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Thread: therussian's Quality Music Reviews

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    therussian's Avatar Use your imagination
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    Default therussian's Quality Music Reviews

    Free Your Mind...and Your Ass Will Follow - Funkadelic (1971)


    Personnel
    * Parliament (George Clinton, Ray Davis, Fuzzy Haskins, Calvin Simon, Grady Thomas): Vocals
    * Eddie Hazel: Lead guitar, lead vocals on "I Wanna Know" and "Some More"
    * Tawl Ross: Rhythm guitar, lead vocals on "Funky Dollar Bill"
    * Billy Bass Nelson: Bass guitar; lead vocals on "Friday Night" and "I Wanna Know"
    * Bernie Worrell: Keyboards; piano on "Funky Dollar Bill"; organ on "I Wanna Know"
    * Tiki Fulwood: Drums

    Tracks
    1. "Free Your Mind and Your Ass Will Follow" (George Clinton, Ray Davis, Eddie Hazel) - 10:04
    2. "Friday Night, August 14th" (Clinton, Hazel, Billy Bass Nelson) - 5:21
    3. "Funky Dollar Bill" (Clinton, Davis, Hazel) - 3:15
    4. "I Wanna Know If It's Good to You?" (Clinton, Clarence Haskins, Hazel, Nelson) 5:59
    5. "Some More" (Clinton, Ernie Harris) - 2:56
    6. "Eulogy and Light


    For my first album review (though really my second: I claim my "Revolver" review to be the longest album review thread in the forum ), I chose to review the second album of legendary funk group Funkadelic. Led by their guru George Clinton, Funkadelic, along with their counterpart Parliament, formed one of the most important Funk groups ever. Parliament-Funkadelic, along with the magnificent Sly & the Family Stone and James Brown, were the forerunners of funk music, and their music would go on to form the foundation of funk music.

    Now that we've got that out of the way, let's begin. First off, let me just say that the album cover art is among the greatest ever. Any sentient being can understand why... Now, the music: the album opens with the epic 10 minute title track, which begins with very spaced out ambient sounds, until we hear cries of "Free your mind and your ass will follow" and "the Kingdom of Heaven is within!" This lasts for about two minutes (and includes the gem "Freedom is free of the need to be free"....wow), then Funkadelic kicks off and does what they do best: groove. Anyone listening to this album better be listening to it through speakers and not headphones, or else your ears will be sorry: the Bernie Worrel's distorted keyboard kills the ears, but sounds awesome at the same time. Includes a nice fuzzed out guitar solo from the great Eddie Hazel, and uses a lot of stereo panning. The cries and exclamations make up the bulk of the lyrics.

    "Friday Night, August 14th" is a fairly straightforward funk track. Great bass, great wah wah guitar, and a great drum solo towards the end . A nice groove, all in all.

    "Funky Dollar Bill" is a song (like many on this album) about materialism and consumerism, and how it is the great spawn of the earth. Nah....but something like that. A groove for the ages, and some great Hendrix-like wah wah guitar from Hazel here. Worrell compliments him well on a honky-tonk sounding piano.

    Another great funk track follows: "I Wanna Know if it's Good to You?", complete with thumpin bass, nice harmonies from the Parliaments, soaring vocals, all behind a wah-wah guitar riff that seems like it came from the Jimi Hendrix Experience's Electric Ladyland ("Highway Chile" in particular"). More of Worrel's ear piercing keyboard...beware headphone listeners!

    "Some More" is a song that can be most easily summed up as soul. More of a throwback to Funkadelic's debut album, it is a good tune, but not the best from the album. Replete with heavily effected vocals (run through a flanger or phaser or something), and blues guitar and soulful keyboard.

    And for the finale, we have "Eulogy and Light". Funkadelic's psychedelic masterpiece, dealing with (again) the evils of commercialism and materialism, remade from the Lord's Prayer and the 23rd Psalm, just as Pink Floyd would do in their song "Sheep" from Animals.
    Check out the lyrics and see for yourself:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Our father
    Which art on Wall Street
    Honored be thy buck
    Thy kingdom came
    This be thy year
    From sea to shining sea
    Thou givest me false pride
    Funked down by the riverside
    From every head and ass, may dollars flow
    Give us this pay
    Our daily bread
    Forgive us our goofs
    As we rob from each other
    He maketh me to sell dope to small children
    For thou art evil
    And we adore thee
    Thy destruction and thy power
    They comfort me
    My Cadillac and my pinky ring
    They restoreth me in thee
    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of poverty
    I must feel their envy
    For I am loaded, high and all those other goodies
    That go along with the good god big buck
    To your horse
    A ? grows there
    Ahead in time, the unexpected soul-searching beam of the strobe
    But now, the stairway looms
    And as I rise
    The cries of kittens, gray, make way
    For there, now near
    Here now, gone, alone
    I feel my wrist, it flicks the switch
    No lights reveal the room or me
    She sees, then panics, grabs a light
    I scream, silent comforts that are not heard
    I panic, for I have not said a word
    Hysteria hold the room in sway
    I run, I back away, to hide
    From what?
    From fear?
    The truth, the light?
    Is truth the light?

