Monday, January 30, 2006

Fresh Maggots - Fresh Maggots (1971)



Fresh Maggots - Fresh Maggots (1971)

Long lost UK folk rock album from 1971. Fresh Maggots were just two people, Mick Burgoyne and Leigh Dolphin, (they came from Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England) and they played melodic acid folk-rock with electric (heavy on the fuzz side) and acoustic guitar mixed with glockenspiel, tambourine, violin, tin whistles and harmony vocals. The results are stunning particularly on the evergreen "Rosemary Hill" which features some beautiful harmonies. The electric fuzz guitar kicks in at various points on the record to startling effect, particularly evident on "Everyone's gone to War". If there was such a genre as garage folk then this it. The original vinyl is very much sought-after today and almost impossible to find.

Long established as a cult classic and collector’s grail, Mick Burgoyne and Leigh Dolphin’s sole album is presented here with their full co-operation. Recorded in 1971 when they were just 19 years old and fresh to the studio, "Fresh Maggots" is one of the best distillations of folk and psychedelia ever recorded. Varying in tone from heavy rock (‘Frustration’) to protest (‘Everybody’s Gone To War’), social commentary (‘Dole Song’) and pastoral (‘Rosemary Hill’), it’s a highly unusual and powerful record that enjoyed extravagant acclaim on release but sold poorly and has never been officially issued since. Original pressings are notoriously badly pressed, so this reissue is sure to be rapturously welcomed by all lovers of acid folk.

Tracklist:

1. Dole Song
2. Rosemary Hill
3. Quickie
4. Everyone's Gone To War
5. And When She Laughs
6. Spring
7. Balloon Song
8. Guzz Up
9. Who's To Die
10. Elizabeth R
11. Frustration

Fresh Maggots - Fresh Maggots (1971)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Subway - Subway (1972)




Subway - Subway (1972)

A beautiful and very rare album from the annals of European psychedelic/folk/prog circa 1972. Subway were a half American, half British duo, living in France, who released 200 copies of this, their self titled album, on vinyl, and promptly disappeared without trace. Their sole 'gigging' consisted of busking in Paris subways- hence the band's name- and to add to the legend, it seems that most of the unsold copies were melted, which was usual French practice!! The music itself is dark, psychedelically inclined folk with elements of freeform prog: somewhere betwixt Comus and the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, but with less instruments.

Liner Notes:

Subway: It is not a group. It is a duo. It is not an ordinary duo. Composed of IRV, the guitarist, singer and author-composer - he is American; of MALCOLM, violinist - he is English.
IRV arrives in England where he meets MALCOM and they start working together. Sometimes later, they decide to try to break in France. But it is not so easy. They have no more money and sing in the underground to earn their living. Their music is surprising and very personal. All the titles included in this album are IRV's compositions.

Tracklist:

1. I Am A Child
2. Song For Sinking Shelters
3. Warm You Are
4. All The Good Things
5. Enturbulaton - Free Form
6. Arizona Sands
7. Rosanna Of The Roses
8.Can I Trade With You My Mind

Subway - Subway (1972)

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Embryo - Father Son And Holy Ghosts (1972)




Embryo - Father Son And Holy Ghosts (1972)

Third album by German legends Embryo, originally released in 1972. A cool set of trippy jazzy rock with plenty of keyboard led jams. This is one of the bands more commercial releases yet it does not sacrifice the experimentation that made the band so admired. Great Krautrock by one of the top 10 German bands of the 70's.

Tracklist:

1. The Special Trip
2. Nightmares
3. King Insano
4. Free
5. The Sun Song
6. Marimbaroos
7. Forgotten Sea

Embryo - Father Son And Holy Ghosts (1972)

The Moody Blues - Days Of Future Passed (1967)




The Moody Blues - Days Of Future Passed (1967)

This 1967 album was one of the first of the progressive rock genre. The first mainstream release to feature a rock band and orchestra playing together, and being a linked suite of songs on a common theme, this of course spawned the massive hit single "Nights In White Satin." It also includes the haunting "Tuesday Afternoon", and the frankly evil sounding 'Twilight Time'. A groundbreaking album in rock and roll history, and one everybody should own. Although not the first concept album ever (that honour may fall to Joe Meek's "I Hear A New World" seven years earlier) it's fair to say all that was ever regarded as 'prog' started here, although the band themselves never liked the term and of course moved away from it into an AOR-MOR direction. Nevertheless, this album is as important as 'Sgt Pepper' 'Pet Sounds' 'Forever Changes' 'SF Sorrow' 'Odessey And Oracle' 'Ogdens Nut Gone Flake' and 'Village Green Preservation Society', and to count the amount of bands its sound influenced would take a whole week.
(Freak Emporium)

