01). Frumpy - Friends
From "Live Ninety Five", released in 1995. This was the third album since the band reformed in the late 80's, the other two being "Now" in 1990 and "News" in 1991. Frumpy was originally formed in the late 60's. Initially releasing four albums, the band then evolved into Atlantis, who eventually folded in the mid to late 70's. Vocalist/songwriter Inga Rumpf embarked on a solo career, with the various members going on to other bands. Frumpy was revived in the late 80's. This album features original members Jean-Jacques Kravetz on keyboards, Carsten Bohn on drums and Karl Keinz Schott on bass. Original Atlantis guitarist Frank Diez appears as a guest, as does Pascal Kravetz on keyboards. The featured track first appeared on Atlantis' live album, originally released in 1974. Inga Rumpf has demonstrated her amazing jazz and blues talent, both as songwriter and vocalist, on various albums she's recorded with the Joja Wendt Quartet and the NDR Big Band.
02). Snail - Joker
From "Let It Rock - Live". Snail were a fantastic US melodic rock band who released two albums in the mid to late 70's. They split in the late 70's and reformed in the mid 90's, recording this great live album in Santa Cruz, California in 1996. It's one of the best live albums ever, and the band are really cooking! The line-up that appeared on their second and final studio album, "Flow", back in 1979, is the line-up on this live album. Bob O'Neill and Ken Kraft are on vocals and guitar, Brett Bloomfield is on bass and vocals, and Don Baldwin, who is now in Cold Blood, was on drums. He features on Cold Blood's latest studio album, "Transfusion".
03). Gov't Mule - Sco Mule
One of the finest bands to emerge from the US in at least 20 years! Formed by Allman Brothers members, vocalist/guitarist Warren Haynes and Allen Woody on bass and Matt Abts on drums. Woody died about four years ago and the band continued with various guest bass players. The featured album, "The Deepest End - Live in Concert", is a fantastic cd/dvd combo, recorded at the Jazz Fest in New Orleans on May 3rd, 2003. Guest bass players included Will Lee, Roger Glover, Mike Gordon, George Porter Jnr, and in the case of the featured track, Victor Wooten, from Bela Fleck's band. Any and all the Gov't Mule albums are highly recommended! Warren Haynes has also released a couple of solo albums, and the most recent Gov't Mule studio album, "Deja Voodoo", was featured on the RockIt Scientist a few months ago.
04). Canned Heat - Bad Trouble
US outfit Canned Heat are one of the oldest blues/rock outfits in the world. Formed in 1965 by vocalist/guitarist Alan Wilson and vocalist Bob "The Bear" Hite, together with Frank Cook on drums, Henry Vestine on guitar and Larry Taylor on bass. The band took their name from a 1928 recording by Tommy Johnson and they released their eponymous album on the Liberty label in 1967. Cook was replaced by Fito De La Parra and the band later collaborated with the great John Lee Hooker. Guitarist Harvey Mandel later replaced Henry Vestine. The band's fortunes took a turn for the worst when Wilson committed suicide on 3 September 1970 - Mandel and Taylor joined John Mayall, with Antonio De La Barreda coming in on bass (he was, in turn, replaced by Hite's brother, Richard). Bob Hite died of a heart attack on 5 April 1981. In spite of all the upheavals and tragedies. De La Parra and Taylor revived the band in the late 80's and have recorded the odd album. The featured album, "Friends In The Can", released in 2003, features De La Parra, Dallas Hodge on vocals and guitar, John Paulus on guitars, Stanley Behrens on vocals and Greg Kage on bass, together with guests John Lee Hooker, Taj Mahal, Walter Trout, Larry Taylor and Harvey Mandel.
