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Gandalf - Gandalf

1969

Capitol 121

Track List:

Golden Earrings, Hang On To A dream, Never Too Far, Scarlet Ribbons, You Upset The Grace Of Living, Can You Travel Alone, Nature Boy, Tiffany Rings, Me About You, I Watch The Moon.

Review:

Lets begin this review with “the music gospel according to BlueMagoo”…

When you cover another artist’s song, make sure you do it well AND make it your own.

The Gandalf LP, like the medieval artist Hieronymous Bosch, is all about details and although it consists of mainly covers, the band has made every track their very own. It is a sometimes haunting and chilling affair but nevertheless it is first-rate and an absolute must for all psych aficionados. The album opens with the stunning cover of Bing Crosby’s “Golden Earrings”. That channels from speaker to speaker pulling the listener into its spaced out web. Next up is the poignant “Hang On To A Dream” which comes complete with some truly eerie piano work However, it is when Sando sings in the second verse “…and what will I try” (that seems to belch out of him for an eternity) one can feel his pain and see his soul being bared to the world. A remarkable song that is completely breathtaking.

“Never Too Far” has some blistering and howling guitar work that winds its way around Sando’s vocal chords like a python suffocating its prey. “Scarlet Ribbons” is for me one of the two weaker tracks on the album. Musically and lyrically the song just doesn’t reach out and work like some of the others.
“You Upset The Grace Of Living” is probably my favourite song on the whole album. This track has featured numerous times on compilations I have made over the years for previous girlfriends. The lyrics are wonderful and the music is an exquisite slice of swirling organ, marvellous drumming, and reverberating vocal effects. However, it is the dazzling guitar note that features at 1:34 that really makes this song for me…again, it is all in the detail.

“Can You Travel in the Dark Alone” is one of two impressive originals by Sando. It has some brilliant backwards-warbling guitar effects, which surrounds your head with its intense throbbing and pulsating sound. “Nature Boy” again has a rather tasty guitar solo that vomits and spews its lysergic haze all over the place. “Me About You” begins as a quiet unearthly number with its church like organ and echoey vocals but then the drums come in like machine gun fire and shatter all tranquillity and literally rip the hairs off the back of your neck whilst pinning you up against the wall. Astonishing.

The album closes with the second Sando original “I Watch The Moon”. Again this track highlights the strength of the bands songwriting and reinforces their ability to compose original musical compositions. A marvellous psych jam closes the song and the album leaving us gasping for air, yet easily wanting more. Shame they never recorded a second album.
If it were not for the two weaker tracks (“Scarlet Ribbons”& “Tiffany Rings”) this record would be a near perfect LP.

Submitted by BlueMagoo - November 2002

 

Gentle Soul - Gentle Soul

1969

Epic BN 26374

Track List:

Overture, Marcus, Song For Eolia, Young Man Blue, Renaissance, See My Love (Song For Greg), Love Is Always Real, Empty Wine, Through A Dream, Reelin', Dance.

Review:

Produced by : Terry Melcher
Musicians :
Tony Cohan - tabla
Ry Cooder - guitar, mandolin
Mike Deasy - guitar
Van Dyke Parks - harpsichord
Paul Horn - flute
Larry Knechtel - organ
Gayle Levant - harp
Ted Michel - cello
Bill Plummer - bass
Pamela Polland - vocals
Rick Stanley - vocals

The subject album holds a very large reward for Ry Cooder fans, because it may not be the first album, wherein he lays down the signature of his now-famous, husky, melodious, rhythmical, inventive slide guitar licks, but it is the first album in which Acooderstics define and dominate every track he plays on, and also formulate the tone of the album in its entirety.  Incidentally, Ry doubles on mandolin on nearly every track, creating a sound quality that thrills us, but must have also thrilled and educated the young man.
Speaking of age, Epic released Gentle Soul in 1969, but I think many of these tracks may have been recorded as early as 1965, which would make the young Ry Cooder 17 or 18 years old! That’s pretty young for dominating a record with one’s technique.
In addition to the singers and songwriters, Pamela Polland and Rick Stanley, who do a creditable job in both departments (Actually I am selling Rick and Pam short; in conjunction with Ry’s guitars, their voices sound great! And their lyrics hold up over time as well as their contemporaries, say, the Mamas and the Papas.), the songs are not just creditable, they are
beautiful and lyrical.
In addition to Rick and Pam, there are many famous people on the album, like Paul Horn (flute) and Van Dyke Parks (harpsichord),  Larry Knechtel (piano), Mike Deasy (guitar). Also a couple of not-so-famous, like Ted Michel (cello), a jeweler from Santa Monica, and Tony Cohan (tabla) , a famous author.
Now I have the unpleasant task of admitting what is a lie indeed.  There never was a Gentle Soul II album; the above mentioned musicians were in the studio only, and the band named the Gentle Soul never performed as anything other than as Rick and Pam.  Gentle Soul didn’t  “happen” and if you happened to have heard the record and happen to think it is a shame they
weren’t facilitated and supervised to a better public, you can lay the blame on Epic Records and producer Terry Melcher, of Charles Manson family fame. Shame on them all, they let a beautiful thing die.
Gentle Soul is overall an album for Ry Cooder Heads, not fans, nor mere appreciators, nor longtime lovers, but Demon Cooder Aficianados. If you want to find a copy of Gentle Soul, the above reviewed album, it will be like the search for the Holy Grail.
I myself no longer have a copy, having worn down the grooves to the nub, listening to those RPC licks , over and over, and I have given up searching for a replacement, relying on memory and a dangerously worn cassette tape.

Reviewed by Virginia Hanley

Note from the Pooterland Crew:
In response from this review, Pooterland heard from Pamela Polland herself who would like to add these points:
Gentle Soul didn't even seriously form as a band until 1966, and I don't think we started recording till '67, starting with the singles. The bulk of the album was recorded in 1968.

Although it's true the studio musicians were for the studio only, the Gentle Soul not only had several musicians who performed with us regularly, Rick Stanley was actually replaced for a couple of months by none other than Jackson Browne. The musicians who played with us most often were guitar players Riley Wildflower and Roy Marinelli, and drummer Sandy Konikoff.

Pamela offers a non-remastered CD of the original album which includes bonus tracks.
This is available from her website:
www.pamelapolland.com

September 2001
Rick Stanley wasn't credited at all on the album for his guitar playing, his actual forte. He can be heard on every song.  It wasn't all Ry Cooder and Mike Deasy, in fact it was mostly Rick you hear playing.

Craig Stanley (Rick's brother)

Gentle Soul

 

Gila - Gila

1971

BASF 20 21109-6

Track List:

Aggression, Kommunkation, Kollaps, Kontakt, Kollektivitaet, Individualitaet.

****Submit a review?****

 

Gila - Nightworks

1972

 

Track List:

Around Midnight, Braintwist, Tramplepfad, Viva Arabica, The Gila Symphony, Communication Li, The Needle.

