Monday, June 19, 2006

Ok here's this weeks musical contributions - a little light on the krautrock this week but there's some great psychedelic rock, progressive rock, and plain old rock and roll.

Spirit Of John Morgan - Spirit Of John Morgan (1969)

Although released in 1971, the debut self-titled album by Spirit of John Morgan was actually recorded two years earlier, before the spirit of the '60s dissipated into the excesses of the '70s. But even back in 1969, the British quartet were already fish out of water, gasping for R&B in a Technicolor age of psychedelia. So they created their own, an entire album's worth of strong, shadowed, R&B numbers underlit by magnificent musicianship and powerful rhythms. The set opener, a menacing cover of Graham Bond's "I Want You," is a case in point, stalker-like in its intensity, with John Morgan's organ conjuring up a phantom of the opera from which there is no escape. However, Morgan's phenomenal finger skills are best showcased on a cover of Meade "Lux" Lewis' "Honky Tonk Train Blues," a fabulously masterful piano boogie woogie, as is his equally extraordinary adaptation of Albert Ammons' "Shout for Joy." And Morgan is just as skilled on the organ, as is evidenced on the band's take on Big John Patton's "The Yodel." As astounding as the covers are, the quartet offered up their own numbers that are of equal quality. "Orpheus and None for Ye," is a particular standout, a dark, driving number that initially calls to mind the Spencer Davis Group before diving into the heart of the jungle, while Don Whitaker's guitar licks like flames around the piece. It is the set's final number, however, the ten-minute epic "Yorkshire Blues" that is the heart of the album. Delta blues brought to the English north, where the band convincingly make the case that life is just as tough up mill as it is down in the fields of the Deep South. In 43 minutes and with a mere eight songs, Spirit of John Morgan created an astonishing set, and this reissue appends it with the band's romp across "The Floating Opera Show," the A-side of their now impossible to find 1971 single. As if you needed another reason to own this set. (Jo-Ann Greene, All Music Guide)

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Eloy - Floating (1974)

This third album from German band Eloy is a good balance of hard rock, psychedelic rock and space rock and is a vehicle that carries you to places of the imagination; to dream-like places, that you only get a momentary glimpse of at sundown; to places where the Moment becomes eternal. With Eloy's powerful psychedelic/prog music at the height of its intensity and maturity, "Floating" is the absolute Eloy masterpiece, and belongs -together with "Inside" and, perhaps, "The Power and the Passion"- to their finest era. The music is unsurpassed, totally mesmerising, hypnotic, erotic, at times sad, but always powerful. And "Plastic Girl" sounds like the soundtrack of fated meetings... (amazon.com)

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Steppenwolf - Early Steppenwolf (1969)

Recorded live at San Francisco's The Matrix in May 1967 while they were still called The Sparrow, this is some powerful, bluesy garage rock. Early versions of some songs later done as Steppenwolf (Power Play, Tighten Up Your Wig, Corinna, Corinna and The Pusher), and a couple covers of songs by John Lee Hooker & Howlin' Wolf. Great sound quality for a 1967 live recording I think. The version of The Pusher on this is 21 minutes long! About half of that though is an extended psychedelic improvisation. Wow, to have been stoned and in the audience!

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Mick Abrahams - Mick Abrahams (1971)

Mick Abrahams, as most of you probably know, was the original guitarist with Jethro Tull who quit after "This Was" to form Blodwyn Pig. This is his first release after Blodwyn Pig's two fine albums, and continues the Pig sound. This is a terrific album full of interesting changes and spectacularly great blues guitar playing. Mick's slow-handed playing makes him one of the most under appreciated guitarists in rock and roll.

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Franz K. - Sensemann (1972)

This was one of the groups pioneering the use of the German language. As you might have guessed, their name was a shortening of Franz Kafka. The trio came together at the end of 1969. At first they played a kind of blues-jazz fusion, but soon moved towards rock. Their first album Sensemann (1972) was produced by Phillips' house producer Rainer Goltermann at Windrose Studios, Hamburg, from December 1971 to January 1972. The Phillips release was limited to 2,000 copies. For some reason there was also reputedly a later private pressing of this on Ruhr 007 of only 500 copies. The album contained just two long tracks: "Das Goldene Reich" and "Sensemann" Their raw and undisciplined power trio rock in many ways crossed vintage Guru Guru with the political awareness of bands like Floh De Cologne. There were long inspired and loud guitar passages, sudden shifts in tempo and quite a bit of twisted musical anarchy. (Cosmic Dreams At Play)

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Various Artists - The Krautrock Archive Vol. II

I posted the first volume of this way back when and there are three volumes so I thought I'd finish the series this week and next. Thanks to schoub for this and vol. III. Faithful downloaders will already have the tracks by The Nazgul, Cozmic Corridors, Temple and Golem, but there are two tracks by Spirulina and Ten To Zen that you probably won't find anywhere else.

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Curved Air - Stark Naked (1975-1976)

Sorry despite the title there are no nude photos of Sonja Kristina in the artwork. I wish! Stark Naked is one of the song titles.This bootleg consists of ten tracks recorded live for the BBC in '75 and '76. A must-have for all fans of this band.

Part 1 Part 2

Curly Curve - Curly Curve (1973)

Curly Curve was formed in Berlin in 1968, and played the same clubs as the "kosmische" bands like Agitation Free and Ash Ra Tempel, the bassist had played with Tangerine Dream even. But this isn't krautrock, not even close. Curly Curve was influenced more by British acts like the Groundhogs or Steamhammer and American blues-rock acts than they were by their German brothers. If you like straight-ahead seventies blues rock that sometimes gets stuck in boogie mode, this is worth checking out. With song titles like "Hell and Booze" and "Shitkicker", it's clear where these guys were coming from!

