Showing posts with label Eyes Of Blue. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eyes Of Blue. Show all posts

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Day After The Sabbath 73: Hammond Lord [hammond organ special]

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pass:  tdats
As most of you will know by now, Jon Lord, original keyboardist with Deep Purple, passed away recently. Sad and thought-provoking news as it always is when rock gods leave us, I realised it was the perfect time, by way of some tribute, to finish off the hammond organ and keyboard comp I've been formulating for a while. Having now received the inspiration for it's theme and last, fitting track, here is 73: Hammond Lord. A collection of tracks with wicked hammond organ.

No doubt many of the bands here would have sounded very different if it were not for Jon Lord, one of the founding and longest-standing members of Deep Purple. He took an instrument that was originally designed as a cheaper alternative to church pipe organs, and pushed it to the limits with classically-trained skills and mega-amplification. The guitar's total domination of hard rock was gone for ever.

Where better to begin than with the track that boasts the talents of the man himself? 'Santa Barbara Machine Head' were a band put together briefly to record some jams for Immediate Record's series of blues albums called "Blues Anytime". "Santa Barbara Machine Head" featured Jon Lord, Ronnie Wood (guitar), John 'Twink' Alder (drums) and Kim Gardner (bass). You are right to recognise those names, 1967 was the year and these guys were just starting their careers, or had already been in some successful bands by that time. Wood (later of the Stones) and Kim were both in The Birds and The Creation, Twink would go on to bands including The Pretty Things and The Pink Fairies.

Birth Control's track is taken from their third album, 1972's Hoodoo Man, and Wolfgang Neuser was the keys man here. Starting out as it means to go on with the sound of air raid explosions, plenty of rock solid hammond riffs follow. To me, this sounds like Tony Iommi playing hammond...which can't be bad!

Pocket-Size
The third track is from the UK band Aadvark. Early on they included Paul Kossof and Simon Kirke who later went on to Free, but when they recorded 'Copper Sunset' they had changed to a keyboard-lead prog act with Steve Milliner (previously of Black Cat Bones) providing the fuzzed-up hammond riffs. Copenhagen's Pocket-Size first appeared on my last comp and unfortunately there is very little known about them, their only recordings were retrospectively released by Frost Records in recent times and 'In One Or Another Condition' shows their solid skills with some big stoned chops, ably assisted by great hammond.

Waterloo were a Belgian band that have cropped up here before in my Belgian comp, and they more than deserve credit for their intricate multi instrumental hard prog, often lead by plenty of awesome hammond.

Gudny Aspaas (Ruphus)
Ruphus are a rarity for TDATS, as they are from Norway, a country quite severely lacking here so far. Rest assured that I will redress that balance at some time, and in the mean-time take in this blinding track featuring the amazing vocal power of songstress Gudny Aspaas, accompanied by some hard as nails prog riffs. Tortilla Flat were a German act who made one album, though the track I used here, 'Life', was first aired as a single in 1970. Guitarist Michael Koch would later be in Jeronimo who I used way back on Vol5.

London's Quatermass (taking their name from a BBC science-fiction series) had a link to Deep Purple. All three of them had and would play in Ian Gillan-related projects like Episode 6 and Gillan. Their prog sounds were confident and accomplished right from the off and were in some ways fairly ahead of their time for 1970. Plenty of innovative electronic embellishment went along with Peter Robinson's keys and hammond. Unfortunately they didn't market well and only made one album, but they definitely had the talent and scope to become established.


8 Track
Conversely, Colorado's Sugarloaf were a less interesting, radio-friendly band who had enough success from a couple of singles to make 4 albums. I guess there's a good indicator of the power of american radio. Their biggest hit 'Green Eyed Lady', while musically proficient and slick, played it pretty safe, and I was about to give up on researching them when the scathing guitar introducing 'Hot Water' suddenly jumped out at me from their second album 'Spaceship Earth'. The riff was followed satisfyingly by cool hammond and I was delighted to find another unexpected, worthy inclusion.


