and even as I write this I am finding new Spanish discoveries, including LPs, so lets hope there'll be more to come later, as what's here is really good!

    Eva Rock at "The Invasion of Filth"
    Eva Rock at
    "The Invasion of Filth"
    During making this I found out about the "15 horas de Música Pop de Burgos" festival, in Burgos in 1975. It appears to have been Spain's first important rock fest with music ranging from pop to hard rock and prog. Bands that have appeared in TDATS before played it, like Triana, Storm and Eduardo Bort. A new band appearing in this volume called Burning also played it. The fest has since passed into legend, now known infamously as "La invasión de la cochambre" (The invasion of filth) after the hoards of back-packing hippies and free lovers that homed in on it. You can read more here and here.

    Mix master Mara B. Stones (mixcloud) has done a great job of embellishing this volume and rounding it off with cool quotes from acid psych compilations and some old movies. Enjoy!

    TRACKS

    01. Albert Band - Ella Tiene El Cabello Rubio [1970]
           single
    02. Los Buenos - Oh, Pretty Woman (Albert King cover) [1969]
           single
    03. Los Sirex - Yo Grito [1966]
           from four-track EP 'Los Sirex'
    04. Furia - Solamente Tú [1973]
           single
    05. Colores - Rompecabezas [1975]
           from ep 'Es Mejor Olvidarn'
    06. Clock - Hang On (Confía) [1971]
           single
    07. Armada - Cry [1972]
           single
    08. Darwin Teoría - De la Ceca a la Meca [1970]
           single
    09. Shock! - I Am Blind [1970]
           from album 'Shock!'
    10. Smash - Fail Safe [1971]
           from album 'We Come To Smash This Time'
    11. Franklin - What Is Wrong? [1973]
           from album 'Franklin I 1971 - 1973'
    12. Rockcelona - Queen, Friend And Dread [1979]
           from album 'La Bruja'
    13. Burning - I'm Burning (Estoy Ardiendo) [1975]
           from album 'Live at the European Pop Jury'
    14. Moon - ¿Por Qué os Portáis Así? [1978]
           single
    15. Crack - Descenso en el Mahellstrong [1979]
           from album 'Si Todo Hiciera Crack'
    16. Zarpa - Llega La Destrucción [1978]
           from album 'Los 4 Jinetes Del Apocalypsis'


    Albert Band
    Albert Band
    Catalonia's Albert Band made decent pop singles around 1968-1970, and for one they made a real belter called 'Ella Tiene El Cabello Rubio' (She has blonde hair). Amusingly this particular single was released on a label actually called "Belter"! In fact, Finders Keepers Records has made a comp of Belter singles called "Absolute Belter" (link). It would appear the band's name comes from singer, Albert Garriga. Albert Band appeared at the third "Festival internacional de la canción de Màlaga" in 1970, where you can see them in the program (link).


    Los Buenos
    Los Buenos
    On to similar pop band heaviness territory for the next track from Madrid's Los Buenos. Julián Granados (link) is the front man here, he was also in Los Angeles and The Brisks, as well as being a solo artist. Some other interesting links from this band: guitarist Johnny Galvao was in Aguaviva who appear in Vol49, bassist Ignacio Egaña made a solo LP in 1974 called "Karma", and keyboardist Rod Mayall was the half-brother of John Mayall. He moved to Spain after leaving Ivan's Meads. After Los Buenos he joined The Pipe from South America who played latin-flavoured rock. Read more about that here (link).




    Time for some 1966 fuzz from Barcelona's Los Sirex. At the end of 1960 the band consisted of Antoni Miquel Cerveró ("Leslie" or "L'Anxoveta") as lead vocalist, Lluís Gomis (Lluís Gomis de Prunera, 1944-2012, RIP) on drums, Josep Fontseré Portolés on the rhythm guitar, Guillermo Rodríguez Holgado on bass and Manolo Madruga on lead guitar. They named the band after a component of eyeglasses manufacture: Guillermo worked at his father's glasses factory. The first performance of Los Sirex was at a Barça football fan club (Penya barcelonista), followed by concerts at The Tropical in Castelldefels. Reportedly their daring lyrics caused them trouble with Spanish censorship. The band has occasionally reformed and played as recently as 2012.

    Another Barcelona group comes in at track four, Furia. They formed in 1970 from ex-members of a band called Los Gatos Negros, who themselves came from 'Catch As Catch Can' of the late '50s. Like Albert Band, Furia had some singles on Belter records. Furia were not a particularly heavy band but like many at that time you can find the goods on some of their B-sides, like "Solamente Tú" (Only you) included here. It has a chunky riff and a great freakout guitar solo.


    Next up is an extremely rare EP from a band called Colores. According to RYM (link) they were from Madrid, and included José Luis Ortega (keyboards), Manuel de Dios (guitar, vocals), Rafa Insúa (bass) and Rafa Ramos (drums). They made a four track EP around 1975 which is some good heavy prog / psych with hammond organ. It sounds a few years behind the times for 1975 but none the less it's solid and worth a listen, although it's rarity might make that hard as it goes for around €100. I used the track "Rompecabezas" in this comp, and here's another track from the EP, "Es Mejor Olvidar" (youtube).

    Clock had some singles out on the Barcelona label, Dimensión (link). This small label was responsible for a couple of other bands that have been used here in TDATS, Evolution and Cerebrum. Clock themselves were more of a pop band than heavy, but they made good music and B-side "Hang On" is a very groovy, brassy little number with some good heft, one for the dance floors indeed.




    There's almost no useful online information about Armada. They seem to have only made one single on the German Ariola label, but it's a good one, both sides. The heaviest cut is B-side "Cry" but the A-side "People (Summer Song)" (youtube) is fun too. The only snippet I have come across so far is that the band was started by one-time guitarist of Barcelona's Lone Star, Alex Sánchez. If you'd like to read some more in Spanish, there's a discussion board thread that mentions Alex and Armada here: Spanish / English autotranslation. It states that other than Lone Star, Alex was in groups Los Íberos, The Pipe, Los Zooms and The Food. I wonder if that is the same The Pipe mentioned above re: Los Buenos.

    Darwin Teoría (Darwin Theory) are up next, they had some singles on the Poplandia label (link), which distributed in Spain some European bands that have appeared here before, like Geordie and Shocking Blue. B-side "Hello Memories" (youtube) is a great piece of Mungo Jerry-like heavy pop and I have included here the A-Side "De la Ceca a la Meca" (From Pillar to Post) which has some awesome growling fuzz and wah guitar, the way we like it.

    Here is what the Spanish re-issue label Guerssen says about Shock!: "We are very excited to present what is for us a major discovery in the Spanish Psych-Prog collector scene: a previously unreleased album from 1970 by this obscure Spanish garage-psych band. Until now, Shock were a total mystery. They only released one 45 back at the time (the killer acid- fuzz punker "No se puede ser Superman")  (youtube) and nothing was known about the band...until we tracked them down.

    We discovered that prior to their 45 release, they recorded a whole album which was never released. Shock's music is underground garage- psychedelia with crude acid- fuzz guitar, effects, English vocals...think of Agua de Regaliz, early Pan & Regaliz, Cerebrum or even obscure Brazilian bands such as Tobruk but with a more primitive sound. The album features ten songs including the original versions of the two tracks later re- recorded for their only 45: "No se puede ser Superman" (titled here "I'm being mad", it's a different and superior English sung version) and "I want to laugh" (a longer version than the one included on the 45). Remastered from the original 2- track tape"

    Smash
    Smash
    Smash were a quality band from Seville who played a few different styles over two albums and could wig out with the best of them when they wanted, as "Fail Safe" shows. This is ten minutes of grungy punks letting loose and enjoying themselves, hypnotising the listener with with a relentless barrage of staccato riffing and stoned jamming. It's a real blast this one.

    Prog archives (link): "Spanish prog rock with flamenco sitar. Formed by the sitar / guitar player Gualberto in 1967. The band Smash recorded at the beginning of the seventies two classic rarities of psych / prog rock for Philips label ("Glorieta de los Lotos" in 1970 and "We Come To Smash This Time" in 1971) . The early death of the vocalist Julio Matito marked the end of the band's adventure. In itself, Smash's music has similarities with the Moody Blues and Vanilla Fudge's psychedelic mood. The flamenco touch is evident, applying on traditional "palos" (tarantos.) thanks to Manuel Molina's guitar style. In parallel the leader Gualberto has recorded a few progressive albums with Ricardo Mino, mixing Hindu music to conventional Spanish flamenco guitar works."

    Franklin were a late entry here after I saw a post in the TDATS fb group while I was finishing this. I'm glad it was posted as this is a killer track that mixes hard rock riffs and heavy psych to perfection. The El Cocodrilo label (link) released a double LP of all their recordings in 2007, the track I have used here is taken from the first-half LP of that, which is a collection of all their unreleased tracks pre-1973. The second LP is a complete unreleased 1974 album called Life Circle, that was recorded by an altered line-up and is more towards prog rock: "Franklin was one of the first underground groups in Spain, formed in the late '60s by several of the best musicians living in Madrid at the time.

    Founded in 1971 by Pablo Weeber and Antonio García de Diego (with Mariano Díaz on keyboards, M. A., Rojas on bass & Juan Cánovas on drums), backed by producers Maryní Callejo and Teddy Bautista. They released a single which included a brutal version of the Stones' Satisfaction that appeared in the Andergraun Vibrations 2 (link).

    In 1974, the group recorded a whole album which was unpublished until now; 'Life circle' is a concept album, much more prog-rock than their previous recordings. Conceptually, it has similarities with the Ciclos de Canarios (a group that had connections with them). Nine tracks full of guitar, minimoog, mellotron, keys and some experimental space and near the symphonic passages, all sung in English. They split-up in 1976."

    Continuing into heavier territory, "Queen, Friend And Dread" from Barcelona's Rockcelona hits you hard.The LP it's taken from is like this all the way through, it never lets up. This unique and timeless collision between punk, heavy metal and garage rock recorded in 1979 is a real gem for anyone out there who looks for the ultimate in unrelenting fuzz. The group was founded in 1977 by Alfredo Valcárcel, and recorded only one album called "La Bruja" (The Witch).

    The heavy metal continues with Madrid's Burning and another of the heaviest tracks here. This one really opens up like some prime NWOBHM which is surprising to say the least for a Spanish band in 1975. Burning was started in 1974 by José Casas ("Pepe Risi", guitar), Antonio Martin ("Toño Martin", vocals), Johnny Cifuentes (keyboards) Enrique Perez (bass) and Ernesto Estepa ("Tito" drums). In this grouping they recorded some singles including the song used here, and then started making albums in 1978, continuing to the present day. Although Burning began singing in English, they are regarded as one of the first Spanish hard rock bands to popularise singing in Spanish, which they did toward the late '70s.


    Moon was formed in Madrid in 1974 with Alberto Martin (guitar, vocals), Carlos Navascuas (bass) and Peter Martin (drums). Later Manolo Hernandez joined the band on vocals. Moon were in a movement of Spanish rock that became known as "Viva el Rollo !!" and they were included on a compilation record with that name (link). This important record helped spawn the likes of  famous bands like Leno, Asfalto, Bloque, Topo and Ñu toward the late '70s. The Moon track I have used here is a heavy single from 1978 with more NWOBHM -ish metal going on!


    A reprieve from the heaviness and into some prog. Crack came from Gijon, the northern part of the Iberian Peninsula. The members were Alex Cakrul (bass), Alberto Fontaneda (guitar, flute and vocals), Mento Heria (keybaords and vocals), Manda Jimenez (drums) and Rafael Rodriguez (guitar). Their only album "Si Todo Hiciera Crack" (1979) is one of the classics of Spanish progressive Rock. It contains seven tracks, all with a great harmony between keyboards, guitar and flute. There are hints of early Genesis and Jethro Tull.


    And to finish with some more heavy metal, we have Zarpa, from Valencia. Front man Vicente Feijóo is the only original member and they are still playing to this day. Their first LP "Los 4 Jinetes Del Apocalypsis", which was originally released on tape only, is one of the best of Spain's early heavy metal albums. It was finally remastered in 2006, before which few people had heard it due to it's rarity. Their most recent LP was "Bestias del Poder", only last year.

    Buenas Noches!
    Rich

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    Welcome to the sixth Nordic TDATS, after Denmark (Vol72), Sweden (Vol75), Norway (Vol81), Finland (Vol88) and the first one, (Vol28), which was a mix.

    Some time ago I discovered the heavy names that are generally known from the Nordic island country of Iceland; Trúbrot, Thor's Hammer, Óðmenn, Andrew, Icecross and Svanfridur. It's time to look further, and considering that in the seventies Iceland had a population of only 200-225 thousand, I found a pleasing amount of good stuff. Looking at the selection, this volume reminds me most of the Austrian volume [107]. Similarly to that one, I decided to flesh it out a bit by creeping up to the year 1981, the year of Iceland's very first heavy metal album from the band "Start". It's amazing that both countries produced a similar amount of good rock, considering that Austria had a population over seven million during the same period!

    As is often the case for countries that didn't have a lot of heavy rock in the seventies, and also was for Austria, Iceland's alternative music scene came alive in the punk and post-punk years. I have included a 1980 track from Þeyr's first release. They were a legendary post-punk band that were comparable to Joy Division or Killing Joke, they were also a launchpad for The Sugarcubes, where Björk made her name.

    Some honourable mentions go to notable Icelandic bands Náttúra, Hinn íslenski þursaflokkur, Eik, Spilverk Þjóðanna, Paradís, Mannakorn, Change, Stuðmenn, Þokkabót, Mezzoforte and Axel Einarsson's post-Icecross solo album. These range in styles including prog, folk, rock'n roll and fusion but they are not suitable for this blog's area of interest.

    The cover art for this one is a 1918 painting called "Skógarhöllin", by Icelandic artist Jóhannes Sveinsson Kjarval (wiki).

    Tracks

    01. Trúbrot - Am I Really Livin? (1971)
           from album '....Lifun'
    02. Thor's Hammer - I Don't Care (1966)
           from EP 'Umbarumbamba'
    03. Óðmenn - Betri Heimur (1970)
           from album 'Óðmenn'
    04. Andrew - Rockin an Rollin (1973)
           from album 'Woops'
    05. Jónas Og Einar - Gypsy Queen (1972)
           from album 'Gypsy Queen'
    06. Mánar - Söngur Satans (1971)
           from album 'Mánar'
    07. Pelican - Á Sprengisandi (1974)
           from album 'Uppteknir'
    08. Icecross - Jesus Freaks (1973)
           from album 'Icecross'
    09. Jóhann G. Jóhannsson - Sentimental Blues (1974)
           from album 'Langspil'
    10. Svanfridur - My Dummy (1972)
           from album 'What's Hidden There?'
    11. Trúbrot - I Know You'll Come (1969)
           from album 'Trúbrot'
    12. Þeyr - 555 (1980)
           from album 'Þagað Í Hel'
    13. Start - Hjonalif (1981)
           from album '...En Hún Snýst nú Samt'

    The Bands

    Trúbrot - Lifun LPCourtesy of Shadoks music (link) :- In 1969 Trúbrot was the first supergroup ever founded in Iceland. After the début album with vocalist Shady Owens, "....Lifun" is the second album released in 1970 without Shady on vocals. After a last concert in Iceland with the original line up they invited Led Zeppelin and became friends with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. When Jimmy and Robert returned to their hotel at four o’clock in the morning they were amazed to discover that the sun was still shining bright. The sight of the midnight sun, the snow capped glaciers and the Icelandic geysers apparently inspired them to write The Immigrant Song for the third Led Zeppelin album.

    Trúbrot 1969Trúbrot was very much influenced by the electric music of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and Led Zeppelin. They went to London to have Orange amplifiers custom-made for the band and to Copenhagen to record debut LP "Undir áhrifum" at the Wifoss Studio. The album became the best album of 1970. Really amazing male English vocals, great arrangements, guitars, organ. Psychedelic/Progressive Rock of the best kind, strongly influenced by the British underground. Tony Branwell of Apple Records said they were one of the two best bands he had seen perform on stage in the preceding six months.

    Thor's Hammer, or Hljómar, was an Icelandic rock band primarily active in the 1960s. Outside of Iceland, they are known among music collectors for their rare releases on Parlophone, sung in English and recorded in London for export. The most famous of these is the 1966 EP Umbarumbamba, regarded as one of the rarest released records in the world and known to fetch prices into the thousands when a copy surfaces. 


    Formed in Keflavik in 1963 under the name Hljómar (literally "Chords"), they soon became popular in Iceland at a time when local rock music was a rarity. By the mid-1960s they were recording in London on Parlophone Records for the international market. This record was recorded as a tie-in with a movie starring the band also entitled Umbarumbamba, but the film was not a success. From these sessions also came the singles "Once" and "If You Knew". The band even attempted a single entitled "Stay" in the United States on Columbia Records, which was produced by John Simon, known for his work with The Band and Big Brother and the Holding Company's album Cheap Thrills with Janis Joplin.

    Odmenn
    Odmenn (Óðmenn)
    Courtesy of Shadoks music (link) :- A selftitled album was the only one that Icelandic progressive rock trio Odmenn ever released. It was made at a critical point in Odmenn's history when the band members had agreed to take a sabbatical year while the guitarist studied law at the University of Iceland. They got together for the last time a year after the album was released and split up directly after having played only one gig. Odmenn was formed in early 1966 by the Johannsson brothers playing the most popular music clubs in Reykjavik. Most of Odmenn’s music could be categorised as protest songs or social studies, touching topics like anti-war protest and fights against pollution, greed and deception balanced with more positive stances like hope for a better world with love and eternal brotherhood. "Psychedelic guitar pieces had become their trademark". Odmenn recorded this double album in Copenhagen with a release late December 1970. Odmenn made a great impression with their blooming mixture of energetic blues rock and was probably one of the best progressive rock bands in Northern Europe. 15 great songs released as a double album.

    Andrew - Woops LP back
    Andrew - "Woops" LP
    back cover
    The "Woops" LP is the scarce original 1973 first and only release by Andrew, a band formed by Júlíus Agnarsson and Andri Örn Clausen, playing heavy experimental psychedelic, progressive and artistic rock. Ómar Óskarsson (bass, vocals) and Ásgeir Óskarsson (drums, vocals) were previously in Icecross. The record is listed in the Hans Pokora '1001 Record Collector Dreams' book as a 4 star "True Rarity". The album was recorded at Incognito and re-mixed at Morgan & Soundtek Studios. It was published by Najö Productions. The members of the band, alongside Júlíus and Andri are among others guitarist Björgvin Gíslason (from Náttúra and Pelican),  drummer Ásgeir Óskarsson (from Pelican and Icecross) and Egill Ólafsson (from Thursaflokkurinn and Spilverk Þjóðanna) on piano and vocals.

    Jónas og Einar
    Jónas og Einar
    Courtesy of icelandicmusic.com (link) :- Singer and flute player Jónas R. Jónasson and singer and guitar player Einar Vilberg Hjartarson had a short but very remarkable collaboration. Einar Vilberg became known as an extremely promising song writer and troubadour in 1970 and he had released a very promising EP with Pétur Kristjánsson and drummer Gunnar Jökull Hákonarson. Jónas and Einar got together in 1970 when Jónas left the band Náttúra. They rehearsed together for a while and got used to each others’ groove.

    The music they played was acoustic with a hippy feel to it and they sang in English, because they wanted to appeal to a broader market than Iceland. They were consequently invited to play at an international pop festival in Budokan, Japan.  They also released an album that was recorded partly in Sweden and partly in Iceland. The album sold well and received a lot of attention. After a few years collaboration the duet split up, Jónas turned to producing but Einar Vilberg commenced a solo career.  

    Mánar band
    Mánar
    Courtesy of icelandicmusic.com (link) :- The band Mánar was formed in Selfoss in 1967 by guitar players and singers Ólafur Þórðarson and Guðmundur Benediktsson who had played together in the trio Bimbó since they were 13 years old, drummer Ólafur Bachmann and bass player Stefán Ásgrímsson. Stefán soon left the band and was replaced by Björn Gíslason. In the summer of 1967, Arnór Þórhallsson sang with the band and bass player Smári Kristjánsson also played with them. Soon after that Guðmundur Benediktsson left and was replaced by organ player Björn Þórarinsson. Mánar recorded three songs in 1970 and two of them were released on a single the same year.

    Mánar
    After the album was released Ólafur Bachmann left the band and was replaced by Ragnar Sigurjónsson. That line up recorded two songs that were released on another single in 1970. Singer Mary McDowell sang with Mánar that summer. The band then wrote some songs for an LP. They got Gunnar Þórðarsson to assist them in the last rehearsals before they went on a trip to Denmark in November 1971 to record the album. In 1974, Mánar recorded two songs that were released on a compilation album and in 1975 the band split up.

    Courtesy of Grapevine.is (link) :- After a band called Pops, Pelican vocalist Pétur Kristjánsson did stints with Náttúra and Svanfríður. After Svanfríður died off in 1973, Pétur formed his most famous rock band, Pelican. Right from the beginning Pelican was a popular band and had a sweet sailing at the Icelandic ball scene. In 1974 the band went to Massachusetts, USA, to record an LP at the Shaggy Dog Studio, where the reformed band Hljómar had already recorded its ill-fated country rock opus Hljómar 1974. In America, Pelican got in contact with various biz-people, and for awhile it looked like Pelican would sign a record deal and hit the big time.



    In 1974, Pelican was the biggest band in Iceland. The first song from the debut album, “Jenny Darling”, was released on a single in the summer, a frisky number that went on to become Pétur’s signature song. The song was the hit of the summer and when the album “Uppteknir” (a word-play, that can mean both “Unpacked” and “Busy”—the album cover featured the band inside a sardine tin), came out in the fall. It became the best selling Icelandic album yet, shifting 11,000 units.

    I have used an instrumental track from Pelican's second album. "Á Sprengisandi" is an Icelandic folk song written by Grímur Thomsen (1820-1896). You can read more about it here.

    Icecross was formed in Copenhagen by a bunch of like-minded Icelandic hippies. In 1973 they made and self-released one of the most talked-about albums in the realms of obscure heavy rock. It is especially known for its doomy sounds and it's as fresh today as it was when it was recorded. "Jesus Freaks" is a Paean to self-empowerment and the band makes no bones about it's attitude to religion in it's Christian-bating lyrics. Icecross members were all deeply involved with other bands, including many of those appearing in this comp, this album leaves a great legacy and you can read more at www.icecross.net.

    Jóhann G. Jóhannsson Langspil LP
    Jóhann G. Jóhannsson
    Langspil LP
    Track nine is a diversion into blues from an artist who did not otherwise make heavy music, it's a great song that fits nicely into this set, from a singer-song writer. Johann G. Johannsson was born in 1947 in Keflavik, Iceland. He is one of the most productive of Iceland´s songwriters. He is the author of hundreds of songs, of which more than two hundred have been recorded by various artists. He has composed music in many genres such as rock, pop, R&B and progressive rock. He stared a career as a musician back in 1966 as a singer and bassist.

    Svanfrídur
    Svanfrídur
    Courtesy of Shadoks music (link) :- The Icelandic prog-rock band Svanfrídur released only one album, recorded six months after they played their first gig. This short-lived band rapidly rose to fame, receiving rave reviews for live performances, but in fact their music was way ahead of its time. They were unable to seal a recording contract so they formed their own label - Swan Records. When the album 'What’s Hidden There?' was released in autumn 1972 it got mixed reviews and sold only a few hundred copies, leaving the band with a great album but sadly not the income they had been hoping for. Recorded at London’s Majestic Studios the album was cut and pressed in England. Perhaps one of the best heavy prog / underground albums from Scandinavia with amazing guitar and all-English vocals. Would have been a famous and successful album on Decca UK.

    Þeyr
    Þeyr
    Courtesy of Wikipedia (link) :- Þeyr was a renowned Icelandic new wave band from the early 1980s. Shrouded under a veil of mystery, their three-year existence was characterized by a deep interest in ancient wisdom. Þeyr helped bring about the new wave movement in Iceland and became one of the first Icelandic bands to be known abroad.

    The origins of Þeyr date back to the late 1970s when singer Magnús Guðmundsson, bassist Hilmar Örn Agnarsson and Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson (drums and synthesizer) were playing in a garage band called Fellibylur (Hurricane). The band was expanded with vocalist Elín Reynisdóttir, who at the time was singing at a church choir, guitarist Jóhannes Helgason from a rock band called Piccolo, and drummer Sigtryggur Baldursson from Hattimas.

    They called themselves Frostrósir (Frostroses) and played rock music and some Icelandic songs at dancehalls in Reykjavík and its surroundings. After a while they decided to change the band’s name and came up with Þeyr, which was drawn from a poem by Skuggi and it means Wind or Thaw in old Icelandic. Þeyr is exactly pronounced as þeir, which means they (male gender). They had a lot of association with English band Killing Joke, at one time Killing Joke front man Jaz Coleman moved to Iceland to collaborate. After Þeyr ended, drummer Sigtryggur Baldursson started The Sugarcubes, who had international fame.

    Start En Hún Snýst Nú Samt
    "… En Hún Snýst Nú Samt was Start's only album, released in 1981 and includes their local Icelandic hit “Sekur” (youtube). Singer Eiríkur Hauksson later went on to front the Norwegian hair metal band Artch. While it is regarded by some as Iceland's first heavy metal album, it is more "hard rock/pop with a metal image" to my ears, but it does have some elements of commercial metal of the times, along with the associated slick production approach, on a par with anything else from around the world. With it's boogie-rock basis, the track "Hjonalif" I used here demonstrates the best of the band along with “Sekur”.

    Takk og góða nótt!
    Rich

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    Adrian and Paul Gurvitz had influential but largely unsung careers in British hard rock in the '60s and '70s. Here are some of the best tracks associated with them, from albums by bands such as Gun, Three Man Army, Baker Gurvitz Army and others that you may be less acquainted with.

    The prime Gurvitz Brothers bands of interest for us here at TDATS were Gun and Three Man Army, being the hardest-rocking. I have used tracks from both those bands previously, so here I have tried to avoid repetition and picks from just those band's albums, there are so many good ones and it would be too easy! So, I have used a lot of non-album singles and related bands such as 'Parrish & Gurvitz', The Knack and The Buddy Miles Band. Hopefully there'll be enough of interest here to keep you listening, even if you already know Gun and Three Man Army well!

    A small mp3 audio file of a recent radio interview with Paul Gurvitz is included with this comp. A written interview with Paul is also included at the end of this article, courtesy of ItsPsychedelicBaby.

    TRACKS
    01. Three Man Army - My Yiddishe Mamma (1973)
           from album 'Mahesha'
    02. Three Man Army - Hold On (1973)
           from album 'Mahesha'
    03. Gun - Runnin' Wild (1970)
           single
    04. Three Man Army - What's My Name (1971)
           from album 'A Third Of A Lifetime'
    05. Three Man Army - Travellin' (1971)
           single
    06. Gun - Race With The Devil (1968)
           from album 'Gun'
    07. The Knack - Who'll Be The Next In Line [Kinks cover] (1965)
           from album 'Time Time Time - The Complete UK Singles (and more) 1965-1967'
    08. Gun - Drives You Mad (1969)
           single
    09. The Buddy Miles Band - L.A. Resurrection (1973)
           from album 'Chapter VII'
    10. Three Man Army - Jubilee (1974)
           from album 'Three Man Army Three' (released 2005)
    11. Parrish & Gurvitz - Another Time Another Day (1971)
           from album 'Parrish & Gurvitz'
    12. Gun - Situation Vacant (1969)
           from album 'Gun Sight'
    13. The Baker Gurvitz Army - Hearts On Fire (1976)
           from album 'Hearts On Fire'
    14. Three Man Army - In My Eyes (1974)
           from album 'Three Man Army Two'


    Gun debut LP 1968
    Gun debut s/t LP 1968
    Gun were an influential English hard rock band, and one of the very first. Everyone knows about their classic 1968 top ten single, "Race with the Devil" (youtube), it has been covered ever since by famous and underground acts, right up to modern bands like Church Of Misery. The Gun was a development of guitarist Paul Gurvitz's The Knack (prev. The Londoners, formed 1963). Paul's father was road manager for The Shadows so he had a good introduction to rock and The Londoners had already played in France and Hamburg's Star Club by the time they settled in London, becoming The Knack, then in 1966, "The Gun". Soon after they were playing at the UFO Club, supporting names such as Pink Floyd, Arthur Brown and Tomorrow.

    Gun - Gunsight 1969
    Gun - Gun Sight 1969
    By 1968 Paul's brother Adrian had joined on guitar, himself having already cut his teeth with acts such as Rupert's People (see Vol70) and pre-T2 bands Please Bulldog Breed (see vols 27 & 74). Gun recorded two albums and they honed their hard rock elements further on the second LP, Gun Sight, which the track appearing here, 'Situation Vacant', is taken from. After Gun the Gurvitz brothers were in more bands together, including the excellent Three Man Army (prev. in Vol46) and Baker Gurvitz Army with Ginger Baker, as well as separate projects. Adrian and Paul also played on both Graeme Edge Band albums in the latter half of the seventies, with Paul on production duties too.

    Adrian Gurvitz started playing guitar at the age of 8 and by age 15, he was touring in early bands like Screaming Lord Sutch, Billie Davis, and Crispian St. Peters. In 1967 he briefly joined Rupert’s People, who had a minor-hit single, 'Reflections of Charlie Brown'. It charted at 13 in Australia and made the Top 40 in the UK. Just before The Gun formed, Paul joined an even shorter-lived version of Rupert's people too.


    Paul Gurvitz - Adrian Gurvitz - Louis Farrell

    Adrian has gained notability as a lead guitarist, known for his screaming, intricate, hard-driving solos. He was placed at No. 9 in Chris Welch of Melody Maker's "Best Guitarist in the World" list. There's no doubt that he and his brother's powerful style heralded heavy metal right at its birth. Since playing in hard rock bands, Adrian (and brother Paul) were key players in the disco/funk informed soft rock of The Graeme Edge Band. The music, although well-played, is not suitable for this blog so doesn't feature in the comp. It pointed the way for Adrian's solo work from 1979 into the eighties. Adrian also continued as a producer and film score writer. He worked on the hugely successful soundtrack to the The Bodyguard and has recently worked with Ziggy Marley.

    Paul Gurvitz in BGA
    Paul Gurvitz in BGA
    After the demise of The Baker Gurvitz Army, Paul produced and played on his brother's solo albums, and went to the US in 1985 to work as a songwriter / producer. He wrote for bands such as Five Star, Jody Watley, The Fat Boys, The Cover Girls, Stanley Clarke and others. In 2002 he returned as a solo artist and continues to record his own albums. He has started country-rockers The New Army band in recent years, where he now lives in Arizona. He did an interview with PsychedelicBaby in 2011, and his website is paulgurvitz.com (link).





    You can listen to a recent US radio interview with Paul Gurvitz here:




    The Knack becomes The Gun

    With the departure of long time band mate Brian Morris from The Knack, guitarist Paul Curtis (aka Paul Gurvitz) made a radical change and The Knack became The Gun.

    Gun went through many line up changes (Yes vocalist Jon Anderson was even with the band briefly) until they got their first break playing shows with T Rex and Pink Floyd on the London underground scene. "We were playing a lot at The Speakeasy which was a very fashionable club at the time," Paul recalls. "There you would stand shoulder to shoulder with people whose music is still played all over the world today, The Beatles, Brian Jones of the Stones, Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy, Jimi Hendrix and Keith Moon of The Who, just to name a few".

    By the middle of 1968, Gun became a power trio. Paul had taken over bass and left the guitar to his brother Adrian, who was by this time becoming quite a talent. The drums meanwhile were still handled by Louis Farrell (prev. in The Knack). Famous jazz musician Ronnie Scott, had just formed a management company and signed them as his first band. Shortly afterwards they were signed by CBS, and by the end of the year they were at the top of the European charts with 'Race With The Devil', included here. Although the single bares the hallmarks of psychedelic pop of the times, with it's big-sounding production and orchestration, there is also the beginnings of hard rock and heavy metal bubbling bellow the surface, powered by Adrian's blistering guitar leads.

    A self-titled debut LP appeared the same year and a second LP came in 1969 called Gun Sight. Included here is a track from Gun Sight called 'Situation Vacant'. It has the searing leads and aggression of Race With The Devil, but not so much of the pop production, which also defines the heavier sound of Gun Sight in general. In my opinion this is a very early hard rock album that deserves to be compared with the earliest work of Deep Purple, Vanilla Fudge and Iron Butterfly as some of the very first heavy metal.


    The Army Advances

    After Gun had backfired, the brothers Gurvitz took time out in America. Adrian hooked up with Buddy Miles, while Paul worked with former Londoners band mate Brian Morris, who had changed his name to Brian Parrish. They began writing new songs and were introduced to legendary producer George Martin, who signed them to his label, Regal Zonaphone. They recorded the album Parrish & Gurvitz and toured in support of it throughout the US, according to Paul a second LP was recorded but never released. I have included the great opening track from the album here, 'Another Time Another Day'. The rest of the band included past and future members of bands such as Badger, Spooky Tooth, The Only Ones, Cochise, Roxy Music, Foreigner, Small Faces and Ian Dury's Blockheads. After little label support the project split and the backing band went on to join Peter Frampton.

    Three Man Army
    A Third Of A Lifetime cover
    Before Parrish & Gurvitz finished, Paul had begun working on new material with his brother. The brothers had only just returned to the UK in the early '70s when they teamed up again to write and record the debut Three Man Army album, 'A Third of A Lifetime'. This album was released by Pegasus Records in 1971. Most of the songs were rehearsed in the studio before being recorded. The brothers had a predilection for working with first class drummers, and this album featured no less than three with Buddy Miles (Band Of Gypsys), Mike Kellie (Spooky Tooth) and Carmine Appice (Beck Bogard & Appice, Vanilla Fudge). I have used the track 'What's My Name' from this album. Three Man Army was clearly a development from Gun, Adrian and Paul's song-writing and playing was less psychedelic and decidedly more blues-based hard rock, the riffs are often heavy and fast but every song is infused with melody too, with a noticeable hint of southern rock. Maybe from Paul's love of Allman Brothers. Two of my favourite tracks from their catalogue are Butter Queen (youtube) and Pole Cat Woman (youtube), which always go down well on the dance floor. The brothers set the blueprint with this album, all three released albums from Three Man Army are very consistent and I recommend them all equally, although they really turned of the heaviness for the third one, 'Three Man Army Two'.

    Mahesha
    The band's second release, 'Mahesha' (In the US known simply as 'Three Man Arm'), came out on the Warner Bros-owned label Reprise in 1973. Drummer Tony Newman (Rod Stewart Group, May Blitz, Boxer, David Bowie), a sought-after session man who could be heard on many of the hits singles at the time, was added. Newman became a permanent member of the Army, which now allowed the band to play live and promote Mahesha in the US. "The first tour we did was with the Doobie Brothers and the second was with the Beach Boys. Not necessarily acts with which we had much in common", Paul recalls. "However, Warner Bros. thought it would be a good thing". From this album I have used the two opening tracks. 'My Yiddishe Mamma' is a stately instrumental build-up to 'Hold On'. This is not the same as the Hold On that Rupert's People played, but maybe it was an inspiration.

    Three Man Army Two
    A year later and the band were recording their third album. This one was heavier than the previous two and the title caused some confusion - 'Three Man Army Two'. Paul clarifies the reason behind the choice. "It was the second album for Warner Bros." Perhaps another interpretation could be that it may have been subconsciously influenced by the fact that it was the Second record to feature the line up of Gurvitz, Gurvitz and Newman. This would help to explain the subsequently titled release 'Three Man Army Three'. I have used the track 'In My Eyes' from this album, which is probably the heaviest album the Gurvitz bros ever made, and should be right at the top of your shopping list!