****Submit a review?****

 

Glass - No Stranger To The Skies

2000

Relentless Pursuit Records RD4128

Track List:

Disc 1: No Stranger To The Skies,Give The Man A Hand, Domino, The Myopic Stream, For Ursula Major ans Sirius The Dog Star.
Disc 2: Broken Oars Pt1, Broken Oars Pt2, Broken Oars Pt3, Broken Oars Pt4, Broken Oars Pt5, Broken Oars Pt6, Changer, Home, Patrice Mersault’s Dream.

Review:

From Relentless Pursuit Records in California comes this excellent 2 CD collection of Glass material, recorded between 1973 and 1978 and including both studio and live cuts. Glass produced beautiful progressive/space/jazz instrumentals utilising up to five keyboards simultaneously, experimenting with mellotrons, synths, pianos, electric pianos, Moogs, Hammond organs and clarinets.
Jeff Sherman played bas, guitars and keyboards, his brother Greg Sherman played keyboards of all shapes and sizes and Jerry Cook or Paul Black contributed drums and percussion. The result is a unique combination of melodic reveries, jazz-rock experimental time changes and spacey soundscapes.
The title track concept nicely sums up the cosmic feel of Glass’s music.
Jeff Sherman..’It’s  a Sci-Fi story about a man who feels alienated from everyone around him. At night he stands out in his backyard looking upwards, feeling a sense of belonging. Belonging to somewhere else....like his real house is Out There..’

For more info, or to buy this CD:
http://www.rpursuit.com/glass/Index.asp

Reviewed by Dr. Sandoz - January 2002

No Stranger To The Skies

 

Glasspack - American Exhaust

2001

Riverock RR01CD

Track List:

Hall of the mountain speedlab, Smut, Whiskey house, Shut up & ride, Powerbait, One kentucky night, Jim Beam and good green, Sunday afternoon.

Review:

Glasspack hail from Louiseville, Kentucky, which as the promotional email we received said was ‘......Kentucky like the derby, the baseball bats, the marijuana, the whiskey and the barefoot women....’
American Exhaust is packed full of high energy, snarling guitar rock 'n' roll that is meaner that a junkyard dog. Prepare to get yourself burned up and down by this scorching cornucopia of fuzz guitar and pulsating bass, this stuff is lean, mean and fast and takes no prisoners on the way.

Glasspack's roots are in revered bands like the legendary Blue Cheer and MC5 and they have taken this sound to it's logical conclusion with this album but still tipping their hats to their forefathers in the process. More up to date influences are possibly Kyuss, evident on the track Powerbait. It's refreshing to hear something new on the so called 'Stoner Scene' that isn't your standard Sludge or Doomentia fare and from what we can tell Glasspack are making quite an impact. To be fair to Glasspack this isn't Stoner Rock (in our opinion) although you could classify Jim Beam and Good Green as such as a result of the leviathan riff it's built on......
The rest careers on at such breakneck speed that the relatively short 39:21 runtime is over in a flash and you are left feeling like you've just come round from a DMT trip.
As we are primarily a psych site this album represents the farthest reaches of our musical styles, but scrapes in due to its ancestral roots and influences.

If American Exhaust is your thang then get over to El Danno's place, Stonerock.com, where you can buy this baby at his online store.

Reviewed by pOoTer

American Exhaust

 

The Glasspack - Powderkeg
2002
Small Stone Records SS-029
Track List:
The Glaspack Song, Shut Up & Ride, Mrs. Satan, Whiskey House, Sleping Pills, Mopar Fire Paint, The Heebeegeebes, Back Seat Whore, Demolition Derby, Jim Beam And Good Green.
Review:
The Glasspack have come a long way since last years American Exhaust was released, quite literally in fact as they seem to have been on a punishing tour schedule for the last year and they seem to love every last minute of it. The accompanying Press Release with this album says they have travelled over 10,000 miles touring in just under three years.
About as far removed from psychedelia as you are likely to see on this site 'Powderkeg' is packed full of dirty ass American Rock 'n' Roll, a genre that I am not ashamed to admit I like to indulge myself in every once in a while. All you purists can kiss my ass if you object to seeing reviews like this on Pooterland as it IS a genre we choose to cater for. Anyway, how far are The 'Pack removed from the Stoner scene and how far is that removed from the MC5, The Stooges and early Black Sabbath...?
What you get for your 14 Bucks are 10 songs crammed into 40 minutes in a style that only The 'Pack can achieve. There is nothing nice and glamourous or 'rich kid wanna-be crap' about these guys, this is just shit kicking Rock 'n' Roll, played the way it should be.
Without any explanation there are three tracks included here (albeit re-worked) from their debut album, namely Shut Up & Ride, Whiskey House and Jim Beam And Good Green. The remaining seven new tracks show a much more refined sound than 'Exhaust' and also what looks like some changes in the bands line up. What is definitely new and makes a real difference to their sound, particularly on Mr.s Satan, is the addition of a keyboard player on this album.
Also worthy of mention is the artwork on the CD, obviously influenced by a certain Sour Mash but all the same giving the band a unique image. The cover for example features a brilliant symmetrical piece of art with a Horned God character in a mid coital position with a female wearing a gas mask who is involved in distilling some exotic chemical substance, surrounded by demijohns and Skull & Crossbones motifs.
Will appeal to fans of Monster Magnet, Nebula and the Gaza Strippers and to be played at high volume...

Reviewed by pOoTer - November 2002

To purchase this fine item click the link below:
http://www.stonerrock.com/store/info.asp?item_num=ATH-1113&custid=714412.443&tempcustid=True&cartstatus=

 
 

Golden Dawn - Power Plant

1967

International Artists IALP 4

Track List:

Evolution, This way please, Starvation, I’ll be around, Seeing is believing, My time, A nice surprise, Every day, Tell me why, Reaching out to you.

Review:

Many years ago, I stumbled across this album in a friends collection and asked him if I could borrow it. When I went home and put it on, I was absolutely blown away. I phoned my mate up and we traded albums, I gave him something from my collection and he gave me "Power Plant".  To this day, this albums sounds as fresh and alive as it did when I first heard it. Easily as good as "Easter Everywhere" or "Flash" (M. Sidewalks). "Power Plant" is an ESSENTIAL psychedelic album from Texas. 
We all know how groovy the water was in Texas during the 1960's and this album is no exception. Golden Dawn laced their songs with scorching fuzz guitar ("Starvation", "I'll Be Around", "My Time"), wonderful lyrics ("This Way Please") and for added bonus they had a superb vocalist which helped make this album one of the best American underground 60's psych recordings of all time. Roky championed them and helped make this album possible.  However, unfortunately as is usually the case, not much is known beyond this sole recording.

