Saturday, August 22, 2009

Andromeda - Andromeda (1970)

German group unknown, record a solo disc for a French label for you then definitely miss their mark. The style is a hard-rock-inspired jazz-blues, where in some points very similar to the COLOSSEUM. Perhaps with some more hard you could watch a band interesting.

andromedaThe disc opens with the homonymous track Andromeda, already presenting a hard-rock with keyboards in the spotlight. There is no shortage of ideas especially in jazz where the final round of the bottom seems borrowed from Valentyna Suite.

Cosmos Main Road following the introduction performed by the classical piano for one song in a half a pulled very hard rock. Beautiful work done by the keyboards.

Galaxy is a blues-rock more conventional although there are also some interesting changes with melody in choral style.

A World On A Star is a slow song for piano and organ once again in classic style.

Space Trip breaks again with a very hard-rock pulled out is where the long drum solo finish which highlights the technical qualities of Steinborn absolutely not be underestimated.

Rockets is one of the best evidence of the disk being the longest track. The starting point is the jazz-rock but scattered inside you can hear psychedelic cues that make the track more deep and fascinating.

Closes Lady Silver Star, the most pop track that adds little or nothing to the rest of the disc.

Track Listing...
01. Andromeda - 5:25
02. Cosmos Main Road - 4:57
03. Galaxy Of Beauty, Galaxy Of Nightmares - 8:05
04. A world On A Star - 4:40
05. Space trip - 7:33
06. Rockets - 8:27
07. Silvery Lady Star - 4:39

Friday, August 21, 2009

Samurai - Kappa (!971)

Samurai – a Japanese group led by vocalist/flautist Miki Curtis. They went to Europe in late 1967, picking up some European members and thus becoming half-Japanese. In London they recorded a single and their debut album, the double-LP [so I’m told] ‘Samurai’ a.k.a. ‘Miki Curtis & Samurai’ [German Metronome, 1970], as well as a single only released in Italy. They should not be confused with the UK group of the same name, who released a self-titled LP on Greenwich in 1971.

Track Listing...

1 - Trauma (10:18)

2 - Same Old Reason (2:49)

3 - Daredatta (3:38)

4 - Vision Of Tomorrow (3:52)

5 - King Riff And Snow Flakes (22:28)

Samurai - Samurai (1971)

Samurai was previously known as Web. Once Web became Samurai, the band was no longer recording for Polydor, but for a far more obscure label, Greenwich. This is early '70s, where many progressive rock bands were still making song-based material, and Samurai was one of them. In fact, I really think the reason progressive rock got such a bad reputation later on was many people felt too many bands abandoned writing great songs in place of showing off their instrumental abilities and how complex they can make their music.
Samurai is truly another great, lost gem of early British progressive rock. I really like the jazzy feel that goes with it, and this is one progressive rock album you can't call "pretentious" (and we all know every prog rock detractor out there calls this kind of music "pretentious"). It's nothing but a collection of great songs with interesting use of instruments (organ, wind instruments, and the way the vibraphone is integrated in the music, rather than using it during jazzy solos like many other bands did at the time). I really highly recommend this album!

Track Listing...
1. Saving It Up For So Long
2. More Rain
3. Maudie James
4. Holy Padlock
5. Give A Little Love
6. Face In The Mirror
7. As I Dried The Tears Away
Bonus Tracks:
8. Give A Little Love (Live)
9. Holy Padlock (Live)
10. More Rain (Live)
11. Concerto For Bedsprings (Live)
12. Love You (Live)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Christopher - Christopher (1969)

Christopher first came together in 1968 out of Houston Texas area and were originally known as United Gas. Metromedia offered them a 2 year contract and suggested to change their band name because of similarity to Pacific Gas and Electric. After much thought, they came up with "Christopher", after Saint Christopher who was stripped of his sainthood. Their music was a bit heavy psych and the guitars sound so cool. Try this cd and you'll not be disappointed.

Track Listing...
1. Dark Road
2. Magic Cycles
3. Wilbur Lite
4. In Your Time
5. Beautiful Lady
6. Lies
7. Disasters
8. The Wind
9. Queen Mary
10. Burns Decision

Short Cross - Arising (1970)

I just listened to the album Arising by Short Cross the other day. I'm really impressed by this boogie rock outfit, considering that these guys were only in their teens when they recorded this album. It was a low budget recording from a small label, but these guys really rocked! Some of the tracks that stand out are, Nothin' but a woman, Wastin' Time, Suicide Blues, Just don't care, On my own, Till we reach the sun, That's her train and Before it rains. I really recommend this album for all 70's boogie rock fans. It's truly a rare gem.

