Nosferatu – “Found My Home” 1970

Band : Nosferatu

(formed in 1968,  in Frankfurt am Main, Hessen, Germany. Disbanded in 1971).

Obscure German Krautrock band, notable for its English progressive rock influences. One self-titled album was released in 1970. In their early days they were fronted by guitarist/vocalist Michael Winzkowski (who went on to Orange Peel and Epsilon), and winds player Christian Felke also guested later with Epsilon.

Related Artists/Bands : Epsilon, Orange Peel, Papa Zoot Band

Country Of Origin : Germany

Track ” “Found My Home” (A3 track, written by Michael Thierfelder, Nosferatu)

Album ” “Nosferatu” (The band’s debut and sole studio album)

Label : Vogue Schallplatten (LDVS 17178)

Date/Year Of Release : 1970

Category/Music Genres : Krautrock, Progressive Rock, Germany 1970s (Tracks)

Nosferatu – “Found My Home”

Video on YouTube

The track is included on the album “Nosferatu”, 1970 (A3 track)

“Nosferatu” album (released in a laminated gatefold cover).

Nosferatu – “Nosferatu” Full Album Video on YouTube

Nosferatu – “Nosferatu” Full Album Audio Playlist on Spotify

Album cover photo (front)

Track-list 

1. Highway (4:16)
2. Willie The Fox (10:48)
3. Found My Home (8:39)
4. No. 4 (8:47)
5. Work Day (6:59)
6. Vanity Fair (6:44)

Total Time: 46:32

Line-up 

Bass Guitar – Michael “Mike” Kessler

Drums – Byally Braumann

Lead Guitar – Michael “Xner” Meixner

Organ – Reinhard “Tammy” Grohé

Saxophone, Flute – Christian Felke

Vocals – Michael “Mick” Thierfelder

Credits 

Design [Cover] – J. Kipp

Engineer – Conny Plank

Photography By – G. Bockemühl, Horst-D. Barkow, K.-H. Hoffmann

Producer, Liner Notes – Tony Hendrik

Written-By – M. Thierfelder, Nosferatu (3)

Information about the album/band/track

Contrary to other bands produced by the famous Conny Plank (KRAFTWERK, GURU GURU and many others), NOSFERATU’s musical career was very short and suffered of a lack of recognition by a larger public. Almost nothing is said about their history and the only thing we have from them is a fresh, enthousiastic, atypical jazzy rock album dominated by raw, aggressive guitars and progressive “folk” arrangements. NOSFERATU belongs to this kind of German bands who success to create a deep and trippy atmosphere thanks to fine moments of long instrumental solos, crossing with an original touch guitars to sax, flute and electric organs. The lyrics are sung in English and stay very strong. An enjoyable effort which can be compared with others “cult” German fusion items. Similar bands: DZYAN, XHOL, SAMETI, OUT OF FOCUS (source : “Progarchives”).

Named after the vampire from the early expressionist film, Nosferatu were one of the earliest groups from Germany to explore beyond the conventional beat music and blues into the far more progressive realms of Krautrock in the late 1960s. The group is also one of the most obscure Krautrock bands, with only one record to their name.

The 1968 students riots in Paris were the spark for several groups of musicians, in both France and Germany, and that event marks the starting point of the earliest Krautrock bands, among them Can, Xhol Caravan, and others, including Nosferatu. One early member was guitarist Michael Winzkowski, who later went on to the better-known prog-rock band Epsilon in 1970. The group’s music still owed some debt to more conventional British rock and earlier beat bands, but also saw the group adventuring out on longer compositions and some fusion elements, and their music was imbued with that dark Teutonic angst that often distinguishes Krautrock from other rock music of that era.

In 1970 Nosferatu recorded their one and only self-titled album, which was released by the French label Vogue in both France and Germany. At this time the band consisted of vocalist Michael Thierfelder, sax and flute player Christian Felke, bassist Michael Kessler, organist Reinhard Grohe, guitarist Michael Meixner, and drummer Byally Braumann. Since Vogue wasn’t a label normally associated with Krautrock, record sales languished and the group disbanded the next year when Felke joined Winzkowski in Epsilon. The rare LP has since become one of the more pricey items on the collector’s circuit, with mint copies fetching the equivalent of $500 or more. In 1993 the album was released on CD by Ohrwaschl (source : “All Music”).

External links

Nosferatu – “Nosferatu” Full Album Video on YouTube

Nosferatu – “Nosferatu” Full Album Audio Playlist on Spotify

Nosferatu – “Nosferatu” Full Album Audio/Video Playlist on Last Fm

Nosferatu – “Nosferatu” Full Album Download Link on Rock Archeologia 60-70 Blog

Nosferatu – “Nosferatu” Full Album Download Link on Back In Purple Blog

 

Classic Rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Blues Rock, Heavy Progressive Rock, U.K. 1970s (Tracks) Wishbone Ash – “Phoenix”

Wishbone Ash – “Phoenix” Track’s Video on “YouTube”

Category/Music Genres :

Classic Rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Blues Rock, Heavy Progressive Rock, U.K. 1970s (Tracks) 

Band :

Wishbone Ash (Torquay, Devon, U.K.)

Wishbone Ash Band’s photo, 1970

Members :

Andy Powell (guitar, vocals), Steve Upton (drums, 1969-90), Martin Turner (vocals, bass, 1969-80, 1987-91, 1995-96), Ted Turner (guitar, vocals, 1969-74, 1987-94), Laurie Wisefield (guitar, vocals, 1974-85), John Wetton (bass, vocals, 1980-81), Trevor Bolder (bass, vocals, 1981-83), Claire Hamill(vocals, 1981-82), Mervyn “Spam” Spence [aka O’Ryan] (bass, vocals, 1983-86), Jamie Crompton(guitar, vocals, 1985), Phil Palmer (guitar, vocals, 1985-87), Andy Pyle (bass, vocals, 1986-87, 1991-94), Robbie France (drums, 1990-91), Ray Weston (drums, 1991-94, 1997-2007), Mike Sturgis (drums, 1994-97), Roger Filgate (guitar, vocals, 1994-97), Tony Kishman (vocals, bass, 1994-95, 1996-97), Bob Skeat (bass, vocals, 1997-present), Mark Birch (guitar, vocals, 1997-2001), Ben Granfelt (guitar, vocals, 2001-04), Muddy Manninen (guitar, vocals, 2004-17), Joe Crabtree (drums, 2007-present), Mark Abrahams (guitar, 2017-present)

Related Artists :

Asia, Blast Room, Blue Meanies, Diamond Head, The Empty Vessels, Gringos Locos, Mistakes, Phenomena, Uriah Heep

Track :

“Phoenix” (written by Wishbone Ash) B2 track (closing track) included on the album “Wishbone Ash”

Album :

“Wishbone Ash” released on MCA Records ( MKPS 2014) on 4th December 1970 (recorded in September 1970, De Lane Lea Studios, London)

Wishbone Ash is the first studio album by Wishbone Ash. It peaked at No. 29 in the UK Albums Chart in January 1971.

Line-up/Credits :

Andy Powell – lead guitar, vocals

Ted Turner – lead guitar, vocals

Martin Turner – bass, vocals

Steve Upton – drums

Art Direction, Design – John C. LePrevost

Engineer – Martin Birch

Executive-Producer [Executive Production For The U.S.A.] – Don Shain

Photography By – Gene Brownell

Producer – Derek Lawrence

Written-By – Powell, Turner, Upton, Turner

Companies :

Published By – Miles Music (2)

Recorded At – De Lane Lea Studios

Copyright (c) – MCA Records International

Licensed From – MCA Records International

Manufactured By – The Decca Record Company Limited

Printed By – Moore & Matthes Ltd.

This version comes in a gatefold sleeve and has pink and red labels.

Track-list :

1. Blind Eye (3:42)
2. Lady Whiskey (6:11)
3. Error Of My Ways (6:56)
4. Queen Of Torture (3:21)
5. Handy (11:36)
6 Phoenix (10:27)

Total Time: 42:23

Lyrics :

Bird rise high from the cinders
Leave it all far behind
All the ruins and the fire

Bird raise your head from the ashes
Many men lay dead
You can see them like I

Phoenix rise
Raise your head to the sky

Information related to the album/track :

“All Music”

For a band that quickly evolved into a radio-friendly prog-leaning outfit, it’s a wonder that Wishbone Ashstarted out as the boogie and blues-based group that this debut reveals. If the term “jam band” existed in 1970, Wishbone Ash surely would have been a major player in that genre. As it was, this album stacked up nicely when compared with other British hard rock releases that year. Not as complex or calculated as Led Zeppelin’s Led Zeppelin III but definitely more focused than Mott the Hoople’s Mad Shadows, Wishbone Ash more closely resembled Benefit by Jethro Tull, a group that hadn’t yet adopted its own progressive elements. The dual lead guitar attack of Andy Powell and Ted Turner was a component that none of the above bands possessed, but unfortunately their (shared) lead vocals lacked the punch and authority necessary for hard rock bands to be taken seriously. So while they could rock as loudly and convincingly as virtually anyone, their lead singers, perhaps, held them back from being the force they should have been. The follow-up, Pilgrimage, took steps to rectify Wishbone Ash’s odd position, but this album nevertheless opened eyes and ears and revealed to the rock & roll community a band with incredible potential and talent.

Information related to the band :

“Progarchives”

Founded in Torquay, UK in 1969 – Still active as of 2017

The history of WISHBONE ASH goes back to 1966, when drummer Steve Upton of the ‘Scimitars’ joined bassist Martin Turner and Martin’s brother Glen in the band ‘The Empty Vessels’. The trio named themselves ‘Tanglewood’ and moved to London. Glen Turner quit soon and was replaced by Ted Turner of Birmingham band ‘King Biscuit’. The line-up was finalised by guitarist Andy Powell (Ex-‘Sugarband’). The two guitarists developed a melodic twin guitar lead style that would become the trademark of ‘Wishbone Ash’.

In 1970 WISHBONE ASH released their self titled first record, establishing a mixture of Blues-Rock, Jazz and English Folk, that the band would elaborate on in their following records. The production work by Martin Birch was excellent and the record contains the masterpiece ‘Phoenix’, that would become a ‘Wishbone Ash’ live classic and give way to elaborate improvisations on stage. At the same time the band would start to use lyrics and imagery drawn from mythology and fantasy. like ‘The King will come’, ‘Throw down the sword’, ‘Persephone’ & ‘Argus’.

In 1971 ‘Wishbone Ash’ released ‘Pilgrimage’ and a year later ‘Argus’, both records bringing the WISHBONE ASH sound to perfection by introducing elaborate vocal arrangements and sophisticated instrumental passages. Both records are masterpieces. In 1973 the band released their fourth LP, ‘Wishbone Four’, and toured Europe, documented by their live release ‘Live Dates’ (1973) and followed by an extended America Tour. In 1974 Ted Turner left and was replaced by Laurie Wisefield (Ex-Home) who added steel guitar and banjo to the ‘Wishbone Ash’ sound on their 1974 release ‘There’s The Rub’. During the rest of the seventies the new line-up recorded a series of good but less interesting records.

In 1987 the original line-up re-united for a series of records, including the all instrumental ‘Nouveau Calls’ (1988), before going again though a series of line-up changes. At the end of the 90’s the band found a new stability with founding guitarist Andy Powell, bass player Bob Skeat and drummer Ray Weston, joined in 2004 by Finnish guitarist Muddy Manninen.

‘Pilgrimage’ and ‘Argus’ are highly recommended.

“All Music”

During the early and mid-’70s, Wishbone Ash were among England’s most popular hard rock acts. The group’s roots dated to the summer of 1966, when drummer Steve Upton formed a band called Empty Vessels with bassist/vocalist Martin Turner and guitarist Glen Turner. Empty Vessels soon changed their name to Tanglewood and moved to London; during a gig at the Country Club in Hampstead, they were seen by would-be rock manager Miles Copeland, who was impressed with the jazz and progressive rock influences within the band and offered to be their manager.

Glen Turner left the band at that point, and an advertisement for a guitarist resulted in the addition of both David Alan “Ted” Turner and Andy Powell, who provided the basis for the sound of the new lineup with intertwining riffs and phrases drawn from both soul and blues, coupled with Martin Turner’s melodic bass sound and Upton’s jazz-influenced drumming. A new name was called for, and after several suggestions by Copeland that proved unacceptable, “Wishbone Ash” was chosen from two lists of words. The group rehearsed for weeks at Copeland’s home, working out an entirely new repertoire, and played their first gig opening for the Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation. It wasn’t too long before they were opening for Deep Purple, where a soundcheck jam between Powell and Ritchie Blackmore led to a recording contract with the American Decca label.

Their self-titled first album appeared in 1970; Pilgrimage and Argus followed over the next two years, and each showed a major advance in the band’s sound. The release of 1973’s Wishbone Four reflected a greater maturity to the group, and was their first fully developed album, with songwriting that didn’t hide behind a progressive pose but luxuriated in the members’ folk music inclinations, without compromising the harder edge of their music. The album also saw the departure of Ted Turner, who was replaced by Laurie Wisefield.