Reviewed by Flaming Groovy - January 2002

 

The Golden Earring - Eight Miles High

1970

Polydor 825 371-2

Track List:

Landing, Song of a Devil's Servant, One Huge Road, Everyday's Torture, Eight Miles High

Review:

This 1969 album shows a great band at the peak of their powers. On the scale of great psychedelic albums this should be high. Listen to Barry hay's flute open song of a devil's servant and you are transported somewhere else entirely, which is the achievement of only truly great music. As well as being highly psychedelic this album is also a very heavy rock album at times. The band were between drummers. Jap Eggermont had just left to go on to a highly successful career as a producer (he produced earth and fire's great second album with Fred Hayen).
The great Cesar Zuiderwijk would join on the next album and is still with the band to this day, but it is  Sib Warner who gives the  powerful backing to some driving songs, played by passionate musicians on this album. George Kooymans and Rinus Gerritsen play guitar and bass and write all of the songs except of course Eight miles high. Barry Hay provides most of the lead vocals. He is one of the truly great singers in rock music. I'd love to hear some live stuff from around this period as apparently the band were fantastic and played a forty minute version of 'eight miles high'.  There is  twenty minutes of 'eight miles high' on this album . I bought my copy on this album Just over twenty years ago and have always treasured it.
The music  transported a fifteen year old far away from the home counties, as indeed it still does.. The band had evolved a very good pop band on their first album to a very serious psychedelic hard rock band on this, their fifth. This is an album you need to hear.
The band did not make an album this psychedelic again but if you like this and you haven't heard their music before( other then Radar Love/Twilight Zone) try 'Moontan', 'Switch' and their greatest masterpiece,'To The Hilt' as well. It's not psychedelic but Golden Earring's 1977 live album is probably the best live album I have ever heard and I am pretty sure it would be enjoyed by people who like psychedelia . There is a very good ten minute eight miles high and perhaps my favourite Earring song of all (and I am a huge fan) 'Mad Love's comin''. Remember that you need to listen to  Golden Earring loud to get the best effect from the music!

Reviewed By James Holbrook

The Golden Earring - Eight Miles High

 
 
Goldenrod
1967
Chartmaker

Track List:
Descent Of The Cyclopeans, Karmic Dream Sequence, The Gator Society, Standing Ovulation.

****Submit a review?****
 

Gong - Magick Brother

1969

Virgin

Track List:

Magick Brother Mystic Sister, Glad to Say to say, Rational Anthem, Chainstore Chant-Pretty Miss Titty, Fable of a Fredfish-hope you feel Ok?, Ego, Gong Song, Princess Dreaming, 5 & 20 Schoolgirls, Cos you got green hair.

Review:

The first Gong album? At the time it was credited to Allen & Gilli Smyth, later it was a Gong album, the truth is, in those days Allen began working with different musicians recording this album, Didier Malherbe plays saxes & flute for the first time and joined this first incarnation of Gong, which began working as a band on their second album. Many psychedelic songs with spacey sounds and folkie tunes, all of them not very conventional and a little weird sometimes. Rational Anthem, Pretty Miss Titty, 5 & 20 Schoolgirls, Cos You Got Green Hair are very special
songs, I recommend to hear them with the lights off in the silent of the night.
A pretty album.

Reviewed by Alejandro Casado, Argentina - October 2001

 

Gong - Banana Moon

1971

Byg Actuel 529 345

Track List:

Time of our life, Memories, All I want is out of here, Fred the fish, White rock blues and cabin code, Stoned innocent, Frankenstein and his adventures in the land of flip, I am a bowl.

Review:

This was really a  Daevid Allen solo album, recorded in 1970 with some Canterbury friends (Soft Machine's drummer and ex partner Robert Wyatt, future Gong's bassist Christian Tristch and Keyboardist Gary Wright), the album begins with a solid rock It's theTime of Your Life, where predominates the good feeling of the snare drum of Wyatt with the guitar that plays all time driving the song to a next riff, after this you have to hear the best moment of the album, Hugh Hopper's ‘Memories’ (bassist of Soft Machine), with Wyatt vocals and Wright piano in front of the song, a good guitar solo and a nice drum touch, an excellent song covered later by Whitney Houston!! , the rest of the album has a drunken crazy feel and only Stonned Innocent Frankenstein was a little better and with some trippy sound, the rest you can recycle it.

Reviewed by Alejandro Casado - July 2002
Buenos Aires, Argentina
alesscasado@yahoo.com.ar

 

Gong - Camembert Electrique

1971

Virgin

Track List:

Radio Gnome, You Cant Kill Me, I've bin stoned Before, Mister Long Shanks-: O Mother, I Am Your Fantasy, Dynamite: I am your animal, Wet Cheese Delirium, Squeezing Sponges Over Policemens heads, Fohat Digs Holes in Space, Tried So Hard, Tropical fish : Seline, Gnome the Second.

Review:

Cheesy space rock, acid 60's trip, the original hippie psychedelic flavour, all of this and more in an album so crazy and sometimes poppy, this was the beggining of Gong as a band, a great pop tune (Tried So Hard), cheese rock (Can't Kill Me,Tropical Fish), space rock (Fohat Digs Holes , Selene) and other inclassifiable tunes makes an album of different sounds and musical directions.
The begining of a myth..
.

Reviewed by Alejandro Casado, Argentina - October 2001

 

Gong - Continental Circus

1971

Phillips 6332 033

Track List:

Blues For Findlay, Continental Circus World, What Do You Want, Blues For Findlay.

Review:

During gong's life in France they get the job to produce a soundtrack of a documentary film and this is this album!!
Some riffs of Camembert Electric (Fohat Digs Holes In Space) and a good instrumental Blues For Findlay.
Only for hardcore  Gong fans (like me)

Reviewed by Alejandro Casado - July 2002
Buenos Aires, Argentina
alesscasado@yahoo.com.ar

Continental Circus

 

Gong - Radio Gnome Invisible Part I - Flying Teapot

1973

Virgin

Track List:

Radio Gnome Invisible, Flying Teapot, The Pot Head Pixies, The Octave Doctors And The Crystal Machine, Zero The Hero And The Witches Spell, Witches Song, I Am Your Pussy.

Review:

Part 1 of the "Radio Gnome Invisible" trilogy is not quite as comfortable in its own skin as the spacier album that precedes it ("Camembert Electrique") or the jazzier albums that follow ("Angel’s Egg" and "You", which form Parts 2 & 3 of the trilogy). Nonetheless, this album contains the core material upon which a new and remarkably original mythology is based. Here the listener is introduced to the inhabitants of the Planet Gong: Pothead Pixies, Octave Doctors, Zero the Hero, etc. Also introduced as band members are guitarist extraordinaire Steve Hillage and keyboardist Tim Blake, both of whom became integral components of
the "classic" Gong sound. Several of the songs still figure prominently in the band’s setlists today ("Radio Gnome Invisible", "Zero the Hero & the Witches Spell", "Witches Song: I Am Your Pussy").

The title track alone says it all. An incredible album well worth owning.

Reviewed by Rob DeGeorge - June 2002

Radio Gnome Invisible Part I - Flying Teapot

 

Gong - Radio Gnome Invisible Part II - Angels Egg

1973

Virgin

Track List:

Other Side Of The Sky. Sold To The Highest Buddha. Castle In The Clouds. Prostitute Poem. Givin My Love To You. Selene. Flute Salad. Oily Way. Outer Temple. Inner Temple. Percolations. Love Is Where You Make It. I Never Glid Before. Eat That Phone Book Coda.

