Saturday, June 28, 2008

Ranmadou-Summer 1971

Info found in

Ranmadou’s story starts with guitarist Eiryu Kou.
Kou joined a band called The Vickies as a guitarist in 1966.
(A few sources claim it was 1967 or 1968 but Kou remembers
The Beatles visited Japan when he was with The Vickies so
it must have been before July 1966.) The Vickies were an
early version of Blues Creation. In fact, when Kou left
the band in August 1968 to take over his family’s business,
he was replaced by future Blues Creation leader, Kazuo Takeda.
Kou later briefly returned in September but then left to form
a band called Blind Lemon Jefferson in April 1969. They played
played at go-go clubs in Touhoku during the summer and then from
September were based out of a club called ‘Apple’ in Shinjuku, Tokyo.
The band broke up in late 1969. In January 1970, Kou formed Dew with
singer Fumio Nunoya, who had left Blues Creation the previous December.
(As far as I know, the only thing released from Kou’s time
with Dew are ‘Lost Blues Days Vol.1' (2001) on the Captain
Trip label, track 6, “Tobacco Road” and 7, “Hard Luck Story”.)

In early 1971, Kou left Dew and formed Ranmadou with
Yukio Saruyama (bass), Hisao Matsuyoshi (vocals) and
Toshirou Yashima (drums). (I’m not sure about the romanization
of those names.) Both Saruyama and Matsuyoshi had been in Blind Lemon Jefferson
and Yashima was recommended by Kazuo Takeda. In March, they played in Gifu Prefecture and then moved to Kyoto in May. For the next 2 months, they played
at a club called ‘Cat’s Eye’ and worked up most of their original material
. While in Kyoto, they opened for an early version of Flied Egg. Around
this time, Ritsuo Kamimura became their manager. Kamimura had connections
with Hachimitsu Pie’s and Happy End’s management agency Kazetoshi, who set
the band up with a gig at ‘BYG’ in Shibuya, Tokyo from July. In August, they
played at the sub-stage of the 3rd Annual Japan Folk Jamboree and Kou claims
they were the loudest band there. (Dew also performed.)
They started recording their debut album Ranmadou in April 1972. Through their
management connections, Takashi Matsumoto from Happy End and Keiichi Suzuki
from Hachimitsu Pie were involved in the album and their influence can be
heard in the laid-back feeling on the first side album. It was also a conscious
decision on Kou’s part to move the band in a more pop direction.
When the URC label catalog was released on CD in 1989, Ranmadou’s performance from the 3rd Annual Folk Jamboree was released as Summer 1971. Only three of the ten tracks are from the debut. This album rocks pretty hard and suddenly the Blues Creation connection makes sense

Listen tracks 2 and 6:

You can find the album here:

Friday, June 13, 2008


Trapeze is the 1970 debut rock album by the band Trapeze. The band released another album also named Trapeze in 1976

1 It's Only a Dream
2 The Giant's Dead Hoorah
3 Over
4 Nancy Gray
5 Fairytale .Verily Verily . Fairytale
6 It's My Life
7 Am I
8 Suicide
9 Wings
10Another Day
11Send Me No More Letters
12It's Only a Dream Reprise

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Info By Wiki
Trapeze were an English rock band formed in March 1969, by vocalist John Jones and guitarist/keyboardist Terry Rowley (who named the band), with guitarist Mel Galley, singer/bassist Glenn Hughes, and drummer Dave Holland. The band had a fairly fluid line up, finally dissolving in 1994, and although they never found commercial success themselves, several members went on to join better known bands including Deep Purple, Whitesnake, Judas Priest and Uriah Heep.
Trapeze issued its self-titled debut album Trapeze in 1970, but early that year Jones and Rowley would return to Montanas. Now in late 1970 the more familiar trio of Galley, Hughes, and Holland surfaced for the first time with the album Medusa also released in late 1970.Trapeze would tour as this trio until early 1973. The band toured mostly in the UK and the Southern U.S, their commercial success was minimal up to this point.You Are the Music...We're Just the Band released in 1972 saw Glenn Hughes leave the band after the 1973 tour for the first time to replace Roger Glover in Deep Purple. After the departure of Glenn Hughes the bands profile and sales grew, mostly of the first three albums that Hughes was on but their concert base grew with them now playing small arenas all over the U.S.
In 1974 the band released The Final Swing a best of compilation that had two previously unreleased tracks called "Good Love" and the hit song, "Dat’s it" that was a fan favorite at the live shows for many years prior to its release. Guitarist Rob Kendrick and bassist Pete Wright signed on for Trapeze's 1974 album Hot Wire that see the band go to a more hard rock sound just like the next release in 1976 that saw a second self-titled album also named Trapeze.