    Buddy Miles - Chapter VII
    Adrian lent his considerable guitar skills to other artists during these times. He recorded and toured with The Buddy Miles Band, for the album "Chapter VII" which was released in 1973.

    Buddy's career began drumming for Wilson Picket when, at age 19, he was inducted into the original line-up of seminal Chicago blues soul rockers The Electric Flag. He also played in Hendrix's Band Of Gypsys.

    The credits on Chapter VII were: Ron Johnson (bass and guitar), Adrian Curtis (guitar) and Buddy Himself on drums, vocals, organ, and guitar. As you probably guessed, Curtis is Gurvitz, the brother's real surname is Gurvitz but they would sometimes use Curtis, especially during their early careers and on various projects like Chapter VII, inspired to do so after their father had himself legally changed to it. Adrian's brother Paul explains: "When my parents divorced my father changed his name to Curtis from Gurvitz and at the time I thought that Curtis was more rock n' roll than Gurvitz". As mentioned earlier, Buddy and Adrian's friendship had started just after Gun finished, and Buddy played drums for some tracks on Three Man Army's first LP.

    Three Man Army Three cover
    Three Man Army had toyed with the idea of doing a rock opera (working title 'Three Days To Go') and they had recorded a few demos for the project. Paul recently rediscovered these demos and remastered them. From these sessions, nine tracks are featured on 'Three Man Army Three'. A collection of previously unreleased materials that has been captured with good sound quality and released in 2005. A good example of this is the track 'Jubilee', which is included here and features drummer Lee Baxter Hayes. When asked who this 'mystery' drummer was performing on the track, Paul laughs and says, "He was a roadie of ours with, let's say with average skills as a drummer, and we let him play. It was just for fun".

    Tony Newman
    When Tony Newman left the band to play with David Bowie, the brothers Gurvitz hooked up with Ginger Baker and changed their name to the Baker Gurvitz Army. Baker was considered the ultimate rock drummer at the time, known for his work with Blind Faith and obviously Cream. The band's three albums definitely sounded different to Three Man Army, and Baker's drumming was always impressive, but they do not do much for me and are more a display of good drumming and technically proficient but commercial soft rock. With that sound the band entered the US and UK charts in 1974. Two consecutive albums followed as the band expanded their line up from a trio to a quintet with singer Mr. Snips (aka Stephen Alfred Wilson Parsons - ex-Sharks and later new wave solo artist). When their manager Bill Fahelli died in a plane crash, a dispute with the management company forced BGA to part ways.

    Baker Gurvitz Army -
    Hearts On Fire (1976)
    Of the three BGA albums, my pick is the last one, 'Hearts On Fire' (1976). It is not as good as any of the Three Man Army LPs but it has more rocking tracks than he previous two and the title track which I include here is great, if a little short!

    The last rock albums that the Gurvitz Brothers played on for a while were the pair of Graeme Edge Band LPs soon after, that were unfortunately rather more lackluster than Baker Gurvitz Army. Unfortunately for heavy-heads, that was the absolute end of the Gurvitz Brothers' forays into hard rock, but by all accounts they made a lot more money for themselves in later pursuits as writers / producers. We can't blame them for doing that and we can't complain about the great set of Gun and Three Man Army albums they left us!


    Paul Gurvitz interview

    Many thanks to Klemen Breznikar for allowing me to reproduce parts of his 2011 Paul Gurvitz interview here! Klemen runs a great blog/zine over at psychedelicbaby.blogspot.co.uk


    Q. Hi Paul. Firstly I would like to ask you about your childhood. What were your main influences at that time, beside Buddy Holly and Elvis.

    Paul: I used to listen to a lot of American artist's when I was growing up as there were only a few English ones that I found exciting, around the late 60's I would listen to Santana, Buffalo Springfield, Spirit, The Allman Brothers, Zappa.


    Q. Your first band was called The Londoners. You played gigs around London and you also went to Germany.Can you tell us more?

    Paul: Actually the Londoners never really played in London other than when we were the backing group for Gene Vincent, The Londoners played mostly in Germany and France.


    Q. From Germany you went back to London. You were no longer called The Londoners. Changing your name to The Knack, were there also any changes in lineup? You recorded a few singles for Pye and for Decca. Your first release was 'Who'll Be The Next In Line / She Ain't No Good', right? Can you tell me more about The Knack.

    Paul: The Knack was a continuation of The Londoners. There were a few different members, on bass was Gearie Kenworthy, on organ was Tim Mycroft (who is the first of the family tree to have passed away and on drums was Topper Clay, and I played rhythm guitar. The Knack played mostly in London and around England.


    Q. In early 1968 you started Gun. You released a debut album in same year, which I think it is a true masterpiece and one of the first heavy albums from that era. You also had a mega hit called Race With The Devil. Can you tell me about it? Who made the cover art? I just love it.

    Paul: The Gun was a continuation of The Knack with different members. The first Gun was Tim Mycroft on organ, Gearie Kenworthy on bass, Louie Farrel on drums, and I played rhythm guitar and lead vocals. Actually I started playing as The Gun in late 67. In early 68 there were more changes, Jon Anderson was the lead singer and my brother joined on guitar, then it changed again, Anderson left so did Tim mycroft, and then Gearie Kenworthy and that's when we became The Gun that made the albums. I was now playing bass and Adrian on guitar and Louie on drums.

    Race With The Devil was our first hit and was recorded at CBS in London on an 8 track recorder. We were managed at that time by the famous jazz player Ronnie Scott and rehearsed in his club. During the time we were rehearsing there was a guy painting murals on the club walls and we asked him if he would like to do the artwork of the cover. His name was Roger Dean who later did all the Yes albums and many more but The Gun was his first. As far as touring we spent time in France, Germany, Italy and England.


    Q. In 1969 you started to record a second album, called Gun Sight. There were lineup changes, right? Drummer Peter Dunton came from Bulldog Breed to join your band. Can you tell me more about that?

    Paul: I don't remember much about that. I know Peter Dunton played on some tracks, but never really joined the band although there were some publicity pics with him. Most of the second album was Louie Farrell, later Goeff Britton played drums and toured with us. He later joined Wings.


    Q. What went wrong with Gun after the second album? Your brother went to the US to record with Buddy Miles. After that you and Brian Parrish released one album called Parrish & Gurvitz. Slowly after that a new band was born. Three Man Army. What can you tell me about this legendary trio with you Adrian and Tony Newman on drums? You released 3 albums from 1970 to 1974.

    Paul: I was recording a solo album for CBS and then decided to join up with Parrish. Three Man Army was an extention of Gun but with a lot of different drummers such as Buddy Miles, Mike Kelly (Spooky Tooth) Carmin Appice (Vanilla Fudge). The band was just a recording band at the time as Adrian and I were playing in different bands but we intended to make Three Man Army a touring band later and when Adrian finished with Buddy Miles.  Parrish & Gurvitz, after making 2 albums with George Martin (of Beatles fame), decided to pack it in and that's when Tony Newman joined and Three Man Army was born. The second album Mahesha and Three Man Army Two were both with Tony Newman.

    We recorded often at the Who's studio and toured the US with The Doobie Brothers and The Beach Boys. We did some TV and there is an album of unreleased material called Three Man Army Three and can be purchased at http://wetworldmusic.com/


    Paradise Ballroom
    Q. During that period you started another project with The Moody Blues drummer Graeme Edge. Soon after that two albums were released. Please tell me more about that project.

    The two albums with Graeme Edge were just studio albums. The Moody Blues were taking a break and doing their individual projects. The artwork was by Joe Petagno (Motorhead sleeves etc.) also Three Man Army Two, the second album Paradise Ballroom was recorded in London and Memphis, they have both been reissued recently on The Acerteric label.


    Q. Tony Newman left Three Man Army and you started a new band called Baker Gurvitz Army. How did you meet with Ginger Baker?

    Paul: Three Man Army was back from the U.S. and Tony Newman was offered a gig with David Bowie and we suggested he took it. Three Man Army had an album ready to record, but no drummer. We met Ginger in The Speakeasy one night and he said he wanted to join the band and the rest is history. That album became the first BGA album. The band toured the UK and America and recorded somehow two more albums. There have been many live albums released since the demise of the band also on wetworldmusic.com. You will find BGA 'Still Alive' which includes a DVD.


    Q. In 1976 you released last Baker Gurvitz Army album, called Hearts on Fire. What happened next?

    Paul: After the recording of Hearts On Fire our manager was killed in a plane crash and the band split. Adrian pursued solo projects and I produced them.


    Q. Then came the 80's and you were involved with a lot of projects.

    Paul: The 80's was a whole new era for me with my music. I went from playing and creating hard rock to writing pop r&b for many artists which you will find on my website paulgurvitz.com


    Q. In 2002 you released album No Gun - No Army and in 2005 you released Rated PG album. What can you say about that?

    Paul: No Gun No Army was just a release of demo's rated. PG was more a project than No Gun No Army. I make the albums more for other artist's to record the songs.


    Q. In 2010 you released the album 'Sweetheart Land'. How do you feel about it?

    Paul: I liked Sweetheart Land. Gave me chance to switch my style a bit to more country / rock.


    Thanks Paul!

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    Heavy metal continued to evolve in the mid-seventies with bands like Rush, Thin Lizzy, Scorpions, UFO, Judas Priest and Rainbow upping the ante on each record. All the facets of those cutting-edge bands can be found among the lesser-known and never-known US bands I have included on this volume; grand fantastical themes, guitar harmonies, galloping riffs and histrionic power metal vocals included. Included here are a few conversations I've had with band members of Alkana, Axxe, Squadran and Tyranny.

    The UK, and also Germany, were responsible for many of the famous technically-accomplished and speedy metal bands in the latter-half 1970s, but it was happening everywhere else too. American underground metal was exploding in popularity, bands were getting heavier and more skilled, Van Halen broke through were Montrose didn't do so well. The world's focus didn't fall upon many of them, most would sign to regional record labels and only have local success, Ohio's Left End was a good early US example of this, surely they were good enough for the world stage.

    Others only made private pressings for gigs and friends, destined to go no further than the shelves of local fans and later, those of avid record collectors. The efforts of reissue labels, and more recently the powers of internet exposure, have thankfully made it easy for everyone to now appreciate how good some of those records are!

    If you are particularly interested in this one, you might like to check out the US A.O.R. metal volume Forced Landing (Vol91), or the NWOBHM-inspired volumes, Dreams & Screams (Vol121) and The New Order (Vol67).

    TRACKS
    01. Squadran - The Wall (1979)
           from the Fly Away 7"
    02. Granmax - Mistress Of Eternity (1978)
           from album 'Kiss Heaven Goodbye'
    03. Alkana - Paradise (1978)
           from album 'Welcome To My Paradise'
    04. Asia - Law Of The Land (1978)
           from album 'Asia'
    05. Blitz - Lady Lightning Fingers (1978)
           from the Blitz EP
    06. Axxe - Through The Night (1978)
           from the Rock Away The City 7"
    07. Impeccable - Traces Of Time (1978)
           from album 'Live On The Rox'
    08. Dave Feinstein - Midnight Lady (1978)
           from the Midnight Lady 7"
    09. Marcus - Gypsy Fever (1976)
           from album 'Marcus'
    10. Midnight - Into The Pit (1977)
           from album 'Into The Night'
    11. Tyranny - Rockit (1979)
           from the Tyranny / Infinity 7"
    12. Infinity - She Ain't Comin' Back (1979)
           from the Tyranny / Infinity 7"
    13. Constellation - You Don't Know (1978)
           from album 'Constellation'
    14. Yesterday And Today - Dreams Of Egypt (1978)
           from album 'Struck Down'


    Squadran

    Squradran - Fly Away / The Wall 7"
    Squadran opens up this set with a stunning track, "The Wall". The first time I heard it, from 1979, I was floored at how it presented a well-formed speed/thrash metal sound a few years before such things had appeared anywhere else, that I know of at least. Drummer Mike Gandia (links 1,2) was later in an unsigned New York band called Cathedral (link), which supported Aerosmith in 1984. He has been in many bands and a session drummer ever since, working with some of the best including Ozzy himself.

    I managed to contact Mike recently and asked him about "The Wall", telling him it sounds like "Slayer in 1979" and asking him if he realised at the time that they were doing something very new.

    He said this: "Ha Ha! We did that record in one session back when you had to actually play every part correctly. When we did that record no one had done that style yet and we had no clue that we stumbled into a new genre of music. We played locally and did very well but no one would sign the band because this style of music was not popular yet. We were told we had to be more commercial and we wanted no part of that so eventually we broke up and within two years Anthrax and Manowar were calling asking about me playing with them while I was on tour supporting Aerosmith, and Heavy Metal was born.

    Squadran promo shot, 1984 lineup
    (l-r) Eric Klaastad, Mike Gardia
    Mike Ray, Keith Brazil
    Squadran just missed the boat. We where ahead of our time. We were contacted by Ozzy to be his band after he was fired from Sabbath. We auditioned for him all day and he loved us but said we were too young and unknown for him. He needed known people. About a month later he found Randy Rhoads. We were always told we sound too much like Black Sabbath on speed. We had many slower songs also. We where all into Sabbath/Rainbow and Judas Priest before Priest was really famous.

    Squadran to this day gets respect from all over the world from Australia to Greece to England and Germany too. The single is still selling.

    Thank you for your kind words and interest in my favorite band I have ever played with… I was only 20 years old then and now I've played with over 30 bands. It make's us feel good to know people still like us. Thank You!"

    Squadran at Gildersleeves in NY (link)
    (l-r) Eric Klaastad (bass), Mike (drums), Keith Brazil (vocals) and Randy Young (gtr)


    Granmax


    Granmax's "Mistress Of Eternity" has a great galloping pace with fantasy lyrics, and "Prince Of The Southern Ice" is also good, evoking wide vistas of ice-covered oceans and victorious princes. Lead singer Nick Christopher (aka Chaz Nikias) gives us his best power metal histrionics and in general "Kiss Heaven Goodbye" is a big step away from this Missouri four-pieces's boogie / hard rock debut LP, "A Ninth Alive" (1976), in my opinion an improvement. The band sounds more confident and more composed, the production is improved too.



    Alkana

    Alkana 1978
    According to The Acid Archives, "Danney Alkana was formerly with Cock Robin, a California band that at times featured Misunderstood legend Glenn Ross Campbell. As something of a guitar maestro, he later had some success on the classical-inspired metal guitar circuit and released and album called "Rock the Bach" in 1999."

    The Alkana album "Welcome To My Paradise" is an impressive array of inventive and textured hard rock / metal which can be as melodic and atmospheric as it can be fast and heavy. The production is great, Danney really let loose with his double-tracked guitars and his harmonised leads are all over it, but tracks like "Paradise" and "Montezuma's Sweet Revenge" are also speedy, chugging riff-fests. The rest of the band was singer Jack Rucker (later known as "Damien King I" in Warlord mk.1), Craig Williams (bass) and Don Mclaughlin (drums), they were based in San Bernardino, CA.

    Q. Hi Danney. Why did you become a guitarist?

    Danney: "I started playing piano at four years old, and I loved playing classical. After that, the Beatles came along, and I got heavy into drums and I kind of got lost in pop music. At age fourteen I was still a drummer but got into playing guitar. I was over at a friends house and I heard Jeff Beck's Truth album. I told my friend then and there I was going to get a guitar, there was just something about the album that I absolutely loved. I had a guitar within a week. I never forgot classical music. It's just something that's part of me, especially the Baroque era."


    Q. How did you get Alkana band together?

    Danney: "Craig Williams (bass) and I had played together in another band for two or three years. Don Mclaughlin (drums) we found 30 miles away from where we lived. The three of us rehearsed until we were tight and then put an ad in the paper for a singer and auditioned four or five before Jack Rucker joined".


    Alkana rear cover
    Q. The album sounds to me like impressively advanced heavy metal, more like the eighties than 1978. What would you say to that?

    Danney: "The guitar riffs and the harmonized guitar parts I don't know where they came from to be honest. I had done a single perhaps five years before as a stand-in musician or better said studio musician. So when I got in the studio to do my own album I kind of felt like I should have free reign so I did whatever I felt. Why it sounds advanced for its time I don't know, it was just the mood I was in at the time."


    Q. What bands in heavy metal and hard rock were you listening to at the time that might have been an influence to you?

    Danney: "The bands I was listening to at the time were all English bands. Jeff Beck, Robin Trower, UFO, Deep Purple, Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow."


    Q. Seeing as the band is named after you, I guess you were the main ideas person/writer, is that correct?

    Danney: "Yes that's correct, I wrote all the tunes on the album but the title track, I gave credit to Craig Williams who came up with the base line, and I wrote the music around it."


    Q. How was the album received?

    Danney: "The reception to Welcome to my Paradise was quite good. It had airplay in several cities in the US. I never knew the quantity of sales exactly. Obviously since we are playing to 3, 4 and 5000 seat venues and filling them every night I imagine it's sold fairly well. I was interviewed several times and enjoyed them all. Although it wasn't an interview I would have to say my favorite piece of press was for the time we played the swing auditorium which was a 10,000 seater. My father never saw me play but was so proud of the newspaper write up on the band he went out and bought several newspapers and sent me the clippings of the write up. I did have an extensive interview a few years ago from Greece, I think the interview lasted a good two hours but I don't know what happened to the write up."

    Q. What happened with Alkana, did you play live much or play with any other bands? Why did it split up?

    Danney: We played several venues, most of them as headliners and a couple as the opening act. I left the band because we got tied up in a lawsuit when my manager hit the president of our department in the mouth trying to renegotiate a contract with MCA. This was quite discouraging for the rest of the band and myself and I decided if I moved on and made a new lineup things would get better. The lawsuit lasted for years but eventually in my new band Excalibur we were offered a contract with CBS London, but my co-writer & collaborator left the band. I felt at that time I wasn't going to allow anybody else to deny me my destiny so I quit the music business and joined the straight world and became a businessman.

    True to his roots, when Danney delved back into music fourteen years after Excalibur, he used his multi-instrumental talents on a neo-classical record called "Rock the Bach" (link), for which he was personally congratulated and praised by Steve Vai.


    Asia

    Asia 1978
    Not to be confused with the British "Asia", South Dakota's Asia made two LPs of heavy progressive rock and hard rock. They have an epic, regal quality to many of the songs, somewhat reminiscent of the kind of atmosphere conjured up by Led Zep's No Quarter or Kashmir for instance. They evolved from White Wing with members Michael English on vocals and multi-instrumentalist Mike Coates. Asia achieved some success playing the club circuit in the more urban areas of the upper Midwest. Their self-titled debut was recorded in two sessions at ASI studios in Minneapolis in 1978 and was privately released the same year.


    Blitz

    Blitz EP 1978
    Blitz was an amateur Texas band playing heavy metal. They made a four track EP, sometimes in the style of the NWOBHM. The band was quite sloppy and the writing is not so great, but this is what you might expect from a debut self-made record that was probably designed to hand out at gigs etc. 'Lady Lightning Fingers' included here is quite obviously imitating a vocal section of Rob Halford's in Judas Priest's "Victim Of Changes", but it makes for an interesting listen as an example of such English metal having an influence in the US.


    Axxe & Impeccable

    Axxe - Rock Away The City /
    Through The Night 7" (1978)
    Another Texas band follows, Axxe, later named Impeccable. Featuring the guitar skills of Darren Welch, from the city of Lubbock. Members were Darren, Morris Payne (drums), Richard Rico (bass) and Don Allison (vox). Axxe went from 1977-79, and Impeccable a few years longer than that. Don wrote the lyrics, Darren wrote the music. The 1978 Axxe single has a decent slab of country-fried hard rock 'n' roll for the a-side, but the b-side "Through The Night" is where the metal action is, and what a great track it is. Darren's guitar dominates the whole thing, he has total mastery over rhythm and leads, it all flows so naturally and is complemented by Don Allison's intense high-pitched vocals. Here I have included the Axxe track, and an Impeccable track from the "Live On The Rox" LP.


    Impeccable (l-r)
    Morris Payne (d), Donnie Allison (v)
    Richie Rico (b), Darren Welch (g)
    Here's is what Darren told me recently. "The band formed in late 1976. Bassist Richard Rico, drummer Morris Payne and myself had been jamming in bedrooms, garages, storage units etc. We needed a vocalist and finally found a guy called Brent Haynie. He was actually a folkie into Neil Young, John Prine, Willis Allen Ramsey, Cat Stevens etc whereas we were listening to stuff like Sabbath, Zep, Deep Purple, Moxy, Wiggy Bits, Budgie, Scorpions, Hendrix, Johnny Winter, ZZ Top, Trapeze, Ted Nugent and Rush. That group was called Live Wire.

    Haynie sang in a high register so he could sing a lot that stuff, but eventually his folk roots won out and he departed. A friend of a friend recommended Don Allison, so we contacted him and began jamming and writing, then performing. We changed the band name to Axxe, recording the single in a friend's living room and eventually, after doing several shows with Budgie, changing our name again to Impeccable, after the Budgie album. Impeccable released a live album, "Live on The Rox" in '78. You can download it on the net, or find it on Ebay. We were aged just 16 to 18. The guitar is horrendous! But it was what it was."

    Me: I don't quite agree with the guitar being horrendous hehe. In fact for what it is, I think your and the band's playing is tremendous, and not only because you were so young at the time. Did you carry on with heavy metal after Impeccable?

    Impeccable, Live at the Rox
    Darren: "Thank you for being so complementary. The guitar was horrendous, but I hadn't been playing long and was discovering Jack Daniels & Coke during the live recording. So it is what it is. I didn't really play heavy metal again, I began writing for my own voice. More blues/rock/pop. It's still fairly heavy, but I don't think you could classify it as metal. Check out DWG Volume 1, heavy blues rock. There's even a thing or two on there a Metal Head can appreciate. Some pretty good guitar on that one. it's on cdbaby (link) or iTunes (link). It's got a cool version of Hendrix's "Spanish Castle Magic" as well as Johnny Winter's "Guess I'll Go Away"& "Rock Me Baby". Play it LOUD!".


    David "Rock" Feinstein

    David "Rock" Feinstein's career began after playing in blues rockers Elf, with his cousin Ronnie James Dio. In 1978 he recorded a single and started The Rods in 1980, an anthemic, greasy metal band that sounded like Motörhead slowed down a bit. His 1978 single is great, and 'Midnight Lady' is included here. Although the lyrics are a tad wishy-washy, they belie some fast chugging heavy metal. The Hammond organs, while perfectly fine within themselves, drag it back slightly towards early seventies hard rock.

    Marcus

    Marcus Malone
    Marcus Malone is now a blues singer/guitarist/songwriter based in the UK, but long ago in a former life he started as singer in what is now regarded as an early US metal band, simply called Marcus on it's sole LP, which had no less than three guitarists. The one well-known hard rock name on the album (but only for two tracks) was bassist Tim Bogert, of Vanilla Fudge, Cactus etc. Even though the album gets favourable reviews in metal circles, and was chosen for the Kerrang-curated "Striktly For Konnoisseurs" comp, it's certainly not a typical metal album. It has some elements of prog and funk, and it's not aggressively heavy but it's very much driven by complex guitar interplay that displays many of the melodic qualities that heavy metal bands have, especially ones that have multiple guitarists that pride themselves in technical skill. I guess you could compare Marcus's relationship to metal as similar to that of Wishbone Ash. The other members involved do not appear to have had careers in hard rock before or after Marcus, but some did turn up in disco funk. Apparently drummer Dandy "Star" Holmes later played in the disco/AOR hybrid Sabu, named after Paul Sabu, also of the Kerrang-recommended Only Child.


    Marcus - 2000 CD reissue, inside cover
    Here is what Marcus Malone himself wrote for a CD reissue of the album in 2000: "The songs on this album were written, tried and tested for several years previous to 1975 in the night clubs, bars and eventually festivals of Detroit, Toleda and Chicago. We worked seven nights a week and loved every bit of it and had built up a massive following before being spotted by several record companies. The year 1975 was a very good year indeed - we left Detroit and headed for California, which was just like I pictured it - fast cars, gorgeous women and uncut drugs. Amidst a bureaucratic upheaval between the record company - United Artists, the management teams - West & East Coast- and a cast of legal eagles, we somehow managed to cut what was to become a classic cult metal album in America as well as Europe. I am happy to see the interest in the 'Marcus' resurrection for a new generation to discover and our die-hard followers to rediscover in digital format. I'm not one to dwell on the past - I can only say that it was great while it lasted and looks like its going to last a long time to come. This album is meant to be played at maximum volume that your speakers can handle. So get out that pipe or zig zags, a little incense - and enjoy".

    Midnight

    Midnight in 1976
    Four Chicago teenagers formed Midnight. Dave Hill (organ, vocals), Frank Anastos (guitar), Scott Marquart (drums), and John Falstrom (bass), met while taking lessons at Melody Mart in Homewood, IL in 1974. Inspired by Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, and Deep Purple, eventually they began gigging at colleges and clubs in and around Chicago, even though they were still in high school at the time. Soon after graduating in the fall of 1977, they recorded their lone LP with no management or producer, at A-K Sound Recording Studio in Orland Park, IL.

    Midnight "Into The Night" (1976)
    Dave, Frank, and John all contributed to the songwriting and then the band worked on the arrangements as a unit. Like Blitz before, the recordings have a rough edge and amateurish production, with a mixture of good to average songs. Dave used a Vox organ, and its thin sound was out of vogue by this time, giving the music a link back to '60s garage rock. The group self-released "Into the Night", pressing 500 copies in early 1978. A show at The Aragon in late '79 was one of their last and in 1980 they took a break from playing to write new material. Drummer Scott Marquart quit and the rest followed suit.

    Drag City reissued the LP this year (link). I have used one of the most metallic sounding tracks from the LP, "Into The Pit". This song presents an interesting mixture of out-dated equipment like the Vox and a recording job which sounds like an amateurish attempt from an earlier time, while some the music itself has influence from more metallic sounds of the later-seventies.

    Tyranny

    Tyranny and Infinity were two bands helmed by guitarist Rob Griffin, who later started a cult metal band called Graven Image. Included here is both sides of a 7", one side by Tyranny and one labelled as played by "Infinity". According to the label, both written by Rob Griffin and Dave Chumchal. Thanks to O.P.M. Records for reissuing this 45 in 2005, and bringing it to the world's attention! Both sides are equally great heavy metal.

    Here is what Rob Griffin has told me about this strange situation: ”Hi Rich, It was all Tyranny on the 45 (me) writing and producing the same band. It was just a label screw up at the pressing plant because we almost made some changes, and then made some changes (confusing). When the plant had the order we met a bass player who joined us briefly and we were considering a name change, however he turned out to be a flake and a con man who tried to steal our music, but we caught on and fired him.

    We called the plant to have the label changed again going back to Tyranny, however the plant got it wrong and put the right label on one side and the wrong label on the other, and we decided to just release it anyway due to lack of funds to change it and no time, as we were playing live. So it was a mistake on many levels. The long version will be in a book someday as it is a great story! It in fact was Tyranny and me all done in the studio, the bass player in question was post-production and did nothing but screw us up - there you go!" Graven Image's facebook can be found here (link).

    2009 Tyranny / Graven Image Reunion with Rob Griffin, "Rockit"


    Constellation

    Constellation LP (1978)
    The penultimate track is from a real wildcard, a Tennessee band called Constellation. Many thanks to The Acid Archives (link) for what little information is known about the album, one of the most obscure appearing here for sure.

    Originally from Chattanooga, the band featured a potential superstar in the form of 14 year old singer/guitarist Punkin Crye and brothers Buster and Mike Visage (bass and drums respectively). The trio attracted a loyal following on the local club scene, eventually capturing the attention of a small label called Pyramid, which signed them to a recording contract and financed their self-titled 1978 debut. 

    Co-produced by Jack Bryson, Cathy Dover, Jim Stabile and the band, the resulting LP "Constellation" is an impressively hard-rocking effort; even more so given creative mainstay Crye wasn't even old enough to legally play in a nightclub. In addition to handling lead vocals (he sure didn't sound like a 14 year old) and lead guitar, Crye wrote or co-wrote all nine tracks. The track I chose here, "You Don't Know", is propulsive and has a ton of punk energy with sharp riffage.

    The album did little commercially and the band promptly called it quits. Crye relocated to L.A. where he enjoyed minor success playing in a number of local metal bands. Unfortunately, Crye also picked up a nasty drug habit.  By the time he was in his early 20s he'd returned to Tennessee where he ended up homeless, living on the streets of Chattanooga.

    Yesterday & Today

    Oakland CA's Yesterday and Today have the last song in this volume. They are the most successful band appearing here, although after a start in the early seventies the commercial success didn't come until the mid-eighties, after their heaviest albums were behind them, in my opinion.

    "Dreams Of Egypt" is from their second record, "Struck Down" (1978). To me this track has a very metallic guitar tone and playing style, which sounds really cool and precognizant of 1980s trends. I wonder if the combination of heavy metal and Egyptian mythology influenced Iron Maiden later on, or even the Death Metal band Nile? Well, I guess you'd have to ask them! Seeya on the next one, Rich.



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  • 11/27/15--04:57: Bare Sole - Flash demos 1969
  • In a new semi-regular section for The Day After The Sabbath, here is the first feature on an official archival release of some truly lost and obscure psychedelic rock n' roll. Bare Sole first came to my attention in a bootleg compilation called "Do What Thou Wilt". I was impressed by the song "Flash" with it's groovy heavy blues riff and rough n' roll attitude. Read More...

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    Download at [mf] or [mg] or [yd]
    password:  tdats




    The Netherlands was surely home to many rocking pop bands back in the early days, and Blue Planet was one of the best. Presented here is all the music they recorded. Something of a TDATS tradition now, we have another focus on a Dutch band that only made a few 45s. Blue Planet was cultivated in The Hague, a European rock mecca to rival London and Hamburg in its heyday. Their singles possess heaviness, deceptively wrapped in a hook-laden glam/pop disguise, a talent that many other Dutch bands of the time had. One major quality of BP which jumps out is the vocals of Ron Bausch. They have an emotive strength, but also vulnerability, that gets you straight away. Reminding maybe of Rod Stewart, minus the whiskey-soaked gravel.

    Included below is an interview I conducted with the drummer of Blue Planet, Art Bausch. He was really helpful and more than happy to answer anything I asked. He has great enthusiasm for the times and says that he really enjoyed every minute of Blue Planet, even though after the big break of touring with Golden Earring, the band didn't realise its potential in the end, and there were a few sad consequences of the rock n roll life style. He still plays today. I also got a few answers regarding the early days from bassist Peter Wassenaar. Peter in particular painted a picture of the The Hague and Scheveningen being exciting and heady places to be for players and fans, with happening clubs like The Scala, Club 192 and The Flying Dutchman.

    As is the case with other talented Dutch singles bands that have appeared here before, including Cobra (Vol111) and Panda (Vol119), some Blue Planet members are associated with Dutch bands that had greater success, and made albums. Guitarist Aad van der Kreeft was in InCrowd, The George Cash band, Big Wheel, Twelve O'Clock and later, Think Tank. He currently plays in Electric Blues (link). Drummer Art Bausch was in Barrelhouse, Trail, later in Livin' Blues, and still plays with The Oscar Benton Band. Bassist Peter Wassenaar was in The Motions and later, Galaxy Lin. All these guys have played in many other bands and musical projects up to the current day. Aad in particular, is an admired guitarist, and you only have to hear his understated, fluid ability, adding to every one of BP's songs, to see why.

    I must say many thanks to Marc Joseph of Dutch band Vitamin X (fb), who has always been a great help with this blog and in this case pointed me to some great newspaper articles and translations! Alex Gitlin's Nederpop Files (link) were also very useful as usual.


    Blue Planet Discography

    1970
    I'm Going Man I'm Going / Nothing in the World
    Philips 6075 105
    'I'm Going Man I'm Going' was the band's first release and it was their most successful one too, reaching no 16 in the charts. It is grinding, melodic and memorable, Ron Bausch's vocals are immediately arresting and invoke sympathy. Flipside 'Nothing in the World' is heavier, starting out with a stomping riff and great guitar hooks from Aad.


    Boy / Climb the Mountain
    Philips 6075 110
    'Boy' is another memorable track which has a story to tell of a young guy learning the ways of the world. Flipside 'Climb the Mountain' is a slower pensive tune which again highlights Aad's great double-tracked electric and acoustic guitar skills.



    1971
    Times and Changes / Please Don't Shake Me Baby
    Philips 6075 128
    The final Blue Planet single goes in a different direction and contains two upbeat country-flavoured tracks, with 'Please Don't Shake Me Baby' having the most grit. US Country rock had an influence in The Netherlands around this time.


    Cinderella
    From Town to Town / The Love That We've Got
    Imperial 5C 006-24448
    Although the cover shows a full, mostly-female band called Cinderella, all the music on this unique single was played by Art, Aad and Peter of Blue Planet. It was written by Betty Raatgever who started the band Cinderella. Both sides are fantastic, including a richly-shimmering folk ballad with a stella closing solo from Aad and a heavy glam stomper which could be mistaken for one of Blondie's heavier tracks.



    Interview with Blue Planet drummer, Art Bausch

    Following is a phone interview I took with Art about six months ago. Since then he has come back from a successful international run of shows with the Oscar Benton Band.

    Art Bausch in recent times
    Me: Hi Art.

    Art: First I want to say it’s very nice that you from England are so interested in this period of music and Dutch bands. Back then in the ‘70s we were in our twenties and we learnt it from the old guys.

    Me: It was all still relatively close to the days of the beginning of Rock n’ Roll in the 40s and 50s. Things hadn’t changed too much at that point. I’ve always been drawn towards the sound of the ‘70s, no digital technology in those days, you had valves and organic-sounding instruments and production.

    Art: Yes, and it was very loud. Next to me I had 400watts bass equipment and on the other side I had 400watts guitar. The old Marshal amps. And my brother the singer had a 600 watt installation, we didn’t have a PA system at that time, but the drummer (myself) wasn’t mic’d up. Because it cost a fortune for drum heads and sticks and foot pedals, cymbals, because I just ruined them competing with the sound next to me, but, it worked haha.

    Me: I noticed the BP singer had the same surname as you but I wasn’t completely sure that you were related.

    Art: Ron Bausch was my older brother.

    Me: How did you get into being a musician in the first place?

    Art: Ah well, I can speak for my brother too. My father was a military man. He was an airplane mechanic. He was also a very talented young man, he came from Indonesia, from a family with money. He played classical violin. He came to Holland just before the war broke out in 1939. Just before he came to Holland at the age of fifteen, he had a scholarship arranged to study violin in the Hague but a week before he arrived by boat in Holland hell fell with his left hand through a window and hurt it so badly that violin was no option anymore. So he signed up for the army, pretending to be older than fifteen. So he went from playing music in to the army; he never spoke about that time very much but it wasn’t a very nice time.

    So he came through the army first to Scotland, he was on a boat to protect the transport on the ocean from Murmansk in Russia to Scotland and then all those Indonesian guys came to Holland after the war, they still were in the army, so that’s how my father met my mother because she was a nurse somewhere where all those guys were, and they got married and this is the result. In the army he played guitar, piano, he sang and he had a big band. There was always music from all kinds of sources in the house where I grew up, from classical to Elvis. It comes from my father. When I was thirteen I had my first amateur band.

    Jan Frederik Bausch, second from left, 1947

    Me: So you started out as a drummer originally?

    Art: Yes. As a small boy I was sitting next to the drummer from my father’s big band, we were in the Dutch part of New Guinea. My father rehearsed with his big band every Sunday in an airplane hangar, I was sitting next to the drummer with my sticks at 5 or 6 years of age.

    Me: Were you in bands with your brother at the age of thirteen?