Track Listing...
1. Nothin' But a Woman
2. Wastin' Time
3. Suicide Blues
4. Just Don't Care
5. On My Own
6. Till We Reach the Sun
7. Ellen
8. Hobo Love Song
9. On My Own [Stereo Mix]
10. Marching off to War [Stereo Mix]
11. That's Her Train [#]
12. Bomb [Unfinished Demo]
13. Before It Rains [Unfinished Demo]

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Joseph - Stone Age Man (1969)

The cover drawing of a cave man is completely apt. Joseph sings like he’s about to hit you in the head with a club. His gruff, gravely voice is completely perfect for songs with titles like “I Ain’t Fattenin’ No More Frogs For Snakes” and “Cold Biscuits and Fish Heads.” The backing is solid bluesy organ and guitar, with a few surprising moments here, like “Mojo Gumbo” speeding up at the end. While a bit of Howlin’ Wolf/Captain Beefheart shows through here and there, he’s really one step behind those guys on the evolutionary chart. His lead guitar playing is equally as crude as his vocals. This is a short album, with 9 songs in 29 minutes, and not a second is wasted, except maybe for the cover of “House of The Rising Sun.” Really cool!

Track Listing...
1. Trick Bag
2. I Ain't Fattenin' No More Frog
3. Cold Biscuits and And Fish Head
4. Stone Age Man
5. I'm Gonna Build A Mountain
6. Mojo Gumbo
7. The House of the Rising Sun
8. Gotta Get Away
9. Come The Sun Tomorrow

Primevil - Smokin' Bats at Camptons (1974)

Originally a private and limited vinyl release in 1974, Smokin' Bats At Compton's stands as a fine example of '70s hard rock. The overall sound is bluesy hard rock, very much in the style of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, although in recent years they have also appealed to psychedelic collectors. Highlights include the opening track 'Leavin', 'Progress' and the now legendary 'Hey Lover'.

Track Listing...
01.Leavin' (3:51)
02.Progress (3:25)
03.Fantasies (6:00)
04.Pretty Woman (3:11)
05.Tell Me If You Can (5:20)
06.Hey, Lover (2:36)
07.High Steppin' Stomper (4:27)
08.Your Blues (7:24)

JPT Scare Band - Past Is Prologue (1975)

These recordings from the Kansas City threesome, JPT Scare Band, from 1973-75, have been bootlegged for eons at pricey sums. If the band had a signed record contract back in the early '70s, there is no doubt they would be up there with Jimi Hendrix, Cream, and Black Sabbath for guitar overload damage. Unfortunately, these recordings never really made it out of the inner circles of hard psych heads. This is a classic snapshot into the basement of a true American Rock Band doing what they do best. It is easy to imagine all their friends freaking freely to their brand of tripped-out, space-vibe rock. Interesting liner and production notes round out this great package (lots of photos, lyrics, etc.) and proves that, in the mid-'70s, not all of American rock was asleep or staring at its navel.The JPT Scare Band's screaming electric psych/blues barely made it past the basement where they first rehearsed back in 1973, but someone was smart enough to tape these three titans of volume at work. That work became the album known as Sleeping Sickness, an album spoke about in hushed reverence among heavy psych heads that were lucky enough to hear it.
Past is Prologue gives us a snapshot of the band through time, including tracks recorded in 1975, '76, '77, '93 - and oddly the best track, Sci-Fi acid-epic "Burn in Hell", recorded in 2001. The reason I say "oddly", is because the band seems not to have skipped a beat over the years. The musical chemistry between the three members of the band is awe- inspiring..."Burn in Hell" sounds as fiery and intense as, say, "Time To Cry" did back in '75.
The beauty of the JPT Scare Band is it's ability to function as a unit in the nebulous field of the free-form heavy jam. They start with a chord progression and the rest is a musical conversation, the direction dictated by unspoken energies. Terry Swope is a gawdam genius. One of the best all around soul guitarists I've ever heard. The kind that are unencumbered by strict technique and play soley based on smoldering emotion. Definitely in the league with the best in that genre...Hendrix, Duane Allman, Robin Trower and Carlos Santana. The other two comparatively unheralded players in the band are of equal importance - bassist Paul Grigsby anchors the band with an equal amount of soul and passion and drummer Jeff Littrell knows when to dig in with a fill and push the band a bit, and then back off in the more soulful moments. The end result is nothing short of mind-blowing.A must for those into heavy psych and/or those that are true aficionados of the mysteries of the jam.