Medusa is the second album by Trapeze

Vincent Jeffries:
Not only is Medusa the finest offering from '70s outfit Trapeze, it is one of the decade's most underappreciated hard rock recordings. With a lineup that consisted of future Deep Purple, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath members, there seems to be proof that at least a few fellow musicians appreciated this 1971 offering. Fans of his later work might be surprised by Glenn Hughes' soulful vocal delivery, especially on the mid-tempo blues-rockers like "Black Cloud" and "Your Love Is Alright." Guitarist Mel Galley also deserves mention for his sparse approach to classic rock riffing that is catchy and affective. Even the ballads are focused, memorable, and unique. There are some melodic moments on the closing title track that sound almost as if a '90s alt-rock crooner composed them. Considering that Medusa predates many similar, and more successful, classic rock LPs from the likes of Bad Company, Nazareth, Foreigner, and others, it's a wonder that the record isn't mentioned more when influential albums of this era are discussed

Trapeze-Medusa @320

1Black Cloud

3Your Love Is Alright
4Touch My Life
6Makes You Wanna Cry

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Atomic Rooster-Atomic Rooster

Info By Wiki:

Atomic Rooster formed in summer 1969 when the Crazy World of Arthur Brown disbanded on tour in the US,and keyboardist Vincent Crane and drummer Carl Palmer returned to England to form Atomic Rooster with bassist/vocalist Nick Graham.By 1970,they would release their self-titled debut album Atomic Rooster. While this happened,Vincent Crane had hired John Du Cann(At the time using his name without the 'Du') of Andromeda ,on guitar. With him they would release the single Friday the Thirteenth.However,soon after John joined, Nick departed leaving Rooster without a bassist or vocalist. This was no problem for the Rooster, as Crane would cover bass lines with a combination of left hand and foot-pedals. John emphasised on the lower range of his guitar,and take over vocal parts.

The band resumed gigging until the end of June 70 when Carl announced his departure to Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Through July,Ric Parnell would fill the drum kit,and in August,the band would recruit Paul Hammond on drums,and begin working on their second LP.They would release Death Walks Behind You in September 1970,and from it the single "Tomorrow Night" was released, eventually peaking at Number 12 in the charts in January 1971. The band would continue touring and in June,they would recruit Pete French on vocals for their next LP, In Hearing of Atomic Rooster, released in July 1971. Prior to this a third single, Devil's Answer, was released, reaching No.4 in the UK, in June 71. During the recording of In Hearing Of, it became clear that the band were yet again moving in a different musical direction, away from the harder and heavier-edged Death Walks Behind You, and by August both John and Paul had left to form Hard Stuff.Soon after, Vincent, along with vocalist Pete French recruited drummer, Ric Parnell(who is the son of orchestra leader Jack Parnell, and composed material on the last album, plus came up with the piano riff on "Tomorrow Night") and Steve Bolton on guitar.This line-up would tour and play some choice places,but by the end of the year,vocalist Pete French left Atomic Rooster,and joined Cactus.French was replaced by experienced R&B singer Chris Farlowe from Colosseum. They would release Made in England in 1972,with the single Stand By Me.By now,the band was moving in a more funk/soul direction.In late 1972,guitarist Steve Bolton left the group.Bolton would be replaced by a friend of Vincent Crane's,John Goodsall,under the name John Mandala. This line up toured and recorded a fifth LP, Nice N Greasy, in 1973. A single from the LP was also released, Save Me, a reworking of Friday 13th.This proved to be their last album of the 1970s.By 1974,this line-up came to an end,and any outstanding dates were completed by Vincent Crane and members of the band Sam Apple Pie.In February 1975,Atomic Rooster did one more show,a benefit gig for the RSPCA,before Crane called time on the band.

