Showing posts with label Night Sun. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Night Sun. Show all posts

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Day After The Sabbath 136: Mainline Riders [guest-curated]



Download all three parts in one large file from: [mf] or [yd]
-
or Seperately: Part1 [mf] / [yd] ¦ Part2 [mf] / [yd] ¦ Part3 [mf] / [yd]
Unzip password:  tdats



Before I go any further, I just want to quickly point out a new addition to the site; check out the email alert subscription box on the right of the page if you'd like to receive an email each time a new post is made here.

Welcome to volume 136! Although this site exists to celebrate music from times long-gone, the inspirational, free thinking spirit of past-decades' heavy rock lives on in the many bands playing right now, who also appreciate those times. When it comes to live music, these are mostly the kind of bands I watch, and great festivals like Freak Valley in Germany, Roadburn in Holland, Psycho Las Vegas and the various Desertfests in Europe are a few of the excellent events to see them.

For this volume I had the idea of inviting some of the current bands that have shown interest in TDATS to suggest a few vintage picks of their own, and to contribute a track of their own in the spirit of the music. One of those bands is The Neptune Power Federation from New South Wales, Australia. The band's guitarist and artist Mike Foxall kindly volunteered to paint some awesome original cover art for this volume. Thanks Mike, and check out more of his stuff at theartoffox.com.

So the result is three parts, part 1 is the old tracks while parts 2 & 3 are the new bands. A diverse mix of rock from different countries and different decades results! Some of the old bands have appeared in the blog before, so in this set are songs from them that have not, but there's a healthy dose of new appearances too, like those suggested by Wucan, Stubb, Purson and Admiral Cloudesley Shovell. Parts two and three host contemporary bands including Brooklyn's grooving The Golden Grass, Germany's jamming Samsara Blues Experiment and Finland's space-rockin' Deep Space Destructors. Also making contributions are more scene-favourites like Elder, La Chinga, and Radio Moscow.

One thing's clear from this volume, although some people lament the passing of the classic, formative years of heavy rock and prog, there's still plenty of new talent to carry the torch and it's easier than ever to find it!

Part 1 - old picks

01. Pussy - Pig Mansion (1972) from archival LP 'Invasion'
02. Parish Hall - How Can You Win (1970) from LP 'Parish Hall'
03. Renft - Zwischen Liebe Und Zorn (1972) Single
04. Freshwater - Satan's Woman (1970) Single
05. Doug Jerebine - Reddened Eyes (1969) from LP 'Doug Jerebine Is Jesse Harper'
06. Night Sun - Plastic Shotgun (1972) from LP 'Mournin'
07. Quartz - Satan's Serenade (1980) Single
08. Josefus - Country Boy (1970) from LP 'Dead Man'
09. Osamu Kitajima - Tengu - A Long-Nosed Goblin (1976) from LP 'Benzaiten'
10. Essjay - Twins Of Evil (1971) Single
11. Glory - High School Letter (1973) Single
12. Woodoo - Woodoo-Teema (1971) from LP 'Taikakulkunen'
13. Ancient Grease - Mother Grease The Cat (1970) from LP 'Women And Children First'
14. Group 1850 - Little Fly (1968) from LP 'Agemo's Trip To Mother Earth'
15. Lord Sutch - Wailing Sounds (1970) from LP 'Lord Sutch And Heavy Friends'
16. Hot Soup - You Took Me By Surprise (1969) from LP 'Openers'


Part 2 - new tracks



01. La Chinga - White Witchy Black Magic (2016) from LP 'Frewheelin'
02. The Neptune Power Federation - Mothership (2015) from LP 'Lucifer's Universe'
03. Purson - The Bitter Suite (2016) from LP 'Desire's Magic Theatre'
04. Brule - The Devil's Decay (2016) pre-release track
05. Wucan - Wandersmann (2015) from LP 'Sow the Wind'
06. Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell - Bulletproof (2014)
        from LP 'Check 'Em Before You Wreck 'Em'
07. Amulet - Glint Of The Knife (2014) from LP 'The First'
08. Deep Space Destructors - Journey To The Space Mountain (2015)
        from EP 'Spring Break From Space'


Part 3 - more new tracks



01. Pushy - Salem Man (2016) from split with Ragged Barracudas
02. The Golden Grass - Get It Together (2016) from LP 'Coming Back Again'
03. Elder - Compendium (2015) from Lp 'Lore'
04. Radio Moscow - Before It Burns (2014) from LP 'Magical Dirt'
05. Supersonic Blues - Supersonic Blues Theme (2016) pre-release exclusive
06. Stubb - The Wingmakers (2015) from EP 'The Theory of Light & Matter'
07. Samsara Blues Experiment - Midnight Boogie [UFO cover] (2012) Single
08. Danava - The Last Goodbye [Slowbone cover live] (2012) on LP 'Hemisphere Of Shadows'


Part 1 - The Vintage Picks

01. Pussy - "Pig Mansion"
Johnny from Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell has suggested a track by Pussy, which was a very short-lived band that came after Jerusalem. In fact, it basically was Jerusalem minus Bill Hinde and  Lynden Williams, but Pussy took a noticeably different direction into glam rock. Johnny comments that Pig Mansion "gives Crushed Butler a run for their money!". Unfortunately their output never saw it on to an album but they did release Pig Mansion as a single, which is the version appearing here. In 2011 Rockadrome issued Pussy's archives on 'Invasion', which included the original, and an extended remixed version of Pig Mansion.

Parish Hall
02. Parish Hall - "How Can You Win" 
Adam Burke, guitarist of Portland Oregon's Pushy, drew a great cover for TDATS Vol 120. He and his band have proffered a Parish Hall track and Adam says "We love the laid-back, almost lazy pacing, bludgeoning, simple drumming and completely burning main riff. It’s strangely difficult to make blues rock that isn't douchey, but these fellas did it right."


Renft
03. Renft - "Zwischen Liebe und Zorn"
This track was recommended by Dresden's "Kraut-fueled heavy flute rockers" Wucan, who started in 2012 and have made two LPs so far. Singer and bandleader Fran explains her choice. "I wish more people were able to understand the lyrics and put it into socio-historical context. Renft were a GDR based band (fabulous musicians!), back when Germany was divided between the Russians and the Allied forces. The socialist GDR government was very strict about which music and what lyrical content bands were allowed to perform.

Renft, being the blues rock voice of the GDR's young generation, didn't let the government dictate to them how to write songs, which in return got them in serious trouble in the early '70s. The band was eventually forced by the government to split in 1975 after they released this track (among others) with very regime-critical lyrics. Even after 40 years the song and its lyrics have not lost any of their aggression or anger, and retain their beautifully intellectual, revolutionary vibes. All Renft songs have been highly influential on Wucan's work."