Track Listing...
1. Burn in Hell
2. I've Been Waiting
3. Wino
4. Sleeping Sickness
5. Time To Cry
6. Titan's Siren
7. Jerry's Blues
8. It's Too Late (Revisited)

Love Sculpture - Blues Helping (1968)

Love Sculpture formed in Cardiff in 1966 out of the remnants of another local band called The Human Beans, and disbanded in 1970, although Edmunds went on to enjoy solo success in the 1970s. The band itself was essentially a showpiece for Edmunds' considerable technical ability on the guitar. Love Sculpture mostly performed blues standards, slightly revved-up, but still largely reverent to the originals, releasing their debut album, Blues Helping with such songs as "Summertime", "Wang Dang Doodle" etc. They are best known for their 1968 novelty hit in the UK Singles Chart, a high speed cover version of the classical piece "Sabre Dance", by Aram Khachaturian, released on the Parlophone label (R 5744). The recording was inspired by Keith Emerson's classical rearrangements.[3] "Sabre Dance" became a hit after garnering the enthusiastic attention of British DJ John Peel.[3] This was followed by a second album Forms and Feelings, with songs including: "In The Land of the Few", "Farandole", "People People", "Seagull" and the equally fast cover of Chuck Berry's "You Can't Catch Me".They recorded three times for BBC Radio 1's John Peel sessions in 1968 (twice) and 1969.[4] Love Sculpture split up after a U.S. tour, having recorded two albums. Edmunds shortly went on to further number one hit success with "I Hear You Knocking", and collaborated heavily with ex-Brinsley Schwarz bassist Nick Lowe, eventually forming the band Rockpile with him.

Track Listing...

2...Three O' Clock Blues
3...I Believe To My Soul
4...So Unkind
6...On The Road Again
7...Don't Answer The Door
8...Wang Dang Doodle
9...Come Back Baby
10...Shake Your Hips
11...Blues Helping

Lucifer's friend - Lucifer's Friend (1970)

This German hard rock machine, with British belter John Lawton, (later of Uriah Heep) gave birth to one of the best heavy rock albums of the early 70's. From the screaming vocals of "Ride In The Sky" (with its brass opening reminiscent of Zeppelin's "The Immigrant Song" and an almost "thrash metal" riff) to the progressive/ hard R&B of "Toxic Shadows", to the lumbering, Sabbathish doom of "Keep Goin", this album never lets up for a second. Fans of Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin must have this in their collection! Lawton is one of the best singers in hard rock, and the musicianship of the group is tremendous. Very heavy indeed for a 1970 release.

Track Listing...

1. Ride in the Sky
2. Everybody's Clown
3. Keep Goin'
4. Toxic Shadows
5. Free Baby
6. Baby You're a Liar
7. In the Time of a Job When Mammon was a Yippie
8. Lucifer's Friend

Space Farm - Space Farm (1972)

First time on CD for original version and highly sought after New Zealand early 70's monster with original cover art intact. The previous reissue included re-recorded material so beware of fakes. Features the genius guitar work of Harvey Mann of The Under.

Track Listing...
1. Space Farm
2. Homeward Bound
3. Infinity Way
4. Waking Dream
5. On The Loose
6. Flying
7. Gypsy Queen
8. Wheel
9. Lover Not A Dancer

Shinki Chen - Shinki Chen and His friends (1971)

Heavy Psych. Fuzzy Bass. Echoes in a cave vocals. As long as we're in the habit of comparing these lesser known folks to the big names, this guy is oft referred to as "Japan's Hendrix." Very chill, very good. Click it and dig it.

Track Listing...
01. The Dark Sea Dream
02. Requiem of Confusion
03. Freedom of a Mad Paper Lantern
04. Gloomy Reflections
05. It Was Only Yesterday
06. Corpse
07. Farewell to Hypocrites

Speed, Glue and Shinki - Speed, Glue and Shinki (1972)

If you like that heavy drugged psych sound from the early '70's then Speed, Glue & Shinki is a must! This is a excellent sounding group from Japan and featured the great Shinki Chen on guitar. If you like Blues Creation, Juan De La Cruz, Flower Travellin' Band and Too Much then you are going to love this rare release! The Psychedelic weirdness predominates on this release which rips along like a sludge heavy Led Zep meets Sabbath.

Track Listing...
01. Sniffin & Snortin Pt. 1
02. Run and Hide
03. Bad Woman
04. Red Doll
05. Flat Fret Swing
06. Sniffin & Snortin Pt. 2
07. Don't Say No
08. Calm Down
09. Doodle Song
10. Search for Love
11. Chuppy
12. Wanna Take You Home
13. a) Sun b) Planets c) Life d) Moon
14. Song for an Angel

Friday, August 14, 2009

Agnes Strange - Theme For A Dream (1972)

This heavy trio from Southampton, England, led by singer-guitarist John Westwood, somehow didn't make a splash on the early '70s boogie circuit despite their obvious similarities to beloved acts like the Groundhogs, Budgie and the almighty Status Quo. Despite some heavy names in their corner, including management company DJM (led by Dick James, who had made a mint off the Beatles' publishing) and A&R folks at Pye Records, some bad luck and inexplicable business decisions led them off course. Foremost among these was a fundamental misunderstanding of the term "pub rock," which led Pye to release Strange Flavour on a one-off label called Birdsnest, which was affiliated with a chain of theme pubs of the same name, owned by the beer manufacturer Watney's.

