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Old 02-09-2013, 09:14 AM   #211 (permalink)
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Album Pick of the Year
03. Blue Oyster Cult Tyranny and Mutation 1973
(Columbia)
Hard Rock

A seepage of dark experimentation and brittle melodies.


Overview

No sooner had the Blue Oyster Cult polished off their debut album, they were hard at work on their next album the superbly titled Tyranny and Mutation. The basis of this album grew out of the hectic touring schedule that the band were undergoing in support of their eponymous debut album. The debut had ushered in a band, that had worked hard on their pseudo-satanic and science fiction themes, that were all crafted by the hands of the band along with some help from their producer Sandy Pearlman, rock critic Richard Meltzer and a certain Patti Smith! The band also were certainly not content with dishing out more of the same either and when the listener really submerges themselves into the depths of Tyranny and Mutation, they will find that the band had made an even bigger conscious effort, to record something even more complex and diverse than the debut album in almost every aspect! The debut album had shown that the Blue Oyster Cult were already something of a ‘thinking man’s metal band’ but it was on Tyranny and Mutation, that they further enhanced their reputation for the mystique and yet again gave us another in-depth taste of their very own unique brand of intelligent proto-heavy metal. The Blue Oyster Cult were incorrectly labelled from the beginning, as some kind of American Black Sabbath and if the truth be told they were putting out a much more complex sound than Black Sabbath ever attained, whilst avoiding the progressive rock tag, not an easy thing to do! The Blue Oyster Cult unlike Black Sabbath were not always the most receptive band as far as the listener went, their murky sound infused with dark psychedelia and a dash of boogie blues from their early touring days, gave them a sound that no other band quite had and they had some outstanding individuals on board to execute that sound. Again this album stands as a superb accomplishment for Eric Bloom, Buck Dharma, Allen Lainier and the Bouchard brothers. On a footnote, the psychedelic roots of the band can be seen on the striking album cover design!

Eric Bloom- Guitar/Vocals
Donald ‘Buck Dharma’ Roeser- Guitar/Vocals
Allen Lainier- Rhythm/Keyboards
Joe Bouchard- Bass
Albert Bouchard- Drums

Production- Sandy Pearlman and Murray Krugman

THE BLACK: The Red and the Black- Starts off with a striking intro section, before shifting into a faster section and has Eric Bloom singing about ‘Canadian Mounties’ amongst other things, all to a throbbing boogie beat and a perfect exercise of just how tight this band were. O.D.’d On Life Itself- The song oozes a kind of vibe that so many glam rock bands at the time tried to master. but couldn’t and at times Eric Bloom sounds distinctly like a certain Iggy Pop here! Hot Rails to Hell- An intro that any future punk band would’ve been proud to have called their own and this song sounds like a song that a number of future acts seemed to have ripped off, it’s also the only individual vocal offering of Joe Bouchard on the album. 7 Screaming Diz Busters- One of the slower in theory boogie blues numbers on the album and has an addictive vibe throughout the playing of the song, before finishing up with some number counting to finish the first side. THE RED: Baby Ice Dog- The perfect intro to the red side of the album, with its melodic overtures and the band demonstrate just how great they are with this sound. Wings Wetted Down- Starts off with a howling werewolf and leads us into a soft and haunting main section and is co-sung between Joe Bouchard and Eric Bloom, and the song drifts along for a great 4 minutes. Teen Archer- Great percussion intro and we’re quickly into Buck Dharma’s infectious voice, which carries the beat of the song through a serious of impressive passages, stylistic changes and it tempts us to reach out and grab it. Mistress of the Salmon Salt(Quicklime Girl)- A swagger of a song with a catchy ‘quicklime girl’ chorus and a great album closer. It’s a pity that this album never had another coloured side to treat us with!

