The theme for this Album Saturday was
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.
Pan — Pan
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’ Spoonful; the Paul Butterfield Blues Band; Al Kooper; Eric 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-Utan — Orang-Utan
Partially unlistened, a couple of songs wouldn’t play on Grooveshark
Aardvark — Aardvark
Mostly unlistened, due to the same reason.
Iron Maiden — Maiden 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,
Titus Groan — Titus 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.