Track Listing...
Unreleased Masters:
01.Theme for a Dream - 2:23
02.Messin' Around - 4:58
03.Graveyard - 5:19
04.Rockin' in 'e' - 4:39
05.Dust in the Sunlight - 3:50
06.The Day Dreamer - 3:49
07.Book With No Cover - 5:54
Original Demos:
08.Failure - 5:51
09.Motorway Rebel - 3:46
10.Children of the Absurd - 7:17
11.Clever Fool - 3:31
12.Strange Flavour - 4:15
13.Odd Man Out - 3:45
14.Highway Blues - 9:41

Skid Row - 34 Hours (1971)

Skid Row was a band that never really made it to the top, but always had a strong loyal following. The band toured two times in the USA and Europe. In between these tours they released their second and last album, "34 Hours". Indeed, they only needed 34 hours to create this little masterpiece. Brush Shiels used his bass as a melody instrument, inspired by the jazz sounds of Dave Brubeck and Oscar Peterson. On the other hand, Gary Moore was definitely bringing forth the hard rock influences by using such modern technological achievements as wah-wah tricks and reaction coupling.
The music of "34 Hours" was completely different, compared with the debut. There were lots of changes in pace and musical style. One of the most important songs on the album was the straight boogie "Go, I'm Never Gonna Let You Go, Part I" and another one, the mid-tempo slice of country/blues, "Lonesome Still". At this point, Skid Row seemed to be on their way to the top, but during their preparations for the third US tour, Gary Moore decided quit the band and go solo.

Track Listing...
1 Night of the Warm Witch 9:06
2 First Thing in the Morning 1:57
3 Mar 6:35
4 Go, I'm Never Gonna Let You, Pts. 1 & 2 8:51
5 Lonesome Still 3:51
6 The Love Story, Pts. 1-4 5:09
7 Night of the Warm Witch [*] 4:38
8 Mr. De-Luxe [*] 4:13

Skid Row - Skid Row (1970)

Not to be confused with Skid Row of Sebastian Bach of the 80's. Skid Row was formed in Ireland in 1967 by bassist & songwriter Brush Shiels. The band also featured Phil Lynott on vocals, the 17 year old Gary Moore on guitar and Noel Bridgeman on drums. Phil Lynott left after recording the band's debut single, and went on to form Thin Lizzy. The band continued as a trio, with Gary Moore, Brush Shiels & Noel Bridgeman. Eventually, Gary Moore also left, and went on to become one of rock music's most acclaimed guitarists.
From psychedelic-influenced beginnings, the classic Skid Row sound developed as a combination of breezy country ballads, Cream-like heavy blues, angular King Crimson-ish high-volume prog rock and an overriding fascination in finding a Brubeck/Coltrane influenced, rock-based fusion entirely their own.

Track Listing...
01. Mad Dog Woman
02. Virgo's Daughter
03. Heading Home again
04. An Awful lot of Woman
05. Unco-op Showband Blues
06. For those who
07. After I'm Gone
08. The Man who never was
09. Felicity

Scorpion - Scorpion (1969)

Not to be confused with the Scorpions from Germany, this band is from Detroit, Michigan, USA. The band's only album containing hard rock with a funky edge. Scorpion were not part of the local rock scene (MC-5, SRC, Amboy Dukes, Bob Seger) back then. Like Rare Earth, Scorpion was a bar band . They also did session work as well. So enjoy once again an obscure album from the late 60's.

Track Listing...
01 Running From Myself
02 Make Love Not War
03 Great Day
04 Standing In My Mind
05 Wildflower
06 Take A Look At Yourself
07 Happy Blues Time
08 Touched By An Angel
09 Please Make My Mind Right

Iron Maiden - Maiden Voyage (1969)

Not to be confused with the legendary wrinkly rockers Iron Maiden of the 80's with Steve Harris, but an earlier band from Basildon. Recorded between 1969 and 1970, this - their debut album, is a classic piece of early doom metal progression featuring the spine chilling guitar of Trevor Thoms. Also includes the (at the time) longest single ever and two tracks by Bum!
A welcome reissue. Not the Iron Maiden, but a much more obscure and earlier outfit with the same name. The 'A' side to their sole 45 is a brilliant lengthy guitar-led piece with a solo well beyond the length of a 1970 single.They were known as Burn up until January 1970 and in March of the same year they toured Australia.

Track Listing...