Review:

The best of the Radio Gnome Trilogy, great Space Rock album, great keyboard playing (Tim Blake), superb guitar work (Steve Hillage), a great drummer (Pierre Moerlen), incredible sax & flutes by Didier Malherbe, a solid bass (Mike Howlett), plus crazy lyrics, glissando guitar & weird vocals by Daevid Allen and of course the space-whisper (Gilli  Smyth), all of them makes a great band that works like a great team. The better moment of a band and the better album of them, it has a moment for each one : synths on Other Side Of The Sky, guitar on Castle In The Clouds, I Never Glid Before, Outer Temple, flute on Flute Salad/Oily Way, sax on Eat That Phone Book Coda, the crazy vocals of Allen on Selene.
Highly recommended album!!

Reviewed by Alejandro Casado, Buenos Aires , Argentina - June 2002 alesscasado@yahoo.com.ar

Radio Gnome Invisible Part II - Angels Egg

 

Gong - You

1974

Virgin 2019

Track List:

Thought for Nought, A.P.H.P's Advice, Magick Mother Invocation, Master Builder, Sprinkling Of Clouds, Perfect Mystery, The isle of Everywhere, You never blow yr trip forever.

Review:

From this album [You] with the Daevid Allen lineup that features one of the best drummers I have ever seen, Pierre Moerlen, to the Gong lineup without Daevid Allen which is lead by drummer Pierre Moerlen, some of the best psych-prog-rock is heard. These guys did & do not get credit they deserve as being innovative. Just give'em a listen. Try cd's "You", "Shammal", "Live" & for more of a fusion-prog soundlisten to "Expresso-[Gazusse], "Expresso II".
A lot of the Pierre Moerlen Gong features some great guitar by Allan Holdsworth & the bass of Hansford Rowe.
Give it a try. The Daevid Allen lineup still tours & will probably be in US in fall.

Reviewed by Greg the Jersey Gypsy

2nd Review:

The third Gong trilogy album, full of space jazz rock riffs by bassman Mike Howlitt, with great guitar solos of Steve Hillage, space textures of Tim Blake's synths, great Didier Malherbe flutes and saxophone playing (Master Builder solo) a great and explosive drummer like Pierre Moerlen and the Glissando guitar and vocals (most of the songs were instrumentals) by Daevid Allen makes this album as Gong's Best.
The first three songs are simple intro's of what was coming next :the great Master Builder , one of Gong best space jams with great solos and playing by Hillage, Malherbe, Howlitt and star drumming by Moerlen. Sprinkling Of Clouds was Bake's moment plus guitar jam by Hillage, second best moment on the album, Isle Of Everywhere shows a great drum'n bass riff with solos by everyone, the most spacefunkier instrumental, at last You Never Blow Yr Trip Forever shows Daevid final lyrics of the characters of Planet Gong and a good Glissando guitar play to say goodbye with you are I and I am you coda with didier's flute and everyone's chant.
It was a shame to be the last album with this line-up, Allen, Smyth and Blake get off after the recording of this excellent album, later Hillage gets out while the rest of the band was recording ""Shamal", another excellent moment of the band.
Highly recommended.

Reviewed by Alejandro Casado - July 2002
Buenos Aires, Argentina
alesscasado@yahoo.com.ar

You

 

Gong - Live!

1973

Virgin

Track List:

You cant kill me, Zero the Hero and the Witches Spell, Flying Teapot, Dynamite:I am your animal, 6/8 coit, Est ce que je suis, Ooby Scooby doomsday or the D-day DJ's got the DDT blues, Radio Gnome Invisible, Oily Way, Outer Temple-Inner Temple, Where have all the flowers gone, Isle of everywhere, Get it inner, Master builder, Flying Teapot.

Review:
This is a great selection from different live shows of the band, you can hear also some unreleased singles and rare tracks, the live tracks are from various dates, from 1973 through to 1975, all great but what makes this album special is hearing the band in the pre-shamal line up with Steve Hillage singing and being the leader, playing songs from You and the Flying Teapot with Hillage's voice.
Very intersting and highly reccomended album.

Reviewed by Alejandro Casado - April 2003
alesscasado@yahoo.com.ar

 

Gong - Shamal

1976

Virgin 2046

Track List:

Wingful Of Eyes, Chandra, Bambooji, Cat In Clarks Shoes, Mandrake, Shamal

Review:

The album  recorded by Mike Howlett on bass & vocals, Pierre Moerlen on Drums, Didier Malherbe sax & flutes, Mirielle Bauer on vibraphone, glockenspiel & marimba, Patrice Lemoine on keyboards plus Steve Hillage acoustic & electric Guitars (only on two tracks) and Jorge Pinchevsky on electric violin (who was joining the band ), it was a different view of the Daevid Allen era, this was full of instrumental jazz rock with the mix of ethnic music as on the track Bambooji where Didier plays quenas (a typical flute from Bolivia and the North of Argentina), mixing the huayno rhythm with jazz, or like the final tango played by Didier & pinchevsky on cat in clark's shoes where saxes and violin mixes Argentinian & French Tango.
I think it was a great album and the best of the post-Allen era.

Reviewed by Alejandro Casado, Argentina - October 2001

Shamal

 

Gong - Expresso II

1978

Virgin 2099

Track List:

Heavy Tune, Golden Dilemma, Sleepy, Soli, Burning, Three Blind Mice.

Review:
This is not a Gong album, this is Pierre Moerlen's music, great jazz rock, great musicians:
Hansford Rowe on bass, Benoit Moerlen Vibes, plus special guests Mike Taylor (guitar), Allan Holdsworth (guitar), Bon Lozaga (guitar) and incredible ex Curved Air violinist Darryl Way. All virtuoso playing in each song, this album contains some of Pierre's longtime favourite live playing songs like Heavy Tune, Soli and Three Blind Mice.
Hear it, this album is very special and excellent.

Reviewed by Alejandro Casado, Buenos Aires - April 2003
'Make music, not war'

Expresso II

 

Gong - Gazeuse!

1976

Virgin

Track List:

Expresso, Night Illusion, Percolations part 1 & 2, Shadows of Mireille.

Review:
This is the last gong album of this era and I think it was the last with remaining co-founder Didier Malherbe and longtime bassman Mike Howlett, after this album Pierre Moerlen continue as Pierre Moerlen's Gong.
In this album you can hear only jazz rock stuff with the guitar sound of Allan Holdsworth and Mirielle and Benoit's vibes, plus sax and flutes by Didier, but they aren't really important as on Shamal.
I really think this is a good album but a little boring.

Reviewed by Alejandro Casado - April 2003

 

Gong (Planet Gong) - Floating Anarchy

1977

Charly

Track List:

Psychological overture, Floating Anarchy, Stoned innocent frankinstein, New Age Transformation, No more sages, Opium for the People, Allez Baba blacksheep have you any bullshit- Mama mya mantram.

Review:

Yet another stonking album by Gong with the here & now band blending punk, space rock and their own psychedelic sounds that should have you leaping round the room like a whirling dervish only to be gently eased into the comfiest cushion of your mind by the hauntingly beautiful angel voice of Shakti yoni backed up with typical Gong synths and ripping glissando guitar brilliance feeding your brain patterns with kaleidoscopic aural pleasure. Reach for da spliff and allow yourself to be taken on a journey of musical uncertainty.
One minute your up, one minute your down and then you're all around, it's what Gong excel at and anyone who says different I challenge ye to a duel, spliffs at 7 0'clock and listening to "Allez Ali baba black sheep have you any bullshit: Mama maya mantram" then I'll leave you trying to pick up the pieces of your fuzzy wuzzy brain before it slithers away to head pulp house.
5 sugar cubes!! er, no!! 10 if only for the above mentioned track. Well I think so anyway. Enjoy, I know you will.