Tracklist:

1. The Day Begins
2. Dawn, Dawn Is A Feeling
3. The Morning, Another Morning
4. Lunch Break, Peak Hour
5. The Afternoon a) Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?) b) (Evening) Time To Get Away
6. Evening a) The Sun Set b) Twilight Time
7. The Night - Nights In White Satin

The Moody Blues - Days Of Future Passed (1967)

Friday, January 20, 2006

John Mayall - The Turning Point (1969)



John Mayall - The Turning Point (1969)

Recorded just after Mick Taylor departed for the Stones, John Mayall eliminated drums entirely on this live recording. With mostly acoustic guitars and John Almond on flutes and sax, Mayall and his band, as his typically overblown liner notes state, "explore seldom-used areas within the framework of low volume music." But it does work. The all-original material is flowing and melodic, with long jazzy grooves that don't lose sight of their bluesy underpinnings. Lyrically, Mayall stretches out a bit into social comment on "The Laws Must Change" on this fine, meditative mood album.

Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide
John Mayall was best known as a key figure in the '60s British blues boom, fronting a band containing future members of Cream, Fleetwood Mac and Colosseum among others. However, after releasing a number of rock-edged electric blues albums, Mayall changed direction in 1969. Recorded live at New York's Fillmore East, 'The Turning Point' finds Mayall fronting an all-acoustic four-piece including guitarist Jon Mark and sax player Johnny Almond, who would later gain renown as the progressive rock outfit Mark-Almond. With the new format allowing for a greater degree of subtlety, Mayall offers a blend of blues, folk, and jazz, seamlessly mixed into a new paradigm. Lest you forget that this was 1969, things open up with the pro-pot anthem "The Laws Must Change." The centerpiece of the album, and a Mayall concert staple thereafter, is "Room to Move," a breathless, frenetic number where Mayall shows off his harp chops and gets the audience worked up as only a real blues man can.

Tracklist:

1. The Laws Must Change
2. Saw Mill Gulch Road
3. I'm Gonna Fight for You J.B.
4. So Hard to Share
5. California
6. Thoughts About Roxanne
7. Room to Move

John Mayall - The Turning Point (1969)

Monday, January 16, 2006

Limbus 3 - Cosmic Music Experience (1969)



Limbus 3 - Cosmic Music Experience (1969)

Limbus 3 are:
Odysseus Artnern, Bernd Henninger & Gerd Kraus

Tracklist:
1. Oneway Trip
2. Valiha
3. Breughel's Hochzeitstanz
4. New Atlantis (Islands Near Utopia)

Limbus 3 - Cosmic Music Experience (1969)


Limbus 4 - Mandalas (1970)




Limbus 4 - Mandalas (1970)

Here comes the 2nd Limbus album (their even more obscure debut from 1969, under the name Limbus 3, has been bootlegged on CD by Germanofon & is legitimately available on LP via the Batschong label), which was originally issued by OHR in 1970. A fantastic dose of early 70s German freeform weirdness and an essential reissue for the tuned-out community. Formed in 1968, Limbus were a most unusual band who grew a unique music out of jazz, folk and avant-garde roots. As the more varied instrumental quartet Limbus 4, with swirling organ, studio effects and a most bizarre use of kazoos, Mandalas has perplexed and confused many. Limbus 4 were certainly one of a kind.

Limbus 4 are:
Odysseus Artnern, Bernd Henninger, Matthias Knieper & Gerd Kraus (piano, bass, cello, viola, violin, flutes, percussion, tablas)

Tracklist:

1. Dhyana
2. Kundalini
3. Heiku
4. Plasma

Limbus 4 - Mandalas (1970)

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Sandrose - Sandrose (1972)



Sandrose - Sandrose (1972)

Beautiful flowing 1972 album by this mellow French progressive band featuring superb keyboard and guitar interplay and female vocals. In places sounds a bit like Julian's Treatment and Earth And Fire. Very rare on vinyl and one of the classic '70s Europe progressive rock albums.

