Tuesday, February 13, 2007
2 Sack Full of Silver (2:13)
3 Yoo Doo Right (6:04)
4 Napkin Song (1:31)
5 Americana/The Ghost (4:34)
6 Whirling Dervish (3:43)
7 Triangle (5:39)
8 Diesel Man (4:42)
9 On the Floe (3:43)
10 On the Floe (4:51)
Sack Full of Silver is, in many ways, one of Thin White Rope's most fully realized sets, blending the group's early alt-psychedelic influences and a growing taste for dusty Americana flavors. Having completed a 16-date tour of the Soviet Union, the group collected covers of Marty Robbins, Lee Hazlewood, and others for the Red Sun EP, followed shortly by this batch of originals penned during the trip overseas. Like all Thin White Rope releases, Sack Full of Silver is defined by the voice of Guy Kyser: the aural equivalent of the flat, parched, endless landscape his characters seem to inhabit. Sobering realizations, like dead ends, await them around every corner. In an environment where failure, desperation, and hopelessness are common currency, adding up one's losses and moving on feels like a great victory. It's clearly no easy task. "The Ghost" catches its subject in the moment before that turning point, looking ahead as a life of loss begins to flood in.
Emerging out of the final chords of "Americana" and "Desert Rock" it rises from the sound of wind-swept sand to a triumphant anthem in the mold of an old folk song. Revealing that they are working within a wider frame of reference, the group adapt Can's "Yoo Doo Right," distilling the original's 20 minutes into a compact, bursting rock number. Though the gray area in between these two styles produces less memorable results, Thin White Rope's brand of American roots has aged more gracefully than the work of some of their contemporaries. Sack Full of Silver remains as fine an introduction to Kyser's vision as any. ~ Nathan Bush, All Music Guide
Thin White Rope - 1985 - Exploring The Axis
1. Down In The Desert
2. Disney Girl
5. Dead Grammas On A Train
6. Three Song, The
8. Atomic Imagery
9. Real West, The
10. Exploring The Axis
11. Macy's Window
12. Rocket USA - (live)
13. Roger's Tongue
Review by Nathan Bush
Hailing from the northern California town of Davis, Thin White Rope was initially pegged as a proponent of the paisley underground movement. Such labeling, however, tells half the story at best. The list of bands the group went on to cover over the course of their ten-year career is actually more revealing. Songs by Suicide, the Stooges, Lee Hazlewood, Marty Robbins, Bob Dylan, Can, and a James Bond theme have all been rendered by the band in the studio and on-stage. That list goes a long way in explaining the mixture of raw, angular riffs, southern twang, and icy psychedelia that characterizes Exploring the Axis, the group's 1985 debut. What it does not convey, perhaps, is the relative bleakness of Thin White Rope's music.
Frontman Guy Kyser, guitarist Roger Kunkel, bassist Stephen Tesluk, and drummer Jozef Becker outline a series of barren landscapes, their instruments kicking up clouds of dust from the parched earth like a rollicking, rickety ghost-train headed south. At times Jeff Eyrich's productions approach the wintry heir of Martin Hannett's work with Joy Division. This climate is ideal for Kyser, who delivers tales of isolation, allusion, and death; his voice a perpetually unsteady quake.
Onde Quando Como Porquê Cantamos Pessoas Vivas (often known simply as Cantamos Pessoas Vivas) was Portuguese outfit Quarteto 1111's last albumand it's effectively a late-period psych/prog album.
Talking about Jose Cid (the mind of Quarteto 1111) after he gave us the SUPERB Cantamos Pessoas Vivas with Quarteto and the also exchellent 10000 Anos Depois Entre Venus E Marte (1978) on his solo career he decide to be a pop star and represent portugal in Eurovision with a awfull song (at 1981 i think) what a decadence ... whatever... we thank him for this exchellent album !!
Actually i sweat my ass to find this vinyl and rip it , was the best i can find ,(sorry), but raise the volume a bit it's worth it.!
Salem Mass - 1971 - Witch Burning
Side One: Witch Burning / My Sweet Jane / Why
Side Two: You Can't Run My Life / You're Just A Dream / Bare Tree / The Drifter
Jim Klahr - keyboards
Mike Snead - lead guitar and vocals
Steve Towery - drums and vocals
Matt Wilson - bass and vocals
You would assume the group Salem Mass is from Massachusetts right? Wrong.