(1980–1989) Latter Years
In 1979, John Du Cann(by now using his full name) released a solo album with the single, Don't be A Dummy.This gave Vincent Crane the idea to reform the Rooster with John. They would get together with session drummer Preston Heyman ,and release another self-titled album, Atomic Rooster in 1980. The singles here would be Do You Know Who's Looking for You? in June 1980.However Preston's prior session and touring commitments caught up with him and by the time of the gig at the Marquee, 23rd October 1980 Paul Hammond was once again behind the drum kit.Touring continued until EMI pulled the plug on the band.Fortunately Polydor picked the band up for two singles in 1981, Play it Again(September 1981) and End of the Day(February 1982).During these sessions reworkings of Tomarrow Night and Devils Answer were recorded (John McCoy adding bass).However,more record label problems struck,resulting in the departure of John Du Cann,prior to a sixth LP,Headline News,in late 1982.The guitar parts were added by David Gilmour of Pink Floyd,John Mizarolli and Bernie Torme.Tour dates in Italy and Germany were undertaken with Bernie on guitar,and the UK dates were with John Mizarolli.Crane took over on vocals,not only on the LP,but even the live work. Headline News was released June 1983,following the single Land of Freedom,in May,1983.Not long after,Crane called time on Atomic Rooster once more,and in 1985,assisted Dexys Midnight Runners by playing piano on their LP,Don't Stand Me Down.Crane also recorded A Case For The Blues as part of Katmandu, a one-off project with Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac and Ray Dorset of Mungo Jerry.Vincent and John were talking about making the Rooster crow again into the 90's, but Vincent's poor health intervened and, sadly, Vincent passed away on Feb14th,1989. Paul Hammond also sadly passed away, an accidental death, in 1992. Of the band that recorded Death Walks Behind You, only John Du Cann remains with us. Du Cann recently licensed the release of the only existing tapes of Atomic Rooster that featured Crane, Palmer and himself: some BBC Radio 1 sessions recorded by John Peel in 1970 and 1971

Atomic Rooster is their first album

Atomic Rooster-Atomic Rooster @320

1) Friday The Thirteenth

2) And So To Bed
3) Broken Wings
4) Before Tomorrow
5) Banstead
6) S. L. Y
7) Winter
8) Decline And Fall
9) Play The Game bonus track



Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Beggars Opera-Waters Of Change

This is the second album released By The Scottish band Beggars Opera

Greg Northrup:
The second album from the seminal Scottish group Beggars Opera is probably their best, as Waters of Change shows a significant maturation in the songwriting department, and for the most part eschews the classical rock, over-the-top organ bombast of Act One. Rather, the album is more restrained and melodic, though falling shy of the nondescript "pop music with mellotron" of some of their contemporaries. The album balances complexity and instrumental flair with solid songwriting and addictive melodies, as Alan Park's obviously virtuosic organ playing and Gardiner's fleet fingered, surreal guitar subsume themselves to the greater goal of the song, as it should be.

Although often thought of as a "mellotron album", the instrument is not nearly as dominant as I'd expected, and is ultimately outgunned by the main melodic device, the organ. Still, the 'tron contributes mightily to the album's warm, earthy air. Another highly appealing aspect of the band's work here are Martin Griffiths' vocals. Now, I'm a sucker for eccentric vocalists, and this guy definitely kills me. His powerful, some might say over the top, pipes really carry the main themes perfectly in my opinion. The melodies are pretty much universally addictive and enjoyable throughout, from the semi-melancholy "Time Machine" to the humorous faux medieval jig of "Festival" to the grandiosity of "Silver Peacock". Indeed, for a song based, light hearted and melodic early progressive rock album, one would be hard pressed to come up with a better example than Waters of Change. Everything the band set out to do they seem to have achieved with startling success. Warm and endearing to the last, this is one of the finest albums from this particular era and sub genre

Beggars Opera-Waters Of Change @320

1. Time Machine
2. Lament
3. I've No Idea
4. Nimbus
5. Festival
6. Silver Peacock Intro
7. Silver Peacock
8. Impromptu
9. Fox

Ange-Le Cimetière Des Arlequins

Info By Eric Beaudin (Progarchives) :

Formed in late 1969 by brothers Christian Descamps (vocals) and Francis Descamps (keyboards) and later joined by guitarist Jean-Michel Brézovar, bassist Daniel Haas and Gérard Jelsh on drums, this French symphonic progressive rock band, similar to contemporaries such as Genesis and King Crimson, is undoubtedly France’s most important prog band. Marrying prog rock influences with French folk and theatrical vocals à la Jacques Brel (Ange covered Ces Gens-là from Brel, and it turned out to be their first hit in 1970), Ange’s music, but mostly their lyrics, are second to none. Thirty years later, after multiple lineup changes, charismatic and theatrical frontman Christian Descamps leads the new Ange generation alongside his son Tristan on keyboards, Hassan Hajdi on guitars, Thierry Sidhoun on bass, Caroline Crozat on vocals and Benoît Cazzulini on drums.