Freshwater -
04. Freshwater - "Satan's Woman"
Neptune Power Federation's recommendation is an obscure single. Guitarist Troy explains their choice: "Releasing a groovy occult rock 7" means not dealing in half measures. That's why when Australian blues/prog rockers Freshwater released their 1970 single 'Satan' they backed it up on the flip side with 'Satan’s Woman'.

Conservative radio stations of the day ran a mile from this dark offering exploring the grim recent events in a Los Angeles mansion. Decades later The Neptune Power Federation have accepted the torch passed on by Freshwater, vowing to continue dabbling in the black arts, and being ignored by radio"

Doug Jerebine
05. Doug Jerebine - "Reddened Eyes"
Boston's Elder have been around for ten years now (time flies!) and have rightly earned a great reputation in underground heavy rock. Guitarist Nick DiSalvo has suggested a track from New Zealander Doug Jerebine, the real name of 'Jesse Harper', who's archival collection 'Guitar Absolution In The Shade Of A Midnight Sun' has featured in TDATS before (Vol34). Since that record, some more of his vintage recordings have surfaced on the Drag City release 'Doug Jerebine Is Jesse Harper; and that's where 'Reddened Eyes' is from.

Night Sun
06. Night Sun - "Plastic Shotgun"
London's Brule has selected a TDATS favourite, Night Sun. Guitarist Alastair Riddell explains "At the start of the '90s I used to trade tapes with Jus Oborne (of Electric Wizard). There were only a handful of doom bands back then so we would trade rehearsal tapes of Mourn and Thy Grief Eternal amongst other things. In '92 or so he sent me a compilation tape with things like Buffalo, May Blitz, Bang and so on. One track was Plastic Shotgun by Night Sun.

In those pre-internet days I couldn't find anything else by them until 2003, I was crewing for Firebird on a European tour with Fu Manchu, during a few days in Berlin I discovered a shop called Pandora's Box that had Second Battle's CD reissue of Mournin'. Plastic Shotgun sounds like Uriah Heap on amphetamines!"

Quartz -
07. Quartz - "Satan's Serenade"
NWOBHM pioneers Quartz were chosen by London metallurgists Amulet. Guitarist Marek Steven explains. "In the early days of Amulet after forming in 2010, Quartz were a band we all loved and naturally felt kinship with through the decades. Quartz deliver post-Sabbath Heavy Metal with good songs, simple but tasteful structures and evil atmospheric themes with a positive overall vibe.

Having formed in the early-mid '70s they have the individual mentality of that era before the New Wave of Heavy Metal settled into certain patterns from 79-ish. Quartz were ahead of their time with balls deep riffs that should put them in the same bracket at Pentagram and other just-after-Sabbath bands. The fact that Tony Iommi loved them enough to produce and play on the debut album also tells you something.

Quartz did pretty well at the time and recently have reformed and surprised some people with how bloody good they still are... but not us! Amulet have been lucky enough to play some shows with them and it's a always a treat for us to see them play such heavy and brilliant songs so effortlessly. They even have a great all-new album 'Fear No Evil' just out. Amulet aspires to their longevity and attitude, and we'll have a second album in 2017 too so watch out!"

Josefus
08. Josefus - "Country Boy"
Berlin's psychedelic jam band Samsara Blues Experiment threw a Josufus track in to the mix. Founding member Christian Peters remembers: "I chose this because they were basically one, if not the, first rather obscure band I discovered, years ago when most younger people wouldn't even care for Black Sabbath that much...the track 'Country Boy' just seems to suit me fine, since I grew up in a village of ten houses and even now living in Berlin, I'm still sort of a loner, maybe a dreamer too ;) Well, those were the days... Josefus is one of the bands everybody should know anyway."

Osamu Kitajima
09. Osamu Kitajima - "Tengu - A Long-Nosed Goblin"
London's heavy psych trio Stubb have recommended something a little different. This is some chilled Japanese prog by Osamu Kitajima. Quite mesmerising stuff! It comes from his third LP, 1976's "Benzaiten".

Osamu himself was previously in classic Japanese 1960s 'Group Sounds' band, The Launchers. In fact, Launchers bass player and TV personality Yuzo Kayama originally coined the term 'Group Sounds', which became the byword for the popular fusion of kayōkyoku music and Western rock music at the time. Read more at Julian Cope's Japrock Sampler (link).

Essjay -
10. Essjay - "Twins Of Evil"
London's 'psych face-melters' Purson suggested a rare 45 from 1971 called 'Twins of Evil'. Bandleader Rosalie Cunningham has this to say about it: "I could listen to this sinister slice all day, it’s so groovy!

It's a rearrangement of the orchestral theme for the Hammer Horror film of the same name. It was released as a single by ‘Essjay’, a pseudonym for composer Mike Batt who also wrote the Wombles TV theme!"
Glory -
11. Glory - "High School Letter"
Chris Read, bassist with Vancouver hard rockers La Chinga, has also thumbed-up an obscure 45. He discovered this on 'Ultimate Bonehead Volume 3' and this is what that comp has to say about it: "Glory was a San Diego band with two members who were in Iron Butterfly, but too young to follow the band when they moved to LA. This was their only record, the A side is a fine specimen of West Coast raunchiness.

The B side Peaches is also ace, mid-tempo and damn catchy". Chris offers his own opinions on the song...."Glory - High School Letter 1973 Speemo records is a ripping slab of So-Cal righteousness. The raw riff, crunches and punches, the drummer rides the bell, the bass gets busy, the singer wails on about some hottie in a tight knit sweater and getting it on in the old wood barn! And there is even a backwards guitar solo! The moment it fires up I feel like I'm rolling down the street in a boogie van. Perfect."

Glory have appeared in the blog before, back in volume 5 with a track from their only collection of recordings, "On The Air" (Rockadrome)

Woodoo
12. Woodoo - "Woodoo-Teema"
All the way to Oulu, Finland now, for a selection by Deep Space Desructors. Thus speaks singer and bass-player, Jani Pitkänen. "Woodoo was a relatively short-lived band in the beginning of the 70's. They recorded only one LP for a Finnlevy sub-label called UFO.

The LP is called Taikakulkunen (roughly translated Magic Jingle Bell). Lyrically they wrote about death, and mystical aspects of life and the world. We chose this Woodoo track because it's pretty obscure to have a band in Finland playing "world music", specifically at that point in time, and the track is very rocking and deceivingly simple, but has many beautiful musical nuances hidden in it, which we can relate to."

Ancient Grease
13. Ancient Grease - "Mother Grease The Cat"
San Diego heavy psych blues dealers Radio Moscow offered up Mother Grease The Cat from TDATS favourite Welshmen, Ancient Grease.