01. Falling - 6.04
02. Ned Kelly - 3.15
03. Liar - 12.21
04. Ritual - 8.47
05. CC Ryder - 6.12
06. Plague - 8.26
07. Ballad Of Martha Kent - 6.50
08. God Of Darkness - 4.18

The Third Power - Believe (1970)

The Third Power was Detroit's answer to Cream back in the late 60's to early 70's and in fact did a rendition of "I'm So Glad" that rivaled anything Cream did. Third Power was intense sonic output, a power trio that used high output vacuum tube Traynor amps and pretty much did entirely original music. And they did it at volumetric deciblage that surely contributed to hearing loss among many an aged hippie; the Who had little edge in that respect save they had a bigger PA system. Third Power was always a draw at any Detroit venue and personally my other favourite Detroit group (SRC was first even though they were from Ann Arbor). This album is purely studio; way too produced and laden with overdubs impossible to duplicate live, at least with the technology available then (multi key synthesizers were light years away) and it was not strong enough to capture the all important top 40 FM market and most importantly, did not sell well outside of Detroit and related environs. Still, it is well worth a listen and does represent an accurate accounting of the Detroit music scene along with some decent lyrics and musicianship. Should you have liked the MC-5 or The Frost, this would be the intesity of these groups amplified with a more cerebral appeal.

Track Listing...
1. Gettin' Together
2. Feel So Lonely
3. Passed By
4. Lost in a Daydream
5. Persecution
6. Comin' Home
7. Won't Beg Any More
8. Crystalline Chandelier
9. Like Me Love Me

Thunder and Roses - King of The Black Sunrise (1969)

Thunder and Roses,an early power trio from Philadelphia USA, recorded King of the Black Sunrise in 1969. This garage rock album is a hard rockin’, ultra heavy, Hendrix-inspired, slab of bluesy psychedelia. Track one, the classic “White Lace and Strange”, was covered by Nirvana in a radio broadcast. Though the group’s listed record label “Lizard” might well be an appropriate name, in reality this album was released by Liberty Records.

Track Listing...
  1. White Lace And Strange
  2. I Love A Woman
  3. Country Life
  4. Red House
  5. Moon Child
  6. Dear Dream Maker
  7. King Of The Black Sunrise
  8. Open Up Your Eyes

Totty - Totty (1977)

If you like that heavy guitar sound from the mid '70's then Totty is a must! If you're into bands like Neil Merryweather, Montrose, Nitzinger or Highway Robbery then you will love this cd. "From the blistering Southern rock instrumental opener, 'Thus Saith The Lord', to the final chords of 'Somebody Help Me', this explosive album by the Oklahoma-based Totty brothers simply rocks from beginning to end. Dennis and Byron Totty, supported by a revolving door of drummers, rock their way through 9 self-penned tracks as if they're a major headlining act, instead of an obscure duo from Tulsa whose privately-pressed eponymous album from 1977 enjoyed sales of just 50 copies (the number the brothers reportedly pressed!). Rumour has it that the brothers Totty recorded another album later, but it is only on this stylish debut that we are able to make our judgement. Influences are in abundance, but more often than not it is Led Zeppelin's power R&B that we are reminded of, although Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top also spring easily to mind.

Track Listing...
1-Thus Saith The Lord
2-T-Town Tears
3-Crack In The Cosmic Egg
4-Love Down By One Share
5-I'Ve Done Made Up My Mind
6-Wicked Truth
7-Trying To Forget You
8-Take Me Away Jesus
9-Somebody Help Me

Truth and Janey - No Rest For The Wicked (1976)

Not to be dismissed because of its underground status, Truth and Janey's only LP, No Rest for the Wicked, was another incredible find for indie record label Monster Records, which has always specialized in digging up long-forgotten American hard rock nuggets from the '70s, but really struck gold this time around. Boasting a swaggering, bluesy grit, piercing twin-harmony licks, and the most righteously ferocious rhythm guitar tone this side of Ted Nugent, opener "Down the Road I Go" instantly establishes the band's '70s hard rock aesthetic whose roots, not surprisingly, lie in English giants like Cream, Jeff Beck, and even more so in Rory Gallagher's Taste, on this particular track. The powerful influence of these '60s guitar heroes can also be heard in Truth and Janey's revved-up blues covers (Willie Dixon's "I'm Ready" and Mississippi John Hurt's "Ain't No Tellin'") and groove-driven originals ("The Light"), while a slightly more distinctive voice emerges in truly memorable, half-electric/half-acoustic creations like "It's All Above Us" and the title track (showcasing frantic sprints between six-stringer Billy Janey and powerhouse drummer Denis Bunce). And this being the '70s, there was bound to be a progressive-sized epic on hand, and it's pleasant to discover that No Rest for the Wicked's entry — a nine-minute opus called "Remember" — is no throwaway. Quite the opposite, as it offers at least four or five contrasting passages that range from delicate melodies accompanied by equally timid falsettos, to dexterously improvised jazz-rock breaks, to orchestrated battalions of ascending hard rock power chords, climaxing intermittently in sterling guitar histrionics. (Followers of overlooked Welsh trio Budgie and Canadian legends Rush alike take heed of this, and also the familiar, Alex Lifeson/Rush "By-Tor and the Snow Dog" effects on "My Mind.") Bassist Steven Bock, the last bandmember not yet named, was no slouch himself, not only producing all of these tracks, but sharing duo and solo lead vocals with Janey to give most of these tracks yet another Cream-descended flavor. Sure, Truth and Janey depend pretty heavily on dual guitar harmonies for a one-guitar power trio, but that's just wasteful nit-picking for a band so long departed, and whose overlooked gem of an album still sounds so amazingly vital and engaging today. [No Rest for the Wicked's long-awaited CD issue covered all bases by adding all four tracks Truth and Janey released as singles in the early '70s; including significantly less focused blues rockers of their own design, and a rather unique, boogie charged rendition of the Rolling Stones' "Under My Thumb."]

