Showing posts with label Grupa SOS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Grupa SOS. Show all posts

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Day After The Sabbath 120: Wolf of Iron Jaw [Serbia 1]


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The Day After The Sabbath 120: Wolf of Iron Jaw [Serbia 70's Rock] by Rich Aftersabbath on Mixcloud

Since volumes 41 (general) and 101 (Poland) it's high time TDATS returned to eastern europe, so here we concentrate on heavy stuff that originated in the Serbian part of the former Yougoslavia. Unlike some might suspect, the Tito dictatorship did not interfere with the influence of incoming western pop music, or people's general enjoyment of popular music. Rock music flourished in Yugoslavia from the '50s onward and as you will hear in this comp, a lot of great talent emerged. The first Serbian '60s bands during the age of beat and rhythm & blues included Siluete, Elipse and Džentlmeni, all mentioned here as certain members were in some of the heavier bands coming up.

I must thank tdats fan Adam Burke, front man of Pushy and Fellwoods, and brilliant artist, for drawing a cover especially for this volume. It is inspired by the Psoglav, a werewolf-like demonic creature in Serbian mythology which bares iron teeth. Another thanks goes to the blog Jugo Rock Forever, one of the best sources of Yugoslavian rock.

TRACKS
01. S Vremena Na Vreme - Tema Za Šargiju [edit] (1975)
       from album 'S Vremena Na Vreme'
02. YU Grupa - Drveni Most (1974)
       single
03. Grupa CD - Vjeruj U Ljubav (1973)
       single
04. Džentlmeni - Veseli Svet (1968)
       from compilation 'Retrologija'
05. Zlatko Manojlović - Ko Te Sada Ljubi (1975)
       single
06. Smak - Biska 16 (1974)
       single B side
07. Tako - Druga Strana Mene [edit] (1978)
       from album 'Tako'
08. Grupa SOS - Tražim (1974)
       single
09. Korni Grupa - Neko Spava Pored Mene (1970)
       single
10. Miodrag Bata Kostić - Tvoj Put (1975)
       from album 'Kongres Rock Majstora'
11. Pop Show Grupa - Okrutna Žena (1974)
       single
12. Pop Mašina - Vreme Za Nas (1975)
       from album 'Na Izvoru Svetlosti'
13. Igra Staklenih Perli - Majestetski Kraj (1979)
       from album 'Igra Staklenih Perli'
14. Riblja Čorba - Hej, Ćale (1979)
       from album 'Kost U Grlu'
15. Dah - Majka Jugovića (1974)
       from album 'Veliki Cirkus'
16. Opus - Sam (1974)
       single
17. S Vremena Na Vreme - Tema Za Šargiju [reprise] (1975)
       from album 'S Vremena Na Vreme'

Up until the early '70s, Serbia's only rock releases were on 7 inch singles and EPs. The first full-length rock album was Korni Grupa's debut LP in the comparatively late year of 1972, they were also the first Serbian band to play hard, progressive rock, which is shown in this comp with one of the oldest tracks here, a 1970 single of theirs.

The three other bands that heralded the beginning of Serbian hard rock were Yu Grupa, Pop Mašina (Pop Machine) and Smak (Endtime). From 1973 onward they started releasing excellent albums, displaying impressive technical skill, but also plenty of soul and passion. Smak stood slightly apart in their inclusion of jazz-influenced prog sounds, but they were also satisfyingly heavy. All three took clear influence from the pioneers like Cream, Led Zep and Black Sabbath, but also had their own Balkan flavour, giving them a refreshing slant that holds them up on their own merits. Indeed, of all the smaller regions I have studied so far for TDATS, with a consequently small number of bands, I can safely say that Serbia is right up there at the top regarding the consistent quality of what music there was. Discovering these bands has been an especially enjoyable experience which, by all accounts, will be repeated when I turn to neighbouring countries like Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Slovenia for later episodes. I can't wait!