The major attraction within the line-up no doubt is that of vocalist Rose Podwojny, who constantly balances between the raunchy approach of a Grace Slick and that of an authentic Jazz diva. Others have placed her voice in between that of Linda Hoyle and Julian’s Treatment singer Cathy Pruden. Based around the talented guitarist Jean-Pierre Alarcen, Sandrose rose out of the ashes of another French cult band called Eden Rose. Whilst mellotron and Hammond are to be found throughout the lengthy instrumental passages, most of the attention goes towards Rose Podwojny, who has often been compared to Dutch singer Jerney Kaagman, whilst from a musical perspective Sandrose was often compared to Earth & Fire, Kaagman’s band. To my ears, Rose’s voice sounds much more trained, with more vibrato and able to shine in many other musical styles, something we can’t say from the rather limited voice of Jerney Kaagman. Also, from the point of view that this concerns a French band, Rose’s prononciation of the English language is perfect. No doubt the highlight of this album has to be the unrivaled prowess of "Underground Session," which really contains every single element from the book of symphonic rock highlights. This track alone is worth the money of the entire album. It nicely alternates calm passages and more heavy outbursts in order to create the true identity of authentic prog.
The dreamy "Summer Is Yonder" could well be an outtake from Focus or Pulsar, once again not being obtrusive in any way and fully composing the arrangement in favour of Rose’s high pitched vocals here. Although the song has a slight medieval feel at times, it’s mainly the Akkerman-like guitar from Alarcen combined with the organ that delivers the Focus likeness. When Rose isn’t singing, the rest of the band most definitely prove that they are also outstanding musicians, leaning heavilly towards jazz and fusion as demonstrated during the rhythmic "Metakara," displaying the typical Hammond from the seventies. All in all, this still is a wonderful album to listen to even though it has been released more than thirty years ago. Some of the sounds may be dated but the way the compositions are made still vouch for great creativity. Chauvinistic as they are, the French rate this album as being one of the world’s top ten progressive albums of all time. I wouldn’t go as far as saying top ten but it most definitely merits a place in the world’s best 100 prog albums of all time, and that alone is a fantastic achievement, knowing there are thousands and thousands of albums out there whilst Sandrose only made this single debut.

Reviewed by John Bollenberg on progressiveworld.net
Tracklist:

1. Vision
2. Never Good At Sayin´ Good-Bye
3. Underground Session
4. Old Dom Is Dead
5. To Take Him Away
6.Summer Is Yonder
7. Metakara
8. Fraulein Kommen Sie Schlaffen Mit Mir (to all who speak German: it's written exactly like that, no spelling mistakes...! )


Sandrose - Sandrose (1972)

Monday, January 09, 2006

Big Boy Pete - Homage To Catatonia - The Psychedelic Adventures Of Pete Miller (1966 - 1969)



Big Boy Pete - Homage To Catatonia - The Psychedelic Adventures Of Pete Miller (1998)

Great collection of unreleased psych-pop weirdness by the guy who created the monsterous "Cold Turkey" on 'Chocolate Soup', supposedly recorded in the '60s... Great UK style psych gems... anyone familiar with the killer "Cold Turkey" will know what to expect....

Even in his home town San Francisco, few people are aware that the quietly spoken Englishman, Pete Miller, whose recording studio has serviced hundreds of bands since opening its doors in 1977, is in fact, Big Boy Pete. The enigmatic psychedelic legend from the sixties.
If you have never heard of Big Boy Pete, you may not be alone. But if you're an avid record collector, you will know that his 1968 45rpm disc "Cold Turkey" is now a prized collector's item. (It commanded a $400 reserve price at last year's Sothebys Rock and Roll auction in London). The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland, U.S., includes this record in its list of Psychedelic Classics. Big Boy Pete's name is painted on the museum wall right next to the Beatles' name.
Pete's sixties recordings have been re-released in England for the past couple of years on the Tenth Planet label. They are now becoming available in the US courtesy of Gear Fab Records, Bacchus Archives (a subsidiary of Dionysus Records), and 3 Acre Floor Records.
But wait! There's yet another interesting facet of Pete's career. Probably not a single student of the Audio Institute of America
(and there have been thousands in over 100 countries around the world), realise that Big Boy Pete is the Founder and President of this State licensed educational school for recording engineers.
Pete engineered his first recording in 1959. He was in one of the bands from the original British invasion of the sixties. (Lead guitarist of The Jaywalkers, who toured extensively with the Beatles and Stones in those glorious years). He also had a solo recording contract with Columbia Records under yet another name - "Miller". The single "Baby I Got News for You" is another sought after collector's 45.