Verdict
On the first listen of this album, the sophomore set comes across as a simple follow up to the debut album and in fact a lot of the songs could’ve been on that album, but on further listens Tyranny and Mutation reveals itself as a far deeper and more complex affair than the debut album in almost every aspect. The band worked harder on song structure and their darker references also give way to a much lighter tone at times, showing how the band were equally adept at both lighter and darker lyrical content, hence the black and red sides to this album. The black side the rocking darker side of the album, treats us to the throbbing boogie beat of songs like “The Red and the Black” the swagger of “O.D.’d On Life Itself” which is punctuated by an almost Marc Bolan T-Rex pulsating throb at times! The guitar riff that pulsates throughout “Hot Rails to Hell” is pure Buck Dharma and “7 Screaming Dizzbusters” may well be the best offering on the black side of the album with its crunching guitar, heavy bass and percussion segments showing just how tight this group are. Now the red side of the album, the lighter side with its more melodic elements, is an even better offering than the superb black side! As here the band show their mastery of lighter tones based around melody, pop flourishes and the stunning piano/keyboards of Allan Lainier which really come into their own here and not once does the band sacrifice their trademark murky sound! There is the uniqueness of “Baby Ice Dog” the haunting “Wings Wetted Down” which at times seems to look back on their early psychedelic roots. Whereas “Teen Archer” is simply one of those songs with an amazing chorus section, but the band keep us frustrated by keeping everything on a leash, the song is then broken up with some snappy guitar and keyboards, a great song and one of the very best on the album and finally there is “Mistress of the Salmon Salt” with its chirpy ‘quicklime girl’ section. Eric Bloom’s vocals on this album have a certain audacity and swagger about them as well, something not easily mastered and Eric Bloom may never have sounded this perfect again! This album has two stunning sides and in my opinion it’s on the lighter red side where this album is really at and these melodic tunes would be something the band would go onto to release throughout the rest of the decade, whilst not forgetting their heavy credentials. I often regard Secret Treaties as the jewel in the Blue Oyster Cult crown, but Tyranny and Mutation is the hidden gem of their discography that often gets overlooked in favour of that album. This is an album that is worth a listen, or two, or even maybe three times before it sinks into the depths of your mind, this is the album that made Secret Treaties possible!

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If you can't deal with the fact that there are 6+ billion people in the world and none of them think exactly the same that's not my problem. Just deal with it yourself or make actual conversation. This isn't a court and I'm not some poet or prophet that needs everything I say to be analytically critiqued.
Metal Wars

Power Metal

Pounding Decibels- A Hard and Heavy History

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Old 02-13-2013, 03:52 PM   #212 (permalink)
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02. Budgie Never Turn Your Back on a Friend 1973 (MCA)
Hard Rock

What kind of woman ruins my haze and ruins my soul!


Overview

Never Turn Your Back on a Friend would be Budgie’s finest moment to date and in theory it should’ve been the album that launched them into the stratosphere, that was inhabited by the likes of Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Alice Cooper to name a few! But as so often the case with some of the albums that I’ve reviewed, quality seldom went with commercial success and a whole load of albums of real quality had already bitten the dust! In the case of Never Turn Your Back on a Friend, Budgie would fall into that very large grey area, between the two poles of complete success and doomed failure that most bands faced. Budgie for all their plaudits, never even attained the popularity of say a band like Uriah Heep internationally and therefore had to settle, for just being a reasonably known band in their native UK. So with this in mind, this blazing welsh-trio would release their finest work to date in 1973 and it truly ranks as one of their most memorable albums. Their debut album had been a solid effort, that was centred around Burke Shelley’s thumping bass and Tony Bourge’s crushing guitar, and despite some album flaws (see review in Top 10 list for 1971) it still held up as one of the important ‘heavy’ debut albums of the early 1970s. Then there was their more adventurous second album Squawk, which in many ways saw the band taking a step back in order to move forward Never Turn Your Back on a Friend is without doubt that step forward for the band! On the recording of this album, they had decided to stop using the services of previously regular Sabbath producer Roger Bain and now decided to produce themselves this time around and production wise they got things spot on. Still on board though was cover artist Roger Dean of Yes fame, whose fantasy cover for Never Turn Your Back on a Friend, certainly denotes there could be a proggy effort underneath it all, but of course Budgie were not a progressive rock band but very much a heavy rock outfit. The other striking thing about this album, is that the band of Burke Shelley, Tony Bourge and Raymond Phillips came across as an extremely tight and cohesive unit and they appeared to be cemented together for the long haul. So with their breakthrough on this album, it was a real surprise to see drummer Raymond Phillips pack his bags and leave the band, he would go onto form the Ray Phillips Band. His position in Budgie was eventually taken up by Peter Boot (for one album anyway) The band yet again delight us, with another round of highly imaginative song titles, always another ace served up by the band.

