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Old 01-03-2013, 02:54 PM   #181 (permalink)
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Albums that missed the cut.........
Other good albums worth checking out that were also released in 1971, but weren't quite good enough to make the top 10 and are listed below in no set order, so the best of the rest:

Budgie
Squawk 1972

An album that just missed a place in the ‘Top 10’ as the band moved beyond the confines of the debut and started evolving and despite some very dubious song choices on here, it still had stunners like “Hot as a Dockers Armpit” and "Drugstore Woman"


Alice Cooper
School’s Out 1972

The title track is the best known and most famous track Alice Cooper probably put out, but the rest of the album despite being an interesting listen, dabbles too much with a progressive West Side Story type theme for my liking, the lesser album from this his classic period.


Ursa Major
Ursa Major 1972

An accomplished album that doesn’t remotely sound like a debut set, the band just stuck around for an album which is a shame, as there was a market for their commercial brand of hard rock. Frontman Dick Wagner would go on to perform with Alice Cooper.


Jerusalem
Jerusalem 1972

An album that strangely seems to be remembered by a lot of aficionados from this era, I say strange because the compositions despite being decent and solid, were somewhat quite amateurish in relation to the competition out there at the time, produced by Ian Gillan.


Stray
Saturday Morning Pictures 1972

The third great album by the band and another album just to miss the ‘Top 10’ This is an album which expands out of the unpredictable confines of the first two stunning albums and sees a great use of synths and keyboards by the band.


Buffalo
Dead Forever 1972

A real mixed bag here from one of the earliest heavy bands out of Australia, as they can’t really decide whether they want to go for straight-out Sabbath style rockers or concentrate on the softer side of things, they would explode next year.
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:00 PM   #182 (permalink)
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The Live Album Section 1972

Deep Purple Made in Japan 1972 (Purple Records)
Hard Rock

Extended workouts and mesmerizing solos!

One of the most revered live albums of the 1970s and certainly one of the best. It was only a matter of time before one of the ‘really big boys’ would release a live album par excellence! The material to be found on this double album, comes from the three albums since Ian Gillan and Roger Glover’s inception into the band In Rock, Fireball and Machine Head. By now the band thanks to Machine Head were at the zenith of their power and so this live album came at just the right time, it’s so good it ranks right up there with the Who’s Live at Leeds which came out two years earlier. The length of the original album comes in at about 76 minutes and contains just seven songs, so how did the band fill out this mammoth amount of time? Quite simply the band gave us the perfect exercise in precision jamming, which was highlighted by amazing solos from Ritchie Blackmore and Jon Lord, that helped to extend these tracks well beyond their initial run times, hell “Space Truckin’” clocks in at around almost 20 minutes!!! and songs like “Child in Time” seem almost like different songs at times. Tracks like “The Mule” and “Lazy” are basically like jamming tracks anyway with the uniqueness of their extended jamming, and of course let's not forget "Smoke on the Water" the band's most famous track. Made in Japan contains some of Ian Gillan’s most amazing screaming sessions to date as well and the song selection on this album, were carefully chosen tracks to highlight the individual talents of the three pivotal members of the band Gillan, Blackmore and Lord but of course the rhythm section of Glover and Paice also had their moments as well. The album was recorded over a period of three nights at the Festival Hall in Osaka and the famed Budokan in Tokyo. A 1998 remastered edition of the album, features an extra three songs known as the ‘Encores’ which were from the original concert recordings.

Ian Gillan- Vocals
Ritchie Blackmore- Guitar
Roger Glover- Bass
Jon Lord- Keyboards
Ian Paice- Drums

Production- Deep Purple
Festival Hall, Osaka 1972
Budokan, Tokyo 1972


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Old 01-10-2013, 02:07 PM   #183 (permalink)
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Hard, Heavy and a Classic 1972

Humble Pie Smokin’ 1972
(A&M)
Boogie Blues-Hard Rock


Hot and sweaty boogie blues at its very best.