Track Listing...
1. Down the Road I Go
2. The Light
3. I'm Ready
4. Remember
5. No Rest for the Wicked
6. It's All Above Us
7. Ain't No Tellin'
8. My Mind
9. Midnight Horsemen
10. Around and Around
11. Under My Thumb
12. Straight Eight Pontiac

Juan dela Cruz Band - Maskara (1974)

The Juan dela Cruz Band is one of the few less commercialized electric bands in the Philippines, a South East Asia archipelago which claims to have more western-oriented musicians per square mile than any country in the world. The impact of the group in the local hard and mellow rock scene is tremendous , the band was featured in the first open field Rock festival in the Philippines, the “Antipolo Rock Festival”. The bands popularity gained terrific momentum in September of 1971 when it reaped a singular honor in backing up the “Jesus Christ, Superstar” Rock opera production at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP). Then in December of the same year, the band garnered it’s crowning glory when again, for the first time in the Philippines, a rock group on it’s own, backed by a full Symphony Orchestra (the National Philharmonic) was presented in concert at the prestigious CCP. No other group in the Philippines gained so much greater heights of success in relativity a very short span of time. The Juan dela Cruz Band now reaches out for a wider international audience."

Track Listing...
1. Maskara
2. Pinoy Blues
3. Nadapa Sa Arina
4. Nakatagong Mata
5. Beep Beep
6. We Love You
7. Pagod Sa Pahinga
8. Rak En Roll Sa Mundo
9. Balong Malalim
10. Palengke
11. Naglalakbay
12. Last Song

Juan dela Cruz Band - Up In Arms (1971)

The original Juan Dela Cruz Band, consisting of Wally Gonzalez (guitar), Sandy Tagarro (bass guitar), Edmund Fortuno (drums), Bing Labrador (organ), and Alex Cruz (saxophones & flute), was formed in 1968. (Source: They performed that year at the Antipolo Rock Festival (filipino equivalent to the legendary Woodstock Rock Festival of 1969) and was subsequently tapped as the featured rock band in tandem with the Manila Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Redentor Romero) for the Philippine production of the rock opera by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, Jesus Christ Superstar, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Consequent to his dramatic part as the Judas character in the rock opera production, Sandy Tagarro vacated his instrumentalist role in the group and was replaced by Clifford Ho as bass guitarist.Upon the conclusion of the Jesus Christ Superstar production, Edmund Fortuno (aka "Bosyo"), Bing Labrador and Alex Cruz (with guitarist Vic Naldo and bassist Marlon Ilagan) formed a splinter group, Anakbayan which, together with the Manila Symphony Orchestra, performed for another major production run at the Cultural Center, the rock opera, Tommy by The Who.The versatile Sandy Tagarro returned to the Juan Dela Cruz Band, occupying the drummer's seat as Fortuno's replacement, and also as the band's lead vocalist; while Clifford Ho retained the bass chores. A musician from the Manila Symphony Orchestra (whom they had befriended in the Jesus Christ Superstar production), Romy Santos (flute/sax/clarinet), replaced Alex Cruz. Rene Segueco (organ/piano/vocal) was also recruited to replace Bing Labrador. In the wake of this major revamp, the Juan Dela Cruz Band recorded its first album in 1971, entitled Up in Arms, which was released by the Vicor Music Corporation under its Sunshine Records imprint. However, complications in the band caused Sandy Tagarro to leave abruptly barely after concluding the Up In Arms recording sessions; not even to pose for the album's photography. Consequently, the group picture for the LP's album cover showed a different drummer (Bobot Guerrero), with Tagarro's name stricken off the personnel credits, with exception to a parenthetical credit of him as composer of one song ("Lady in White Satin"). Bobot Guerrero's entry as the new drummer of Juan Dela Cruz continued through the promotional run of the album and into concerts and club stints.The Up in Arms album was not a commercial success and had not been reissued by Vicor Music Corporation to date. An unauthorized compact disc translation of the LP (albeit excellently remastered and packaged) by Shadoks /Normal Music (Bonn, Germany) --with spurious bonus tracks from a later edition of the band-- is sold in online Internet shops. Wally Gonzales is showcased as a rock guitarist with progressive leanings in this early effort. In several months, keyboardist Rene Sugueco had also left (briefly replaced by Larry Martinez), and bassist Clifford Ho (briefly replaced by Tony Rodriguez). It was during this transition phase that Joey Smith had recently returned to the Philippines from a successful sojourn in Japan, and in 1973 had accepted a cameo singing role at the Cultural Center's "Little Theater" for an abortive rock musical (produced by Carlitos Benavides) based on Erich Segal's novel then in vogue, Love Story, in which the Juan Dela Cruz Band was once again called upon to perform. This was also the period when the members of Juan Dela Cruz and Anakbayan where freely associating and performing collectively as a "supergroup" ensemble in various concerts.