Burke Shelley- Bass/Vocals
Tony Bourge- Guitar
Raymond Phillips- Drums

Production- Budgie

Album
Breadfan- With its hyped up guitar intro, Breadfan shoots into a somewhat manic vocal main section and the guitars on this song don’t let up for a second, and neither does the tempo…..until of course it goes into its quieter relaxing section in the later part of the song……before picking up the manic pace again! Breadfan is often regarded as the band’s best known song and Metallica would go onto cover this song on the B-side of their “Eye of the Beholder” single. Baby, Please Don’t Go- A pacey cover of the Big Joe Williams blues track and guess what, the pace doesn’t let up on this song either! You Know I’ll Always Love You- One of the now typical acoustic interludes of the band, but this probably ranks as the best acoustic interlude that the band ever put out. You’re the Biggest Thing Since Powdered Milk- With its heavy percussion intro (the band are really pulling out the stops here) this is over 8 minutes of a real heavy delight for the purist, with its bluesy calling card completely intact throughout the bulk of the song. In the Grip of the Tyrefitter’s Hand- Some real guitar crunching to start the b-side of the album, before the song moves into some very dynamic territory, all accompanied by Burke Shelley’s decisive sounding vocals and Tony Bourge’s guitar. Riding My Nightmare- Something of a soft-sounding filler, but it’s still a nice sounding later album track to listen to. Parents- The album closer is a slow to steady closing track that clocks in at around 10 minutes and hust seems to breeze through, before fading out to the sound of seagulls at a beach.

Verdict
Never Turn Your Back on a Friend is in many ways the culmination of all the best aspects of the first two albums. The band have maintained their base sound and have polished in slower tracks and mood to meld with their overall sound. The end result is an album of contrasts, that shares the same bed and everybody seems to be just fine in the sack together! The album gives the listener a unique combination of metal power chords, bluesy sweating and then the gall to just drift into a song like “You Know I’ll Always Love You” a sensitive sounding acoustic number, that easily could’ve gone on a Simon and Garfunkel album. The kick-off track “Breadfan” is without doubt a potent proto-speed metal effort that never ceases to excite the listener and the song is probably made even more special by its relaxing section about three quarters of the way through, which then really sets off the finale section. “You’re the Biggest Thing Since Powdered Milk” is one of the album’s showpiece songs and truly displays the band’s power blues influences over a splendid eight minutes. The best is kept till about halfway through the song though, as the vocals are picked up with greater earnest and Burke Shelley doesn’t actually sound like Burke Shelley at all! (According to the credits, only he sings lead vocals on the album) in fact the track sounds more like Led Zeppelin at times rather than Budgie! This song is matched quality wise by the superb “In the Grip of the Tyrefitter’s Hand” where the decisive sounding vocals of Burke Shelly, sit on an enviable level with Tony Burke’s work on the guitar…….hell this song is dynamic in every sense! These last two, are the album’s two outstanding tracks in terms of musical accomplishment and certainly share the same table as the previous Budgie landmarks of “Nude Disintegrating Parachutist Woman” “Homicidal Suicidal” and “Hot as a Docker’s Armpit” from their first two albums. Budgie had always mixed up their core sound, with a combination of both faster and slower tracks and here on this album, the contrast at times seems seamless as the songs despite their differences just effortlessly drift into one another. The band would follow up this album, with another one of their essential releases In for the Kill released the following year. These early Budgie releases are quite simply for the real metal connoisseur out there, a connoisseur that’s looking for a real background into one of the genre’s best and most influential bands of the decade!

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If you can't deal with the fact that there are 6+ billion people in the world and none of them think exactly the same that's not my problem. Just deal with it yourself or make actual conversation. This isn't a court and I'm not some poet or prophet that needs everything I say to be analytically critiqued.
Metal Wars

Power Metal

Pounding Decibels- A Hard and Heavy History

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01.Black Sabbath Sabbath Bloody Sabbath 1973 (Vertigo)
Heavy Metal
Living just for dying, dying just for you.