Boom festival 1972
The main music festival of Yugoslavia in the '70s was Boom Pop, which ran from 1972 to 1978. It was initially held in Tivoli Hall, Ljubljana, Slovenia. During it's seven years it moved to Croatia and ended at Novi Sad in Serbia. Of the bands included in this volume, those that appeared at Boom were; Pop Mašina (in 1973), Dah (1973), YU Grupa (1973,74 & 76), S Vremena Na Vreme (1974), Smak (1975 & 77), Tako (1977 & 78) and Riblja Čorba (1978). For almost every year, a live double-LP was released featuring performances from the fest. The 1974 edition included three songs by "Pop Selekcija Boom '74", a super group that got on stage just for that year's fest. This group included Dado Topić on vocals/bass, of Korni Grupa. The final year of Boom festival was just when punk was breaking, and so had a decidedly different flavour to those before. As you can see in this magazine article (link) the long hair and bell bottoms was giving way to the safety pins and short hair of young bands like Prljavo kazalište and Paraf.


RTB logo
There were only four record labels responsible for putting out the sixteen records appearing in this comp. The winner, with seven of them, is "Produkcija Gramofonskih Ploča Radio Televizije Beograd", or RTB for short. RTB's beginnings occurred when the state-owned Radio Belgrade bought two record presses in 1951, with the original intention of archiving pre-existing recordings. In 1952 it pressed fifteen 78rpm singles of new music under the label "Jugodisk". It became Radio-Television Belgrade in 1959 with the advent of television, and went on to become the second-largest record label in Yugoslavia. After the Yugoslavian breakup in 1993 it became Radio Television of Serbia (RTS). RTB was responsible for the first hard progressive rock records from Serbia, with Korni Grupa's early singles and debut album.


Jogoton logo c.1974
The Croatian Jugoton label is the runner up here with five of our records. This was Yugoslavia's largest label. It came into existence when the Ljubljana-based Elektroton label moved to Zagreb and became "Jugoton" in 1947, after nationalisation. By the mid-'60s it was producing 30.000 records a day. Bosnia's Indexi were one of Yugoslavia's first bands to start getting fuzzy on their Jugoton singles like Šabn-Dabn-Šabn-Du-Bajo in 1969 (youtube). The first Yugoslavian heavy progressive LP on Jugtron was the debut of the Croatian band Time in 1972 (youtube). The other two labels were RTV Slovenija, the national label of Slovenia, and Diskos, an independent Serbian label started in 1962, on Which Croatia's Had was one of the earliest progressive bands (youtube).

With the exception of Smak, every one of the bands in this volume originated in the capital of Serbia, Belgrade (natively called Beograd), although many individual members were from other countries situated in the former Yugoslavia.


The Bands

S Vremena Na Vreme opens this set with an instrumental blending folk and fuzz. I took it from their 1975 debut LP and you'll notice I also reprised it for the outro track. They were one of the pioneers of the Serbian acoustic rock scene, and one of the pioneers in incorporating folk music elements into rock music of Yugoslavia, along with Suncokret, also from Serbia. They were good friends of another band appearing here, Pop Mašina, and they would organise free shows together and play on each other's albums. S Vremena Na Vreme had two albums and many singles in the '70s.


The fuzz gives way to YU Grupa's solid riffing, and this band had a lot of great riffs over five '70s LPs and many singles, being one of the most important, long-lasting and rewarding Serb bands to dig into. They were formed in 1970 by brothers Dragi (vocals, guitar) and Žika Jelić (bass guitar), both former members of beat band Džentlmeni. They have continued to make albums and play live into the 2010s, the last live show having been in 2012 which was unfortunately cut short when Žika Jelić had an electric shock, but he's fine and the band have announced a new album this year.


Coming up next is a very obscure act called Grupa CD, so far I have only been able to listen to a couple of sides from the eight or so singles they made between 72 and 74, one of which is a light pop affair. But all is not lost, the other one is a hammond organ-powered monster as you can hear. They appear to have had an experienced lineup, with Aleksandar Cvetković and Jovan Miščević of '60s beat band Siluete, and Slobodan Todorović of Siluete and Džentlmeni. I'd love to hear some more of the singles if anyone out there can point me in the right direction!



Džentlmeni (The Gentleman) is a name that crops up in relation to members of no less than eight of the acts on this comp so I figured they deserve a spot too, even though they are from a different age in musical terms. They were a Belgrade beat band that started in 1966. I am using the first song of theirs that was ever released, "Veseli Svet", recorded at Subotica Youth Festival in 1968 and released on a 7" together with other bands from that festival. To give you some idea how important they were, there were at least nine players that passed through Džentlmeni that played in other bands mentioned in this volume, and other great bands that I plan to use later! They include Slobodan Todorović (Grupa CD), Velibor Bogdanović (Dah, Land, YU Grupa), Zlatko Manojlović (Dah, Fleš, Gordi, Land, Zlatko & His Band), Zoran Božinović (Pop Mašina, Rok Mašina), Žika Jelić (YU Grupa), Dragan Jelić (YU Grupa), Dušan Petrović (Pop Mašina), Robert Nemeček (Pop Mašina, Rok Mašina) and Branko Marušić (Dah). Phew! And there's probably some that I missed...