Reviewed by Sir Eel

 

Gong - 25th Birthday Party

1994

Voiceprint/GAS 101CD

Track List:

Thom Intro, Floating into a Birthday Gig, You Can't Kill Me, Radio Gnome, I Am Your Pussy, Pot Head Pixies, Never Glid Before, Sad Street, Eat That Phonebook, Gnomic Address, Flute Salad, Oily Way, Outer Temple/Inner Temple, She is The Great Goddess, IAOM Riff, Clouds Again, TriCycle Gliss, Get A Dinner, Zero Where Are You?, Be Who You Are My Friends, It's the World of Illusion, Why Don't You Try, I Am You, Introducing the Musicians.

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25th Birthday Party

 

Gong - Family Jewels

1997

GAS CD008

Track List:

Seven Year Itch: Pip Pyle, Second Wind Live: Pierre Moerlen's Gong, Cyberwhale: Gilli Smyth & Orlando, So What?: Daevid Allen, Zombie Woof (excerpt): Pierre, Radio Gnome Transmission: Gong Live 97, Steffe Guitar Solo: Gong Live 97, Farewell Flagship: Daevid, Say No More: Pierre Moerlen's Gong, bOm Riff Particle: Gong Live 97, Can't Kill Me Jam: Gong Live 97, You Am I & I: Gong Live 97, Hadouk: Didier Malherbe, Lets GLO: Steffe & Gilli, Blame The Rich: Daevid, Back To The Sea: Steffe & Gilli, Zeff Dance: Didier, Stroking The Tail Of The Bird: Daevid, Gilli & Harry Williamson, Mountains Of Venus: Mike Howlett, Deia: Steffe & Gilli, Blues de L'Horizon: Didier, Voice of Om: Daevid.

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Family Jewels

 

Gong - Other Side Of The Sky

Recall SMCD 189

Track List:

Squeezing Sponges Over Policemen’s Heads/Fohat Digs Holes In Space, I Never Glid Before, Opium For The People, Thought For Nought/A PHP’s Advice/Magick Mother Innovacation/Master Builder, Tropical Fish/Selene, The Pot Head Pixies, A Sprinkling of Clouds, And You Tried so Hard, Flute Salad/Oily Way/Outer Temple/Inner Temple, Materialism, Eat That Phone Book Coda, Radio Gnome Prediction/You Can’t Kill Me, Other Side of the Sky/Sold to the Highest Buddha/Castle in the Clouds, Isle of Everywhere, Radio Gnome Invisible/Flying Teapot, Psychological Overture/Floating Anarchy, Allez Baba

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Other Side Of The Sky

 

Gong - Zero To Infinity

2000

SMACD824

Track List:

Foolefare, Magdalene, The Invisible Temple, Zeroid, Wise Man in Your Heart, The Mad Monk, Yoni on Mars, Damaged Man, Bodilingus, Tali's Song, Infinitea.

Review:

As good a good wine, the older is better, the return of Daevid Allen with Gong after the 25th Birthday Party with a new album  full of great compositions and with old bandmates Gilli Smyth, Didier Malherbe & Mike Howlett with new partners Theo Travis on Saxes & Flute and Chris Taylor on drums makes a great album with a flavour of jazz-space rock sound, only as Gong could make it.
A pleasure for your ears.

Reviewed by Alejandro Casado, Argentina - October 2001

Zero To Infinity

 

Gong - Live To Infinitea

2000

SMACD 836

Track List:

Foolfare, Zeroid, Magdalene - intro, Magdalene, Infinitea, The Mad Monk, Zero the Hero and the Witch's Spell, Bodilingus - intro, Bodilingus, Inner Temple, Yoni on Mars, Tropical Fish, Invisible Temple, Selene.

Review:
A great live album !! , you can hear the 2000 band line up playing with two sax-flute players (Didier and Theo Travis),songs from the last album and longtime special favourites like zero the hero,inner temple and tropical fish (excelent!!). The band was in special form and Daevid's glissando playing was superb!!,if you want a very good live album with excelent sound and incredible playing,,this is what you have to get.

Reviewed by Alejandro Casado - April 2003
alesscasado@yahoo.com.ar

Live To Infinitea

 

The Good Library - Dalai-Lemma

2001

DG (Damned Good) Records

Track List:

Alarm Clock Morning, Don Kyoto, Two Truck Idea, Hyperventilation, Sinister Joe Smith, Clockwork Air Range, Yeah Yeah Yeti, You're Not Lost Just Misplaced, Riot on Bird Street, Stanley Street Said.

Review:

Although this is bought to you by "DG Records" in collaboration with the "Psychedelic Jazz" label you would be as surprised as I was to discover that the jazz angle doesn't really transpire. What you get is fuzz, reverb, floaty happenings, and heavy bluesy riffs that at times bite your ears off . It has a certain softness that is suddenly obliterated by big fuzz and brain churning guitar.
"The Good Library" are a band from Austria spawned from "Sevenhead" with Daniel Aue on drums & synths', Chris Davies-guitars & vocals, Craig Dillon- bass & keyboards and BB Pete (Sengschmidt)- guitar & keyboards with guest vocalists Don Rottenberg on track 2 and Vine Sweetland on track 4.
Way back when in 1998, they graced the U.K with their presence at the "Laurel Tree" in London where "they rocked London with psychedelic energy". Now if this album is anything to go by they probably did. It is a shame we at Pooterland didn't know about them then. If they do ever make a return I for one would part with my hard earned £s (or should that be Euros, no politics please) to go and hear them curdle my cranium.
If we ever gave sugar cubes for track titles then the brilliantly named "You're not lost just misplaced" would have to get 5. But hey, music ain't about titles it's about music and overall it's a very good album with some very fine guitar work and spacey synths, and comes recommended.
Still don't know why the collaboration with "Psychedelic Jazz", bit of a misnomer that one. Sounds like it should have come out of the "stone-Premonitions" stable.

You can visit the Good Library at http://www.thegoodlibrary.com/main.html where they've got MP3s of this and their previous album. I think you won't be disappointed. and you can order the CD from there as well.
 
Reviewed by Sir Eel - January 2002

 

The Good Library - To The Sea
2002
DG Records
Track list:
In the sun, to the sea, AC/DC, Nothing to be afraid of.
Review:
First things first, "the good library" have improved their sound beyond recognition and now fit comfortably into the psych genre. This is just totally different to their "Dalai Lemma" album. Gone are the bluesy riffs and therelative safety that goes with it as is very apparent when "in the sun" comes right on in and smacks you in the face like "The Smiths" on speed with its fast guitars, cleverly positioned feedback and vocals that peak and trough without any of it getting discordant.
"To the sea" mellows out nicely with haunting reverb and dramatic synths and percussion in a "King crimson" / "Floyd"esque style, atmospheric and dream inducing stuff if only it was longer.
AC/DC comes in on the same hurricane as "In the sun" with its hard'n'fast guitars, fuzz, reverb and echoed vocals. "Nothing to be afraid of" sounds like they used the guitar from "U2". Don't let that comparison put you off, it really works well here with the melatron sound as well.
The only trouble with this EP is that you have to play it loud to really get the benefit... did I say trouble, hell, it ain't no trouble, just turn that knob in a clockwise direction and enjoy the ride.
I can't give it 5 cubes 'cause 5 cubes are for classics (in my book) and as good as this is it hasn't reached classic status.