This is what band founder Parker Griggs has to say: "This track has one of the coolest heavy psych riffs ever, along with one of the coolest and most bizarre titles. We always loved the Ancient Grease album, and this is my favorite track on it. The guitarist really shines, with some Ritchie Blackmore, aggressive sounding leads. Bang your head!"

If you are collecting the best early obscure heavy LPs, I'd say Ancient Grease's "Women And Children First" is one of the absolute essentials. It's as good as anything fellow-countrymen Budgie did, and it's a shame they didn't last long.

Group 1850
14. Group 1850 - "Little Fly"
The Netherlands' Supersonic Blues have joined-in with a track from Group 1850. Guitarist Tim Aarbodem said: "Like us, these guys are from The Hague, which is one of the reasons we chose them. Group 1850 are a brilliant psychedelic act from the late '60s, easily one of our favourite bands from The Hague's 60s beat era.

You could say they were the (Syd Barrett era) Pink Floyd of The Hague, but they definitely had their own vibe. Unfortunately their singer and bandleader Peter Sjardin passed away recently. We've played Group 1850 tunes in the past. They're not a direct influence on our music but we hold them high in regard!

Once we were shooting some band photos at the Catholic graveyard here in The Hague. We were walking around for a while and one grave grabbed our attention. It had a statue of a dog on it, which we thought was a nice detail. But when we looked closer it turned out to be the grave of Daniël 'Dean' van Bergen, the original guitarist of Group 1850! We didn’t know he was buried there at all, was it a sign perhaps? A confirmation from above of us doing well?! “…and Daniël van Bergen saw that is was good.”

15. Lord Sutch & Heavy Friends - "Wailing Sounds"
One of the new tracks that Portland's Danava submitted was a Lord Sutch cover, so I have taken the liberty of using a Lord Sutch original as their old pick, I don't think they'll mind...

David Sutch (aka Screaming Lord Sutch) was a musician and 'Monster Raving Loony Party' political satirist/activist who had many friends, enough in fact, to get Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Noel Redding, John Bonham, Ritchie Blackmore and Kieth Moon (among others) to play on various records of his! 'Wailing Sounds' is the opener from 1970's 'Lord Sutch And Heavy Friends', it was co-written by Jimmy Page and features Page & John Bonham doing their thang.

Hot Soup -
16. Hot Soup
           - "You Took Me By Surprise"
Adam Kriney, singing drummer of Brooklyn's "free-wheelin, good-time rock & roll band" The Golden Grass, has suggested a track from Hot Soup.

This was an obscure band that had notable guitarist Frank Carillo, who made a few records in different acts including the boogie-rocking Doc Holliday in 1973 and 'Carillo' in 1979. Hot soup was a soul rock act that was quite tame, except for 'You Took Me By Surprise', which rocked things up a few notches with its solid hammond and funky rhythms!


Part 2 - The New School

La Chinga
01. La Chinga - "White Witchy Black Magic"
Taken from "Frewheelin" LP on Small Stone Records (2016)

Vancouver's hard rock power trio La Chinga are another band that are into this blog and have helped out on occasion with some opinions and recommendations. If you dig the selection of obscure crunching bonehead US singles that have appeared on many TDATS volumes thus far then you'll get what La Chinga are all about in no time; getting in your car, going out and having a good time while you can, as we could all be dead tomorrow, what have you got to lose? According to bassist/singer Chis Read, 'White Witchy Black Magic' is a true story, so I'd be wary of the female company this band keeps if I were you...

The Neptune Power Federation
02. The Neptune Power Federation - "Mothership"
Taken from "Lucifer's Universe" LP on Bandcamp (link)

Guitarist Troy describes his band: "Hailing from Sydney Australia, The Neptune Power Federation are a grandiose grime-encrusted heavy rock machine, powered by hellfire, beaten fuzz pedals and space hallucinogens. The track 'Mothership' was forged after consultation with extraterrestrial beings the band came across in a pub car park, after admiring their panel van's original Frank Frazetta paint job."

Purson
03. Purson - "The Bitter Suite"
Taken from "Desire's Magic Theatre" LP on Spinefarm Records (2016)

Soon after making it into this comp, Purson unfortunately announced the end of their time together, but they still wanted to contribute.

Founder Rosalie Cunningham said: "This is the final song on the final Purson album. A three-part ode to sex, drugs and rock and roll (not in that particular order). This song gives an idea of the direction my writing is going at the moment."

Brule -
04. Brule - "The Devil's Decay"
Find Brule's initial recordings on Bandcamp (link)

London's Brule come self-described as "Heavy Metal Rock ‘n’ Roll, four guys with a background in hardcore, doom and death metal, rocking to the classics like Pentagram, Skynyrd, The Who and Deep Purple".

Guitarist Alastair Riddell says this about the track appearing here. "The Devil's Decay started off sounding like Saint Vitus. It wasn't even a consciously written riff. I was just warming up hitting notes but Rob [Wilson - Drums] started playing along. Somehow between Johnny [Ogle - Vocals] joining and Rob speeding it up a bit, it ended up sounding like Pentagram. Johnny and I have been listening to them for over a quarter of a century so it is just natural I suppose." See Brule playing at London's Desertfest in April this year!

Wucan
05. Wucan - "Wandersmann"
Taken from "Sow The Wind" LP on Made in Germany (2015)

If you are at Desertfest London this year, you'll be able to see Wucan's first appearance there. Singer and bandleader Fran comments on their track 'Wandersmann'; "Well, what is there really to be mentioned? We all see this song as the Wucan-defining song. In many ways this song took our musicianship a step further.

Even now we are still stunned by how much this song has developed, and continues to take shape, since we first performed it."

Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell
 06. Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell - "Bulletproof"
From "Check 'Em Before You Wreck 'Em" on Rise Above Records (2014)

Hastings' own Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell (try saying that after 9 pints of Double Diamond) have been belting out no-nonsense swagger-filled rock'n roll for a few years now. Their third album 'Keep It Greasy!' is recently out on Rise Above Records and it's their best yet!

Amulet -
07. Amulet - "Glint Of The Knife"
Taken from "The First" LP on Century Media (2014)

London's Amulet are one of the UK's proudest purveyors of traditional heavy metal, championing the days of the NWOBHM.

Founding guitarist Marek Steven also organises London's annual Live Evil festival (link), a two-day festival which hosts vintage and new heavy metal bands from around the world.

Deep Space Destructors
08. Deep Space Destructors
             - "Journey To The Space Mountain"
From "Spring Break From Space" EP (2015) on bandcamp (link)

Bassist Jani Pitkänen speaks: "With Deep Space Destructors, we are on a similar path musically to the old band we chose, Woodoo; making more rocking songs, simplifying things here and there but still the songs have unique characteristics in them, but we don't expose these things straight out. It's best not to serve everything on a silver platter all at once, even though it's the thing to do nowadays. We still believe in discovering things in music on your own and finding new or old cool music, for which TDATS compilations are a great example!"