    Art: No, my brother was a couple of years older than me, he was a very talented guy, he discovered for me Cliff Richard, Elvis Presley, Otis Reading and the old blues guys, that’s what I learnt from him. That was my start, which was a good one. Blue Planet was my first proper band, when I was just eighteen. Peter the bass player was seventeen. My brother and the guitar player met and they had a thing going while I was just playing at an amateur level. They were already rehearsing and working on the heavy stuff, Zeppelin, Free, and then one Sunday evening they came while I was playing with my band at that time in a very small venue in Leiden,  I was still living with my mother at the time, and suddenly I saw Peter and my brother and Art the guitar player there on the side of the stage and then I knew they were going to ask me. That was exciting.

    I was not the first choice of drummer. They were not happy with the first guy, Jack Wolf. He wasn’t in to their groove, I met him shortly afterwards and he was very angry. Ron and Aad had a very clear idea of what they wanted by did not always agree with each other, they were both very talented guys and both had big egos which often came into conflict with each other. But it worked for a short while, we only existed for two years, three months.

    Me: What clubs/gigs were you going to back then? What was the life like then?

    Peter: The Hague was rock city #1 in the '60s (link) , with clubs and bars were everybody met after gigs, like The Scala, Club 192, The Factory and De Drie Stoepen [The Three Sidewalks].
    In The Scala, drummers, bass players and guitarist all had their own corners. In Scheveningen (link)   there was The Flying Dutchman, you could see the bands playing by looking through the upper windows, the club was below street level. On the beach in Scheveningen were lots of people playing all kinds of instruments, mostly blues, I started playing the blues harp in 1966.

    It was all great fun, we were young, and there were lots of things to do both in The Hague and Scheveningen. The well-known bands from The Hague were The Motions (Rudy Bennet and Robbie van Leeuwen later in Galaxy-Lin with me), Golden Earring, The Tielman Brothers, Shocking Blue.

    I saw Fleetwood Mack playing in Club 192 back in 1968 even got their autographs in the dressing room, Jerremy Spencer, Danny Kirwan, Peter Green, Mick Fleetwood etc.

    Blue Planet all rehearsed in a place called "Het Kraajenest" in de Jan Vossensteeg in Leiden, among other local bands from Leiden. The reason for forming this band, was the first album of Led Zeppelin, in a week we played all the songs from the album. Also of inspiration were J Geils band and Love, Buffalo Springfield, Moby Grape.

    Me: Why the name "Blue Planet"?

    Peter: During that period we all watched rockets go into space and, also to the moon (Bowie sang it; "planet earth is blue, and there's nothing"….in Space Oddity, later that year). It was a catchy and short name. Here in Holland bands changed their names; The Golden Earrings became Golden Earring etc.

    Art: We started as opening band for Golden Earring. Their first appearance after their first American tour, and they had just changed from being a commercial band to what they are nowdays. They were getting very heavy, and our manager at that time arranged their homecoming gig in The Hague which was sold out of course, and we were the opening act. We played only for 35-40 minutes, to an audience of 2000 people. Bearing in mind that I had just come from playing gigs in Leiden to only 50 people. When we finished our set, George Kooymans and Rinus Gerritsen from Earring asked us to play their whole tour which was in 1970, it was 36 gigs in a row, with one evening off, at that time I learnt much.

    Being professional is what I learnt from those guys. They were big and they had hits. Me and Peter were just enjoying the hard work. We had no money at all. My mother kept the band alive by feeding us and buying us equipment, we got a loan from my mother for a drum kit, that’s the way it was. The start of Blue Planet was just like a fairy tale, Golden Earring’s manager was also their producer, he said that BP was special, we had a sound, and he recorded "I’m going Man I’m Going" and produced our three singles. This guy was so big in the music world, he knew “This is gonna work”, and it worked, we went into the hit parade, and we had work.

    Me: How did you get the gig with Golden Earring in the first place? That’s quite an achievement for a young new band.

    Art: Because our manager at that time, Henk van Leeuwen, came from The Hague and he knew all those guys. He was very smart and he had a view. We played all weekend, Monday was our day off and Tuesday until Thursday we rehearsed, starting each day at 9am and leaving at 5pm. He told us we have to work hard. So after the Golden Earring tour we went to the studio and recorded “I’m Going Man” and “Nothing In The World”. The machine started working from Fred Haayen’s side (Earring manager) and the booking agency, and we had at that time the pirate music stations out at sea.

    Freddy told us “this single is too long” and we said “this is what we have, we are not going to make a sale from two minutes and twenty seconds”. In the end everybody on the radio stations was playing I’m Going Man I’m Going haha. I still meet people when i’m out playing who ask me about my past and what my first band was, and I tell them I was in Blue Planet and they say “woo man, that was the first single I bought” haha.

    Me: Was one of those pirate stations Radio Veronica?

    Art: Yes, and the Red Bullet agency, Freddy Haayen, they had all kinds of business connections, and they were also rebels, who understood the need to get this music out there. They were very smart, they made a lot of money but also gave a lot of bands the chance to be on the air.

    Me: Was it Freddy that negotiated Blue Planet signing to the Philips label? Many other Dutch bands I like were also on Philips.

    Art: Yes at that time they were very progressive.

    Me: Did Fred have a lot of input in your recording of the singles?

    Art: Yes. First you give in a tape with the number and you say this is what we’re gonna do. Fred was very good in feeling the energy of the band and he didn’t want to change too much, he was very good.

    Me: Did he suggest things in the studio to improve songs or did he come up with original ideas?

    Art: He added the mellotron in I’m Going Man I’m Going. We were the first band with a mellotron as it was a new thing then. It was in the studio and he suggested using it.

    Me: Who was playing the mellotron?

    Art: It was a well known jazz pianist Cees Schrama.

    Me: Did you talk to Cees much or did he just come in and do his own thing?

    Art: It was different at those times, when those guys came in there was more animosity. He was not a studio player, you know, “Let me hear the number”, “OK, I think I do this, maybe that”. And we were all there, yeah it was quite an experience. We were living as rebels in hippy times, Rock n’ Roll...

    Me: And he was from the more old-fashioned way of doing things?

    Art: You could think at the time “You work in an office”, that’s what we thought, everybody with a suit was an office guy haha.

    Me: Can you tell me about the 1970 TV clip of "I'm Going Man I'm Going"?

    Art: It was late 1970, this was a promotion project named "Beat Behind The Dikes" to help Dutch groups to go international, directed by Bob Rooyens. It was recorded in Hilversum, and also outside on lake IJsselmeer.


    After looking into "Beat Behind The Dikes", I found that other bands appearing included Golden Earring, Shocking Blue and Earth & Fire.



    Me: So we have spoken quite a lot about your first single, do you have any favourite songs, like Boy or Climb The Mountain?

    Art: Climb The Mountain is my favourite, of the ones we recorded. My brother came up with the lyrics, and he sings it very nice.

    Me: Yes I do like your brother’s emotive singing on all the tracks, and his lyrical stories, one of the great things about the band. Who was the main song writer?

    Art: My brother came with the rough guitar parts, then Aad would come in with suggestions. After that it would go to the rehearsal room where the whole band would have equal say in finishing it off. Everybody was at that time equal. Like I’m Going Man I’m Going, the first two chords are mine. And then the rest came, Pete had ideas....It was the new era, “We are all equal, and we are gonna change the world” and all that bullshit haha.

    Me: Well, it worked for a while at least I guess!

    Art: Yes, it worked for two years, don’t forget at that age there was a lot of dope going on, it was almost free, a couple of guys in the band enjoyed it very much...

    Me: A bit too much?

    Art: Yeah, Yeah and they went on to LSD, and speed, and blow. Everyone was going to change the world on LSD. I’ve been there once but I left, I thought “This is a crazy world, this is not my thing”.

    Me: Yes abusing drugs usually ends badly.

    Art: At that time, for example in Holland, Golden Earring was a totally clean band, they didn’t even get drunk. It was all healthy. And look at them now, they are on top of the world.

    Me: Yes it’s respectable to be able to do that really. It’s very easy to give in to these temptations, especially when you’re in that atmosphere, of clubs and groupies and what have you.

    Art: Yeah, and a lot of people come up to you “Eh, Eh do you want a pill, do you want a sniff?”. Not for me. That was that time you know, it was total anarchy.

    Me: Sure, much more so than now.

    Art: It’s also important for our story, as especially my brother and Aad, were doing a lot of speed which is a lot of fun when you are young and you can go for a day or four or five but it wears you out you know, and then they were finished, but there was drive in the band, we thought we were the best in the world you know. “We’re gonna make it”, but reality says we didn’t play sixteen times a month, we played four or five times.

    Me: You think that's one of the reasons you didn’t last very long in the end was you weren’t playing enough?

    Art: Yeah there was a lack of money, and those two egos of Ron and Aad were too big. They were quite arrogant.

    Me: They used to argue?

    Art: Yes. Later when the band was finished, years later, then you realise, talking to people, even now, going to my home town, people talk about “Do you remember that concert in the park? Beautiful weather, and you started at twelve o’clock in the night and you ended at three”. People remember. It had something special as a band, we gave a lot from the stage, there was energy.

    Me: Can you tell us about the last single, 1971’s Times and Changes?

    Art: It was our last record, it didn’t make an impression, nobody was interested. At that time there was no work, little money, our manager wasn’t getting things going. I called everybody together and said “This is the end, this is not what I want”, at that time I was very busy and I didn’t see a future. Aad was starting to get interest from other bands, and that was the moment it was finished.

    1971 newspaper article, the band are quoted as saying their
    third (and ultimately final) single "Times and Changes" is to
    be in a less heavy style, with the goal of reaching a wider
    audience. It also says that the band got good responses
    playing in both France and Germany.

    Me: I consider their final single to have a slight country influence, further away from hard rock than the previous two, but both the sides are great and really grow on you. American country rock was popular in Holland at the time. Bands such as Normaal and Dizzy Man's Band were introducing it into their songs. Mailer Mackenzie Band (listen) made two albums and were actually signed to US label Ampex, with reviewers comparing them to Creedence Clearwater Revival. Members of the band had a couple of links with Aad and Peter W. of Blue Planet, via The InCrowd, Big Wheel and The Motions.

    Marc Joseph says of this style. "Southern/country rock was really popular in Holland in the late '60s/early '70s. Bands who were virtually unknown in the rest of the world were playing to sold out venues in Holland. Flying Burrito Brothers even received a gold album while in the US they were playing for 100-200 people."


    Did Aad play on your last single single or did you have a replacement at the end?

    Art: No, it was Aad. All three singles are with the same, original lineup.

    Me: I read that a new guitarist came in at the end of the band's life, is that correct?

    Art: Yes that is correct, our manager brought in Peter Dingemans to replace Aad. Very good player, at the time he was 22 with a wife and child, trying to decide if wanted to be a professional musician, but the magic was gone. The energy and the drive was gone.

    Me: So Aad was the first guy to leave?

    Art: Yes. He was a little bit older, he had played in Germany in night clubs and he had become a well respected guitarist in the Hague scene. He was also a guy who wanted to drive sports cars, and I found out years later that our manager was paying him a separate weekly wage that the rest of us did not know about. It was a dark side to Aad.

    Me: Did he leave Blue Planet to go and play for another band?

    Art: Yes, he played in a group who was from a record company, called Think Tank. And those guys were on the payroll. The record company had a lot of money for Think Tank, and those guys had nothing to do with Blue Planet, it was a commercial thing to make money. It was a different style of music as well, not as appealing to me.

    Me: How long did the band last after Peter Dingemans joined?

    Art: Around five or six months, and then it was over. It was a marriage which was doomed along with the band. A nice guy and a good player but from a different musical background.

    Me: What background was he from?

    Art: He was from a more hippy “be nice to each other” way of thinking and we were more arrogant. In Holland we had the nickname “the Dutch Zep”, the looks, the appearance on stage, we were the boss.

    Me: So you decided that you were going to leave before the band broke up?

    Art: I called everyone together and we had a meeting in a restaurant with the manager, I said “Boys it is over and I quit, I don’t see any future any more” and that was the end.

    Me: Did you have songs that were never released or never recorded?

    Art: No

    Me: Why didn’t you make an album?

    Art:  We got off to a great start with the I’m Going Man I’m Going single but didn’t keep the momentum. But of the lack of playing and lack of money, and the two egos who were in conflict all the time, we just never got to that point.

    Me: Can you tell us about the equipment that you used?

    Art: I had a West End hand-made drum kit which I couldn’t afford, my mother lent me the money. The drummer from Golden Earring drummer, Jaap Eggermont, who became a big producer, had a West End while we were opening for them. I went to the Hague and “West End” is the name of the street in English. There was a man who makes drum kits, a lot of Dutch drummers at that time played on a hand-made West End kit, they were beautiful, and very collectible now. I don’t have it any more.

    Me: And the other guys?

    Art: Peter Wassenaar had a Fender bass with an Orange combo. Aad played on a Marshal 200W double stack, he started with a Strat and then changed to a Gibson SG, a hard rock icon at the time.

    Me: You mentioned Fred Haayen, he produced another band that I like called Cobra (see Vol111).

    Art: Yes, same era, Cobra had this English singer, Winston Gawk. He was a very outgoing person on stage, while my brother Ron was a very introvert person, he didn’t move much, he just stood there and sang beautiful, his appearance was important to him. We played together on a few gigs, which definitely would have been at the Paradiso, Amsterdam, at least once. A big venue where you had to play.

    Peter Wassenaar   -   Art Bausch   -   Ron Bausch   -   Aad Van Der Kreeft

    The Leidsch Dagblad newspaper printed a story that on 10th July 1971 Blue Planet played a festival in Meerlo, with Cobra, Livin' Blues, Brainbox, Focus and Jug Session Group among others. All great bands, showing what circles Blue Planet were mixing in.

    Me: Do you remember Big Wheel? I ask because their music reminds me a little of Blue Planet.

    Art: Yes, Rob van der Zwan the guitarist was a very big fan of my brother, and at the same time as we had I’m Going... they had the single "If I Stay Too Long". The story on that single was that the producer sang on that single, not the singer Cyril Havermans.

    Me: Cyril Havermans sang in Focus later on.

    Art: Yes, that’s the circuit Blue Planet were into at that time, we did festivals with Focus, Cuby + Blizzards, Golden Earring. Are you interested in a Dutch group called the Shoes? They had 26 hits! They were older than us, they started off as young guys going to Germany when they were all around sixteen years of age, they did all the hard work you know? It’s so different now days, I was talking to a professional drummer in his thirties and he plays with whoever calls, you know, but in the early days you had a band, it was not done to play with other guys.

    Me: I guess you have to be adaptable to make some money, play with a few different bands.

    Art: Yes, but you lose your identity.

    Me: Are you aware of a split single that Philips released with Big Wheel and Blue Planet?

    Art: No, not at all! Someone clever obviously put that one out. I know the drummer Shell Schellekens a little, at that time we admired each other’s drumming.

    Me: I’m Going... reached position sixteen in the Dutch hit parade, was that your biggest success?

    Art: Yes, but we could have come higher up. But because of the long time it took for I’m Going to reach a high position, Philips decided not to press any more copies. In that week we could have entered the top ten, but It was not available any more.

    Me: So it sold-out basically? Why would the label let that happen to a successful song?

    Art: It happened because the labels become impatient, and decide to dedicate resources to newer releases. If they had been more patient with us we would have hit the top ten and things could have been very different for us...

    Ron Bausch c.1976
    Art: Another story also, my brother’s appetite for drugs was large and he had developed addictions. After Blue Planet he didn’t do anything. We tried to get him back on his feet, the family you know.

    Me: So he was burnt out? He never worked in music again?

    Art: He had plans, but he was going down and down. He never got out of it and he died at age 36 in 1983.

    Me: I’m sorry to hear that Art, a cautionary tale.

    Bassist Peter had this to say regarding Ron at the time they met: "Ron Bausch was a photo model and a singer with an extremely high vocal range. he was very thin and tall and drove an Austin mini cooper, he was what they then called a 'dandy', and always very sharply dressed"

    The Leidsch Dagblad newspaper in 6th Februari 1976 had an article saying that Ron Bausch was in contact with record labels and had arranged a BP reunion LP. Clearly this never came to anything before he died.

    Have you heard of the band Cinderella, that made a single in 1971?

    Art: Yes, I did studio work with them on their first single, together with Aad and Peter. That was while Blue Plant was still going. I’ve been seen it on Youtube.

    Me: Did you guys write the single or were you just brought it to the session?

    Art: The main girl, Betty Raadgever wrote it. Their producer, Gerrit Jan Leenders, I did other work for him too. That’s how that started. My memory is good, especially of that period. Everything was so intense and every day was a party.

    We take a brief diversion here to read some responses that Cinderella's Betty Raadgever kindly gave for this article.

    Betty Raadgever
    Me: Hi Betty, did Cinderella make any more music other than the single?

    Betty: Cinderella did make more songs, but they are not recorded on a album, unfortunately. And of course I wrote a lot of songs after Cinderella for my other bands: Eyeliner and The Betty Ray Experience.

    Me: I spoke to Art Bausch. I asked him about your Cinderella single and he confirmed that he, Peter and Aad Kreeft played on it. Did Blue Planet play on both sides?

    Betty: Blue Planet played on both sides of the single, but I wrote the lyrics and music. Aad was a good friend of mine and we knew the other guys from Leiden/Oegstgeest, where we all came from. A very good band, Blue Planet!

    Me: Did the other guys in Cinderella play or sing on it too (Renee, Bernardien, Nico)?

    Betty; The singers on the record are Betty, Bernardien and Renee in the chorus. I am singing the lead, and the b-side, "The Love That We've Go", Bernardien sings. The guys from BP played all the music.

    Me: Did Cinderella break up for any reason or did it change into a different band?

    Betty: After four years I choose to switch bands and became lead singer of a hard rock band called "For Shame". Cinderella was over... After the hard rock period I had four other female groups: Trevira 2000, Eyeliner, Nasty Girls and The Betty Ray Experience. The other Cinderella members stopped playing in bands.

    Me: Thanks Betty!

    And back to Art...

    Me: You were in the Oscar Benton Blues band after Blue Planet?

    Art: Yes, straight after Blue Planet. We leave for Istanbul on the 9th of June 2015 and play on the 10th. Then we have a day sight-seeing and come back on the 12th. The youngest in that band is sixty three and the oldest is sixty eight haha. Can you imagine? This man made one major hit called "Bensonhurst Blues (1973)", used in French movie Pour la Peau d'un Flic (link) in 1981. He sold eleven million singles in Eastern Europe and Italy and France. But the man is not very healthy now, he is only 65. Three years ago came a German agency, saying hey, we want Oscar in Bucharest, and in Russia. Next we play in Istanbul. We will play an hour and fifteen minutes then an encore and that’s it. We are payed in advance and everything is payed for, we are very pampered. They only think we have to do is play well. It’s really fun. I originally played with those guys from 1972 to 1975, they are real friends, we kept in touch. Three years ago we got together again to play Bucharest, it would have been nice to be taken care of like that back in 1970!

    I stopped being professional in 1990. The year before I was working from Monday to Friday in bands.

    Me: can you name any other important bands you were in while you were a pro musician?

    Art: Living Blues from 86 until 1990. I have also had my own bands, I had an old fashioned 12 piece soul band and we played the old stuff, the singer in this band was the singer in my first band from 1963, a guy from Indonesia. We did the old soul stuff you know; Otis Reading, which is the music I grew up with, is in my heart, this is what I want to do. So at the moment I am with Oscar Benton, I have another band called Johnny Feelgood (link).  This is a band that consists of six guys of similar ages who are all in other bands. My third band is called The Blues Factory (link), I am the oldest in that band with the rest aged down to 35, which makes it interesting. I am still ambitious but not to play 17 times a month.

    Me: Did you ever stop playing to start a different career?

    Art: Yes, in the early ‘80s I stopped because I was fed up with the whole thing, I sold my kits. But after 3-4 years I felt the urge to play again.

    Me: What work did you do then?

    Art: Since the late ‘80s to this day I have been a self-employed handy man. I have a van and a lot of experience by now, so I am very busy with that.

    Me: Do you have any more Blue Planet stories to tell?

    Art: Blue Planet was playing in Germany in the ‘70s. We all had long hair. During the day when we were just walking around we got a lot of shouts at us about being gay, and being weak. It did not happen while playing in the venues but it was from the general public, away from the scene. We were bullied on the streets.

    Me: I guess it no different to anti-hippy sentiment that you could have experienced in any country back then. German, the UK, America, anywhere. Ironically German had many great rock bands back then, with long hair too haha!

    Art: Our attitude was that we were going to change the world, no more politicians, we will look after ourselves. What happened?

    Me: That dream didn’t work out in the end did, unfortunately.

    Art: You can’t change the mechanism, you can’t change the system.

    Me: You can’t change human nature. I guess things will always come back down to the same greed and self-preservation, it’s easy to see what’s wrong with that but I guess it’s also survival instinct that will always be there to some degree.

    Art: I do what I can to make the world a better place and help people, that’s all you can do!

    Well, many thanks to Art, Peter and Betty for making this article possible. Enjoy the music of these great musicians of the golden age of rock...
    Rich

    Art drumming in the Oscar Benton Band c.2013

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    Fox Hutin' has to be one of the best opening tracks on any album, ever! Baying hounds introduce one of the most driving riffs of all time, at first you think this might be Motörhead, but then the unmistakable Southern accents and bluesy leads come in and you find yourself in Southern hard rock heaven. Much of the album is on the verge of heavy metal, and that gives it a unique sound, there wasn't anything heavier than this in Southern rock at the time, that's for sure.

    John Teugue  -  Gary James  -  Paul-Anthony Middleton
    From Mineral Wells, Texas, power-trio Blackhorse self-released this record to sell at gigs. Gary James was on lead guitar, John Teague was on drums, Paul-Anthony Middleton was on bass and they all shared vocal duties. They made a name for themselves playing around the Dallas Fort Worth area, in clubs such as Motherload's, but their most-remembered gig was at KZEW's Zoo World free concert in the Dallas County Convention Center in 1980, clips of which can be found on Youtube. Along the way they supported other Southern heavyweights like Point Blank.

    Live @ KZEW Zoo World 1980
    Although the record is technically only a demo, the quality is remarkable. The fizzing guitars sound great, the playing is on the dime. The shared vocal duties, sometimes call and response, sometime in harmony, are perfect, and other than a couple of slower, but no less-good bluesy ballads, the pace never relents. Velvet Angel, The Party's Started, Hell Hotel and Dave's Song motor along and this is one record that doesn't tail off in intensity toward the end like so many others do.

    There have been a couple of limited re-issues, the early '90s CD issue being the one that brought them back to rock fan's attention. 


    One old fan rememebers: "I worked as a bartender at Spencer's Corner in Ft. Worth late 70s and Blackhorse were once banned from the club because the rock n roll bar had a "No cowboy hats" policy and the drummer always wore one. Those dopes running the club (Spencer Taylor) would not back off the policy so Blackhorse wrote a tune (Spencer's Corner) that called them out. Eventually they played there again in 1979 I believe."

    John Teague and Gary (under the name Jesse 'Ropeburn' James) reappeared in the mid-eighties in The Cauze (youtube). Unfortunately they were a very different proposition to Blackhorse, and made an album of silky smooth keyboard-laden AOR. But Blackhorse did reform in 2008 and play some shows, until Gary's untimely death in 2015. If you got to see them at any time you were very lucky indeed!

    In the words of Blackhorse themselves: "Blackhorse is a three-piece of intense power and emotion whose concert apperances have been aptly hailed by critics as "kick-ass". This debut album is their story. So ... TURN IT UP and enjoy one of the best rock & roll albums ever".

    Follow the Blackhorse facebook page.

    Credits
    Gary James – Lead guitar, vocals
    John Teague – Drums, vocals
    Paul-Anthony Middleton – Bass, vocals

    Produced by Paul-Anthony Middleton
    Associate – Producer Rick Hatfield
    Engineer – Bob Hickey
    Cover Art –Vicky Sheets

    Tracks
    A1. Fox Huntin'
    A2. Lucille
    A3. Velvet Angel
    A4. The Party’s Started
    A5. Momma Gonna Love You Tonight
    A6. Cannot Find My Way Home
    B1. Hell Hotel
    B2. You've Got The Way
    B3. Slow Down Tom
    B4. Dave’s Song
    B5. Spencer's Corner

    Release infos
    RYM
    Discogs

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    Download at [mf] or [mg] or [yd]
    password:  tdats


    The blog has now reached the ripe old age of six years! The past year of doing this has been a very enjoyable one - there's been two Dutch band profiles, Panda (119) and Blue Planet (127), a special and interview on the archival label World In Sound (114), a profile on krautrock producer Conny Planck (116), two heavy metal-inspired volumes; US (126) and NWOBHM (121), Scott Blackerby of The Acid Archives and Bad Cat Records (115) and a profile on The Gurvitz Brothers (125). Regional specials have honoured Spain again (123), Serbia (120), Portugal (113), Boston (117) and Iceland (124). Other themes have included Chicano rock (118) and a special on long prog tracks (122).

    A year ago I promised I would be doing more interviews; I got an exclusive with the previously mysterious psych figure of Roy Rutanen and his band (link) and an exclusive with Jim Smith of Stonehouse (link). More exclusives came with Jaap van Eik of Panda (link) and Art Bausch of Blue Planet (link) and I spoke to four of the names appearing in Volume 126; Mike Gandia of Squadran, Danney Alkana of Alkana, Darren Welch of Axxe/Impeccable and Rob Griffin of Tyranny / Graven Image.

    I hope that people still enjoy reading and listening to TDATS as much as I enjoy making it, here's to the on-coming year of many new ideas which are in the pipeline. As ever, please drop me a line via email or otherwise if you have any suggestions, and join up at the fb group where you can participate even more fully. My special thanks goes to the group admins that have increased greatly in number and efforts this year and been doing a great job there - you know who you are. Keep it PROTO guys :)

    For what is now an annual round-up (last year's) of some of the best tracks appearing on the blog in the last year, here is a comp of fifteen tracks, one from each of the fifteen numbered volumes posted in 2015 so far. Enjoy!

    TRACKS
    01. Beatnicks - Back In Town (1972) - from v113
           single
    02. Gold - No Parking (1970) - from v114
           single and W.I.S. retrospective 'San Francisco Origins'
    03. Fanny - Place in the Country (1971) - from v115
           from album 'Charity Ball'
    04. Lokomotive Kreuzberg - Comeback (1975) - from v116
           from album 'Fette Jahre'
    05. Brother Fox and the Tar Baby - Steel Dog Man (1969) - from v117
           from album 'Brother Fox and the Tar Baby'
    06. Yaqui - I Need A Woman (1973) - from v118
           from album 'Yaqui'
    07. Panda - Medicine Man (1971) - from v119
           single
    08. Pop Mašina - Vreme Za Nas (1975) - from v120
           from album 'Na Izvoru Svetlosti'
    09. Fuzzy Duck - In Our Time (1971) - from v121
           from album ‘Fuzzy Duck’
    10. Fusion Orchestra - Sonata In Z (1973) - from v122
           from album 'Skeleton In Armour'
    11. Rockcelona - Queen, Friend And Dread (1979) - from v123
           from album 'La Bruja'
    12. Svanfridur - My Dummy (1972) - from v124
           from album 'What's Hidden There?'
    13. Gun - Runnin' Wild (1970) - from v125
           single
    14. Asia - Law Of The Land (1978) - from v126
           from album 'Asia'
    15. Cinderella - The Love That We've Got (1971) - from v127
           single
    Beatnicks


    Starting the volume is one of its heaviest tracks, from Lisbon's Beatnicks. They made some of Portugal's best and heaviest rock in the '70s, with the "Cristine Goes to Town / Sing It Along / Little School Boy" and "Money / Back in Town" singles. They introduced progressive/electronic influences on later singles (youtube) which were good but very different, by the time of 1982's Aspectos Humanos album they had been through major line-up changes and seem to have become an inoffensive progressive pop band. Oh well, listen to "Back In Town" and it's clear they had the chops to become Portugal's top hard rock act, it's original and brilliant from start to end! Final members Ramiro Martins (bass, guitar), Antonio Emiliano (keyboards) and Tó Leal (vocals, percussion) all appear to have made more music later but nothing of interest here.

    There is an interesting article here (portugueseenglish), regarding the many changes the Beatnicks went through, including the brief membership of female singer Lena d'Água, and guitarist Manuel Cardoso, who was later in Tantra (coming later on here). Read Rock em Portugal's full Beatnicks bio here.



    Gold

    "A CD / LP combination. The CD contains 2 parts S.F. underground history with the first Gold line-up feat. lead singer Richard Coco. Their 45 record “NO PARKING” was already reissued on LP by Rockadelic and issued on the CD compilation “Nuggets from the Golden State”.

    Part 1 (only on CD) are the Studio Sessions of Leo Kulka´s Golden State Recorders, 9 heavy guitar cuts (same as Rockadelic LP) with great congas and bizarre Rock´n Roll vocals and the previously unreissued 45-rpm flipside a 4:45 minute sensitive but totally unexpected version of Gershwin's "Summertime" produced by Country Joe McDonald (Country Joe and the Fish)."

    "Part 2 of the CD is the vinyl release, a live set at the Fillmore-West Audition, a qualification gig for Bill Grahams club circuit, which was successfully passed - gigs at Winterland, Fillmore-West followed. These 42 minutes reach the highest level of power and a unique kind of heavy acid rock sound (especially the 6 min. killer version of “NO PARKING”) - Ed Scott´s hypnotic rhythm guitar, a mind blowing bass and drums create an outstanding and surrounding flow, Joe Bajza´s soaring solo guitar played in a kind of aggressive Cipollina / Jeff Beck style is brilliantly intense and brings true Sixties S.F. Hell´s Angels party feeling to your home. Detailed 12 page color booklet - 78 minutes of hot music reflect the “golden sprit” of the late60's early 70's in San Francisco....15 years later bands like Metallica, Slayer, Exodus…..continued these powerful Bay Area guitar excesses…"


    Fanny

    Scott's RYM review here.  "Penned by Barclay, 'Place In the Country' was one of the album's best rockers. Nice showcase for the group's harmony vocals.   rating: **** stars"

    "1971's "Charity Ball" found Fanny continuing their partnership with producer Richard Perry. Featuring largely original material (the one exception being a dynamite cover of the Buffalo Springfield's 'Special Care;), this time around the band seemed interested in showcasing their more commercial edge. Material like the title track, 'What's Wrong with Me?' and 'You're the One' seemed to have been crafted with an ear to top-40 airplay.

    That wasn't to imply the band couldn't rock as hard as their male competitors. Nickey Barclay's 'Cat Fever', 'Special Care' (which I'd argue crushed The Buffalo Springfield original), and 'Soul Child' were all rockers that were worth hearing. Add to that, Jean Millington had a powerful, soul-infused voice, while June Millington was an overlooked lead guitarist with a penchant for fuzz leads. Interestingly, listening to the album for the first time in years, I guess the biggest surprise came in terms of band contributions. Jean and June Millington were clearly the band's focal points, but  being responsible for over half of the material, keyboardist Nicole Barclay was clearly the band's creative mainstay."


    Lokomotive Kreuzberg

    Lokomotive Kreuzberg Fette Jahre (1972)
    Lokomotive Kreuzberg
    Fette Jahre (1972)
    Track 4 brings something a little different to the party. Lokomotive Kreuzberg was a Berlin polit-rock band that started in 1972. Not speaking German, it's impossible for me to comment on the lyrics, but the music on their 1975 album "Fette Jahre", engineered by Conny, is captivating. They mix many styles, from symphonic prog, to folk, to funk, to hard rock. At all times it is played with extreme talent, these guys sure had the chops to compare with the best. I have chosen the hardest rocking track on the album, which was recorded at Conny's studio, but you can take your pick from it. Others, such as the title track "Fette Jahre" (youtube), are equally good.

    I've not had a chance to check out all of their four albums. I certainly will but they may not be the easiest band to get into for non-German speakers, especially as they use a lot of spoken-word skits to get certain points across on their agenda.


    Brother Fox and the Tar Baby

    Brother Fox & The Tar Baby
    Track 5, "Steel Dog Man", starts as it means to go on with a stomping hard rock riff and tight playing, punctuated by glorious psych breaks, backed-up by earthy vocals that cut straight to the bone. Brother Fox and the Tar Baby featured the talents of former Profits guitarist Richie Bartlett, bassist Tom Belliveau, guitarist Dave Christiansen, drummer Bill Garr, singer Steve High and keyboardist Joe Santangelo. Dave Christiansen, Joseph Santangelo, Tom Belliveau and Richard Bartlett were previously in Front Page Review, also appearing in this volume. Belliveau  was also in Pugsley Munion (see vol59), and Bartlett was later in '80s new-wavers The Fools. They were signed by the small Oracle label, which released 1969's Bruce Patch-produced self-titled album. Christiansen was credited as writing all eleven tracks.

    Brother Fox & The Tar Baby LP
    This has a commercial edge and is a polished product, but it's done right and there's more than enough heaviness here too, over half the album is hard cuts with quite a unique take on combining late-'60s heavy psych with the chunky riffs and hammond organ of the freshly-emerging hard rock sounds of the times. This is what the first Boomerang album should have been like! (see Vol9)


    The countrified feel, and high production quality with orchestration, shows that this was a serious stab at a successful album. The mellow tracks and ballads are all good, so make for a nicely diverse listen. The song-writing is consistently good, and the excellent vocals deserve a mention, sounding somewhat like Robert Plant in the heavier tracks. Highly recommended!

    Panda - Stranger Medicine Man

    Decca 6100013
    Stranger begins deceptively, with a heavy Sabbathian tri-tone metal riff, but quickly morphs into a Slade-elic glam stomper with a sing-along chorus and more flashes of flute, great fun.  B-side Medicine Man is built around a similarly heavy, lumpen riff to "Swingin' About", this time with no flute and forays into blues, it's another of their best heavy tracks.


    Pop Mašina

    I consider there to be a 'big three' of heavy Serbain bands from the former half of the '70s, YU Grupa and Smak have already appeared so now it's time for the last of that trio, Pop Mašina (Pop Machine). They were formed in Belgrade in 1972 by Robert Nemeček (bass, vocals - formerly of Dogovor Iz 1804 and Džentlmeni. The other formative members on their two studio albums were Mihajlo Popović (drums) and Zoran Božinović (guitar - formerly in Džentlmeni).


    Na Izvoru Svetlosti LP 1975
    Their 1973 debut LP "Kiselina" (Acid), had contributions from members of S Vremena Na Vreme, Grupa SOS and acoustic band Dag. Although excelling in their heavy rock tracks like "Svemirska Prièa," the band played an equal amount of acoustic pop and folk-infused songs in a similar approach to Led Zep's album 'III'. The second and final studio album "Na Izvoru Svetlosti" (At the Spring of Light) followed suit, having a little more emphasis on the hard rock, with a great opener which is the track I have used in this comp, "Vreme za Nas". Track 2 gives you a good idea of their stage show with a live-recorded blues workout. Over-all this album is more consistent and you can hear the improved arrangements and more confident playing.


    Fuzzy Duck

    Fuzzy Duck s/t 1971
    Fuzzy Duck s/t 1971
    A belated appearance from a record that that I surely should have used by now, as it's really good. This is the eponymous Fuzzy Duck LP, one of the older entries her, recorded in 1971. They play jazzy prog rock, with excellent musicianship, driving hammond organ and plenty of rocking riffs. Bassist Mick Hawksworth had previously been in Andromeda (Vol51) with John Du Cann, another similarly cool band. He was also in other TDATS bands, Killing Floor (see Vol7) and Toe Fat (Vol2). Drummer Paul Francis had been in The End, and briefly in this volume's opening band, Tucky Buzzard. The Duck enjoyed some radio play, including "A Big Word From D" and "Double Fine Woman", which were both favoured by BBC stations.