Overview

The godfathers of metal had surely reached their zenith with the riffs of Paranoid, the dark brooding of Master of Reality and the musical accomplishment of Vol.4. So they now found themselves at the summit of the heavy rock world and their future direction possibly shrouded in mystery as to where they world go! The answer was actually quite simple and that was to give us some more of their pseudo-satanic tunes, that harked back a few years to Master of Reality, whilst maintaining the production values of Vol.4. So in essence Sabbath Bloody Sabbath could be seen as a culmination of both those two albums and the album certainly turned out to be every bit as good as either of those two cuts. The band yet again returned to the Record Plant Studios in Los Angeles to cut the album, but due to issues with producer Patrick Meehan who they released from production duties, they then took on Tom Allom who had previously acted as an engineer on their previous album, Tom Allom of course would go onto become the virtual house producer for Judas Priest. So all looked set for the recording of the album……but this time around the songs just didn’t come! The band seemed to suffer from writer’s block, fatigue and rampant drug/achohol abuse which all lead to internal problems. Also band leader Tony Iommi just wasn’t finding his regular vibe to produce the riffs, that the band regularly built their songs around. The band then took the bold move of upping sticks after relieving Tom Allom from his production duties and returning to the UK, and to record the album in the gothic Clearwell Castle in Gloucestershire, this gothic castle gave over its dungeons so the band could record this album there. Now if anything was going to inspire the band, then surely this location would and it did! Tony Iommi came up with the main rift for the title track and the band were then set to record another monumental album. What’s most interesting about this album, is how the band also branched out considerably instrument wise. The use of keyboards, synthesizers and strings, were quite prominent at times on this album and the much lauded Rick Wakemen actually figures of “Sabbra Cadabra” and all the band members including Ozzy also broaden their instrumental playing range considerably on this album by playing these strings, keyboards and synthesizers.

Ozzy Osbourne- Vocals
Tony Iommi- Guitar
Geezer Butler- Bass
Bill Ward- Drums
(Synthesizer contributions from most of the band members)

Production- Black Sabbath

Album
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
- With another one of those famous crunching Sabbath intros, the song leads into a more melodic gentler fare once Ozzy starts singing. The song then reverberates back into familiar Sabbath heaviness and is later highlighted by one of Geezer’s thunderous basslines and Ozzy’s shouted vocals. A National Acrobat- One of those slower and deliberate sounding Sabbath tracks, all accompanied by another great riff laid down by Iommi and it fills out its 6 minutes with great aplomb, especially with its inventive galloping section towards the end of the song. Fluff- The customary gentle track that the band always seemed to offer on every album and it certainly is dreamy sounding. Sabbra Cadabra- The composition that features a guest spot from Rick Wakeman and his moog, this song sounds like a number of previous classic Sabbath tracks and the song just sounds so accomplished in every aspect. Killing Yourself to Live- Another one of the signatures songs from the album, which opens up the second side of the album and this song is another track that shows Iommi’s riffs at their most dynamic. Who Are You- With its uncharacteristic synthesizers at the beginning of the song, it’s one of those slower tracks that the band always enjoyed and the synths feature throughout the rest of the track as well. Spiral Architect- It seems like nearly every song on this album, ranks amongst the band’s most famous compositions and Spiral Architect is one of those songs without a doubt, and probably ranks as one of the most mature sounding songs that the band ever put out. The final orchestral section comes somewhat unexpectedly to finish the song. Looking for Today- A melodic and heavy final track, that just seems to drift around the place with consummate ease and then helps the album to finish on a real high.

