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Old 12-16-2009, 08:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default That 70's Thread - Anteater's Reviews Of Cool **** You Should Already Have

Ah the 1970's - disco, punk, krautrock, jazz fusion, prog, punk, the kitchen sink...a decade where bands would form just as quickly as they would fade into the darkness of the roadside, while others would put on shows in the long hours of the night that would put Cirque Du Soleil to shame.

Simply put, I want to use this thread as a place to entertain you with album reviews of both common classic canon and of the blackest of obscurities, extremes that characterized a very musically conscious decade where nothing was as it seemed and experimentation was rampant even when the music was radio savvy.

So sit back, light up, and PM me for links if you find any of descriptions scintillating. I have many summaries to spin and records to pull from cobwebbed shelves, all to spur your musical souls toward that ever-changing sky called Curiosity.
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sindelfingen – Odgipig (1973)


"Aggressive Folk/Random Progginess With Extra Shenanigans."

1. Song For Dawn (0:55)
2. Three Ladies (8:23)
3. Today & Tomorrow (9:42)
4. Mark's Bach (1:06)
5. Perpetual Motion (12:39)
6. Odgipig (3:12)


This was an album I actually learned about on accident while fishing for other stuff after a particularly BS evening at Economics class back when I still unfortunately had to take classes like that. After picking it up based on the cool looking sketchy 'hog however, I soon realized that this was one of THOSE albums. You know, the kind that you don't think will be much but end up knocking your ass to the curb because of how awesome it is. Since that time, it has lodged itself deep into my bowels...and my heart.

Anyway, the story behind these guys is a typical one of the era; Sindelfingen was an amateur outfit started up by two brothers whose collections mostly consisted of a lot of Fairport Convention, Yes and Beggars' Opera vinyls. They learned to play good, started up a band, worked the club circuit, ended up getting popular & made enough pocket change to dish out a record pressing, and then finally disappeared off the face of the earth only to reappear as session musicians in random pop bands from the 80's to the present.


However typical the story though, this was one outfit that really should have stuck to their guns and pressed forward with their musical ambitions. Why? Because this silly bunch in the course of a SINGLE album cultivated one of the most dynamic sounds you've never heard of, and it certainly surprised the hell out of me when I first checked it out. I mean, who else was combining Hendrixian acoustic guitar freakouts coupled with a pounding Rickenbacker bass and random jazz interludes? NOBODY!!! The playing's got pizzazz, the vocals raw, the arrangements long but not full of pretentious farkin' biznatchery. AKA, a 70's one shot that should have been an opening kick to a series of skull bustin' onslaughts. The quieter moments, such as the brief opening section of "Today and Tomorrow", are done with more than expected finesse also.




So what do we really have here? Merely a diamond in the ruff for people who are up for some ballsy folk music that also appeals to cantankerous progheads on the longer numbers. Don't miss it!


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Trump might be the best thing since free jazz.

Last edited by Anteater; 12-16-2009 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Very interesting review thread!
I always underestimated the 70s because of all the disco hype in that decade, but now diving more into it, I actually have more 70s albums than any other decade's.
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Old 12-17-2009, 01:03 AM   #4 (permalink)
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D/ling this album atm. Great write-up, been looking to get more into prog lately maybe this will be the first album I really "get". Love the songs posted, a lot of changing around but pretty awesome. I can't believe you just found this album. Cheers on starting another great and informative thread btw.

Edit: I'm actually going to need a d/l of this. I could only find on d/l; it's in two parts and I don't trust it. =(

Last edited by Schizotypic; 12-17-2009 at 01:08 AM.
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Old 12-18-2009, 04:08 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Those are a couple of truly mind blowing tracks!
Great album to start with... just got more excited to see the rest of the list.
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Old 12-18-2009, 09:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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^ Glad you guys like it so far!

Rainbow – Rising (1976)


"Walls to the Balls Heavy Hittin' Proto-Metal w/ Keyboardz."

1. Tarot Woman (6.08)
2. Run with the Wolf (3:47)
3. Starstruck (4:04)
4. Do You Close Your Eyes (2:58)
5. Stargazer (8:27)
6. A Light in the Black (8:11)


Once upon a time, there was a burly English mofo guitarist named Ritchie Blackmore, and he was really pissed off. The driving force behind much of what made Deep Purple the hard rock gods that they were from the late 60's through the mid 70's, by the release of their 1974 release Stormbringer he had become fed up with the other band members and their disregard of his concerns about their change toward a more funky/soul influenced kind of rock. After breaking a bunch of stuff, he promptly left before the year was out.