    Fuzzy Duck in the studio
    Fuzzy Duck in the studio
    In the Esoteric Recordings CD re-issue Paul Francis stated that one of the major things that broke the band up was internal friction with guitarist and founder Graham White, which he regrets in retrospect. They managed to turf him out and replace him with Garth Watt-Roy (Steamhammer, The Greatest Show On Earth) who was a great guitarist, but it didn't go down well with the record company. After the Duck had quacked it, Graham White joined Capability Brown (Vol54), Paul teamed up with Chris Speading and Steve Harley, playing on a couple of Cockney Rebel LPs and Mick Hawksworth worked with Alvin Lee among others.


    Fusion Orchestra

    Fusion Orchestra - Skeleton In Armour line-up, clockwise from left, Dave Bell, Stan Land, Dave Cowell, Colin Dawson and Jill Saward
    Fusion Orchestra - Skeleton In Armour
    line-up. Clockwise from left, Dave Bell,
    Stan Land, Dave Cowell, Colin Dawson
    and Jill Saward
    Fusion Orchestra might be of interest to Babe Ruth fans, or those of Room. Frequently-heavy prog with a great front woman in Jill Saward, who also played flute, keyboard and more. The sole album 'Skeleton In Armour' is good progressive rock, drawing in many influences from Canterbury scene to hard rock, thankfully the band has a great attack and this LP keeps up momentum throughout, as you can hear in tracks like the one appearing here, and "Have I Left The Gas On?".

    On the album, she is joined by the three founding members Dave Bell (drums), Stan Land (2nd guitar) and Colin Dawson (lead guitar). Dave Cowell played bass. Later in the bands' life Colin Dawson quit, so Alan Murphy took over, he later played in English pop bands Level 42 and coincidentally, Go West, who cropped up in the last volume via Hustler drummer Tony Beard. Although the band had a good live reputation, with fans frequently enjoying Jill Saward's titillating stage antics at the Marquee in London, they did not achieve commercial success on EMI and didn't get the green light for a second album. Jill had the most successful career afterwards, in the pop group Shakatak, and surprisingly none of the other players were in notable bands later. Colin Dawson started Fusion Orchestra 2 in 2008, in which he is the only original FO member.


    Rockcelona

    Continuing into heavier territory, "Queen, Friend And Dread" from Barcelona's Rockcelona hits you hard.The LP it's taken from is like this all the way through, it never lets up. This unique and timeless collision between punk, heavy metal and garage rock recorded in 1979 is a real gem for anyone out there who looks for the ultimate in unrelenting fuzz. The group was founded in 1977 by Alfredo Valcárcel, and recorded only one album called "La Bruja" (The Witch).



    Svanfrídur

    Svanfrídur
    Svanfrídur
    Courtesy of Shadoks music (link) :- The Icelandic prog-rock band Svanfrídur released only one album, recorded six months after they played their first gig. This short-lived band rapidly rose to fame, receiving rave reviews for live performances, but in fact their music was way ahead of its time. They were unable to seal a recording contract so they formed their own label - Swan Records. When the album 'What’s Hidden There?' was released in autumn 1972 it got mixed reviews and sold only a few hundred copies, leaving the band with a great album but sadly not the income they had been hoping for. Recorded at London’s Majestic Studios the album was cut and pressed in England. Perhaps one of the best heavy prog / underground albums from Scandinavia with amazing guitar and all-English vocals. Would have been a famous and successful album on Decca UK.


    Asia

    Asia 1978
    Not to be confused with the British "Asia", South Dakota's Asia made two LPs of heavy progressive rock and hard rock. They have an epic, regal quality to many of the songs, somewhat reminiscent of the kind of atmosphere conjured up by Led Zep's No Quarter or Kashmir for instance. They evolved from White Wing with members Michael English on vocals and multi-instrumentalist Mike Coates. Asia achieved some success playing the club circuit in the more urban areas of the upper Midwest. Their self-titled debut was recorded in two sessions at ASI studios in Minneapolis in 1978 and was privately released the same year.


    Cinderella

    Following is a snippet of the interiews I conducted with Art Bausch of Blue Planet and Betty Raadgever of Cinderella.

    Cinderella in 1971
    Me: Have you heard of the band Cinderella, that made a single in 1971?

    Art: Yes, I did studio work with them on their first single, together with Aad and Peter. That was while Blue Planet was still going. I’ve been seen it on Youtube.

    Me: Did you guys write the single or were you just brought it to the session?

    Art: The main girl, Betty Raadgever wrote it. Their producer, Gerrit Jan Leenders, I did other work for him too. That’s how that started. My memory is good, especially of that period. Everything was so intense and every day was a party.

    We take a brief diversion here to read some responses that Cinderella's Betty Raadgever kindly gave for this article.

    Betty Raadgever
    Me: Hi Betty, did Cinderella make any more music other than the single?

    Betty: Cinderella did make more songs, but they are not recorded on a album, unfortunately. And of course I wrote a lot of songs after Cinderella for my other bands: Eyeliner and The Betty Ray Experience.

    Me: I spoke to Art Bausch. I asked him about your Cinderella single and he confirmed that he, Peter and Aad Kreeft played on it. Did Blue Planet play on both sides?

    Betty: Blue Planet played on both sides of the single, but I wrote the lyrics and music. Aad was a good friend of mine and we knew the other guys from Leiden/Oegstgeest, where we all came from. A very good band, Blue Planet!

    Me: Did the other guys in Cinderella play or sing on it too (Renee, Bernardien, Nico)?

    Betty; The singers on the record are Betty, Bernardien and Renee in the chorus. I am singing the lead, and the b-side, "The Love That We've Go", Bernardien sings. The guys from BP played all the music.

    Me: Did Cinderella break up for any reason or did it change into a different band?

    Betty: After four years I choose to switch bands and became lead singer of a hard rock band called "For Shame". Cinderella was over... After the hard rock period I had four other female groups: Trevira 2000EyelinerNasty Girls and The Betty Ray Experience. The other Cinderella members stopped playing in bands.

    Me: Thanks Betty!

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    Many thanks to Garagehangover.com
    We all know Birmingham UK was a hotbed for hard rock and heavy metal, with the likes of Black Sabbath and Judas Priest, so the obvious question (to me at least hehe) is, what about Birmingham, Alabama, USA? As a bit of fun, this has unearthed some cool records and here's the best selection I could come up with!

    Alabama, along with all the south-east states, is deeply involved in the history of Southern rock and American rock. Although the city of Birmingham itself didn't throw up any internationally-famous bands, it had a thriving music scene. Formative bands in the '50s and '60s were garage bands like The Ramrods and The Vikings. Two are included here with a pair of great covers by The Outer Mongolian Herd and The Distortions. Also included are names like Hardrock GunterJerry Yester and Vic Upshaw, who were born in Birmingham but had further-reaching careers; Vic made singles in France for instance.

    TRACKS
    01. Crimson Tide - Turning Back (1978)
           from album 'Crimson Tide'
    02. Sam Lay - Maggie's Farm (1968)
           from album 'Sam Lay in Bluesland'
    03. Hardrock Gunter - I'll Give 'Em Rhythm (1955)
           single
    04. The Outer Mongolian Herd - Hey Joe (1968)
           from comp 'Psychedelic States - Alabama Vol. 2'
    05. Judy Henske & Jerry Yester - Snowblind (1969)
           'from album Farewell Aldebaran'
    06. Vic Upshaw - Popcorn Crazy (1969)
           from EP "Dance the Popcorn"
    07. Smith Perkins Smith - Save Me (1972)
           from album 'Smith Perkins Smith'
    08. The Distortions - Smokestack Lightning (1966)
           from comp 'Psychedelic States - Alabama Vol. 2'
    09. Backwater - Pair O' Dice (1976)
           from album 'Backwater'
    10. Hotel - City Lights (1979)
           from album 'Hotel'


    Crimson Tide

    Crimson Tide self-titled LP 1978
    We kick off with a killer track from Crimson Tide. Although their 1978 self-titled debut had a couple of harder cuts on it, and "Turning Back" is one of those, their second LP, "Reckless Love", is the most consistent. The kingpin of the outfit was guitarist Wayne Perkins (wiki), who started out as a session player in his teens, and in '60s Birmingham bands like The Vikings. After working in the famous Muscle Shoals scene, and a stint working in the UK in Smith Perkins & Smith, who made a record in 1972, he wound-up back home in The Alabama Power Band (originally started by his brother Dale, who was the drummer). They had changed name to "Crimson Tide" by the time of signing with Capitol.

    The playing is impeccable through-out with nice slide guitar, but the band didn't last long after their second record. Wayne's session career continued as before, he made his first solo record in '95 and throughout his career has played for everyone from Don Nix to Bob Marley.

    It's not too easy finding the whereabouts of the remaining guys, but keys-man Richard "Wolfie" Wolf is a Los Angeles-based music producer, remixer and composer, with numerous film, television credits too.

    Alabama Record Collectors Association - "Wayne Perkins, through the help of drummer Jasper Guarino, became a session guitarist at a studio in Muscle Shoals owned by Quin Ivy at $100 a week. He later formed a band, Smith, Perkins and Smith for a very short time. He then was a member of several different bands, including the Gap Band. Wayne was even considered at one time to join the Rolling Stones, but was decided against because he wasn’t British, but did play on one of their albums in 1974.

    Crimson Tide - Wayne Perkins center
    One day Wayne Perkins went to hear his brother Dale's band, Alabama Power. "They had a great band and no songs," he says. "They had the vehicle and I had the gasoline. I had the connections in Hollywood after all these years." Perkins says that lawyers for the Alabama Power Company were not pleased with the band's name, so the group changed it to Crimson Tide. "I much preferred the name Alabama Power to Crimson Tide because that's sacrilege, to me. Crimson Tide is a great name but [the University of Alabama] was already using it." Crimson Tide released two albums on Capitol Records, the self-titled Crimson Tide in 1978 which provided the single “Love Stop,” and Reckless Love in 1979 and a single of the same name, the latter produced by Donald "Duck" Dunn, bassist for Booker T. and the MGs, with the MGs' Steve Cropper contributing guitar parts.

    Crimson Tide became the house band at the Crossroads Club in Roebuck for a couple of years in the late '70s, where well-known acts such as Yes, Joe Cocker, or Rick Derringer, if they had performed elsewhere in town that day, often showed up to sit in. "That's one thing about the Crossroads Club. You never knew who would show up," Perkins says. Crimson Tide split up in 1979. Perkins later released a pair of solo CDs, Mendo Hotel in 1995 and Ramblin' Heart in 2005, as well as having his songs included on soundtracks for several films and TV shows. The members of the band were: Dale Perkins, Wayne Perkins, Greg Straub, Bobby Delander and J.J. Jackson. By the second album, Richard Fox, who played keyboards on both albums, was an official member."

    Sam Lay

    "Sam Lay in Bluesland" LP 1968
    Sam Lay (born March 20, 1935, Birmingham, Alabama) is a drummer and vocalist, who has been performing since the 1950s. His drumming can be heard on over 40 recordings for the Chess Records label and 1968's "Sam Lay in Bluesland" was his first solo LP. His career began in 1957, as the drummer for the Original Thunderbirds. In the early 1960s, he began recording and performing with prominent blues musicians such as Willie Dixon, Howlin' Wolf, Eddie Taylor, John Lee Hooker, Junior Wells, Bo Diddley, Magic Sam, Jimmy Rogers, Earl Hooker, and Muddy Waters

    In the mid 1960s he joined the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and recorded and toured extensively with them. Lay also recorded with Bob Dylan, most notably on the Highway 61 Revisited album. He drummed on the "Highway 61" track, so I guess he's more than qualified to do the great cover of  "Maggie's Farm" included here! Sam was featured in 'History of the Blues', produced by Martin Scorsese, and was inducted into the 2015 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band.


    Hardrock Gunter

    Now to what is by far the earliest track I have ever included in these collections. Sidney Louie Gunter Jr. (b.27 February 1925), known as Hardrock Gunter, was a guitarist and performer who was there right at the formative stages of rock and roll and rockabilly at the turn of the '50s. His first teenage group was the Hoot Owl Ramblers. In 1939 he joined Happy Wilson's Golden River Boys and acquired his nickname "Hardrock" when a van trunk lid fell on him before a show and he never flinched. After wartime service he returned to work with the group, before leaving to become their agent and starting to appear on local TV.

    As a popular local personality, he signed to Birmingham's Bama label. He recorded his own song "Birmingham Bounce" in early 1950 (youtube), the Golden River Boys being renamed the Pebbles on the record. A regional hit which produced over 20 cover versions, the most successful being by Red Foley, who reached no.1 with it on the Billboard country chart, and no.14 on the pop chart. Gunter's original version has become regarded as a contender for the first rock and roll record. It predates "Rocket 88" by Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats (who were actually Ike Turner's Kings of Rhythm) by a year. Gunter followed up with "Gonna Dance All Night", one of the first records to feature the actual words "rock'n'roll". Gunter signed to Decca, and his 1951 duet with Roberta Lee, "Sixty Minute Man," was one of the first country records to cross over to R&B audiences.

    In 1953 he began working at a radio station, and also remade "Gonna Dance All Night" and recorded "Jukebox Help Me Find My Baby", both of which were issued by Sun Records and became regional hits. In 1958 he was one of the first musicians to use both echo and overdub on his recording of "Boppin' to Grandfather's Clock", released under the name Sidney Jo Lewis. He continued to record with limited success, and in the 1960s left the music business. He retired to Rio Rancho, New Mexico. In 1995 he began to perform again at festivals in England, Germany and the United States. He died aged 88 in 2013.


    The Outer Mongolian Herd

    This is a Birmingham band band I found by checking out 'Psychedelic States - Alabama Vol. 2' from Gear Fab Records (link). It's a great version of Hey Joe, but they certainly put their own garage twist on it. Here's what's written about it: "Hey Joe, The Outer Mongolian Herd (Bill Roberts), Third Story Music, BMI, 2:09 - Released on the Daisy (4847) label in Jan 1968 and b/w "I Wan't To Love You (Scared)". A mystery crew that recorded for a Birmingham-based label, these guys laid down one of the finer versions of "Hey Joe", a garage band staple that never sounds tired or dated." [Mike Markesich]


    Judy Henske & Jerry Yester

    Farewell Aldebaran LP front
    This great track is here because Jerry Yester was Birmingham-born. Judy Henske & Jerry met while working in the West Coast folk scene in the early 1960s, Henske as an uncategorizable solo singer recording folk, blues, jazz and comedy, Yester as a member of the Modern Folk Quartet. They married in 1963. A few years later Henske's career was faltering as a result of ill-advised forays into cabaret while Yester had produced albums by Tim Buckley and The Association, and replaced Zal Yanovsky in The Lovin' Spoonful.

    Judy Henske
    The pair, with their new-born daughter, moved to Los Angeles in 1968. Henske shared a manager, Herb Cohen, with Frank Zappa, who suggested to her that she should put music to some of the verse she was writing. Yester, at this point, was working with Yanovsky on the latter's first solo album, and experimenting with new electronic and other sound effects. The couple combined to put together the Farewell Aldebaran LP, drawing on a varied selection of their musician friends, and it was issued on Zappa and Cohen's new label.

    Farewell Aldebaran LP back
    In the UK, the album was broadcast by John Peel who played Three Ravens on more than one occasion on Radio One. Henske and Yester went on to form a more conventional band, Rosebud, before they went their separate ways at the start of the 1970s. The album was reissued on CD by bootleg label Radioactive Records in 2005 (link).





    Vic Upshaw

    Vic Upshaw - Dance The Popcorn
    Time for a funny novelty single which grooves and funks along in an addictive way. It seems that Vic was a dancer first before a musician, and his handful of records were related to dance moves and instruction. It would seem he was attempting to plug a dance called 'the popcorn' with this single! The most information I have found so far is unfortunately from his obituary. An American choreographer who brought modern jazz styles to France in the mid-1960's, he died on Nov. 5 1990. He was 50 years old. A spokeswoman for a dance society with which he worked said he died of a stomach disorder. Born in Birmingham, AL in 1940, Mr. Upshaw played minor roles in the 1958 film version of "South Pacific" and in the Judy Garland version of "A Star Is Born" before moving to France in 1964.

    Mr. Upshaw designed dance routines for the Lido cabaret. His own dance group, the Vic Upshaw Six, was a staple for years on French television variety shows. He taught steps to some of France's best-known show-business personalities, including Catherine Deneuve, Sylvie Vartan, Pierre Mondy and Jean-Claude Brialy.


    Smith Perkins Smith

    As previously mentioned with Crimson Tide, the "Perkins" part of this trio was Wayne Perkins from Birmingham. The "Smiths" are American brothers Steve and Tim Smith. Steve Smith had played on southern soul tracks recorded by the likes of Sam & Dave, the Staples Singers and Wilson Pickett at the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Birmingham, Alabama. Arthur Alexander and Ben Atkins (the first white singer signed to Stax) had recorded songs written by the Smith brothers.

    The album is mellow country rock affair, mostly acoustic, but there's a couple of electric tracks and "Save Me" is my pick here. Indeed, it was tapped for a single by Island. Smith Perkins Smith started a second album while residing in the UK, which wasn't released. Wayne Perkins had other distractions, including being asked by Island to add rock guitar to a reggae band they were trying to break. His solos on Concrete Jungle and Stir It Up helped Catch a Fire do just that for Bob Marley.

    Smith Perkins Smith
    Steve Smith was asked to produce Robert Palmer's solo debut. They'd met at Leicester University when Smith Perkins Smith supported Vinegar Joe – in which Palmer shared vocals with Elkie Brooks – but the production offer came out of the blue. His masterstroke of matching Palmer with Lowell George and the Meters for Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley, the album that out-funked Little Feat, confirmed his talents behind the mixing desk. Tim Smith too went into production and arranging, working with Lynyrd Skynyrd among others.



    The Distortions

    The Distortions - picture found at Garagehangover.com
    Here's another track I have 'borrowed' from 'Psychedelic States - Alabama Vol. 2' (Gear Fab Records - link). Here's what it has to say - "Smokestack Lightning - The Distortions. (C. Burnett), ARC Music, BMI. Released on the SEA (102) label in April 1966 and b/w "Hot Cha". The band came from Birmingham and along with the Rockin' Rebellions, The Distortions were the city's top teen crowd-pleasers.

    Their first three singles were issued on the SEA label. "Smokestack Lightning" was also issued on the Malcolm Z. Dirge label in August 1966 as the b-side to "Behind My Wall", an original tune and the band's biggest seller in Montgomery and Birmingham. This prompted several record label scouts to present signing offers to the group, with the Mercury label winning out. Mercury placed "Behind My Wall" on their Smash label subsidiary a couple of months later. The Distortions continued to perform well into the late sixties, releasing singles on Malcolm Z. Dirge and the Casino label from New Orleans in 1967 and Capitol in 1968, but all pale in the throes of "Smokestack Lightning". [Mike Markesich]

    There's an account of The Distortions over at Garagehangover.com (here) which shows the band's changed appearance and outlook into the early seventies, including a couple of '70s tracks showing a decidedly more slick, funky approach.


    Backwater

    Backwater
    Nearing the end, here's a change in tack with some live jazz rock. Backwater made two private press records. This track is taken from the 1976 self-titled debut, which has one side of studio tracks and another side from a live performance. I have selected "Pair O' Dice" from the live side. Jazz rock is not something i'll use to often on this blog but in this case a cool riff is a cool riff what ever the style! The quartet formed in 1975, playing clubs and working as session musicians in Birmingham. According to their surprisingly inclusive wiki page (link), the record sold quite well locally and saw them get support slots for the likes of B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, and Emmylou Harris (Harris hailing from Birmingham herself). Backwater released two records on their own amusingly-named label "Bongwater Records", the second is called "North Of The Mason-Dixon And The Heart Of Dixie" and also includes live/studio material.


    Hotel

    To close this volume we have a late-'70s AOR band called Hotel. Looking for similar from the Birmingham area, I found only one more band of this ilk, called Telluride, but they are way too soft for TDATS. Much of Hotel's music was very slick and commercial also, but the self-titled first of their two records has a good rocker on it called "City Lights". According to guitarist Tommy Carlton's website (link), he started out in sixties garage band The Swingin' Lampliters, and according to Hotel singer/pianist Marc Phillips' website (link), the band lasted from 1973 to 1982.

    Hotel
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    Here's a review of the first ever official re-issue of this album recorded in Michigan, 1976. The keen-minded of you may remember that I used a great track from this LP back on TDATS 44, "Ridin' High" (link). It's a fresh-sounding mix of Southern rock, psych and prog and you can read the full review here.





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    Here is the fifth Day After The Sabbath collection of '60s-'70s prog, psych and hard rock with female singers belting out the heavy sounds. Previous similar episodes were Vol17, Vol49, Vol71 and Vol97 and this one has worked out just as well as those, so enjoy!

    TRACKS
    01. Duck - Buried Alive In The Blues (1972)
           from album 'Laid'
    02. Dead End 5 - Suurkaupungin Suudelma (1976)
           from album 'Dead Ends'
    03. Fancy - She's Riding The Rock Machine (1976)
           from album 'Turns You On'
    04. Genesis - Ten Second Song (1968)
           from album 'In The Beginning'
    05. Grootna - I'm Funky (1971)
           from album 'Grootna'
    06. Joy Unlimited - For You And Me (1971)
           from album 'Schmetterlinge'
    07. Julian Jay Savarin - Stranger (1970)
           from album 'Waiters On The Dance'
    08. Octopus - We're Loosing Touch (1976)
           from album 'Boat of Thoughts'
    09. Susan Shifrin - 25 Miles (1971)
           single
    10. Ten Wheel Drive - Pickpocket (1971)
           from album 'Peculiar Friends'
    11. The Comfortable Chair - Ain't No Good No More (1968)
           from album 'The Comfortable Chair'
    12. Punchin' Judy - Superwitch (1973)
           from album 'Punchin' Judy'
    13. Velvet Night - Freak show (1970)
           from album 'Velvet Night'
    14. Carol Grimes... and Delivery - Home Made Ruin (1970)
           from album 'Fools Meeting'
    15. Mother Trucker - Love In Them There Hills (1975)
           from album 'Love Rock'

    Duck was an Aussie mob fronted by Bobbi Marchini, and also had bassist Teddy Toi of The Aztecs, and guitarist Russel Smith of the Renee Geyer Band. Many of the players also played on the pretty cool John Robinson "Pity For The Victim" LP which is worth a listen. They open this with a blistering cover of a Paul Butterfield band track, "Buried Alive In The Blues". Bobbi's name appears soon after Duck on the Sven Libaek ‎record, "Grass - A Rock Musical". Libaek is a Norwegian who settled in Australia after touring there in The Windjammers.

    Next up is a track from Dead End 5's debut LP "Dead Ends", they were a good n' heavy hard rock /punk band from Finland and this LP was re-issued recently by Svart Records (link). Singer Annika Andersson made a solo record in 1978 in a much lighter style, called "Itseteossa".

    Fancy was one of the omnipresent guitarist Ray Fenwick's (see Vol103 and "Guitar Orchestra" on Vol112 ) many associated bands, and he actually lead this one over three albums in the late '70s, featuring the pipes of one Annie Kavanagh. She worked with Neil Innes after Fancy flat-lined.

    Genesis was a short-lived LA psych band, not to be confused with the famous English band of course, that also had an album with the same name! The singer here was Sue Richman, who worked with Exile, Yucatan, Suzi Quatro and Savoy Brown later on.

    Track five is from another west coast (Berkeley) psych band, Grootna, who's LP was produced by The Jefferson Airplane/Starship's Marty Balin. The singer is Anna Rizzo and the band exercise some funk on this track.

    Mannheim's Joy Unlimited was originally called Joy & The Hit Kids. "Joy" is powerful singer Joy Fleming, and the band was quite productive in the '70s, making seven albums and collaborations. Joy maintained a solo career at the same time and made her most recent LP in 2007.

    Half way now with a track from Julian Jay Savarin, an enigmatic character who was born in Dominica but moved to Great Britain in 1962. Before he was 30 he had made some albums as himself and with the band "Julian's Treatment", as well as embarking on a sci-fi novel trilogy "Lemmus: A Time Odyssey". 'Stranger' is from his solo record "Waiters on the Dance" which is based on one of the Lemmus books, which went by the same name. Julian played keyboards and his singer on both albums was Cathy Pruden, together with the rest of the band they made some excellent and unique prog which is way better than you'd expect from someone who is primarily a writer, that only briefly dabbled in music!

    Thanks to rock.co.za - "This Dominican-born writer and keyboard player moved to England with his family in 1962. He soon realized that the science fiction trilogy that he'd been working on, would translate perfectly into rock context. He formed a band, called Julian's Treatment, with Australian vocalist Cathy Pruden, bassist John Dover, guitarist/flautist Del Watkins and drummer Jack Drummond, and they put together what has become one of the rarest progressive rock albums, "A Time Before This", in June 1970. Julian's Treatment unfortunately didn't last too long, and the band folded just after the album was released (on the rare Youngblood label). It would be two years before Julian Jay Savarin would attempt anything musically again. He set about recording "Waiters On The Dance", the album from which the featured track was taken, in 1973. ("Waiters On The Dance" was in fact part two of the aforementioned trilogy). Cathy Pruden, in the meantime, had left to go back to Australia to get married, and Savarin managed to secure the services of Jo Meek, formerly of the jazz/rock outfit Catapilla.(Interestingly, Anna, not Jo Meek, is credited as being the singer on both Catapilla's albums. Maybe they're one and the same lady, or maybe they're sisters? Either way, great, yet very different voice!). Roger Odell, formerly of CMU, came in on drums, John Dover was on bass, and Nigel Jenkins was on guitar. This was the last piece of music Julian Jay Savarin ever wrote, except for the soundtrack to a short film called "Face Of Darkness" in the early 80's. He has, however, written many books since. Roger Odell and John Dover went on to become Shakatak's rhythm section."

    Octopus's first two albums, "The Boat of Thoughts" (1976) and "An Ocean of Rocks" (1977) feature heavy keyboard-orientated prog and are often compared to Camel. The band's lyrics on the first three albums are entirely in English although they came from Frankfurt. Singer Jennifer Hensel married Octopus guitarist Win Kowa (formerly of Streetmark) and to this day they work as a duo called Kowa (link).

    Susan Shifrin is an American songwriter, having written songs recorded by Tina Turner ("Show Some Respect"), Heart ("Strangers of the Heart"), Cher ("All Because of You"), Meat Loaf ("Getting Away with Murder") and others. She even wrote a track on the Bill & Ted's soundtrack called "In Time". She made a handful of singles in the early seventies and the b-side of her first one, '25 Miles', is a wah wah and fuzz bass-powered soul rock belter!

    Entering the third act and coming up now is a soul/funk/jazz rock juggernaut called Ten Wheel Drive, a New Jersey band fronted by the Polish-born, powerfully-voiced Genya Ravan (real name Genyusha Zelkovicz and aka Goldie Zelkowitz in her first band 'Goldie and The Escorts'). They managed four albums and delivered a few heavy tracks on each one, my pick being from their third LP, "Peculiar Friends". She is still active in music and there is a New York stage show just announced called 'Rock And Roll Refugee', employing no less than three actresses to portray her at various times.

    The Comfortable Chair are another west coast psych band that online sources say was "discovered" by Jim Morrison, and produced by John Densmore / Robby Krieger. The album doesn't live up to the lofty expectations that may place on it, but there's some decent tracks like the opener 'Ain't No Good No More'. Singer Barbara Wallace doesn't show up in any more bands, from initial searches at least. Bass player Greg Leroy was soon to join Crazy Horse.

    Ochsfan - "The group stayed around long enough to play themselves in the Bob Hope - Jackie Gleason film "How to Commit Marriage", but had disbanded by the end of the decade. Bernie Schwartz (the main song writer) made another film appearance, in 1972's "Hickey and Boggs", and cut a solo album entitled "The Wheel", which included the Comfortable Chair's Gene Garfin, before becoming a self-help author.  Garfin was also a member of the Rangers, a Stone Poneys offshoot, which never got beyond the demo stage.  Greg Leroy went on to join Crazy Horse, while Warner Davis became a member of the sadly overlooked Timber."

    Punchin' Judy is an act for which I have been able to find very little info. The vocals are supplied by Barbara O'Meara, who also sung on the George Deacon & Marion Ross album "Sweet William's Ghost", made the same year as Punchin' Judy's only record. All the other members of the band throw up little in the way of interesting connections. I found a band going by the name (not confirmed as same band) had played at London's Marquee Club in 1975 (link) but that's about it for online presence of this mysterious name, who made a fairly good record in 1973. LP credits: Vocals – Barbara O'Meara, Bass Guitar, Vocals – Keith Evans, Drums, Percussion, Vocals – Alan Brooks, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals – John Phillips, Piano – Robin Langridge, Producer – John Whitehead, Engineer – Barry Hammond.

    New York sextet Velvet Night made their sole LP in 1970, which consists mostly of covers, although they put their own stamp on them and come up with some cool sounds. Lynn Boccumini lays down some charismatic vocals and their fuzzy moves may not have been cutting edge for 1970, but they have something compelling about them. It would appear from the band's Surnames that they were all of Italian heritage and didn't do anything of note after this record, unfortunately.

    Nearing the end now and a bit of a change with some Canterbury Scene sounds. The 'Delivery' portion of Carol Grimes and Delivery included three guys that would next be in Hatfield And The North; Phil Miller (guitar), Pip Pyle (drums) and Richard Sinclair (bass, vocals). Carol Grimes is still active and made a record most recently in 2013 (link). The instantly-catchy opening motif of the song I used here called 'Home Made Ruin' immediately reminded me of more than one '90s britpop era indie track, none of which I can quite put my finger on right now, but if I can I'll be right back! Maybe some readers out there can assist...

    So this episode ends with the group that inspired its name, Mother Trucker. Some of the photo shoots of this "band" are so amusing they hint at being an exploitation exercise that used a few page 3 girls for its image...almost every album/single/promo picture of them seems to include different sets of (mostly) girls, in clothes that range stylistically from hippie, to disco Diva, to blouse-bursting carry-on "crumpet". Who knows what the facts are, and I am reluctant to find out as the truth is so often disappointing compared to the imaginings. All i'll say is, although the girls seem to like carrying guitars in some of the photos, the music comes across as funky, semi-disco vocal pop with a horn section (don't see any of them holding brass in the picture, don't see many bras either) that is catchy and good fun, as is the whole album "Love Rock". Long-live the seventies!




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    Here's a compilation from a new label called Archives of Acid. No prizes for guessing what inspired that name hehe. It so-far plans to specialise in rare singles-only acts and for the first release it is concentrating on the state of Ohio. More locales are planned in the future. read more...

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    A tribute to the bad bad wicked crazy unfaithful two-timing evil-hearted devil woman, muse of many a vintage hard rockin' track, including twelve acts new to the blog.

    01. (Sopworth) Camel - Evil Woman (1969)
           from album 'Underage'
    02. Rog & Pip - Evil Hearted Woman
           from album 'Our Revolution'
    03. Omega Plus - Unfaithful Woman (1969)
           from album 'How To Kiss The Sky'
    04. Helix - Crazy Women (1979)
           from album 'Breaking Loose'
    05. Silence - Devil Woman (1971)
           single
    06. Night Sun - Crazy Woman (1972)
           from album 'Mournin'
    07. The Kelly - Evil Woman (1971)
           from TV show 'Hit Scene' 15/4/71
    08. Beggars Opera - Two Timing Woman (1973)
           single
    09. BZN - Bad Bad Woman (1971)
           from album 'The Bastard'
    10. Melvin McRae Band - Evil Woman (1976)
           from album 'Queen of Hearts'
    11. Frantic - Wicked Woman (1971)
           from album 'Conception'
    12. Mandrake - Cold Hearted Woman (1978)
           from album 'Mandrake'
    13. Bone - Naggin' Woman (1972)
           from 'British Music Archive 1972 - 73'
    14. Bandit - Evil Woman (1975)
           from album 'Bandit'

    Camel - Underage
    Camel - Underage
    Beginning this is a cover of a song written by Larry Weiss and first recorded by Guy Darrel in 1967. There have been loads of covers of "Evil Woman" (not to be confused with Crow's completely different song of the same name, covered by Sabbath), at least five before 1970 alone, including versions by Spooky Tooth, The Troggs, Lou Rawls and Chris Britton. Larry Weiss recorded his own version on a solo LP in 1974.

    Camel (aka Sopworth Camel) appears to have been a band of English musicians that relocated to Italy for a short time where they made the album of covers, 'Underage'. They were Pete Huish (Drums), Martin Fischer (Guitar, Vocals, Piano, Organ, Harpsichord), Dave Sumner (Lead Guitar, Vocals) and Alex Jackson (Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Piano). Dave Sumner seems to have been in a lot of Italian bands and Alex Jackson is also known as Alex Ligertwood, of Santana, Brian Auger's Oblivion Express and others.

    Rog & Pip - Our Revolution
    Rog & Pip - Our Revolution
    Rog & Pip is guitarist Roger Lomas and Singer/Guitarist Pip Whitcher. They were both in Coventry's The Sorrows and recorded some singles together afterwards, under names like Rog & Pip, The Zips and Renegade. This track is taken from the retrospective archival LP "Our Revolution" which was put out by Rise Above Relics in 2013 (link), containing all the singles and a full album's worth of unreleased '70s material. Roger Lomas became a producer in the 1980s, linked with many Ska bands.

    There's a load of great tracks on it and it's well-worth getting, Rise Above describes it thus: "Combining the heaviness of Black Sabbath and early Led Zeppelin with the anthemic/aggro pop chants of Slade and The Sweet, Our Revolution is a Proto-Metal blast of Hard-Glam that finally sees the light of day."

    Omega Plus - How To Kiss The Sky
    Omega Plus
    How To Kiss The Sky
    Omega Plus was certainly one of the earliest heavy acts from France to make an album, and it's a good one. The trio included guitarist and composer Claude Engel (website), who played on the first album by prog legends Magma as well as making his own records. Also playing on Omega Plus's LP was Claude's multi-instrumentalist brother Marcel (website) and Gérard Lévy on bass. "Unfaithful Woman" is an unholy marriage of hard-rocking psych and prog, a real winner!

    Ashatrom's review at RYM :- "Featuring Claude Engel on guitar (later with Magma, Dayde, Univeria Zekt and many others), this is generally considered France's first psychedelic record (see also Dickens, Octopus 4 and Popera Cosmic). Interesting to note that Engel himself, on his website at least, does not even reference this album. I don't know why not, as it's not a bad example of the Hendrix psych sound, and with the addition of flute, adds more than the usual copyist acid psych rock that many American band were doing during this time. Also includes one long free rock improvisation that's pretty interesting. A short record, that doesn't even break the 30 minute mark.

    Helix - Breaking Loose
    Helix - Breaking Loose
    Helix is from Kitchener, Ontario, this is an original track from their 1979 debut LP "Breraking Loose". The most recent of many LPs is "Bastard of The Blues" (2014) and they are still playing now, minus original album guitarist Paul Hackman, who tragically died in an accident 1992.

    Wiki - "Helix is a Canadian hard rock/heavy metal band. They formed in 1974, and are best known for their 1984 single "Rock You". The original lineup was formed by drummer Bruce Arnold, and consisted of lead vocalist Brian Vollmer, guitarists Ron Watson and Rick "Minstrel" Trembley, keyboardist Don Simmons, and bassist Keith "Bert" Zurbrigg.

    However, their most well known lineup, and the one that recorded "Rock You", was the 80s version of the band: Vollmer on vocals, accompanied by guitarists Brent "The Doctor" Doerner and Paul Hackman, bassist Daryl Gray, and drummer Greg "Fritz" Hinz. The history of the band has been marked by many lineup changes, with Vollmer being the sole constant member and only remaining member of the original lineup. Although Hackman was killed in a tour bus accident in 1992, the surviving members of the 80s lineup reunited in 2009 for an album and have continued to tour since 2011."