For the fifth track we have another alumni of Džentlmeni, guitarist Zlatko Manojlović. He was involved in other bands including VIS Fles, and Dah, which appears on here later. The track I have used is from the first of his two '70s solo singles, and in the '80s he started making solo albums. In 1975 he guested on Opus's album, who also appear here, and in 1977 he started a prog band called Gordi. I have checked them out and found the two LPs they made in the '70s to be not so great, but by all accounts Gordi is better remembered for being one of the first Serbian heavy metal bands, which they stylistically morphed into for their final albums in 81 and 82.


Smak in front of the Ružica Church in Belgrade.
 l-r Laza Ristovski, Slobodan Stojanović "Kepa", Radomir
Mihajlović, Zoran Milanović, and Boris Aranđelović.
A third of the way through now and we come to another of the most renowned Serbian bands, Smak. They originated in the fourth largest city of Serbia, Kragujevac, so are the only band on this comp not from Belgrade. What immediately hit me about their first single, 1974's "Živim ... Biska 13", is the heaviness and progressive metal-like technicality, which is largely a product of their fantastic guitarist Radomir Mihajlović Točak. Included here is the B side, entitled Biska 16. He is one of the former Yugoslavia's most celebrated rock musicians and his varied skills have lead to Smak being described as everything from blues to jazz rock to hard rock and symphonic rock.

We move on to a purely symphonic prog band called Tako, a rarity for the Serbian region at the time. Again they were very accomplished technically, and turned up the riffs a few times, like in the first part of the epic 16 minute "Druga Strana Men" on their self-titled first album. They appeared once before in TDATS on the flute volume 78. Founding member Sava Bojić (guitar, vocals) had been in an early lineup of Pop Mašina. Bassist Dušan Ćućuz was a member of the omni-present Džentlmeni, and he was part of the original Opus.




When I first encountered Grupa SOS I was knocked out by the riffs and tone that are very reminiscent of Black Sabbath. Unfortunately they only made a few singles in their six year life-span, and acted as Srđan Marjanović's backing band. Their legacy continued when in 1978 they evolved into one of Serbia's best-loved hard rock bands, Riblja Čorba, coming up soon. They were founded in '72 by Miroslav Aleksić (bass, vocals), Dragan Štulović (guitar - later in Tunel) and Stevan Stevanović (drums). By '78 only Miroslav remained, with newer members Rajko Kojić (guitar) and drummer Vicko Milatović, all of whom then became Riblja Čorba with the inclusion of former Suncokret & Rani Mraz member Bora Đorđević (vocals, acoustic guitar and songwriter).


Korni Grupa 1972 LP,
Kornelije Kovač standing furthest-back
At the half way mark now and an important band called Korni Grupa. I have taken a track from a 1970 single, which surely must be one of the heaviest things from Serbia at that early stage. As said before, Korni Groupa very obviously progressed from their original sound and made Serbia's first ever full length progressive rock album in 1972, mixing too many styles to conveniently categorise the band. There are elements of jazz, traditional folk, psych, blues, funk, hard rock and symphonic rock on there, with top notch performances all-round. The band is named after it's founder, Serbian-born Kornelije Kovač, who got his first rock exposure in Bosnia's biggest pop group, Indexi.


Korni Groupa at Eurovision
Before that point, he had already become an accomplished composer, pianist, keyboard player, producer and arranger at a startlingly young age. In 1974 Korni Grupa entered the Eurovision Song Contest which was held in Brighton, UK. They came seventh, and I think I can safely assume I won't be saying anything like that about any other bands on TDATS for a while... Kornelije moved to England in 1979 and continued with varied work in music. Whitesnake's Bernie Marsden played on his K2 LP project called "Why?" in 1980 (link).