Locked In and New England followed; Martin Turner departed after 1979’s Just Testing, to be replaced by ex-King Crimson bassist/singer John Wetton. Wishbone Ash soldiered on through the ’80s, and in 1986 even got back with Copeland, by then a major player in the recording industry by virtue of his management of the Police and his founding of I.R.S. Records. Wishbone Ash’s history came full circle with the reunion of Powell, Upton, Ted Turner, and Martin Turner, who recorded three albums for I.R.S. They remained a working band into the ’90s, led by Andy Powell and Ted Turner and touring and recording regularly, though Upton quit the band.

Martin Turner was replaced in 1993 after the band recorded The Ash Live in Chicago. He was replaced by returnee Andy Pyle, who remained only until 1994. Powell, the lone original member of the band, enlisted guitarist/songwriter Roger Filgate, bassist/vocalist Tony Kishman, and drummer Mike Sturgis for a European tour in 1995. When Kishman, weary from touring with Ash while working with other musicians in the United States, took a breather, Martin Turner finished the tour for him. Kishman returned to resume vocal duties on Wishbone Ash’s 1996 studio effort Illuminations. In the aftermath, everyone but Powell quit again. He utilized a revolving-door approach to musicians and took the unusual step — at the end of the first wave of rave culture — of releasing two electronic dance albums on Invisible Hands Music that grafted synthetic beats onto Wishbone Ash guitar riffs. Trance Visionary was first, spawning a four-mix 12″ that was a dancefloor smash and reached 38 on the U.K. dance chart, followed by the less successful yet critically acclaimed Psychic Terrorism.

In 2000, for the band’s 30th anniversary, the acoustic collection Bare Bones was issued just before they hit the road to celebrate. While the personnel continued to shift and change, it didn’t prevent Powell and company from recording Bona Fide, a back-to-basics studio date issued in 2002 before the band toured America with Savoy Brown. In 2004, Finnish guitarist Muddy Manninen joined the band, replacing guitarist Ben Granfelt who had been a member since 2001. In 2006, the band issued Clan Destiny before the departure of longtime drummer Ray Weston. He was replaced by Joe Crabtree, who made his recorded debut with the group on 2007’s Power of Eternity. Other than touring, the band was inactive until 2011 when they issued their 23rd album, Elegant Stealth, with the same lineup. Since 2004, Turner has taken to touring with a band called Martin Turner’s Wishbone Ash. Powell sued and won the sole right to the name in 2013. When the acclaimed Blue Horizon appeared in 2014, it marked the third straight studio recording to feature the same lineup — the longest-standing roster in Wishbone Ash’s history. Manninen left after the tour and was replaced by guitarist Mark Abrahams. In 2018, the band’s 12th album, Twin Barrels Burning, was remastered and reissued by Cherry Red.

Photos related to the album/track :

Wishbone Ash – “Wishbone Ash” Album’s cover photo (front)

WISHBONE ASH 1970

Wishbone Ash – “Wishbone Ash” Album’s photo (A’ Side)

Wishbone Ash – “Wishbone Ash” Album’s photo (B’ Side)

Wishbone Ash – “Wishbone Ash” Album’s Artwork photo

Photos related to the band :

Image result for wishbone ash 1970

Image result for wishbone ash 1970

 

Image result for wishbone ash bass player

Image result for olde english bulldogge

Image result for wishbone ash 73 tour

Image result for wishbone ash the essential collection

Image result for wishbone ash 1970

Image result for wishbone ash live 1970

Image result for wishbone ash wishbone four

Links related to the album/track :

Wishbone Ash – “Wishbone Ash” Full Album Video Playlist on “YouTube”

Wishbone Ash – “Phoenix” Track’s Video on “YouTube”

Wishbone Ash – “Wishbone Ash” Full Album Audio Playlist on “Spotify”

Wishbone Ash _ “Wishbone Ash” Full Album Audio Playlist on “Google Play”

Links related to the band :

Wishbone Ash Website related to the band

Wishbone Ash Band’s Homepage

Wishbone Ash “Martin Turner’s Homepage”

Wishbone Ash Band’s Page on “Facebook”

Wishbone Ash Band’s Homepage on “Twitter”

Wishbone Ash Band’s Page on “Discogs”

Wishbone Ash Band’s Page on “Rate Your Music”

Wishbone Ash Band’s Page on “Songfacts”

Wishbone Ash Band’s Page on “Spotify”

Wishbone Ash – Band’s Page on “Bandcamp”

Wishbone Ash Band’s Page on “Apple Music”

Wishbonen Ash Band’s Page on “Google Play”

Wishbone Ash Band’s Page on “Deezer”

Wishbone Ash Band’s Page on “Setlist Fm”

Hard Rock/Heavy Progressive Rock/Heavy Psychedelic Rock/Krautrock Germany 1970s (Tracks) Armaggedon – “Round”

Armaggedon – “Round” Track’s Video on YouTube

Category/Music Genres :

Hard Rock/Heavy Progressive Rock/Heavy Psychedelic Rock/Krautrock Germany 1970s (Tracks)

Band :

Armaggedon (Berlin, Germany)

Track :

“Round” (written by Manfred Galatik) A1 track (opening track) included on the album “Armaggedon”, recorded on 25th to 29th July and 4th to 5th August 1970

Album :

“Armaggedon” released on Kuckuck Records ( 2375 003) in 1970

Armaggedon – “Armaggedon” Album cover photo (front)

Armageddon - Armageddon (1970) - Krautrock - Album - Kuckuck Records

This German release from 1970 is an absolute belter of an album. Prog rock with psychedelic edges, Anglo-American inspired bluesrock with complex structures, the guitar of Frank Diez drives this one all the way.

Armaggedon / Armaggedon (1970) is the third album of record label ‘Kuckuck Schallplatten’ (Catalogue: LP (Kuckuck 1970) – No, 2375 003/1103-2).
It’s been reissued in 1990 by Ohrwaschl Munich, based on the original master tapes (Catalogue: CD (Ohrwaschl 1990) – No. OWoo3).
It’s been reissued in March 2011 by Esoteric recordings, they say it’s based on the original master tapes and that it was mastered in London (Catalogue: CD (Esoteric Reactive 2009) – No. ereacd 1016).
There is also a vinyl reprint from 2009 by Missing Vinyl, Athens/Greece. (LP (Missing Vinyl 2009) – No MV009).

Kuckuck Schallplatten is a German record label founded in Munich in August 1969 by Eckart Rahn, Mal Sondock and the advertising agency ConceptData in Munich, growing out of Eckart Rahn’s music publishing company E.R.P. Musikverlag (which was founded on April 1, 1968). It was distributed by Deutsche Grammophon (Polydor). It’s the first German progressive rock-label. It is now the longest-surviving independent label in Germany, possibly the world. Most of its recordings have been reissued on CD, and all are now available as downloads via iTunes/Apple.

Line-up :

Frank Diez – Lead Guitar, Vocals
Manfred Galatik – Keyboards, Bass, Vocals
Michael Nürmberg – Bass, Rhythm Guitar
Jürgen Lorenzen – Drums
Peter Seeger – Vocals, left the band because of health problems before they recorded their one and only LP

Credits :

Arranged By – Armaggedon

Cover – Concept Dat

Engineer – Thomas ”Django” Klemt

Photography By – Atelier Hudalla

Producer – Eckart Rahn

Companies :

Recorded At – Union Studios, Munich

Printed By – Gerhard Kaiser GmbH

Manufactured By – Deutsche Grammophon GmbH

Track-list :

01 – Round (4:12), written by Manfred Galatik
02 – Open (7:31), written by Frank Diez
03 – Oh Man (6:01), written by Frank Diez/Jonas Porst
04 – Rice Pudding (9:40), written by Jeff Beck/Ron Wood/Nick Hopkins/Tony Newman
05 – People Talking (5:02), written by Frank Diez/Manfred Galatik
06 – Better By You, Better Than Me (4:36), written by Gary Wright

Armaggedon – “Armaggedon” Album cover photo (back)/Tracklist photo

Armageddon - Armageddon (1970) - Krautrock - Album - Kuckuck Records

Information related to the band :
The band of the excellent guitar player Frank Diez played British inspired bluesrock with complex structures. They recorded only one single album “Armageddon”, which was published in 1970 on the Kuckuck label and is one of the best hardrock albums of the early seventies. Unfortunately, it remained unnoticed.
Information related to the album/track :
Asbjørnsen, Dag Erik: Cosmic Dreams at Play – A guide to German Progressive and Electronic Rock (Borderline Productions, ISBN 1-899855-01-7)”
Armaggedon’s self-titled album is a heavy progressive masterpiece with excellent, Hendrix-influenced guitar work and vocals by Frank Diez. Armaggedon was the start of Diez long and impressive career. Their album has six tracks, and two of them are cover versions. Most impressive is the 10-minute version of Jeff Beck Group’s “Rice Pudding”. This track has some of the greatest heavy guitar riffing to appear on a German record. Their version of Spooky Tooth’s “Better By You, Better Than Me” is also competent enough. In addition, both Frank Diez and Manfred Galatik wrote great songs, as typified by the tracks “People Talking” and “Open”. Michael Nürnberg and Jürgen Lorenzen provide a strong backing. Demand for the group was poor way back in 1970, and Armaggedon soon broke up. Diez later plays with Randy Pie, Karthago, Ihre Kinder (singer: Klaus Kinski), Emergency, Atlantis, Eric Burdon’s Fire Departement, Peter Maffay Band, Konstantin Wecker, Electric Blues Duo. Luckily the Armaggedon album is released on CD in 1991 with a sharp and clean digitally remastered sound (in a limited edition of 1,000 numbered copies).
Photos related to the album/track :
Armaggedon – “Armaggedon Album cover photo (front)
Armageddon - Armageddon (1970) - Krautrock - Album - Kuckuck Records
Armaggedon – “Armaggedon Album photo (A’ Side)
Image result for armageddon 1970
Photos related to the band :
From left to right: Jürgen Lorenzen, Frank Diez, Michael Nürnberg and Manfred Galatik
Armageddon - Armageddon (1970) - Krautrock - Album - Kuckuck Records
Armageddon - Armageddon (1970) - Krautrock - Album - Kuckuck Records
Armaggedon Kuckuck’s flyer
Armageddon - Armageddon (1970) - Krautrock - Album - Kuckuck Records
Links related to the album/track :
Links related to the band :

Psychedelic Pop/Rock U.S.A. 1960s (Tracks) Birmingham Sunday – “Egocentric Solitude”

Birmingham Sunday – “Egocentric Solitude” Video on YouTube

Category/Music Genres :

Psychedelic Pop/Rock U.S.A. 1960s (Tracks) 

Band :

“Birmingham Sunday” (Carson City, Nevada, U.S.A.)

Track :

“Egocentric Solitude” A1 (written by Birmingham Sunday), (opening track) included on the album “A Message From Birmingham Sunday”

Album :

A Message From Birmingham Sunday” (debut album) released on All American Records ( AA-5718) in 1968

Original pressing on red, white and blue label.

Birmingham Sunday – “A Message From Birmingham Sunday” Album cover photo (front)

Birmingham Sunday – “A Message From Birmingham Sunday” Full Album Video on YouTube

Birmingham Sunday – “A Message From Birmingham Sunday” Full Album Audio Playlist on Spotify

Line-up/Credits :

Debbie Parke – vocals
Joe LaChew – guitar, drums, the vocals
Ward Johns – guitar
John Kvam – bass
Jean Heim – rhythm guitar, the vocals
Phil Gustafson – keyboards, Saxophones
Monty the Johns – drums

Bill Holmes – producer

Track-list :

01. Egocentrick Solitude — 3:15
02. Wondering What To Feel — 2:33
03. Prevalent Visionaries — 2:47
04. You’re Out Of Line — 2:52
05. Medieval Journey — 2:34
06. Mr. Waters (The Judge) — 2:48
07. Fate And The Magician — 1:55
08. Peter Pan Revisited — 2:12
09. Time To Land — 2:59
10. Don’t Turn Around — 2:37

Birmingham Sunday – “A Message From Birmingham Sunday” Album’s Track-list photo

Untitled

Information related to the album/band/track :

“Discogs”

US American Psychedelic Rock band from Carson City (Nevada) formed late 1960s.
Four of the musicians went to the same school, where he formed a band that played at local clubs all over northern Nevada and in the Carolinas. In 1968, they were able to conclude a contract with Bill Holmes, the producer of “Strawberry Alarm Clock” and the label “All American Record”. Vinyl has been published as a trial, a limited edition of 100 copies. Although the band played in different styles, the album is a good example of pop psychedelia. Alternating male and female vocals, using wind, keyboard and string instruments.

“Rockasteria”

Birmingham Sunday was formed in September 1966, and they were named after the Sunday concerts that took place in Birmingham, England. The original lineup of Birmingham Sunday featured bassist John Kvam, drummer Monty Johns, guitarist (and Monty’s brother) Ward Johns, organ/sax player Phil Gustafson and guitarist Joe LaChew.