    Silence - Mother's Game / Devil Woman
    Silence
    Mother's Game/Devil Woman
    Silence was a dutch band that made a great single in 1971. Devil Woman is an original song and here's what Robin Wills over at the great Purepop blog wrote about it - "Holland’s Silence max out on the snotty attitude with this great 2-sider. Mother's game is tough and crunchy with some amusing lyrics “ I have a cup of tea and a piece of pie..” “I’m riding in a train in vain, yes baby it’s your mother’s game....” (sic). There’s a neat tempo shift at the end with a dual lead which is most effective and probably a Hans Van Hemert touch. Devil Woman is like a proto-punk Communication Breakdown which reminds of Pantherman in its vocal delivery. It also has a spooky middle break and some clumsy drumming. Not much is known about Silence.

    They were from Dordrecht (home to the Zipps and Inca Bullet Joe –another fine Hans Van Hemert production) and although Hans  has good recollections of his Dump or Cardinal Point productions, his recall of these sessions are lost in the mists of time.  This appears to be the 2nd Silence release (The Future of Our Sister Felicity being the first?). The recording session took place on the 23rd of January 1971 and also included covers of Gimmie Shelter and Paranoid, but as far as I can see these seem to be unreleased."

    Night Sun - Mournin'
    Night Sun - Mournin'
    Many classic English bands came to mind when I first heard Night Sun's Mournin' LP, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and King Crimson being three of the most obvious. This may be a bold claim, but it’s justifiable to say that Night Sun could have become as renowned as any of them, if they had continued and expanded on the promise shown by Mournin'. Engineered by famed krautrock figurehead Conny Planc (Scorpions, Kraftwerk, Ash Ra Tempel), the band dissolved very soon after the LP was released, with little promotion or appreciation.

    Many thanks to long-time blog follower Richard (aka Sadness) for bringing this Australian band to my attention right at the last innings. It's another great cover of Crow's Evil Woman. As-yet it has been hard to find info on Kelly (or The Kelly) apart from a few youtube videos of two great songs, this one and Blodwyn Pig cover 'See My Way' (link), from appearances on ABC TV's "Hit Scene" and NSW TV's  "Happening 71" respectively. It doesn't appear that either of these tracks were released on record. If anyone out there knows any more about The Kelly please drop me a line! Folk rock, Australian rock & more says :- "known Kelly members were : Andrew Boucaut (v) 1971-74, Rod Olson (g) 1971-74, Jeff Prime (b) 1971-74, Damien Robb (g) 1971-74, Mick Stewart (d) 1971-74, Alan Stirling (k) 1971-74 and Doug Stirling (k) 1971-74 (he also had played in Adderley Smith Blues Band and Levi Smiths Clefs)."



    Beggars Opera - Two Timing Woman
    Beggars Opera
    Two Timing Woman
    Beggars Opera was a prog band from Glasgow that made a few albums in the seventies and reappeared later on. Founding member Ricky Gardiner has continued to make albums under the name. This track is a single that was not originally on any albums and it's one of the heavier songs from Beggars Opera, who may well have popped up earlier on this blog if they had made more tracks like the excellent 'Two Timing Woman'. Hard rock with great brass!

    BZN (Band Zonder Naam "Band Without a Name") was from Volendam in The Netherlands. Bad Bad Woman is a track from their first album with a hard glam edge, a lot of fun.

    Melvin McRae Band - Queen Of Hearts (1976)
    Melvin MacRae Band was Melvin McRae (guitar, vox), Rauni Osterman (drums) and Hannu Takala (bass)which is the same as the final lineup of another Finnish band which came before, Yellow, minus Helge Koskela. Melvin was apparently from the UK but so far I've drawn blanks on how he ended up in Finnish bands and what happened to him afterwards. There's a few great tracks on the album "Queen Of Hearts" (1976) which is a mix of hard rock and boogie rock.

    Frantic - Conception
    Frantic - Conception
    Formed in Montana, later moving to LA, Frantic started out as The Frantics. As Frantic they made an album in 1971 called "Conception" which is often described as hard rock but it sounds very dated for 1971, it has more in common with sixties pop music. There's some nice songs, like Wicked Woman, Baby and Midnight to Six Man, but I wouldn't call it hard rock by any stretch of the imagination. Quite good pop music structures with a heavy edge on some of the tracks. Allmusic says :- "Formed in 1965 in Billings, Montana, the Frantics were a sextet who drew their influences from Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, and, later, Jim Morrison (note the Lizard Records imprint for their second album).

    They were a little on the heavy side in terms of their musical approach, and were ambitious -- they played throughout the United States and relocated several times, to New Mexico and then to Colorado Springs, Colorado, before settling in Los Angeles in 1969. The group released a pair of singles, "La Do Da Da" b/w "Route 66" and "Midnight to Six Man" b/w "Shady Sam." They also cut two albums, Relax Your Mind, which dated from 1968 and was unreleased until the '90s, and a second album, Conception, late in their history. At around that same time, they dropped the "s" from their name and worked as Frantic."

    Mandrake - self titled
    Mandrake - self titled
    Mandrake was on Crazy Cajun Records, and I read somewhere that I can no longer find that this was a tax scam label, but I don't know anything else on that subject. The record is great, heavy rock with a southern flavour, bits of funk, and slide guitar, from Texas. The whole thing is pretty consistent, and seems to be attracting quite high prices now. Get it if you can find it, bar broom brawling stuff with a raw sound and loads of great geetarin!


    Bone - Fairview Studios
    Bone - Fairview recordings
    Bone was a UK act, which it's said in various places online recorded music that was never released, at Fairview Studios, Willerby, near Hull, East Yorkshire. They have one track on a Fairview archival release here, and there are other internet download-only "bootlegs" going around that were apparently ripped from www.britishmusicarchive.com, which is inactive at the moment due to site improvements. The music from Bone is pretty much all good UK garage rock demos with some hard blues rock, and Naggin' Woman is one of the better tracks on it.

    Bandit - self titled
    Bandit - self titled
    Bandit from the US made one self titled album in 1975, listed in The International Encyclopedia of Hard Rock & Heavy Metal (1983), by Tony Jasper and Derek Oliver. The credits read: Bass Guitar, Steel Guitar, Vocals – Kevin Barnhill, Drums, Percussion – Danny Gorman, Electric Guitar, Vocals – David Della Rossa, Guitar, Vocals – Joey Newman, Lead Vocals – Timothy Eaton  and Producer – Bob Monaco. According to Discogs, Kevin Barnhill was also in the band Hollywood Stars, who made a '70s album that was shelved until recently. I have encountered it before and it's pretty good. Joey Newman had played on the highly rated Blue Mountain Eagle album in 1970, as well as making a solo record in 1980 called "Into His Favor". This track is the "other" Evil Woman, the one originally written/recorded by Crow and covered by a whole bunch of bands, including Sabbath of course!

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    A brief detour from the usual TDATS fair, normal service will be resumed shortly! This is a comp of awesome stoner rock, doom and sludge from 1992 to 2005, much of which has whiskey-soaked southern flavour. Hope you enjoy!

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    It's about time for an Irish volume! Ireland certainly did not have a lot of hard rock music in the '60s and '70s. There are the couple of internationally-known names like Thin Lizzy & Them, but making this volume was a bit like doing the New Zealand ones, in that I have had to use a fair amount of artistic license to find an hours-worth of music to satisfy this blog's remit. The country's political problems in the past certainly did nothing to help matters and during the magic period of the late '60s to the late '70s those problems were at a peak.

    I have been looking for years to finish this off and have probably found enough for part 2 in the future, there are a few missing here like Horslips and Mushroom that some may protest about but I have plans to include those on the blog later.

    There are a few invaluable sites for Irish rock that I must thank. rockroots.wordpress.com is a great resource with rare tracks to download, and between them irishrock.orgirish-showbands.com and irishshowbands.net detail pretty much every vintage Irish band that ever existed.

    TRACKS:

    - Joe O'Donnell - For Trades And Hospitality & House Of Warriors (1977)
           from album 'Gaodhal's Vision'
    - Skid Row - Night Of The Warm Witch (single version) (1971)
           from album '34 Hours'
    - Cromwell - Guinness Rock (1975)
           from album 'At The Gallop'
    - The Radiators From Space - Electric Shares (1977)
           from album 'TV Tube Heart'
    - Andwella's Dream - Sunday (1969)
           from album 'Love And Poetry'
    - Reform - Back To The Wall (1974)
           from album 'All For One'
    - Eire Apparent - Here I Go Again (1968)
           single
    - Bernie Tormé - Anyway Anyhow Anywhere (The Who cover) (1979)
           from album 'Punk Or What'
    - Fruupp - Decision (1973)
           from album 'Future Legends'
    - Granny's Intentions - Maybe (1970)
           from album 'Honest Injun'
    - Light - Ray's Song (1978)
           from album 'Light'
    - Plattermen - Cat's Eye (1972)
           from album 'Old Devil Wine'
    - Jimi Slevin & Firefly - Child Of Peace (1978)
           from album 'Getting There'
    - Turner & Kirwan of Wexford - Father 'Reilly Says Goodbye (1977)
           from album 'Absolutely And Completely'


    Joe O'Donnell is a classically trained violinist from Limerick. He pioneered the design and use of electric violin and his impressive CV looks like a who's who of UK prog rock, not just Irish rock. He has appeared with a few of the other acts in this volume, including Granny's Intentions and Rory Gallagher, as well as a host of prog / rock names like East Of Eden, Rare Bird, Trees, Headstone, Jade Warrior and Henry McCullough. He has also maintained a solo career and folk and ceilidh to this day with 'Joe O'Donnell's Shkayla'.

    In 1977 he made a solo record called Gaodhal's Vision which featured the talents of Rory Gallagher on many of the tracks, and that is where the opener for this volume comes from. 'House Of Warriors' has some brilliant violin riffing which shows the instrument can rock just as much as guitar!

    Skid Row are probably second to Thin Lizzy in status as an early Irish blues rock / hard rock band, although SR had a more experimental jam rock approach than Lizzy. Like Lizzy, the players involved during the band's short recording career include many recognisable names, such as Phil Lynott who sung in the late '60s before being thrown out by formative bass player,  Brendan "Brush" Shiels.

    After Lynott was gone Gary Moore received his highest amount of acclaim by that point as SR's singer/guitarist for both the band's two official studio albums. Drummer Noel Bridgeman was in Granny's Intentions (which Moore also was) and post-Moore guitarist Paul Chapman played in many other bands including Lone Star and UFO. I have used 'Night Of The Warm Witch' from the second Skid Row album, '34 Hours'.

    Brush Sheils and Noel Bridgeman of Skid Row


    Dublin's Cromwell were one of the few hard rock bands to release a full album, aside from the well-known names this was quite a rarity in Ireland. They released five singles and according to irish-showbands.com they were on the road for at least five years. In '72 they supported a Rory Gallagher tour. Cromwell was Patrick "Pat" Brady (guitar, vocals), Michael Kiely (guitar, bass, vocals), Derek Dawson (drums), Mick O'Hagan (vocals), and Desmond Kiely (bass). O'Hagen replaced Kiely and himself left in '73, the band continued as a trio, sharing vocal duties.

    The album 'At The Gallop' is not up to the level of Lizzy / Skid Row in terms of musicianship for instance but it's a rare example of a mid-'70s Irish hard rock LP, and it has a few decent tracks. As such it is now very collectible and commands high prices. I have used a track that was recorded a few years before the LP was released, the band's first single, 'Guinness Rock'. Brady and Kiely continued after Cromwell as an acoustic duo, 'The Establishment'.

    Dublin's The Radiators From Space are described in many places as Ireland's first punk band. They had a great album called TV Tube Heart in 1977, the same year that The Boomtown Rats made their debut. Although Ireland had seemingly missed out on producing a lot of established, recorded hard rock acts in the '70s, that was certainly made-up for in the punk explosion. Suddenly punk bands were popping up everywhere and the Irish spirit certainly found an affinity with the likes of The Sex Pistols and The Damned.

    According to irishrock.org The Radiators organised one of Ireland's first Punk events, The Belfield Punk festival in 1977, and played with The Undertones, The Gamblers, Revolver and The Vipers. The Radiators split in '81 with various members continuing with Eric Bell, ex-Pogues members, and have reformed from time to time, notably to support U2 in 2005.

    Lead by singer/guitarist David Lewes, Andwella's Dream started as 'The Method' in Belfast. By 1968 they had moved to London and recorded their highly-rated CBS album, 'Love and Poetry'. Around 1970 there were some lineup changes and as 'Andwella' they recorded two more albums on he CBS imprint, Reflection. I have used the track 'Sunday' from Love and Poetry, it's quite heavy with some nice Hendrixian guitar.



    Reform
    Limerick's Reform evolved from local showbands in the late '60s, and made some of Ireland's first glam rock. They were a popular hard-working ballroom act and although they made a fair number of singles and appeared on TV more than once, they didn't release an LP until 1979. It seems by then the time had passed, and 1984 was the last time they played.

    According to irish-showbands.com, Reform leader Don O'Connor complained in an interview that Irish pop magazines like Spotlight were concentrating solely on new flash-in-the-pan Dublin bands and ignoring hard-working rural bands like Reform, making it impossible for such acts to achieve national success.

    Eire Apparent started out in Belfast as the final 1960s incarnation of 'The People', including Henry McCullough. After moving around (reportedly sharing a farmhouse near Blackpool at one time with Lemmy's early band The Rockin' Vicars) they found significant success in Dublin, and sought greater success by relocating to London. While there they got co-signed by Soft Machine manager Mike Jeffery and Hendrix manager Chas Chandler, after a performance in the famous UFO club. This landed them a support slot on a Hendrix/The Move/Pink Floyd tour.

    Hendrix befriended them, producing and playing on their only album, 1968's 'Sun Rise', which was put out by US label Buddah Records after they made a name there supporting Hendrix, Soft Machine, The Animals etc. The band appears to have had problems caused by it's fanbase being spread too thinly and failed to really nail it in either the UK or US. After personnel changes, they disbanded in 1970. Various members would go on to play with acts such as Freedom, Sam Apple Pie, T.Rex, Pretty Things, Wings and others. My favourite track is a b-side which was not on the album, 'Here I Go Again', and that is what appears here!

    Dublin's Bernie Tormé (aka Bernard Tormay) is a guitarist with an interesting career, most famous for playing with Gillan, Atomic Rooster and Ozzy. His career has spanned decades of rock including blues, punk, hard rock and metal. One of his early bands was Dublin hard rockers 'Urge' in the early '70s and in the late '70s he started forming various projects with and without his name on them. He even joined Dee Snider's Desperado (with Clive Burr ex-Iron Maiden) in the late '80s.

    I have chosen a track from an album of late-'70s Tormé rarities called 'Punk or What', covering a Who classic with metallic punk aplomb. Bernie still regularly plays live and has just made a new album called 'Black Heart'. Bernie on Bandcamp.

    Belfast's Fruupp were one of Ireland's only symphonic progressive rock acts, and there were very few. I have used a track from their debut album 'Future Legends'. Apparently they started out as a hard rock act before taking progressive tendencies and the weighty guitar parts in 'Decision' would seem to confirm that.

    Fruupp moved to London in 1971 and were received well, supporting heavyweights like King Crimson, playing frequently in Europe and home from home, Germany, where I would say their style was very well-suited. Unfortunately it would seem that after an impressive four albums inside three years they still hadn't made it big enough to justify the efforts and they disbanded in 1976.

    Belfast's Light were active in the late seventies and made a self-titled album with a couple of decent tracks. This is what the back cover says, rather hyperbolically: "Anyone who remembers THEM or Chicago-based band TRUTH cannot fail to recall the playing of one of the world's great guitarists JIM ARMSTRONG. Following the demise of TRUTH in 1971, Armstrong retreated from the international scene to gig at a more relaxed pace in native Belfast.

    There was some writing and recording work with Brian Scott and Bernie MacDonald in 1973, to be followed by concert performances with an occasional band called LIGHT, which included George O'Hara and Albert Mills. The breakthrough came in March 1977 when the band came together to play regular sessions at Ireland's premiere rock venue, THE POUND. at the invitation of promoter Dermot Moffatt. The last fifteen months have seen LIGHT established as Ireland's finest rock band, possibly the best ever".

    Plattermen
    Omagh's Plattermen were a showband that originated in the '50s. By the early '70s they had become a BS&T style horn rock band that incorporated hard rock. After a couple in the '60s, they made the album 'Old Devil Wine' in 1972 with a couple of decent tracks including 'African Wah Wah' and the one included here, 'Cat's Eye'.

    After that album, one more single was recorded. For this one they used the moniker 'Hammer', and it was released by Vertigo. Unfortunately it's not as good as Cat's Eye, but they were still attempting to continue with a heavier sound.

    Jimi Slevin & Firefly made one album in 1978. Dubliner Jimi Slevin was in notable bands Peggy's Leg and also briefly Skid Row near it's end. At the age of 19 he started blues rockers Crossroads in 1969, then joined Alice in 1970, before starting Peggy's Leg in 1972. In the mid-'70s he started The Jimi Slevin Band, which made the album 'Getting There' in 1978, credited to Jimi Slevin & Firefly. He went solo in 1980. Since then he has made some solo albums and started a label/studio called Riteroad Music, but the 'Getting There' LP remains the main point of interest for hard rock fans. He shows some good talent which is reminiscent of Thin Lizzy at their melodic moments.

    Turner and Kirwan of Wexford finish off this set. Both Turner and Kirwan grew up in Wexford Town. They recorded a single as Aftermath circa 1971 released on Irish Polydor which gained some airplay. This is now very difficult to locate.

    The duo moved to New York City in the early 1970s and became Turner and Kirwan of Wexford, playing the Irish pubs and clubs around the city. They developed a style which mixed Irish traditional folk music with full-blown progressive rock, creating some great music in the process! Father 'Reilly Says Goodbye is a beautiful closer for this compilation! Thanks for listening.

    references

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    Here's a fun selection of the later-seventies tracks I discovered while making last-week's Irish volume. This is decidedly punk flavoured, with a bit of hard rock, power pop and glam for good measure. The majority of tracks here are from Northern Ireland, where there was somewhat of a punk movement occurring at the time. A couple of labels to look up for these and other singles are Rip Off Records and Good Vibrations. Thanks to Clint at the tdats fb group for pointing-out the 2013 movie "Good Vibrations", about the label (link).

    TRACKS

    No Sweat - You Should Be So Lucky (1978)
           singleand compilation "Belfast Rock"
    Xdreamysts - Dance Away Lover (1978)
           single
    Rudi - No.1 (1978)
           single
    Moral Support - Sin (1979)
           single and album 'Zionic Bonds'
    Reform - Salt Away (1974)
           from album 'All For One'
    Midnite Cruiser - Rich Bitch (1977)
           single
    Detonators - Cruisin' (1978)
           from album 'Belfast Rock'
    The Duggie Briggs Band - Punk-Rockin' Granny! (1977)
           single
    East Coast Angels - Punk Rockin' (1977)
           single
    Pretty Boy Floyd & the Gems - Rough, Tough, Pretty Too (1978)
           single and compilation "Belfast Rock"
    The Outcasts - Frustration (1979)
           from album 'Self Conscious Over You'
    Bernie Tormé - All Nite (1979)
           from album 'Punk Or What (77-79)'
    Cobra - Graveyard Boogie (1978)
           single and compilation "Belfast Rock"


    No Sweat from Belfast. Members: Clive Culbertson (vocals, bass, guitar), David Stuart (keyboards), Michael Katin (guitar), Ricky Bleakley (drums). The B-side to this single is also very good, in a style more akin to Thin Lizzy. In fact it sounds like Lizzy playing with Cheap Trick!

    Xdreamysts from Derry. They made some cool singles in the later '70s, and an album in '81 with a more commercial Power Pop sound. Uel Walls (vocals, guitar), John Doherty (guitar), Roe Butcher (bass) and Brian Moffatt (drums).

    Rudi from Belfast. Brian Young (guitar, vocals), Ronnie Matthews (guitar, vocals), Gordon Blair (bass guitar), Graham Marshall (drums) and Paul Martin (keyboards). Raw punk on the Good Vibrations label which released some good singles at the time.


    Moral Support from Belfast. Headed by Andy McCarroll who was a Christian singer/song writer. What ever your opinion of the subject matter, Moral Support played pretty damn well!


    Reform from Limerick. Appearing in the previous TDATS, here's another track from their sole album and one of the better ones. These guys are the closest I have found to an early Irish glam/proto punk band. If you know more drop me a line!

    Midnite Cruiser from Portadown. Paul Maxwell (vocals), Crow (guitar), Peege (guitar), Rodney (guitar), Jimmy (bass) and Ger (drums). Another obscure Northern Irish band that made a single in the late '70s. Some good pop punk here.


    Detonators from Belfast. Cruisin' is a great driving track that has a real US proto punk Stooges sound. These guys don't seem to have released anything officially, but they were included on a period compilation of Belfast Punk called "Belfast Rock" (1978). Recommended!


    The Duggie Briggs Band from Portadown. Punk Rockin' Granny. I think that says it all. Duggie Briggs Band also released a worthy EP in '78 called 'The Duggie Briggs Flashes on It Again'. My rip of this single was very tinny so I have boosted the bass a bit.


    East Coast Angels from Dublin. A very rare single here, apologies for the less than stella sound quality on this one, I have attempted to make it sound a bit less murky by boosting the midrange a bit. Although this is called Punk Rockin' it's more of a bonehead cruncher. Good stuff.

    Pretty Boy Floyd & the Gems from Belfast. Another band I discovered on the 'Belfast Rock' album. According to various sources they were originally a show band called Candy and were still playing as such at the same time as Pretty Boy Floyd, so some people never accepted them as punk.


    The Outcasts from Belfast. These guys recorded two Peel sessions and were successful enough to make three albums.

    Dublin's Bernie Tormé was also on the last TDATS, here's another track from the '70s rarity album of his, "Punk Or What". You can buy it derectly from Bernie at his Bandcamp and he is still making music now.

    Cobra from Belfast. The final band that were on the 'Belfast Rock' album, Graveyard Boogie is the b-side to the 'Looking for a Lady' single. Both sides of it are great, not so much punk really, they could even be described as one of Northern Ireland's first entries in the NWOBHM.



    Cheers from the Punk-Rockin' Granny!

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    Welcome to another instalment of heavy nugget searches. This one is dedicated to the wonderful sound of guitar played with a slide, and the expressive, snarling, powerful sound that humble slide guitar can make, especially when driven through a hard-rock guitarist's amp! As usual, the tracks here are not just slide guitar, but hard rock / blues rock with slide, with Highway Robbery being one of the heaviest.

    I'm happy to say this volume also brings nine new bands to the blog, with a few like Possessed and Sam Apple Pie that some may have considered conspicuous by their absence so far.

    Although a technique traditionally of the afro-american blues heroes, the majority of acts here are from all kinds of places including the UK, Hungary & Australia, showing the draw that blues rock has all over the world, and still does!

    TRACKS

    01. Nobody's Business - Bleed Me Dry (1978)
           from album 'Nobodys Business'
    02. Gun - Drown Yourself In The River (1969)
           from album 'Gunsight'
    03. Jukin' Bone - Nightcrawler (1972)
           from album 'Way Down East'
    04. Climax Chicago Blues Band - Reap What I've Sowed (1970)
           from album 'A Lot Of Bottle'
    05. Band Of Light - The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse (1973)
           from album 'Total Union'
    06. SNAFU - Lock And Key (1975)
           from album 'All Funked Up'
    07. Mushroom - Gulf Of Mexico (1978)
           from album 'Freedom You're A Woman'
    08. Terry Stamp - Itchy Feet (1975)
           from album 'Fatsticks'
    09. Castle Farm - Island In The Sun (1972)
           from album 'The Studio Sessions 1971-72'
    10. Sam Apple Pie - Old Tom (1972)
           from album 'East 17'
    11. Locomotiv GT - Ő Még Csak Most 14. (1973)
           from album 'Bummm!'
    12. Shanghai - Let's Get The Hell Off This Highway (1976)
           from album 'Fallen Heroes'
    13. Possessed - Reminiscing (1971)
           from album 'Exploration'
    14. Highway Robbery - Promotion Man (1972)
           from album For 'Love Or Money'
    15. Yancy Derringer - Weedburner (1975)
           from album 'Openers'

    Nobody's Business was a band of old hands which lasted briefly in the late '70s, consisting of Bobby Harrison (Procol Harum, SNAFU), Tony Stevens (Savoy Brown. Foghat), Joe Jammer (Olympic Runners) and Jerry Frank (session drummer). They recorded an eponymous LP in Nice, France and some promo videos were made, which were produced by Gerry Anderson's wife, Sylvia Anderson! The Nobody's Business LP offers some good boogie rock and 'Bleed Me Dry' is filled with Joe's great slide guitar. Angel Air reissued it, including six of the promo videos on DVD, in 2007 (link).



    American Joe "Jammer" Wright is one of these guys who you might've never heard of but he's played with loads of famous and not so famous names, as a roadie for Hendrix, founding member of Olympic Runners and live guitarist for Maggie Bell and Screaming Lord Such and others, You can read some more at his website (link). Joe made a decent eponymous solo record in 1973 too, which is worth hearing. Bobby Harrison is and will continue to be a bit of a TDATS regular, having appeared here in Freedom and coming up again in this volume in SNAFU...

    Gun Gunsight 1969
    Gun - 'Gunsight' - 1969
    Gun and the Gurvitz brothers shouldn't need too much of an introduction here, I concentrated on them for vol 125 (link). I have used a track from the second Gun record, 'Gunsight'. One of those bands that were there right at the very start of hard rock and made some great music that, aside from their famous single 'Race With The Devil', didn't have the success of the big names of the time or just after. Gunsight is a great early hard rock record (1969) that can be picked up in original form for non-ludicrous prices, putting it in the reach of us mere mortals.

    Sounding completely different to 'Race With The Devil' for instance, Adrian Gurvitz's performance in 'Drown Yourself In The River' sounds like something straight out of the Deep South.

    Jukin' Bone - Way Down East - 1972
    Jukin' Bone (1972)
    Way Down East LP
    Over to the US now for some Jukin' Bone (formerly 'Free Will'). Here's the bumph from the back of their final second album, 1972's 'Way Down East': "Take a rock band from the gentle, quiet, grassy green, calm-as-a-Holiday-Inn-Swimming-Pool, Finger Lakes area of upstate, rolling hills New York and you'd expect to have anything but a Jukin' Bone. Gentle and quiet they most assuredly aren't. Raunchy and steeped in the blues they are.

    Out front, moving with the lissome grace of a jungle cat, is Joe Whiting, whose visage (a mixture of Marlon Brando and Paul Newman when those two were young and scarily beautiful to behold) belies the gut vocals he emits with the fervor of a Marjoe gone wild on rock and roll.

    Jukin' Bone (1972) Way Down East LP
    Jukin' Bone (1972)
    Way Down East LP
    Stoking the fire is a hard-charging yet cohesive combo at whose heart stands Mark Doyle, riffing and chording his guitar with a demonic fury and virtuosity that rates him with anybody currently playing that axe. Doyle and Whiting, who've been sharing stage and trips together for about five years are also responsible, along with the prolific George Egosarian, for much of the band's repertoire.

    Laying out what can only be described as the band's "stone down funk" is John DeMaso who brings his brand of bass all the way from Caracas, Venezuela. And, underneath, down at the bottom where the beat that won't quit is, there are the two drummers, Danny and Kevin, kicking the bone along, stickin' it, so to speak, to Whiting, booting him into the physical and vocal runs that give Jukin' Bone its flavour. This Jukin' Bone is a moving, dance-to-it force. This Jukin' Bone has meat on it. How's your Jukin' Bone?" - written by: Elliot Horne, RCA press agent and jazz writer (link).

    The British Climax Chicago Blues Band, which was just one variation of the name they used, now usually known as 'Climax Blues Band', are still going, as can be seen at their website (link). Through the years they've had many members and many links to other bands, too many to go into in detail here! I really like the track 'Reap What I've Sowed' which is taken from the third LP, 1970's 'A Lot Of Bottle'. I love it when that aggressive slide riff kicks in, it was exactly the kind of thing I was looking for to go in this set! The slide player on this record was Pete Haycock, who sadly passed away in 2013.

    Pete Haycock circa 2008



    Band Of Light
    Band Of Light
    Band Of Light are an Australian Sydney-based band that I first used back on the bluesy vol 54 (link). They were started by guitarist Phil Key and bassist Peter Roberts, who had both just left The La De Das, a band that originated in New Zealand and spawned other Kiwi artists that moved to Aus like Kevin Borich.

    Here's a snipet from the essential Aussie rock site, Milesago (link): "Band Of Light's distinctive blues-rock sound was built around the dual slide guitar work of Key and their other superb guitarist, Norm Roue (who had come from Sydney band Gutbucket). Peter Roberts left after only three shows and was replaced by Ian Rilen, who was to become a fixture on the Australian rock scene in the '70s and '80s. The band worked consistently on the Sydney and Melbourne pub/festival/dance circuits, alongside other staple acts of the day like Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs, Carson, Coloured Balls, Chain, Madder Lake and Buffalo."

    As it says, slide guitar was Band of Light's forte and 'The Four Horseman' from the album 'Total Union' funks and grooves along with the great combination of wah and slide that makes them distinctive. A real ass-shaker this one.

    The sixth track is from another act with Bobby Harrison at the mic. SNAFU was started by Bobby (post-Freedom), along with Mick Moody fresh from Juicy Lucy and Harrison's solo record 'Funkist'. They made three records with differing lineups but never quite cracked the big time, although they did garner some success and tour widely.

    One song in particular grabbed me, being 'Lock and Key', which actually appeared on both their final two records in different versions. This version is from the third and final LP 'All Funked Up', and is the heaviest, most stomping of the two. I listened through the SNAFU albums some time ago and initially wasn't that impressed, although the musicianship is top-notch it wasn't generally a sound that I liked, but some time after that Monte Conner (Nuclear Blast, formerly of Roadrunner Records) posted this live performance of Lock And Key in the tdats fb group and I realised this one is a kick-ass tune and perfect for a planned slide comp, so thanks for that Monte!

    SNAFU appearing on UK TV's 'Supersonic' in 1975



    Mushroom - Freedom you're a woman
    Mushroom
    Mushroom were a Brooklyn-based act that veered between smooth AOR and ballsy blues rock on their only record, 1978's privately-pressed 'Freedom You're A Woman'. I have used the track 'Gulf Of Mexico'. This is an interesting song! It starts out with some ambient voices and a girl propositioning a guy in a bar, followed by some boogie blues with lyrics about the usual freebird sentiments on sowing wild oats etc, but it takes an unexpectedly heavy turn soon after and some weighty over-driven riffing comes in, all the time laced with slide guitar and wah solos over the top.

    Mushroom - Freedom you're a woman
    Mushroom (1978)
    Freedom You're A Woman
    It sure is a cool development and as the song changes pace and moods again and again towards the end, you are left with one of those epic tracks that feels like a journey. Brilliant stuff! You can read some more about Mushroom and it's main man Frank Annunziata at the old reliable Badcat Records (link).

    Another point of note is the art work on the album, a large hand-drawn mushroom, (phallic overtones maybe? could explain the track 'Comin For You') that doesn't give any idea of the music within, being more suited to some other mushroom-related bands, like late '60s psychedelic offering The Sacred Mushroom or the Irish folk-rockers 'Mushroom'. The same opinion could be leveled at the reason for the cover art, the band's name. It's not a name/image I would have chosen for their music, but then I guess I haven't been eating the particular variety of mushroom they presumably were at the time!

    Third World War - A Little Bit Of Urban Rock
    Next up is Terry Stamp's solo record from 1975, cryptically called 'Fatsticks'. I'm sure i'm being dense as usual but answers on a postcard if you know what that means, the drummer's preferred tool of his trade maybe? Singer/guitarist Terry was in Third World War, which many of you will know as that rather cool British proto-punkish band. So Fatsticks was mainly written by Terry, a collection of new and old songs of his, some from before TWW, with some assistance from Jim Avery (The Attack, Thunderclap Newman). Terry had been writing/playing since the early sixties and you can hear two of his compositions on Harsh Reality's 1969 LP, 'Heaven And Hell'.

    Fatsticks has an interesting story behind it that can be read at the Terry Stamp/Jim Avery website (link) and I recommend reading it, it's a great example of talented musicians making an album in an off-the-cuff way and going about their business afterwards without thinking about it again, like it was just another day's work for a musician back then.

    Terry Stamp - Fatsticks
    Terry Stamp - Fatsticks
    I may be a bit presumptuous there as I have only heard four tracks from Fatsticks, that's all I can find at the moment. It has not been re-issued (it should be!) and seems to command higher prices than I am prepared to pay at the moment! The four tracks I have heard from it would lead me to think it's a great album, with plenty of the proto-punk attitude that Terry injected into TWW. I have used a track from it called 'Itchy Feet' which displays some absolutely blazing lead and slide guitar work from Peter 'Ollie' Halsall (deceased 1992) who was in Boxer (also TimeboxTempest, Patto) later and covered a couple of tracks from Fatsticks with Boxer.

    Castle Farm - The Sessions 1971-72
    I have covered Castle Farm in an interview I did with drummer Steve Traveller a couple of years ago (link). Aside from a great single the band didn't release an album, but Steve has since made some recordings available via 'The Studio Sessions 1971-72'. They were retrieved from a low-grade tape so sound quality is not the best, but it's still good enough to enjoy Gram 'Tex' Benike's ripping guitar that propels the track 'Island In The Sun', seven minutes of slide heaven which doesn't let up and doesn't get boring.

    It's certainly a shame we never got to hear a real album from these guys as it would surely have been excellent.

    Sam Apple Pie - East 17
    Sam Apple Pie - East 17
    Walthamstow, London's Sam Apple Pie are up next and I guess some people might think it's about time they appeared on this blog. They are often mentioned in various obscure hard/blues rock forums but I must admit to being a bit under-whelmed by them myself, although not from a lack of musical ability. I have however found a great track for this comp, from their second album called 'East 17'.

    The slide skills come from Andy 'Snakehips' Johnson, who seems to have been a main member of the band but I cannot uncover much else about him, other than he reportedly passed away in 2010. The track 'Old Tom' certainly displays a great array of slide and lead guitar grooving, lead coming from Denny Barnes who I haven't found much about either, other than he was previously in Portsmouth bands Blues Convention, Whiskey River and Gilbey Twiss. Two members of SAP left after their first record to join pub-rockers Help Yourself.

    Locamotive GT - Bummm!
    Locomotive GT - Bummm!
    A bit of a change for track 11 and a talented band from Hungary called Locomotive GT. I have used them before, on the eastern Europe vol 41 (link) and they were successful in their home land, scoring many hits after being formed by two ex-members of another great Hungarian band, Omega. Slide comes from Tamás Barta who was also in formative band 'Hungaria', and unfortunately died in 1982. LGT made a range of music including hard rock to pop, as well as acting as backing-band for singer Kati Kovács, and there's no denying their skills and infectious humour. 'Ő Még Csak Most 14.' is from their third album, amusingly called 'Bummm!', which apparently translates to Bang!

    Shanghai - Fallen Heros
    Shanghai - Fallen Heroes
    Shanghai was a band of UK guitar hero Mick Green, but the slide parts were played by Brian Alterman. The band had an almost complete change of personnel between LP no1 and no2, the first being a smooth 'n funky soul rock affair with singer to suit (Chuck Bedford) and the second, 'Fallen Heroes', being a harder-rocking set with the fantastic pipes of Cliff Bennett (Toe Fat etc) which is far more TDATS-friendly. This is a nice affordable album for those that like a bit of hard boogie blues, and Cliff is on fine form. I have used 'Let's Get The Hell Off This Highway' which really does the business with the powerful vocals and wall of guitars!