The Album
There always comes a time when you’re doing projects like this, when you think should this artist make the list or not and this was one such time. Up until now Humble Pie have been regularly featured in this journal, but as albums went by the band seemed to gradually embrace more and more of their blues and R&B roots, which was really in stark contrast to a lot of the other bands featured so far who were gradually doing just the opposite. This album Smokin’ their fifth release is indeed heavy, but I felt that it didn’t qualify for the main list this time, as the band were moving into a more boogie dominated sound thus making their ‘heavy status' more of secondary label for the band. This change in sound had seen guitarist Pete Frampton leave the band after the live album Performance Rockin’ the Fillmore the previous year. Frampton had wanted the band to continue in more moderate vein with songs mostly centred around more melody and acoustic sections (which would have moved the band from the main list anyway) while singer/songwriter Steve Marriot had wanted to move into a more heavier boogie blues sound, which in some ways could’ve have been seen as a throwback to the late 1960s and this was the direction that band took along with a strong dosage of soul. So with each passing year the dominance of blues directly into either a hard rock or heavy metal was fast becoming extremely diluted as certain bands were shedding their heavy credentials, in order to create a more mainstream sound.

The album itself, probably stands as the band’s best ever studio release, the songs are focused despite the fact they sound like the songs from an album that should’ve been recorded circa 1969/1970 and Pete Frampton’s replacement on guitar Peter 'Clem' Clempson ex Colosseum gave the band the type of guitar that was required for the sound that Steve Marriot had envisaged on this album, Clem Clempson was a fantastic guitarist in the blues tradition and he often got overshadowed by the fact that he was Peter Frampton's replacement in the band. Smokin’ was produced by Steve Marriot himself and his involvement in the album became something of an obsession at the time and that passion or obsession certainly comes across throughout the album, whether it’s on the heavy bluesy tracks like the superb almost nine minutes of “I Wonder” a track that early Led Zeppelin would’ve been proud of to call their own or the superb cover choice on the album Eddie Cochran’s “C’mon Everybody” and the excellent album closer "Sweet Peace and Time" The album would also be the band's biggest commercial release as well, by reaching the Top 10 of the US Billboard Chart of 1972 and the band would continue throughout the rest of the decade in this boogie blues style.

Steve Marriot- Guitar/Vocals
Peter Clempson- Guitar
Greg Ridley- Bass
Jerry Shirley- Drums

Production- Steve Marriot

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Pounding Decibels- A Hard and Heavy History

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Old 01-12-2013, 10:01 AM   #184 (permalink)
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Hard, Heavy and a Classic 1972

Captain Beyond Captain Beyond 1972 (Capricorn)
Progressive Rock-Hard Rock


All aboard for a freaking spaced-out blast of a ride!

The Album
After Rod Evans was told to unceremoniously leave Deep Purple back in 1969, this talented individual finally got around to forming a supergroup along with drummer friend Bobby Caldwell and ex-Iron Butterfly members Larry “Rhino” Reinhardt and Lee Dorman. With this talent on show, the new band introduced us to their own brand of progressive rock. This brand was was infused with liberal doses of both hard rock and psychedelic rock, along with some nice jazz touches and a unique space rock feel…….does this sound interesting? Well interesting it certainly was and this superb debut set would in my mind, give us one of the most dense albums ever recorded by a ‘heavy band’ from that era. Captain Beyond would never go on to attain the heights of popularity that Deep Purple had attained, but that doesn’t dilute from their quality in any way, as this album is a gem and really deserves several listens to discover its quality and sink into the listeners mind. I’ve also always found from this era, that both British and American heavy bands often had a different sound to one another and about nine times out of ten I can usually tell which is a British band and which is an American band from this era! In the case of Captain Beyond, the immersion of its individual components gives us a band that has an American soul to it but with the focus of a British band and it comes off as a delight. The album is co-written between Rod Evans and Bobby Caldwell, but sadly after this release Bobby Caldwell would depart and later show up in the band Armageddon and there is also guitar courtesy of guitar maestro Rick Derringer as well.

This album is heavy make no mistake about that, it has a dense sounding feel and certainly needed individuals of real talent to create that dense sound. The actual album seems to drift along in several searing directions, firstly this could be between the riffing and the drumming, or it could be between the complex time signatures that frequent a lot of the songs and let’s not forget the great hooks laid down by Larry Reinhardt as well. On top of this, the songs simply segue into one another almost seamlessly and certain riffs and vibes are utilized yet again to great effect on other tracks, thus creating an album of continual continuity. The a-side of the album tends to deal with the heavier more dynamic tracks, whereas the b-side gives more over to the progressive stuff and has a leaner feel vocal wise. The whole album feels like one terrific voyage and gives the listener a spaced-out feel amongst all the complex hard rock tightness that the band had laid down here. The band would follow this album up by the equally impressive Sufficiently Breathless, which was released the following year but had a far mellower feel to it. Not only is this album superior to anything that Iron Butterfly put out, but also superior to the three albums that Rod Evans did with Deep Purple. This is one of the very best albums from its time period regardless of genre.