Band links for part 2

La Chinga (fb) ¦ The Neptune Power Federation (fb) ¦ Purson
Brule ¦ Wucan (fb) ¦ Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell (fb)
Amulet (fb) ¦ Deep Space Destructors (fb)


Part 3 - The New School contd.

Pushy -
01. Pushy - "Salem Man"
From Ragged Barracudas/Pushy split LP on Who can you trust? (2016)

Some excerpts straight from the band: "Pushy started as a long-fantasized side project for Travis Clow of Crag Dweller and Adam Burke of Fellwoods. They wanted a band that'd make you want to light your bushes on fire/take your pants off/stop showering/give up on Dry January/put off your taxes/kiss random people/dig holes and throw away all your post punk records. Crack open a cold one...well, several cold ones, and get down to the good time rock and roll for river doggin', hot doggin', hangin' out and catching trout."

The Golden Grass
02. The Golden Grass - "Get It Together"
Taken from "Coming Back Again" LP on Listenable Records (2016)

Golden Grass
's drummer / singer Adam Kriney has been a fan of TDATS for a long time and has assisted in a few of the volumes so far, most notably when I was looking for biker movie rock for vol 109 (link), which was a ton of fun to make! The band describe themselves as "Rooted in sun-soaked and funky southern/country US classic rock back-beat, emblazoned with swinging, hip and groovy UK mod/soul/freakbeat vibrations and bursting with proto-metal bluesey-prog overtones", and I'm not going to argue there!

Elder -
03. Elder - "Compendium"
Taken from "Lore" LP on Armageddon (US) and Stickman (EU)

'Compendium' is the opening track from Elder's third LP "Lore". The band is widely improvisational and specialises in long tracks that pull from all ages and flavours of heavy rock.

When asked which Elder track he'd like to offer, guitarist Nick DiSalvo said "None of our songs really obviously reference only 60s-70s stuff. I have a hard time in general seeing the forest for the trees with our own music, if you get me, but Compendium is the most obvious reference to me."

Radio Moscow
04. Radio Moscow - "Before It Burns"
Taken from "Magical Dirt" LP on Alive Records (2014)

Bandleader Parker Griggs: "Before it Burns is one of my favorite tunes to play live.  It starts heavy and in the middle goes into some free-form jams that give the band a chance to reach outer space.  Different each time we play it, so always keeps us on our toes!"

Supersonic Blues Theme
05. Supersonic Blues - "Supersonic Blues Theme"
Pre-release exclusive

Guitarist Tim Aarbodem: "Supersonic Blues was started in 2013. Gianni (bass) and I met through our love of vinyl, spinning some records on Radio Tonka, an underground radio station in The Hague. Lennart joined on drums at the end of 2015.

Guy Tavares (Orange Sunshine, Santa Cruz) made our first studio recordings in his Hague studio. It’s packed with rare vintage amps, drums, studio gear, it was an awesome and crazy experience! 'Supersonic Blues Theme' is one of the four songs we recorded, we had a high-school-rock-MC5 thing in mind for this one. This and another song will be released as a 7" on Who Can You Trust? Records in early 2017, thanks to Ragged Barracudas drummer/vocalist Christian Dräger, the man behind the label. There are a lot of cool bands on that label, such as Hot Lunch, Lecherous Gaze, Pushy, Wild Eyes and Zig Zags."

Stubb
06. Stubb - "The Wingmakers"
Taken from "The Theory of Light & Matter" split EP with Mos Generator on HeviSike Records (2015).

See them recording this in the studio (link). Stubb are one of four bands in this comp that are playing at London's Desertfest this year, so check out their warm-sounding fuzzy grooves there if you are attending.

Samsara Blues Experiment
07. Samsara Blues Experiment - "Midnight Boogie"
From "Center Of The Sun/Midnight Boogie" EP on World In Sound (2012)

Band founder Christian Peters talks about the track: "Midnight Boogie is our rendition of the UFO track, which was one of the bands I totally worshipped in my later school days. Blasting their early albums on my car stereo, windows down, drinking beer during free lessons, all the stupid stuff you do when you're young and pretend to be cool. It's nice memories, and I can be very nostalgic... well...". Samsara Blues Experiment will be playing at Desertfest in London this year.

08. Danava - The Last Goodbye [Slowbone cover live]
From "Hemisphere Of Shadows" LP on Kemado Records (2011)

Like The Golden Grass, Portland OR's Danava have been vocal supporters of TDATS for years and have appeared in the site before, including a 2013 interview with main man Greg Meleney for vol 86 (link).

Greg kindly submitted some very raw live recordings to include in this one, but as they are in need of a lot of cleaning-up, for the sake of the deadline I decided to use a live recording of theirs from a different occaision. It's a Slowbone cover, an awesome UK hard rock act that unfortunately did not release an official album but were an inspiration to a young Iron Maiden. Perfect choice here, seeing it's a fantatstic track and Slowbone's original version has been in the blog already!

Band links for part 3
Pushy ¦ The Golden Grass ¦ Elder (fb)
Radio Moscow (fb) ¦ Supersonic Blues ¦ Stubb (fb)
Samsara Blues Experiment (fb) ¦ Danava

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I hope you enjoyed this. Many thanks to all the bands who took part, and to all of you who have supported Aftersabbath.com thus far! Cheers, Rich

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Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Day After The Sabbath 130: Bad Bad Woman


Download from: [mf] or [yd]



A tribute to the bad bad wicked crazy unfaithful two-timing evil-hearted devil woman, muse of many a vintage hard rockin' track, including twelve acts new to the blog.

01. (Sopworth) Camel - Evil Woman (1969)
       from album 'Underage'
02. Rog & Pip - Evil Hearted Woman
       from album 'Our Revolution'
03. Omega Plus - Unfaithful Woman (1969)
       from album 'How To Kiss The Sky'
04. Helix - Crazy Women (1979)
       from album 'Breaking Loose'
05. Silence - Devil Woman (1971)
       single
06. Night Sun - Crazy Woman (1972)
       from album 'Mournin'
07. The Kelly - Evil Woman (1971)
       from TV show 'Hit Scene' 15/4/71
08. Beggars Opera - Two Timing Woman (1973)
       single
09. BZN - Bad Bad Woman (1971)
       from album 'The Bastard'
10. Melvin McRae Band - Evil Woman (1976)
       from album 'Queen of Hearts'
11. Frantic - Wicked Woman (1971)
       from album 'Conception'
12. Mandrake - Cold Hearted Woman (1978)
       from album 'Mandrake'
13. Bone - Naggin' Woman (1972)
       from 'British Music Archive 1972 - 73'
14. Bandit - Evil Woman (1975)
       from album 'Bandit'

Camel - Underage
Camel - Underage
Beginning this is a cover of a song written by Larry Weiss and first recorded by Guy Darrel in 1967. There have been loads of covers of "Evil Woman" (not to be confused with Crow's completely different song of the same name, covered by Sabbath), at least five before 1970 alone, including versions by Spooky Tooth, The Troggs, Lou Rawls and Chris Britton. Larry Weiss recorded his own version on a solo LP in 1974.