Kongres Rock Majstora concert poster
Next up is a track from a one-off collaborative album called Kongres Rock Majstora (Congress of Rock Masters). The idea of this seems to have been to take four well-known Yugoslavian guitarists and give them one side each of a double LP. Supporting them was a host of players from their bands and many others. The four main guys were: Miodrag Bata Kostić - Serbian guitarist of Yu Grupa and Opus, Josip Boček - Croatian guitarist of Korni Grupa, Vedran Božić - Croatian guitarist of Time, and Goran Bregović. Goran was the Bosnian guitarist of Bijelo Dugme, he is now internationally famous as a composer / score writer. He entered the world of film music in 1989, and became known for his scores for Emir Kusturica's films; Time of the Gypsies, Arizona Dream and Underground. Yu Grupa's drummer Ratislav-Raša Đelmaš, and bassist Žika Jelić (also of Džentlmeni) were in the the support bands. Also bassist Bojan Hreljac and drummer Vladimir Furduj of Korni Grupa. I have used a track from Miodrag Bata Kostić's set, his four songs on side D were all top quality rockers as you can hear!


Goran Bregović - Josip Boček
With the kind help of TDATS fb group member Чика Киде, who has made some translations for us, I have found out some more facts about the record. This is what he was able to translate from some press regarding the 2009 Croatia Records reissue of Kongres Rock Majstora: "Kongres Rock Majstora” had the goal to promote the guitar masters of the era. The promotion itself included concerts and media coverage, in which the music magazine “JukeBox” was the main outlet. The reason for the appearance of those particular four players, and not other guitar masters like Radomir Mihailović-Točak from Smak, is probably because they played in bands connected to the Jugoton label. Jugoton was the largest Yugoslavian record label and owner of a widespread network of record shops, succeeded by Croatia Records in 1990.


Vedran Božić - Miodrag Bata Kostić
Goran Bregović, as the leader of Bijelo Dugme, let Željko Bebek to do the vocals, and for the song “Ima neka tajna veza” he had the support of Zagreb’s String Quartet. The album featured the instrumental song “Minijatura za moju majku”, as well as two older Bijelo Dugme songs - “I kad prodje sve pjevat ću i tad”, and “Znam za jedno tiho mjesto”. When the double LP was released, critics were not very complementary. There wasn't any significant commercial success or media coverage of the release, and shortly after the entire venture was side-lined. Vinyl collectors across the world have shown a strong interest for this album which commands 100-200 Euros today."


On to track eleven and a band that didn't record much but seem to have been around for about five years, Pop Show Grupa. The track here is a heavy, punky fuzz monster! They made two singles like this, plus the mystery single "Malaika / Sisi Tunakupenda" which appeared five years later in 1979, and seems to have a collaboration with a Belgrade-based Kenyan musician called Steven Hannington. I have not heard this third one so can only guess what it sounds like, though Discogs categorises it under "Folk, World, & Country, Funk / Soul, Pop".

The band was Miodrag Dobrić (bass), Dragan Milić (guitar) and Vladan Dokić (drums). Vladan was in Opus and later-on Rok Mašina, which was an '80s development of Pop Mašina. Both bands coming up here soon...


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.


Rok Mašina, 1981
In 1976 Robert Nemeček left the band due to army obligations; up until 2011 Serbia demanded mandatory military service of 6 months for men. Other personnel changes happened and the last recording from the band was a great single in 1977. By this time they had expanded to a four-piece with two guitarists and it's a shame they did not go through with a proposed third album as the progression is evident in "Moja Pesma" (youtube). New additions were Dušan Petrović (bass - Džentlmeni), Dušan Đukić (drums - also in Dah) and Vidoje Božinović (guitar - Dah, Opus, Riblja Čorba), with Zoran Božinović remaining from before on guitar & vocals. In 1981 Robert Nemeček returned on bass and the band was reborn with a harder sound as Rok Mašina. Vladan Dokić of Pop Show Grupa entered on drums. Zoran Božinović and Vidoja Božinović remained on guitars from the previous Pop Mašina lineup.


Igra Staklenih Perli
Coming up now is a bit of a diversion, with one of the latest-recorded tracks in the comp we encounter some space rock. In searches through the Serbian '70s this is the only example of such I have come across, but as I am coming to expect from this country it is brilliant. Igra Staklenih Perli ("The Glass Bead Game" - a futuristic existential book by Herman Hesse) made a debut album in 1979 and a second, final one in 1980. This track is taken from the first, and it's an ethereal, immersive experience you can get lost in, brilliantly layering electronics and repetitive riffs in the best traditions of Hawkwind and the krautrock masters. Over that is some beautiful guitar work with a hint of Balkan folk. Bassist Draško Nikodijević and guitarist Vojkan Rakić later formed the post-punk/neo-psych White Rabbit Band and in the late 1980s moved to the USA where they continued under the name White Rabbit Cult.