Monty and Ward Johns had been in The Contrasts, who covered popular Beatles and Beach Boys tunes. John Kvam was a guitarist in the folk rock group The Scroachers, and learned bass after joining Birmingham Sunday. Phil Gustafson was the keyboardist and sax player for the rock band The Kensingtons. Gustafson was trained as a pianist and sang in the church choir, and he played sax in his high school band. Even though Phil’s voice could easily handle the demands of opera, he preferred to sing background harmony with Birmingham Sunday. Joe LaChew was the guitarist and vocalist for the group The Freedom Five, who covered the blues-based output of British bands like The Rolling Stones, The Kinks and The Animals. At the age of 15, LaChew earned his stripes as a songwriter when he wrote a campaign song for the Nevada governor at the time, Grant Sawyer. The Freedom Five recorded a single of Joe’s song and sold it at various campaign sites throughout the state.

Birmingham Sunday started to play teen dances throughout northern Nevada. Their biggest crowds were at the Civic Auditorium in Carson City and at Genoa Town Hall. The group put on dances and rented halls in Carson City, Genoa, Minden and Reno to cover their increasing fan base.

In 1967, Birmingham Sunday was poised for their breakthrough. Joe LaChew and Monty Johns were attending the University of Nevada in Reno, and their band had a much greater following – especially since the university dorms and fraternities now had their own party band!

That summer season, Birmingham Sunday landed a house band gig at American Legion Hall in South Lake Tahoe, California. This involved playing five days a week at the hall, plus performing as the opening act for each weekend’s entertainment. The venue was filled every summer night with Californians from the Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay area. Weekend shows were extravaganzas, as well-known San Franciscan acts like The Grateful Dead and Sly And The Family Stone were frequently brought in with local favorites The Family Tree and Jim Burgett.

The American Legion Hall’s weekend festival on July 28-29, 1967 was headlined by The Grateful Dead and Jim Burgett, with Birmingham Sunday, The Justice Five and Velvet Chain on the bill. This festival is where Birmingham Sunday first heard Debbie Parke sing. Debbie was performing a guest spot with The Justice Five at the shows.

A few months later, Debbie Parks joined Birmingham Sunday, adding her strong voice to the mix. She was only 15 and a sophomore in high school. Even though Debbie’s voice was overpowering, she did not try to dominate the band. Instead, her voice blended well with the rest of the singers in the band. Birmingham Sunday was now playing more originals as part of their sets. They began attracting interest from numerous managers and record company scouts.

Phil Gustafson left for the summer to attend National Guard camp, and he was replaced by his younger brother Dave. Dave Gustafson was a child prodigy that could play any style from Beethoven and Bach to Jimmy Smith. In addition, Dave could read and copy nearly everything he heard. His great playing impressed crowds with a note-for-note rendition of The Doors’ “Light My Fire.”

Birmingham Sunday’s success carried them into 1968. Everyone’s favorite hipster, Pat Boone (!), co-sponsored a “Teen Scene” local battle of the bands with promoter Bruce Blaylock. This two-day event was held at Reno’s Centennial Coliseum, where groups like The Kinks, Buffalo Springfield, The Zombies, The Beach Boys and many others had played. The judges were the members of The Sunshine Company, who had recently enjoyed some success. The Sunshine Company had a similar approach and appreciated Birmingham Sunday’s vocal tapestry.

Birmingham Sunday was chosen with the top bands to travel to Las Vegas for the finals. The Las Vegas judges were Strawberry Alarm Clock and their manager/producer Bill Holmes. The Las Vegas band London Fogg won the battle, but Bill Holmes greatly preferred Birmingham Sunday’s original songs and he was very impressed by their vocals.

Birmingham Sunday was invited by promoter Bruce Blaylock to do some recordings in Hollywood. Blaylock was shopping the band to Nitty Gritty Dirt Band manager Bill McEuen as well as a representative of that group’s label, Liberty Records. Birmingham Sunday did an audition and received a record deal from Liberty. The record label had a song that they wanted Birmingham Sunday to record – the “Love Theme From Romeo & Juliet,” also known as “A Time For Us.” It was later recorded by Henry Mancini, Andy Williams and Johnny Mathis.

After hearing the demos, Bill Holmes took on Birmingham Sunday as their producer and manager. Holmes turned down the Liberty deal, which proved to be a big mistake when Henry Mancini’s recording became a big pop hit. Instead, Birmingham Sunday was signed to Bill Holmes’ All-American label.

Meanwhile, the band had changed. Monty Wards left after the “Teen Scene” contest for a rigorous, pre-med schedule at the University of Nevada. Birmingham Sunday auditioned singing drummers, but no one materialized. With concert bookings to be fulfilled and not much time to prepare, Joe LaChew took over as the drummer. Monty had been teaching Joe all the drum parts for their original songs, so LaChew had no problem in this transition period. Since Joe gave up his guitar to play drums, the group had to find another guitarist who could sing well. They found Jean Heim, who played rhythm guitar and a little lead guitar. Heim could also sing lead with his pure, light tenor tone.

The group perfected ten original songs and recorded them in December 1968 with Bill Holmes producing at Original Sound Recording Studios. The studio was located on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, and it was owned by multiple award winning DJ and promoter Art Laboe. The legendary Paul Buff, who previously ran Pal Recording Studio before selling it to his recording partner Frank Zappa, was Original Sound’s engineer. The album “A Message From Birmingham Sunday” was recorded in five days using Buff’s own ten-track studio equipment. Paul Buff also played a Chamberlin keyboard, the American precursor to the mellotron, on the entire album. Buff’s string arrangements on the Chamberlin were essential parts of each song.

All-American selected “Prevalent Visionaries” and “Egocentric Solitude” as the respective A- and B-sides of a single released in early September 1969. The album was released the same month. Before the album was released, Bill Holmes sent a tape of the single to radio stations in Nevada.

“Egocentric Solitude” was first tracked for the week ending August 16, 1969 by Reno, Nevada radio station KIST. It reached the Top 10 in Reno that September 10, and it was #5 on KCBN. Although the single did not receive wide distribution, it did well in Sacramento, Chicago, Seattle, and especially Santa Barbara, where it made #1! The lack of distribution made the album extremely rare, even at the time. About 10 to 20 copies of the original LP are known to exist today.

Many of Bill Holmes’ All-American acts played concerts on July 18-19, 1969 at Kings Beach on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe. On the first day, Birmingham Sunday was the opening act. However, the popularity of the band enabled Birmingham Sunday to close the second night’s show. Holmes had lost control of Strawberry Alarm Clock, so he had the replacement group Strawberry SAC play instead. Gary Solomon, the lyric writer of “Egocentric Solitude,” was in that band. Birmingham Sunday ruled the weekend event!

Birmingham Sunday played concerts throughout 1969, but they split up in 1970 due to a number of forces pulling band members in different directions. Joe LaChew and Monty Johns stayed in college to continue their education. Both Joe and Monty formed the college rock band Brother Rock with Ward Johns. This nine-piece horn band opened for concerts at the college, including shows by Cold Blood, Tower Of Power, The Sons Of Champlin, and most notably, Derek And The Dominoes.

Brother Rock did a recording for the Mercury label in San Francisco, but the tracks have been lost. While influenced by Chicago and The Sons Of Champlin, Brother Rock played original songs by Monty Johns and Joe LaChew.

Debbie Parke, Jean Heim, John Kvam and the Gustafson brothers joined well-known Nevada casino lounge singer Frankie Fanelli. They recorded an album with Fanelli before splitting with him in August 1970. The band members went into different directions:

Joe LaChew continued playing guitar with The Drifters, The Coasters, Billy Preston, The Righteous Brothers, Rose and Joe Maphis, Merle Travis, Dorsey Burnett, Jimmy Dickens, Zella Lehr (an RCA artist), Kathy O’Shea (for MCA) and comedian Rich Little. Joe is now a music teacher in Nevada and still plays shows in the Reno and Lake Tahoe areas. He still enjoys writing music and has done commercials, film music and solo albums. Joe still writes songs for the more recent Birmingham Sunday reunions. Two of those tracks, “Raw Rhythm” and “C’Est La Vie Blues,” are included here for the first time. The famous Birmingham Sunday parties continue to this day!

Debbie Parke became an elementary school teacher and counselor in Lewiston, Idaho. She is now retired. Phil Gustafson retired from the Nevada National Guard. John Kvam was a bartender and journeyman cabinet maker before his retirement. Jean Heim became a country musician and has also retired. Monty Johns is a doctor in West Virginia. Ward Johns was the Vice President of Missile Records. He passed away from compilations due to a stroke in December 2009. Dave Gustafson became a successful musician and very wealthy real estate agent. He passed in January 2010.
by Joe LaChew (Birmingham Sunday)

Photos related to the album/track :

Birmingham Sunday – “A Message From Birmingham Sunday” Album cover photo (front)

BIRMINGHAM SUNDAY A MESSAGE FROM (2)

Birmingham Sunday – “A Message From Birmingham Sunday” Album photo (A’ Side)

Birmingham Sunday – “A Message From Birmingham Sunday” Album photo (B’ Side)

Photos related to the band :

BIRMINGHAM SUNDAY 2 (2)

Links related to the album/track :

Birmingham Sunday – “Egocentric Solitude” Track’s Video on “YouTube”

Birmingham Sunday – “A Message From Birmingham Sunday” Full Album Video on “YouTube”

Birmingham Sunday – “A Message From Birmingham Sunday” Full Album Download Link on “Rockasteria” Blog

Birmingham Sunday – “A Message From Birmingham Sunday” Full Album Download Link on “60-70 Rock” Blog

Birmingham Sunday – “A Message From Birmingham Sunday” Full Album Audio Playlist on “Spotify”

Birmingham Sunday – “A Message From Birmingham Sunday” Full Album on “Napster”

Links related to the band :

Birmingham Sunday Band’s Page on “Discogs”

Birmingham Sunday Band’s Page on “Spotify”

Birmingham Sunday Band’s Page on “Napster”

 

Folk/Krautrock/Progressive Rock Germany 1970s (Tracks) Hölderlin – “Waren Wir”

Hölderlin – “Waren Wir” Video on YouTube

Category/Music Genres :

Folk/Krautrock/Progressive Rock Germany 1970s (Tracks)

Band :

Hölderlin (Wuppertal, Düsseldorf, Germany)

Image result for holderlin 1972

Hoelderlin were a German progressive rock band that was formed in 1970 as Hölderlin by brothers Joachim and Christian von Grumbkow with Nanny de Ruig, whom Christian was married to. They were influenced by rock, jazz, and folk music.

Track :

“Waren Wir” A1 track (written by Christian von Grumbkow), (opening track) included on the album “Hölderlins Traum”

Album :

Hölderlins Traum” released on Pilz (20 21314-5) in 1972

Hölderlin – Hölderlins Traum” Album cover photo (front)

Hölderlin – “Hölderlins Traum” Full Album Video on YouTube

Hölderlin – “Hölderlins Traum” Full Album Audio Playlist on Spotify

Hölderlin – “Hölderlins Traum” Full Album Audio Playlist on Soundcloud

Line-up/Credits :

Line-up :

Nanny de Ruig – female vocals
Christian von Grumbkow – guitar
Joachim von Grumbkow – cello, acoustic guitar, flute, piano, organ, mellotron
Peter Käseberg – bass, acoustic guitar, vocals
Christoph Noppeney – violin, flute, piano
Michael Bruchmann – drums, percussion
Peter Bursch – sitar (03)
Mike Hellbach – tablas (03)

All tracks written by Christian von Grumbkow .

Credits :

Artwork – Helmut Friz

Engineer [Sound] – Dieter Dierks

Photography – Victor

Producer – Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser

Walter Westrupp – recorder (05)

Recorded January 1972 at Tonstudio Dierks in Stommeln.

Released in a laminated gatefold cover.

Track-list :

01. Waren wir – 4:50
02. “Peter” – 2:55
03. Strohhalm – 2:04
04. Reqiem für einen Wicht – 6:36
05. Erwachen – 4:04
06. Wetterbericht – 6:37
07. Traum – 7:23

HOLDERLIN HOLDERLINS TRAUM 2 (2)

Information related to the album/band/track :

“Discogs”

From Wuppertal, circa 20 miles east of Düsseldorf, Germany, Hölderlin evolved out of a 1960’s folk group playing Fairport Convention and Pentangle songs. They took their name from the 19th Century writer Friedrich Hölderlin.
Originally, they were a family band, the core was the brothers Christian and Jochen von Grumbkow, with Christian’s wife Nanny as lead singer, with a trippy cosmic styled progressive folk, full of rich textures, psychedelic, medieval and classical touches.

“Wikipedia”

The group started out as a folk group, but after the release of their first album in 1972 and the departure of Nanny in 1973, the group began to change musical direction, incorporating jazz and rock. They changed their name to Hoelderlin in 1973 and took legal action against Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser, the head and founder of the label Pilz, which eventually led to the record label going out of business. In 1975 they got a new record contract with the label Spiegelei and released their second album the same year. After the release of three more albums, almost all of the founding members left the group, leaving Joachim to be the only remaining founding member. This led to both a significant change in lineup and another significant change in musical direction. The group was introduced to Dave Hutchins, who was an engineer for the Genesis album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway and subsequently decided to develop an anglo-american commercial sound that later resulted in two more albums before their split in 1980. The album Fata Morgana was then put together and released by Spiegelei the following year. The group reunited in 2005 with only Hans Bäär and Michael Bruchmann as former members. However, Christoph and Nanny made special guest appearances for a few of their subsequent performances. Upon the release of their eighth album, the group then split up again in 2009.

