Sunday, July 02, 2006

Happy Fourth of July!!

Budgie - Squawk (1972)

Having acquired a small cult following with its first album, Budgie offered a second dose of abrasive, forceful heavy metal that, like its predecessor, drew on influences ranging from Cream to Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. Budgie was a band that loved contrasts -- the folk-ish qualities of "Make Me Happy" and the Beatlesque "Rolling Home Again" make hard-driving classics like "Hot as a Docker's Armpit," "Drugstore Woman," and "Rocking Man" seem all the more intense. For all its strengths, Squawk didn't turn Budgie into the well-known outfit it should have been. Budgie's followers were a devoted bunch, but unfortunately, there weren't nearly enough of them. ( Alex Henderson, All Music Guide)

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The Sons Of Champlin - The Sons (1969)

One of the more obscure groups of the late 60's San Francisco ballroom scene, their sound is based on the Hammond B-3 organ and a prominent horn section, making their sound distinctly different from their Bay Area cohorts. They were a "Musician's Band", meaning that their releases were well received by other musicians, but really didn't connect with too many music buyers. The shorter songs are sometimes introspective and low-key, and the longer songs have the complex structures and time signature changes that one associates with progressive rock. This is their second album and probably does suffer a bit from 'sophomore slump', as all the songs were written for the album, as opposed to their first release, where they had been playing the material for a long time live. Regardless, they knew where the groove was and had no trouble getting there.

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Electric Sandwich - Electric Sandwich (1972)

No historical information is known about Electric Sandwich, though they are reputedly ex-Vinegar. Typical of many Krautrock bands of the era, they drew on a wide range of influences: jazz, blues, psychedelia, etc., and moulded their own fusion with that typically cosmic yet powerful edge. Their sole album is oddly balanced, opening with the lengthy Xhol/Kollektiv-like instrumental "China" with excellent electric sax, and thereafter establishing a more unique brand of song fronted by a gruff vocalist, in a blues and jazz accented progressive blend. Really, every track on the album is different, though a recognisable Electric Sandwich style does ride throughout.

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Epidermis - Genius Of Original Force (1977)

The songs on this release from German band Epidermis have multipart vocals, and occasional instrumental counterpoint, so they’re often compared to Gentle Giant. But their music is a lot darker and less refined than typical Gentle Giant, and I can imagine lots of people who like Gentle Giant not liking Epidermis at all, and some people who don’t like Gentle Giant liking Epidermis.

The lyrics are about the creation of the universe by God. Though the band is German and the lyrics are all in English, they’re actually only rarely bad, and accents are barely noticeable. I really like them since they’re so unique, both in topic and style. Instrumentally, the band has a lot of interplay, but not a lot of variation in their sounds or style. The keyboardist sticks almost exclusively to clavinet, the guitarist and bassist both have their own sounds they stick to as well. There are several passages with vibes or acoustic guitar though, all of which are played pretty well. Typically the compositions are centered around riffs played on the guitars and/or keyboards, few of which are very complex, but each bandmember frequently plays their own lines, and it all seems carefully thought-out in advance even if it’s not always professionally–executed.

This was obviously a low-budget album, but it’s also an extremely distinctive one - the kind of thing that is easy to find fault with but also very endearing in a lot of ways. I really like it. (dnieper111, rateyourmusic.com)

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Haboob - Haboob (1971)

This German release is a mixture of jazz-rock, soul, blues, psychedelia, really difficult to pin down. Plus it's not really a German band, the players are Americans or maybe Brits living in Munich. Star of the show is American keyboardist Jimmy Jackson, better known for his appearances on the classic early Amon Düül II albums, and albums by Embryo and Klaus Doldinger's Passport. Jackson plays something called a "Choir Organ", which seems to have been a one of a kind instrument that only he played. Best cut, for me, is the first track "Israfil" a nine minute long affair which probably wouldn't have seemed too out of place one one of the first three Amon Düül II albums. Weirdness prevails throughout the rest of the album, there's bluesy psychedelia, keyboard freak-outs, percussion extravaganzas and an unusual version of "Soldier Boy" by the Shirelles! (Vinyl Rip)

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Jethro Tull - Stockholm 1969: The Master Reel

Not much to say about Jethro Tull is there. If you don't know who they were you probably shouldn't be walking around! This bootleg is an excellent quality soundboard recording of a brilliant performance at the Konserthuset in Stockholm in January 1969.

Part 1 Part 2

Kollektiv - Kollektiv (1973)

The story of Kollektiv is quite complex. Originally a school band playing pop songs in the mid-60's as a trio called The Generals with the twin brothers Jogi and Waldemar Karpenkiel, and Jürgen Havix. During the late-60's the three went their separate ways playing in diverse rock, blues and psychedelic bands. In 1967 Jogi joined The Phantoms, which also featured later Kraftwerk member Ralf Hutter. This band went through several changes of name: Rambo Zambo Bluesband, Bluesology and, after Jogi had left to rejoin The Generals, became Organisation. Also in Bluesology was the talented jazz saxophonist Klaus Dapper who left the band along with Jogi. With Dapper at the helm, The Generals changed style completely and changed name to Kollektiv. It's hardly surprising then that Kollektiv's debut album bore much resemblance to the music of Organisation and early Kraftwerk, a spacious fusion featuring electrified flute and sax, too esoteric and complexly crafted to be called jazz-rock. In fact, along with the likes of Xhol, instrumental Thirsty Moon, Ibliss, et al., Kollektiv exhibited a style that was uniquely German, the jazzier end of Krautrock, full of invention and exceptional musicianship. Like many bands of the era, though they existed for several years on and off, with members moving into other bands like Guru Guru, Katamaran, etc., Kollektiv disappeared into obscurity. (The Crack In The Cosmic Egg)

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King Crimson - In The Court Of The Crimson King (1969)

What to say about this one. A prog rock masterpiece, one of the great albums. Hard to believe it was released 37 years ago!! Wow!