Eyes Of Blue were Welsh, and one of those incredibly important bands that seemed to be a breeding ground for an entire country's rock history, as I found making the Welsh Vol56. Q III was a single b-side from 1969 with lots of great psychedelic hammond.

Pacific Sound
Berlin's Murphy Blend made one album in 1970 and the excellently named Wolf-Rüdiger Uhlig was the keys man. Bass player Andreas Scholz would later go on to Blackwater Park, who recorded one of my favourite tracks of all time, the mind-numbingly epic "Rock Song". Pacific Sound, from Neuchâtel, emerged from the Swiss ballroom covers-band scene and managed to record one album of mostly originals before calling it a day. The hard-edged tracks like Forget Your Dream had a distinctive fresh sound, and were quite manic.


Attila just had to be included here! Some of you may know that it was a one-album band that featured a very young Billy Joel on heavily distorted hammond, along with friend Jon Small, after they had both left The Hassles. Definitely aiming for shock value, they had a kind of proto-Manowar album cover, with decidedly smaller biceps of course! Billy describes them thus: "End of the sixties, I was in a two-man group. We were heavy metal, we were going to destroy the world with amplification, we had titles like 'Godzilla', 'March of the Huns', 'Brain Invasion'. A lot of people think [I] just came out of the piano bar... I did a lot of heavy metal for a while. We had about a dozen gigs and nobody could stay in the room when we were playing. It was too loud. We drove people literally out of clubs. It was great, but we can't stay in the club."

The Trip
The compilation ends on another link to Deep Purple. The Trip were a London band, started by an Italian called Riki Maiocchi. They recruited Ritchie Blackmore right at the start and soon moved to Italy. Blackmore quit and came back to the UK in time to join Deep Purple. By the time they recorded their debut, most original members were gone (including Riki Maiocchi) and they had mutated into one of Italy's first hard progressive bands. "Caronte [Part 1]" features incredible use of hammond by the talented Joe Vescovi, as atmospheric in some parts as he is heavy in others.



01. Santa Barbara Machine Head - Rubber Monkey (1967)
       from album 'blues anytime vol. 3'
02. Birth Control - Buy! (1972)
       from album 'hoodoo man'
03. Aardvark - Copper Sunset (1970)
       from album 'aardvark'
04. Pocket-Size - Opus III (1970)
       from retrospective 'in one or another condition'
05. Waterloo - Why May I Not Know (1970)
       from album 'first battle'
06. Ruphus - Trapped In A Game (1973)
       from album 'new born day'
07. Tortilla Flat - Life (1970)
       single
08. Quatermass - Up On The Ground (1970)
       from album 'quatermass'
09. Sugarloaf - Hot Water (1971)
       from album 'spaceship earth'
10. Eyes Of Blue - Q III (1969)
       single
11. Murphy Blend - At First (1970)
       from album 'first loss'
12. Pacific Sound - Forget Your Dream (1971)
       from album 'forget your dream!'
13. Attila - Holy Moses (1970)
       from album 'attila'
14. The Trip - Caronte [Part 1] (1971)
       from album 'caronte'

*nb: this post contains the word 'hammond' 14 times.

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Monday, November 28, 2011

The Day After The Sabbath 56: Freedom Of Yore [Wales pt.1]


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password:  tdats


TDATS 56: Freedom of Yore [Welsh hard rock of the '70s] by Rich Aftersabbath on Mixcloud

TDATS 56 is a collection of bands from Wales, "the land of song". Expecting this to be hard, I was prepared for it take a long time to finish, like the Greek comp did for example. To my surprise it was not a hard task and I was able to wrap up the whole thing in a couple of days, I am very happy with the results! What I have found is that, although the relative number of old Welsh rock bands is low, the quality of them all is consistently great and I did not have the usual arduous task of running through & rejecting tens or hundreds of albums, as each one I discovered had at least one excellent track, in this respect I think it was the easiest regional comp to make so far...