05). Savoy Brown - I'm Tired
Written by vocalist Chris Youlden, this great track was taken from "A Step Further", their 4th album, released in 1969. Formed in 1966 as The Savoy Brown Blues Band, they were part of the British blues boom, alongside Chicken Shack, Fleetwood Mac and others. The initial line-up featured bassist Ray Chappell, drummer Leo Mannings, vocalist Brice Portius, pianist Bob Hall and guitarists Martin Stone and Kim Simmonds, who would go on to be the sole remaining original member throughout this great band's career. Chris Youlden joined the following year and he appeared on four albums, leaving in 1970 (he also recorded a couple of solo albums). Drummer Roger Earl, bass player Tone Stevens and guitarist Dave Peverett, who would later relocate to the US, where they would form Foghat. These members appear on the featured album. Savoy Brown went on to record many albums over the years, very seldom with the same line-up, but with Simmonds the only constant member. He moved to the US, where the band became very popular. The band is still around today and have just released a new live album.
06). Breakout - Kiedy Bylem Malym Chlopcem
Taken from "Blues", in 1971, the 3rd album from this famous Polish blues/rock outfit who were formed in the late 60's, evolving out of an outfit called "Blackout". The band was initially formed by guitarist/vocalist Tadeusz Nalepa, drummer Jozef Hajdasz and vocalist Mira Kubasinsksa. Michal Muzolf came in on bass and Wlodzimierz Nahorny on sax and flute, and this line-up recorded their debut album, ''Na Drugim Brzegu Teczy" in 1969. Their early heavy blues/psych material is considered to be their best. In the mid 70's, they followed a more melodic direction, but still retained the class that made them one of Poland's most respected groups. All in all, around ten albums were released between 1969 and 1979, with the band folding around 1980. Most of the albums have been released on CD.
07). Davey Pattison - Married To The Blues
One of the truly great rock vocalists, Scotsman Davey Pattison first rose to prominence as the vocalist with Ronnie Montrose's Gamma, back in the late 70's, recording four albums with the band between 1979 and 1982, one of them being the live "Concert Classics" album. He also featured on Santana keyboard player Tom Coster's debut solo album, "T.C'", in 1981. He later moved to Robin Trower's band in the late 80's, and he appeared on Trower's "In The Line Of Fire" album in 1990. Based in the US, he released his debut solo album, "Mississippi Nights", in 1999, and, in 2001, appeared on the reformed Gamma's "Gamma 4" album. The featured track was taken from his latest solo album, "Pictures", released in 2003, with Jimmy Sanchez on drums, Tom Bowers on bass, John Rewind and Steve Canali on guitar/slide guitar, Juan Smore on percussion and Steve Loughlin on Hammond B3. The album is dedicated to ex-Stone The Crows and Robin Trower bass player/vocalist, Jimmy Dewar. The two solo albums are available via his website: www.daveypattison.com.
The circle has turned: Davey Pattison is now back with Robin Trower, appearing on Trower's latest studio album, "Living Out Of Time", as well as on the live version of the album, recorded in 2005.
08). Big Jim Sullivan Band - Peace and Quiet
UK guitarist Big Jim Sullivan first started recording under his own name in the mid to late sixties, with one of his first bands being Twice As Much. He worked with vocalist Marty Wilde and he was one of the featured guitarists on the now highly collectible Green Bullfrog album, together with Ritchie Blackmore, Albert Lee, Ian Paice and others in 1972. He also appeared with guitarists Stefan Grossman and Jimmy Page, and he formed Tiger with vocalist Nicky Moore (Hackensack, Megaton), in the mid 70's. The featured album, ''Test Of Time", recorded in 1977, features some big names in the UK music scene, namely Percy Jones (bass, Brand X), Alan Park (keyboards, Beggars Opera & Tiger - also Cliff Richard's musical director), Simon Phillips (drums, everyone, lately with Toto), Dave Lawson (keyboards, Samurai and Greenslade), Mo Foster (bass, Gary Moore) and Maurice Pert (percussion, Suntreader). There's some stunning guitar work on this album from Sullivan, and Moore is sounding as great as ever.