In 1971 four young men from Sun Valley Idaho; Jim Klahr (keyboards), Mike Snead (lead guitar and vocals), Steve Towery (drums and vocals), and Matt Wilson (bass and vocals) decided that would be a good name for a group. I was attracted to them because of their name. I am from Massachusetts and I have a fascination with the time period in history when the persecution of innocent victims took place. I also happen to really enjoy most music that was made in the seventies. Psychedelic rock wasn't one genre I really knew anything about, as my time for really listening to music of my own choice was around 1972, when there was a shift to heavy metal and psychedelic rock was becoming a memory. All of this wonderful music has been a revelation of discovery for me every time I sit and listen to another group.The album starts off with the title track "Witch Burning." The lead vocals are high pitched and irritating, yet the music is powerful and subsequently sweeps that negative factor right under the table. I am not sure who handles vocals on what track because it's not indicated on the album liner notes or cover. That is the only song that lacks vocally, the rest of the album has strong vocals to match the far-reaching and authoritative music. "My Sweet Jane" follows and it put any doubt that I was feeling to rest quickly. I found it to be the best track on the entire album. This music sounds fresh even today.
Reviewed by: Keith "Muzikman" Hannaleck
Monday, February 12, 2007
Wool/Ed Wool and The Nomads
ALBUM: 1(A) WOOL (ABC ABCS-676) 1969
45s: 1 Please, Please (Don't Go)/I Need Somebody (RCA Victor 47-8940) 1966
NB: (1) as Ed Wool & The Nomads.
Syracuse, New York was the stomping ground for this R'n'B/blues-influenced combo dominated by vocalist Ed Wool, whose strong raucous style could be compared to Eric Burdon, especially on numbers like the cover of Brown-Terry's Please Please (Don't Go). The LP is bluesy rock-pop, if that's your bag, whose highlight is undoubtedly Love Love Love Love Love, another vocal tour-de-force, by Tom Haskell.
Nowadays Wool resides in Albany, N.Y. and continues to record and tour with The Ed Wool Band, playing jazz-rock and big band dance music. Tom Haskell is now a freelance photographer.
Compilation appearances include: I Need Somebody on Mind Blowers (LP).
Legendary pioneers of street funk, the Ohio Players went platinum with this hot 1975 release that includes the chart-topping disco/funk classic "Love Rollercoaster". Sexy, horn-driven grooves, hypnotic rhythms, and bottom-heavy jams take us on a fresh and funky new dimension.
1 Honey (5:17)
2 Fopp (3:52)
3 Let's Do It (5:12)
4 Ain't Givin' up No Ground (1:42)
5 Sweet Sticky Thing (6:12)
6 Love Rollercoaster (4:48)
7 Alone (4:38)
There is an urban legend about the song Love Rollercoaster. About two minutes into the song, a faint scream is heard. the urban legend states that the scream is that of the model on the cover of the album. Allegedly, the model was kneeling on fiberglass and pouring honey onto herself. The honey bonded her to the glass, and her skin was ripped off in the effort to unstick her. She confronted the manager during the recording of the song, who then proceeded to stab her to death,
This myth is false, however. The scream was made by keyboardist Billy Beck. A local DJ made up the rumor, and the band kept with it to boost sales of the album.
By the time of 1975's HONEY, the Players had streamlined their album covers from HUSTLER-ish to PLAYBOY-ish, while keeping their music still delightfully funky & sexy beyond description. 1974's FIRE contained their first #1 pop hit with the title track, and the music was definitely what its title stated: blazing! While HONEY hints at something a little more, well, smooth, it's still a fantastic album with enough grit to rock the dance floors before putting on the slower stuff when you get back home.
"Love Rollercoaster" was the Player's 2nd #1 pop hit, and is probably their most famous song thanks to cover versions like that from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. While the Peppers' version was a good White-boy version of it, the Players' one is still the funky king, one to get you up & moving no matter how many times it's been played at parties, sporting events or oldies radio.
"Fopp" is another chaotic funky delight with the opening drum line indeed sounding reminiscent of the opening to Guns N' Roses' "Paradise City". Maybe Axl Rose needs to pay some restitution to the Players, who knows?
As has been proven time & time again, ballads were always the Players' secret weapon, and they remain underrated with all the loud, screaming funk that was their trademark. "Sweet Sticky Thing" was lucky to be released for it is indeed much smoother-edged than what the Players were known for at the time. The fact this jazz-grooved tune (man, that saxophone!) did so well really says something.