Personnel :

Michael Bruchmann – drums (1971-1978, 2005-2009)

Hans Bäär – bass, guitars, vocals (1976-1981, 2005-2009)

Ann-Yi Eötvös – vocals (2005-2009)

Andreas Hirschmann – keyboards, vocals (2005-2009)

Joachim von Grumbkow – keyboards, vocals (1970-1981) (died 1990)

Christian von Grumbkow – guitar (1970-1977), lyrics (1970-1978)

Christoph Noppeney – violin (1971-1977), guitar, vocals (1975-1978)

Tommy L’Ohr – guitar, vocals (1977-1981)

Peter Käseberg – bass, vocals (1970-1975)

Eduard Schicke – drums (1978-1981)

Nanny de Ruig (1970-1972)

Pablo Weeber – guitar, vocals (1976-1977)

Discography :

Hölderlins Traum (Pilz, 1972)

Hoelderlin (Spiegelei, 1975)

Clown & Clouds (1976)

Rare Birds (1977)

Traumstadt (Live Album, 1978)

New Faces (1979)

Fata Morgana (1981)

8 (2007)

“ProgArchives”

Founded in Wuppertal, Germany in 1970 – Disbanded in 1980 – Reformed from 2005-2009

This, in my opinion, underrated German progressive rock band has its roots in ’63 when the brothers Joachim and Christian Grumbkow founded the rock-band The BEATKIDS and played covers from The BEATLES, The ROLLING STONES and The SHADOWS. In november ’70 the brothers GRUMBKOW presented the name HÖLDERLIN (derived from a German romantic poet) after they had played with a sery of musicians mainly folk-rock covers (especially TRAFFIC), all layered with long instrumental improvisations. Then HÖLDERLIN got an invitation from a record company, this after only three months of their existence! The debut-album “Hölderlin’s Traum” was released in ’72 with a nine-piece line up, including female vocals and instruments like the Mellotron, Grand piano, violin, cello, sitar, tablas and flute. Their sound is a progressive blend of rock, jazz and folk. It sold 5000 copies and the LP is still a collector’s item. But then the troubles began with their producer Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser (TANGERINE DREAM, KLAUS SCHULZE and WALLENSTEIN). He tried to force the band into a more cosmic approach (‘LSD’ inspired complained the band) and was not amused with the “more political oriented lyrics” as he analyzed.

It took almost three years with many juridical conflicts to get rid off the contract but eventually HÖLDERLIN won their case. Under the new name HOELDERLIN (in German the pronunciation of “oe” is the same as the “ö” and much easier to write or type) the second eponymous LP was released in 75. The band called their music ‘romantic rock’, it sounded more jazzy and it contained echoes from KING CRIMSON and GENESIS. HOELDERLIN toured through Scandinavia, Holland, Germany and Switzerland, got good reviews and radio – and tv-airplay. In ’76 HOELDERLIN released the album entitled “Clowns and Clouds”. The music consists of more complex rock with many theatrical and surrealistic elements. In ’77 Christian had a mental breakdown, he could no longer combine the too busy work with the band and his family life (the upbringing of two children). He left and Spanish guitar player Pablo Weeber joined HOELDERLIN. In ’77 they released the album “Rare Birds”, a year later followed by the 2-LP “Hoelderlin Live Traumstadt”. Soon after the unstable personality of Pablo led to his dismiss. “Traumstadt” got very good reviews, it even reached the German charts. Further releases were “New Faces” (’79) and “Fata Morgana” (’81), including new drummer Eduard Schicke, know from the progrock trio SCHICKE, FUHRS, FRÖHLING. These albums have a more accessible melodic rock approach.

The double-album “Hoelderlin Live Traumstadt” is their finest work and showcases the band at their pinnacle. It’s still considered as one of the milestones in the German rock history and has some similarities with other German progrock band GROBSCHNITT concerning the long solos, visual effects, costumes and humor. The music was recorded in the Wuppertaler Opernhaus in October ’77, the 2-LP was released in ’78. The band was hit by multiple changes in the line-up, on “Traumstadt” the musicians were Joachim Grumbkow (keyboards and vocals on “Streaming”), Pablo Weeber (all guitars), Michael Bruchmann (drums), Cristoph ‘Nops’ Noppeney (lead vocals and violin) and Hans Bäär (bass). All the nine melodic tracks have their own climate and features fluid accelerations, nice interludes, pleasant keyboards (string-ensemble, electric piano, organ and clavinet) and great interplay between electric guitar and violin. But the focus is on the solo work: fiery (“Sun Rays”), biting (“Soft Landing”) and howling (“Die Stadt”) on the electric guitar and exciting (“Streaming”) and spectacular (“Die Stadt”) on the violin. Many solos are supported by the wonderful and distinctive sound of the string-ensemble, a compelling combination! Recommended, especially to the fans of the violin play of Jean Luc PONTY and Eddie JOBSON.

Photos related to the album/track :

Hölderlin – Hölderlins Traum” Album cover photo (front)

Hölderlin – Hölderlins Traum” Album cover photo (back)

Hölderlin – Hölderlins Traum” Album  photo (A/B’ Sides)

Photos related to the band :

holderlin band

holderlin band

holderlin band

Links related to the album/track :

Hölderlin – “Waren Wir” Track Video on “YouTube”

Hölderlin – “Hölderlins Traum” Full Album Video on “YouTube”

Hölderlin – “Hölderlins Traum” Full Album Audio Playlist on Spotify

Hölderlin – “Hölderlins Traum” Full Album Audio Playlist on “Soundcloud”

Hölderlin – Hölderlins Traum Full Album Audio Playlist on “Shazam”

Hölderlin – “Hölderlins Traum” Full Album on “Google Play”

Hölderlin – “Hölderlins Traum” Full Album on “Apple Music”

Hölderlin – “Hölderlins Traum” Full Album Download Link on “Old Rock News” Blog

Hölderlin – “Hölderlins Traum” Full Album Download Link on “Free Spiritual Be-In” Blog

Links related to the band :

Hölderlin Band’s Page on “ProgArchives”

Hölderlin Band’s Page on “Discogs”

Hölderlin Band’s Page on “Musikzirkus”

Hölderlin Band’s Page on “Spotify”

Hölderlin Article about the band on “Rheinlaender”

Hölderlin Band’s Page on “Google Play”

 

 

 

Blues Rock, Classic Rock, Hard Rock U.S.A. 1970s (Tracks) Mountain – “Never In My Life”

Mountain – “Never In My Life” Video on YouTube 

Category/Music Genres :

Blues Rock, Classic Rock, Hard Rock U.S.A. 1970s (Tracks)

Band :

Mountain (Long Island, New York, U.S.A.)

Variations :

Mountain @ Q, Mountain 6, Mountin’

Track :

“Never In My Life” (written by Mountain) A3 track included on the album “Climbing!”

Also it was released as a A’ Side single on Bell Records (2008 067) in 1972

Mountain – “Never In My Life” A’ Side Single cover photo (front)

Image result for mountain never in my life

Album :

“Climbing” released on Windfall Records (WINDFALL 4501) on 7th March 1970

Climbing!, also known as Mountain Climbing!, is the official debut studio album by American blues rock band Mountain, released on March 7, 1970, by Windfall Records.

The album featured the ‘classic’ Mountain lineup of Leslie West (guitar, vocals), Felix Pappalardi (bass, vocals, piano), Corky Laing (drums, percussion) and Steve Knight (keyboards) and followed the West solo album Mountain featuring Pappalardi and drummer Norman Smart, released in 1969 and often credited to the band. Produced by Pappalardi, the album reached number 17 on the American Billboard 200 albums chart and featured the band’s best-known song, “Mississippi Queen”. An early rendition of “For Yasgur’s Farm” was actually performed at the Woodstock Festival in August 1969 as Who Am I But You And The Sun. It was subsequently recorded and retitled for the album.

Recorded at Record Plant Studios, New York, U.S.A.

Mountain – “Climbing!” Album cover photo (front)

MOUNTAIN - CLIMBING 1 (2)

Mountain – “Climbing!” Full Album Video on YouTube

Mountain – “Climbing!” Full Album Audio Playlist on Spotify

Line-up/Credits :

Band :

Leslie West – guitars on all tracks; lead vocals on tracks 1, 3, and 8; co-lead vocals on tracks 4, 5 and 9

Felix Pappalardi – bass on all tracks except 6 and 7; piano on tracks 1, 2 and 9; rhythm guitar on track 7; lead vocals on tracks 2 and 7; co-lead vocals on tracks 4, 5 and 9; production

Corky Laing – drums on all tracks except 6 and 7; percussion on tracks 7 and 9

Steve Knight – organ on tracks 2, 3, 4 and 5; mellotron on tracks 2 and 9; handbells on track 4

Additional Personnel :

Bud Prager – executive production

Bob D’Orleans – engineering

Lillian Douma – engineering assistance

Beverly Weinstein – art direction

Gail Collins – cover artwork, photography

Lacquer Cut By – RL (Bob Ludwig) (tracks: A1 to A4), LH (Lee Hulko)

Companies :

Lacquer Cut At – Sterling Sound

Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co. – △14532

Distributed By – Bell Records

 

Track-list :

01. Mississippi Queen (Leslie West, Corky Laing, Felix Pappalardi, David Rea) – 2:28
02. Theme For An Imaginary Western (Jack Bruce, Pete Brown) – 5:04
03. Never In My Life (West, Pappalardi, Gail Collins, Laing) – 3:48
04. Silver Paper (West, Pappalardi, Collins, George Gardos, Steve Knight, Laing) – 3:14
05. For Yasgur’s Farm (Gardos, Laing, Pappalardi, Collins, Gary Ship, Rea) – 3:20
06. To My Friend (West) – 3:37
07. The Laird (Pappalardi, Collins) – 4:34
08. Sittin’ On A Rainbow (Wesr, Laing, Collins) – 2:18
09. Boys In The Band (Pappalardi, Collins) – 3:33

Mountain – “Climbing” Album cover photo (back)/track-list photo

MOUNTAIN CLIMBING 2 (2).jpg

Lyrics :

Never in my life
Could i find a girl like you
Never in my life
Could i find a girl like you
When i wake up in the morning
You make me feel so good
Bringing me the cider whisky
Feel a bit lonely too
For the first time in my life
I finally found someone like you
For the first time in my life
I finally found someone like you
I feel like a bolt of lightning
But it feels so good
Knowin´ my baby´s waitin´
And of course i do
Hey hey hey
Never in my life
Could i find a girl like you
Never in my life
Could i find a girl like you
When i turned around to wake her
About the way she moves
I don´t want to leave her
But i wanta love you too

Information related to the album/band/track :

“Wikipedia”

Mountain was an American hard rock band from Long Island, New York. Formed in July 1969, the group originally consisted of guitarist and lead vocalist Leslie West, bassist and second vocalist Felix Pappalardi, drummer Norman “N. D.” Smart and keyboardist Steve Knight. Pappalardi and Smart had performed on West’s debut album Mountain earlier in the year (which was also produced by the bassist), and subsequently added Knight to complete the initial lineup of the band of the same name. Later in the year, Smart departed and was replaced by Canadian drummer Laurence “Corky” Laing. The group released three commercially successful albums – Climbing! in 1970, and Nantucket Sleighride and Flowers of Evil in 1971 – before breaking up in early 1972 due to increasing tensions between band members.

By mid-1973, West and Pappalardi had reformed Mountain with new members Allan Schwartzberg (drums) and Bob Mann (rhythm guitar, keyboards), who together released the live album Twin Peaks from their only concert tour. Laing later returned to the group and Mann was replaced by David Perry, with the new lineup’s first studio effort Avalanche released the following July. Mountain broke up for a second time after another tour, with its final show taking place on December 31, 1974. West subsequently embarked on a solo career, before reforming Mountain for a third time in 1981 with Laing on drums and Miller Anderson on bass. On April 17, 1983, founding member Pappalardi was killed by his wife and musical collaborator Gail Collins Pappalardi, in what was deemed to be an accidental shooting.

Mountain released Go for Your Life in 1985, which featured new bassist Mark Clarke. Shortly after its release and promotion, the group quietly disbanded again. West and Laing returned as Mountain in 1992, with new bassist Richie Scarlet. After changing personnel again by replacing Scarlet with Randy Coven and later Noel Redding, the group released its sixth studio album Man’s World in 1996 with a returning Clarke on bass. After another breakup in 1998, Mountain returned in 2001 to record Mystic Fire, which featured session bassist Chuck Hearne alongside West and Laing. For the subsequent touring cycle, Scarlet returned to the band. James “Rev” Jones took over in 2008. Mountain has not performed since late 2010, with West returning to his solo career and Laing forming a new group.

