Pink Floyd & Can

I just realised that “Main Theme” from Pink Floyd’s “More” sounds very much like something that could be performed by “Can”.

Compare around 2:00 here:

and this:

I’m not saying they are similar, no, but there’s something in the mood and sound, isn’t it?

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Album Saturday — One Album Wonders: Summary

The theme for this Album Saturday was One Album Wonders — bands with only one album released: 9 different discographies!

Relatively Clean Rivers — Relatively Clean Rivers
★★★★

The first song of the album promises you an Easy Ride, and that’s what it is, in spite of some more experimental and futuristic sounds along the way in such songs as Babylon. After all, the rivers you’re rowing are only relatively clean. A sunny and lazy album to relax to.

Weed — Weed…!
★★★

Weed is a spinoff by Ken Hensley, and the familiar Uriah Heep style can be heard occasionally eg. in Before I Die. For the most part Weed…! fails to satisfy the listener, though the instrumental at the end of the album is ingenious and deserves especial praise. My Dream is also worth a mention, being the most thought-provoking piece of the album. It starts with an extremely quiet piano, lasting for over 2 minutes, showing the sound of silence at its best.

PanPan
★★★★☆

This Danish band fascinates with its full and grave sound as well as a style that differs greatly from the rest of the 70s scene — Pan are simply one of their kind. The mastermind behind Pan is Robert Lelièvre, a French singer, songwriter and guitar player. Therefore the songs Il N’y a Pas Si Longtemps De Ca and Tristesse are sung in French, and the latter one proves to be the best song of the album. The guitar lovers won’t be disappointed either with the magnificent solo ending in Lady of the Sand.

Toe Fat — Toe Fat
★★★★

Toe Fat is another project featuring Ken Hensley, which precedes Weed…! by a year and appears even before the Uriah Heep itself . Here, the raw sound of the guitar dominates right from the beginning. A nice and fluent addition to any hard rock collection. “Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall…”

The Lovin’ Spoonfulthe Paul Butterfield Blues Band; Al KooperEric Clapton and the Powerhouse; Tom Rush  — What’s Shakin’
★★★★

The blues scale always works — and it does it once again. This collection of rare performances includes Eric Clapton and the Powerhouse, a band which only recorded 4 songs, the fourth of which remains unreleased up to the date. Yet Powerhouse manages to feature a highly enjoyable version of Crossroads and other blues classics such as Spoonful,  Good Morning Little Schoolgirl and Stepping Out are all there. My favourite was the only track by Al Kooper, Can’t Keep From Crying Sometimes.

Orang-UtanOrang-Utan

Partially unlistened, a couple of songs wouldn’t play on Grooveshark

 

AardvarkAardvark

Mostly unlistened, due to the same reason.

 

Iron MaidenMaiden Voyage
★★★★

This is probably not the Iron Maiden you’re thinking of, but a band with the same name which appeared much earlier, formed in 1964. This is their one and only work, a hard rock album featuring long and elaborate guitar jams, especially in Liar (somewhat similar to UFO style). These jams are bound together with a concept theme of a sort, and could have been even better if not for the poor sound quality on Grooveshark. Still, I’m glad it played at all, taking into account that the last two albums didn’t.

Titus GroanTitus Groan
★★★★☆

Highlighted by a twelve minute long epic Hall of Bright Carvings and It’s All Up With Us to continue the brilliancy, this album brings out the whole beauty of the progressive rock scheme. Yet a change of pace is introduced with Open the Door Homer, the flute player suddenly quits and all prog vanishes in the air like a puff of smoke — together with my hopes for a perfect record.

Blue Cheer — Vincebus Eruptum

Blue CheerVincebus Eruptum
★★★★☆

Blue Cheer is one of those bands that went through a wide range of styles, in a way that is comparable to The Velvet Underground. Yet their first and legendary piece of work, Vincebus Eruptum, is arguably their best. According to many sources, with this album Blue Cheer did not only shape the hard metal we know today — they invented it. Prepare to be blown away by their raw power.

Exuma — Exuma (album)

ExumaExuma (album)
★★★★☆

Exuma is a district of the Bahamas, consisting of over 360 islands. Heaven, Hell, God, Devil, zombies and angels — all are to be found there. The soul of Exuma, that also happens to be the pseudonym of the singer, cries out in agony and in search for answers to life, death and afterlife. Musically, Exuma somehow resembles Captain Beefheart, yet there is no sign of blues here, only the raw, heavy sounds of a drum, calling and drawing you into something that feels like a tribal ritual rather than music as we usually know it.

The miraculous transformation of “Oh! Susanna” into “Venus” by Shocking Blue

Everybody knows the song “Venus” by the Dutch rock band Shocking Blue, a major hit from 1969. The song is written by Robbie van Leeuven, the guitarist of Shocking Blue; however, the origin of the song traces far back in history.

It all started from the song “Oh! Susanna” first published as early as in 1848. It was written by Stephen Foster, who went on to become America’s first fully professional songwriter due to the popularity of this tune. The song was performed by many artists at the time, and was even copyrighted for a total of 21 times.

A version of this song performed by The Byrds on their first album Turn! Turn! Turn! (1965):

The story goes on as The Big 3 release their own version of the song in 1963. They called it “The Banjo Song“, and it featured the old lyrics adapted to a new kind of tune, which should be getting oddly familiar at this point.

In 1969, Robbie van Leeuven took this tune and combined it with new lyrics in order to create the “Venus” we know today. The Big 3 never claimed plagiarism though, which is understandable—the song underwent some major changes in the arrangement and had experienced a full-scale rebirth.

All in all, “Oh! Susanna” and “Venus” ended up being two fully different songs: first the melody was changed by The Big 3 and then the lyrics were rewritten by Robbie. A successful combination of both songs by Neil Young & Crazy Horse can be heard on their 2002 album Americana.

Starcastle — Citadel

StarcastleCitadel
★★★★

In their third album, Starcastle try a more pop approach. All songs are 4-5 minutes long, and especially songs like Can’t Think Twice and Could This Be Love were made ready to become hits, which can be noticed musically as well as lyrically. Yet, Starcastle manage to preserve their usual ”yessish” sound, and the album is not only as enjoyable as the ones released before, but even contains some new elements to entertain a listeners mind.

Long Fin Killie — Houdini

Long Fin KillieHoudini
★★★

This experimental rock album is from 1995 and tells about a man named Houdini and his sexual experiences. Some songs get quite good at times, yet the vocals are not satisfactory, and many compositions lack variation. Hollywood gem draws clear reference from Yes, but falls short in many ways. The Heads of Dead Surfers might be the best song of the album, with a successful touch of avant-garde. If you’re in an experimental mood, you might enjoy listening to this.