    Awesome yeah? Performed in spoken word, in the background you can hear psychedelic effects and soulful backward vocals. The album closes with the final lines: "I run, I back away, to hide, From what? From fear? The truth, the light? Is truth the light?"



    Well, that's all. This is undoubtedly my favourite Funkadelic album. Both for the music, and for the title/cover combo. And that is why I give it

    out of five.


    Oh, and let me leave you with one little quote from Allmusic guide's Ned Raggett: "The amount of drugs going down for these sessions in particular must have been notable, but the end results make it worthy."

    Good night.


    Sample Songs

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow


    Funky Dollar Bill


    I Wanna Know How if it's Good for You?


    Eulogy and Light



    By the way, next up in the lineup is
    Last edited by therussian; April 26, 2009 at 06:17 PM.

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    God's Avatar Shnitzled In The Negev
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    Default Re: therussian's Quality Music Reviews

    Eagerly looking forward to it

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    Claudius Gothicus's Avatar Petit Burgués
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    Default Re: therussian's Quality Music Reviews

    Looks interesting, I 'll be waiting for it

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    therussian's Avatar Use your imagination
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    Default Re: therussian's Quality Music Reviews

    It's up!

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    Claudius Gothicus's Avatar Petit Burgués
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    Default Re: therussian's Quality Music Reviews

    Great review! +rep for the effort

    Ned Ragget quote was awesome.

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    vizi's Avatar Vicarius Provinciae
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    Default Re: therussian's Quality Music Reviews

    Nice review. I have always enjoyed these guys, if only in passing.

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    Default Re: therussian's Quality Music Reviews

    This is undoubtedly my favourite Funkadelic album
    Better than Maggot Brain?

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    therussian's Avatar Use your imagination
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    Default Re: therussian's Quality Music Reviews

    A close one, but yes. I might review Maggot Brain a bit later.

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    Default Re: therussian's Quality Music Reviews

    In Rock - Deep Purple (1970)


    Personnel
    * Ritchie Blackmore - guitar
    * Ian Gillan - vocals
    * Roger Glover - bass
    * Jon Lord - keyboards
    * Ian Paice - drums

    Tracks
    1. "Speed King" – 5:49
    2. "Bloodsucker" – 4:10
    3. "Child in Time" – 10:14
    4. "Flight of the Rat" – 7:51
    5. "Into the Fire" – 3:28
    6. "Living Wreck" – 4:27
    7. "Hard Lovin' Man" – 7:11
    Bonus Track: Single "Black Night"

    By 1970, Deep Purple were one of the top British acts of the day, releasing hit singles such as a cover of Joe South's song "Hush". But the wheels of change were in motion after the release of their 1969 album "Deep Purple" (excellent album), and the replacement of original vocalist Rod Evans and bassist Nick Simpler for Ian Gillan and Roger Glover would mark (II, actually) the beginning of a new era in hard rock. The new and improved Deep Purple met in studio in August 1969 to record their new album and, well, the rest is history. What spawned was one of the crowning peaks of hard rock, one that, along with Led Zeppelin's, Black Sabbath's, and Blue Oyster Cult's debuts, would redefine hard rock forever, and would pave the way for the genre we know and love as heavy metal. Anyway, onwards, let us plunge into this magnificent album.