Track Listing...

1. Justice (Where Are You)
2. Stranger In A Land
3. Mystery Roach
4. Requiem For A Head
5. Lady In White Satin
6. Love Of A Woman
7. Kagatan (Live)
8. Balong Malalim (Live)
9. Beep Beep (Live)
10. Palengke (Live)
11. Langit (Live)
12. Sarap Ng Buhay (Live)

Juan dela Cruz Band - Himig Natin (1973)

One of our great homegrown artist which hit the international scene. The state of Juan Dela Cruz's flux and gradual dissolution led Wally Gonzales to reconvene an all-new powerhouse trio, together with Joey Smith (later a.k.a. "Pepe Smith") as singer-drummer-composer; and with singer-bassist-composer Mike Hanopol. Smith and Hanopol collaborated in Tokyo with Japanese guitarist Shinki Chen in a "free-rock" trio setup called Speed, Glue & Shinki, which had released two seminal albums for Atlantic Records Japan. Rock music historian Julian Cope narrates in his book, Japrocksampler (Bloomsberry, 2007), that Shinki Chen had recruited Joey Smith (and later, Mike Hanopol) from a Filipino rock group called Zero History, which he found performing in Tokyo's mall district. (Wally Gonzales was the guitarist of Zero History.) And thus the vibe of Speed, Glue & Shinky is noteworthy in the earliest contributions of Smith and Hanopol for the Juan Dela Cruz collaboration, especially in the stop-start heaviness of "Take You Home" (revived from the eponymous second album of S,G&S), and the talking blues of "Blues Train".The ensuing album by the iconic trio of Gonzales, Smith & Hanopol, unfurling its masterly title track, Himig Natin (translated in English, "Our Hymn"), went on to become the anthem of Manila's post-hippie culture and underground radio network, particularly the DZRJ-AM Radio show, "Pinoy Rock 'n' Rhythm" --later on shortened to Pinoy Rock. "Himig Natin" famously rallied Pinoy Rock, which swelled into a movement and provided indicators of its yet-unrealized commercial fuel. The social impact and innovations of the Juan Dela Cruz Band inadvertently became the catalyst for the inception of Original Pilipino Music (OPM) and the viability for diverse, originally-authored musical genres to emerge and thrive in the Philippines.

Track Listing...
1. Take You Home.
2. I Wanna Say Yeah.
3. Round And Round.
4. Blues Train.
5. Rock And Roll Sa Ulan.
6. Shake Your Brains.
7. Mamasyal Sa Filipinas.
8. Big Boss Man.
9. Himig Natin.

Road - Road (1972)

Akarma brings you another piece of essential rock history with Noel Redding's Road. Redding was also a member of the Noel Redding Band & Fat Mattress, not to mention Jimi Hendrix's astounding bassist. Recorded at Record Plant Studios in Los Angeles in 1972, the trio features Redding on bass, Rod Richards on guitar & Leslie Sampson on drums, with all three taking turns on vocals. A classic power trio whose only album finds itself at home in the heavy rock terrain, & which hasn't faded one bit in the past 30 years. A necessary tribute to these megaliths of rock.

Track Listing...
1. I'm Trying
2. I'm Going Down to the Country
3. Mushroom Man
4. Man Dressed in Red
5. Spaceship Earth
6. Friends
7. Road

Release Music Orchestra - Garuda (1975)

Release Music Orchestra was a pretty fusion/jazz rock band coming from Germany which recorded some nice albums; the second one of its discography is this Garuda, issued in 1975, with such line-up: Wolfgang Lindner - drums, vocales; Holger Dunkel - bass; Margitta Haberland - guitar, Percussion, vocals; Norbert Jacobsen - pianpo, vocals, wind; Johannes Alto Pappert - saxophone; Jochen Petersen - saxophone; Manfred Rurup - synthesizer, keyboards, vocals; Snappy Stortebaker - bongos. Enjoy!