09). Stomu Yamash'ta - Seen You Before
An acclaimed keyboard player and multi-percussionist, Stomu Yamash'ta, who was born on 15 March 1947, in Kyoto, Japan. After studying at the Kyoto Academy of Music, making his concert debut as a soloist at the age of 16, he moved to the US, where he studied jazz drumming at Boston's Berkley School of Jazz. He then moved to Europe where he released his debut album, "Contemporary Works'', in 1972. He later signed to the Island Record label, for whom he recorded a number of albums, together with noted musicians such as Steve Winwood, Al Di Meola, Klaus Schulz, Mike Shrieve (Santana, Automatic Man) and others. The featured track was taken from "Go Too", in 1977, his first album for Arista Records. Featured vocalists/musicians included Linda Lewis and Jess Roden, Peter Robinson (keyboards), Paul Jackson (bass), Doni Harvey on guitar and Brother James on Latin percussion. He later explored New Age music and released albums such as "Sea & Sky" and "Solar Dream".
10). Robbie Rox and The Monster Horn Band - Bumper Sticker People
From "Earl Owns The World", in 2003. Robbie Rox is a Canadian vocalist/percussionist who is strongly influenced by Frank Zappa. The standard of musicianship is fantastic, and the odd bit of humour thrown in make this an album well worth checking out. Keyboard player Mike Fonfara was a founding member of early 70's US outfit Rhinoceros. The other musicians include Vito Rezza on drums, percussion by Rezza and Jono Grant, who also plays guitar, bass by Lew Melle, trombone/bass trombone by Gord Myers, saxes by Perry White, sax and flute by John Johnson and trumpet by Dave Dunlop.
11). Stray - Jimijam
A stunning "tribute" to the great Jimi Hendrix. Taken from "New Dawn", in 1997, featuring sole remaining original member and guitarist, Del Bromham. The band were formed in the UK in the late 60's and recorded about 10 albums before folding in the mid 70's. They reformed for a short while in the mid 80's before splitting again, which they did a few more times. Bromham then revived the band with a new line-up in the 90's and they released a couple of great new albums. Dusty Miller is on bass/guitar & vocals and Phil McKee is on drums & percussion.
12).Jimi Hendrix - Freedom
From "The Cry of Love", in 1970, a posthumously released album, featuring Mitch Mitchell on drums and Billy Cox on bass. Born in Seattle in the US on November 27, 1942, he was "discovered" by ex-Animals bass player Chas Chandler, who saw him playing at Cafe Wha in Greenwich Village under the assumed name of Jimmy James. Chandler brought him to the UK where he met up with bass player Noel Redding and Mitchell (who had drummed for Georgie Fame's Blue Flames and others), and they formed The Jimi Hendrix Experience in late 1966. The trio released their debut album, ''Are You Experienced?" in 1967. Hendrix had already made a name for himself with the release of the singles "Hey Joe" (which reached number 6 on the UK charts) and "Purple Haze", which reached number 3, so the debut album was extremely well received, spending 33 weeks on the charts and ending up at number 2 in the UK.
Hendrix, the master showman, had become a mega superstar, but his relationship with Noel Redding was becoming tempestuous. Redding then formed Fat Mattress whilst he was still in The Experience, and he appeared on "Axis: Bold as Love" in 1967 and "Electric Ladyland" the following year. He released two albums with Fat Mattress and he later formed the excellent hard rock trio Road, with ex-Rare Earth guitarist Rod Richards and Stray Dog drummer Les Sampson. He also recorded a number of solo albums, but he sadly passed away a few years ago.
Redding's replacement Billy Cox, and Mitchell, were featured with Hendrix when he appeared at the Newport and Woodstock festivals in July and August 1969, and at the end of that year, he replaced Mitchell, who would later go on to feature with Randy California, Jack Bruce and others before forming Ramatam with ex-Iron Butterfly guitarist Mike Pinera), with Buddy Miles, and the trio of Hendrix, Cox and Miles formed The Band Of Gypsys, recording one self-titled album at New York's Fillmore East on New Year's Eve 1969-1970. Hendrix was unhappy with the Band Of Gypsys, though, and he recalled Mitchell, and it was around this time that they recorded tracks for "The Cry Of Love", which also featured contributions from Traffic members Chris Wood and Stevie Winwood.
Success had unfortunately played a major role in Hendrix's downward spiral into the world of substance abuse and he died on September 18, 1970, in Notting Hill Gate, London, after inhaling his own vomit whilst unconscious following a drug overdose.