Reviewed by Sir Eel - August 2002
 
 

Sam Gopal Dream - Escalator

1969

Stable SLE 8001

Track List:

Cold embrace, The dark lord, The sky is burning, You’re alone now, Grass, It’s only love, Escalator, Angry faces, Midsummer nights dream, Season of the witch, Yesterlove.

****Submit a review?****

 

The Great Society - Conspicuous Only In It’s Absence

1968

Columbia CBS 9624

Track List:

Sally go ‘round the roses, Didn’t think so, Grimly forming, Somebody to love, Father Bruce, Outlaw blues, Often as I may, Arbitration, White rabbit.

Review:

To talk about the Airplane you have to talk about the Great Society first, so here goes:- Great Society (a L. B. Johnson election catchphrase) was one of the groups that started the whole San Francisco ball rolling. Marty Balin hosted the band at his Matrix coffee-shop/gathering place, recruited folk guitarist Paul Kantner, the blues duo of Kaukonen and Cassidy, and kept a wathcful eye on developments in the Society. Various members of that band left for India to research the music, and the addition of Slick to the nascent Airplane ignited the flame that set that band on its way. We're very fortunate to have some recordings of the earlier group in the form of ‘Conspicuous Only In Its Absence’ as it was originally released, or the CD compilation, which includes the companion album ‘How It Was.’
This is very early psychedelia by a group who were still finding their way. ‘Often As I May’ is a pop song with a somewhat amateurish feel, but you’ve got to love it for Grace’s heart-rending vocals. ‘Sally Go Round the Roses’ is attention-grabbing for its eastern scale solo, ‘Father Bruce’ and ‘Outlaw Blues’ (a Dylan composition) have a nice protest edge to them, indicative of the Airplane’s continual social awareness stance.
With ‘Arbitration’ the band is beginning to rock out with more eastern-sounding solos, and then we have an early version of that great psychedelic anthem, ‘White Rabbit.’ This take on the classic involves tremendous introductory guitar and sax solos before Grace’s vocal. She has a bit to learn, and the finished version on ‘Surrealistic Pillow’ is vastly superior, though somewhat cut down. Not to worry, historians will enjoy this version for comparison of Spanish versus Eastern modes, as indeed they will the whole album. ‘Somebody to Love’ is a slower but equally moving take on the ‘Pillow’ version. Again, there are some rough edges to smooth off this track, which will be rectified on ‘Pillow.’
You get a real feel for where psychedelia came from on this one.

Reviewed by DoctorDark

 

Grateful Dead - The Grateful Dead

1967

Warner 1689

Track List:

The Golden Road (to unlimited devotion), cold rain and snow, Good morning little Schoolgirl, Beat it down, Sitting on top of the world, Cream puff war, Morning dew, New, new minglewood blues.

Review:

In 1967 there were very few albums you could buy which were remotely psychedelic, and 'Grateful Dead' ' with its interesting cover was one of them. Garcia without a beard, and a weird oriental statue on the front cover. What was it all about? Rock 'n' roll, R&B, and just the odd touch of psychedelia is the answer. 'The Golden Road', also released as a single, and 'Beat It On Down The Line' - are hard driving rock 'n roll openers. 'Good Morning Little Schoolgirl' is a blues standard with Pigpen is doing a belting interpretation. So far, nothing much for the psych fan to get excited about, though. 'Cold Rain and Snow' - This sounds a bit different and special, with Garcia on vocals, and an organ led break in the middle. I like this a lot more. It's the kind of tune that gets stuck in your head for days. 'Sitting On Top Of The World' - some racey, fluent licks from Jerry on this fast paced number. 'Cream Puff War' - sounds a bit garagey, I'm sure I've heard that riff before.

Now it all seems to slow down. 'Morning Dew' is a kind of protest song, written by Tim Rose. There's a grandiose opening riff on this one, instantly recognised by fans and guaranteed a massive ovation when they played it live. Half way through, Garcia really takes off with some superb emotional playing. This is where the whole album takes off.

Unfortunately it stalls again on 'New, New Minglewood Blues' It's another R&B song with young Bobby Weir on vocals, but I feel it would have been better placed earlier on the album.

'Viola Lee Blues' rounds off the album. It starts off sounding like another soulful blues number, but after a couple of minutes it goes completely mad. From its initial pedestrian tempo it slowly and imperceptibly gains speed and before you know it, yippee! We're floating! After a few minutes' wait you think, 'Can I come down now, please?' The Grateful Dead's response is: 'Stay up there awhile, you'll get to like it!' This is a good 10-minutes worth. On the recently released, remastered 'Golden Road' collection, it goes on for a full twenty. Can't wait to get hold of my copy!

Reviewed by DoctorDark December 2001

 

Grateful Dead - Anthem Of The Sun

1968

Warner Bros 1749

Track List:

Thats it for the other one:- Cryptical envelopment - Quadlibet for tender feet - The faster we go, the rounder we get - We leave the castle, New potato caboose, Born cross eyed, Alligator, Caution (do not stop on the tracks).

Review:

‘Anthem’ was the Dead’s second album. The band had been playing together for three years. They were the house band at the Merry Pranksters’ Acid Tests and used to playing all-night sets. Consequently they had developed their jamming skills to unsurpassed heights in this lyserging, heady atmosphere. They were also in the habit of recording most of their gigs and playing them back afterwards. Warner Brothers assigned their best production staff to the project and the album was six months in the making. Most of the album consisted of extracts from live performances, layered over each other, with the addition of studio effects to give
atmosphere and continuity.
Indeed there were hardly any breaks in the playing on either side of the album, giving the impression of two long musical odysseys. The styles ranged from blues, psychedelic rock through to avant-garde electronic. The opus begins with ‘The Other One’, a chronicle of the heady days on the bus with ‘Cowboy Neal at the wheel on a bus to never ever land.’ This segues, via some electronic dabbling into New Potato Caboose and some quintessential jamming. ‘Born Cross Eyed’ is the main studio effort, referring to Bob Weir’s strange visual attributes.
On the second side we are treated to Pigpen’s much more bluesy approach. When the band were reaching a gap in their jamming prowess, Pigpen would step in with raunchy rhythm ‘n blues, but as the band regained their stride they would take it to a higher level. Alligator, and Caution, Do
not Step on the Tracks complete the album, drifting into accelerated tapes, feedback and general chaos. Garcia really is the psychedelic jamming guitarist par excellence and this album is the first bloom of his musical brilliance. He is supported by Phil Lesh, the giant of the
bass guitar and twin drummers Hart and Kreutzmann, not to mention Bob Weir on rhythm guitar and vocals. This really is the most telepathic and fluent of all the West Coast Bands. Check out as much of their material as you can.
A chronicle of the recording of this album is available on video (‘Anthem to Beauty’) and the band’s website is www.dead.net . Here you can buy memorabilia and loads of really good music. Recommended: ‘Grayfolded’, ‘Infra Red Roses’, ‘Live Dead’,  ‘Aoxomoxoa’, but plenty of their other stuff will hit the spot.