Verdict
From the moment you hear the opening and title track, you know it’s business as usual as far as Black Sabbath are concerned on their fifth studio album, with their now familiar melodic and fuzzy tones, against a very heavy backdrop with no shortage of dynamism on board either. The title track of “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” is another one of those timeless Sabbath classics and constantly stands the test of time. Then there is “A National Acrobat” which smacks of controlled power, with its very deliberate sounding musical arrangements. The same can also be said about the classic “Killing Yourself to Live” which lays down another deliberate sounding Iommi riff and then proceeds to take us on another one of those great Sabbath road trips, along with some great trippy riffing. Then there is the boogie-woogie rock of “Sabbra Cadabra” which basically sounds like any number of great Sabbath tracks, but they are now dressed up with moog dressing and it’s certainly tasty! The whole song then sends the listener on a great voyage of discovery. The only lows on the album, come in the very predictable sounding instrumental “Fluff” it’s a nice composition…..but it’s all been heard before. Then there is “Who Are You” which does seem to suffer from synthesizer overkill, as the band seemingly try to get their money’s worth from the synthesizer experimentation. One of the most striking features of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath is just how mature most of the compositions sound, as here is a band that has fully matured and grown in almost every aspect from their debut, but most importantly on this album they haven’t lost any of that quality. Most of the above commented songs have this maturity, but surely “Spiral Architect” is the most mature sounding song on the album and its orchestral closing section surely lends credence to this statement. The same level of maturity can also be aimed at “Looking for Today” which just seems to drift around the place with consummate ease to close off this stellar album. But one of the most striking features of the album, may well be the album’s somewhat subtle jolly sound, amongst the killer riffs and the so-called dark subject matter and imagery of the band! I personally think yet again, that Black Sabbath don’t want the listener to take them that seriously, because they themselves certainly don't on this album. Sabbath Bloody Sabbath would be the last landmark album that the band would put out, until their tenure with Dio on main vocals several years later.

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If you can't deal with the fact that there are 6+ billion people in the world and none of them think exactly the same that's not my problem. Just deal with it yourself or make actual conversation. This isn't a court and I'm not some poet or prophet that needs everything I say to be analytically critiqued.
Metal Wars

Power Metal

Pounding Decibels- A Hard and Heavy History

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Also Check This Out........
This is an extra album from the same year that I've chosen, that either just missed the final cut, I think could be of interest, or even from a different genre that could be of interest or influence on the hard rock/heavy metal genre.

Rick Derringer All American Boy 1973 (Blue Sky Records)
Rock


Rick Derringer was certainly one of the most in demand guitarists of the early 1970s. He had already built up an enviable reputation doing high profile guitar features with artists such as Alice Cooper, Johnny Winter, Edgar Winter and Todd Rundgren amongst others and had also been the leading light in his previous band The McCoys. He had also opened for artists of the calibre of the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin, so when he issued his first solo effort All American Boy, it almost seemed certain that it would be an album worth the wait. The album of course as would be expected, features some great guest spots from the likes of Joe Walsh and Edgar Winter, along with session musicians such as Dave Bromberg and Joe Vitale, and a certain very young Suzi Quatro on bass! As for the music and for most of the album, it tends to consist of a collection of very cohesive melodic rockers, that fall both on the softer side of the musical spectrum as well as on the harder side of things. The album is often held in high regard, as one of those great albums that slipped under the radar at the time of its release in 1973 and known as something of a hidden gem! I certainly wouldn’t regard this album as a gem by any means, but it is a solid debut set of songs of some real quality. These are songs that are short and catchy, whilst being built around traditional rock and roll values, all with a distinctly American sound and feel about them. These aspects can be highlighted on the likes of its best known tracks “Rock & Roll, Hoochie Koo” “Teenage Queen” “Teenage Love Affair” and “Jump, Jump, Jump” the best song on the album. This album is very different to a lot of the albums featured here and a nice diversion.



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Metal Wars

Power Metal

Pounding Decibels- A Hard and Heavy History

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Albums that missed the cut.........
Other good albums worth checking out that were also released in 1973, 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:

Alice Cooper
Muscle of Love 1973

The album that spelt the end for the Alice Cooper band, it came out hard on the heels of the highly successful Billion Dollar Babies. The album was a kind of amalgamation of previous albums and despite some good stuff, was largely hit and miss overall.


Flower Travellin’ Band
Make Up 1973

This is basically a double album that should have been one of the band’s defining moments, but ended up as a half-cocked studio and half live effort. Despite its lack of cohesiveness, the album still manages to churn out some integral material.


Hard Stuff
Bolox Dementia 1973

Sacrificing the hard rock attack of their debut for a proggier effort. This album has the songs in general, but without the vocals of Harry Shaw, Du Cann, Gustafson and Hammond have an album that falls flat more often than not, still worth checking out.