Literally hundreds of Hendrix albums (compilations, live albums, best of albums, remasters, albums of unreleased versions, etc etc, plus a fairly sizeable catalogue of videos and dvds) have been released since his death, which means that someone, somewhere, is making a lot of money out of the legend that was, and still is, Jimi Hendrix. In their own way, though, they are all tributes to one of the finest and most innovative and influential guitarists the world has ever seen.
Read more here »»»
13). Randy Hansen - Chopping Down The Family Tree
From "Old Dogs New Tricks", in 1996. Slated by many as a Hendrix clone, US guitarist Randy Hansen first attracted attention as a member of nightclub act, Kid Chrysler and The Cruisers, in the early to mid 70's. He then formed a Hendrix tribute trio called Machine Gun, although they never released any albums. His main claim to fame at that stage, though, was that he contributed Hendrix-influenced effects to the soundtrack of war movie Apocalypse Now. Hansen then signed to EMI Records and he released his self-titled debut album in 1980. Although the album had its moments, it was quite a disappointment, and Hansen then reverted completely to the role of Hendrix clone by forming a revamped version of Band Of Gypsys with drummer Buddy Miles. He later moved to Germany and recorded an album called "Hendrix By Hansen", with Birth Control members Horst Stachelhaus on bass and Manni Von Bohr on drums in 1993, both of whom also appear on the featured track.
14). Quantum Jump - Barracuda
UK outfit Quantum Jump were formed in the early to mid 70's by keyboard player/vocalist/producer Rupert Hine, together with bass player & vocalist John G Perry, of Caravan fame and Trevor Morais of The Peddlers fame. Also featured were guitarist/vocalist Mark Warner and percussionist Ray Cooper. They released two albums between 1974 and 1977. The featured track was taken from their second and last album, "Barracuda", and it also features Caravan guitarist/bassist/violinist Geoff Richardson, together with Elkie Brooks of Vinegar Joe fame, and The Penguin Cafe String Ensemble. The band had a minor hit with ''The Lone Ranger", and a third album, "Mixing", which was essentially a compilation, was released in 1979.
15). Mandalaband - The Eye Of Wendor
From "The Eye of Wendor", the second and last album, released in 1978. Mandalaband was the brainchild of sound engineer, musician, producer and Egyptologist Davy Rohl, who worked with Barclay James Harvest, the Moody Blues and others. Rohl formed his first band, The Sign of Life, in the late 60's. With a repertoire of songs under their belt, the band's name was later changed to Ankh, and they were signed to Vertigo Records. Vertigo strangely declined to issue the finished product and the band split up. Mandalaband was then formed in the mid 70's, with Tony Cresswell on drums, Vic Emerson on keyboards, John Stimpson on bass and Ashley Mulford on guitar. The first self-titled Mandalaband album was released on Chrysalis Records in 1975. Musicians on the featured album included Norman Barrett (Gravy Train) on guitar, Wooly Wolstenholm, John Lees and Les Holroyd (BJH) on keyboards, guitar and bass respectively, Lol Creme and Kevin Godley (Ramases/10CC) on vocals, Justin Haywood (Moody Blues) and Maddy Prior on vocals and many more. Both Mandalaband albums were released on cd a number of years ago.
16). Caravan - L'Auberge Du Sanglier
Taken from ''For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night", in 1973. This fantastic and important English prog rock band have been extensively covered elsewhere on The RockIt Scientist website, so you can read up on them there. This album, though, has to be one of their best and deserves a mention as it was one of the top album releases in 1973. The line-up included vocalist/guitarist Pye Hastings, (the returning) Dave Sinclair on keyboards (he replaced ex-Keef Hartley Band member Derek Austin) , Richard Coughlan on drums, John G. Perry (ex-Spreadeagle) on bass and vocals (this was in fact Perry's first album with Caravan - he replaced Stuart Evans, who in turn had replaced original bassist Richard Sinclair, who went on to join fellow Decca Records stablemates, Camel, remaining with them before returning to Caravan for their "Better By Far" album in 1977), and new member, Geoff Richardson on viola and flute.