Camel (aka Sopworth Camel) appears to have been a band of English musicians that relocated to Italy for a short time where they made the album of covers, 'Underage'. They were Pete Huish (Drums), Martin Fischer (Guitar, Vocals, Piano, Organ, Harpsichord), Dave Sumner (Lead Guitar, Vocals) and Alex Jackson (Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Piano). Dave Sumner seems to have been in a lot of Italian bands and Alex Jackson is also known as Alex Ligertwood, of Santana, Brian Auger's Oblivion Express and others.

Rog & Pip - Our Revolution
Rog & Pip - Our Revolution
Rog & Pip is guitarist Roger Lomas and Singer/Guitarist Pip Whitcher. They were both in Coventry's The Sorrows and recorded some singles together afterwards, under names like Rog & Pip, The Zips and Renegade. This track is taken from the retrospective archival LP "Our Revolution" which was put out by Rise Above Relics in 2013 (link), containing all the singles and a full album's worth of unreleased '70s material. Roger Lomas became a producer in the 1980s, linked with many Ska bands.

There's a load of great tracks on it and it's well-worth getting, Rise Above describes it thus: "Combining the heaviness of Black Sabbath and early Led Zeppelin with the anthemic/aggro pop chants of Slade and The Sweet, Our Revolution is a Proto-Metal blast of Hard-Glam that finally sees the light of day."

Omega Plus - How To Kiss The Sky
Omega Plus
How To Kiss The Sky
Omega Plus was certainly one of the earliest heavy acts from France to make an album, and it's a good one. The trio included guitarist and composer Claude Engel (website), who played on the first album by prog legends Magma as well as making his own records. Also playing on Omega Plus's LP was Claude's multi-instrumentalist brother Marcel (website) and Gérard Lévy on bass. "Unfaithful Woman" is an unholy marriage of hard-rocking psych and prog, a real winner!

Ashatrom's review at RYM :- "Featuring Claude Engel on guitar (later with Magma, Dayde, Univeria Zekt and many others), this is generally considered France's first psychedelic record (see also Dickens, Octopus 4 and Popera Cosmic). Interesting to note that Engel himself, on his website at least, does not even reference this album. I don't know why not, as it's not a bad example of the Hendrix psych sound, and with the addition of flute, adds more than the usual copyist acid psych rock that many American band were doing during this time. Also includes one long free rock improvisation that's pretty interesting. A short record, that doesn't even break the 30 minute mark.

Helix - Breaking Loose
Helix - Breaking Loose
Helix is from Kitchener, Ontario, this is an original track from their 1979 debut LP "Breraking Loose". The most recent of many LPs is "Bastard of The Blues" (2014) and they are still playing now, minus original album guitarist Paul Hackman, who tragically died in an accident 1992.

Wiki - "Helix is a Canadian hard rock/heavy metal band. They formed in 1974, and are best known for their 1984 single "Rock You". The original lineup was formed by drummer Bruce Arnold, and consisted of lead vocalist Brian Vollmer, guitarists Ron Watson and Rick "Minstrel" Trembley, keyboardist Don Simmons, and bassist Keith "Bert" Zurbrigg.

However, their most well known lineup, and the one that recorded "Rock You", was the 80s version of the band: Vollmer on vocals, accompanied by guitarists Brent "The Doctor" Doerner and Paul Hackman, bassist Daryl Gray, and drummer Greg "Fritz" Hinz. The history of the band has been marked by many lineup changes, with Vollmer being the sole constant member and only remaining member of the original lineup. Although Hackman was killed in a tour bus accident in 1992, the surviving members of the 80s lineup reunited in 2009 for an album and have continued to tour since 2011."

Silence - Mother's Game / Devil Woman
Silence
Mother's Game/Devil Woman
Silence was a dutch band that made a great single in 1971. Devil Woman is an original song and here's what Robin Wills over at the great Purepop blog wrote about it - "Holland’s Silence max out on the snotty attitude with this great 2-sider. Mother's game is tough and crunchy with some amusing lyrics “ I have a cup of tea and a piece of pie..” “I’m riding in a train in vain, yes baby it’s your mother’s game....” (sic). There’s a neat tempo shift at the end with a dual lead which is most effective and probably a Hans Van Hemert touch. Devil Woman is like a proto-punk Communication Breakdown which reminds of Pantherman in its vocal delivery. It also has a spooky middle break and some clumsy drumming. Not much is known about Silence.

They were from Dordrecht (home to the Zipps and Inca Bullet Joe -another fine Hans Van Hemert production) and although Hans  has good recollections of his Dump or Cardinal Point productions, his recall of these sessions are lost in the mists of time.  This appears to be the 2nd Silence release (The Future of Our Sister Felicity being the first?). The recording session took place on the 23rd of January 1971 and also included covers of Gimmie Shelter and Paranoid, but as far as I can see these seem to be unreleased."

Night Sun - Mournin'
Night Sun - Mournin'
Many classic English bands came to mind when I first heard Night Sun's Mournin' LP, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and King Crimson being three of the most obvious. This may be a bold claim, but it’s justifiable to say that Night Sun could have become as renowned as any of them, if they had continued and expanded on the promise shown by Mournin'. Engineered by famed krautrock figurehead Conny Planc (Scorpions, Kraftwerk, Ash Ra Tempel), the band dissolved very soon after the LP was released, with little promotion or appreciation.

Many thanks to long-time blog follower Richard (aka Sadness) for bringing this Australian band to my attention right at the last innings. It's another great cover of Crow's Evil Woman. As-yet it has been hard to find info on Kelly (or The Kelly) apart from a few youtube videos of two great songs, this one and Blodwyn Pig cover 'See My Way' (link), from appearances on ABC TV's "Hit Scene" and NSW TV's  "Happening 71" respectively. It doesn't appear that either of these tracks were released on record. If anyone out there knows any more about The Kelly please drop me a line! Folk rock, Australian rock & more says :- "known Kelly members were : Andrew Boucaut (v) 1971-74, Rod Olson (g) 1971-74, Jeff Prime (b) 1971-74, Damien Robb (g) 1971-74, Mick Stewart (d) 1971-74, Alan Stirling (k) 1971-74 and Doug Stirling (k) 1971-74 (he also had played in Adderley Smith Blues Band and Levi Smiths Clefs)."