“All Music”

The breakup of Cream in late 1968 had consequences that rippled across the rock music world — in its wake were formed directly such bands as Blind Faith (whose tragedy was they never had a chance to actually become a band) and Ginger Baker’s Air Force, as well as the rich solo careers of members Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce. And it yielded — by way of Cream associate and producer Felix Pappalardi — something of a successor band in 1969, in the form of Mountain.

The band’s history all started with a Long Island-based psychedelic/garage band called the Vagrants, who’d acquired a serious local following and always seemed poised to break out, without ever actually doing so. Their lead guitarist, Leslie West, was a physically outsized figure as well as a musician extraordinaire whose playing had been completely transformed by his experience of hearing Clapton’s playing in Cream. The Vagrants and West first crossed paths with Pappalardi in 1968, when he saw their potential and got them signed to Atlantic Records, where he was working as a producer. He had already made a name for himself producing Cream’s Disraeli Gears album, and had played numerous background instruments on their follow-up, Wheels of Fire (and on the studio tracks that would form their Goodbye album). He did produce some of the best work that the Vagrants ever released, but none of it sold; and when West left the band in late 1968 to do a solo album, titled Mountain, Pappalardi produced it for him, as well as played keyboards and bass on the record. The results were the most impressive of West’s career up to that time, a solid, blues-based hard rock workout, showing off just how profoundly he incorporated Clapton’s playing into his own style — Mountain sounded a great deal like the now-disbanded Cream, and was satisfying enough for the two to form a partnership, also called Mountain. Their first lineup was built around the one used on the album, with N.D. Smart on drums, and Steve Knight added on keyboards, while Pappalardi concentrated on playing the bass. Following a debut performance at the Fillmore West in July 1969, the group played its fourth live performance ever at Woodstock, in front of an audience of several hundred thousand, on a bill with the likes of Jimi Hendrix, the Who, the Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and — also getting their first national exposure at the same festival — Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The event was an auspicious one, even though it was followed by a personnel shift, as Smart was replaced by Corky Laing, West’s oldest friend.

The group was signed to the Windfall label and released their debut LP, Mountain Climbing!, in the spring of 1970, accompanied by their debut single, “Mississippi Queen,” which reached number 21 in June of 1970. That chart placement doesn’t begin to delineate the impact of that single, a hard rock boogie that was a killer showcase for West’s guitar and an unlikely piece of Southern-fried rock & roll, coming from the pens of the Queens- and Brooklyn-born West and Pappalardi, and the Canadian-born Laing — it was as improbable as the California-born John Fogerty authoring “Born on the Bayou” or “Green River,” and almost as enduring in popular culture. The single may not have reached the Top 20, but the album it was on peaked at number 17, driven by listeners drawn to the single but wanting more from the band behind it, and the high-energy mix of hard rock and blues they generated. And the debut album offered some surprises, such as the quartet’s successful digression into progressive rock with “Theme from an Imaginary Western” (co-authored by Cream’s Jack Bruce, which only further emphasized the indirect connections and musical debt owed the other band). The latter got lots of play on FM radio, as did “Never in My Life.”

Equally important to the band’s fortunes, they were able to deliver on-stage what they promised on their records — indeed, their records were a surprisingly accurate representation of their actual sound, except that Mountain was even louder live than they were in the studio. The group scored another hit at the Atlanta International Pop Festival in 1970, alongside the Allman Brothers, Cactus. and others. Mountain’s second album, Nantucket Sleighride, was equally successful commercially and unveiled the title track, which would take on epic proportions in concert. Flowers of Evil followed in November of 1971, just ten months after its predecessor, and it began to clearly show the strain of the pace the band had been keeping up since July of 1969 — half of it consisted of lackluster studio originals, while the other half was a live medley and a concert version of “Mississippi Queen.” Lackluster sales and reviews were inevitable, and the impression of a band running on empty was reinforced by their next release, Mountain Live (The Road Goes Ever On) (1972), which had only four cuts on it, all of them characterized by extended solos. Hardcore fans appreciated the record as an extension of their recordings, but many listeners and most critics found it lacking musical cohesion.

The group broke up soon after the release of that album, due in part to Pappalardi’s concerns about his hearing, which been damaged by the high volume the band generated in concert. He returned to production, while West and Laing — staying close to their hard rock roots, as well as the orbit whence Pappalardi had come — teamed up with ex-Cream bassist Jack Bruce as West, Bruce & Laing, a hard rock power trio that cut a brief but memorable swathe of their own across the musical landscape in the early/mid-’70s. Meanwhile, a Best of Mountain LP released in the wake of the breakup helped to sustain interest in the group. And later in 1973, Mountain was back together, West and Pappalardi reactivating the band with Bob Mann on keyboards and guitar and Allan Schwartzberg on drums for a tour of Japan. This resulted in the live double LP Twin Peaks (1974), a much better representation of the group’s concert sound, including a 32-minute version of “Nantucket Sleighride.” During 1974, in the wake of the second live album, West, Laing, and Pappalardi revived Mountain again to record a studio LP, Avalanche. In subsequent years, West and Laing revived the group for live shows, sometimes joined by Pappalardi; West also performed with his own Leslie West Band. Sadly, Pappalardi was shot and killed by his wife in 1983. Two years later, West and Laing regrouped with Mark Clarke on bass and recorded an album before once again calling it quits. Laing served as PolyGram’s A&R vice president in Canada between 1989 and 1995. In 1996, he reunited with West and Clarke for a new Mountain album, Man’s World. West and Laing teamed up again in 2002 for another album as Mountain, Mystic Fire.

“Ultimate Classic Rock”

In March 1970, a new band named Mountain delivered its debut album, the cheekily named Climbing!, and watched it quickly escalate into the Billboard Top 20 on the strength of the smash hit single and future classic rock staple, “Mississippi Queen.” Sounds simple, right? The story of Mountain’s quick ascension to mainstream fame is a little more complicated than that.

Mountain was actually named after the solo album released by singer and guitarist Leslie West, formerly of the Vagrants, in July 1969. This had been produced by bassist and talented arranger Felix Pappalardi, who had spent the previous years working in close cahoots with the world’s first rock supergroup, Cream.

Less than a month later, the newly rechristened group, rounded out by organist Steve Knight and drummer N.D. Smart, found themselves on stage at Woodstock and immediately transformed these and other relative unknowns into virtual household names. Keenly aware of their good fortune and perfect timing, West and Pappalardi quickly moved to capitalize by recruiting drummer Laurence “Corky” Laing and getting to work on the first proper Mountain album, the aforementioned Climbing!

This LP wound up straddling popular music’s transition from the ’60s to the ’70s like few contemporary releases: simultaneously carrying the torch for the Cream and Jimi Hendrix Experience-based power trios that had been so dominant in the dying decade and fully embracing the new one’s nascent hard rock developments.

“Theme for an Imaginary Western,” which had already been previewed at Woodstock, harked back to Pappalardi’s eclectic work with Cream (and was in fact co-written with Jack Bruce), as did the widescreen dramatics of “Boys in the Band” did too. “For Yasgur’s Farm” obviously paid tribute to the festival site and all the flower children that had attended, while “The Laird” saluted fast-fading psychedelia with its gentle whimsy and ringing sitars.

But remaining cuts like “Never in My Life,” “Silver Paper” and “Sittin’ on a Rainbow” found that space where British blues was violently being transfigured into what would soon be called “heavy metal.” Even West’s gorgeous solo acoustic piece, “To My Friend,” owed more to Led Zeppelin’s “Black Mountain Side” than the previous era’s neo-folk movement which had inspired it. And of course there was the aforementioned “Mississippi Queen,” which earned its signature cowbell intro only after multiple unsatisfactory takes forced Laing to count in his exhausted band mates, and came to signify everything Mountain ever was, or would be.

And, to complete the band’s self-sufficient mindset, cover artwork for the album was designed by Pappalardi’s wife, Gail Collins, who interestingly also received co-songwriting credits on six of the final nine songs selected (not a bad way to double one’s royalties). Sadly, it was Collins who shot and killed Pappalardi on April 17, 1983. She was eventually found guilty of criminally negligent homicide and served a little more than one year of jail time.

By then, Mountain and their legendary exploits at the very dawn of ’70s were but a distant, rose-tinted memory of the summer of love, and the band’s all-too-sudden fall from commercial grace after a string of solid, but never transcendent follow-up albums, all of which lacked the inspired spark heard on Climbing! Still for what it’s worth, the ensuing decades have also proven Mountain’s music — or at least the indestructible “Mississippi Queen” — to be as durable as any music captured during that specific time-period in rock.

“Goldmine Magazine”

By Jason Hillenburg

Bob Dylan once said that the ‘60s reminded him of a flying saucer landing – everybody heard about it, but only a handful ever saw it. Out of that handful who saw the decade up close, few had the view of the musicians who played the 1969 Woodstock Festival. The festival, long since pinned like a museum butterfly under history’s glass, misfired for some and cemented the reputations of others. The performance of Crosby, Stills & Nash marked only their second public appearance. Other bands such as The Grateful Dead still talk about how dissatisfied they were with their performance, while the great Alvin Lee and Ten Years After enjoyed, particularly after the concert film’s release, a considerable boost in popularity. Most famously, Jimi Hendrix’s rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” filled more pages in the guitar great’s growing legend and lingers in public consciousness as the event’s defining moment. 

Treading the boards in Max Yasgur’s field transformed Mountain’s career as well. The band’s close to classic lineup, sans soon-to-be-enlisted drummer Corky Laing, ripped through a set largely culled from guitarist Leslie West’s recently released solo album entitled “Mountain.” The wide-eyed, expressive and impressively built West manned center stage as if the fates conspired to place him there at that moment and time, while former Cream producer Felix Pappalardi stood semi-shadowed to his right unleashing furious bass runs in accompaniment. It is little stretch to say the massive crowd heard nothing quite like this before.

It wasn’t the overpowering bluster or blues histrionics of West’s guitar. By 1969, Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience spawned a host of imitators and influenced countless others to carry on their groundbreaking work to its logical conclusion. However, the public had yet to hear a guitarist capable of uniting accessibility, melody, power, fluent vibrato, and strong rhythm playing into one package. His imposing frame juxtaposed against the small size of his Les Paul Junior along with his surprisingly soulful and muscular vocals completed the picture. His torrid performances on “Beside the Sea” and “Southbound Train” impressed many and didn’t go unnoticed by record executives.

Mountain formed, in significant part, as a vehicle to highlight West’s talents. The July, 1969 release of his first solo album laid down a rough template of the band’s sound, but transitioning from a solo act into a band necessitated changes. Pappalardi, sensitive to musical similarities between Cream and the new band, recruited keyboardist Steve Knight over West’s objections to play organ and fill out their sound. West, an enormous admirer of Clapton’s stint with Cream, shrugged off potential comparisons. Such maneuvers, however, certainly insulated the band from such charges and provided a textural counterpoint for West’s guitar that recalled other emerging bands such as Vanilla Fudge and Deep Purple far more. Knight’s formal approach and reluctant musical improvisation further rankled West’s attitude towards the keyboardist, but the jazz devotee brought considerable chops to bear that few then-prominent keyboardists could claim.    

Switching drummers didn’t impede their ascent. West and Pappalardi grew quickly disenchanted with drummer N.D. Smart’s musical suitability and Pappalardi recommended Canadian-born New York City transplant Laing as his replacement. The new drummer came to Pappalardi’s notice after the latter produced the debut for Laing’s then-current band Energy. The addition of Laing brought Mountain a versatile and physical percussionist unafraid to expand his style. And, perhaps even more crucially, Laing proved to be another songwriter to add to the mix.

One of the earliest dividends from Laing’s membership, “Mississippi Queen,” is arguably the band’s defining work. The story about its genesis has long since passed into rock ‘n’ roll lore, but the track’s gloriously electrified raunch and West’s revival preacher vocals has long obscured its cultural significance. “Mississippi Queen” occupies a significant place in the Great American Songbook for a few reasons, but one of the most important is how it illustrates the breathtaking pace of musical and cross-cultural assimilation underway in the late 1960s. It’s nothing short of indelibly American that a professionally trained musician, composer and University of Michigan graduate, teamed with a gifted, but raw and self-taught, New York City rock ‘n’ roller, a Canadian drummer with a potpourri of musical influences, and a jazz pianist playing keyboards, to record a song that, stripped of its modern gloss and volume, sounds straight out of a Clarksdale juke joint on a Saturday night.

However, the song came with a heavy price tag and opened the first of many fissures in the band’s personal relationships. West recalled in a late 1970’s interview with Jas Obrecht that Pappalardi “… threw it out one day. He didn’t like it. Then he put his name on it the next time because he snuck a little note in here and there. You know what he stuck in there? That little Steve Knight piano part … and he took 25% of that song. Felix is a legend in his spare time.”