Orchestration on the album was arranged by Martyn Ford and John Bell. Conducted by Martyn Ford, who also worked with the band on their superb "Caravan and The New Symphonia" album in 1974. This stunning English band are still around today and are still playing the gigs and releasing dvds (latest being a 35 year anniversary release).
When people talk of the British prog rock scene, most mention ELP, King Crimson and Genesis. Caravan are just as important and deserving of the acclaim.
17). Blue Cheer - Gunfight
From "Dining With The Sharks", in 1991, a great comeback album from one of heavy rock's oldest and most accomplished bands. Formed in the mid 60's, they folded in the early 70's. They reformed in the late 80's. This album features German guitarist, Dieter Staller, together with longtime drummer Paul Whalley and founding member, bassist/vocalist Dickie Petersen, who has also released a few solo albums.
18). Sun Red Sun - I Know a Place
From "Sun Red Sun", in 1998. This was a band formed by US guitarist Al Romano, who'd worked with Belladonna, Leslie West and others. The album features contributions from musicians such as ex-Zzebra/Mammoth/Gillan bass player John McCoy, vocalist Ray Gillen, ex-Badlands and Black Sabbath, drummer Bobby Rondinelli (Rainbow and others), John West from Artension on vocals, Chris Caffery from Savatage on guitar, and others. Released on Angel Air Records, this is an album of seriously powerful hard rock! Ray Gillen sadly died of an AIDS related complication after the album was released.
19). Spiritual Beggars - Burden of Dreams
From ''On Fire" in 2002, one of the best albums from this great Swedish stoner rock outfit. Initially starting out as a trio comprising Michael Amott on guitars, Ludwig Witt on drums and Spice on vocals, guitar & bass, they released their self-titled debut album in 1994. Strongly influenced by bands such as Black Sabbath, Blue Cheers and others, they quickly built up a stung following and became very popular. Their second album, ''Another Way To Shine", released in 1996, was a vast improvement on the already very good debut album. ''Mantra 3", released in 1998, featured Per Wiberg on keyboards, and this added splendidly to the band's already full and beefy sound. With the release of "Ad Astra" in 2000, Spiritual Beggars had cemented their reputation as one of the best stoner rock bands in the world. Their music is powerful and forceful, yet melodic and bluesy, with a distinctly seventies sound. The featured album was a killer: the band now featured two new members in place of the departed Spice, namely JB on vocals and Roger Nilsson on bass. In 2005, and now with new label InsideOut Records, Spiritual Beggars released ''Demons", with new bass player Sharlee D'Angelo. It was certainly one of the best releases for the label for 2005. Spiritual Beggars are a must for anybody who likes to FEEL what good rock music should sound like!
20). Neon Rose - A Picture of Me
From "A Dream Of Glory and Pride" in 1974, the debut album from this great Swedish rock outfit, who were formed in the early 70's by the Mengarelli brothers, Benno on bass & backing vocals and Piero on guitars and vocals and vocalist/guitarist Roger Holegard, all of whom had been in Spider in the late 60's. Drummer Stanley Larssen joined and Neon Rose was born. They signed to Vertigo Records and they released their first single, ''Sensation", followed shortly afterwards by the featured album, which did quite well for them in their home country. After the band's second album, appropriately titled "Two'', also released in 1974, Stanley Larssen left to join blues outfit Nature, and he was replaced by Thomas Wiklund. A third, and final, album, ''Reload", was released in 1975. This was arguably Neon Rose's best album, but the band unfortunately folded when Roger Holegard left to join rock outfit Wasa Express, and then Truck, when Wasa Express broke up after he recorded two albums with them. According to the liner notes of the great Neon Rose compilation ''Dust and Rust and.." (2000), a few attempts were made to revive the band in the late 70's and early 80's, but not much came of these efforts. In 1996, however, the Mengarelli brothers, together with Roger Holegard and Thomas Wiklund, revived Neon Rose. A full album's worth of material has been recorded, and all three earlier albums have recently been re-released on CD.
Neon Rose maybe didn't set the rock world alight, but they were a straight ahead, no frills, solid rock band who wrote some great numbers, and for this alone, they are an important part of Sweden's extremely rich and thriving music industry.