Reviewed by DoctorDark

Anthem Of The Sun

 

Grateful Dead - Aoxomoxoa

1969

Warner 1790

Track List:

St Stephen, Dupree’s diamond blues, Rosemary, Doin’ the rag, Mountains of the Moon, China cat sunflower, What’s become of the baby, Cosmic Charlie.

Review:

This is the best of the psychedelic era album covers. Rick Griffin at his very best. Only Mickey Hart's 'Rolling Thunder' can compete. And that's just the front. The back is a hyperreal circular view of the Dead family, Pigpen to the fore, in the trippiest band photo you will ever see.
What's inside this surreal package is the weirdest Grateful Dead album so far. They already had a reputation as the hottest psychedelic band on stage, but could they cut it in the studio? Things might have worked out fine, but halfway through the recording everything changed. What began as an 8-track recording was suddenly scrapped, and the decision was made to start again on 16-track. This had a marked effect on the outcome: they kept on adding
tracks - a bit of keyboard here, a dab of guitar there. Perhaps they overdid it, and the result may sound a bit contrived. They were never totally happy in the studio, and this is their first serious attempt before 'Workingman's Dead' and 'American Beauty.'
(My own personal favourite of all their studio albums is 'Wake Of The Flood.' Feel free to review, folks.)

 Anyway, back to the plot. The Dead were still exploring the studio on this album and they can be forgiven for being a little too experimental. It's not a comfortable listen by any means.
The opener, surprisingly, is Saint Steven, one of the Dead's already established live numbers, and soon to be featured on 'Live Dead' but given a subdued touch here, with Bob Weir's stage screams sounding out of place.
Garcia's attempt to lift the proceedings falls flat under Constanten's dense keyboard attacks. But with 'Dupree's Diamond Blues' the whole thing lifts off. There's banjo, twelve-string, Garcia's wistful vocals and a story you'll be happy to tell your grandchildren as if you were there. This sets the scene for a freaked out vibe that carries on to the next track, 'Rosemary.' Placid acoustic guitars behind Garcia's flanged vocals. Then there's 'Doin' That Rag' it's all very spaced out, but there's more to come.
'Mountains Of The Moon' is the soon-to-depart Constanten's finest contribution to the Dead, harpsichords embellishing Garcia's poignant vocals and delicate acoustic guitar. The lyrics are a pure mediaeval fantasy cum folk extravaganza: 'Hey Tom Banjo' and 'Hi ho the carrion crow fol de rol de riddle.' Phew!

China Cat Sunflower (another concert favourite) continues the bizarre imagery, and Jerry gets the chance to play a few licks and lift the proceedings, but not for long. Soon we are into the very weirdest of the weird - 'What's Become Of The Baby' 8-and-a-half minutes of Jerry and assorted reversed tapes, and cymbal swishes. Totally out of place. Utterly freaky, never to be repeated. Maybe it's a flash forward to 'Blues For Allah' I dunno.

'Cosmic Charlie' is an all-too-welcome return to sanity. Lots of slide guitar, nice laid back boogie with Lesh's bass filling out the spaces, but Jerry's falsetto vocals making you worry that maybe they haven't quite managed to land on planet Earth.

If your head's strong enough you'll like this very strange album. or maybe
it would be better to wait for something less freaky.

Do you dare?

Reviewed by DoctorDark - February 2002

Aoxomoxoa

 

Grateful Dead - Live Dead

1970

Warner 1830

Track List:

Dark star, Death don’t have no mercy, Feedback, And we bid you goodnight, St. Stephen, The eleven, Turn on your love light.

Review:

The Grateful Dead had always been happier performing on stage than in the confines of the studio, and Live Dead, their fourth album, sees them back to doing what they did best.
The set opens with “Dark Star.” It is a monumental piece of music. The track fades in with Phil Lesh’s melodic bass line before the rest of the band join in with an introduction of one of the main musical motifs. After this gentle warmup Garcia sings the first weird verse, which seems to be about a star collapsing, though your guess is as good as mine. Then it takes off on a timeless,
interstellar jam, Garcia’s guitar soaring and diving around the main theme, underpinned by Weir’s choppy rhythm guitar and Lesh’s flowing bass. Sometimes it is discordant and chaotic, sometimes it has a raga-like quality with moments of utter tranquility. Eventually they come back to earth, with Garcia singing the second verse. The song floats into the atmosphere like smoke on the breeze, then there is one loud feedback note and we’re into St. Stephen. St. Stephen was stoned to death, hence the song, and the band certainly rock on this one. Robert Hunter’s superb lyrics are belted out before they are off again with the band’s two drummers chugging away under more fast and furious licks from Garcia.
The band was experimenting with weird time signatures during this period, and the next track, “The Eleven” is in 11/8 time. Garcia just goes faster and faster, and you begin to wonder where he’s getting it all from. Still flowing, they segue into “Turn On Your Love Light.” Here Pigpen takes over at the mike and he is determined to whip up the audience. Things take a rhythm and
bluesy feel and the tempo still doesn’t let up. There’s drum solos, whoops from the audience, background chanting from the rest of the band, and Pigpen’s stream-of-consciousness vocal inventiveness on this rousing workout. Finally, the band turns down the heat. “Death Don’t Have No Mercy” is a chunk of San Francisco style blues that chills to the bone. Garcia manages to steal the show yet again, not only with a moving solo, but with a powerful vocal interpretation of this standard. “Feedback” is just a touch self-indulgent, one for the braver among you.
The album ends with a short acapella piece called “And We Bid You Goodnight” This album certainly showcases a few of the different styles of the Grateful Dead. It is worth getting for the definitive version of “Dark Star” alone.
If you really get into that track you might also like to try the “Grayfolded” CD, which consists of dozens of versions of Dark Star edited together into two gigantic composite versions.

Reviewed by DoctorDark

 

The Grateful Dead - Workingman’s Dead

1970

Warner Bros 1869

Track List:

Uncle John’s Band, High Time, Dire Wolf, New Speedway Boogie, Cumberland Blues, Black Peter, Easy Wind, Casey Jones

Review:

First off, Workingman’s Dead is a brilliant album. Disregarding all the other factors that make it such a masterpiece, that it was the beginning of a whole new direction for the Dead, or even that it affirmed the Dead’s place in rock-music history, by proving to the world what the Dead were capable of. Even ignoring all those factors which make it such a significant piece of work, purely on the music alone is one of the finest records ever made.
But despite it’s beautiful, laid-back, country-rock atmosphere, and Robert Hunter’s lyrical wizardry, Workingman’s Dead is not only a good album, but an extremely important one, in the development of the Grateful Dead, and the development of music as a whole.
What makes the album all the more amazing, is what an incredible change of direction in style it represented for the Dead. Only a few months earlier, the Dead had released Live Dead, a double vinyl album, of transcendental, jaw-dropping psychedelia, which had once and for all set the Dead apart from the other, similarly styled, bands who emerged from the San Francisco scene, in 1966/67. In contrast, Workingman’s is a rustic culmination of blues, country and bluegrass, combined with the Dead’s own indefinable sound.
It also brought the Dead a whole new audience, once which had largely ignored the band since their inception in the mid-60’s, and who had little time for 35 minute long, spacey, psychedelic odysseys. This is not to say the Dead sold out to their psychedelic “roots” with the release of Workingman’s Dead. Concert tapes from the time show that they were blending their new CSNY-sound, with long (almost) lyric-less, acid-rock trips.
Workingman’s allowed Robert Hunter’s ability as a lyricist to shine. With lyrically intense songs like High Time, Black Peter, and New Speedway Boogie, the Dead were able to convey real feeling in their songs, through the words, rather than relying mainly on the music.