Riblja Čorba 1978
On the home straight now we come to the beginnings of Serbian heavy metal and Riblja Čorba. As mentioned before, by 1978 the members of Grupa SOS; bass player Miroslav Aleksić, Rajko Kojić (guitar), drummer Vicko Milatović and Bora Đorđević (ex-Suncokret & Rani Mraz, vocals, acoustic guitar and songwriter) became Riblja Čorba (Fish Stew). I have used a track from their 1979 debut album "Kost u Grlu", which is equal parts punk and heavy metal. The band went on to acclaim and is one of Yugoslavia!s most successful bands. They have released albums as recently as 2012's "Uzbuna".



Dah 1974, Zlatko Manojlović on right
Guitarist Zlatko Manojlović returns with a band called Dah (breath) that he co-founded in 1972. By the time of their first album in 1974, Branko Gluščević was on bass, Velibor Boka Bogdanović was on drums and Zlatko was leading on guitar. Veliki Cirkus (The Big Circus) was an ambitious excursion and another of Serbia's earliest progressive rock LPs.


Dah - Veliki Cirkus LP 1974
It incorporates '60s style psych with blues, country and hard rock in a quirky and original brew, supported by Zlatko's always-brilliant guitar work. In 1975 the band moved to Belgium, where they performed under the name Land, reportedly going in a more symph/jazz direction and making an album under that name called "Cool Breeze", although I have found very little info on that record and not heard it yet. During this time they had radio success with a single called "Šošana" and played on stage with Focus. After returning to Serbia they made one more album, called "Povratak" before Zlatko had to take a break to perform military service. The band did not last much longer and after completing his service Zlatko started a new band called Gordi which switched to heavy metal in the '80s.


Opus "Veče / Sam" single 1974
We reach the end of another TDATS with a band called Opus, that have been mentioned a couple of times already. This is a great song to end on, a single that is more punchy than their LP which came out a year later. Opus started in 1973 and the original line-up included the founder and organist Miodrag Okrugić, guitar player Miodrag Kostić and bassist Dušan Ćućuz (ex-Džentlmeni), but soon they split. They were named after Okrugić's composition "Opus No. 1" which he scored during his tenure with the band Yu Grupa.


"Opus 1" LP 1975
Okrugić re-formed Opus in 1975 with bassist Slobodan Orlić, drummer Ljubomir Jerković and singer Dušan Prelević (ex Korni grupa) and soon they recorded their debut "Opus 1", done in the symphonic rock style, with a few heavy moments like track "Dolina Bisera" (youtube). It failed to draw attention of the public and the band split again. In various incarnations guitar players in this period were Ljubo Sedlar, Zoran Dasić and Vidoja Bozinović. The final line-up from the 1977 re-formation included Okrugić, Orlić, drummer Zelimir Vasić and guitar player Milan Matić, but after fruitless attempts they finally disbanded for good. In addition to their only LP album, they recorded three singles from 1974-77.

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


If you have listened all the way to the end of these songs I think you'll agree that the former Yugoslavia has a natural aptitude for rock music and an amazing number of consistently good musicians and singers. The mind boggles at what more is out there to discover from other parts of the Balkans, but I'll most certainly be doing my best to find out!
Thanks for reading, Rich

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Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Day After The Sabbath 95: A Shrine to DooM Foregone

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Welcome to TDATS 95! It's that time again......another batch of doom-laden misery awaits. Now a tradition here, partly in honour of 'The DooM That Time Forgot' series that was made by RYM friend LibertyCaps a few years ago. For some links to his volumes, and related ones from me, check out the DTTF round-up and check out my most recent doom special: Vol62: The DooM That Time Reprised.

Here we have a diverse mix from all over the world. Some of the tracks are from heavy psych/hard rock albums which I'd recommend to look out for, like those of Fort Mudge Memorial Dump, The Petards, Atlantis Philharmonic, Icecross, Shuttah and Alphataurus. Then we have the more unexpected inclusions like the Australian jazz experimentalists Company Caine and a single from the pop writer Barry Mason.