Uriah Heep
Sweet Freedom 1973

A step down from some of their previous albums, but the album is still a bold move to try and branch out into new terrain for the band. There is some good material on this album, but it’s ultimately let down by a lot of misfocused compositions.


Aerosmith
Aerosmith 1973

The raw and bloozy debut from one of the pivotal bands of the decade. The album is ultimately let down by some beginner’s stumbles. But it does contain some of the band’s early gems such as “Make It” “Mama Kin” and the unforgettable “Dream On”


Thin Lizzy
Vagabonds of the Western World 1973

After a couple of fairly lackluster albums, Thin Lizzy on their third release actually started to find their true sound and it contains tracks like "The Rocker" and "Little Girl in Bloom" this was their last album with Eric Bell, as Phil Lynott took over proceedings.
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Metal Wars

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Pounding Decibels- A Hard and Heavy History
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The Live Album Section 1973

Uriah Heep Live '73
(Mercury)
Hard Rock-Progressive Rock


A crisp delivery from the definitive Uriah Heep line-up.

Without doubt one of the most proficient heavy acts in the world at the time, with a slew of studio albums and a hectic touring schedule. It was therefore no surprise then, that Uriah Heep followed in the footsteps of erstwhile counterparts such as Humble Pie, Free and Deep Purple in releasing a live album, and in this case they took Humble Pie’s cue and released a live double set! Live '73 is the best live release from the band and features what’s always regarded as the definitive band line-up from their golden era. The album essentially highlights all the key moments from albums such as Look at Yourself, Demons and Wizards, and The Magician’s Birthday. The first side of this album contains galloping Uriah Heep classics such as “Sweet Lorraine” and “Easy Livin” with the middle sections of the album, containing some of the band’s lengthier classics such as “July Morning” and “Gypsy” and these are all interlinked with some more galloping tracks such as the superb “Tears in My Eyes”. The band on this album show just what a fantastic live act that they actually were around this time. As these live recordings sound as crisp and accomplished as any of their studio albums to date. The energy on the faster tracks, is superbly contrasted with the emotional power of the band on the slower tracks, giving us a cohesive live effort all around. The album though does have some faults and the most obvious are surely the self-indulgent soloing that can be found at times on the album. The worst culprit here surely being keyboardist Ken Hensley, who especially on tracks like “Gypsy” really stretches out longer than he should do. The album finishes up with some of the bands punchier and light-hearted material such as “Look at Yourself” and “Love Machine” with the actual album finale being an eight minute rock ‘n’ roll medley! Live '73 was recorded before the studio album Sweet Freedom, that the band put out that year and without doubt it’s a far more satisfying release than the somewhat disappointing Sweet Freedom release later on in the year. Live '73 is very much an essential release for the 1970s live album enthusiast.

David Byron- Vocals
Mick Box- Guitar
Gary Thain- Bass
Ken Hensley- Keyboards/Organ
Lee Kerslake- Drums

Production- Gerry Bron
Birmingham 1973

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Metal Wars

Power Metal

Pounding Decibels- A Hard and Heavy History

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Hard, Heavy and a Classic 1973

Mott the Hoople Mott 1973
(CBS)
Soft Rock-Glam Rock

Tales of the road against a rocky and ironic backdrop.


The Album
Mott was quite simply the album of a band that had hit the big time and were therefore fully confident of the type of the album that they wanted to put out. Mott was not as hard hitting in terms of heaviness, as their two previous albums Brain Capers and the album that broke them All the Young Dudes. But it was the album that had music critics both then and now declaring it as the band’s most accomplished album, and in many ways it was an album that would prove impossible for the band to try an repeat again. Mott is an album that was largely written on the road and is based around wry tales focusing on the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle that the band both experienced and observed whilst on the road. The album itself tends to use a mid-paced rock backdrop to address its subject matter and manages to pull the whole thing off without a weak track in sight! Mott was to date, the most Ian Hunter album of the band’s discography with its ironic and humorous tones. It’s without doubt an album aimed at the more discerning listener rather than a casual one and as to be expected it takes several listens before its quality in depth really sinks in. Sadly this would prove to be the final outing by Mick Ralphs with the band, as after this recording he went onto form the supergroup Bad Company.