taken from bigboypete.com

Tracklist:

1. Sheer Lunacy (1966)
2. Crocogators (1966)
3. I Am Seldom 21 (1967)
4. Knit Me A Kiss (1966)
5. 1,500,000 Volts (1967)
6. Captain Of My Toy Ballon (1968)
7. John Celery (1969)
8. Paranoia (1968)
9. Chinaman (1966)
10.Music Created By Dust (1966)
11.A Dog Called Doug (1967)
12. The Procession (1969)
13. The Candleman (1967)
14. The Treacle Dance (1968)

Big Boy Pete - Homage To Catatonia - The Psychedelic Adventures Of Pete Miller (1998)

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Vinegar - Vinegar (1971)




Vinegar - Vinegar (1971)

One and only album by German underground band Vinegar originally released in 1971. Musically in style of early Pink Floyd, progressive but very psychedelic, long instrumental tracks but also with female vocalist reminding of Nico. One of the lost treasures from Germany and very sought after!

Recorded on January 9th, 1971 in Studio Rottenburg, Vinegar’s self-titled album was released on LP in a limited edition of 1,000 copies! I’ve read opinions from folks describing Vinegar’s sound as rather Floydian. While this is true, it should be noted that the group sounds much more like a cross between Amon Duul II and Pink Floyd. With that being said, one can easily hear the Floyd influence in the spacey organ, drum fills, slide guitar, and occasional celestial vocals. Likewise, the Amon Düül II influence can be heard in the violin, vocals, and the guitar riffs. Overall, the two styles are combined rather nicely into a sort of progressive-garage-space rock sound. Highlights from the album include ‘Der Kaiser Auf Der Erbse’, ‘Fleisch’, And ‘Sawmill’. ‘Der Kaiser Auf Der Erbse’ begins with a violin solo which reminds me of Edgar Hoffman from Embryo. From there the track switches gears and turns into a rock track with intentionally unintelligible vocals which could be described as Faust-like. Containing a Floydian organ and drum beat, ‘Fleisch’ slowly introduces distorted guitar and bass into the mix before a celestial vocal kicks in and the track begins to take shape in the classically themed “A Saucerful of Secrets” sort of way. Finally, ‘Sawmill’ showcases the bands mixture of Duul and Floyd influence. ‘Sawmill’ starts out as a psychedelic garage rocker with female vocals (reminiscent of Renate Knaup) before taking a spacey turn and sounding like Sysyphus off of Ummagumma. From here the track revives its garage sound before fading out into part 2 which is dominated by an Amon Duul approach. Overall, the album is a satisfying first effort which, sadly, was never followed up due to their break up in late 1971.
(Review taken from krautrockgroup.com)

Tracklist:

1. Missi Solis
2. Sawmill Teil I
3. Sawmill Teil II
4. Der Kaiser Auf Der Erbse
5. Fleisch

Vinegar - Vinegar (1971)

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Gothic Horizon - The Jason Lodge Poetry Book (1970)




Gothic Horizon - The Jason Lodge Poetry Book (1970)

Beautiful debut album by UK band Gothic Horizon. The music exposed on this album is highly unique, transparent and fragile. Kinda like Left Banke meets Honeybus larded and sauced with UK folk. A real beautiful album. Originally released on Argo in 1970.

Gothic Horizon made two albums: 'The Jason Lodge Poetry Book' (Argo ZFB 26) 1970, which also gained an American release: ([USA:] London PS592) 1971; and 'Tomorrow Is Another day' (Argo ZDA 150) 1972. Their music is not gloomy, brooding, damp, ghoulish, dark, threatening, creepy, bloody, horrifying or any of the other adjectives which spring to mind when one thinks of "Gothic". Instead it is warm, chatty, light, breezy, informal, witty. The albums are sometimes hyped as "psych-pop" (the former especially on account of its convoluted title and colourful pop-art cover) or even "acid-folk", but essentially they are neither of these things; they tends mostly towards folk and acousticism. However there are some tracks here to delight the psychedelically-inclined. The title track of the first album, 'The Jason Lodge Poetry Book', is great. Complex pop of sufficient quality to delight the pop-syke faithful. 'Song For Susan' is so close in sound and style to Fairfield Parlour that it just about escapes charges of plagiarism. 'A J Lone's Dog' is ragtime pop; and unsurprisingly with a title like 'Willow Tree Vale Song' this song is folk. But 'A Third For Jason Lodge' is very weird. Bizarre changes and references to flying, mushrooms and toadstools! (by Dave Thubron)