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Vinegar Joe - Vinegar Joe (1971)

Vinegar Joe might very easily have been Island Records' answer to the Allman Bros. or Wet Willie. A sextet formed out of a busted big-band rock outfit called Dada, they were brought together at the suggestion of Island founder Chris Blackwell. Elkie Brooks (vocals), Robert Palmer (vocals, guitar), Pete Gage (guitars, piano), and Steve York (bass, harmonica), were at the core of the group, with Tim Hinkley and then Mike Deacon on keyboards, and Conrad Isadore and Keef Hartley, and then John Woods and Pete Gavin on drums--the band cut three albums between 1971 and 1973. Their live shows were well reviewed and attracted significant audiences in England, but this was never reflected in their record sales. They split up in 1973, with Robert Palmer becoming an international star as a pop-rock blue-eyed soul singer and Elkie Brooks a success as an MOR singer with Pete Gage as her arranger. (allmusic.com)

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OK that's it for this week See you later!

21 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice to see you back with great music!have a nice day

12:56 PM, June 20, 2006  
Anonymous Mookie said...

I like it better when you post this stuff(Hard rock,Blues rock ) ,Great stuff you rule !!!!!!!!

5:36 PM, June 20, 2006  
Blogger wilko46 said...

Good to see you back Garcolga! The truth is that your blog is of great help for people all around the world who want to know what they buy before they buy. Since I read your blog, I buy much more music (cds, original lps or reissues) than before because I know what I like and what I want to hear. You help us making our selection and refining our choices, and we really need that in psych-prog music as the choice is quite wide. So no company should hassle you - I dare say they should even thank you. And that's what I do: thank you again!

1:08 AM, June 21, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope youre not pulling a Hans on us????

2:59 AM, June 21, 2006  
Anonymous oldhippy said...

Thanks for Vinegar Joe. I only have a few tracks of there’s from an old BBC recording. I’m glad you have decided to carry on with your blog supplying us with some wonderful music.

7:12 AM, June 21, 2006  
Anonymous michael said...

Thanks for posting "Early Steppenwolf". It was one of the first LPs I bought as a young teenager and I think I like the 'garage' sound more now than I did way back then. (Glad you decided to resume the blog.) Cheers!

7:38 PM, June 21, 2006  
Anonymous hermanthegerman said...

so glad you continue your fantastic blog! in fact, it was YOUR BLOG, that got me interested in the mp3-blogging-scene and its possibilites. your kraut-rock-section is awfully good, although i was never really a krautrock-fan (except amon düül and kraan).
this Vinegar Joe album features early ROBERT PALMER as singer and guitarist. very funny!!
THANX Garcolga!

10:46 AM, June 22, 2006  
Anonymous zab said...

Thanks for the Curved Air - much appreciated

2:44 PM, June 22, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Eloy is fantastic, just as spacy and dreamy as you promised. Thanks!

8:11 PM, June 22, 2006  
Anonymous Johnny Mosrite said...

Hi - still a magical blog - thank you. Any chance of a re-up of the Ash re Tempel album - now deleted after complainst on RS?

9:43 AM, June 23, 2006  
Blogger jonjim1952 said...

i've always enjoyed my vinyl version of the self-titled mick abrahams album. now i can listen while on the move. thanks.

9:58 AM, June 23, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great that you're back, I only just discovered your blog but I've found loads of treasures in here already. Thanks and keep up the great work!

5:18 PM, June 23, 2006  
Anonymous Jemafre said...

Hi, just discovered your blog. Thanks lots for the Spirit of John Morgan, I'd forgotten about them, saw them live in late 60's. I'm a Graham Bond fan too. Now I'll go on to discover the rest ... I'm interested in the Krautrock but don't know a lot about it so thanks for the "lesson"

4:14 PM, June 25, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice to see you again. This is a wonderfull blog with a lot of music to discover. Thanks a lot.
By the way, the link for Vinegar Joe is missing. Any chance to repost it?

5:20 PM, June 25, 2006  
Anonymous robertjroid said...

Alright Dude! Good to see you back again. See you posted Vinegar Joe. Maybe someone else is out there searching . . .
Looking forward to your great posts again.

Cheers!
Son of Incog.

3:07 PM, June 26, 2006  
Blogger Son of Incogneato said...

Alright Dude! Good to see you back again. See you posted Vinegar Joe. Maybe someone else is out there searching . . .
Looking forward to your great posts again.

Cheers!
Son of Incog.

3:08 PM, June 26, 2006  
Blogger Paxjorge said...

Thanks for that Curved Air album! Ever since I got to know them -about 3 months ago- they're becoming one of my favourite bands of all time. What a woman!! Chills down my spine, thanks again man... :-)

5:39 AM, June 27, 2006  
Blogger Woody said...

Vinegar Joe is your best post so far - and that is saying SOMETHING!

So Good.

4:58 AM, June 28, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your blog and have really appreciated the folkie stuff. Could you re-post "henry the human fly"? it is R.T's best lp! I was also wondering if you have the sandy denny, rich t, linda, dave pegg bootleg "happy blunderers".

You're the best!

7:48 AM, November 10, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you have fantastic blog, thanks a lot

cheers

4:54 PM, August 31, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Eloy and Agitation Free

3:19 AM, May 28, 2010  

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