Cleves — The Cleves [1970]

ClevesThe Cleves [1970]
★★★☆

Been a while since I last wrote a review. This album is claimed to be prog rock by multiple sources (Youtube & Allmusic), and when I couldn’t find the album on progarchives.com, the mother of all progsites, my interest grew. Moreover, the band turned out to be Australian, and there was nothing Australian that could come to my mind except for AC/DC. That’s when I knew I had to fix this gap in my knowledge, and fix it quick.

As it turned out, the only album by Cleves wasn’t anywhere near prog, although they obviously have a certain twist in how they groove. The Cleves is a pleasant mix of psychedelic rock and heavy-going solo jams, resembling somewhat the style of Argent. The steady beat on the background seems to unite the whole album. A nice listen, but nothing too special.

Below is the third song from their LP, Keep Trying, which I consider to be the highlight of the album.

Some interesting White Rabbit versions and covers

We are all familiar with Jefferson Airplane‘s psychedelic rendition of Alice in Wonderland: White Rabbit. And there are many interesting covers of it around—almost as many as for BeatlesYesterday. In this post, I’ve picked a list of most interesting ones, loosely ordered from the 60’s to today, 16 videos to take up all of your free time. So get ready for an ultimate psychedelic ride.

For starters, here is an alternate TV version of White Rabbit performed by Jefferson Airplane, with a pleasing background of psychedelic colours and Grace Slick looking pretty as ever.

 

And, well, the Woodstock version deserves to be included too. The voice here is simply too magnificent.

 

Technically, the JA version is not the original one, since The Great Society had already been touring with White Rabbit, but they never released any studio albums. Grace Slick was part of their team though, and she’s singing in this live version too, which is perhaps the most psychedelic one.

 

A smooth, jazzy instrumental by George Benson and The California Dreamers, based rather on the Great Society version than on the Jefferson Airplane one.

 

A french White Rabbit cover, titled La Justice. I wonder how accurate the translation of the lyrics is, at least certain key words like “logic” and “proportion” are there. The quality of the recording could have been better, but I find that the french language fits this song really well.

 

A very gentle 60’s cover by the Flying Karpets.

 

A not so gentle 10-minute long acid punk version by The Last Word, which claims the title of the creepiest version with ease.

 

A decent cover by another 80’s punk band Mo-Dettes.

 

A somewhat crude version by a 90’s band Shrine from their album Psycha—but they’ve added a personal touch to it.

 

A 90’s house remix version. Usually not my type of music, but I found myself enjoying this one.

 

Now what’s this style of music, I don’t even know. Blue Man Group, something electronic, yet experimental and done with enthusiasm. Has lots of new components added to the song, and they work.

 

This one by Shakespears Sister sounded like rubbish first, but it ended up pretty interesting. Moreover, I’ve never seen this particular animation, which I thought was really nice.

 

A perhaps somewhat musically lacking, yet a very distinct version by Enon.

 

A recent 2009 live cover by Grace Potter and The Nocturnals. Nothing extraordinarily different from the JA version, but an accurate replica.
Here’s another link to their studio version.

 

This one is a surprisingly well made web cam recording of the song. Couldn’t have guessed it’d be this good.

 

And finally something completely different to release all the built-up tension. Hope you enjoyed the ride!

 

Edit: A bonus nr. 17 for those who can handle speed metal—a cover by Sanctuary: >> Sanctuary — White Rabbit
Think some other essential cover is missing? Message me in the comments!

Iron Butterfly — Ball

Iron ButterflyBall
★★★☆

This is the third album by Iron Butterfly, in which they continue to practice their art as the pioneers of heavy psych. In spite of the trademark distorted guitar and organs, the sound on this album is warm and gentle, yet might appear somewhat monotonous to some, since the songs are lacking hooks to be remembered by. Still, this is a more than fitting chill-out album suitable for a lazy mood, one that soothes your mind on the background while not asking for any unnecessary attention.