Beggars Opera - Two Timing Woman
Beggars Opera
Two Timing Woman
Beggars Opera was a prog band from Glasgow that made a few albums in the seventies and reappeared later on. Founding member Ricky Gardiner has continued to make albums under the name. This track is a single that was not originally on any albums and it's one of the heavier songs from Beggars Opera, who may well have popped up earlier on this blog if they had made more tracks like the excellent 'Two Timing Woman'. Hard rock with great brass!

BZN (Band Zonder Naam "Band Without a Name") was from Volendam in The Netherlands. Bad Bad Woman is a track from their first album with a hard glam edge, a lot of fun.

Melvin McRae Band - Queen Of Hearts (1976)
Melvin MacRae Band was Melvin McRae (guitar, vox), Rauni Osterman (drums) and Hannu Takala (bass)which is the same as the final lineup of another Finnish band which came before, Yellow, minus Helge Koskela. Melvin was apparently from the UK but so far I've drawn blanks on how he ended up in Finnish bands and what happened to him afterwards. There's a few great tracks on the album "Queen Of Hearts" (1976) which is a mix of hard rock and boogie rock.

Frantic - Conception
Frantic - Conception
Formed in Montana, later moving to LA, Frantic started out as The Frantics. As Frantic they made an album in 1971 called "Conception" which is often described as hard rock but it sounds very dated for 1971, it has more in common with sixties pop music. There's some nice songs, like Wicked Woman, Baby and Midnight to Six Man, but I wouldn't call it hard rock by any stretch of the imagination. Quite good pop music structures with a heavy edge on some of the tracks. Allmusic says :- "Formed in 1965 in Billings, Montana, the Frantics were a sextet who drew their influences from Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, and, later, Jim Morrison (note the Lizard Records imprint for their second album).

They were a little on the heavy side in terms of their musical approach, and were ambitious -- they played throughout the United States and relocated several times, to New Mexico and then to Colorado Springs, Colorado, before settling in Los Angeles in 1969. The group released a pair of singles, "La Do Da Da" b/w "Route 66" and "Midnight to Six Man" b/w "Shady Sam." They also cut two albums, Relax Your Mind, which dated from 1968 and was unreleased until the '90s, and a second album, Conception, late in their history. At around that same time, they dropped the "s" from their name and worked as Frantic."

Mandrake - self titled
Mandrake - self titled
Mandrake was on Crazy Cajun Records, and I read somewhere that I can no longer find that this was a tax scam label, but I don't know anything else on that subject. The record is great, heavy rock with a southern flavour, bits of funk, and slide guitar, from Texas. The whole thing is pretty consistent, and seems to be attracting quite high prices now. Get it if you can find it, bar broom brawling stuff with a raw sound and loads of great geetarin!


Bone - Fairview Studios
Bone - Fairview recordings
Bone was a UK act, which it's said in various places online recorded music that was never released, at Fairview Studios, Willerby, near Hull, East Yorkshire. They have one track on a Fairview archival release here, and there are other internet download-only "bootlegs" going around that were apparently ripped from www.britishmusicarchive.com, which is inactive at the moment due to site improvements. The music from Bone is pretty much all good UK garage rock demos with some hard blues rock, and Naggin' Woman is one of the better tracks on it.

Bandit - self titled
Bandit - self titled
Bandit from the US made one self titled album in 1975, listed in The International Encyclopedia of Hard Rock & Heavy Metal (1983), by Tony Jasper and Derek Oliver. The credits read: Bass Guitar, Steel Guitar, Vocals - Kevin Barnhill, Drums, Percussion - Danny Gorman, Electric Guitar, Vocals - David Della Rossa, Guitar, Vocals - Joey Newman, Lead Vocals - Timothy Eaton  and Producer - Bob Monaco. According to Discogs, Kevin Barnhill was also in the band Hollywood Stars, who made a '70s album that was shelved until recently. I have encountered it before and it's pretty good. Joey Newman had played on the highly rated Blue Mountain Eagle album in 1970, as well as making a solo record in 1980 called "Into His Favor". This track is the "other" Evil Woman, the one originally written/recorded by Crow and covered by a whole bunch of bands, including Sabbath of course!

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Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Day After The Sabbath 116: Prince of Darkness [Conny Plank tribute]

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The Day After The Sabbath 116: Prince of Darkness by Rich Aftersabbath on Mixcloud

This volume is inspired by work of the producer, engineer and studio owner, Konrad "Conny" Plank. Known as a hugely influential figure in Krautrock, and instrumental in the careers of bands like Kraftwerk, Can and Neu!, his name is not synonymous with the obscure heavy fuzz / heavy rock / early metal sounds that TDATS usually covers. However, during his legendary career he worked on hundreds of records, and along the way his skills have enhanced a large number of obscure heavy albums.

Born in the town of Hütschenhausen on 3 May 1940, his father was a church organ player. In 1963 he began working in the Köln studio of Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR, West German Broadcasting). Then he became assistant producer and sound engineer at Köln's Rhenus Studio, where he oversaw recordings by a diverse range of artists, including Duke Ellington and Karlheinz Stockhausen. It was around this time that he worked on the two earliest records in this comp, those of Creepy John Thomas and Nosferatu.

Scorpions - Lonesome Crow (1972) Brain 1001
Scorpions
Lonesome Crow (1972)
Brain 1001
Another important album to mention is the first Scorpions album, which Conny produced in 1972. This was aeons before their '80s commercial peak and at this point they were a mean and heavy progressive band (youtube). It was the Brain label's first ever release, a label started by two guys that defected from Ohr, another influential experimental label with names like Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze. Brain was home to a few of the bands in this comp, as well as some of Conny's most important charges, like Cluster and Neu! It was also responsible for bringing works of great foreign bands into Germany, like Norway's Ruphus (see Vol81).

Conny used devices and equipment of his own design, and modified mixing consoles. He taught himself how to achieve the effects that would later be done easily after the invention of polyphonic samplers, using the faders on his desk in conjunction with complex arrangements of tape loops. Brian Eno worked with him many times and considered him an “inventor” as much as anything else. Michael Rother, who worked with Plank as a solo artist and with Kraftwerk, Neu! and Harmonia said: “He had this immense talent to intuitively grasp our intentions and to create fantastic soundscapes, despite the limitations of recording technology at the time.”

In 1974 Conny designed and built "Conny's Studio", located on a farm in a former pigsty, 35 km south of Köln. Two more albums that appear in this comp were made there, those of Bullfrog and Lokomotive Kreuzberg. At this studio other TDATS-appearing bands Birth Control and Harlis also made albums.