Once again I have used the art of the talented Virgil Finlay for the cover. Look him up and prepare to be amazed at his vision of dimensions unseen and workings beyond reality.

Tracks
01. Alphataurus [Italy] - Dopo L'Uragano (1973)
       from album 'alphataurus'
02. Grupa SOS [Serbia] - Magnovenje (1974)
       single
03. Fountain of Youth [US] - Witness People (1969)
       single
04. Fort Mudge Memorial Dump [US] - The Singer (1969)
       from album 'fort mudge memorial dump'
05. Barry Mason - [UK] Over The Hills and Far Away (1966)
       single
06. The Petards - [Germany] Big Boom (1971)
       from album 'pet arts'
07. Missus Beastly - [Germany] Remember - Sweet Girl (1973)
       from album 'super rock - made in germany'
08. The Collectors [Canada] - Teletype Click (1969)
       from album 'grass and wild strawberries'
09. Atlantis Philharmonic [US] - Atlas (1974)
       from album 'atlantis philharmonic'
10. Company Caine [Australia] - The Day Superman Got Busted (1971)
       from album 'a product of a broken reality'
11. Icecross [Iceland] - 1999 (1973)
       from album 'icecross'
12. Shuttah [UK] - Bull Run (1971)
       from album 'the image maker vol 1 & 2'

references/credits:
Alphataurus.it | Flower Bomb Songs | Atlantis Philharmonic.com
Barry Mason | krautrock-musikzirkus | The Petards.com | Icecross.net
Jugo Rock Forever | Midoztouch.com

Alphataurus
Alphataurus
Alphataurus introduce this set with a fittingly ominous thunder storm, from there the song develops with all the drama and passion you'd expect from Italian prog. They were from Milan and their 1973 s/t album was produced by the Magma label, founded by Vittorio De Scalzi (singer/guitarist) of one of Italy's most important bands, New Trolls (see Vol37). It had a great triple-gatefold cover with a portentous image of a desolate landscape showing a dove of peace dropping bombs, industrial pollution and nuclear war. A pretty clear indicator of the band's world-view at the time.

Alphataurus gatefold LP 1973
Alphataurus gatefold LP (1973)
According to Discogs the line-up that recorded their album was: Alfonso Oliva (bass), Giorgio Santandrea (Drums,percussion), Guido Wasserman (Guitar),  Pietro Pellegrini (Piano, Organ, Moog, Vibraphone, Spinet) and Michele Bavaro (Vocals). The band are still a going concern and you can check their recently updated site at www.alphataurus.it

Grupa SOS
Grupa SOS
A rare inclusion of a Serbian band is next; Grupa SOS. I have not found much information on them, but a little was revealed with help from Ipsissimus Mocata in the TDATS fb group. He pointed out that some members re-appeared in the later-'70s as 'Riblja Čorba', a great band which I had already been saving up for further east-european comps, with the common members being Rajko Kojić (guitar, 1977) and Vicko Milatović (drums, 1977). The track here is a thick slice of prime Black Sabbath worship, some of the most faithful you'll ever hear from the times and full of that evil guitar tone! The rest of Grupa SOS was Miroslav Aleksić Miša (bass, vocals), Dragan Štulović Štuks (guitar, 1972-77), Aleksandar Tasić Tasa (guitar, 1972) and Stevan Stevanović Stiv (drums, 1972-77).

Fountain of Youth LP (unreleased)
Fountain of Youth LP (unreleased)
The Fountain Of Youth are next, a '60s psych band that made only a few singles (though RYM says they made an unreleased album). The lineup was Jimmy Panza (lead vocals & drums, Gary Itri (bass & vocals), Gary Jenschke (lead guitar & vocals) and Ken Molberg (rhythm guitar & vocals). The track I used could be described as sludge-pop, with it's prominent bass combining with the fuzz to create a thick bottom end. I found some great info over at Flower Bomb Songs : "They were a teen group from Fredericksburg, Texas who previously recorded as The Crossfires releasing the following 45:  'Who'll Be The One'/'Making Love Is Fun' (Tower 278)... They came to the attention of the Colgems label who signed them in March 1968 (there is a mention in a Billboard magazine from this time)..