    Possessed - Exploration
    Possessed - Exploration
    I'm glad to include another band that's been a long-time coming for the blog, Possessed from Birmingham, UK. This is one of the unreleased bands that Lee Dorian's Rise Above Relics has done the honours for (link), and here is the blurb from them. Possessed - "Mastered from original tapes, this is the story of a band whose tragic legacy could never have been predicted. Possessed were born out the thriving underground West Midlands’ Rock & Blues scene of the mid-to-late 60s. This was a scene in which band leader, Vernon Pereira, had been a key figure.

    Possessed - Exploration
    Possessed
    The band were formed in late 1969 when Vernon (after a spell playing next to Robert Plant in The Band Of Joy) teamed up with Mick Reeves, who had been playing in Sugarstack with Al Atkins, amongst other bands. This was the band that would eventually evolve into being the first incarnation of Judas Priest.

    ‘Exploration‘ was originally intended for release in 1971 but ultimately never saw the light of day. The band were finally on the verge of signing a major deal when tragedy struck. Whilst returning home from a gig in Carlisle on October 21st 1976, the band’s van drove into a stationary tanker, taking the lives of all three band members."

    Possessed had a nice crunchy guitar sound, unconventional chord progressions, and a funky edge, quite a unique sound with the whole band chipping in vocals to back up Vernon Pereira who sounds a little reminiscent of Lynden Williams of Jerusalem and plays some mean slide guitar on the track 'Reminiscing'.

    Highway Robbery 'For Love Or Money'
    Highway Robbery
    'For Love Or Money'
    Nearing the end now and it's another appearance from Highway Robbery's excellent 'For Love Or Money' album.

    Here's the Californian's own introduction from the back cover: "Declaration. For Love Or Money, Highway Robbery hereby dedicates itself to roar, to drive, to sensitive joy and, above all, the emission of the highest levels of energy rock. Let it be known that Michael Stevens - lead guitarist, vocalist, writer of all material contained herein, child of a gypsy commune - carries out this pledge in the true manner of his forebears. Further be it known that he is in allegiance with Don Francisco, drummer, lead singer and a New York native whose main influences have been traditional New Orleans-based bands such as Robert Parker and the Royals and Deacon John and the Ivories, and with John Livingston Tunison IV, bassman, vocalsit and painter who's first sound-memories are of Muddy Waters and B.B. King........For Love Or Money: Signed, sealed and created by the aforementioned Highway Robbery, in this age, on this day, in the name of storming, beautiful rock and roll."

    'Promotion Man' is a desperate and maybe satirical plea to music promoters to plug Highway Robbery like crazy, packed with V8-revving slide guitar from Michael Stevens. Drummer Don Francisco was previously in Atlee, who made a worth-hearing record in 1970. Julian Cope has written a great article about Highway Robbery at his Head Heritage site (link).

    Yany Derringer - Openers
    This volume is rounded off by one of my favourite tracks found in the whole time I've been looking for obscure nuggets. 'Weedburner' is the closing track from the only album made by Yancy Derringer (link), who later became known as The Vers. In comparison to Weedburner, the rest of the album is forgettable, I've forgotten it any way, and I really don't care as Weeburner is so fantastic I can forgive them for anything.

    Through the power of slide guitar and constant, disorientating pitch-shifts, guitarist Boyd 'Zoid' Williamson has managed to put in a performance which dominates a song that actually has the power to make you feel like you're high. Of all the 'stoner rock' I have ever heard, this one actually is intoxicating, stoned rock, rather than just rock music for stoners. Hear it and believe it, and it's all down to the humble guitar played with a slide.

    Long shall they let it slide!

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    With a population of around two million this is one of the smallest countries I have investigated so far. As with the other small countries appearing in this blog, they produced their fair share of musical talent but that talent tended to move around so players from what is now the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) cropped up all over the former Yugoslavia and beyond, with few harder-rocking acts being based in the FYROM itself and even less of them actually releasing official albums. Also, the distinctions between band's counties of origin is not always easy to make in areas of many close borders like eastern Europe, sometimes near impossible when a band moves around and has lineup changes, but I've tried hard to make a representative set for the FYROM, and the resulting music is great! If anyone out there can offer corrections or additional information please feel free to get in touch.

    The cover image is an interpretation of the Slavic god Veles, who is associated with mischief, magic and music among other things, and has a FYROM city named after him. As with the previous Yugoslavian comp, Serbia's Vol120, a big thanks goes to Lajso of Jugo Rock Forever (link) who specialises in posting vintage Slavic records of all kinds.

    TRACKS

    01. Leb I Sol - Dikijeva Igra (1978)
           from album 'Leb I Sol 2'
    02. Madrigali - Imeto naše e Madrigali (1977)
           Live in Skopje
    03. Bis-Bez - Dal' da Plačam il' da Peam (1973)
           from 'Što e Vreva (1966-73)'
    04. BT Top - BT Top (1979)
           single
    05. Triangl - Jana (1976)
           from 'Triangl (1976-82)'
    06. Bis-Bez - Bilo I Pominalo (1973)
           from 'Što e vreva (1966-73)'
    07. Trn vo Oko - Makedonski Rok (1979)
           from 'Trn vo Oko (1979-80)'
    08. Torr - Žolta Mašina (1976)
           from album 'Boom '76'
    09. BT Top - Umot mi go Zede (1979)
           single
    10. Republika 903 - So Maki Sum Se Rodil (1971)
           from 'Dve Pesni (1970-1975)'
    11. Tihomir Pop Asanović - Majko Zemljo (1974)
           from album 'Majko Zemljo'


    Leb I Sol
    Leb I Sol, from the FYROM's capital Skopje, is the premiere prog rock band. The name literally translates to "bread and salt" which is a traditional hospitality in Macedonia. The music tends towards jazz fusion prog with hints of folk so isn't strictly TDATS territory but they were great musicians with a lot of variety, and the track I have chosen from the second LP is suitably jarring.

    They have made over ten albums now, the last was in 2008 and most of the members have had successful solo careers.

    Madrigali is one of the bands here that is well-regarded in the FYROM but don't appear to have released an official album of their own. They specialise in great guitar harmonies and the track I included, 'Imeto naše e Madrigali', exemplifies that with cool galloping rhythms. It would seem they are still around as in 2013 they collaborated in live shows with Croatian singer Dado Topić, who's career has included bands like Time & Korni Grupa from different regions of the former Yugoslavia.

    The best vintage Madrigali recordings I have heard were made during a 1977 TV performance with singer/flute player Cane Nikolovski, that you can watch here:




    Bis-Bez
    Bis-Bez
    (image @ yugopapir.com)
    Bis-Bez was another Skopje band. They straddled the times of beat music and prog rock. Again, it doesn't appear they made any official releases but they appear in a few regional comps, and there's an unofficial collection of their own tracks that someone has put out on the net called 'Što e Vreva (1966-73)'. I have used two great songs from that, one of which is a 10 minute epic which lets it all hang out and explores a lot of moods, mixing Doors-like psych grooves with regional vocal melodies and hard rock/prog in an enthralling way.

    It rocks and grooves, ebbs and flows. They never even made an album, but this is one of those tracks that feels like a whole album in one song anyway. I can't find solid confirmation of what year it was, it could well be late-sixties, the sound is dead in between the progressive psych of the late sixties and prog of the early seventies.

    Triangl
    Triangl
    I have no information about BT Top, other than Jugo Rock Forever says they were from Bitola and two tracks going around are from 1979. They are both pretty good, being a novel mix of hard rock and fusion. I used both on here!

    Triangl is up next. They were from Skopje and existed in the 1970s, making a single in 1982. I believe the track I have used was recorded in 1976 but haven't found confirmation....if anyone knows more about these guys drop me a line! It's a shame many of these FYROM hard rock bands didn't record much.

    Trn Vo Oko is another band that Cane Nikolovski sang with, in this case a couple of years after Madrigali. Again from Bitola, Trn Vo Oko's recorded music was done for Radio Skopje and mixes rock n roll with hard rock.

    Boom '76 festival LP
    The next track is from a live performance at Yugoslavia's famous Rock festival, Boom, which I wrote more about on Vol120. The band is 'Torr' and it sounds like they were very heavy! Unfortunately there is only the one track left of them on record, from 1976's Boom festival compilation LP. I have attempted to improve the sound quality of it but currently this is the best I can find.

    Somebody left a comment on youtube (link) regarding the Torr track I have used:
    "Awesome song accompanied by great performance! Proper song title should be “Žolta Mašina” (Yellow Machine). This song was written by Torr’s bassist Aleksandar Stojanovski (inspired by Torr’s yellow VW kombi/ van used for touring). This song was co-written by Torr’s guitarist Ani and Torr’s drummer (don’t know name). The band was formed in the early 70's by Torr's bassist Aleksandar Stojanovski. Parni Valjak’s singer Aki Rahimovski was one of the original Torr members and performed with Torr at Boom 75 festival in Zagreb."

    There's two tracks to go now, the first of which is another band lacking in ready information - Republika 903 from Skopje. They were apparently around from 1970 to 1975 and so far I have only heard two tracks. On the track I selected they play some great blues rock.

    Tihomir Pop Asanović -
    Majko Zemljo LP (1974)
    The closer is from an established name, Tihomir Pop Asanović. Born in the FYROM, he is a renowned keyboard player. He started with The Generals in 1968 and played frequently across East European and German jazz clubs. He was an original line-up member of Croatia's Time, taking part in their celebrated eponymous debut album in early 1972.

    He played occasionally with Yu Grupa and SMAK, while in 1974 he founded a super group called 'Jugoslovenska Pop Selekcija' (The Yugoslavian Pop Selection), which included many rock and jazz players of the era. In 1975 he he founded jazz-rock band 'September' with Selection vocalist Janez Boncina. Since the late 1970s he played as a prominent session musician and finished as a musical instruments dealer. He made two jazzy solo records in the '70s, and I used the title track from the first one.

    Thanks for listening!

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    Fort Mudge Memorial Dump


    Listen via youtube
    Thanks to Black Widow's channel (link)

    Happy new year. TDATS is in its ninth year now, and still going, so thanks to all those who have shown support and welcome to the first post of 2017!

    The Fort Mudge Memorial Dump was a prime psychedelic band from around Walpole and Boston in Massachusetts. They released one LP during their peak in 1969 and it's been a steady grower for me ever since I heard it a few years ago. A rich and varied LP which has something to offer everyone into vintage rock sounds. As was typical at the time, there were less genre constraints and expectations back then and you'll hear blues, folk, country and hard rock sounds mingling happily, with male and female vocals from various members of the band. These were David Amaral [bass], Jim Deptula [drums], Caroline Stratton [vocals], Danny Keady [guitar, vocals] and Rick Clerici [guitar, vocals]. Interestingly, comedian and actor Martin Mull (Roseanne, Mrs. Doubtfire, Veep) made a small contribution to the LP too.

    As is often the case when I am looking into bands to include in mixes (Fort Mudge has appeared in three so far: Vol95Vol97 and Vol117), there was a surprising lack of general information about the band and their album, so I attempted to track down a few key members, eventually getting in touch with founding guitarist Dan Keady. He still plays and is currently in South West Florida's Deb & The Dynamics, where he now lives (link). He's kindly agreed to answer a few questions!

    Interview with Dan Keady

    Dan in a recent show
    Hi Dan! Can you give us some background about how you originally became a musician and some key events leading up to being in Fort Mudge?

    Dan: I started playing guitar at age 14 and sucked at it for a year or two but eventually put a band together made up of neighbourhood kids playing instrumental guitar music like the Ventures and surf groups. I used to go to see Rick play at the local record hops and he was doing the same kind of music. All that changed when the Beatles arrived and we all had to learn how to sing [and buy mics and vocal amps etc]. I ended up in a band that my older brother left for a gig in Boston. This was Walpole Massachusetts big time band Little John's Nocturnes.

    How did you and Rick get together with David, Jim and Caroline to start The Fort Mudge Memorial Dump, and where did that colourful name come from?

    While in Little John's Nocturnes playing soul music hits I met Caroline who was doing a folk jam with Rick. We decided that a folk rock band might get us an audience so we added drums and bass. David [bass] was younger than us and playing with a garage band down the street when we recruited him. The first drummer Al Barnicote just wanted to jam and recommended we replace him if we were going to rehearse and write every Tuesday night at my parents house.

    Jim "Chicky" Deptula was my drummer in earlier bands and could play well had great hair but was a troubled kid. We spent about a year just jamming and playing Rick and Caroline's varied compositions until they morphed into the crazy mess that is Fort Mudge. The name came from Walt Kelly's comic "Pogo". If the band had been more successful we probably would have had to change the name as it was used without permission.

    Pogo comic March 3, 1968 - Full page - Source
    Excerpt from Wikipedia (link): "Pogo [Comic, est 1913] is set in the Georgia section of the Okefenokee Swamp; [the Georgia locales of] Fort Mudge and Waycross are occasionally mentioned. The characters live, for the most part, in hollow trees amidst lushly rendered backdrops of North American wetlands, bayous, lagoons and backwoods. Fictitious local landmarks — such as "Miggle’s General Store and Emporium" and the "Fort Mudge Memorial Dump," are occasionally featured."

    Can you tell us some things about life in the band? Where did you play shows?

    We heard about free concerts on Sunday afternoons at Cambridge Commons near Harvard University and went to check them out. The guys running it said we were welcome to come and play our own material for their crowd [not the standard thing in those days]. We played every Sunday that summer [1968 I think]. At the end they offered to manage us and make us stars. One was eliminated when he started messing with the money [we were playing colleges and high schools by then] and Ron Beaton became our manager with the agreement that he wouldn't get paid until we got signed with a record company.

    He formed Moonstone management and went to New York bringing our demo to everyone that would listen. I guess the "Boston sound" had attracted some attention and bands were getting signed and selling records. A few reps came up to see us but the summer of 69 saw a great increase in our audience at the free concerts in Cambridge. So we got a rep from Mercury to come up for a weekend to see us play for a thousand people at a university followed by our headlining the Sunday concert for 8000 or more.

    Fort Mudge in front of a home crowd at Walpole Mass.

    How did the recording of the album come about, and how did comedian/actor Martin Mull get involved and what did he contribute on the album?

    The Mercury rep reported back to NY that we were extremely popular and should be signed. Of course it took months to get the deal done and the rep was long gone by the time we recorded a note. We recorded in Boston in what would later become The Cars' studio [Petrucci & Atwell Sound Studios]. Martin Mull was a struggling musician and house guitar player at the studio. He lent me his Gibson ES-335 for 'blues tune' and entertained us between takes. Once the basic tracks were laid down half of the band just hung out in the front office with Martin while others did overdubs and vocals. Rick Clerici played all the acoustic guitar parts as well as electric on his songs. Most of the noisy stuff is me.

    Did the producer Michael Tschudin and engineer William Wolf  have significant input in the record?


    The producer Michael Tschudin played all keyboard tracks including picked piano and other odd sounds. Bill Wolf was a bass player and insisted that David use his old Fender bass because it sounded better than David's Gibson EB3. That was his opinion but he insisted like it was fact. I felt bad for David who was very young but accomplished on his instrument and he clearly didn't like the Fender's high action and dead sound but in the end it sounded great.

    (l-r) David Amaral [bass], Jim Deptula [drums], Caroline Stratton [vocals]
    Danny Keady [guitar, vocals] Rick Clerici [guitar,vocals]

    The album is ambitious and diverse, there’s some heavy fuzz guitar on tracks like 'The Seventh Is Death' and 'The Singer', there's blues like 'Blue's Tune' and there's mellow orchestrated songs like 'Actions Of A Man' and 'What Good Is Spring'. No two songs are really alike. Can you explain how such a diverse mixture of styles and instrumentation came to be included?

    The songs were written by very different people and we were intentionally not listening to any other music so that we could develop an original sound. I'm told my leadership and arranging were very heavy handed and led to the demise of this version of the band but it was successful and I felt that the band needed a direction.

    What equipment did you use to get your sound on the LP?

    I was mostly using a Gibson SG special running into a fuzz and wah wah pedal [only on sometimes] then into a Marshall 100W Plexi Superlead amp. I did use Martin Mull's Gibson ES-335 for Blue's Tune and possibly other overdub solos.

    Is it you singing on 'Blue's Tune' (which is credited to you)?

    Yeah that's me trying to sound blackish. I'm still the blues singer these days, and was also the 'B' in Southwest Fla.'s The R&B Connection in the 90's (the CD is probably on youtube), as the bass player used to say. I am featured doing blues songs on all the latest releases from Deb & The Dynamics.

    Front cover
    The Fort Mudge Memorial Dump - S/T

    Mercury ‎– SR 61256 (1969)

    Tracks:
    A] Mr. Man / Crystal Forms / Actions Of A Man / Blue's Tune

    B] The Seventh Is Death / What Good Is Spring? / Tomorrow / Know Today / Questionable Answer / The Singer

    Are you able to give any personal insight into the meaning of “The Singer”? It’s a heavy and foreboding sound that I really dig, along with all your (as always) inventive guitar parts!

    If I recall, Rick said The Singer represented good. Like Jesus or Martin Luther King preaching non-violence and, as in the last verse, parents can create hateful children who can grow up to be The Singer's executioners.

    Do you have any favourite tunes from the LP?

    I still like 'The Singer'. Both musically and lyrically it still holds up today, although my guitar tone has improved quite a bit. I also like 'Tomorrow' for the lyrics and the sounds ...a lot went into the background to get that done.

    What was the public/critical reception of the record on release? From what you've said previously, I presume the LP lineup didn't last long after it was made?

    In the Boston area we were an instant success. I remember Caroline and I going to a big record outlet and seeing boxes of our LPs stacked up. They were just cutting them open and stacking them. They said sales were so good that they couldn't bother loading into the bins like other records.



    Unfortunately Mercury provided no display stands or posters to make us look like a successful band. I do remember hearing that the same brisk sales were reported on the west coast. Mercury blew the promo money on full page trade magazine ads which made us feel great but didn't do the band any real good. They also didn't have any successful acts to put us on tour with so most of the world had no knowledge of us. This led to bad bookings in clubs and such that had no interest in an original act with no hits on the radio.Rick and Dave left to form Brother Ralph a 'Kansas' like lineup of guitars, saxophones and violins. They were great and I did record a demo of them but they were never signed

    Fort Mudge's album has been re-released by Mercury and there is a lot of buzz online from all over the world. My daughter recently found a band doing covers of these songs selling downloads online. I had several different versions of Fort Mudge, one even did another never-released album. We eventually morphed into 'FM'. then 'Madeinusa' and finally 'Love Lace' [featuring Mudge's Caroline Stratton and Chicky Deptula]. There's plenty about all that online.




    Thanks Dan! And thanks for the music. It would be great to hear the un-released Fort Mudge album one day..

    Check out Dan's current band at Deb & The Dynamics.net


    Dan on stage with Deb & The Dynamics

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    password:  tdats



    Welcome to volume 135. This time I'm going to concentrate on a producer, and some bands that he worked with whether he was engineering, producing or both; Dieter Dierks.

    Like Conny Plank, for whom I did the same thing with Vol116, Dierks eventually had world-wide commercial success but in his early days worked with some lesser-known bands. Many of them made heavy music and have already appeared in TDATS, so on this occasion I've done something a little different. There are going to be two parts, this one is made up of bands that are totally new to the blog, and the second (coming soon) will be bands that have already appeared, but songs from them that have not.

    Dieter still works and runs his famous studio. An interview with him can be found here that reveals some more about him, mainly focusing on The Scorpions, who were his greatest success.

    TRACKS

    01. Curly Curve - Queen Of Spades (1973)
           from album Curly Curve
    02. Lily - Doctor Martin (1973)
           from album V.C.U. (We See You)
    03. Twenty Sixty Six And Then - At My Home (1972)
           from album Reflections On The Future
    04. Walter Wegmüller & Cosmic Jokers - Der Herrscher (1973)
           from album Tarot
    05. Demon Thor - Pink Mary (1974)
           from album Written In The Sky
    06. Nektar - King Of Twilight (1972)
           from album A Tab In The Ocean
    07. Chris Braun Band - The Narrator (1974)
           from album Foreign Lady
    08. Wallenstein - Braintrain (1972)
           from album Mother Universe
    09. Marz & Eperjessy - Thousand Smiles (1971)
           from album Marz & Eperjessy
    10. Tea - Cool In The Morning (1974)
           from album Tea
    11. Jerry Berkers - Gelobtes Land (1972)
           from album Unterwegs
    12. Atlantis - Chartbuster (1975)
           from album Get On Board
    13. Missing Link - Kids Hunting (1972)
           from album Nevergreen!
    14. Sperrmüll - Pat Casey (1973)
           from album Sperrmüll
    15. Hush - Schau Mir In Die Augen (1969)
           single


    Some History

    Originally wanting to become a film director, Dierks (Born 'Hans-Dieter Dierks' in Stommeln, 1943) started his career as an assistant to well-known directors such as Kurt Wilhelm. Around the same time he was an actor and he played guitar and bass, starting a band called Hush in 1969. According to his website bio "He inherited his musical talent from his [Catholic] father, a conductor, violinist, sax player and composer and got his business sense from his [Jewish] mother who ran a grocery store."

    Around the same time, initially equipped with two Revox amateur recording devices, he started a recording studio in the attic of his parent's house near Cologne. He rapidly found success and a great financial boost from a Europe-wide pop hit called 'Loop di Love' (a million miles away from The Scorpions!), and his studio grew in size and facilities until it included a hotel for those who came to record, write and work there. In turn, the influx of reporters, musicians and other industry types boosted the economy of the small town of Stommeln as they patronised its restaurants and bars etc.



    Dierk's studio became Germany's first complete studio service, and a mecca for young musicians in the growing pop and hippie culture. "The mixture of countryside ambience and high tech studio equipment lured hosts of aspiring young talent to Stommeln which in those days was a totally unknown place...[while there they were] fed by Dieter Dierks' mother, affectionately called Mother Dierks". Dierks himself said: "The bands came to me since at the time, sound engineers in regular studios refused to record distorted guitars and other crazy stuff. I was open minded and fond of experimenting, so the young musicians and I were kindred spirits."

    Dierks clearly apreciated the role that rapidly-advancing recording technology had in the new sounds that were being forged in those creative times, he kept his studio technology up to date, adding all the new bells and whistles as they became available. He also introduced a successful fleet of mobile studios that served Europe and filmed shows like WDR's Rock Palast, Rocknächtelike and tours of mega-artists like Michael Jackson. Popol Vuh's "Seligpreisung" LP was recorded in a church by one of these mobile setups.

    Along with Conny Plank, who had a similar rise to production fame, Dierks made a significant impact in the success of Germany's music industry. In the '70s he was instrumental in the world-wide success of The Scorpions and Atlantis, supporting them in both technical and promotional needs with his facilities, expertise and label, Breeze Music. Dierks picked up The Scorpions after their second LP and starting with 1975's In Trance, produced all subsequent records up to 1988's Savage Amusement.


    Krautrock

    As well as international names like Ike & Tina Turner, Eric Burdon, War, the Boomtown Rats and Rory Gallagher, Dierks worked with a number of the famous and lesser-known 'Krautrock' names, at his studios or other locations. Sometimes he would also contribute to the playing on various instrumens. Some of these bands include Tangerine Dream, Floh De Cologne, Witthüser & Westrupp and Wallenstein.

    He had a reputation not only for his technical abilities, but for getting the job done and keeping his head whilst those around him were losing theirs to the chemical assistance used in their experimental outpourings. He recorded Ash Ra Tempel's Timothy Leary collaboration, Seven Up, which according to the book "Future Days: Krautrock and the building of modern Germany", was a disappointingly lacklustre session, somewhat improved by Dierks' mixing and embellishments with studio musicians and extra sound effects after the fact.

    An amusing (but mostly apocryphal) tale is that of The Cosmic Jokers supergroup, in which Dieter played guitar, keyboards, bass, and percussion, as well as recording. The story goes that the records published under this name on the Kosmische Kuriere (Cosmic Couriers) label were not authorised by the musicians that played on them, in fact they did not even know they were "The Cosmic Jokers", as the sessions were just informal jams at Dieter Dierk's studio and other locations like a farmhouse in the village of Dill, fuelled by a steady supply of drugs.

    The musicians included Manuel Göttsching and Klaus Schulze of Ash Ra Tempel, Jurgen Dollase and Harald Grosskopf of Wallenstein, and Dierks himself. The instigator of the records was Cosmic Couriers label-owner and founder of important krautrock labels Ohr and PilzRolf-Ulrich Kaiser (an LSD-championing acolyte of Tim Leary). Legend would have it that Manuel Göttsching only found out the 'band' existed when he asked what was playing in a record shop and was presented with a Cosmic Jokers record, showing him on the cover! Again referencing "Future Days", author David Stubbs states that Göttsching has refuted this story, saying that he was correctly contracted and even received advance royalties.

    References and Further Reading

    Harald Grosskopf (Wallenstein, Cosmic Jokers) interview at ItsPsychedelicBaby
    Danny Fichelscher (Popol Vuh, Gila) interview at ItsPsychedelicBaby
    Dierks Studios website | Future Days: Krautrock (book)


    In This Volume

    Curly Curve made one album in 1973. It was recorded at Dierks' studio and he is credited as engineer. This is a good hard rock album that sounds to me more in the style of the UK and at times the US, with hints of boogie rock in tunes like Shitkicker.

    Information from AlexGitlin.com: "The fourth version Curly Curve came together in Spring 1972 and finally the band had the success they had been striving for. Apart from Kurt Herkenberg and Hans Wallbaum, the two heads of the band, the line-up consisted of Heiner Pudelko, Alex Conti, Axel Klober and guitarist Paul Fuhrmann.  When Pudelko and Conti left the band in May (Conti went to join Atlantis, the band fronted by Hamburg-based singer Inga Rumpf), they were replaced by Martin Knaden (guitar) and Hanno Bruhn (vocals, guitar). Hanno Bruhn had been singing in various bands with the likes of Tony Sheridan and Don Adams and had won a singing contest initiated by the infamous "Star Club".  This was to become the longest-lasting Curly Curve line-up.

    Curly Curve signed on to the Brain label and, produced by Frank Oeser, recorded their self-titled debut album (Brain 1040) in July 1973.  The record shows the band playing a powerful, technically perfect blues rock with definite American influences. Even the usually most critical of all critics, the reviewers of Sounds music magazine, took a liking to the straightforward boogie rock of the Berlin band.  Journalist Hermann Haring, who later on became chief editor of the magazine called Musik Express, wrote in his review: "A return to rock without any political ambitions. Curly Curve kick down the accelerator and speed off in a straightforward manner.

    Curly Curve album line-up

    They play a splendid kind of blues rock that for the future only needs a healthy dose of blackness for the soul." What he meant was such vital rock songs as "Queen Of Spades", "Shitkicker" with its psychedelic elements, and the impressive opener "Hell And Booze".  Also worth a listen is the bluesy ballad "I'm Getting Better", which highlights Hanno Bruhn's smoky voice very well.  The extremely colourful cover artwork caused a lot of curiosity as well - thanks to a shining high polish packaging, it definitely was an eyecatcher.

    Even though the album was released to mainly positive reviews, it would be Curly Curve's only official release ever. Even though they now had a recording contract, they did not have much luck. Following a well-attended German tour that saw them on stage with Karthago and other bands, someone broke into their rehearsal room while the band was preparing to record the second album. Not only was almost the entire band's equipment stolen, but the car as well. Following another change in the line-up (Martin Knaden was replaced by Leo Lehr), and arguments about whether the band should switch to German lyrics, the band dissolved for good."

    Lily made one album in 1973. For this one, Dierks was again the engineer where it was recorded in his studio. Information from Discogs.com: "Lily were never really "Lily" but were always Monsun (that's Monsoon in English) originating in the mid-1960's from a beat band called The Mods, going through various changes before gelling as Monsun in 1970.

    Recording a demo tape in Spring 1972, they so impress Bacillus Records producer Peter Hauke that he promptly signs them up after witnessing them live at the Frankfurt Zoom Club in October. Peter books them three days at Dierks Studio in January 1973. For some reason the big wigs at Bellaphon decided they wanted to promote them as a "glitter rock" band and with a more international flower-power name, hence they became Lily, all gleefully dolling themselves up for the chintzy cover shot."

    Mannheim's Twenty Sixty Six And Then are up next. Info from Progarchives.com: "They were Geff Harrison on lead vocals, Gagey Mrozeck on guitars, Dieter Bauer on bass, Konstatin Bommarius on drums and Steve Robinson with Veit Marvos both sharing duties on organ, electric piano, vibes, synthesizer, mellotron and vocals (the name '2066 & THEN' comes from adding an extra thousand to the number 1066, year of the historical battle of Hastings).

    Their heavy progressive style has been compared to that of Deep Purple, Vanilla Fudge and Iron Butterfly. After releasing their first album, individual members got involved in different projects that never really stood the test of time, so 'Reflections on the Future' is their only legacy, and a fine one at that.

    Their dramatic organ-drenched, complex music sometimes dons symphonic elements, but the band isn't afraid to dive into some heavy guitar/organ jamming either, featuring elements of jazz, some high-octane rhythmic parts and quick changes, mixed with weird psychedelic electronic effects - the hoarse vocals, however, perhaps better suited to conventional hard rock, may take some getting used to.

    Second Battle re-released the album in 1989 under the name 'Reflections on the Past'. Considered a collectors item, it also contains unreleased masters and some bonus practice sessions from an early rehearsal session in 1991. In 1994, the cd 'Reflections!' came out, compiling tracks from both, plus some which had been considered for a second album that never materialised. A combination of poor sales and a ruined German economy at the time sadly forced the premature death of this fine German band, only months after the release of their first album.

    The next track "Der Herrscher" is originally from a record that was released under the name of Walter Wegmüller, and it later appeared on compilations of the collective The Cosmic Jokers, mentioned in the introduction. The album 'Tarot' would appear to be first record released that was the result of the assembled musicians that would become known as Cosmic Jokers.

    More info from ProgArchives.com: "In 1972, Rolf Ulrich Kaiser of Ohr records and a group of musicians from the Berlin Underground scene (Ashra Tempel) seriously started to think about cosmic rock music to satisfy their adventurous life with appropriate sounds. The idea of "Cosmic music" was also born as a protest against UK and United States obvious influences on rock music worldwide. The aim was to create typical German "acid" rock music. To put in practice his project, Rolf Kaiser founded his own label and called it "Cosmic Couriers".

    The name of "Cosmic Couriers" is an attitude of mind that emerged during the 60's. It was an idealistic movement which conceptually tries to look for ways to stay in high states of consciousness thanks to mescaline or LSD trips. The first album released under Rolf Kaiser's drug inspired philosophy was "seven up" with the guru of "acid test" Tim Leary and Ashra Tempel musicians. Soon after, the Kaiser produced two others albums with personalities from the underground psychedelic movement. There was the mystic, esoteric writer Sergius Golowin (on recitations for the cosmic/psych folk project "Lord Krishna") and the Swiss gipsy folk artist Walter Wegmuller for the project around the symbolism of "Tarot" cards.

    In 1972 was released the "Tarot' album with the help of many krautrock musicians, notably Manuel Gottsching (for many guitars parts), Klaus Schulze (for electronic & effects), a few members of Wallenstein as Harald Grosskopf (on drums), Jurgen Dollase (on keyboards) and Walter Westrupp (on acoustic parts). Musically "Tarot" consists of numerous short tracks that we can described as a great synthesis of everything that emerged during the first krautrock years. Consequently the stress is put on hallucinatory, psych effects, bluesy/ trance guitar sounds, free form rock augmented with sophisticated synth sounds, acoustic folk passages with flute and guitar, pseudo-romantic piano arrangements and odd vocal recitations. Each track represents an idea developed by a "tarot" card. A fascinating travel through the subconsciousness and cosmic energies.

    Here are a few lines which sum up Walter Wegmuller's Tarot mystical universe:
    The travel starts with the madman. He is the beginning and the end at the same time. So you can hear how he goes through his own world. He stumbles over earthy things and material obstacles and doesn't know that it can give. The wizard opens the door himself. In triumph, he appears on the scene. Then he lets himself play during an endless eternity. In his scenic railway, he plays his own life into a brand new eternal one. He opens the door which leads to all secrets."

    Demon Thor would appear to have had a combined heritage from Germany, Switzerland and the UK. English keys player Geff Harrison crops up again on this one, from Twenty Sixty Six And Then. A two-album band, this time Dieter Dierks receives a co-production credit as well as engineer on their second LP, 'Written In The Sky'.

    The main ideas man of the band appears to have been Thomas 'Tommy' Fortman, a Swiss composer who has worked in Opera, rock, pop and classical. The music of Demon Thor is quite commercial but I dug the track Pink Mary and that is what's included here!

    Nektar was an English prog band who were originally based in Germany. I have chosen a track from their second album "A Tab In The Ocean", which was recorded at Dierks' studio and engineered by him. Info from ProgArchives.com: "Nektar is probably the most German-like of the Seventies British bands, a fame that owes a lot to the town in which this band was founded (Hamburg) and to their stylistic approach (Assimilated to Krautrock). They were formed in 1969 by Allan Freeman (keyboards & vocals), Roye Albrighton (guitars & vocals), Derek Moore (bass, Mellotron & vocals) and Ron Howden (drums).

    Their earliest albums were hard rock that drew heavily from the space-rock and Pink Floyd styles of the same period. The 70's gave them the occasion to issue some masterpieces, like for example "Remember the Future" (1973) and "Recycled" (1975). Each is a conceptual album that is a nice blend of melodic guitar and keyboards with a vocal story. "Journey To The Centre Of The Eye" is a mindblowing epic with lots of echoplex guitar and dual Mellotrons which is quite in tune with the Krautrock stuff going on around them, yet is definitely British. "A Tab in the Ocean" and "Magic is a Child" had shorter songs and were less satisfying. Fortunately there is a compilation album just called Nektar (1976) which has all the best bits of the albums and is highly recommended."

    The Chris Braun Band made three studio albums and a soundtrack to the movie 'Jede Menge Kohle' (imdb). Their middle LP 'Foreign Lady' was recorded, produced and mixed by Dierks. They were fairly period-typical German progressive rock with folk and wind section, and Chris Braun's charismatic vocals sung in English. More English period-typical though, like Curved Air for instance. Also I got hints of Room on their first LP but it sounds a couple years more advanced.  The track I used is from their Dierks-produced LP but I found their first one to be a better listen, so check out "Both Sides" (1972) also.

    More info from ProgArchives.com: "Chris Braun Band are a Krautrock group based in Dortmund, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany who disappeared from the scene after 2 album releases [to reappear with a final LP in 1983]. In 1972 "Both Sides" featured Bill Bakine on drums, percussion, Jochen Bernstein on bass, Chris Braun on lead vocals, Elmar Krohn on guitars, flute, percussion, vocals, and Horst Schreiber on guitars, percussion, and vocals.

    Chris Braun Band. 'Foreign Lady' CD inlay

    In 1973 the heavy rock, jazz and psych album "Foreign Lady" featured again Chris Braun on vocals, joined by Bernstein's bass, Krohn's drums, and newcomers to the group Bernd Adamkewitz on guitar, and saxophone, and Klaus Melchers on piano, moog, and mellotron. The guest musicians on the album include Linda Fields on backing vocals, choir, Peter Hast on percussion and Jiggs Wigham on trombone.

    They also released two 7" singles in the seventies that have over the years become rare vinyl collector's items. Chris Braun wrote the songs, sung for the band and was founder of the group. Her gravelly voice may be compared to Inga Rumpf of Frumpy/Atlantis. Her songs are a combination of folk-rock, jazz-fusion, heavy blues and hard rock."

    Wallenstein are a well-known krautrock band. They made numerous LPs with Dierks recording and/or producing almost all of them. Bassist Jerry Berkers (also of Cosmic Jokers) appears later in this volume with a solo record. More info from ProgArchives.com: "Wallenstein were a band that transcended a number of musical styles during their decade-plus of existence, from early krautrock to symphonic to space rock toward the end of their existence.