Mountain wisely opened their studio debut, “Climbing!,” with the song, but the remaining eight tracks solidified their artistic vision. The album took just 10 days to record, but many of its songs entered the band’s live set immediately and remained there for the duration of the band’s life. The muscular and compelling riff dominating “Never in My Life” earned West the respect of peers including Hendrix. West told Obrecht that “… when we were doing ‘Climbing,’ Jimi was the first one to hear it finished … he came in when we’d finished mixing and … you know ‘Never in My Life’, he loved that little stop in there … I thought it was great! I said, ‘Wow! J.H. Oh man.’”

“Theme for an Imaginary Western”, written by Cream bassist Jack Bruce and lyricist Pete Brown, evolved into a West showcase over the years, but illustrates the band’s sometimes screwy logic. One cannot help but wonder why, if Pappalardi felt it important to distance the band from Cream comparisons, they chose to include a major composition from Cream’s two primary songwriters. The obvious answer is two-fold. “Theme for an Imaginary Western” is widely recognized, 40-plus years on, as one of the best songs to emerge from Bruce and Brown’s songwriting partnership. Its unique cinematic scope, open-ended structure and dramatic orchestration retain considerable appeal to this day. Lastly, any recording artist, no matter the purity of their commitment, can weigh commercial considerations without weakening their credibility. Straddling those elements without ever losing balance is difficult, but selecting this cut for their debut ultimately makes eminent sense. The song’s aforementioned merits provided an ideal forum for the band to exhibit their own while gleaning some reflected glory from an esteemed predecessor.

The heavy pop leanings of “Silver Paper” and dreamy, light psychedelia of “The Laird” are Pappalardi-driven confections that moved Mountain further away from unwanted comparisons. His smooth vocals lacked West’s stage-rattling gravitas, but ached in a way West could not and offered listeners a lighter shade in Mountain’s palette. Laing’s second important contribution, the salutatory “For Yasgur’s Farm”, featured West’s ravaged soul singing at its youthful best. His underappreciated vocals wring every drop of drama and emotion out of the lyric and find an ideal match in the dynamic arrangement. “Climbing!” stands as fine of a debut from anyone in the time period and much of its enduring value flows from its musicianship and nearly flawless balance.

By the end of the new lineup’s first year together, Mountain played 132 confirmed  shows, many more undoubtedly lost in time, and recorded a quintessential debut. They shared stages with acts as diverse as Sly and the Family Stone, Jethro Tull, Country Joe McDonald, Van Morrison and Bloodrock while crisscrossing the country via Learjet to the tune of $600 dollars a hour. They performed on the main stage of the Atlanta International Pop Festival in July 1970 and provided one of the event’s highlights with a spellbinding rendition of the blues standard “Stormy Monday”. While the Woodstock performance might have made overnight stars of some acts, Santana and Ten Years After for instance, hindsight reveals that Mountain’s experience differs. It’s more accurate to understand Woodstock in the band’s history by seeing it as the inciting incident of a swift, stratospheric ascent. While others would disembark from the ride before terminal velocity set in, the band’s lynchpins would soon realize, in various ways, how they lacked parachutes. 

The peak likely arrived with the recording and release of the band’s second album, “Nantucket Sleighride”. “Don’t Look Around” blasted the album wide open with an incendiary West performance on guitar and vocals, but the album’s indisputable heart follows with the brief instrumental “Taunta (Sammy’s Tune)” segueing into the title track. “Nantucket Sleighride (To Owen Coffin)” is one part Child Ballad crossed with neo-classical influences, rock theatrics and a memorable melody. The song represented the band’s meatiest musical accomplishment and proved them capable of stretching compositionally.

However, one can argue that the sophomore effort represented a step back from the daring debut. The nine songs focus far more on West’s guitar than the first album and the aforementioned instrumental and title track are the only meaningful nods to softer textures. There’s a valid point that “Nantucket Sleighride” better incorporates West’s guitar with Pappalardi’s creative impulse — where West’s guitar once sat uneasily inside compositions like “The Laird” from “Climbing!”, it now reinforced and fleshed out mock-symphonic works like “Travelin’ in the Dark.” Mountain featured the latter track, written by Pappalardi and his wife Gail Collins, on the subsequent tour and live documents attest to its dramatic power, but the song predated the band by some years. Bo Grumpus, a folk/psychedelic outfit, included the track on their 1968 Pappalardi produced album “Before the War,” but this little noticed unit could scarcely match the almost Baroque fury that West and company summoned.

The song’s inclusion, in retrospect, hinted at future problems for the band. As the band’s stature skyrocketed, the advances and payoffs increased and personal habits once reined in by resources spiraled further out of control. West later remarked that Pappalardi, by this point, “… didn’t want to do anything but get out of the house, get in the car, get on a plane, get in a car, do the gig, and go back, get on a plane, and go home.” Talent never deserted them, but discipline waned under a tidal wave of extravagance and excess. The November 1971 release of the band’s third album, “Flowers of Evil,” marked the final studio offering from the West/Pappalardi/Knight/Laing lineup and marked a band still playing very well, but sliding into full creative flounder. Many bands toyed with the split album concept, one side studio and the other live, during the era hoping to replicate the success of Cream’s seminal “Wheels of Fire,” but Mountain’s release suggests a stopgap measure for an exhausted unit and artistic disarray. It’s apparent the songwriting process had broken down to some extent as the album features only four new songs with only the title cut constituting any substantial contribution to the band’s discography. “Crossroader” has its share of fans and continues to enjoy an inexplicably long life in legacy reissues for a song that, unquestionably, ranks as one of the band’s least original blues rockers. Despite the song seeming tailor-made for West’s bluesy yowl, Pappalardi sings “Crossroader” and it highlights another telltale sign of the band’s internal discord. Pappalardi dominates the vocals on the band’s new material while West takes the title track and the older material on the live side. The bulk of the new material focused on classically influenced Pappalardi pop with West’s guitar demoted to a secondary role. Balance deserted them.

The live side is further evidence of its absence. Excepting the scorched earth version of “Dreams of Milk and Honey” that redeems everything surrounding it, uninspiring workouts on “Roll Over Beethoven” and high volume West meandering doesn’t add up to a sustained, coherent live statement. One of the final strikes comes in the arbitrary structure imposed on the live side in a vain effort to apply some veneer of importance. Mountain strings together the “Guitar Solo/Roll Over Beethoven/Dreams of Milk and Honey/Variations/Swan Theme” medley into one track vaguely entitled “Dream Sequence,” but since none of the aforementioned pieces bears even the faintest connection in listening, one must assume the band hoped no one was really paying attention or cared. An unremarkable take on “Mississippi Queen” concluded the album.

No one outside the band knew it, but the first of many ends loomed. After an early 1972 English run, the band announced its breakup. They floated many reasons for the split, but chief among them was Pappalardi’s insistence that the band’s extensive and high volume live work badly damaged his hearing. West and Laing have repeatedly discredited such stories over the years claiming, instead, that the band’s drug and personal problems crashed everything.

It wasn’t Pappalardi alone. While Knight abandoned rock music entirely and returned to his true love, jazz, West and Laing soon decamped to England to rehearse with Bruce for a new super group named West, Bruce and Laing. It heralded the start of a brief, but enormously profitable, partnership between the three musicians resulting in two studio albums and a live album. Unfortunately, the men’s drug addictions stymied the band’s potential and precipitated another fracture less than two years after their formation.

Perhaps in a later, more jaded time, Pappalardi approaching West in 1973 to reform Mountain for a series of Japanese dates wouldn’t be so surprising. There seemed to be an air of finality in the public perception regarding the band’s 1972 split, a sense that the band exhausted itself, so the announcement that they had reformed generated considerable attention. The reformation came off without Laing on drums thanks to conflicts between Felix, Corky, and Pappalardi’s influential wife. In his stead, Pappalardi recruited drummer Allan Schwartzberg and rhythm guitarist, keyboardist Bob Mann to help fill out the sound. West, enticed by the payday and prospect of touring Japan, reluctantly agreed. He later commented to Obrecht that everything “… was ridiculous. It was just more old songs. I wanted to do new stuff, badly. What happened was Felix told me, ‘If we go to Japan, we’re gonna put out a live album over there.’” The resulting live album, “Twin Peaks,” ranks as a memorable but bloated document of the time.

Despite West later dismissing the release as a cash-in on the Japanese tour, the album has its admirers. Even a cursory listen reveals why. Despite the performances lacking any genuine spark of inspiration, the band’s professionalism and innate talent helped stop offstage problems from bleeding over onstage. However, one can hear flashes of a band doing more than merely hitting their marks on stalwarts such as “Blood of the Sun,” “Never in My Life” and “Theme for an Imaginary Western.” The first of these, in particular, excels thanks to West’s fiery vocal and the added heft gained from employing a second guitarist.

“Twin Peaks” has its detractors and they have valid points. It’s possible to blame the stupefying self-indulgence of a 30-plus minute “Nantucket Sleighride” on the style of the times or drug-fueled decision-making, but it suggests something darker. It stands as bloated evidence for the band’s artistic decline. The Japanese tour debuted no new material, Pappalardi pushing Laing out for personal reasons while bringing in a second guitarist can be viewed as an attempt to dilute West’s influence over the music, and a nearly album-length version of a signature track are exclamation points on the band’s creative bankruptcy. They had nothing left to say.

However, they soldiered on. The Japanese shows stoked Pappalardi’s desire for more, albeit temporarily, but West balked at further touring unless Laing returned as the band’s drummer. Pappalardi assented, but the band retained its newly minted two-guitar configuration when David Perry replaced Mann. The band hit the road for a North American tour in November of 1973 and, with only one significant break in early 1974, didn’t stop until September of that year.

The band released “Avalanche,” the first full studio album since “Nantucket Sleighride,” in July of 1974. A retrospectively appropriate title considering the band’s accumulating problems, it marked Pappalardi’s final studio outing with the band and a partial return to form. It doesn’t open auspiciously. Another workout on golden oldie chestnut “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” blusters with sound and fury while ultimately signifying nothing, but some interesting rough diamonds emerged from the band’s failing creative process,  “Sister Justice” and West’s guitar showcase “Alisan,” for example. The album’s bulk, however, focuses on pedestrian rockers like “You Better Believe It” and derivative, uninspired fare such as “Thumbsucker,” a one-joke “Crossroader” rewrite with another inexplicable Pappalardi vocal, and the self-conscious “Swamp Boy.” The pivotal moment of “Avalanche” arrived midway through Side One with West’s vivid, scorched earth re-imagining of “Satisfaction” that ranks among the best Rolling Stones covers.

Following the end of the “Avalanche” tour, Pappalardi wanted out again. West ascribed the breakup to a combination of “… drugs, attitude, attitude because of the drugs, old ladies — all the usual sh*t.” However, the band reconvened as a three piece for the first time and launched a final run October of 1974 that lasted a little under 30 shows. This “farewell” jaunt wrapped up with two New Year’s Eve sets at the Big Apple’s Felt Forum. Mountain fell silent until the early 1980’s.

Pappalardi transitioned into a sort of semi-retirement and emerged primarily to produce albums for singer/songwriter Jesse Colin Young, Hot Tuna and Natural Gas, among others. Laing guested on a number of projects and released his only solo album, the neglected gem “Making It on the Street,” in 1977. West, on the other hand, reportedly earned serious consideration from The Rolling Stones as Mick Taylor’s replacement and released two solid, if not occasionally spectacular, solo albums, 1975’s “The Great Fatsby” and 1976’s “The Leslie West Band.”

Both albums failed to score commercially and, by the late 1970s, West dropped out of sight. Dogged by drug addiction, bad business deals and a downturn in fortunes, West sidelined himself and questioned his desire to continue playing. He fled New York for the unlikely surroundings of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. West told Obrecht that his “… partner and manager has a men and women’s beauty salon there. We had our offices moved out there because New York was so crazy. I want to get out of New York — the drug scene, the whole music scene, everything.”

Hearing Eddie Van Halen’s early work with Van Halen changed much for West. The two men struck up a perhaps unlikely friendship that inspired West to focus on music once again. If you ask the principles about Mountain’s fledgling early 80s reformation, you’ll hear conflicting stories. Elektra reportedly offered the band two million for two albums over the same period in the late 1970s, but the landscape changed by the early 1980s. Any guitar rock besides heavy metal enjoyed little commercial cachet and the spate of big reunions characterizing the scene in the mid-late 1980s hadn’t yet arrived. By all accounts, West found himself back at square one — advertising himself as Mountain and drafting unknown or local musicians to round out the lineup as he had in the band’s earliest, pre-“Climbing!” iterations. Pappalardi and Laing naturally objected when they learned, but rather than fighting West, Laing opted to join him. The two men froze Pappalardi out, previewing a potential legal struggle between the duo and their one-time mentor, added one-time Keef Hartley vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Miller Anderson on bass, and began touring as Mountain.

Everything changed in April of 1983. The marriage between Pappalardi and wife Gail Collins survived the tumult of the 1960s and ‘70s, but by the turn of a new decade, years of tension frayed the couple’s once impressively solid bond. Pappalardi had reputedly fallen in love with a younger woman and rumors flew of an impending divorce. Collins shot and killed Pappalardi with a pistol he recently purchased for her. Collins claimed the death was accidental and, despite significant evidence and the opinions of those close to Pappalardi that she murdered him in a jealous rage, Collins served just a brief prison term after conviction for criminally negligent homicide and subsequently disappeared from public view. She lived as an expat recluse in Mexico and died in 2013.