The Fountain of Youth
The Fountain of Youth




Looking at the promo pic of The Fountain Of Youth it shows the teenagers to be a clean cut, square looking combo in psychedelic shirts. By the time of this single, their 4th for Colgems,  I'd be surprised if they looked as wholesome as this. 'Liza Jane' was released in April 1969 and is typical bubblegum pop of that time period. The jewel is the heavy psych flip 'Witness People'... There isn't that much information around about The Fountain Of Youth but they seemingly had a lead singing drummer! Richard Podolor produced their Colgems singles. He also worked with psych outfit The Glass Family, The Starfires, The Standells, The Chocolate Watch Band and many more I'm sure."

The Fort Mudge Memorial Dump
The Fort Mudge Memorial Dump was a recent find for me, and I have to say their s/t 1969 album is something to get excited about. A great combination the heaviest "Boston Sound" psych you'll find, with Caroline Stratton's vocals resembling Grace Slick and some killer guitar workouts from Dean Keady, which in places resemble Hendrix at his sludgy-wah'd best. The track I used here is one of the heaviest and longest from the album, and features a cool emotive male vocal performance which I presume is from one of the other listed members: James Deptula, Dave Amaral or Richard Clerici, but I don't know which. For such a well formed, great-sounding record there is little information to go by but here's what is stated about them: "They were from Walpole, Massachusetts, that started playing by 1969, gathering a good number of fans. They got filed into the “Boston Sound”, among the Ultimate Spinach, the Beacon Street Union, Orpheus, Tangerine Zoo, ect."

Barry Mason
Barry Mason (circa 1967)
Barry Mason is an English popular music song-writer who also sung on occasion, he had a hand in some very famous songs, like Tom Jones' "Delilah" and even an Elvis song, "Girl Of Mine", so he doesn't really come under the banner of obscure/unappreciated artist, but I've included his 1966 track "Over The Hills and Far Away" as it's got a definite doom-laden atmosphere and I love it. A bit of a curve ball, ripe for a heavy cover maybe? Here's Barry performing recently and here's an interview mentioning some or the greats he's worked with: www.songwriter.co.uk/page64.html


The Petards
The Petards
The Petards are a German band from Schrecksbach (Schwalm City/Hesse) who I used once before back on Vol82. Over the course of five solid albums they ran the well-worn path from 60s psych, to progressive/hard rock. They have a web site and have played with a close-to-original lineup as recently as 2009. 1972's 'Pet Arts' LP is probably of most interest to TDATS, with brilliant stuff like "Flame Missing Light" and the track I have used here, "Big Boom". They also recorded under the psudonym Flittermouse, and made an album of CCR covers as 'Zonk'.

The 'Missus Beastly' included here are a bit of an enigma. The story goes thus: In 1971 a guy called Henry Fromm posed as the drummer, flautist and even manager of the original German group "Missus Beastly", although they had never met him. Their 1970 debut album was unsuccessful. Soon after, Henry had the album illegally re-released on a budget label. Then he started his own group, stealing the name, and made two LPs and three singles under the name "Missus Beastly" on his own label. Nobody has ever heard of him again. In 1974 the real Missus Beastly reformed after a hiatus and made two more albums.

Henry Fromm's Missus Beastly
Henry Fromm's
Missus Beastly
All this caused me a lot of confusion, after hearing some of the singles from the 'bogus' band and really liking them I wanted to know more and found what was apparently two different-sounding German bands from the same period, with some connection that went further than just sharing the same name, that didn't quite make sense.

I have used a track called "Remember - Sweet Girl" from a live album 'Im Garten des Schweigens - Spinatwachtel'  released by Henry Fromm's version of the band. I must give huge thanks to a guy called Gunnar Bülow who contacted me via Youtube, clearing up the story of the bands and supplying me with the song, thanks man!

The Collectors 1969
Vancouver's The Collectors are another band here with a bit of an unexpected appearance of doom. The track I have used is from their second album, which was based on a hit stage-play of the same name: 'Grass and Wild Strawberries' by George Ryga, with Ryga writing the lyrics. Guitarist Bill Henderson was later in Chilliwack. The Collectors first hit was 'Lydia Purple' and I am pleasently surprised to realise that the song has appeared in TDATS before, on Vol16 as a cover by Holland's Cargo.