The bio on his site closes with: "Conny Plank died of cancer on 18 December 1987. He did not live to see the day when music producers would be celebrated as if they were superstars. The “hippie, the big bear who delved into his creative manias with unbelievable energy and passion” (Michael Rother) would be a superstar himself today."

So, this comp is an hour of some of the heaviest bands that Conny produced or engineered, or both. Eight of the twelve bands here are brand new to the blog, and all these albums are definitely worth checking out!

TRACKS
01. Night Sun - Got a Bone Of My Own (1972)
       from album 'Mournin'
02. Virus - Old Time Movie (1971)
       from album 'Thoughts'
03. Creepy John Thomas - Lay It On Me (1969)
       from album 'Creepy John Thomas'
04. Sixty-Nine - Red Guitar (1974)
       from album 'Live!'
05. Eloy - Dillus Roady (1971)
       from album 'Eloy'
06. Lokomotive Kreuzberg - Comeback (1975)
       from album 'Fette Jahre'
07. Gomorrha - Dance On A Volcano (1972)
       from album 'I Turned To See Whose Voice It Was'
08. Bullfrog - Live (1977)
       from album 'High In Spirits'
09. Time - Shady Lady (1975)
       from album 'Time'
10. Lava - Tears Are Goin' Home (1973)
       from album 'Tears Are Goin' Home'
11. Nosferatu - Highway (1970)
       from album 'Nosferatu'
12. Lucifer's Friend - Prince Of Darkness (1972)
       from album '....Where The Groupies Killed The Blues'


references
Future Days - Krautrock and the building of modern Germany
Germanrock.de | John Thomas | Conny Plank
Prog Archives | Discogs | Rate Your Music
It's Psychedelic Baby! | Allmusic

Night Sun - Mournin' (1972)
Germany was responsible for many of the best and most original heavy albums in the early '70s, and Night Sun stands out as a contender for the heaviest of them all. Conny Plank is credited as engineer on their album, "Mournin'", which was recorded at Windrose Studios in Hamburg. Windrose Studios was the origin of many great albums, from the likes of Birth Control, Excalibur (Vol33), Second Life (Vol33) and Blackwater Park (Vol3).

The UK was the number-one influence on German rock and prog at the time and many classic English bands came to mind when I first heard this LP, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and King Crimson being three of the most obvious. This may be a bold claim, but it’s justifiable to say that Night Sun could have become as renowned as any of them, if they had continued and expanded on the promise shown by Mournin'. Night Sun's roots lie in Mannheim jazz-rock bands “Swinging Sounds" and “Take Five”, and they evolved from BS&T-style horn rock into a jazz-inflected heavy metal band.

"Got A Bone Of My Own" starts with three terrifying minutes of tension-building, gothic atmospherics. The payoff comes with a gargantuan riff that Iommi would surely be proud of, and a palpable sense of nastiness that was rare elsewhere, save for Sabbath’s best work and a handful of the best heavy proggers.

The band dissolved very soon after the LP was released, with little promotion or appreciation. A great loss to the early days of heavy metal indeed!

Virus - Thoughts LP (1971)
Virus shared three members with Hamburg's Weed (see Vol9) at various times; Bernd Hohmann (flute, vocals), Reinhold Spiegelfeld (bass) and Werner Monka (guitar), although I think these guys had left by the time of Virus's Conny-engineered second and final album "Thoughts". Recorded at Star Studio in Hamburg, it was a more direct, hard-rocking album than the psychedelic debut and should be tracked down if you like hammond-assisted riffs. There is an interview with Virus member Werner Vogt at ItsPsychedelicBaby here.


"Creepy John Thomas" LP (1969)
The Sydney-born guitarist John Thomas seems to have had an interesting career. It began properly in Melbourne, having some hits with The Flies. He went to Germany in 1967 with his German girlfriend Doris Honigmann for some time where he made the album "Come With Me" under the name Rust (link) with British musicians in 1969. Then he moved to London and got an album deal with RCA, who commissioned two albums to be recorded back in Germany with Conny Plank producing. For those he became "Creepy John Thomas", his reasoning: "The name came from a Spider John Korner song called Creepy John on the blues album Blues, Rags & Hollers and it seemed a good idea at the time as I wanted to project a less clean cut non-commercial image."

John Thomas
in recent times
"The British blues boom was happening - Artists like Capt.Beefheart, Doctor John, The Night Tripper, Screamin' Lord Sutch, Howling Wolf etc., all had groovy names which at the time, held fascination for a young wannabe like me.” Then he spent a year in San Fransisco before returning to London and joined the Edgar Broughton Band, credited on the albums Bandages & "Live Hits Harder!". Moving back to Germany, he made two albums as "Johnny & the Drivers" in Berlin, only to move back to London again in the '80s to become a producer and a continuing solo artist. In 1977 John took friends Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart to Conny's studio to record some music for an album which wasn't ultimately released. Conny was reportedly very impressed with Annie's vocal abilities and this lead to them making their first album as The Tourists (1977) and their first as Eurythmics (1981) with him at his studio.

I have taken the track "Lay It On Me" from the first Creepy John Thomas album. On that record was drummer Helmut Pohl, who also played on albums from Gomorrha, appearing later in this comp. An interesting fact is that Paul Rodgers of Free fame sang harmony vocals on the track "Ride A Rainbow" (link).

Sixty-Nine - Live! (1974)
With track four we have a heavy drums-organ duo from Bad Kreuznach called Sixty-Nine. Conny was engineer on their live album, much of which was recorded at a cultural events center called Fabrik, in Hamburg.

Sixty-Nine was founded in 1969 by keyboardist Armin Stöwe & drummer Roland Schupp. They became popular as a live act and were often invited to open for big acts, like West, Bruce & Laing, UFO, Birth Control, Amon Düül II, Jud's Gallery and Agitation Free. They recorded one studio album in 1973 called "Circle of the Crayfish", then after the live album they disbanded. Stöwe founded a trio called Air. He also started the "General Electronic Plastic Studio" where he developed innovative and successful electronic music devices like computerised sequencers, synthesizers and speaker systems. Sadly, he committed suicide in 2005.

Eloy - s/t (1971)
On to another band that has appeared in TDATS before, Eloy (Vol19). Well-known as a progressive rock and space rock band, their first album, which was engineered by Conny, has very little of those things. It is a meat and potatoes hard rock album with the familiar guitar/hammond sounds of Deep Purple. It was recorded at Star studios in Hamburg, where many classic albums were made including the debuts of Ash Ra Tempel, Neu! and Scorpions. The only continuous member of Eloy is founder and guitarist Frank Bornemann, who steered the band in a more progressive direction like that of Genesis, Jethro Tull and Pink Floyd on subsequent albums. There is an interview with Frank at ItsPsychedelicBaby here. Some names that have been in Eloy and other notable bands are Jürgen Rosenthal (Scorpions), Fritz Randow (Saxon, Epitaph), Jim McGillivray (Epitaph), Manfred Wieczorke (Jane) and Steve Mann (Andy Scott's Sweet).