The album segues from carefree optimism to tragedy and despair to hard travlin’ blues, from one track to the next. Going from the gentle comforting of Uncle John’s Band to the anguish-filled High Time to the cheery hopefulness of Dire Wolf to a tale of disaster tinged with the possibility of better times ahead, New Speedway Boogie to the fast-paced country-twang of Cumberland Blues to the bleak, death-ballad of Black Peter to Pigpen’s railroad-blues Easy Wind finishing finally with the dry cocaine snort that kicks off Casey Jones.
While there are perhaps better individual songs on other albums, and better live versions of the songs on Workingman’s Dead than the one’s present on the album, taken as a whole, it is still the finest studio album in the Dead’s canon.

Reviewed by: Saint-Stephen@idiotwind.freeserve.co.uk

Grateful Dead - What A Long Strange Trip Its Been

1973

Warner Bros 66073

Track List:

New new minglewood blues, Cosmic Charlie, Truckin, Black Peter, Born cross eyed, Ripple, Doin that rag, Dark Star, High time, New speedway boogie, St Stephen, Jack straw, Me & my uncle, Tennessee jed, Cumberland blues, Playing in the band, Brown eyed woman, Ramble on rose.

****Submit a review?****

What A Long Strange Trip Its Been

 

Grateful Dead - Skeletons From The Closet: The Best Of The Grateful Dead

1990

Warner Bros W-2764

Track List:

The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion), Truckin', Rosemary, Sugar Magnolia, St. Stephen, Uncle John's Band, Casey Jones, Mexicali Blues, Turn On Your Love Light, One More Saturday Night, Friend Of The Devil.

****Submit a review?****

Skeletons From The Closet

 

***Double Review ***
Grateful Dead - Skeletons from the Closet & What a Long Strange Trip it’s Been

Two frustrating compilations from the GD’s stay on Warner Records. The good news is that they contain nearly every worthwhile song the Dead wrote from 1967 to 1972. The bad news is that they’re split with no apparent logic between the two packages. Skeletons From the Closet has a rotten reputation among fans. It isn’t bad, just inadequate and incomplete.  WALSTIB has much better song selection, including some rarities from the Anthem of the Sun era, but misses essential tunes such as Casey Jones, Sugar Magnolia and Friend of the Devil, that only appear on Skeletons.

Since these comps summarize the Dead’s early studio output, they necessarily focus on the grounded country sounds that followed the cosmic expansion of Live/Dead. This is good, as you get lots of tight, hook-filled tracks, with an existential sadness in the lyrics that
contrasts with the sunniness of the music. It’s also bad, as there is none of the mind-expanding magic that came from the live improvisation.  If you could imagine a Black Sabbath collection containing only Iommi’s guitar solos, it would remind you of these discs. Great stuff, but not really what the band was _for_.

I’m sorry - did you just say you like country-rock mixed with a few studio psychedelic tracks, and that jamming bores you stiff? These would be for you, then.

Reviewed by McGannahan Skjellyfetti - March 2002

 
 
The Grodeck Whipperjenny
1967
People

Track List:
Sitting Here On A Tongue, Wonder If, Why Can’t I Go Back, Conclusions, You’re Too Young, Put Your Thing On Me, Inside Or Outside, Evidence For The Existence Of The Unconscious.

****Submit a review?****
 

Group 1850 - Agemo's Trip to Mother Earth

1968

Phillips

Track List:

Steel Sings, Little Fly, I Put My Hand On Your Shoulder, You Did It Too Hard, A Point In This Life, Refound, Reborn. Bonus Tracks: Misty Night, Look Around, I Want More, I Know (La Pensee), Mother No-Head, Ever Ever Green, Zero, Frozen Mind, We Love Live (Like We Love You), Fire, Have You Ever Heard, 1,000 Years Before, Dream Of The Future.

Review:

Group 1850 formed in The Hague in 1964 as The Klits, but chose their new name in January 1965 when Hugo Gordijn became their manager. They signed a deal with Phonogram and soon they were ready for their first album and "Agemo's Trip" was the result. It just happens to be massively psychedelic, even though not very widely known. The original sleeve notes tell of a trip of a mythical being whose spiritual father sends him on a search for enlightenment. He goes to a place (Earth) where people follow organised religion without knowing why. He enlightens the people of the world and leads them to the place (and state of mind) that he came from.
It was released in 1968, sank without a trace, and gradually became an expensive collector's item.
There are echoes of Chocolate Watchband and Misunderstood on the opener (Steel Sings), which climaxes in a stunning Airplane-like guitar solo. 'Little Fly' compounds the influences even further, sounding a bit Canterburyish in places. 'I Put My Hand On Your Shoulder' is a 13-minute epic with tremendously heavy phasing, and insistent voices talking alternately in Dutch and English. The totally surreal vocals and the drum phasing getting deeper and deeper make the track extremely freaky, but there's a reassuring quality in the midst of all the psychedelic mayhem. This track really is a psychedelic classic that make "Agemo's Trip" a must for any collection of psychedelia.
'You Did It Too Hard,' is a bit of an oddity with spaced-out hippy improvised spoken bits at the end. The album continues in similar insane style on 'A Point In This Life' with harpsichord and sliding distorted guitar. Things calm down for 'Refound" and "Reborn" the final two tracks on the original album, with gentle flutes and female vocals asking us to "look inside and find the inner light", not to mention sitar-like guitar solos and twittering birds.

There are a dozen bonus tracks on the CD reissue, mostly singles. 'Misty Night,' their first single has a tremendous garagey feel, and on 'Mother No-Head' incredibly, there is an overdriven guitar playing 'Frere Jacques' Unexpected to say the least, but it really works! From the value-for-money standpoint, it's a good idea to include these songs; whether it works artistically to include them with the concept album is doubtful.

Reviewed by DoctorDark

 

Group 1850 - Paradise Now

1969

Discofoon VD 7063

Track List:

Paradise now, Friday I'm free, Hunger, Circle, Lonelyness, Martin en Peter, ?!, Purple sky.

****Submit a review?****

 

Guru Guru - UFO

1970

Ohr OMM 56005

Track List:

Stone in, Girl call, Next time see you at the Dalai Lahma, UFO, Der LSD marsch.

****Submit a review?****

 

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