Every track on the album is accomplished, but the stand-outs include the album opener “All the Way From Memphis” which surely rivals the gifted Bowie written “All the Young Dudes” on their previous set in terms of prestige. Other stand-outs include “Whizz Kid” and the zany sounding “Violence” which sounds more like a Sparks track from that era (but with a rockier backdrop here) then there is the rolling energy of “Drivin Sister” to start the flip side of the album and as always the Mick Ralph penned “I’m a Cadillac” almost steals the show, and in many ways sounds like a track that the future Fleetwood Mac could’ve put out, the song then moves into its second part, the Spanish named “El Camino Dolo Roso” with some infectious guitar, before finishing up with the graceful “I Wish I Was Your Mother”. All these songs are built around solid songcraft, a driving energy and they’re also not afraid to change direction at any time and these songs have Ian Hunter’s writing prowess and Mick Ralph’s playing all over them. Mott along with their previous All the Young Dudes and along with T.Rex’s Electric Warrior may well be the three finest albums to come out of the British glam rock movement of the early 1970s! If this were a competition though, it might just pip both of those two for its grace, style and quality.

Ian Hunter- Guitar/Vocals
Mick Ralphs- Guitar
Peter “Overend” Watts- Bass
Verden Allen- Keyboards/Organ
Dale “Buffin” Griffin- Drums

Production- Mott the Hoople

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Old 02-26-2013, 03:15 PM   #218 (permalink)
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Hard, Heavy and a Classic 1973


New York Dolls New York Dolls 1973 (Mercury)
Glam Rock-Proto Punk
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The Album

Often regarded as one of the most influential albums on the future punk scene, but let’s face it, the New York Dolls debut was already an influential album from the moment of its release back in 1973. Deep rooted in the rock ‘n’ roll vibes of the 1950s and the feel of a lackadaisical Rolling Stones, the Dolls debut came out on the heels of the already booming glam rock scene and for many observers they were part of that scene. In reality though, the Dolls were a very different kind of animal to the rest of the glam rock scene, more androgynous than most, very different to the theatrics of Alice Cooper, didn’t care about Black Sabbath pseudo-satanic style, didn’t care about Lou Reed’s observations of the dark side. This was a band that just looked trashy and they sounded like trash as well, this is what the band were all about! Their debut set was fronted by David Johansen on vocals, Johnny Thunders on guitar and backed by Sylvian Sylvian on rhythm, Arthur Kane on bass and Jerry Nolan on drums. This debut album would churn out a collection of timeless rock ‘n’ roll tunes, of interest to glamsters, punkies and rockers alike.

Of the songs “Personality Crisis” is a punchy sounding energetic number and “Looking for a Kiss” is without doubt one of the best tracks on the album, coming across like a sloppy Rolling Stones number but beefed up with Johnny Thunders on guitar, with its constant riff throbbing away. “Vietnamese Baby” may well be the tightest sounding track on the album and “Frankenstein” the longest. The album is just not about a wanton display of trashy fun, but also the song arrangements and playing of the band, are evident on a track like “Lonely Planet Boy”. Then there is the sheer fun of “Trash” and an excellent cover of Bo Diddley’s “Pills” on the later part of the album. Nearly all these songs, sound like essential proto-punk recordings that would help set the tone for the punk invasion of 1976 and 1977, none more so than the Ramones! Overall the album is another one of the great Todd Rundgren productions, as he’s captured both the sloppy and trashy sound of the band, and contrasting that with the playing arrangements of the band, without ever sacrificing one over the other. The album almost within a year of hitting the streets, had a virtual remake with the Kiss debut album the following year, which sounded like it used the Dolls debut as their blueprint.

David Johansen- Vocals
Johnny Thunders- Guitar
Sylvian Sylvian- Rhythm
Arthur Kane- Bass
Jerry Nolan- Drums

Production- Todd Rundgren

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Pounding Decibels- A Hard and Heavy History

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Old 02-26-2013, 06:30 PM   #219 (permalink)
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This debut album would churn out a collection of timeless rock ‘n’ roll tunes, of interest to glamsters, punkies and rockers alike.
"Punkies"?
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:58 PM   #220 (permalink)
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"Punkies"?
Those are the really adorable punks.
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