Saturday, 27 February 2021

Italian drummer Tullio de Piscopo, from 1976 to 1983


I was surprised that the Vol. 2 is missing online, despite the 'high popularity' (haha) of the first fusion masterpiece, which was called Sotto e n'coppa, and appears in the database under the 'Revolt Group' moniker.  Probably everyone knows that work already, and it's really wonderful, ranging over a variety of emotions and styles including straight progressive but also the energetic fusion you'd expect from 1976 backed by some pretty militaristic, machine-gun drumming, consider the awesome title track which employs diminished chords for that highly dramatic prog affect:

Also take a look if you haven't already at the verso for that one, the third LP from the top, where he pretends to be peeing against a wall.

Vol. 2 is inevitably not as good as the well-known Sotto, illustrating once again for us the common sense principle that the best albums tend to be the best preserved or remembered, though this does not in any way preclude us from completing these discographies, since randomness seems to play a large part in these losses too.  The first track:

The artist's discography is here, and those probably are the only two worth hearing, nonetheless, I threw in, for the curious, the disappointing jazz album from 1978 with Luis Agudo where he this time appears in a quintet in the database.  Equally disappointing is the 1983 Acqua which pandered in the end to songwriting and commercialese.  

Mention must also be made of the remarkable collaboration he did with our favourite Rocchi in the 1981 Metamorfosis.  This library (?) one is a real gem and should be well known to everyone already, I think, due to its involvement with Oscar Rocchi.

Thursday, 25 February 2021

Michael Fennelly in 2 (Lanechanger 1974, Strangers Bed 1975)

For a nice change of pace, two hard rock album from this relatively unknown artist who was guitarist and vocalist for Crabby Appleton, a band that released two albums as well in the early seventies.

Although not proggy at all, the energy and composition are above average for sure for this type of 'ordinary rock' release.

From the 2nd album, Dreamer

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

One-off brilliance Both Hands Free from 1976


From the musically magical year of 1976 one of my favourite fusion albums of all time again, probably already well enough known not to need more exposure.  First of all that cover is just awesome and unbelievable. I'm reminded so vividly of all those pulp sci-fi novels I gobbled up in my childhood.  In their imaginations those writers came up with just about every imaginable crazy situation philosophy and astronomy could ever dream up in this heaven and earth, Horatio. Virtually nothing you can today come up with hasn't been thought of already in the past minds of those authors, although still writers are replicating the same concepts first created a lifetime ago.

But back to the music. The depth of invention here is just stunning.  There is emotional resonance and variety in the fusion that just makes it ne plus ultra, one of a kind, unique like so many other masterpieces, the aforementioned Steps, Sway, etc. (haha).



Monday, 22 February 2021

Klan, unreleased, limited time only

From discogs:

Polish rock band fronted by artist / singer Marek Alaszewski. They have reformed at least once since.

Probably they are well known for the Mrowisko album, which I guess most everyone has a copy of.  This CD constitutes unreleased material spanning a long range from the early 70s to twenty years later and was released not so long ago, so will only be limited time posted.  Anyways, I recommend you buy it as it's such welcome music for the prog-minded thirsting for original ideas and creative musical thoughts.  The track called Tryptyk reminds me so much of those great masterful and poorly known Eastern European bands like Panta Rei (Bartok), Experimental Q, etc.:

I threw in Mrowisko for those who haven't heard it.  Look at that beautiful painting they chose for the cover!

Sunday, 21 February 2021

British singer Murray Head in 5 albums from 1972 to 1983

From wiki:

Murray Seafield St George Head (born 5 March 1946)[1] is an English actor and singer. Head has appeared in a number of films, including a starring role as the character Bob Elkin in the Oscar-nominated 1971 film Sunday Bloody Sunday.[1] As a musician, he is most recognised for his international hit songs "Superstar" (from the 1970 rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar) and "One Night in Bangkok" (the 1984 single from the musical Chess, which topped the charts in various countries), and for his 1975 album Say It Ain't So. He has been involved in several projects since the 1960s and continues to record music, perform concerts, and make appearances on television either as himself or as a character actor.

Here's a remarkable songwriter I hadn't heard of, whose voice sounds considerably like old favourite Colin Blunstone (his 1st album One Year gets my vote as the most underrated masterspiecial (ouch) ssw album, ever), or perhaps even Nick Drake's hoarse and slightly breathy singing.  Discography here.

Ruthie, from the first album Nigel Lived (1972):

From the second album which came out much later in the year 1975, called Say it ain't so, Never Even Thought:

Now take a look at the photograph gracing the cover of the third album, Between Us, which came so much later in 1979-- it's outrageous how beautiful the composition could be in these old record covers. Honestly, it almost brings me to tears especially when I listen to my teenagers screaming at their mother, recalling the way they were at that age.  But have a look at what happened when it was released as CD in the UK: ouch.

As if these producers were completely stripped of any kind of artistic sensibility.  Replaced by those computers we've been told over and over again will take all our jobs one day perhaps?  Immune to our viruses, they will have their own wonderful new viruses I'm sure.

Anyways the music deteriorates a little as we move forward, nonetheless, the still gorgeous and emotional (very Blunstone-like) ballad called  Sorry I love you:

From the fourth album, Voices (1980), Children only Play:

The fifth album is a live one, and the sixth unfortunately has pandered to the eighties jumpy-drum machine trend, abandoning the folky singer-songwriter style and has almost no track to redeem the unfortunate fashion of the times.