The opening title track was a brave way to start out the album, especially after just having a massive #1 hit with "Fire". I can easily imagine this song coming from Earth, Wind & Fire, who were probably the only other group the Players could really compete with in the funk sweepstakes (Parliament/Funkadelic were already the kings, so they were out of the running).
"Let's Do It" is another romantic jam to melt your lover's heart with, and hopefully you won't find yourself singing the closing ballad "Alone" before long. The man singing this song is all-too-obviously heartbroken and, as my good friend Nathan says, it definitely is a forgotten treasure of '70s R&B balladry with Leroy "Sugarfoot" Bonner's lead vocal just tear-inducing. Even the spare musical back-up on the song heightens its emotional nakedness.
HONEY was produced, written & performed by the Players themselves, so you know the album is exactly how they would have wanted it. Even those ever-present covers were their brainchild, with HONEY's being the undoubtedly the most famous of all (the inner photo is a true "how could they do it?" affair).
While the Players have been sampled like mad by hip-hop artists for years, and are still adored by R&B lovers today, they have been sort of overlooked in the overall pantheon of popular music. Earth, Wind & Fire have been inducted in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, as has Parliament/Funkadelic, so why not the Players? Until that day comes, we can be sure that an album as fantastic & funky as HONEY will be one of the things that gets them in there.
1. My Time's Coming
2. Chains Of Madness
3. Darker Side
4. Drop Dead
5. Rocks Funeral
6. No Mercy
7. Drug Fueled Accident
8. Sinister Boy
9. Quick One
The Punks!!!! Ahhh, another long forgotten badass 1970's RnR band, this time from Detroit, Michigan. Heavily influenced by artists such as Iggy & The Stooges, MC5, & Blue Cheer. This is the 2005 reissue version put out by Italian label Rave-Up Records, (currently sold out and out of print) possibly the finest label still releasing records by relatively obscure and classic RnR/Garage/Punk/Glam bands.
Singer Frantic of The Punks
This is what Matt Gimmick had to say in October 2001 about The Punks, featured on the Motor City Music website (they also issued a Punks CD a few years ago, titled The Most Powerful Music On Earth, which more or less contains the same songs on this release, plus a few live versions):
"This Volume I collection of songs was recorded between 1975 and 1977. These tracks aren't from some slick dressed commercial over-rehearsed band of rock star wanna-be's. They were culled from a live performance, rehearsals and low buck studio recordings. It's High Energy - and best described by the word "raunch." If it were to be categorized, this CD should be filed under the Listen Loud section.
There were bands The Punks enjoyed listening to and seeing; groups such as The Underdogs, Unrelated Segments, Velvet Underground, MC5, The Stooges, SRC, early Alice Cooper, and Blue Cheer - the list goes on and on. This CD represents their answer and contribution to the demise of the late great 60's era, especially in and around the Metro Detroit area. After 1970 or so, the Detroit scene died, so the punks geared up and decided to make their own noise.The studio tracks were preparation recordings for an anticipated recording contract with a major label that didn't materialize. "My Time's Comin', "Drop Dead" (a song about feeling good) and "Sinister Bly" were recorded at The Punks' Saline headquarters in Waterford, Michigan. "Chains of Madness," a song about being possessed, and "Drug Related Incident" were recorded at League G studios, utilizing old Motown Records recording equipment. Includes as well "Darker Side," "Rocks Funeral," and "No Mercy (For The Damned)" - a title and song for a follow-up to the Dirty Dozen movie, and "Quick One," about... well, you know! The two live cuts were from the infamous IAC Club in Pontiac, Michigan. These shows were crazy. The audiences were usually drunk, drugged up and rowdy as hell. The late great Lester Bangs of CREEM Magazine would show up with friends to rejuvenate his senses and fill his need for some loud train-wreck type rock'n'roll. "On The Bum," a tune about being a poor rock musician during the disco period, and "Always Had This Problem," - not really an upbeat outlook on life - are two cuts from a show in 1976. Plans are to release more live material on a second volume in the near future.