Tracklist:

1. The Jason Lodge Poetry Book
2. Song For Susan
3. Odysseus
4. A.J. Lone's Dog
5. Willow Tree Vale Song
6. Six Summers Back
7. Song
8. Althea Williams
9. Wilhelmina Before Sunrise
10. St. Valentine's Day Massacre
11. A Third For Jason Lodge
12. Pisces
13. A Farewell Ode To Port Sunlight

Gothic Horizon - The Jason Lodge Poetry Book (1970)

Friday, January 06, 2006

The New Hobbits - Back From Middle Earth (1969)




The New Hobbits - Back From Middle Earth (1969)

First time issue of unreleased third album by USA 60's band The Hobbits. Originally this album was to be released by Perception Records in 1969 but was shelved. It's a delightful example of orchestrated US 60's pop with a psychedelic edge very much in the mould of the other two Hobbits albums .
Back From Middle Earth, The Hobbit’s third and rarest psychedelic recording, appeared in 1969 on Hobbit-supremo Jimmy Curtiss’ Perception label, an imprint that bizarrely was to include Dizzy Gillespie, Shirley Horn, Tyrone Washington, Johnny Hartman, Astrud Gilberto and even Jimmy Lunceford amongst its alumnists. Although The Hobbits owed their name to the writings of Tolkien, there was little of The Shire about their music, which Curtiss described as “vocals with instrumental accompaniment”, with the emphasis very much on sophisticated harmonies reminiscent of contemporaries such as The Cowsills and Jay And The Americans. Curtiss made his recording debut as Jimmy Curtiss & The Regents in the late ‘50s, but surprisingly Return To Middle Earth is a solid ‘60s pop album which highlights the vocal talents of Curtiss and session-singer Gini Eastwood and is completely free of any references to Curtiss’ doowop past, as indeed are the three heavily psych-influenced 45s Curtiss produced (he also co-wrote two of the tracks) for Decca stable-mates The Bag in 1968. Exactly why The Hobbits changed their name to The New Hobbits is unclear, but this may, along with the album’s release on Perception (the band’s two previous efforts had both appeared on Decca) go some way to explaining why the album remained largely unknown (many Psych collectors have never seen a copy of the album), and consequently is so highly sought after today.
(review taken from blueorchardrecords.com)
Note: To all appearances, the tracks 'I could hear the grass growin'' and 'Underground' (even my faves on the album) are not by The Hobbits. The songs originally came out in 1968 by Fire & Brimstone. Look at the comment section for more information.
Tracklist:
1. You Could Have Made It Easy
2. Growin’ Old
3. I Could Hear The Grass Growin’
4. Comin’ Out
5. The Devil’s Gonna Get Me
6. Underground
7. Love Can Set You Free
8. Flora
9. Woman So Worried
The New Hobbits - Back From Middle Earth (1969)

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Clem Alford - Mirror Image (1974)



Clem Alford - Mirror Image (1974)

Early '70s sitar jam-out extraordinaire by ex-member of Magic Carpet. Superb long instumental passages with electric guitar, sitar, percussion etc. An eastern psych fest!

Tracklist:

1. Mirror image
2. Raga Kirwani
3. Raga Charukeshi
4. Apocalypse
5. Morning storm
6. Raga Khamaj
7. Colours

Line-up- Clem Alford / sitar & effects
Guest musicians: Amancio D'Silva / guitar - Dave Heath / flute

Clem Alford - Mirror Image (1974)

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Aktuala - Aktuala (1973)




Aktuala - Aktuala (1973)

This should appeal to everyone who likes Third Ear Band, Embryo, Area's most experimental stuff, Penguin Cafè Orchestra, Clivage's "Regina Astris", Oregon, Limbus 4, Kalacakra, Kaleidoscope (U.S.A.), between Agitation Free's "Malesch" and Popol Vuh's "Hosianna Mantra".

Tracklist:

1. When The Light Began
2. Mammoth R.C.
3. Altamira
4. Sarah' Ngwega
5. Alef's dance
6. Dejanira

Line-up

Walter Maioli / flute, harmonica, oboe- Daniele Cavallanti / saxophone- Antonio Cerantola / guitar- Lino Vaccina ('Capra') / percussion- Laura Maioli / percussion

Releases information: LP Bla Bla (BBL 11054) 1973 / CD Artis (ARCD 038) 1993
Aktuala - Aktuala (1973)