Lokomotive Kreuzberg Fette Jahre (1972)
Lokomotive Kreuzberg
Fette Jahre (1972)
Track 6 brings something a little different to the party. Lokomotive Kreuzberg was a Berlin polit-rock band that started in 1972. Not speaking German, it's impossible for me to comment on the lyrics, but the music on their 1975 album "Fette Jahre", engineered by Conny, is captivating. They mix many styles, from symphonic prog, to folk, to funk, to hard rock. At all times it is played with extreme talent, these guys sure had the chops to compare with the best. I have chosen the hardest rocking track on the album, which was recorded at Conny's studio, but you can take your pick from it. Others, such as the title track "Fette Jahre" (youtube), are equally good.

I've not had a chance to check out all of their four albums. I certainly will but they may not be the easiest band to get into for non-German speakers, especially as they use a lot of spoken-word skits to get certain points across on their agenda.

After the band dissolved, Herwig Mitteregger (drums), Bernhard Potschka (guitar) and Manfred Praeker (bass) played in the Nina Hagen Band before making a new band called Spliff in 1980.

Gomorrha I Turned To See Whose Voice It Was (1972)
Gomorrha
I Turned To See Whose Voice It Was
(1972)
Conny Plank produced all of Gomorrha's albums, which amounted to three. The first could be described as a Beatles-inspired beat album, and was one of his very first production jobs in 1969. In 1970 Conny and the band re-recorded it from scratch, this time singing in English and playing from a much improved and advanced progressive rock angle. The title track "Trauma" is regarded as their first high-point, and afterwards they were picked up by the formative krautrock label Brain, which Conny had become connected with by this time. The third and final album "I Turned To See Whose Voice It Was" is regarded as their masterpiece, described by some as a cross between Black Sabbath and Procol Harum. From that I have used the track "Dance On A Volcano". Unfortunately, all the band except guitarist Albrecht Claudi (link) apparently left the music business after the demise of Gomorrha.

Bullfrog - High In Spirits (1977)
Bullfrog - High In Spirits (1977)
Conny was involved with two of the three records that Bavaria's Bullfrog made. He recorded, engineered and produced the first self-titled one at his own studio, and engineered/mixed the second, "High in Spirits" (1977). Bullfrog are often compared with the accessible sound of the far more prolific Jane, who Conny worked with on the Brain label. Bullfrog's bio at Prog Archives (link) says that the step-up of High in Spirits earned them a sizeable following both in Germany and in the US. It also gathered quite a huge fan base in Portugal where the album managed to relegate both ABBA and Pink Floyd to second and third place on the local charts. There's a detailed account of the band here in German.

Time - selftitled (1975)
On to track nine, and we come across one of the most obscure entries here, a UK act called Time. Formed by Tristan Margretts (bass, vocals) and Gary Margretts (guitar, keys, vocals), Time was a development of Spontaneous Combustion (link). Joining were guitar/vocalist Alex Johnson (later to hard rockers Nightwing) and drummer Jode Leigh (later to England). They released a single, self-titled album in 1975. There's a couple of mysteries about this record. Firstly, I have seen various online mentions of vocalist Mike Udell, but his name is not listed on the LP cover. The cover states "Produced by Conny Plank at The House Of Sounds for BUK records UK", as yet I have been unable to find out anything about this supposed studio, including where it is. Seeing as bands usually traveled to Conny, I presume it was recorded somewhere in Germany. The album itself is a great find. It is mostly heavy, angular prog, like a much leaner Yes or Gentle Giant.

Lava  Tears Are Goin' Home (1973)
Lava
Tears Are Goin' Home (1973)
Next up is another one-album obscurity, Berlin's Lava. Their 1973 album "Tears Are Goin' Home" was produced and engineered by Plank at Windrose Studios, Hamburg and released by Brain. Conny also plays lead guitar on the track "Would Be Better You Run" (youtube). The album is quite a mellow, melancholic and improvisational affair. The reason it appears here is because of the great opener, "Tears Are Goin' Home", which crashes in like ├┤awkVVind blasting off at full power. Very little seems to be documented about them, they are described as a commune band, that split in 1974 after the suicide of keys player Thomas Karrenbach.


Nosferatu
Nosferatu hailed from Frankfurt. One self-titled album was released in 1970, recorded at Rhenus studio in Köln and Conny engineered it. In their early days they were fronted by guitarist & vocalist Michael Winzkowski (who went on to Orange Peel and Epsilon) and wind player Christian Felke who guested later with Epsilon. Felke also played on the Christian Kolonovits LP "Life Is Just A Carnival" I used on the Austrian Vol107. The album is a strong set of groovy heavy prog. While filled with cool hammond from Reinhard "Tammy" Grohé and ominous guitar from Michael Meixner, there's a wide range of other instrumentation. The whole album works as a continuous piece on a grand scale, it's very impressive. For such an apparently young, short-lived band they sound like they had been playing together a lot longer.

Lucifer's Friend
....Where The Groupies Killed The Blues (1972)
Closing the volume is one of the more familiar names no doubt, Lucifer's Friend. Conny produced their second album, "....Where The Groupies Killed The Blues" at Windrose Studio and Star Studio. By this time the band were already on the slide away from the heaviness of the debut into more commercial prog territories, but this one catches them at an interesting point where they mixed both and ended up making a unique-sounding album.

"Lucifer's Friend" was just one alias that a core of studio musicians was recording under, and there were many! A quick glance finds The Air Mail, The German Bonds, Asterix, Lucifer's Friend, Brother T. And Family, The Children Of Quechua, Electric Food, The Fantastic Pikes, The Pink Mice and Bokaj Retsiem all centering around four names; Dieter Horns (bass), Peter Hecht (keyboards), Peter Hesslein (guitar) and Joachim Rietenbach (drums). In fact, an entertaining sport that any obscure rock addict with an internet connection could enjoy on a rainy day is "Hunt the Lucifer's Friend spin-off". These guys were seemingly involved in a curious mix of bill-paying studio jobs, exploitation records and real bands, they clearly didn't like to keep all their eggs in one basket. What ever the situation, they sure must have been busy individuals around the turn of the decade! The English singer John Lawton was present in two of the heaviest of these acts, Lucifer's Friend and Asterix, and I'm sure most of you know that he was later in Uriah Heep.

Thanks for reading, Rich

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