In 1975, he teamed up with the then-vocalist of Elf, Ronnie James Dio, an extraordinary singer who shared with Blackmore a love of harrrrd rock and classical music. And thus, after recruiting a bassist and drummer, the dynamic duo formed a rock band whose name would echo down the years as a household statement, a wonderful collaboration of showmanship and edgy classicism that would prove to be very awesome for awhile: Rainbow.

But although their 1975 debut was quite decent, even spawning a less-than-commercial single that charted, it was on 1976's Rising where everything, from the riffs to the keyboards to the epic delivery, came together without the slightest of hitches and every track was perfect. And amidst all the stuff they've done since that time, they've never outdone the 33 minutes of work recorded here. Not even once.

The party begins with 'Tarot Woman', opening over the course of a minute or so with psychedelic keyboards that seem to float around in distant spiraled space before the main riff comes in around 1:30 to bring you back to reality. What ensues is a good ol' fashioned headbanging back by galloping two-kick drum n' bass. All things considered, you couldn't ask for a better start to one of the best rock albums ever made.





But its not just the opener that hits home. 'Run With The Wolf' and 'Starstruck' are both nice slices of blues based proto-metal with solos that are nice and gritty without the usual cheese you associate with hard rock.




Side 2, however, is where we see just how epic a level Rainbow are willing to...rise to, when given the opportunity to perform longer tracks. 'Stargazer', with its vaguely-Eastern sounding keyboard, knotty guitar and Dio bellowing about sword n' sorcery and whatnot, is sure to be on anyone's dragon slaying playlist and is one of the tracks that laid the foundations for the power and progressive metal genres that would arise in the mid to late 80's, along with the 8-minute closer "Light in the Black", which ends the album on a high note and makes use of all the elements seen in previous tracks into one fantastic whole.



In conclusion, Rainbow, along with Uriah Heep, is just to me one of those bands that truly defined the harder edge of the 70's. More straightforward than Zeppelin, but at times a lot more fun too! Although they would decline down the AOR route once the 80's hit, Rising still stands as this band's distinctive stamp in music history, borne in an era where others may have been weirder, but not nearly as catchy for all their experimental tendencies. For as many of us well know, sometimes simpler is better: for people looking for some blazing hot rock without the excess cock, this here is the peak.
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Quote:
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You can't blame the Jews for everything...just most things.
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Trump might be the best thing since free jazz.
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Old 12-18-2009, 02:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Cool review. Some consider this the first Power Metal record, spear-headed by Dio's incredible range, lyrics and Blackmore's classic guitar style. "Rising" ventures into prog territory at times, but never lets up in energy. As you noted, the band became more of a straight forward hard rock band on their next album, but "Long Live Rock n Roll' is still another mighty fine release.
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Old 12-19-2009, 04:39 AM   #8 (permalink)
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A great idea for a thread and agree with most of the comments about Rainbow above. I was never a fan of DP with David Coverdale in the band. As for Rainbow, I`m also a big fan of their first two albums and they could easily be described as power metal with their classical influences and keyboards along with their swords and sorcery Heavy metal image, as opposed to the satanic darker feel of Sabbath. These albums are certainly my favourites as far as Dio is concerned and Blackmore`s best work in his post DP days.

After this it was all downhill really, as they like some of their counterparts such as UFO and Uriah Heep etc steered into a much easier listening radio commercial sound. Admittedly they were capable of releasing catchy songs such as "Since You`ve Been Gone" and "I Surrender" As good as these songs were, they`re probably not the kind of thing that a metal head wants to hear, from a band that were capable of producing much better.
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Old 12-19-2009, 06:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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^ Yeah, I've always felt that Rainbow could have upped their game even more after Rising, but chose the easier path because it meant more money for them. Big shame really. As for today's review-

Colin Blunstone One Year (1971)


"Vocalist from The Zombies + Baroque Pop = Hell Yeah!"

1. She Loves The Way They Love Her (2:49)
2. Misty Roses (5:04)
3. Smokey Day (3:13)
4. Caroline Goodbye (2:54)
5. Though You Are Far Away (3:24)
6. Mary Won't You Warm My Bed (3:11)
7. Her Song (3:31)
8. I Can't Live Without You (3:28)
9. Let Me Come Closer To You (2:24)
10. Say You Don't Mind (3:22)


Anyone who loves the 60's can tell you a bit about The Zombies. How they came at the end of the counterculture era and shattered just after as 'Time of the Season', a single issued from their 1968 masterpiece Odessey And Oracle hit airwaves and made them legends.

