Sunday, July 13, 2008

Osiris - S/T

Osiris - S/T

So I found this little curiosity at the local swap meet. I almost passed it up, mostly because I thought the cover art was kind of ridiculous. Then I looked over the LP and suddenly I became interested. I saw seven long songs with names like Paradox In A Major, Fantasy and Sailor On The Seas Of Fate. Then I saw that this was recorded in Bahrain in the Middle I paid the $1 and was on my way. Upon first listen I was pleasantly surprised! This was some pretty kick ass Bahrainian symphonic prog! I Googled Osiris and I found out that Osiris formed in 1979 and this, their first LP, was released in 1981 but to my ears it sounds more like circa 1975. There's some wonderful songwriting within these grooves, with excellent keyboard (vintage synths, organ, electric piano) and guitar playing. There's also some great ethnic sounding percussion and what sounds like possibly a vibraphone. Unfortunately the vocals are only so-so but they're not too bad, there are a lot of long instrumental parts, so that helps. I've seen this album's sound compared to Genesis and Camel but actually, I really hear a more original sound. It's weird to think that this wonderful symphonic prog album came out of the Middle East! Check it out!

Track List:

1. Fantasy
2. Sailor On The Seas Of Fate
3. Struggle To Survive
4. Atmun
5. Embers Of A Flame
6. A Story Of Love
7. Paradox In A Major

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Björn J:son Lindh - Sissel

Björn J:son
Lindh - Sissel
CTI DIX 3002

That's right, another $1 swap meet find! Björn J:son Lindh is best known as a flute / keyboard wiz. Now, I've heard a few of his other albums and I have to say that Sissel is by far his best work, IMO. This album was recently posted at Prog Not Frog but that version was missing a track so I decided to rip my LP and post it here. This album is psychedelic, grooved out, funked up, proggy, jazz rock. Actually, that description is really only accurate for two tracks: Storpolska and the title track Sissel, the two longest and best cuts. The other songs are on the lighter, happier side but still good. Oh yeah, I hear some cool string parts on Storpolska that could be Mellotron but I'm not sure since the 'Tron is not listed anywhere on the sleeve. 

Track List:

1. Bull Dog
2. Surto's Pyle'as

3. Storpolska

4. Your Own House

5. Sissel

6. Games People Play

Vangelis - The Dragon

Vangelis - 
The Dragon

Ok, so I'm a HUGE Aphrodite's Child fan, especially their 666 album. I find their sound to be highly original since I really haven't found any other band that sounds like them. As you know, Vangelis was in Aphrodite's Child where he played many instruments but is best known for his keyboard work. He also arranged and composed the entire 666 album! Anyway, the only albums that I've found to sound similar to the 666 album are Vangelis' Earth and, this one here, The Dragon. The Dragon was recorded in 1971 but, as far as I can tell, has never been officially released, only as a bootleg in 1981 on the Oxford/Charly label. I found this LP at the local swap meet for a few bucks! The three, long LP tracks are all instrumental and similar in sound to the more experimental moments on the 666 album. I've also included a bonus track, Chakachak - a previously unreleased Aphrodite's Child song written by Vangelis. Enjoy!

Track List:

1.The Dragon
2. Stuffed Aubergine
3. Stuffed Tomato
4. Chakachak (previously unreleased Aphrodite's Child track)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Papoose - Julie b/w Marie Song

Papoose -
Julie b/w Marie Song
Mercury 6120 004

I discovered Papoose from the late, great SFA(Sweet Floral Albion) psychedelic music e-zine. In fact, here is the SFA description of this Papoose single from SFA issue # 31: "'Julie' is chunky stomping pop, heavy on the thumping piano, with a late-60's vibe, falsetto harmony parts and some potty toytown pop touches. Based on a Bach tune, 'Marie Song' is a beautiful amalgam of psych-pop and progressive-pop. Majestic, stately, swirly, mysterious, muzzy, densely produced with layer upon layer of sound cut through only by deftly phased percussion, and a delightfully wobbly ending, 'Marie Song' rolls over you like a silky smooth wave of heavenly beauty. Then the melody and the images it evokes (of misty chateaux, delectable long haired maidens in flowing velvet) haunts you for the rest of the day. Papoose were a groovy looking bunch of long hairs lead by vocalist and guitar genius Philippe Cauvin (before he went acoustic). They cut several francophonic singles ('Cabaret Rouge', 'Le Grand Cirque', 'Le Roi Soleil', 'Mélancolie') and an album, 'Les Enfants Outgangs', during their short life, 1972 to 1975. This is their finest moment."
I agree with their description although I think the A side, Julie, is a bit more on the bubblegum side with the beginning sounding not unlike 'Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da". The true gem here is 'Marie Song'. This is one of my all time favorite songs. Wonderful, moody, prog-pop with explosive phased cymbals, eerie recorder and a great beginning drum break(I wonder if it's been sampled yet?) If anyone knows if Papoose has any other songs that are as good as 'Marie Song', please let me know! I'd love to hear more Papoose.

Track List:

1. Julie
2. Marie Song

Paul Brett Sage - S/T

Paul Brett
Sage - S/T
NSPL 18347

When you see Paul Brett's musical resume, you can't help but be impressed. He's played lead guitar for Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera, Tintern Abbey, Strawbs, Fire and Arthur Brown to name a few. This is his first solo album(sort of - since he has a band with him) from 1970.  I love this album. This is freaky, acid folk with acoustic guitars, flutes, hand drums, finger cymbals, along with bursts of freak rock acid guitar leads and organ. I love the compressed, in your face production. Stand out tracks for me are 3D Mona Lisa, Warlock, The Sun Died and The Tower. 

Track List: 

1. 3D Mona Lisa 
2. The Sun Died 
3. Little Aztec Prince 
4. Reason For Your Asking 
5. Trophies of the War 
6. The Tower 
7. The Painter 
8. Mediterranean Lazy Heat Wave 
9. Warlock 

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Billy Nicholls - Love Songs

Billy Nicholls - Love Songs
GML 1011

The UK pop psych wonder kid returns with his second album after his essential debut "Would You Believe" from 1968. "Love Songs" from 1974 is a bit of a departure from his earlier pop psych tunes but no less brilliant. This is amazing early 70's pop rock of the highest order with the stand out tracks being "Winter Rose", "Gypsy" and the album's masterpiece "White Lightning"(which can be found on my earlier comp "The Darkness Through The Smoke"). On this album Billy had help from his friends Caleb Quaye, Ronnie Lane, Ron Wood, Ian McLagan and Pete Townshend. Amazing stuff!

1. Winter Rose
2. Gipsy
3. Travellers Joy
4. Stay Awhile
5. Little Lady
6. Sometimes
7. Kew
8. Hopeless, Helpless
9. Overnight Train
10. White Lightning

Friday, April 11, 2008

Vaughan Thomas - S/T

Vaughan Thomas - S/T

This is a great UK pop rock album from 1972 produced and arranged by Mike Batt. Mike Batt also co-wrote one of the songs (Black Sheep Of The Family) with Thomas. There are great cover versions of the Beatles and The Stones and also Tony Hazzard on this LP. In fact, this whole album reminds me of early Tony Hazzard. A really wonderful album.

1. Say That I'm On Your Mind
2. Cry Baby Cry
3. Let's Spend The Night Together
4. Blue Movie Man
5. One More Time Around
6. I Wanna Be Famous Like My Dad
7. Woman In The West
8. We Are The People
9. Black Sheep Of The Family
10. Summer Song
11. Pictures Of Summer Gone
12. Too Far Down
13.  Need You Girl (45 A-side)
14. Love (45 B-side)