To witness The Punks doing it live was like a preparation for a major hangover the next morning. There was no enthusiastic jumping around by guitarists Steve Rockey, Alan Webber or bassist Rod McMahon. Lead singer "Frantic", a/k/a William Kuchon, took care of the craziness. Frantic had more energy than a kid on speed, and enjoyed working it out while drummer Craigstone J. Webshire III was content to shred drumsticks the size of logs in the pursuit of annihilating his drum kit. It was loud and aggressive music, fast and rockin', at times slow and heavy with nontraditional guitar interactions of feedback/wah wah/distortion mixed with driving bass runs and an atomic bomb relentless backbeat. Add Frantic's stage presence - a smiling defiant singer with a dislike of the wimpy mainstream acts of the day coupled with a stance on stage that projected a "Hey! Let's get crazy, let's go over the top because there ain't no rules" attitude. Frantic believed he was just a voice cryin' in the wilderness, and he stood proud with an obnoxious-repetitious-ear splitting band of brothers behind him that loved to crank it up. It was destruction volume and energy - not so clean, nice or politically correct in any way, shape, form or fashion. At the time there was no media-coined "punk rock." There were no safety-pinned spike-haired, hey-look-at-me-I'm-tougher-than-you fashion hounds. There was just this band called The Punks, who had no delusional ideas of who they were or what they were trying to accomplish. So sit back, crank it up, and enjoy."
You heard what the man said; Sit back, crank it up, and enjoy!
Sunday, February 11, 2007
The band released two singles, "Son of a Gun" and "Dying for It", prior to releasing an album. In 1989 they released their only album, Dum Dum, on the record label Rough trade. Following the closing of the record label 53rd and 3rd, which they had originally signed to, the band broke up in 1990. However, they reunited later that year to open for Nirvana when they played in Edinburgh.
Though they were not widely known when the band existed, covers of their songs by Nirvana and Kurt Cobain's tendency to mention them as an influence brought exposure to the band. With their songs "Son of a Gun" and "Molly's Lips" covered on Nirvana's album Incesticide and "Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam" covered as "jeses doesn't want me for a sunbeam" onMTV unplugged in New York, the band gained a new audience from people who wanted to discover the bands that influenced Cobain (a similar situation happened to the band The Meat Puppets). Due to this new exposure, in 1992 Sub Pop released The way Of The Vaselines: A Complete History, a compilation that contained The Vaselines' entire body of work on one album.
No longer together, members of the band moved on to new bands. Kelly went on to found the band Captain America (later renamed Eugenius). He currently performs solo. McKee founded the band Suckle and released her first solo album, Sunny Moon, in 2006. (Text: The vaselines/Wikipedia)
The Shirelles were originally formed in 1958 in Passaic, NJ, by four high school friends: Doris Coley (later Doris Kenner-Jackson), Addie "Micki" Harris, Shirley Owens (later Shirley Alston), and Beverly Lee. Christening themselves the Poquellos, the girls wrote a song called "I Met Him on a Sunday" and entered their school talent show with it. A school friend had them audition for her mother, Florence Greenberg, who ran a small record label; she was impressed enough to become the group's manager, and changed their name to the Shirelles by combining frequent lead singer Owens' first name with doo woppers the Chantels. The Shirelles' recording of "I Met Him on a Sunday" was licensed by Decca and climbed into the national Top 50 in 1958. Two more singles flopped, however, and Decca passed on further releases. Greenberg instead signed them to her new label, Scepter Records, and brought in producer Luther Dixon, whose imaginative, sometimes string-heavy arrangements would help shape the group's signature sound.
"Dedicated to the One I Love" (1959) and "Tonight's the Night" (1960) both failed to make much of an impact on the pop charts, although the latter was a Top 20 R&B hit. However, they broke big time with the Goffin-King composition "Will You Love Me Tomorrow"; released in late 1960, it went all the way to number one pop, making them the first all-female group of the rock era to accomplish that feat; it also peaked at number two R&B. Its success helped send a re-release of "Dedicated to the One I Love" into the Top Five on both the pop and R&B charts in 1961, and "Mama Said" did the same; a more R&B-flavored outing, "Big John," also went to number two that year. 1962 continued their run of success, most notably with "Soldier Boy," a Luther Dixon/Florence Greenberg tune that became their second pop number one; they also had a Top Ten pop and R&B hit with "Baby It's You." Unfortunately, Dixon subsequently left the label; the Shirelles managed to score one more pop/R&B Top Ten with 1963's "Foolish Little Girl," but found it difficult to maintain their previous level of success.