Rod Evans-Vocals
Larry “Rhino” Reinhardt-Guitar
Lee Dorman-Bass
Bobby Caldwell-Drums

Production-Captain Beyond

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Pounding Decibels- A Hard and Heavy History

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Old 01-13-2013, 06:48 AM   #185 (permalink)
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In the Shadow of Sabbath Pt.1


As the title suggests, a number of lesser known bands were being influenced greatly by the dark occult musings of Black Sabbath and here are some that released material between 1969 and 1972. Some of these albums I already know, whilst others I’ve recently discovered whilst making and deciding on my year entry lists. New York based band Bang have already been featured in my “Also Check This One Out…….” Section. But another band that emerged at the time of Black Sabbath were the Leicester based band Black Widow who by 1972 had already put out three studio albums of which their debut Sacrifice stands as the best of the three and certainly was the darkest of the three and if anything the band's sound was influenced by folky foundations. Their best known song was “Come to the Sabbat” then there was the very interesting Scottish based band Iron Claw. Much like Bang they started out as a covers band but were blown away by Black Sabbath and finally released their debut album in 1971 but it never got an official release until 2009. This band displayed in my mind a sound that is still relevant today. Sure it was based around the blues and heavy jamming, but the heavy proto-doom metal of songs like “Skullcrusher” are still very relevant to metal today. Then there was Lucifer Was from Norway who often drew comparisons with Jethro Tull because of their flute, but this was a band also heavily influenced by the slower to mid tempos of Black Sabbath. The band are perfectly encapsulated on the song “Darkness” and I think this song is the best of the four below and finally but not least there was Blues Creation from Japan, who like the Flower Travellin’ Band demonstrated to us that ‘The Land of the Rising Sun’ was dishing out some rather offbeat heavy bands who loved to give us a whole host of juice heavy acid style jams, just check out “Atomic Bombs Away” sadly the video sound is not the best quality.

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Pounding Decibels- A Hard and Heavy History

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Old 01-14-2013, 08:30 AM   #186 (permalink)
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Didn't Pentagram start around this time also?
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:32 PM   #187 (permalink)
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Didn't Pentagram start around this time also?
They did and it was something of an oversight on my part, they had some demos around this time, but their first album didn't come out till about a decade later.
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Old 01-15-2013, 03:59 PM   #188 (permalink)
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1973

1973 could largely be seen to be the year of bands like Pink Floyd, Genesis and the Who, three bands which would release three themed landmark albums that have continually stood the test of time. The year also gave us future commercial giants in Aerosmith and Queen who also put out their debut albums this year, but they would be about a year or so from putting out some really great albums, especially in Aerosmith's case. 1973 though was a strange year concerning ‘heavy music’ as it featured some really dud albums by highly acclaimed acts like Deep Purple and Uriah Heep thus creating a quality hole, in fact 1973 would actually see Ian Gillan pack his bags and leave Deep Purple, too many egos in one place! The year would also see a number of very good straight-up hard rock albums, that sacrificed more complex and intricate arrangements in favour of a more basic and direct approach. But this was then countered by some acts that put out albums that weren’t overly heavy at all, but in spirit they certainly belonged in this list for the year. Of the established other big guns, Led Zeppelin were back, Grand Funk Railroad were reborn and it was business as usual for the mighty Black Sabbath to keep order in the house. At last America would give us some really good acts that would finally go the distance and last for more than an album or two! Glam rock was still riding high on its commercial wave in the UK and again it was highly influential on some of the albums and bands on this year’s list, as they were the year before. Space rock and think no further than Hawkwind when it comes to this sub-genre, would also add another diverse wheel to this year’s list as well.
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Pounding Decibels- A Hard and Heavy History

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Old 01-15-2013, 06:54 PM   #189 (permalink)
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Great description, I adore Uriah Heep but they didn't always have a hit with every album. I really wish I was brought up during the 50's so I could rock out in the 60's and 70's as a lass. If I could go to one place in a time machine it would be woodstock of 69'. I would drop acid, chuck on my hippy dress and swim in the lake while delicious music played.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:24 AM   #190 (permalink)
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Great description, I adore Uriah Heep but they didn't always have a hit with every album. I really wish I was brought up during the 50's so I could rock out in the 60's and 70's as a lass. If I could go to one place in a time machine it would be woodstock of 69'. I would drop acid, chuck on my hippy dress and swim in the lake while delicious music played.
Something tells me that you wouldn't want to swim in a lake near a giant festival attended by rowdy and unclean youngsters.
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