    The original lineup was centered around keyboardist/vocalist Jürgen Dollase and drummer Harald Großkopf, both of whom would go on to make names even bigger for themselves in the German music business (Dollase with The Cosmic Jokers and Großkopf as a founding member of Ashra and later the Central Europe Performance). The band was originally named Blitzkrieg, but as they readied their first studio release the band discovered a prior band with that name so changed theirs and retained 'Blitzkrieg' as the title of that first album.

    Großkopf would leave the band following the 1975 release of "Stories, Songs & Symphonies", and was replaced by former Zoppo Trump drummer Nicky Gebhard. This began a stretch of several lineup changes in the band, including the Genhard's replacement of Charly Terstappen, who would himself move on as a member of the skirt band The Lords; the addition of Achim Reiser on violin and Dollase's brother Rolf on flute; Jürgen Pluta on bass; and Gerb Klocker on guitar.

    The band's sound evolved from a straightforward kraut sound into a harder style reminiscent of Amon Düül II or Can, heavier on screaming guitar and piano with only sporadic mellotron for accent, and with the addition of violin and flute the band would adapt a truly symphonic sound for their later releases. By the close of the seventies only Jürgen Dollase remained from the original lineup, and the band faded into oblivion following the 1981 release of "Ssssssstop!".

    Marz & Eperjessy was the duo of Rainer Marz and George Eperjessy. Guitarist Marz is well-known as part of many bands including Epsilon, Midnight Circus, the excellent Jeronimo, and Atlantis (appearing later in the volume).

    Eperjessy came to Germany from the Czechoslovakian pop band The Beatman. How he came to work with Marz is not immediately clear to me but you can read more about him at what appears to be his website here.

    The Marz & Eperjessy LP was recorded and engineered by Dierks at his studio and there is little more to find regarding it as-yet, in fact I have only been able to find one song from it, 'Thousand Smiles' is included here and is thankfully very good!

    In tenth place on this volume is the Swiss band Tea. When doing the Swiss volume 83 (link) I decided not to include them, but on checking them out again for this, it seems that was a bit of an oversight as they do have some sterling music to offer.

    It would appear that Dierks was closely allied to the band, as its engineer and producer. Also appearing as backing singers for Tea was a Chilean pop band called Santiago, who Dierks produced for the BASF label (even the omni-present Rainer Marz showed up playing guitar on Santiago LPs).

    More info from ProgArchives.com: "Tea is a heavy progressive rock band formed in 1971 in Switzerland. The founding members were drummer Roli Eggli, guitarist Armand Volker, and bassist and vocalist Turo Pashayan. The band's name is derived from these three member's first initials. In 1972, the band augmented their lineup with lead singer Mark Storace. The band heavily toured in Switzerland and France, earning a name for themselves before they had even released any material, which led to them landing a spot on television, unheard of for many bands in their day, in 1973. In 1974, the band finally began to release music, beginning with a few singles that led up to, although they were not included on, the band's debut self-titled album in 1974. After the album's release, they even toured with international superstars Queen as the band's "special guests".

    1975 saw the band's second album, "The Ship," The album protracted a similar positive buzz as the first album, with many positive reviews published about the album. The band again toured across Europe. In 1976 the band released their third album, "Tax Exile." Yet another European tour commenced, which even included singer Storace's native Malta. Although the band had enjoyed great success up to that point, Tea played their last concert in 1977.

    In 2007 however, Eggli, Volker, and Storace began thinking about a reunion. The band began rehearsing as a trio, as Keinholz declined to be included in the band and Pashayan was discovered to be in a German prison due to fraud charges. 30 years after the band dissolved, they released their fourth album "Reloaded," which was a retrospective album that included lesser known works & non-album tracks. The band began to play shows again in December of 2009."

    Jerry Berkers was born in the Netherlands. Here's some info from ProgArchives.com again: "He is best remembered for his work with Wallenstein ('Blitzkrieg' and 'Mother Universe' LPs) as well as his appearance on two of the Kosmische Kuriere LPs ('Lord Krishna Von Goloka' and 'Tarot').

    He only made one album in solo called "Unterwegs" (1972). The content mostly acoustic instruments and percussions with subtle keyboards parts. For the occasion, Berkers invited many of his friends and musicians with whom he had participated to several works for the Pilz / Kosmische Kurrier labels (Jurgen Dollase, Witthuser & Westrupp.). The compositions are melodic, pop, moody with a few complex progressive sounds put into structured short songs. The album was dedicated against the war in Vietnam (as suggest the lyrics.)"

    Atlantis was one of Dieter Dierks' most successful bands to work with. They made a variety of music and I found my favorite LP to be the fourth, "Get On Board", which Dierks engineered and produced.

    More info found at AlexGitlin.com: "Atlantis was a band formed by ex-Frumpy musicians Inga Rumpf, Jean-Jacques Kravetz and Karl-Heinz Schott, in late Summer, 1972. The initial line-up included guitarist Frank Dietz and ex-Emergency drummer Curt Cress (later with Triumvirat, Passport).

    The band played a few live gigs in Germany before they recorded their debut in London's Island Studios. The US magazine, Cash Box, compared Atlantis with the Doobie Brothers and praised Inga Rumpf's blues-tinged voice. Shortly before the group went on a four week tour of England with Procol Harum, Traffic, Vinegar Joe and the Sharks, Cress and Dietz left and were temporarily supplanted by Udo Lindenberg and George Meier. After the tour, Atlantis recruited Dieter Bornschlegel (ex-Traumtorte) on guitar and Ringo Funk (ex-Jeronimo) on drums as new permanent members.

    Rumpf and Kravetz remained the artistical nucleus of the band. Said Kravetz: "Inga determines this band like Rod Stewart & the Faces, her voice makes our image." Atlantis' second album "It's Getting Better" was even more determined by Inga Rumpf's preference for black rhythms: "I always took a special liking in blues, jazz and soul music, and, since I'm writing most of the songs, this influence is decisive in our music." Melody Maker "recommended" the second album and Sounds attested the band to be "the most English of all German groups".

    Inga Rumpf
    After the gig at the Paris' Olympia, Atlantis went, again, on a four week tour of England, which included a performance at the rock show, "Old Grey Whistle Test". During this tour, Kravetz left the band and had to be hastily replaced by Rainer Schnelle (ex-Family Tree). At the end of 1973, Atlantis was among Germany's three most popular German rock groups, according to a Musikmarkt poll. Half a year later, the line-up changed again. Schnelle and Bomschlegel were replaced by English keyboarder Adrian Askew and ex-Curly Curve guitarist Alex Conti.

    Both were featured on the third LP "Ooh Baby". Seven of the ten songs were written by Askew/Conti, while Rumpf only had three of her compositions on the album.  The result was a "spicy funk album" (Musik Express) with a "bunch of Germany's best soul" (Sounds). Atlantis was at its best on stage, which was proved by a double album recorded live at the Hamburg Fabrik from 1973 - 1975. In Summer 1975, Atlantis went on tour in the States, mostly as opener for Lynyrd Skynyrd. After the tour, guitarist Alex Conti was fired and went on to play with Lake. The new line-up was completed with former guitarist Frank Dietz and as second guitarist Rainer Marz.

    The rockier American influence was noticeable on Atlantis's fourth LP "Get On Board", but the LP and the following tour failed to have commercial success. Consequently, Inga Rumpf and Karl-Heinz Schott announced their departure in January 1976. After the split, the album "Top Of The Bill" with unreleased studio recordings from December 1975 and March 1976 was released. On February 23, 1983, the original line-up reunited for a revival concert in the Hamburg Fabrik and received standing ovations."

    Missing Link's only LP 'Nevergreen!' was recorded and engineered by Dierks' at his studio. This a jazzy prog LP which is mostly instrumental. It covers a lot of ground with various instrumentation but Kids Hunter is a great hard rocker using blazing guitar over hammond and wind section to great effect! More information thanks to ProgArchives.com: "This early 70's jazz-rock band from Munich has had a rather short career; in fact, it lasted the space of an album called "Nevergreen", released in 1972. Then the band broke up, most of their members scatttering about in various directions. They consisted of guitarist Markus Sing, soprano and alto sax player Gunther Latuschik, bassist Dave Schratzenstaller, vocalist Gabriel Dominik Mueller, future Sahara drummer Holger Brandt, and keyboard player Dieter Miekautsch who would later join Missus Beastlt and then Embryo.

    They played typical 70's German progressive jazz rock in the style of Thirsty Moon, early Embryo and Kraan. Almost each of their album's seven tracks seems to explore a different genre, at times centering around some jazzy sax riffs, at times surprising the listener with a quiet piano solo; or else venturing into loud, heavy rock outbursts mixed with acoustic guitar. The overall feel is quite jazzy and what stands out most is the interplay between guitar, sax and keyboards. Should appeal to fans of Embryo and Thirsty Moon as well as to some Ardo Dombec and Xhol fans."

    We near the end with Sperrmüll. Their album was recorded at Dierks' studio. Thanks to Discogs and ProgArchives for the info here: "Originating from various beat bands in the Aachen area of Germany, Sperrmüll were formed in early-1971 as the trio of: Harald Kaiser, Reinhold Breuer and Udo Hager, expanding to a quintet with the addition of keyboards and winds shortly after.

    A long-time lost krautrock classic delivering a dynamic, complex combination between fuzzy freak out improvisations (full of Hammond organs and catchy heavy guitar leads) & epic folk arrangements for the flute. They published only one album in 1970 in a rather anonymous way at Dierks' studio (for the Brain label in a very limited edition, lately re-published by Second Battle). A very accomplished record. Similar to early Deep Purple, Nosferatu and Rufus Zuphall."

    And finally we have a track recorded by the band Hush, which as mentioned in the intro, was Dierks' band that he started in the late '60s and made one single with. The A-side was a cover of The Beatles' Oh Darling, but the B-side was more interesting as an original composition of Dierks' own writing.

    It's not a heavy track but it's a fun way to round-off this volume. I hope you've enjoyed hearing a set of music that's all totally new to the blog, as much as I have enjoyed compiling it. As mentioned at the beginning, coming in the near future will be another set of Dierks'"works" from bands that have already appeared in the blog, that one promises to be a heavier collection than this one...

    Thanks for listening!

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    Before I go any further, I just want to quickly point out a new addition to the site; check out the email alert subscription box on the right of the page if you'd like to receive an email each time a new post is made here.

    Welcome to volume 136! Although this site exists to celebrate music from times long-gone, the inspirational, free thinking spirit of past-decades' heavy rock lives on in the many bands playing right now, who also appreciate those times. When it comes to live music, these are mostly the kind of bands I watch, and great festivals like Freak Valley in Germany, Roadburn in Holland, Psycho Las Vegas and the various Desertfests in Europe are a few of the excellent events to see them.

    For this volume I had the idea of inviting some of the current bands that have shown interest in TDATS to suggest a few vintage picks of their own, and to contribute a track of their own in the spirit of the music. One of those bands is The Neptune Power Federation from New South Wales, Australia. The band's guitarist and artist Mike Foxall kindly volunteered to paint some awesome original cover art for this volume. Thanks Mike, and check out more of his stuff at theartoffox.com.

    So the result is three parts, part 1 is the old tracks while parts 2 & 3 are the new bands. A diverse mix of rock from different countries and different decades results! Some of the old bands have appeared in the blog before, so in this set are songs from them that have not, but there's a healthy dose of new appearances too, like those suggested by Wucan, Stubb, Purson and La Chinga. Parts two and three host contemporary bands including Brooklyn's grooving The Golden Grass, Germany's jamming Samsara Blues Experiment and Finland's space-rockin'Deep Space Destructors. Also making contributions are more scene-favourites like Elder, Admiral Cloudesley Shovell and Radio Moscow.

    One thing's clear from this volume, although some people lament the passing of the classic, formative years of heavy rock and prog, there's still plenty of new talent to carry the torch and it's easier than ever to find it!

    Part 1 - old picks

    01. Pussy - Pig Mansion (1972) from archival LP 'Invasion'
    02. Renft - Zwischen Liebe Und Zorn (1972) Single
    03. Parish Hall - How Can You Win (1970) from LP 'Parish Hall'
    04. Freshwater - Satan's Woman (1970) Single
    05. Doug Jerebine - Reddened Eyes (1969) from LP 'Doug Jerebine Is Jesse Harper'
    06. Night Sun - Plastic Shotgun (1972) from LP 'Mournin'
    07. Quartz - Satan's Serenade (1980) Single
    08. Josefus - Country Boy (1970) from LP 'Dead Man'
    09. Osamu Kitajima - Tengu - A Long-Nosed Goblin (1976) from LP Benzaiten'
    10. Essjay - Twins Of Evil (1971) Single
    11. Glory - High School Letter (1973) Single
    12. Woodoo - Woodoo-Teema (1971) from LP 'Taikakulkunen'
    13. Ancient Grease - Mother Grease The Cat (1970) from LP 'Women And Children First'
    14. Group 1850 - Little Fly (1968) from LP 'Agemo's Trip To Mother Earth'
    15. Lord Sutch - Wailing Sounds (1970) (1970) from LP 'Lord Sutch And Heavy Friends'
    16. Hot Soup - You Took Me By Surprise (1969) from LP 'Openers'


    Part 2 - new tracks



    01. La Chinga - White Witchy Black Magic (2016) from LP 'Frewheelin'
    02. The Neptune Power Federation - Mothership (2015) from LP 'Lucifer's Universe'
    03. Purson - The Bitter Suite (2016) from LP 'Desire's Magic Theatre'
    04. Brule - The Devil's Decay (2016) pre-release track
    05. Wucan - Wandersmann (2015) from LP 'Sow the Wind'
    06. Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell - Bulletproof (2014)
            from LP 'Check 'Em Before You Wreck 'Em'
    07. Amulet - Glint Of The Knife (2014) from LP 'The First'
    08. Deep Space Destructors - Journey To The Space Mountain (2015)
            from EP 'Spring Break From Space'


    Part 3 - more new tracks



    01. Pushy - Salem Man (2016) from split with Ragged Barracudas
    02. The Golden Grass - Get It Together (2016) from LP 'Coming Back Again'
    03. Elder - Compendium (2015) from Lp 'Lore'
    04. Radio Moscow - Before It Burns (2014) from LP 'Magical Dirt'
    05. Supersonic Blues - Supersonic Blues Theme (2016) pre-release exclusive
    06. Stubb - The Wingmakers (2015) from EP 'The Theory of Light & Matter'
    07. Samsara Blues Experiment - Midnight Boogie [UFO cover] (2012) Single
    08. Danava - The Last Goodbye [Slowbone cover live] (2012) on LP 'Hemisphere Of Shadows'


    Part 1 - The Vintage Picks

    01. Pussy - "Pig Mansion"
    Johnny from Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell has suggested a track by Pussy, which was a very short-lived band that came after Jerusalem. In fact, it basically was Jerusalem minus Bill Hinde and  Lynden Williams, but Pussy took a noticeably different direction into glam rock. Johnny comments that Pig Mansion "gives Crushed Butler a run for their money!". Unfortunately their output never saw it on to an album but they did release Pig Mansion as a single, which is the version appearing here. In 2011 Rockadrome issued Pussy's archives on 'Invasion', which included the original, and an extended remixed version of Pig Mansion.

    Parish Hall
    02. Parish Hall - "How Can You Win" 
    Adam Burke, guitarist of Portland Oregon's Pushy, drew a great cover for TDATS Vol 121. He and his band have proffered a Parish Hall track and Adam says "We love the laid-back, almost lazy pacing, bludgeoning, simple drumming and completely burning main riff. It’s strangely difficult to make blues rock that isn't douchey, but these fellas did it right."



    Renft
    03. Renft - "Zwischen Liebe und Zorn"
    This track was recommended by Dresden's "Kraut-fueled heavy flute rockers"Wucan, who started in 2012 and have made two LPs so far. Singer and bandleader Fran explains her choice. "I wish more people were able to understand the lyrics and put it into socio-historical context. Renft were a GDR based band (fabulous musicians!), back when Germany was divided between the Russians and the Allied forces. The socialist GDR government was very strict about which music and what lyrical content bands were allowed to perform.

    Renft, being the blues rock voice of the GDR's young generation, didn't let the government dictate to them how to write songs, which in return got them in serious trouble in the early '70s. The band was eventually forced by the government to split in 1975 after they released this track (among others) with very regime-critical lyrics. Even after 40 years the song and its lyrics have not lost any of their aggression or anger, and retain their beautifully intellectual, revolutionary vibes. All Renft songs have been highly influential on Wucan's work."

    Freshwater - "Satan's Woman"
    04. Freshwater - "Satan's Woman"
    Neptune Power Federation's recommendation is an obscure single. Guitarist Troy explains their choice: "Releasing a groovy occult rock 7" means not dealing in half measures. That's why when Australian blues/prog rockers Freshwater released their 1970 single 'Satan' they backed it up on the flip side with 'Satan’s Woman'.

     Conservative radio stations of the day ran a mile from this dark offering exploring the grim recent events in a Los Angeles mansion. Decades later The Neptune Power Federation have accepted the torch passed on by Freshwater, vowing to continue dabbling in the black arts, and being ignored by radio"

    Doug Jerebine
    05. Doug Jerebine - "Reddened Eyes"
    Boston's Elder have been around for ten years now (time flies!) and have rightly earned a great reputation in underground heavy rock. Guitarist Nick DiSalvo has suggested a track from New Zealander Doug Jerebine, the real name of 'Jesse Harper', who's archival collection 'Guitar Absolution In The Shade Of A Midnight Sun' has featured in TDATS before (Vol34). Since that record, some more of his vintage recordings have surfaced on the Drag City release 'Doug Jerebine Is Jesse Harper; and that's where 'Reddened Eyes' is from.

    Night Sun
    06. Night Sun - "Plastic Shotgun"
    London's Brule has selected a TDATS favourite, Night Sun. Guitarist Alastair Riddell explains "At the start of the '90s I used to trade tapes with Jus Oborne (of Electric Wizard). There were only a handful of doom bands back then so we would trade rehearsal tapes of Mourn and Thy Grief Eternal amongst other things. In '92 or so he sent me a compilation tape with things like Buffalo, May Blitz, Bang and so on. One track was Plastic Shotgun by Night Sun.

    In those pre-internet days I couldn't find anything else by them until 2003, I was crewing for Firebird on a European tour with Fu Manchu, during a few days in Berlin I discovered a shop called Pandora's Box that had Second Battle's CD reissue of Mournin'. Plastic Shotgun sounds like Uriah Heap on amphetamines!"

    Quartz - "Satan's Serenade"
    07. Quartz - "Satan's Serenade"
    NWOBHM pioneers Quartz were chosen by London metallurgists Amulet. Guitarist Marek Steven explains. "In the early days of Amulet after forming in 2010, Quartz were a band we all loved and naturally felt kinship with through the decades. Quartz deliver post-Sabbath Heavy Metal with good songs, simple but tasteful structures and evil atmospheric themes with a positive overall vibe. Having formed in the early-mid '70s they have the individual mentality of that era before the New Wave of Heavy Metal settled into certain patterns from 79-ish.

    Quartz were ahead of their time with balls deep riffs that should put them in the same bracket at Pentagram and other just-after-Sabbath bands. The fact that Tony Iommi loved them enough to produce and play on the debut album also tells you something. Quartz did pretty well at the time and recently have reformed and surprised some people with how bloody good they still are... but not us! Amulet have been lucky enough to play some shows with them and it's a always a treat for us to see them play such heavy and brilliant songs so effortlessly. They even have a great all-new album 'Fear No Evil' just out. Amulet aspires to their longevity and attitude, and we'll have a second album in 2017 too so watch out!"

    Josefus
    08. Josefus - "Country Boy"
    Berlin's psychedelic jam band Samsara Blues Experiment threw a Josufus track in to the mix. Founding member Christian Peters remembers: "I chose this because they were basically one, if not the, first rather obscure band I discovered, years ago when most younger people wouldn't even care for Black Sabbath that much...the track 'Country Boy' just seems to suit me fine, since I grew up in a village of ten houses and even now living in Berlin, I'm still sort of a loner, maybe a dreamer too ;) Well, those were the days... Josefus is one of the bands everybody should know anyway.

    Osamu Kitajima
    09. Osamu Kitajima - "Tengu - A Long-Nosed Goblin"
    London's heavy psych trio Stubb have recommended something a little different. This is some chilled Japanese prog by Osamu Kitajima. Quite mesmerising stuff! It comes from his third LP, 1976's "Benzaiten".

    Osamu himself was previously in classic Japanese 1960s 'Group Sounds' band, The Launchers. In fact, Launchers bass player and TV personality Yuzo Kayama originally coined the term 'Group Sounds', which became the byword for the popular fusion of kayōkyoku music and Western rock music at the time. Read more at Julian Cope's Japrock Sampler (link).

    Essjay - "Twins Of Evil"
    10. Essjay - "Twins Of Evil"
    London's 'psych face-melters'Purson suggested a rare 45 from 1971 called 'Twins of Evil'. Bandleader Rosalie Cunningham has this to say about it: "I could listen to this sinister slice all day, it’s so groovy!

    It's a rearrangement of the orchestral theme for the Hammer Horror film of the same name. It was released as a single by ‘Essjay’, a pseudonym for composer Mike Batt who also wrote the Wombles TV theme!"
    Glory - "High School Letter"
    11. Glory - "High School Letter"
    Chris Read, bassist with Vancouver hard rockers La Chinga, has also thumbed-up an obscure 45. He discovered this on 'Ultimate Bonehead Volume 3' and this is what that comp has to say about it: "Glory was a San Diego band with two members who were in Iron Butterfly, but too young to follow the band when they moved to LA. This was their only record, the A side is a fine specimen of West Coast raunchiness.

    The B side Peaches is also ace, mid-tempo and damn catchy". Chris offers his own opinions on the song...."Glory - High School Letter 1973 Speemo records is a ripping slab of So-Cal righteousness. The raw riff, crunches and punches, the drummer rides the bell, the bass gets busy, the singer wails on about some hottie in a tight knit sweater and getting it on in the old wood barn! And there is even a backwards guitar solo! The moment it fires up I feel like I'm rolling down the street in a boogie van. Perfect."

    Woodoo
    12. Woodoo - "Woodoo-Teema"
    All the way to Oulu, Finland now, for a selection by Deep Space Desructors. Thus speaks singer and bass-player, Jani Pitkänen. "Woodoo was a relatively short-lived band in the beginning of 70's. They recorded only one LP for a Finnlevy sub-label called UFO.

    The LP is called Taikakulkunen (roughly translated Magic Jingle Bell). Lyrically they wrote about death, and mystical aspects of life and the world. We chose this Woodoo track because it's pretty obscure to have a band in Finland playing "world music", specifically at that point in time, and the track is very rocking and deceivingly simple, but has many beautiful musical nuances hidden in it, which we can relate to."

    Ancient Grease
    13. Ancient Grease - "Mother Grease The Cat"
    San Diego heavy psych blues dealers Radio Moscow offered up Mother Grease The Cat from TDATS favourite Welshmen, Ancient Grease. This is what band founder Parker Griggs has to say: "This track has one of the coolest heavy psych riffs ever, along with one of the coolest and most bizarre titles. We always loved the Ancient Grease album, and this is my favorite track on it. The guitarist really shines, with some Ritchie Blackmore, aggressive sounding leads. Bang your head!"

    Group 1850
    14. Group 1850 - "Little Fly"
    The Netherlands'Supersonic Blues have joined-in with a track from Group 1850. Guitarist Tim Aarbodem said: "Like us, these guys are from The Hague, which is one of the reasons we chose them. Group 1850 are a brilliant psychedelic act from the late '60s, easily one of our favourite bands from The Hague's 60s beat era. You could say they were the (Syd Barrett era) Pink Floyd of The Hague, but they definitely had their own vibe. Unfortunately their singer and bandleader Peter Sjardin passed away recently.

    We've played Group 1850 tunes in the past. They're not a direct influence on our music but we hold them high in regard! Once we were shooting some band photos at the Catholic graveyard here in The Hague. We were walking around for a while and one grave grabbed our attention. It had a statue of a dog on it, which we thought was a nice detail. But when we looked closer it turned out to be the grave of Daniël 'Dean' van Bergen, the original guitarist of Group 1850! We didn’t know he was buried there at all, was it a sign perhaps? A confirmation from above of us doing well?! “…and Daniël van Bergen saw that is was good.”

    15. Lord Sutch & Heavy Friends - "Wailing Sounds"
    One of the new tracks that Portland's Danava submitted was a Lord Sutch cover, so I have taken the liberty of using a Lord Sutch original as their old pick, I don't think they'll mind...

    David Sutch (aka Screaming Lord Sutch) was a musician and 'Monster Raving Loony Party' political satirist/activist who had many friends, enough in fact, to get Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Noel Redding, John Bonham, Ritchie Blackmore and Kieth Moon (among others) to play on various records of his! 'Wailing Sounds' is the opener from 1970's 'Lord Sutch And Heavy Friends', it was co-written by Jimmy Page and features Page & John Bonham doing their thang.

    Hot Soup - "You Took Me By Surprise"
    16. Hot Soup - "You Took Me By Surprise"
    Adam Kriney, singing drummer of Brooklyn's "free-wheelin, good-time rock & roll band"The Golden Grass, has suggested a track from Hot Soup.

    This was an obscure band that had notable guitarist Frank Carillo, who made a few records in different acts including the boogie-rocking Doc Holliday in 1973 and 'Carillo' in 1979. Hot soup was a soul rock act that was quite tame, except for 'You Took Me By Surprise', which rocked things up a few notches with its solid hammond and funky rhythms!


    Part 2 - The New School

    La Chinga
    01. La Chinga - "White Witchy Black Magic"
    Taken from "Frewheelin" LP on Small Stone Records (2016)

    Vancouver's hard rock power trio La Chinga are another band that are into this blog and have helped out on occasion with some opinions and recommendations. If you dig the selection of obscure crunching bonehead US singles that have appeared on many TDATS volumes thus far then you'll get what La Chinga are all about in no time; getting in your car, going out and having a good time while you can, as we could all be dead tomorrow, what have you got to lose? According to bassist/singer Chis Read, 'White Witchy Black Magic' is a true story, so I'd be wary of the female company this band keeps if I were you...

    The Neptune Power Federation
    02. The Neptune Power Federation - "Mothership"
    Taken from "Lucifer's Universe" LP on Bandcamp (link)

    Guitarist Troy describes his band: "Hailing from Sydney Australia, The Neptune Power Federation are a grandiose grime-encrusted heavy rock machine, powered by hellfire, beaten fuzz pedals and space hallucinogens. The track 'Mothership' was forged after consultation with extraterrestrial beings the band came across in a pub car park, after admiring their panel van's original Frank Frazetta paint job."

    Purson
    03. Purson - "The Bitter Suite"
    Taken from "Desire's Magic Theatre" LP on Spinefarm Records (2016)

    Soon after making it into this comp, Purson unfortunately announced the end of their time together, but they still wanted to contribute.

    Founder Rosalie Cunningham said: "This is the final song on the final Purson album. A three-part ode to sex, drugs and rock and roll (not in that particular order). This song gives an idea of the direction my writing is going at the moment."

    Brule - "The Devil's Decay"
    04. Brule - "The Devil's Decay"
    Find Brule's initial recordings on Bandcamp (link)

    London's Brule come self-described as "Heavy Metal Rock ‘n’ Roll, four guys with a background in hardcore, doom and death metal, rocking to the classics like Pentagram, Skynyrd, The Who and Deep Purple".

    Guitarist Alastair Riddell says this about the track appearing here. "The Devil's Decay started off sounding like Saint Vitus. It wasn't even a consciously written riff. I was just warming up hitting notes but Rob [Wilson - Drums] started playing along. Somehow between Johnny [Ogle - Vocals] joining and Rob speeding it up a bit, it ended up sounding like Pentagram. Johnny and I have been listening to them for over a quarter of a century so it is just natural I suppose." See Brule playing at London's Desertfest in April this year!

    Wucan
    05. Wucan - "Wandersmann"
    Taken from "Sow The Wind" LP on Made in Germany (2015)

    If you are at Desertfest London this year, you'll be able to see Wucan's first appearance there. Singer and bandleader Fran comments on their track 'Wandersmann'; "Well, what is there really to be mentioned? We all see this song as the Wucan-defining song. In many ways this song took our musicianship a step further.

    Even now we are still stunned by how much this song has developed, and continues to take shape, since we first performed it."

    Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell
     06. Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell - "Bulletproof"
    From "Check 'Em Before You Wreck 'Em" on Rise Above Records (2014)

    Hastings' own Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell (try saying that after 9 pints of Double Diamond) have been belting out no-nonsense swagger-filled rock'n roll for a few years now. Their third album 'Keep It Greasy!' is recently out on Rise Above Records and it's their best yet!

    Amulet - "Glint Of The Knife"
    07. Amulet - "Glint Of The Knife"
    Taken from "The First" LP on Century Media (2014)

    London's Amulet are one of the UK's proudest purveyors of traditional heavy metal, championing the days of the NWOBHM.

    Founding guitarist Marek Steven also organises London's annual Live Evil festival (link), a two-day festival which hosts vintage and new heavy metal bands from around the world.

    Deep Space Destructors
    08. Deep Space Destructors
                 - "Journey To The Space Mountain"
    From "Spring Break From Space" EP (2015) on bandcamp (link)

    Bassist Jani Pitkänen speaks: "With Deep Space Destructors, we are on a similar path musically to the old band we chose, Woodoo; making more rocking songs, simplifying things here and there but still the songs have unique characteristics in them, but we don't expose these things straight out. It's best not to serve everything on a silver platter all at once, even though it's the thing to do nowadays. We still believe in discovering things in music on your own and finding new or old cool music, for which TDATS compilations are a great example!"

    Band links for part 2



    Part 3 - The New School contd.

    Pushy - "Salem Man"
    01. Pushy - "Salem Man"
    From Ragged Barracudas/Pushy split LP on Who can you trust? (2016)

    Some excerpts straight from the band: "Pushy started as a long-fantasized side project for Travis Clow of Crag Dweller and Adam Burke of Fellwoods. They wanted a band that'd make you want to light your bushes on fire/take your pants off/stop showering/give up on Dry January/put off your taxes/kiss random people/dig holes and throw away all your post punk records. Crack open a cold one...well, several cold ones, and get down to the good time rock and roll for river doggin', hot doggin', hangin' out and catching trout."

    The Golden Grass
    02. The Golden Grass - "Get It Together"
    Taken from "Coming Back Again" LP on Listenable Records (2016)

    Golden Grass
    's drummer / singer Adam Kriney has been a fan of TDATS for a long time and has assisted in a few of the volumes so far, most notably when I was looking for biker movie rock for vol 109 (link), which was a ton of fun to make! The band describe themselves as "Rooted in sun-soaked and funky southern/country US classic rock back-beat, emblazoned with swinging, hip and groovy UK mod/soul/freakbeat vibrations and bursting with proto-metal bluesey-prog overtones", and I'm not going to argue there!

    Elder - "Compendium"
    03. Elder - "Compendium"
    Taken from "Lore" LP on Armageddon (US) and Stickman (EU)

    'Compendium' is the opening track from Elder's third LP "Lore". The band is widely improvisational and specialises in long tracks that pull from all ages and flavours of heavy rock.

    When asked which Elder track he'd like to offer, guitarist Nick DiSalvo said "None of our songs really obviously reference only 60s-70s stuff. I have a hard time in general seeing the forest for the trees with our own music, if you get me, but Compendium is the most obvious reference to me."

    Radio Moscow
    04. Radio Moscow - "Before It Burns"
    Taken from "Magical Dirt" LP on Alive Records (2014)

    Bandleader Parker Griggs: "Before it Burns is one of my favorite tunes to play live.  It starts heavy and in the middle goes into some free-form jams that give the band a chance to reach outer space.  Different each time we play it, so always keeps us on our toes!"

    Supersonic Blues Theme
    05. Supersonic Blues - "Supersonic Blues Theme"
    Pre-release exclusive

    Guitarist Tim Aarbodem: "Supersonic Blues was started in 2013. Gianni (bass) and I met through our love of vinyl, spinning some records on Radio Tonka, an underground radio station in The Hague. Lennart joined on drums at the end of 2015.

    Guy Tavares (Orange Sunshine, Santa Cruz) made our first studio recordings in his Hague studio. It’s packed with rare vintage amps, drums, studio gear, it was an awesome and crazy experience! 'Supersonic Blues Theme' is one of the four songs we recorded, we had a high-school-rock-MC5 thing in mind for this one. This and another song will be released as a 7" on Who Can You Trust? Records in early 2017, thanks to Ragged Barracudas drummer/vocalist Christian Dräger, the man behind the label. There are a lot of cool bands on that label, such as Hot Lunch, Lecherous Gaze, Pushy, Wild Eyes and Zig Zags."

    Stubb
    06. Stubb - "The Wingmakers"
    Taken from "The Theory of Light & Matter" split EP with Mos Generator on HeviSike Records (2015).

    See them recording this in the studio (link). Stubb are one of three bands in this comp that are playing at London's Desertfest this year, so check out their warm-sounding fuzzy grooves there if you are attending.


    Samsara Blues Experiment
    07. Samsara Blues Experiment - "Midnight Boogie"
    From "Center Of The Sun/Midnight Boogie" EP on World In Sound (2012)

    Band founder Christian Peters talks about the track: "Midnight Boogie is our rendition of the UFO track, which was one of the bands I totally worshipped in my later school days. Blasting their early albums on my car stereo, windows down, drinking beer during free lessons, all the stupid stuff you do when you're young and pretend to be cool. It's nice memories, and I can be very nostalgic... well...". Samsara Blues Experiment will be playing at Desertfest in London this year.

    08. Danava - The Last Goodbye [Slowbone cover live]
    From "Hemisphere Of Shadows" LP on Kemado Records (2011)

    Like The Golden Grass, Portland OR's Danava have been vocal supporters of TDATS for years and have appeared in the site before, including a 2013 interview with main man Greg Meleney for vol 86 (link). Greg kindly submitted some very raw live recordings to include in this one, but as they are in need of a lot of cleaning-up, for the sake of the deadline I decided to use a live recording of theirs from a different occaision. It's a Slowbone cover, an awesome UK hard rock act that unfortunately did not release an official album but were an inspiration to a young Iron Maiden. Perfect choice here, seeing it's a fantatstic track and Slowbone's original version has been in the blog already!

    Band links for part 3

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I hope you enjoyed this. Many thanks to all the bands who took part, and to all of you who have supported Aftersabbath.com thus far! Cheers, Rich

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    Bang in 1972 (l-r) Frank Ferrara, Tony Diorio, Frank Gilcken
    (picture from Bang's facebook page)
    Download from: [mf] or [yd]

    Hi again! Last year the Philadelphia band Bang, who I presume most of you will know by now(appearing on Vol 1 after all!), made a concerted effort to play frequently and see parts of the world that had eluded them during their three-album tenure with Capitol Records in the early seventies. Previous to that, they had played a few reunion shows since the 2000's, and Rise Above's 2010 box set remaster of their records.

    Just prior to their 2016 tour of Europe, Lucille aka Lucyfer of Controradio Firenze in Italy (podcast archive here) interviewed Bang's frontman Frank Ferrara and they talked about the band's past and present career, as well as their rekindled enthusiasm to play again more regularly. At the time, Lucille offered to contribute the interview to TDATS, but unfortunately that was around the time I was taking a hiatus from doing the blog. So, here it is now, transcribed by myself. Better late than never!

    Listen here and read my transcription following



    Interview

    Lucille: It’s a great honour to introduce a very special guest, Frank Ferrara from Bang is with us tonight. Hi Frank!

    Frank at a show this year
    (2017
    )
    Frank: Thank you so much, hello everybody.