But what most people don't really know (or bother to look up) is what happened to the various members AFTER the big breakup, especially Colin Blunstone, the man whose voice gave the group such a distinctive edge over so many other bands at the end of the age of Flower Power. After spending some time washed-up as an insurance agent and a brief stint to re-record some Zombies tracks for radio, this strangely underrated vocalist pulled himself together, got some material into a studio along with some musician pals, and released his debut album as a solo artist, One Year, in 1971, and you couldn't ask for a more fantastic sounding slice of classically-tinged pop to kick off a new decade.

To fans of The Zombies: don't walk into this record expecting anything. Much of the psychedelia and slight jazz touches that characterized Blunstone's former group is basically non-existant here. What is emphasized, however, are extremely LUSH arrangements around the strings and a lorn, strangely tantalizing melancholy in Blunstone's delivery that would make Nick Drake green with envy...and the results are sometimes so breathtakingly gorgeous that your heart will bleed through your shirt merely hearing it.






It isn't all about the gorgeous folk and ballads though. One Year contains a couple of upbeat rockier works, such as 'Mary Won't You Warm My Bed' and 'She Loves The Way They Love Her', that keep the album balanced and mature as an experience for the listener. The subject matter is typical pop song fare, but with all the lushness and classical inclinations dashing about, its very easy to just flow with the tracks themselves and revel in the act of smiling with the swell of an orchestra, a touch of tension or any number of crescendos that Blunstone's voice hits as he croons off into the darkness.





Pop music has always been a hit and miss affair to people who want something to tap their fingers to while at the same time making some kind of emotional connection with whats being played, but One Year manages to do just that with both a sophistication beyond its era and genuine heart to boot, and it stands out as a major gem of the 70's because of them.

So for those looking to hear some of the best stuff that this talented mofo has sung and set to posterity, pick this up immediately. Hopefully you won't cry at some point through it!
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Quote:
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You can't blame the Jews for everything...just most things.
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Trump might be the best thing since free jazz.
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Old 12-20-2009, 08:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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England – Garden Shed (1977)


"In Progressive Rock's Dying Breath, A Final Classic Emerged..."

1. Midnight Madness (6:58)
2. All Alone (Introducing) (1:53)
3. Three Piece Suite (12:58)
4. Paraffinalea (4:12)
5. Yellow (5:24)
6. Poisoned Youth (16:17)



Arriving in 1977 at the height of punk's popularity, it's no wonder that the boys who formed England and then released a proggy work of this calibur weren't stoned to death in the streets. Especially considering the fact it came on a major label. "Progressive rock in OUR U.K.? BOLLOCKS!!!"

Still, all things considered, this album was mostly certainly the last "straight up" progressive rock album to be released on a major label up until the 90's, and thus could be considered to be the last masterpiece from a movement in music that many people were trying to forget ever existed. In many ways, Garden Shed is a work that draws from all the major groups that made prog. what it was, but innovates and stands apart from the works of all those bands. Although vocally similar to Yes whilst compositionally closer to Genesis with a few nods to Gentle Giant and a tad amateurish at times overall, this is record as grandiose as it is fun to listen to, and a fitting closure to prog. rock's golden age.

Each of the six tracks present here are gorgeous exclamations in both complexity and pop sensibility. Opening number 'Midnight Madness' twists and turns with quirky synths before the vocals and the main beat clocks in and you begin to hear why England are interesting: they remind you of other bands in the genre, but sound utterly unlike any one them. Like all classic prog., this track remains memorable and engaging throughout its seven minutes while still showing off the chops of the people involved. You couldn't ask for a tastier beginning.




However, there's plenty of fun highlights in the ensuing songs. 'Paraffinalea' is a quirky, upbeat analog synth driven number that wouldn't be out of place on Gentle Giant's early albums and 'Yellow' is an acoustic stab into the band's more idyllic potential, bringing to mind images of green hillsides and blazing sunsets. There are also two suites, 'Three Piece Suite' and 'Poisoned Youth', that portray just how fantastic these guys were at songwriting for longer pieces. The former is very bright, the latter dark and full of delicious, pounding bass n' drums that wouldn't be out of place on a Miles Davis or King Crimson album somewhere.




The latter half of the 1970's was not a friendly place for progressive rock, nor was it that welcoming a time for experimental music in general. The time when a 60-minute piece of music could chart at #1 on the Top 40 in the U.S. was lonnnnng over by the time Garden Shed hit shelves. Still, there's something to be said of an album that is considered to be the "last great prog. rock album" by enthusiasts and music historians, and you can all be the judge of that proclamation for yourselves when you give this underrated record a spin on a drive or in the comfort of your homes, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for something wholly good and awesome sounding in a genre derided for its cheesefests and pretentious ramblings.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frownland
You can't blame the Jews for everything...just most things.
Quote:
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Trump might be the best thing since free jazz.

Last edited by Anteater; 12-20-2009 at 08:17 PM.
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