The group went on to record material for the film It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, headlined the first integrated concert show in Alabama, and helped a young Dionne Warwick get some of her first exposure (subbing for Owens and Coley when each took a leave of absence to get married). A money dispute with Scepter tied up their recording schedule for a while in 1964, and although it was eventually settled, the Shirelles were still bound to a label where their run was essentially over. Of course, this was also because of the British Invasion, whose bands were among the first to cover their songs; not only their hits, but lesser-known items like "Boys" (the Beatles) and "Sha La La" (a hit for Manfred Mann). The Shirelles scraped the lower reaches of the charts a few more times, making their last appearance, ironically, with 1967's "Last Minute Miracle." Doris Kenner left the group the following year to concentrate on raising her family, and the remaining Shirelles continued as a trio, cutting singles for Bell, United Artists, and RCA through 1971. The group continued to tour the oldies circuit, however, and appeared in the 1973 documentary Let the Good Times Roll. Shirley Alston left for a solo career in 1975, upon which point Doris Kenner-Jackson returned. Micki Harris died of a heart attack during a performance in Atlanta on June 10, 1982, upon which point the group went into what turned out to be a temporary retirement; the three remaining charter members recorded together for the last time on a 1983 Dionne Warwick record. Different Shirelles lineups toured the oldies circuit in the '90s, though Beverly Lee eventually secured the official trademark. They were officially inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. Doris Kenner-Jackson passed away after a bout with breast cancer in Sacramento on February 4, 2000.
Saturday, February 10, 2007
1 Children of the Sun
2 My Mind
3 Who Do You Love?
5 Find a Hidden Door
6 I Can Take You to the Sun
7 I'm Not Talking
8 Who's Been Talking?
9 I Need Your Love
10 You Don't Have to Go Out
11 I Cried My Eyes Out
12 Like I Do
13 You've Got Me Crying Over Love
1 What Is Love (3:53)
2 She (Will-O-the-Wind) (3:53)
3 Howard Christman's Older (5:10)
4 Lyndia Purple (2:48)
5 One Act Play (3:43)
6 What Love (Suite) (19:05)
Originally formed in 1964 as the Classics (adopting the name CFUN Classics when they gigged to promote local Vancouver, BC radio station CFUN-AM), the group were featured as the house band on Let's Go, a weekly TV show. In 1965, they released two singles as the Canadian Classics -- "Til I Met You" (Jaguar 2002A) and "I Don't Know" (Valiant 723). The band reinvented themselves as the Collectors in 1966. With former horn player Howie Vickers handling lead vocals, they cut "Eyes" and "Don't Feel Bad" -- both of which later appeared on the History of Vancouver Rock and Roll, Volume 4 (VRCA 004; 1991.) "Eyes" -- a fine folk tune seasoned with tasty guitar and just a dash of psychedelia -- is easily the better track. "Don't Feel Bad" has a vague "On Broadway" feel. By 1967, in addition to lead singer Howie Vickers, the Collectors included Claire Lawrence (tenor sax, organ, recorder, flute), Bill Henderson (lead guitar), Glenn Miller (bass) and Ross Turney (drums) -- the band's "classic" line-up. Recordings from this period include the Vancouver smash hit "Lookin' at a Baby" (New Syndrome 16, 1967, subsequently reissued on the History of Vancouver Rock, Volume 3 VRCA 001, 1983) and two other 45s, "Fisherwoman" and "Fat Bird." "Lookin' at a Baby" is MOR flute-pop floating amidst heady clouds of psychedelia. Vickers' departure from the Collectors in 1969 necessitated Henderson's promotion to lead vocalist. Eventually, the band rechristened themselves Chilliwack. ~ Stansted Montfichet, All Music Guide
Download Link :
"15 Floorshakers beat cuts from the 60's"
Friday, February 09, 2007
These 3 CDs collect a range of Chatham's work. The entire first disc comprises the piece "Two Gongs," and that's what it is- a whole hour of relentless metallic thunder. I hated it at first but it also can be fascinating and more than a little hypnotic. The other pieces are scored either for a brass ensemble (these two pieces I don't particularly care for) or for a "rock band" consisting of anywhere from one to one hundred guitars, bass, and drums, which are quite impressive. "Die Donnergotter" is twenty minutes of driving, extremely Neu!-sounding blasts of music. Really cool stuff.