Mountain without Pappalardi posed real credibility problems. A popular perception existed among the critical elite dating as far back as the band’s origins and lampooned in the band’s song “The Animal Trainer and the Toad,” that Pappalardi reigned as the group’s only significant talent, a Svengali-type producer employing two dumbed-down rockers capable of crudely aping Cream and little else. These fanciful judgments lingered into the 1980s despite a plethora of musical evidence for West’s prodigious imagination. In addition to the strengths discussed near the article’s beginning, the intervening years saw his interpretative powers grow. He wasn’t content to learn one lick and repackage it continuously. Reinvention defines West’s, and, by extension, Mountain’s second acts. Passion and bravery carried the band and its guitarist far in life, but the next two decades tested it again.

The band soon secured a new recording deal with Scotti Bros. Records, but circumstances beyond their control forced Anderson to bow out before actual recording began. West and Laing quickly hired former Colosseum and Uriah Heep bassist/vocalist Mark Clarke. When asked how he joined the band, Clarke said West “just thought he could get me cheap and he did.”

Clarke’s scathing assessment undercuts his musical merits. While Clarke never claimed membership in high-profile vehicles peers such as John Entwistle, Jack Bruce and Chris Squire rode to stardom, the Liverpool native proved an important and tragically underrated cog in a handful of influential acts. His strong singing and ability to reel off the big bass licks integral to Mountain’s back catalog made him an obvious candidate to fill Pappalardi’s slot.

One listen to 1985’s “Go for Your Life” illustrates they hired Clarke primarily for his live contributions. He’s virtually faceless on Mountain’s wildly uneven studio return. Instead of giving the bass its customarily busy role in the music, the style of the time demanded hemming in the bass and narrowly defining its role. Any real discussion of the changes in Mountain’s music, however, begins with the addition of keyboards.

The story of legacy acts in the 1980s is, more often than not, a tale of one-time trendsetters transforming into followers. Insecurities, commercial pressures and dreams of renewed pop stardom drove many acts to abandon or refurbish their musical vision. Mountain’s music, at its finest, is an organic and feral experience. Dry sheets of sterile keyboard color are tricks of the ear and only a select few enjoyed any consistent success mixing rock music with the then dawning digital sounds of the ‘80s.

Keyboards work on the infectiously catchy “Spark,” but elsewhere show the aforementioned style clash. The dated production, particularly the pervasive abuse of reverb and echo, affects this recording more than anything else in the band’s discography does. There’s the core of a good Mountain album here, but finding it requires sifting through the debris. The band released “Hard Times” as the first single, with a stereotypically bizarre mid-’80s video, and it’s easy to hear why. It’s much more commercially minded fare than the band offered in their salad days, but West’s riff, an enthusiastic vocal, and a big chorus are memorable. “Spark” is pure pop rock, but its surging vitality is difficult to dislike. The album has some real clunkers in “She Loves Her Rock (And She Loves It Hard),” “I Love Young Girls,” and “Babe in the Woods” that wouldn’t have earned consideration from the band’s previous incarnations, but “Bardot Damage” and “Shimmy on the Footlights” are serviceable. The album’s real gem, tucked at the very end, is a short solo performance from West called “Little Bit of Insanity.” Later described as a tribute to Pappalardi, the intimacy of West’s beautifully lyrical electric guitar carries a gravitas that the rest of the album lacks.

The band toured the United States in support of the album, but focused most of their live work on Europe. Mountain opened for Deep Purple during the first European leg of the latter’s triumphant 1985 reunion tour and played to massive audiences throughout continental Europe. Live recordings and bootlegs from the tour clearly show that, despite the fans embracing the band’s return, old conflicts had resurfaced. West and Laing were frequently combative onstage, often arguing or else throwing items at one another. Sometimes it was in jest; other times not.

Clarke commented on West and Laing’s relationship saying that the guitarist treated the band’s longtime drummer terribly. However, Laing gave as good as he got thanks to testimony from countless concert goers, particularly from the ‘85 European run, who still recall Laing smacking West with his well-aimed drum stick and cymbal hurls. It wasn’t total onstage chaos as the band showed flashes of a newfound humor when they began wheeling in an enormous cowbell for renditions of “Mississippi Queen” and often came close to striking upon a nimbler approximation of the band’s classic sound than anyone could have expected.

However, playing only two full songs from the new album and tossing “Little Bit of Insanity” into extended instrumental bits showed a band with no confidence in their new material. Complicating matters were the uneven live performances that saw West’s interest wax and wane over the gig’s duration. Disagreements about management saw the name go moribund again following the tour’s conclusion and West released solo albums for the remainder of the decade that garnered some press, but sold poorly. Laing resurfaced in a new role as record company A&R man, but the name resurfaced in the public consciousness once again in 1992 when West and Laing made a memorable appearance on Dennis Miller’s short-lived late night talk show. Longtime Ace Frehley collaborator, guitarist and songwriter Richie Scarlet manned the bass while West, noticeably thinner, and Laing tore through an extended performance of “Mississippi Queen” that sounded like they wrote the song 15 minutes before.

West and Laing went on to assemble another short-lived incarnation featuring former Jimi Hendrix Experience bassist Noel Redding. However, despite a number of live shows demonstrating the new lineup’s promise and a couple of new studio tracks featured on a then recent retrospective entitled “Over the Top,” the band’s latest version soon folded thanks to personality conflicts between West and Redding. The band turned to Clarke again following this episode and a new album, “Man’s World,” emerged in 1996. While far closer in spirit to the band’s initial incarnation than the largely woeful “Go for Your Life,” the new collection centered on the title song’s memorable cover of the James Brown classic, a clever and blistering rocker “Crest of the Slump,” and the unexpected gem “I Look,” sung by producer and co-writer Eddie Black. Unfortunately, the songwriting isn’t entirely on target as imitation AC/DC-like “Nobody Gonna Steal My Thunder,” the pedestrian “So Fine” and “In Your Face” weigh things down with commercial missteps and clichéd filler.   

West alternated between solo outings and successful European tours with the album’s lineup during the second half of the 1990s, but a new studio album didn’t emerge until after the dawn of the new century. In 2002, “Mystic Fire” attested to how important the European market had become for Mountain — the financing for it came from Europe and it was written and recorded with the intent of helping the band promotionally in that region. The original title, “Mountain High,” only changed for the American release.

While there are still glaring songwriting weaknesses, few can argue that the album doesn’t still stand as one of the singular post-reunion achievements. Scarlet joins the band on bass and, despite his lack of flashiness, establishes an audible musical rapport with Laing. Their cover of Clutch’s “Immortal,” itself a revised version of Mountain’s “Baby, I’m Down,” kicks things off in spectacular fashion and the remaining strong points, namely the title track, another cover of the blues standard “Fever,” and the crushing “Mutant X” swagger with a confidence Mountain fans haven’t heard since “Avalanche.” The presence of four covers and two new versions of older material, however, clearly point the band’s struggle writing new material.

The band toured extensively in Europe and the United States promoting the new album. West continued recording new solo material during this time period while Laing wrote and recorded two albums under the name Cork with former Spin Doctors guitarist Eric Schenkman. The band reconvened for their likely final studio album, “Masters of War”, and released it in 2007. This collection of Bob Dylan covers, Mountain-ized with enormous guitars and a rhythm section, primarily centered on Laing with alternating bassists. Guests appeared on a Mountain album, en masse, for the first time as Ozzy Osbourne turned in a memorable vocal on the title track, Gov’t Mule’s guitarist Warren Haynes lent his bluesy fire to “Gotta Serve Somebody” and respected bassist Kenny Aaronson joined on five tracks. The album received positive notice and the band launched another round of touring to promote the effort.

West’s later health struggles, resulting in a leg amputation, ended any chance of the band building on their recent impressive run. West has sounded disenchanted with the idea of reconstituting the band since his recovery and asserts there’s little gained from it with Pappalardi’s absence and the recent passing of original keyboardist Knight. Both West and Laing have continued to work, producing new and high quality material, suggesting that, while the road for Mountain does not go ever on, the individual stories of its surviving members are far from over.

“Guitars Exchange”

In the early ‘70s, the transition of rock as a form of expression towards the mass market entertainment industry swept aside in its wake a large number of musical pioneers – pioneers such as Mountain, the missing link to heavy metal’s beginnings, among others. The rock behind the mountain is none other than Leslie West, one of history’s most influential guitarists who the gods have only looked down kindly upon the one time, when he was courting a certain queen from Mississippi. Having recently turned 71 (born in October 1945), his biography may not take up that much space in the encyclopaedias, but that great song can still often be heard on the radio. Maybe his mistake was arriving at the right place, but at the wrong time in the history of rock.

Climbing! 
Mountain’s debut album in 1970, was in fact the ex-guitarist of The Vagrants’ second record, with whom he had already made a name for himself – both for his imposing frame and his unusual technique. He recorded his first album, a sublime slice of blues, by himself – tracks which convinced record producer Felix Pappalardithat this giant of a man was the perfect candidate to take over from Cream, another of his creations. It wasn’t long before a contract with Atlantic Records was laid on the table to be signed.

Back then, Clapton was god and West was set on sounding like him, exactly like him. This was going to be a dream come true for the 25-year-old New Yorker. To keep him company, Pappalardi had brought in Steve Knight on the keyboards and Laurence ‘Corky’ Laing on drums. Before he knew what had hit him, West found himself up on stage at Woodstock and about to become legend.

He took full advantage of the opportunity handed to him and surprised all and sundry with a record that didn’t just follow in the stellar path of the legendary trio, but was much grittier. That said, Pappalardi ensured that a piece by Jack Bruce was on there, even though it wasn’t one of the composer’s best efforts. The one-hit-wonder that Mississippi Queen would prove to be aside, songs such as Never in My Life (very popular back then), with their heavy, hypnotic riffs, were the early signs of hard rock’s coming of age. On Side B, back when you had to turn a record over and that pause in the proceedings actually mattered (not like with today’s CDs and USBs), the psychedelic hues present were more along the lines of progressive rock. At times it’s quite impossible to not think of Rush.

Apart from the elaborate and perfectionist work of West, also of note is the music played by Knight on the piano in Boys in the Band – almost the only chance that the keyboard player got to shine in an album ruled by West’s Gibson Les Paul Jr., a guitar that he is famous for, along with the Electra Plexiglass that he used to fool around with during his early concerts.

However, the hidden gem that can be found in Climbing! is the acoustic beauty, To My Friend, and the only song that West wrote entirely on his own. A fine example of just how well this maestro of the six strings can play.

Photos related to the album/track :

Mountain – “Climbing!” Album cover photo (front)

MOUNTAIN - CLIMBING 1 (2)

Mountain – “Climbing!” Album cover photo (back)

MOUNTAIN - CLIMBING 2 (2).jpg

Mountain – “Climbing!” Album  photo (A’ Side)

Image result for mountain climbing 1970

Photos related to the band :

Image result for mountain mississippi queen

Image result for mountain band climbing 1970 album

Image result for felix pappalardi and gail collins

Image result for mountain band leslie west

Links related to the album/track :

Mountain – “Never In My Life” Video on “YouTube”

Mountain – “Climbing!” Full Album Video on “YouTube”

Mountain – “Climbing!” Full Album on “Apple Music”

Mountain – “Climbing!” Full Album on “Google Play”

Mountain – “Climbing!” Full Album Download Link on “60-70 Rock” Blog

Mountain – “Climbing!” Full Album Download Link on “Gray Pianos Flying” Blog

Mountain – “Climbing!” Full Album Download Link on “Discos Fundamentais” Blog

Links related to the band :

Mountain Band’s Page on Discogs

 

 

 

 

Folk/Progressive Rock U.K. 1970S (Tracks) Fresh Maggots – “Spring”

Folk/Progressive Rock U.K. 1970S (Tracks)

Duo

Fresh Maggots (Nuneaton, Warwickshire, U.K.)

“Spring” (written by Mick Burgoyne and Leigh Dolphin) A6 track included on  the album “Fresh Maggots”

Released on RCA (Neon) Victor ( SF8205 ) in 1971

Line-up/Credits :

Acoustic Guitar – Leigh Dolphin

Arranged By, Conductor [Strings] – Brian Rogers (tracks: A2, A6, B3, B5)

Composed By – Dolphin, Burgoyne

Design, Photography By – Keef (4)

Electric Guitar, Glockenspiel, Tambourine, Violin, Tin Whistle – Mick Burgoyne

Engineer – Pete Hoskins

Producer – Mike Berry (13)

Released on an orange RCA Victor label with a cover laminated on front only.