The classic line up (except for the drummer which changed often) recorded many cult classics, such as « Caricatures », « Le Cimetière des Arlequins », and a series of masterpieces like « Au-delà du Délire », « Émile Jacotey », « Par les Fils de Mandrin » and « Guet-Apens ». 10 years after « Guet-Apens », the same lineup would reunite and release two albums, « Sève qui Peut » in 1989 and « Les larmes du Dalaï-Lama » in 1992. While being modern, these albums nevertheless captured the main ingredients unique to Ange. Their latest albums, « Culinaire Lingus » and « ? » see the band as inspired and pertinent as ever, as if Descamps had found the secret of eternal youth.

This band is more than highly recommended, it is mandatory listening for fans of theatrical symphonic progressive rock, especially the period between « Caricatures » and « Guet-Apens ».
Le Cimetière des arlequins is their second album released in 1973

Ange-Le Cimetière Des arlequins @320

1 Ces gens-là
2 Aujourd'hui c'est la fête chez l'apprenti-sorcier

3 Bivouac (1ère partie)
4 L'Espionne lesbienne
5 Bivouac (final)
6 De temps en temps
7 La Route aux cyprès
8 Le Cimetière des arlequins

The Jeff Beck Group-Rough And Ready

Info By Wiki:
Rough and Ready is the third album by The Jeff Beck Group and the first of two by the second incarnation (the first-period group, featuring Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood having disbanded in mid-1969). Released in 1971, it featured more of a Jazz, Soul and R&B edge to counter Beck's always admirable lead guitar.
Of note is the fact that Beck contributed more tracks here than he had ever before, or ever would again. This album is also the first time keyboardist Max Middleton, who would be featured on Beck's jazz-rock outings of the mid-'70s, is heard

And Stephen Davis:
In 1968 ex-Yardbird Jeff Beck combined the hitherto unmined talents of vocalist-extraordinaire Rod Stewart with the powerful rhythm section of Ron Wood and Mick Waller and came up with what was, quite simply, in its time, one of the best rock bands in the world. That year they released an astounding first album. Truth. which featured Beck's flash pyrotechnics on guitar and Stewart's bluesy abrasives. and made two ovation-filled tours of this country, adding British session pianist Nicky Hopkins to the band for the second.

In 1969. all that went to pieces, a function of the old bugaboo, "conflicting musical values." and Beck's most reputed vice egomania. First Hopkins left, then Waller was fired and later Wood, and Stewart split soon after. A second album Beck-ola was issued in the summer, an uneven, frustrating record lit by furious bursts of crude energy and occasional brilliance from Beck and Hopkins. Parenthetically, it might be noted that both the best and the worst of Beck's music wasn't released in the States; the best being a terrific tune, "I've Been Drinking," that I also think is the best vocal Rod Stewart has done so far, the worst being a banal piece of puke, "Love Is Blue" (yes, the same one), recorded after the band broke up. Both are available on a British EMI Columbia LP, The Best of Jeff Beck.

In 1970 Beck was badly hurt in a car crash, and had a long time in which to cool himself out.

Which brings us up to this newest incarnation of the Jeff Beck Group, and its new record. Rough and Ready, a surprising, fine piece of work from a man who wasn't really expected to come back.

Bob Tench: vocals and guitar
Jeff Beck: guitars, bass and production
Max Middleton: piano and keyboards
Clive Chaman: bass
Cozy Powell: drums

Jake Holmes-Above Ground Sound of Jake Holmes

Review by Richie Unterberger
Jake Holmes' first album will always be primarily known for the inclusion of the original version of "Dazed and Confused," the same song that, with substantial alteration to its arrangement, would become one of Led Zeppelin's major showpieces. Holmes' original is quite different and worthy in its own right: a stark, spooky folk-rock track with stinging reverbed lead guitar, Holmes' own pained vocals, and furiously strummed rhythm guitar that winds itself into an anguished climax. Unfortunately, it's by far the best song on the LP, though the tense rapid rhythm guitar and disembodied acid folk mood (by a drumless lead guitar/rhythm guitar/bass trio) are constant throughout the disc. Ted Irwin's spiky, jazz acid folk lead guitar lines are like a garage-ish version of those by frequent Tim Buckley accompanist Lee Underwood. Holmes' thin voice was recorded in a way that makes it sound curiously muffled and disembodied, which both adds to the weirdness of the weirder parts and detracts from the record's overall power. His songwriting, too, is erratic, sometimes reaching a reasonably effective level of haunting loneliness, at others descending into bathos (particularly on the closer, "Signs of Age").

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Focus-Anonymous 2