Well, it's not every day you stumble across not only on an artist such as Childish but an album such as this. Billy Childish (1959-) has left an obscure and weathered footprint on the face of culture. Besides this recording has done many full-length records, books, and produced a great many paintings. This album highlights aspects of 40s era blues and timeless folk. Its opening track also resounds free-form jazz (with an accordian seconded to none.) Childish gives all he has into everything he does, and this is a fine example, though I now realize credit must be given where it is due, and this record is not by Childish exclusively but with his group The Black Hands. The only other records I know of by the black hands is one entitled "Captain Calypo's Hoodoo Party" and "Live in the Netherlands" but he has a vast catacomb of works with groups including Thee Milkshakes, Thee Headcoats, The Mighty Ceasers, recordings with fellow musican/poet Sexton Ming, and a lucrative solo career.
Baby Night (Sweet Smoke) (16:24)
Silly Sally (Sweet Smoke) (16:22)
Andrew Dershin: Bass
Jay Dorfman: Drums and percussion
Marvin Kaminowitz: Solo guitar, Vocals
Michael Paris: Tenor sax, alto recorder, vocals, percussion
Steve Rosenstein: Rhythm guitar, vocals
Sweet Smoke responsible for all manner of percussion
Sweet Smoke was an American music group living and playing in Europe from 1970 till 1974. Originally from N.Y. the group moved to Germany where they lived as a family commune.
Darkness To Light
Just An Empty Dream (4:20)
I'd Rather Burn Than Disappear (4:15)
Believe Me My Friends (4:29)
Show Me The Way To The War (5:30)
Darkness To Light (12:51)
Michael Paris: Sax, Flute, Vocal
Marvin Kaminowitz: Guitar, Vocal
Steve Rosenstein: Guitar, Vocals
Rochus Kuhn: Violin, Cello
Jeffrey Dershin: Piano, Percussion, Vocals
Andrew Dershin: Bass
Jay Dorfman: Drums
"To Sweet Smoke music was not simply a collection of songs that the audience would sit back and listen to, but rather it was a living vehicle through which they could share with everyone their vision and joy of life.
To Sweet Smoke music was magic, their concerts were an interaction between them and their audiences, and their group was like a Cosmic Space Ship forever exploring the unknown regions of our musical universe."
Sweet Smoke Live
First Jam (Sweet Smoke) (19:19)
Shadout Mapes (Rick Greenberg) (11:18)
Ocean Of Fears (Marvin Kaminowitz) (6:42)
People Are Hard (8:17)
Schyler's Song (9:03)
Final Jam (13:47)
Rick Greenberg: Rhythm guitar, Sitar
Marvin Kaminowitz: Lead guitar, vocals, percussion
John Classi: Percussion, sound effects
Andrew Dershin: Bass guitar, percussion
Jay Dorfman: Drums, percussion
Martin Rosenberg: Tamboura, percussion
Recorded live in Berlin, Musikhochschule, 1974, for the benefit of Ananda
Marga Yoga Society.
Shadout Mapes was a character in Frank Herbert's classic sci-fi novel
"Mid Sixties Berserk Rockin' Bands from All Over"
A super rare psych monster.