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Toad - Live At St. Joseph, Basel 1972

Toad was a Swiss hard rock outfit, composed of former members of Brainticket and Hawkwind that released three or four albums in their lifetime. This well-recorded live show features some songs from their first two albums, most notably 'Tomorrow Blue' and 'Thoughts', plus a smoking version of 'Red House' and three others. This is a veritable gold mine of early seventies rock riffs and burning guitar solos courtesy of guitar maestro Vic Vearget. Heavy, bluesy and rockin'.

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Minotaurus - Fly Away (1978)

Minotaurus were an obscure 70’s band from Germany, who recorded 2 albums with only one ever being released "Fly Away". Inspired by the story of the Mintaurus living in King Minos' Labyrinth on Crete this 6 piece band deliver an album full of organ roaring progressive rock. This album although essentially a symphonic mindmelt does also blend in psych and space dimensions into their sound. Their overall sound is quite rich with a good chunk of mellotron and deep bass lines. Vocals (Peter Scheu) are sung in English and fit the music quite well. Instrumentally this band were amazing with inspiring and pompous keyboard leads, mellotron atmospheres , great guitar , bass and drum interplay. Overall sound carries allusions to Novalis, Marillion and Eloy. (James Unger progarchives.com)

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OK there you have it. See you next week. Careful with those fireworks Americans!

15 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Liam,
it's long since I've been connected (busy summer). About the collection: I don't know anything of that (that's not so often), but it looks great anyway - looking forward mainly the hammond based stuff... According to the last week upload - Vita Nova is great sound for my freaky-ears, I was looking for this album some years ago... Thanx a lot
cheers Mates

8:18 AM, July 03, 2006  
Blogger GarColga said...

Hi Mates - nice to hear from you! Yeah that Vita Nova is good - I was just listening to it.

10:46 AM, July 03, 2006  
Anonymous leogt said...

Hey thank you very, very much I've been waiting to hear Minotaurus ever since I heard them in 1994 on a college radio station in Miami.

And you posted the whole Stockholm performance of Jethro Tull which I got a couple of songs from the 25th anniversary box.

You are great and I hope you get a lot of good things from this blog, you know you got a friend in me and that's one of those things.

Thank you

3:13 PM, July 03, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there,

This might not be up everyone's alley, but I thought someone might find it instersting...


http://lders.nl/


(Live radiohead shows) --latest tour '06

4:39 PM, July 03, 2006  
Anonymous skylark said...

Thanks for the Tull show! I'm finding it difficult finding quality Tull boots, so this is very welcome indeed. Does anyone know if there are good Thick As A Brick or Passion Play-era bootlegs out there?? Thanks again.

1:21 AM, July 04, 2006  
Anonymous Aveek from India said...

Hi Liam,

Thanks a lot for the awesome live album of Toad & the other album of Kollektiv. Great music! But, the sad news is, I just come to know that Rapidshare has deleted Junco Partners - Junco Partners (1970) album which you uploaded long back. Could you please re-upload it & provide us the link? I heard this is an awesome prog-rock album.

Best Regards
Aveek

2:29 PM, July 04, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the Toad. Ive been looking for anything from them for ages.
Really appreciate it.

Gordon.

2:46 PM, July 04, 2006  
Blogger ed! said...

hi! great albums here! i love In the court of King Crimson. Beautiful release. Thank's for share.
cheers!

4:22 AM, July 05, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi.Haboob is great album.Best I found in this year.Thank you very much for it!
Is there any chance for Talix - Spuren?
OldProgRocker

1:09 PM, July 06, 2006  
Blogger GarColga said...

Hi leogt - well thanks, always good to have another friend!

Hi anonymous - thanks I know somebody will find your link useful!

Hello skylark - you're welcome. Sorry I can't help you with those boots, I'm sure there are some though.

hi Aveek - you're welcome. Those files are re-uploaded now.

Hello Gordon - You're welcome.

Hi ed! - you're welcome.

Hi OldProgRocker - you're welcome for the Haboob. I requested that Talix album on the blog a month or so ago and there was no response. Who knows, maybe someday!

1:26 PM, July 06, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey,

is Santana's First album (with the lion on the cover?) any good?

how about a post???

3:03 PM, July 08, 2006  
Blogger GarColga said...

Hi anonymous - sorry I don't have that.

4:37 PM, July 08, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All the files have been forbidden to be shared. :(
Maybe you should go private.

Gordon

10:20 AM, July 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems like the link dois not work anymore. :(

8:19 AM, October 25, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got the Fields album from Japan awhile back and recommend it to all prog rock fans. Good choice and great blog!

7:02 PM, April 28, 2007  

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