Track Listing...
1 Slapstick (10:18)
2 Zwischenspiel: Holger (0:45)
3 Torso Im Sommerwind (4:20)
4 Zwischenspiel: Norbert (0:47)
5 Rallye Dallye (2:18)
6 Zwischenspiel: Zabba (0:25)
7 Zwischenspiel: Manne (0:53)
8 Garuda (12:20)
9 Zwischenspiel: Margit (0:58)
10 Mama Kubu (8:10)

Goliath - Hot Rock and Thunder (1972)

Goliath were yet another underrated hard rock band that released one album in 1972. They hailed from Kentucky. The strength of Goliath was the vocal powerhouse Jim Kitchen whose wide range pushed the whole record up a few notches. Goliath suffered from a bit of an identity crisis, trying their hand at blues-based southern rocking as well as AOR type radio-friendly catchiness. This might have contributed to their obscurity, but it's still hard to believe that the band that penned a song as cool as We're Not Afraid wouldn't have enjoyed some success. At times Goliath gets a bit goofy, but over the course of the seven songs here, there's enough greatness to forgive the occasional chaff.

Track Listing...
01. We´re Not Afraid
02. Ordinary Guy
03. Tell Me You´re Satisfied
04. Silver Girl
05. Dead Drunk Screamin´
06. Hot Rock and Thunder
07. The Apocalypse

Gift - Blue Apple (1974)

Gift were one of those "no compromise" heavy progressive bands, who've now achieved a considerable cult status. They started up in 1969 as the school band Phallus Dei. Three years later they recorded the first Gift album at Union Studios in Munich, produced by Otto B. Hartmann. Nick Woodland was listed on the sleeve of their first album, but he had quit Gift before the recording session began to join Subject Esq., later Sahara. The album comprised eight songs with no flutes, no woodwinds and no keyboards, just plain hard guitar riffs, to be compared to Hairy Chapter.
Blue Apple (1974) was basically a heavy guitar album, but also featured keyboards courtesy of Dieter Frei (organ, piano, moog, mellotron, vocals). The album was recorded in Hamburg at Teldec Studios with Hartmann and Thomas Kukuck engineering.

Track Listing...
1. Blue Apple
2. Rock Scene
3. Don’t Waste Your Time
4. Pslam
5. Everything’s Allright
6. Go to Find a Way
7. Reflections. Part 1
8. Reflections. Part 2
9. Left the Past Behind

Geronimo Black - Geronimo Black (1972)

Their first album was produced by Keith Olsen (the former Music Machine/Millennium member) and should particularly interest the Zappa and Captain Beefheart fans. Musically it mixes blues (Low Ridin' Man), instrumental tracks (Siesta, Quaker's Earthquake) and rock tracks (Other Man, L.A. County Jail 59, Let Us Live); its high point being An American National Anthem written by Black about the Indian killings ("Indian Land is stolen, 52 million dead, each one's head is scalped by a trick taught by white man hunters coming over the land"). The lyrics and musicianship are both really strong. Buzz Gardner, Murray Roman and a small string section also played on this underrated album.

Track Listing...
1. Low Ridin' Man
2. Siesta
3. Other Man
4. La County Jail
5. Let Us Live
6. Bullwhip
7. Quaker's Earthquake
8. Gone
9. An American National
10. Anthem
11. (Bonus Track) 59 Chevy

Fuzzy Duck - Fuzzy Duck (1971)

Fuzzy Duck Has Been Compared to Groups Like Wishbone Ash, Camel and Atomic Rooster. They Certainly Maintain a High Standard of Musicianship. The Fuzzies Formed in North London in 1970 and Signed to Decca Offshoot Label Mam, but Only 500 Copies of their LP were Pressed. This CD Edition Has Eight Tracks, Including 'a Word from Big D', an Entertaining Performance from Roy Sharland Offering his Humorous 'ducking' Vocals. Among Four Bonus Items Are the a and B-sides of Two Singles that Featured Top Guitarist Garth Watt-roy. Original Vinyl Artwork in Square CD Digi-sleeve Format (Card Wallet - No Plastic) plus Inserted Fold-out Poster. Booklet with Authoritative and Extensive Liner Notes by Respected Author and Journalist Chris Welch. Limited to Only 3,000 Copies.

Track Listing...
1. Time Will Be Your Doctor
2. Mrs. Prout
3. Just Look Around You
4. Afternoon Out
5. More Than I Am
6. Country Boy
7. In Our Time
8. Word From Big D
9. Double Dealing Woman (Bonus Track)
10. Big Brass Band (Bonus Track)
11. One More Hour (Bonus Track)
12. No Name Face (Bonus Track)

Part 1
Part 2

Fire - Could You Understand Me (1973)

This one my dear friends its maybe one of the best heavy fuzz albums ever from Europe. A true power trio that came from Yugoslavia but recorded their one and only album in Holland back in 1973. Pretty cool that it is lyrics in both yugoslavian and english. And so much fuzz that it will be enough for ten albums. Now days this is a very rare record, it was originaly released on the private label Killroy in Holland. If you know what more they have relesed please write in comments. Their influences most have been groups like Cream, Blue Cheer and Hendrix. So if you like heavy fuzz rock this one is for you.

Track Listing...
01. could you understand me
02. dedicated to love
03. memory of you
04. jeden divan dan (a wonderful day)
05. hey you
06. where are you
07. flames