"Felt" 2000 (CD Akarma 127, Italy) [digipak]
"Felt" 2000 (Akarma 127, Italy)
Strong Southern psychrock LP that's probably the best thing on the label. Excellent teenage vocals and a wide-ranging spectrum of influences including late Beatle-psych, mellow west coast-jamming and early 1970s hardrock, held together by a tight band who obviously put a lot of effort into this album. Strange that this took so long to get reissued, although the bizarre cover may have contributed. (PL)
Solid album that goes from Beatlesque pop to bluesy hard rock, this one gets everything right. The ten-minute song that starts side two has an awesome riff and maintains a fantastic level of intensity. Sounds awfully mature for the work of a supposedly 17-year-old singer/songwriter. A really good one. The album was mastered a little off-center, and the Akarma reissue was mastered from the vinyl. The last song on both orig and re has an annoying wavery sound to it. A reissue from the master tapes would be very welcome. [AM]
This album is unexpectedly diverse and impressive. The opener 'Look At the Sun' served as an atypical, but gorgeous ballad. It sounds kind of strange but the song actually benefits from Jackson's somewhat quivery vocal performances. Couple with some great lead guitar at the end of the track, it's also the most commercial song on the album. Sporting an anti-drug lyric 'Now She's Gone' starts out with a pseudo-jazzy flavor complete with scat segments before mutating into a bluesy segment and then going back into jazz mode. It probably doesn't sound very promising on paper, but somehow these guys make it one of the album's most entertaining pieces. Musically 'Weepin' Mama Blues' is a pretty standard keyboard and guitar propelled blues workout that sports some killer drum work and a lead guitar and scat vocal combination that won't quit. It may also have Jackson's best vocal performance. He sure doesn't sound like a 17 year old on this one. Clocking in at over ten minutes and going through numerous time changes, "The Change" is an entertaining mix of progressive and hard rock moves. As for the two other tracks; "World" was a decent hard rock number that's knocked down a notch by Jackson's strained falsetto vocal (though part of the problem may explained by a pressing defect that saw the album mastered slightly off center). The final selection "Destination" was simply bland. All in all a real surprise with great songs, great performances and surprisingly clean and sophisticated production work. [SB]
Cymande - Best of Cymande
01 The Message
02 Brothers on the Slide
06 For Baby Woh
08 Equitorial Forest
10 Getting It Back
12 Willy's Headache
14 Pon de Dungle
15 Rastafarian Folk Song
16 One More
17 Zion I
Short-lived but legendary, Cymande is oft-compiled on funk assemblages, but this CD of their first two LPs is altogether necessary, even if the music moves away from tight beats into Rasta-folk toward the end. Cymande's reputation has grown considerably over the last twenty years. Featuring a multi-national crew with a strong Caribbean influence, the band produced a few hits in the early seventies, then disappeared. But the epochal "Brothers On the Side," and the ingeniously structured "Fug" contain a subtlety and tension lacking in all but the best bands of the era. As usual, the Collectables label's sound quality is passable, but nothing to brag about. --D. Strauss
Invigorating head music done Rastafarian style by Cymande. "Zion I" is a spiritual chant put to music, setting the mood for Cymande. A laid-back "One More" lulls you into subliminal meditation before "Getting It Back" jolts you into some scintillating Jamaican funk-fusion. There's a message in many of Cymande's cuts, with "Listen," and "Bra" (a recognition of the women's lib movement), the most inspiring. Both are sung with passion, and are skillfully executed; the former is slow and painstaking in its message, while "Bra" slaps you upside the head with a stirring sax solo and bass-fueled vamp. An air of supreme coolness permeates Cymande, unusual for a first effort written by members of the band. Cymande sound like they have done this before; nowhere is this more evident than on the beautiful "Dove," a gorgeous concoction of lead guitar, tambourines, haunting backing vocals, and percussion, with the horns used as sparingly as table-seasoning on a gourmet dish. Along with "Bra," the group's most popular cut is "The Message" -- it's difficult keeping body parts still on this grooving mutha. All in all, Cymande is a marvelous collection that premiered a fine funk band. ~ Andrew Hamilton, All Music Guide
Although underappreciated and woefully overlooked during their original tenure together, the fine early-'70s outfit Cymande (pronounced Sah-mahn-day) was one of the first to merge African rhythms with rock, funk, reggae, and soul. Comprised of members who hailed from such exotic locales as Guyana, Jamaica, and St. Vincent, the nine-man lineup (who were all entirely self-taught) contained Steve Scipio (bass), Ray King (vocals, percussion), Derek Gibbs (alto/soprano), Pablo Gonsales (congas), Joey Dee (vocals, percussion), Peter Serreo (tenor), Sam Kelly (drums), Mike Rose (alto, flute, bongos), and Patrick Patterson (guitar). The band issued a total of three releases: 1972's self-titled debut (which spawned one of their best-known songs, "The Message," peaking at number 22 on the domestic R&B charts in 1974), 1973's Second Time Around, and 1974's Promised Heights -- before splitting up. But by the '90s, Cymande became the recipient of a strong cult following as another track from their debut, "Bra," was included on the soundtrack to Spike Lee's motion picture Crooklyn, and several of their songs were sampled by rap artists (including Raze, Master Ace, MC Solaar, De La Soul, DJ Kool, and the Fugees). Due to sudden interest in Cymande, a pair of compilations were issued -- a British double CD titled The Message (which collected all three of their albums) and a 13-track collection, The Soul of Rasta. ~ Greg Prato, All Music Guide