Track List : 

01 Dole Song (0:00 – 3:27)
02 Rosemary Hill (3:28 – 7:02)
03 Quickie (7:03 – 8:24)
04 Everyone’s Gone To War (8:25 – 12:19)
05 And When She Laughs (12:20 – 15:08)
06 Spring (15:09 – 18:32)
07 Balloon Song (18:33 – 22:28)
08 Guzz Up (22:29 – 24:06)
09 Who’s To Die (24:07 – 28:02)
10 Elisabeth R (28:03 – 30:56)
11 Frustration (30:57 – 36:57)

Tracks : Fresh Maggots – “Hatched” (remastered edition including tracks previously unreleased)

1. Dole Song – 3:27
2. Rosemary Hill – 3:34
3. Quickie – 1:21
4. Everyone’s Gone To War – 3:55
5. And When She Laughs – 2:49
6. Spring – 3:22
7. Balloon Song – 3:56
8. Guzz Up – 1:37
9. Who’s To Die? – 3:55
10. Elizabeth R – 2:53
11. Frustration – 5:59
12. Car Song (non-album A-side) – 4:05
13. What Would You Do? (non-album B-side) – 2:47
14. Frustration (live) – 5:54
15. Rosemary Hill (live) – 3:49
16. Quickie (live) – 1:29
17. And When She Laughs (live) – 3:06
18. Spring (live) – 3:06

All songs by Mick Burgoyne and Leigh Dolphin
Tracks 12-18 previously unreleased.

Fresh Maggots were a short-lived folk duo from Nuneaton, Warwickshire in England, consisting of Mick Burgoyne and Leigh Dolphin, who played a variety of instruments including guitars, glockenspiel, tin whistles and strings. They released one album in 1970 before splitting up, but sustained interest saw it re-released in 2006.

This duo from Warwickshire that had a meteoric career, but their sole album is ultra-sought after especially so that both vinyl pressings had major fabrication flaws. They developed an acid-folk-prog that was particularly personal but their style was wide-ranging including fuzz guitars. Even before their debut album, this multi-instrumental duo was hyped by the music press, but there was an unusual delay (including an artwork change) between the recording and the release of the album, and when it did finally arrive on the market, all interest had waned. Which is a real shame, because the duo had much talent and they were switching from guitars to violin to glockenspiel to guitars again. Sadly they became one of the many casualty from the era’s overcrowded scene.

Their sole album finally got a Cd reissue with the non-album single tracks as a bonus. Apparently still unreleased are the BBC session recordings and there are the demo tracks for their projected second album.

The British folk-rock duo of Mick Burgoyne and Leigh Dolphin were just 19 years of age when their sole, self-titled album came out in 1971. Comprised entirely of original material, the LP has an admirable array of textures, adding some heavily distorted electric guitar and orchestration around an acoustic guitar base.” —Richie Unterberger, All Music

There are no weak links on this consistent album, which is thoroughly recommended.” –The Tapestry Of Delights.

The sole album by Fresh Maggots came and went very quickly at the tail-end of 1971, but in another sense it has never really gone away. Collectors have nudged the price of originals ever upwards, it has been bootlegged repeatedly and is now established as an ‘acid folk’ classic – facts that amaze its co-creators, Mick Burgoyne and Leigh Dolphin. They’d known each other  “since we were babies in pushchairs on the same housing estate in Nuneaton,”  as Leigh puts it today, but only really became friends when they met again as teenagers on the town’s small live circuit in the late 60s. By then Mick was playing electric guitar, glockenspiel, violin and tin whistle, while Leigh had become a superb acoustic guitarist.

They promptly teamed up and started to write songs that combined their love of both rock and folk. “We were into Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Taste as well as Pentangle and so on,”  Leigh explains, and as a result they decided to beef up their sound with heavy doses of fuzz guitar. “A fuller sound was important in clubs, and the fuzz gave us sustain. Without a band behind us, we needed that boost.”

Their unusual and not entirely serious name was gleaned from an ad on the front of the local paper, for ‘Riley’s Sports Shop -fresh maggots always available’. “We never thought we’d get anywhere, so it didn’t matter what we were called,” Mick says. “Maybe Always Available should have been the album title!” But an unexpected break came their way in September 1970, when Mike Berry -a music publishing hotshot who’d handled the Beatles’ catalogue at Apple -came to watch another act playing in a local Church Hall.

Mick and Leigh were the support, and though it was only their second gig, it was them that Berry promptly signed to a management contract. “After that, things started to happen very quickly,” continues Mick. “He got us straight down to London to make a live studio demo, which he hawked around various record companies.  We then did a gig in his office in Oxford Street for anyone who was interested and, on the strength of that, RCA sent some people to a gig in Coventry. Halfway through there was a powercut, but we just carried on. They were so impressed that they signed us on the spot.”

In their original press release, Mick described the extent of their ambitions as being “just to walk on stage with our gear, say hello and try to make as many people as possible a little more cheerful,” so the swiftness with which they found themselves in Radio Luxembourg’s studio at the end of 1970 was a little overwhelming. “We had no autonomy or real input into the album,” Leigh reflects. “We were still teenagers – just a pair of naive kids, really.” Despite that, the record they made was varied and powerful – and certainly belies their youth.

Dole Song, for example, is one of the most intense songs of the entire period.  A sardonic celebration of unemployment, its blend of violent acoustic and fiery fuzz guitars makes for a stunning opening gambit. Leigh describes it as “a bit of a piss-take, really. I was signing on at the time and had to explain to the officials that just because I was making an album didn’t mean I had a penny to my name.” Rosemary Hill, by contrast, is delicate and melodic. “We used to take Mick’s old van down to Devon to visit friends and write songs. We’d drive past this hill in Kenilworth, and agreed it would make a lovely name for a song, though the song’s not actually about the hill.” Quickie is a brief romantic tune, followed by Everyone’s Gone To War, a fuzz-laden anti-war polemic. “That subject was close to a lot of hearts at the time,” he says.

By contrast And When She Laughs is a cheery pastoral, led by Mick’s tin whistle and showcasing the duo’s more carefree side. Spring, a complex, carefully-structured number featuring powerful Eastern-style strings, precedes Balloon Song, a spirited piece of whimsy that is perhaps the most redolent of its era, albeit propelled by fuzz guitar.

The gentle Guzz Up owes its odd title to “a parody of the Nuneaton accent, as in ‘what goes up must come down’,” explains Leigh, while Who’s To Die? is a meditation on mortality, inspired by an unsettling accident the duo witnessed. “We were on our way to a Magna Carta gig in Coventry,” he says, “and we saw a little boy run out in front of a car and get knocked over. We never knew whether or not he was killed, but it was shocking and got us thinking.” The instrumental Elizabeth R is light relief by comparison – “we meant it to sound Elizabethan, but I’m not sure we succeeded. Its name was taken from a TV series on at the time.” An immediate contrast is provided by Frustration, which closes proceedings in epic style, alternating mellow passages with further storms of guitar.

It was an unquestionably unusual collection, but – despite their initial enthusiasm – RCA had grown sluggish. “Throughout 1971, things moved pretty slowly,” Mick says. “Everything was being done in London, but we were from the Midlands and had day jobs, so it all had to be recorded at weekends. Then there were delays with the string arrangements, and even the cover – they rejected the original artwork, which featured an old water mill.” Fresh Maggots was originally scheduled for release on RCA’s Neon subsidiary (with the working title Hatched), but finally emerged on the parent label in September 1971, fully a year after the sessions had commenced. It received extravagant praise in the music press (‘an extraordinary duo, their range is incredible and their sound is incredibly full,’ said Disc), but the label undertook no promotion and the launch party had to be cancelled due to lack of response.

This embarrassment prompted an enterprising RCA press officer to fabricate a tissue of lies about a poolside orgy involving the band, but it did no good. The LP resoundingly failed to sell, and – adding injury to insult – a pressing fault meant many copies had blisters on the playing surface. The duo remained optimistic, however, and played gigs alongside Van Der Graaf Generator, Medicine Head, Wild Turkey and others. They also undertook various radio sessions, and a surviving tape of one (made for Kid Jensen’s show on Radio Luxembourg, and included as bonus tracks here) shows what a formidable act they were.

RCA was fast losing interest, though. “They got a strop on, basically,” states Mick. “Mike Berry was the sort of bloke who changed with the wind, and he’d soon switched his attention onto the next big thing. We were out playing the college circuit and it all just faded away.” Before splitting, however, they released a single (also included here), the sing-along Car Song, backed with the laid-back What Would You Do?, which appeared in December 1971. “RCA didn’t really want it out, so they didn’t support it either,” he says. “And when it didn’t sell, that was the end of the road for us, as far as they were concerned.”

They returned to Nuneaton and, though they continued to play locally, no more material ever appeared. “We were the young innocents in the big bad music business, and became disillusioned, really,” he concludes. Certainly neither anticipated the following they’ve developed since. “As far as we were concerned, the album was deleted, dead and gone forever,” says Leigh. “So we were surprised and delighted when we found out about all the interest around the world.” Even more astonishing are the sums collectors are willing to pay for original copies. “I can’t believe it,” laughs Mick. “I can remember seeing it in Woolworth’s bargain bins!” Leigh is also surprised that they are now categorised as ‘acid folk’. “To us the album was just a collection of songs,” he says. “We only heard of ‘acid folk’ very recently.”

In summary, he remarks that “not a lot of local bands like us ever get to make records on major labels, so it was a great opportunity. But deep down I think we both knew it was never going to be a huge seller.” More than thirty years on, Mick has mixed feelings about the album. “Some of it makes me proud, some of it makes me cringe,” he says. “I tend to hear all the bits we should have done better, and some of the words are a bit naive. But lots of people tell me they like it just the way it is.

Taking their name from a newspaper advert for a sports shop that proclaimed “fresh maggots always available”, the pair were spotted by Mike Berry of the Sparta Florida Music Company in September 1970 while playing only their second concert at Wolvey village hall, and signed a publishing deal with the company. They were signed by RCA Records, who released their only album in 1971 – when they were nineteen years of age. Fresh Maggots was recorded at the Radio Luxembourg studios in London over several months at a cost of 1,500 pounds, and produced by Berry. Although its release was preceded by some degree of anticipation, delays in publishing gradually saw interest wane. Upon its release, it was met with favourable reviews, however record sales did not reflect this, and pressing was decommissioned soon after. The duo went on to play two live shows broadcast by BBC Radio 1. They released one single, “Car Song”, before splitting up.

The resurgent popularity of folk music over the last decade reawakened interest in the band and the album became a collector’s item fetching hundreds of pounds; The duo started to receive airplay in the US, prompting a reissue in 2006 as Fresh Maggots…Hatched on the Sunbeam label in the UK and Amber Soundroom in Germany, with the tracks from the “Car Song” single added. The reissued album received a three and a half stars review from Allmusic, and an 8 out of 10 score from PopMatters, with Whitney Strub describing it as “a remarkably assured debut—and finale”. Kevin Hainey, reviewing it for Exclaim!, stated the group’s “concise and fast-paced songwriting tendencies certainly make this stuff transcend its own age in a strange and wonderful way”. John M. James, in the River Cities’ Reader described it as a “five-star masterpiece of hypnotic vocals, electric fuzz guitar, trippy tin whistle, and shimmering six- and 12-string guitars”.

Discography :

Albums :

Fresh Maggots (1971), RCA Victor – reissued in 2006 on Sunbeam as Fresh Maggots…Hatched

Singles :

“Car Song” (1971), RCA Victor

Compilation appearances :

“Rosemary Hill” on Gather In The Mushrooms (The British Acid Folk Underground 1968-1974) (2004), Castle

“Dole Song” on Shifting Sands (20 Treasures From The Heyday Of Underground Folk) (2009), Sunbeam

“Rosemary Hill” on Dust On The Nettles (A Journey Through The British Underground Folk Scene 1967-1972) (2015), Grapefruit

Fresh Maggots – “Fresh Maggots” Album cover photo (front)

Image result for fresh maggots 1971

Fresh Maggots – “Fresh Maggots” C.D. artwork  photo (back)

Related image

Fresh Maggots – “Spring” Video link on YouTube

Fresh Maggots – “Fresh Maggots” Full Album Video link on YouTube

Fresh Maggots Band’s Page on Spotify

Fresh Maggots Band’s Page on Discogs

Fresh Maggots Band’s Page on Rate Your Music

Fresh Maggots – “Hatched” Remastered Edition of their eponymous album with unreleased tracks Full Album Download Link on Rockasteria Blog

How Rosemary Hill was immortalised by Nuneaton duo Fresh Maggots Pete Clemons on how an insignificant piece of road in Kenilworth became iconic. Article on Coventry Telegraph Website

Fresh Maggots Band’s Page on Facebook

Backbeat: Folk duo Fresh Maggots’ album now sells for hundreds FORTY years ago a Nuneaton prog-folk duo released a single in Europe that effectively signalled the end of their career. Article on Coventry Telegraph Website

Fresh Maggots Article about the band on Coventry Folk Club and Acoustic Scene 1960’s to Present BlogFresh

Maggots Band’s Page on eBay

Fresh Maggots Band’s Page on Google Play

Fresh Maggots Get a Welcome Re-Issue Article on River Cities Website

Fresh Maggots – “Hatched” Full Album Review on Dusted Magazine

Fresh Maggots Band’s Page on Apple Music

Fresh Maggots -“Fresh Maggots” Full Album Download Link on Contramao Prog Rock Blog