    Lucille: Bang is a band that is familiar to the listeners of this show, as I often play Bang songs here, and Frank is the bassist and singer from the original line up. So Frank, first I would like you to tell us something about the roots of Bang, going back to the starting point of your career, and that would be the show in Orlando in 1971 when you played on the same stage as Rod Stewart and Deep Purple. Would you tell us about that crucial show?

    Frank: Three days before the Rod Stewart / Deep Purple show [and before we knew anything about it] we had left Philadelphia in a station wagon with a trailer, and were heading to Florida [with the intention of finding places to play there]. We really had no particular place to go, we had our equipment, we had gotten some marijuana, and we stopped to buy some rolling papers.

    We were at Daytona Beach which was maybe two or three hours from Orlando and we went into a record store to buy some rolling papers, there was a poster on the wall that said ‘Battle of the Bands’, so we asked the guy behind the counter where that was because we wanted to play the show. He said it was an old poster and that show was last week. “If you guys have a band, Deep Purple and Rod Stewart are playing in Orlando, why don’t you go there? Maybe they’ll let you play.”

    So, we spent that night in a tent, drinking some beer and just talking and talking, and we decided “yeah what the hell, why don’t we see if we can go play the show?” We got up the next day, drove to Orlando and pulled behind the venue where the show was. We knocked on the door, this guy came out and we introduced ourselves as Bang from Philadelphia, “We’re the best fuckin' band in the world and we want to play tonight”. He let us in to set up our stuff. So, we had talked our way in to opening up for Deep Purple and Small Faces!

    Everything in life is about timing, seventy two hours earlier we were just driving to Florida with a U-Haul with no idea what would happen. So we took a chance and, y’know, it was amazing. Opening up with Faces and Deep Purple, around the time that Purple’s Machine Head had just come out.

    Lucille: You said it was a question of timing, but I think it was a mixture of fate and boldness, because you were really bold to force that hand of fate, so to say.

    Frank: We had to. Here’s the thing, because we rehearsed every night for eighteen months, I mean everynight, we’re talking seven days a week. We were always together, we learnt how to write and we became very tight, we were three people as one basically. When we went to Florida we were ready, we really believed in each other, and it’s funny you say that because the promotor guy who answered the door said, “Hey man, you guys’ got balls like this, and you sound good.”

    If you don’t believe in yourself Lucille, nobody else is going to believe in you. That’s the kind of attitude you have to project from the stage, I think you can tell that with most bands, if they really like each other or if they’re just going through the motions. Our music was good (thank you God) but I think the promotor saw our determination and our desire, which was just as much why we got the show as the music itself.

    Lucille: What happened then? A short time after playing that gig you got a contract with Capitol Records.

    Frank: We played while the people were coming in, the lights were still on, and we had about two feet of stage left to use, it was a very small thing. The promoter of the show Rick Bowen said “You guys did really well. Listen, you’re going to Florida, down to Fort Lauderdale where I’m doing a show with Steppenwolf next week, if you guys wanna open up the show.”

    Right away he took an interest in us. He said he had a hotel in Fort Lauderdale where we could stay. We waited a week and we drove to Richmond to do the Steppenwolf show. After that he asked if we wanted to do another show with The Guess Who, and at that point, when we stayed at the hotel in Fort Lauderdale, there was a studio there, Criteria Studios, which went on to be one of the bigger studios at that time. We went in and did our demo, of Death of a Country, which is what we’d been working on for eighteen months in the basement. So after the Faces-Purple concert we did two or three more shows, we did the demo and then Capitol and Atlantic Records were both interested in the band, and we were waiting to see which one of those to go with.

    Lucille: We know you decided to go with Capitol, it doesn’t sound like you had an idyllic partnership with them, in fact Capitol decided not to release Death of a Country. What were the reasons behind that decision?

    Frank: Capitol Records at the time was very middle-of-the-road. Atlantic had all the hard rock groups, Zeppelin etc, everyone that was heavy, and Capitol was more of a contemporary label. They were just getting ready to lose Grand Funk Railroad. They came back to us and said they didn’t think a debut concept album would be commercial enough to put out. Now, the only reason we went with Capitol was because The Beatles were on there, they were our heroes. We were kids, we were 18 years old, we trusted everybody at that age. We thought Capitol Records would do right by the band.

    What was happening was they didn’t believe in Death of a Country so they gave us two weeks to write another album. They sent a producer down, he said they don’t want to release DoaC, they think it will go over everyone’s head. So we were disillusioned, but what did we know? We were the musicians, we trusted them. It’s your record company, you sign with them, you trust them because as a musician, you never know the business side of music, which is nothing like the real side of music.

    Lucille: In fact you were kind of forced to change a lot, because Death of a Country is more of a spiritual, eco-friendly, psychedelic concept album with some hard rock, while your self-titled debut is more hard rock, more Black Sabbath-style, so you had to change a lot?

    Frank: Back in the seventies, bands did two albums a year, so you only had six months in between recordings before you recorded another record. We had two weeks to write the Bang album which in my mind wasn’t a whole lot of time. But we did it, because we knew we could write songs. Still, at the time Capitol was trying to make us more commercial, more commercial, more commercial, so after we did DoaC in the studio they rejected it and we had to write a whole different style of music.

    They used to call us the Grand Black Zeppelin and say we sounded like Grand Funk, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin all rolled in to one. To me it was like “Wow, if we’re that good we should be bigger than The Beatles ya’know. We were writing all kinds of music and Capitol wanted top-40 hits. They kept giving us the pressure, “We need a hit record, we need a hit record”.

    We weren’t a top-40 band, we were a concert band. We were a band you watched to see a show, we didn’t have hooks, we weren’t Helen Reddy, we weren’t The Raspberries, but Capitol kept sending us stuff and we were like “Why did we even sign with these guys?” If they didn’t believe in our music and were trying to change it why did they even sign us?

    Lucille: It doesn’t make any sense

    Frank: It doesn’t make anysense. That was where we learned that “the music business” is the business of music, like selling shoes, it’s not about heart. When you write a song it’s about heart, it’s about your spirit, but you gotta sell records, how many are you going to sell? It’s like selling shoes. We learned right away that this is not good. It was disillusioning, it was like an oxymoron.

    We went to Woodstock, it’s like a happy feeling, you think everybody’s your friend and then you find out that it’s not really like that at all. It’s about making money. It broke our hearts because we really believed in Death of a Country. I’ve always thought “Wow, maybe if they did release DoaC we might never have made the Bang album.” You don’t know why things happen in life, maybe if we had released DoaC it wouldn’t have done anything.

    Lucille: But in some way the commercial ideas of Capitol succeeded, there was a time when Bang were quite famous because you were in the charts.

    Frank: Yes, our first single “Questions” was in the forties on the charts and it went to #2 in Hong Kong, it was like #2 on the moon or something. Again, the business took over and they stopped working that record. Long story short, I think what happened with the band was, six months after Bang was signed with the label, Capitol records got a new president and our producer went to Epic records. Everybody at Capitol tower in Hollywood that was behind our band was gone. So at that point other producers and other bands were coming in and all the producers pushed their bands, they don’t care about some other producer’s band. They move to something else, “We work them for a couple of months then let’s move to something else.”

    It never mattered to us, sure it was frustrating but we knew we could write songs and we knew we were good and we just tried to keep the faith. That’s what you gotta do, you gotta face adversity and plough ahead because like I was saying before, if you don’t believe it, nobody else will believe it. You have to do that in anything in life really.

    Lucille: What about your last record with Capitol, it was 1973 and it was called simply “Music”. It was more pop-melodic, somehow almost Beatles-esque. What inspired that change?

    Humble from Mother/Bow to the King


    Frank: Even on DoaC we always did a lot of harmony. I think harmony in vocals is just as important as the instruments and we liked the two-part and three-part harmonies. The thing with “Music”, that was our final thing with Capitol. After the Bang album they basically made us change drummers right before the Mother album which was our second album. So we ended up recording the Mother album and Music with a different drummer. The continuity was getting worse and worse, we did “No Sugar Tonight” by The Guess Who just because Capitol was pushing us to get a hit record and by the time we did the Music album we changed our sound, we changed our style because we were trying to do what the label wanted us to do. We got more commercial, that’s why the Music album is so different.
    Hey ya’know what? Bang was always Tony Diorio’s lyrics, Frank Gilcken’s guitar and my melodies and vocals. Even though the album is not heavy and in your face, I think we have some great songs on that record.

    Lucille: I like that album very much, it’s a very good album. 

    Frank Gilcken (guitar)
    at a show this year
    Frank: The people that liked the Bang album which was much heavier thought we had sold-out by the Music album, we didn’t sound hard & heavy and Frankie’s guitar wasn’t in your face, it was more of a pop record but hey, for us, I think if you try to sound the same on every record you get stale. We were young, I think as musicians you follow your talent where it takes you. I don’t want to make the same record over and over again, that would be boring and back then it was fun to write some different kinds of songs, to use the Mellotron, to do all those things back then. It was fun changing and we evolved. Not that we couldn’t write anything heavy, that’s just not the mood we were in that day ya’know? That’s what music is, it’s a mood and you’re in a different mood every half hour.

    Lucille: After many years, Death of a Country finally saw the light when it was re-issued by Rise Above records. How did the collaboration with Rise Above start?

    Rise Above's Bang box set
    "Bullets"
    Frank: Lee Dorian approached us, he was a long-time Bang fan, and he said he’d love to do a box set of our records. By then we’d just started playing again, it was a great idea and we were very flattered that somebody wanted to do a “box set”. Lee and Rise Above did a great job and we were very happy with it. It came from Lee getting a hold of us, getting a hold of our drummer/lyricist Tony Diorio and we just struck a deal for them to put the box set together. 

    Lucille: And it’s a deluxe remastered CD set with everything you made right?

    Frank: Yes, it was our entire Capitol catalogue.

    Cover sticker from the "Bullets" box set: "Limited Edition Four CD Mini LP Box set containing three classic full-length albums released between 1971 and 1973. Also includes the "unreleased at the time" debut album Death of a Country. Plus forty-page collectors booklet and Exclusive sticker. Black Sabbath heaviness meets Grand Funk Groove & catchy as hell"

    Lucille: You are from Philadelphia, a place that was more into sweet soul music than hard rock at that time, so how was it to play hard rock there in the seventies?

    Frank: It was the same as it was in New York, as it was in Florida. If you liked hard rock that’s the kind of music that you wrote, as kids we loved Black Sabbath, there were a lot of bands that we loved, and you’d play those songs and a little bit of influence comes off. That’s why we were compared to Sabbath a little bit because we had that kind of style. That just comes from what you grow up with, Philadelphia was known as a big Soul town but we were hard rockers ‘cuz we loved The Cream and Jimi Hendrix, that’s the kind of music that we wrote, learned a lot of different music and we started writing music with bits and pieces of everybody we loved.

    You say it sounds like The Beatles too, that was because we loved The Beatles and there’s a little bit of something in each song that reflects what your influences are. That’s what we’re finding out today with these Bang shows, we’re playing in front of 20-30 year olds that weren’t even born when we wrote this music and for them to say “Hey, you inspired us to write music”, it reminds me that we were inspired by somebody when we started. So that aspiration turned into being part of our song-writing. We didn’t have a Philadelphia style because we liked hard rock, we were a hard rock band.

    Lucille: You are widely considered as forerunners of the doom metal genre, how is it to be considered as a seminal band in that sense?

    Frank: You know what? Whatever sense, our Bang album went to the heavy metal hall of fame six months ago. To me, whatever genre or whatever mode it goes into we’re grateful for it. I never thought of us as a doom band because I thought we were always more of a rock ‘n’ roll band. Doom is sludge kinda stuff, we were more about having a groove, there was a difference in our music, but hey, if it’s stoner rock, if it’s acid rock, if it’s hip hop, whoever loves us we’re grateful for it but to me I don’t see us as that kind of band because every album we did was different. We didn’t stay in that vein, coz we were being pushed by Capitol to be commercial and do something else. They expected the Bang record to take off and sell a million copies, and when it didn’t they were trying to push us to be more commercial and so we lost that vein.

    Back in ’71-’72 hard rock was really obscure, it wasn’t radio-friendly, they didn’t even have FM radio back then, everything was AM so it was just the beginning of everything and we kinda got lost in the shuffle. But we’re very happy to be attached to stoner & doom rock. We did a tour with Pentagram and our music fitted right in with theirs and people loved it and that’s good with us.

    Lucille: So after many years of silence, Bang are back and touring again. Why have you decided to bring the band back again?

    Frank: I think we were so young the first time around, we’ve had forty years of really nothing going on. We all went our separate ways and when we reformed and put a website up we started getting fan letters. It made us realise the music was still valid and we still had an audience out there. Time went around and the stars aligned for Tony, Frank and me. Our legacy is not done, we hadn’t seen each other in 25 years and within a week we had written 15 songs.

    Once you have magic with somebody it never goes away, and I think when we got back together again, we realised that we still had a lot to offer so we decided to go back and do what we love, we’re musicians, we love to play. At that point the buzz got out that we were back and we were lucky enough to get the Pentagram tour and get back out there. That was our first tour in 42 years and to be out there playing again and realising “Wow, people love our music”, that’s what brought us back. The fact that the music is still strong and it’s still original and I think what goes around comes around, our music was just as good as anybody’s and it was time to go play it and have fun.

    Frank had the time and the enthusiasm to do it again. That one hour you play on stage, that’s the reward for putting up with a lot of trials and tribulations along the way, that’s really when a band has the most fun, when you’re on stage playing for that hour. That’s what makes everything worth it. We just want to finish what we started, add on to our legacy, hopefully do a couple more records and see where it goes, before we’re in the rock’n’roll heaven with David and Lemmy, coz we’re at that age.

    Lucille: It’s terrible, [the recent rock’n’roll deaths are] getting really depressing 
          
    Frank: When I tell you we had 30 year-olds coming out, I think now old music is out-selling new music, I think the young people don’t have what we had and they appreciate it now because they don’t have it. I think it’s a great thing because to me the sixties and seventies was the best era in music. Everybody had their brand, The Who was The Who, Zeppelin was Zeppelin, there was nobody sounding like anybody else. Now you got a billion bands you couldn’t tell one from the other because they all sound the same and I think the golden age of music is really over with. I don’t think we’ll ever have the phenomenon of The Eagles, or The Beatles, Bowie, who was just tremendous. I don’t think that will ever happen again actually, which is a shame.

    Starting in April 2016, Bang did their first European tour, which visited the UK, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Spain and Portugal. During the interview Frank described his anticipation for that tour:

    We’re like children at Christmas time. I really appreciate the fact that we’re able to go to Europe. If I was a young man it might not be a big deal. “Oh big deal I’m going to Europe” ya’know, but at this point in our lives we’re just very thankful that our music stayed strong enough to be able to get somebody to bring us to Europe. We broke up right before we were scheduled to go to there, to go to the UK and do a tour with Rod Stewart because we played with him right when Maggie May was a hit, we broke up right before that and we were never able to go to Europe. At 62 years old I’m now getting the chance to do what I should have done when I was 20. European fans are the most loyal of any fan, it’s quite different in America coz there’s so much going on here. Europeans still have the old values, the old virtues.

    Lucille: Some of them yeah haha

    Frank: It’s the thrill of playing to people that I wouldn’t normally see, in places I’ve always dreamed of going to. If I can be on stage playing and doing what I love, I could die right then and I’d be the happiest man in the world because to me success isn’t about money, it’s about doing what you love and you have a passion for. A lot of people take opportunities for granted, but I think the older you get, the more you appreciate when something happens, you have to enjoy the moment. To me there’s a special saying of Shakespeare’s: “Expectation is the root of all heartache” so in my mind, do what you love and don’t expect anything, if you think too big then you’re just going to be heart-broken.

    --------------------------------------------------------- 

    And that concluded the interview. This year, Bang has so-far played a few shows in the US and has chalked-up some more Europen shows for the summer. Check them out in the touring section of Bang's facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/Bangtheband/app/123966167614127/
    So far they have mentioned dates in Germany, Belgium, Sweden and Denmark!

    Finally, thanks to Lucille for allowing me to post this interview!

    Still Bangin' away in 2017!

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    Download from [mf] or [yd]
    Unzip password:  tdats

    Here's a really good LP from one-time drummer/singer of Texas hard rock band, Bloodrock. There's plenty of upbeat, melodic good-time tracks and heavy rockin' tracks too. Jim Rutledge should have made some more solo records! His departure from Bloodrock before album "Passage" marked what many people view as a decline in Bloodrock's quality, and Lee Pickens who plays on this record, left around the same time. Rumour has it that Rutledge originally left to strike out with a solo record collaboration with John Nitzinger, which was made but never released.



    The title track is an especially nice track, a thoughful one almost sounding like Here I Go Again by Whitesnake in the first part, and the harder tracks like Soul Survivor, Drivin' You Insane and On My Way Up are some of the best, funkiest hard southern rock you may ever hear. Other players on this record include touring / session guitarist Doug Rhone (Gladstone / Neil Diamond), Michael Rabon (The Five Americans / Choctaw / solo), Jim Grant (Michael Rabon, The Five Americans), Thom Caccetta (Michael Rabon, Doc Severinsen), Dahrell Norris (Sonny & Cher, Freddy Fender, Dr. John) and Kenneth Whitfield (Texas Muzic Machine - With Jim Rutledge).

    Credits
    Guitars - Michael Rabon, Doug Rhone, Lee Pickens, Tommy Savanna
    Bass - Jim Grant, Thom Caccetta
    Drums - Dahrell Norris
    Keyboards - Kenneth Whitfield

    Produced by Rutledge, Rabon And Smith
    Engineered by Don Smith, Thom Caccetta

    Tracklist
    A1    Brown Paper Bag
    A2    Laughin' And Cryin'
    A3    One Step Ahead Of The Law
    A4    Drivin' You Insane
    A5    Sole Survivor
    B1    Hooray For Good Times
    B2    Star Trackin'
    B3    On My Way Up
    B4    I Can Fly
    B5    New York City

    Release infos
    RYM
    Discogs


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    Download from: [mf] or [yd]
    Unzip password:  tdats



    It's time to look at Latin American rock again, this is the fifth round after Brazil (84), Mexico (89), Peru (104) and the general collection in vol 43. If you want more of the same flavour, you could also add the "Chicano and Latin rock in the USA" of vol 118 to that list too.

    Argentina has always been a prolific maker of music, along with specialities like its native folk and tango scenes, it has been prolific in rock'n roll since the '50s. The country prides itself in "Rock Nacional" and singing in the native tongue of Spanish - you'll notice none of the songs in this volume are in English, which is unusual compared to any of the other national comps I have done, however exotic their location.

    Some explanation of Argentina's love of rock is expressed here: "...there was no freedom in Argentina at that time. It was a time of oppression – there was a dictatorship. The police used to arrest hippies and cut their hair, or arrest them and torture them. And when they were freed a lot of them took up their guitars and began writing songs. It was a way to protest their situation. Rock Nacional became a motive to exist." - Ezequiel Abalos, DJ and Rock historian (link)

    There are many old bands to find from Argentina, of the South American countries it has probably the largest amount of hard rock I have come across so far and this hour of music will definitely have to be a "part 1" for the country, as there are lots more to include later in the blog, such as Vox Dei and Orion's Beethoven and many others. If anyone wants to suggest bands for a later volume please do!

    In terms of hard rock and "Rock Nacional", Los Gatos are one of the bands to mention first. They were the first to make albums solely of their own compositions, and the first to sing only in Spanish. They were established in the Santa Fe city of Rosario in 1967, with two members coming from beat band Los Gatos Salvajes. Two prominent names that came from Los Gatos are original singer Litto Nebbia and Norberto Aníbal Napolitano (aka 'Pappo') who joined in 1969. Los Gatos' final LP in 1970 was one of Argentina's first LPs to include the "hard rock" combination of hammond organ with Pappo's distorted riffs, although most of its songs still bear the hallmarks of their beat/garage origins.

    B.A. Rock I in 1970
    Picture source: scielo.org.ar
    Argentina's first big festival when it comes to hard rock and prog was the capital's "B.A. Rock" (Buenos Aires Rock), which initially had three annual installments from 1970 to 1972. It was organised by Pelo magazine editor Daniel Ripoll and the first two were staged at the Palermo Velodrome.

    Los Gatos were there, as well as Vox Dei and names showing-up in this comp such as Miguel Abuelo, Contraluz, Piel De Pueblo and Pappo's Blues. Later the festival drew international names like the UK's Spirit Of John Morgan. In 1982 there was a revival with "B.A. Rock IV".

    B.A. Rock II (1971)

    TRACKS
    01. Alejandro Medina y La Pesada - Algo Muy Profundo [intro edit] (1974)
           from album 'Alejandro Medina y La Pesada'
    02. Contraluz - La Sarna Del Viento (1973)
           from album 'Americanos'
    03. El Reloj - Vuelve El Día a Reinar (1973)
           single - also found on "Cronologia I" (BMG 1995)
    04. Miguel Cantilo y Grupo 'Sur' - Algo Está Por Suceder (1975)
           from album 'Miguel Cantilo y Grupo Sur'
    05. La Banda Del Paraiso - No Lo Veo (1973)
           from album 'La Banda Del Paraiso'
    06. Ricardo Soulé - Muchos Caminos y Desafios (1977)
           from album 'Vuelta a Casa'
    07. Miguel Abuelo & Nada - Octavo Sendero (1973)
           from album 'Miguel Abuelo & Nada'
    08. Los Gatos - Invasion (1970)
           from album 'Rock De La Mujer Perdida'
    09. Piel De Pueblo - Silencio Para Un Pueblo Dormido (1972)
           from album 'Rock De Las Heridas'
    10. Caballo Vapor - Sembrare Tu Piel (1976)
           single
    11. Pescado Rabioso - Sombra De La Noche Negra (1973)
           from album 'Pescado 2'
    12. Plus - Apagón De Luces En La Curva (1978)
           from album 'Plus'
    13. Aquelarre - Canto (1972)
           from album 'Aquelarre'
    14. Luis Alberto Spinetta - Castillo De Piedra (1971)
           from album 'Almendra'
    15. Pappo's Blues - Insoluble (1972)
           from album 'Pappo's Blues 2'
    16. Alejandro Medina y La Pesada - Algo Muy Profundo [reprise edit] (1974)
           from album 'Alejandro Medina y La Pesada'

    References
    magicasruinas.com.ar | lahistoriadelrock.com.ar | rock.com.ar
    ContraluzRock.blogspot.co.uk

    Alejandro Medina y La Pesada
    Starting (and ending) with edits of a track from the Alejandro Medina y La Pesada LP of the same name, this book-ends the comp with some haunting progressive folk rock. Bass player and song writer Alejandro Medina was in a bunch of bands including forming blues rockers Manal, as well as Pappo's Blues and Aeroblus with Pappo.

    La Pesada del Rock and Roll (literally meaning "The Heavy Rock and Roll") was originally formed by producer Jorge Álvarez as a backing band for Billy Bond. Throughout its changing roster it included many of Argentina's top rock musicians and backed other records such as Raúl Porchetto's Cristo Rock, and made an LP proper in 1972 as La Pesada called "Buenos Aires Blus". La Pasada has its own Spanish Wiki page (link).

    Contraluz - "Americanos"
    Contraluz - "Americanos"
    Contraluz opens firing on all cylinders with the next track, they made an album in 1973 called "Americanos" which has a diverse mix of plaintive folk-tinged prog with flutes and some heavy blasters with really fierce guitar credited to Carlos Barrios.

    "La Sarna Del Viento" rages along with impassioned vocals from Alvaro Cañada, it's about as heavy and foreboding as anything from 1973. The break-down at the half way point is pure over-driven heavy metal and this whole track is an absolute delight that builds and builds. Contraluz has made occasional re-appearances and recorded a new album as recently as 2011.


    El Reloj - Vuelve El Día a Reinar
    El Reloj 45
    b/w "Vuelve El Día a Reinar"
    Rosario's El Reloj ("The Clock") started in 1971 and made their name as one of Argentina's original purveyors of heavy progressive rock. They are often compared to Deep Purple, and with their swirling hammond and fast, technical style that often verges on heavy metal, they certainly deserve that comparison.

    Their early singles, of which "Vuelve El Día a Reinar" is one, have a more direct hard rock approach, their subsequent albums became more symphonic and experimental, while still frequently displaying metallic speed and precision. El Reloj has sporadically made new LPs into the 2000s but has unfortunately been hindered by the deaths of some original members.

    Miguel Cantilo y Grupo 'Sur'
    Miguel Cantilo y Grupo 'Sur'
    The Miguel Cantilo y Grupo 'Sur'LP was released in 1975 (although it would appear to have been recorded in 1973) which brought together the talents of Miguel Cantilo who had previously been one half of the folk-rock duo Pedro y Pablo, and musicians from other acts such as Piel De Pueblo (guitarist Willy Pedemonte) and La Cofradía De La Flor Solar (writer Kubero Díaz - also of La Pesada Del Rock & Roll).

    Similarly to Contraluz, and seemingly many other Argentine acts of the early '70s, the record uses a base of folk songs and incorporates some wild hard-rocking when the mood fits. "Algo Está Por Suceder" is a great example of this, and hits some frantic highs with great interplay of guitar and violin with Miguel's versatile vocals. Violinist Jorge Pinchevsky (also of La Pesada) later played on Gong's "Shamal" LP.

    La Banda Del Paraiso
    La Banda Del Paraiso
    La Banda Del Paraiso's sole LP from 1973 is a boogie-blues affair which is played very competently and in the main is a fun laid-back set featuring a horn section. The band included past and future members of Pappo's Blues (Black Amaya - also of Pescado Rabioso) and Vox Dei (Raúl Fernández) among others.

    It's not heavy but on the closing track "No Lo Veo" ("I do not see it") the band lets it all hang out with a thick stoner jam full of wah wah / fuzz pedal delights and looping solo motifs that repeat until burnt deeply into the synapses.

    Ricardo Soulé - 'Vuelta a Casa'
    Ricardo Soulé - 'Vuelta a Casa'
    Next up is a track from the debut solo LP of a founding Vox Dei member, Ricardo Soulé. One gets the impression that Ricardo is a big fan of American rock and hard southern rock especially, as 'Vuelta a Casa' ('Back Home') is largely bereft of any Argentine influences and goes straight for a mid-paced solid chugging hard rock sound with some country twang.

    There's not a lot of variation between the songs but what's there is a solid reliable set of grooving riffs and if you like Blackfoot you may enjoy this one. What it also has is a hint of '70s UK metal, so maybe Ricardo was listening to some Judas Priest or Thin Lizzy back then?

    Miguel Abuelo & Nada
    Miguel Abuelo & Nada
    Bearing resembalance to Contraluz, Jethro Tull and the Italian school of '70s heavy prog, the Miguel Abuelo & Nada LP mixes varied styles that veer between accoustic folk, Beatles playfulness, Vox/Farfisa-assisted blues improv and doomy hard rock. It makes for an interesting journey.

    Miguel Abuelo started Los Abuelos de la Nada in the sixties which appears to have been a hippie collective type band with a rotating line-up that didn't officially release any records until the '80s, passing through its ranks were many well-known names including the previously-mentioned Pappo & Kubero Diaz, and La Pesada/Manal guitarist Claudio Gabis.

    If you dig Jethro Tull or maybe the cello/viola-driven heavy prog of Darryl Way's Wolf you should find tracks here to like.

    Los Gatos - 'Rock De La Mujer Perdida'
    Los Gatos
    'Rock De La Mujer Perdida'
    Before we start, the story goes that Los Gatos intended to picture a plus-sized girl in a presumably provocative pose on the cover of their final album, and entitle it "Rock of the Rotten Woman", but were stopped on both counts by the label, so they went with the band's keyboard player Ciro Fogliatta dressed in drag and the toned-down name of "Rock of the Lost Woman" (link).

    Pappo joined for the previous Gatos LP, and on this one his bluesy guitar, heavier than before, combined with Fogliatta's prominent hammond organ, makes for some of Argentina's earliest hard rock on the tracks "Requiem Para Un Hombre Feliz", "No Fui Hecho Para Esta Tierra" and most-noticeably the instrumental appearing here, "Invasion".

    Piel De Pueblo - 'Rock De Las Heridas'
    Piel De Pueblo
    'Rock De Las Heridas'
    Piel De Pueblo were a short-lived act that there is not a lot of info out there for but their sole album "Rock De Las Heridas" is one of the best LPs I have included here, I clearly like it as it's popped up twice before in the blog.

    The whole thing has a druggy, loose feel which is somewhere dead in the middle of hard rock and heavy psych; tempos shift, pedals wah and guitar leads wail in the glorious fug of swaggering riffs, sometimes complemented by violin that's played with the same attitude.

    The guitar glory of this record can be partly attributed to there being two lead players battling it out; Nacho Smilari (later of Cuero) and Pajarito Zaguri, who were presumably already in sync from playing together previously in La Barra de Chocolate.

    Caballo Vapor "Sembrare Tu Piel"
    Caballo Vapor
    "Sembrare Tu Piel"
    Caballo Vapor (which amusingly translates as "Steam Horse" or "Horse Vapour") started out as a brass rock band that incorporated some hard rock, quite a unique proposition in Argentina at the time, and made a decent LP as such in 1973.

    It seems they dropped the brass section and although they did not record another album, continued in a funky, commercial direction on various singles until 1977.

    Admittedly I have not heard all these singles but it seems that one of them had a B-side which was one of the heaviest things they did and that's what's included here. "Sembrare Tu Piel" hits a mean groove and thuds along in a satisfyingly Status Quo-like manner, with excellent bluesy guitar licks ricocheting off the main riff.

    Pescado Rabioso 2
    Pescado Rabioso 2
    Pescado Rabioso was the second prominent band of  Luis Alberto Spinetta after his first, Almendra, had split and he had been travelling for a while. Spinetta is regarded as one of the most important figures in Argentine rock and he appears to have been a very talented and diverse writer; the many acts he started, or was associated with, cover many types of rock from psych-pop to hard rock to fusion.

    Pescado Rabioso's three LPs (which was only really two as band-efforts, as the third is a Spinetta solo record in all but name) were very diverse but had some great rocking tracks and Sombra De La Noche Negra ("Black Night Shadow") is one of them.

    Plus (1978)
    Plus (1978)
    Plus was started around 1975 by two previous members of Escarcha; Hugo Racca (bass, vocals) and Julio Sáez (guitar, vocals).

    The first LP "No Pisar el Infinito" is my favourite but as I have mined it for the blog before, here is a track from their second, which was called just "Plus" originally.

    It's not quite as brooding or heavy as the great debut LP but it still has their excellent playing and good hard rock tracks, albeit in a slightly more upbeat, commercial vein. Singer Saul Blanch was later in heavy metal band Rata Blanca.

    Aquelarre 1972
    Aquelarre 1972
    Here's a track from an off-shoot of Spinetta's Almendra, called Aquelarre (menaing 'Coven' or Witches' Sabbath). Rodolfo García (drums) and Emilio del Guercio (bass and vocals) formed it after Almendra split.

    They were not a heavy rock band and certainly less-so than some of Spinetta's later bands, but the debut s/t album is where to find some nice rocking riffs with clavinet used to make them sound a bit more funky and distinctive. Héctor Starc's brilliant guitar is a joy to hear. 'Canto' (included here), 'Jugador' and 'Movimiento' are the groovy tracks but it's a good album all the way through, while their second album is more mellow.

    Luis Alberto Spinetta - Almendra
    Luis Alberto Spinetta - Almendra
    (1971)
    The penultimate track is from Luis Alberto Spinetta himself, from his first solo record after Almendra. I had some confusion with this as I first heard these songs on various re-issues that have come over the years that had different names, but it appears that the original release of the record was in 1971 and called 'Almendra', which is confusing; the cover of that issue even shows the band Almendra but in fact the music was played after Almendra split, by Spinetta with guests Pappo and drummer Héctor "Pomo" Lorenzo also of Pappo's Blues, as a three-piece. Various sources infer that the record label cashed-in on the defunct Almendra's status by using their image and giving the LP that name.

    So on to the music. There's some of Pappo's heavy fuzz guitar but compared to the compact, efficient blues rockers of Papo's Blues, it's balanced by Spinetta's more ambitious song-writing and some people have compared its mixture of folk and rock to Led Zeppelin. This is especially apt as Spinetta's vocals do remind of Robert Plant's vocal stylings in places.

    The mellower folk-inspired tracks outnumber the heavy ones but there's two absolute nuggets of heaviness on this LP: 'Castillo De Piedra' which is included here and features Pappo's fuzzy guitar grunt, and 'Era De Tontos' (which I included on Vol43) that is slower but menacing, in a 'No Quarter'-type way if I'm going to continue with Zep comparisons.

    Pappo's Blues 2
    Pappo's Blues 2
    On to the final band in this comp and it's the one and only Pappo's Blues. In terms of heaviness and the kind of music this blog mainly exists for, Pappo's Blues is the go-to Argentine band in this particular volume, and their first three records in particular. I have used tracks from the first and third already in TDATS so here is a track from "Pappo's Blues 2" called "Insoluble", which displays his band's chugging blues-based rock.

    Pappo started his band with some guys he met while they were all in an early formation of La Pesada del Rock and Roll; Black Amaya (drums) and Vitico Bericiartua (bass - soon replaced by David Lebón). By the third LP Amaya and Lebón had left to join Pescado Rabioso, so in came Héctor 'Pomo' Lorenzo on drums and Carlos Alberto 'Machi' Rufino on bass.

    On February 25th, 2005, Pappo died in an accident on his motorcycle, leaving a legacy of excellent rock and blues in Argentine history. Since Pappo's Blues he had started bands such as Aeroblus and Riff, as well as continuing a solo and collaborative career, and is sorely-missed by the rock and metal scenes that he had a huge influence on.

    Further related listening:
    The Day After The Sabbath 43: Transfusión de Luz [Latin rock pt.1]
    The Day After The Sabbath 84: Liberdade Espacial [Brazil pt.1]
    The Day After The Sabbath 89: Pipa de la Paz [Mexico pt. 1]
    The Day After The Sabbath 104: Onsta la Yerbita [Peru pt. 1]
    The Day After The Sabbath 118: La Fuente del Ritmo [Latin and Chicano rock in the US]

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    In the last year, two bands that I have contacted for interviews on the blog have released previously un-heard material. I'm very happy that the exposure they got here has contributed in some way and helped or encouraged them get their music out there! These bands are Heat Exchange from Toronto, and Squadran from New York.


    Reminiscence
    [Buy LP/CD/Digital HERE]
    Heat Exchange worked on an album in 1972 which was recorded by a major Canadian label but, apart from a few resulting singles, was never released. You can read the extensive story that band-leader Craig Carmody wrote for Volume 96 in this blog (link). Their music is fresh, progressive, frequently heavy and always catchy, and the belated release of the LP "Reminiscence" by Out-Sider (distributed by Guerssen Records) is a very satisfying end to the Heat Exchange story.It pulls together all the original masters that were intended for the album, four of which have never been heard, and all the singles.
     

    Squadran
    [Buy: CD Baby, Amazon]
    Squadran was featured in the US metal Volume 126 (link) and recorded an excellent single in 1979, on which "The Wall" was some of the fastest, most extreme metal I had ever heard from the 1970s. Drummer Mike Gandia has recently over-seen the release of their only recorded material from around the time of the single, on a new CD called "You Are Under Attack". This is four studio tracks and two live.

    The music lives up to the promise shown by "The Wall", with obvious homage to Sabbath, but Mike also points out that Squadran were one of the first US bands to show appreciation for Judas Priest and were heavily influenced by them also.

    Check out the previews below and support the bands at Heat Exchange Guerssen and Squadran Facebook. Cheers to Craig and Mike, and thanks for listening!

    Further reading:
    TDATS #96: Heat Exchange (with Craig Carmody)
    TDATS #126: Into The Pit [US Metal 1976 - 79] (feat. Mike Gandia)

    Previews
    Heat Exchange

    Squadran