Atlantis Philharmonic
Atlantis Philharmonic
Cleveland, Ohio's Atlantis Philharmonic was a duo that made an unusual album in 1974. A well-produced concept piece which was equal parts Sabbath doom and Styxian Midwest prog pretensions, with epic themes and song lengths to match. The song used here, 'Atlas', begins with militaristic stomp and continues with chugging riffs between the prog-pomp verses. The LP was self-recorded and released after a lack of label interest, and a second album was recorded too. All instrumentation was laid-down by only two guys; Joe DiFazio (organ, pianos, harpsichord, Mellotron, Moog, guitar, bass, bass pedals, lead vocals) and Royce Gibson (percussion, backing vocals). Reportedly the band supported some big names like Stxy, Wishbone Ash and King Krimson. There is a small web site regarding the band, that has a link to buy their second album, and some extra info which states that they found a third member Roger Lewis, which would explain how they must have managed to perform such a full sound live: atlantisphilharmonic.com

According to RDTEN1 at RYM, "By the early-'80s DiFazio had largely dropped out of music. He obtained a masters degrees in computer technology from Indiana State University, though he also found time to complete a music degree. He is currently a professor of new media and computer technology at Indiana State University."

Gulliver Smith
Gulliver Smith
Melbourne's Company Caine were another unusual band, that mixed blues and psych with horns. I'm very happy to have just found a live clip of the song I have used here, 'The Day Superman Got Busted': youtu.be/WvFVn8GDAv8 Here's a snippet from the extensive article over at Midoztouch: "[singer] Gulliver Smith's stage presence helped to earn Company Caine renown for their performances, and as the group came together they amassed a strong set of strikingly original material co-written by Gulliver, Russell Smith (guitar) and Jerry Noone (sax). They became established as one of the leading attractions on the Melbourne 'head' circuit, gigging alongside bands like Spectrum, Sons of the Vegetal Mother, Tully and the (new) Aztecs. 
Company Caine LP
Company Caine LP 1971
In the words of Ian McFarlane, "... the band's music was more expansive, more 'out there' than just about every band of the day". But this should not be taken to mean that the music was wilfully obscure or 'difficult'. In fact, notwithstanding the 'freaky' and experimental elements, it was a unique amalgam of rock, pop, blues, soul, R&B, jazz and avant-garde that was both challenging and accessible. Another key feature was the surreal humour that pervaded their work. The fact remains that their music could - and should - have reached a far wider audience."

Icecross
It's about time Iceland's Icecross appeared on TDATS! The first time I heard the album I thought it was one of those releases with a dubious claim as to the year it was made because it doesn't sound quite like anything else from it's time, which is claimed to be around 1972/3. It seems to have been taken straight to the heart of those who are searching for some direct link between early hard rock and what is now known as extreme metal and the likes of satanic black metal. I can see what would lead to this, the atheistic sentiments of tracks like 'Jesus Freaks' and the doomy,  dissonant and jarring riffs. There's now an informative site for the band here: icecross.net where you can read about how Axel Einarsson (guitar, vocals), Ómar Óskarsson (bass, vocals) and Ásgeir Óskarsson (drums, vocals) got together. I would regard it as a must-hear album, and whether you like or not you will have to agree it's unique, for it's sound and especially it's country of origin!

Shuttah LP - Shadoks label
Shuttah LP - Shadoks label
Coming to an end for this volume, Shuttah is a mystery indeed. The only available album has been issued on the ever-reliable Shadoks label, on Vinyl and CD. All I can discover and all that anybody seems to know is that this double album was recorded for Virtigo at the IBC studio in London. This studio was used by some of the biggest names, such as The Beatles and The Stones, so it is suspected that who ever Shuttah were, they were not amatures. The album is a progressive mix of psych, blues and experimental sound effects which together makes for an early conceptual progressive rock album, the whole thing is loosly themed around the 2nd world war. The production of the album sounds very professional which is another indicator that it was a serious attempt with money behind it.

IBC studio, London
IBC studio, London
The former IBC owner, Geoff Oliver, claims to have no memory of it at all. What I have not been able to find out yet is how anybody knows the scant details that are stated, such as the year of 1971 and the Vertigo/IBC connection. If anybody out there knows more, drop me a line. Here is what the Shadoks label has to say: "We have searched for a very long time, including an interview with the owner of IBC studios in London where The Who and also The Beatles recorded. We have enquired with copyright control in UK, nothing. We know nothing. We're only aware of one pair of acetates, that are in the hands of a collector." This begs the question, can we really confirm any of what little is known? At the moment, no.

Thanks to all those that have commented and support this blog, and those that have contributed. Lastly, thanks for listening! Rich

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