Track List:
01. Man - Spunk Box (1969)
02. Ancient Grease - Eagle Song (1970)
03. Eyes Of Blue - 7 + 7 Is & Inspiration for a New Day (1968)
04. Love Sculpture - Nobody's Talking (1970)
05. Alkatraz - Nobody Like You (1976)
06. Fair Weather - I Hear You Knockin' (1970)
07. Brân - Y Gwylwyr (1975)
08. Quicksand - Overcome the Pattern / Flying (1973)
09. Kimla Taz - Tomorrow (1968)
10. Lone Star - The Ballad Of Crafty Jack (1977)
11. Blonde On Blonde - Ride With Captain Max (1969)
12. Sassafras - Electric Chair [Live @ The BBC] (1977)
13. The Neutrons - Snow Covered Eyes (1974)

We kick off with one of the more well-known bands on here, "Man", from South Wales' Merthyr Tydfil. Man evolved out of The Bystanders, a successful close harmony pop group. Many of their members went on to other important Welsh bands and this track is so good, sludgy and heavy with unique character. Ancient Grease (aka 'Strawberry Dust') were one of the bands here to share members with Man, including Phil Ryan and John Weathers. Their sole album 'Women And Children First' is one of my all-time favourites and they really do concoct a heavy swirling fug of groove through the whole album, along with awesome gritty vocals. I have made the entire album available here as I think it's one of the essentials, nuff said.

Eyes Of Blue evolved during the mid-sixties from covers and R&B band The Mustangs, based in Neath, and are one of the earliest and most important bands here. They also had later connections to Man and Ancient Grease. A good history (including many of the bands on this comp) can be found here and their last recorded album was made under the alternative moniker "Big Sleep". Here they have two songs including an interesting version of Love's '7 + 7 Is', and they show their diverse mix of sounds, including 60s psych and bluesy riffs. Cardiff's Love Sculpture (1966-70) formed from the remnants of local band "The Human Beans", they played mainly straight-forward blues and released two albums, this track "Nobody's Talking" has a dragging doomy feeling that I love.

After his stint in The Neutrons (who also feature on this comp), Will Youatt joined up with his ex-Quicksand partner James Davies to found Alkatraz and I have used their blues-swaggering track "Nobody Like You". Fair Weather evolved from a split within Amen Corner, they recorded a couple of great albums, with a mix of big band/brass and hard rock, they briefly achieved success with a UK singles chart #6 hit, "Natural Sinner". Brân hailed from Bethesda in North Wales and are the only band here to record in the Welsh language (Cymraeg), their talents included ethereal vocals from Nest Howells, which leant a beautiful folky ambience to tracks like "Y Gwylwyr". Quicksand created one album in 1973, a curious mix of heavy prog, folk and hard rock. I have joined two consecutive tracks here "Overcome the Pattern" & "Flying" to form a sprawling atmospheric trip.

Cardiff's Kimla Taz was noticed as one of the best local bands tipped by their home town heroes Love Sculpture. They later included guitarist Paul Chapman who also features on this comp in Lone Star. They play some catchy 60 style pop psych and never made an album, but have had an archival CD release in recent times. Lone Star (aka 'Iona') are up next and they undoubtedly had plenty of talent, with members who were or would be in Uriah Heep, (the Irish) Skid Row and Budgie to name a few, their vision of a hard rocking southern-tinged sci-fi based sound was a unique one! Newport's Blonde On Blonde moved to London to find their fortune and had some success with performances at festivals like the Isle Of Wight. On a side-note, guitarist Ralph Denyer went on to write the widely-selling 'The Guitar Handbook' which I have a copy of myself!

Cardiff's Sassafras, who featured one-time Love Sculpture drummer Congo Jones, were a hard working band who once held a world record of 332 live performances in one year, and they still occasionally ply their hard bluesrock to this day. The compilation ends with The Neutrons, another branch off from Man, they played early keyboard-heavy proto-prog and the track here 'Snow Covered Eyes' is backed by urgent acoustic guitar, slowly subduing into Rick Wright (rip) stlye ad-libbing, as a fine lead out...

Thanks for listening! Rich

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