    Let's just say that it starts out exactly like a precursor of heavy metal should start: with a crazy explosion of distortion followed by a whammy barred solo by Blackmore, before segueing into a peaceful organ interlude by Lord with a foreshadowing of main riff. Yes, this is the beauty of "Speed King". After a long sustained note by Lord, the listener knows that something is coming, but he can't possibly expect what is lurking ahead. Then all of a sudden is hit by such a massive riff that he can't help but headbang. Awesome chorus with Gillan showing of his impressive pipes. However, a listener to Deep Purple should realise that they weren't really about the vocals, only their no-holds-bar hard rocking. Example: lyrics from "Speed King"
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Good golly, said little miss molly
    When she was rockin in the house of blue light
    Tutti frutti was oh so rooty
    When she was rockin to the east and west
    Lucille was oh so real
    When she didnt do her daddies will
    Come on baby, drive me crazy--do it, do it

    -------------

    Yeah, you get the point. The only well written and thought full lyrics in this album are in "Child in Time"


    Anyway, the song continues with nice interlocked soloing between Blackmore and Lord, and an amazing return to another theme, spiraling up up up, upwards into the sky. Trademark wailing screams by Gillan continue throughout the song, and it ends just like it started: in a twisted hunk of metal, drenched of feedback. Out of breath? Good, that what they wanted. Better catch your breath...quick.

    "Bloodsucker" has one of the more vicious riffs of the album. An absolutely killer, this riff is one of my favourite of all time, and very underrated. The listeners again hears the piercing shrieks of Gillan that tell of (good) things to come in the next track. After a few verses and choruses, the solos kick in. Some great solos from Blackmore, and especially Lord, which are fragmented and interspersed between each other, separated by the second riff. Fades in the end. We've only just begun.

    The peaceful opening of "Child in Time" allows the listener to sit back and relax a little bit after the intensity of the first two tracks. Lord calmly solos on his organ until Gillan enters with equally calm vocals, depicting "Child in Time" as an anti-war song.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Sweet child in time you'll see the line
    The line that's drawn between the good and the bad
    See the blind man shooting at the world
    Bullets flying taking toll
    If you've been bad, Lord I bet you have
    And you've been hit by flying lead
    You'd better close your eyes and bow your head
    And wait for the ricochet


    However, this sense of calm is very deceiving, and once he utters the words "Wait for the ricochet", the ghostly wails begin, softly at first, and slowly building and building, until they become banshee like, all behind the driving instrumental theme, which purveys throughout the beginning. The momentum of these screams helps propel this song into a very militaristic-like bridge, and straight into a Blackmore solo, which, personally, contains some of the sweetest tone that I've heard. Those first few notes make my spine tingle (side note: one reason why I don't like live version of the song as much as the studio version is because of the absence of this part). Nice Lord organ underneath the solo, until it finally kicks off into the driving hard rock riff, supplied by Glover's amazing bass. Hysteria ensues as Blackmore tears up his precious guitar, racing up and down the neck. In return, the listener is presented for the next two minutes to perhaps the greatest rock solo on the face of the earth. Just as things are winding down, Lord jumps in with an great ascending and descending riff on his organ, which is promptly repeated by Blackmore, and underneath mimicked by Paice (banging on his drum like a madman), until it all goes quiet, and we again hear the main theme, Lord again with his calm soloing. Gillan re-enters and pulls the same stunts he did in the first part of the song. It then ends with a chromatic rising scale, and then quickly descends (includes complimentary shrieks by Gillan), ending in one final chord and a few extra stray, broken notes (including one that sounds a lot like a sitar), the lasts remnant of that magnificent piece of work. Thus ends the greatest song that Deep Purple has ever done.

    "Flight of the Rat" is a nice, hard rocking piece, with an excellent rhythm section. Side note: props have to go to Ian Paice and Roger Glover. They were one of the greatest rhythm sections of the era, and don't get nearly enough love. Anyway, there are some good ascending lick that Blackmore does in the chorus. Fast paced and vicious soloing by Lord and then Blackmore (starts off in the lower registries, and really doesn’t move up there too much). It's a very spaced out solo with a lot of whammy, which Blackmore seems to be very fond of. Then there is a nice slowly building bridge into a very funky solo replete with wah-wah that one might expect to find on a Funkadelic album. The music suddenly stops and flies (hehe) into the main riff. it then launches into a great drum solo by Paice, with more of that funky rhythm that was seen during Blackmore’s solo, until it reaches a climax when Glover keeps hitting one sustained note on his bass, and then the song descends into that same hard rocking riff, until it is all finally over, finished off by a slowly building excellent drum solo by Paice.

    "Into the Fire" features a mega-heavy, hulking riff, worthy of sacrifice to the gods, until they kick off to some type of warped heavy metal polka in the verse with a nice vocal delivery in the chorus. Some nice soloing by Blackmore, but nothing really special. While the riff is especially noteworthy, and has a very catchy chorus, it isn't the greatest they've ever done.

    "Living Wreck" opens up with a nice groovy beat by Paice and kicks off with a Hammond “cougar scream” by Lord, and a very groovy riff that again would not be out of place in a funk rock album. Gillan’s vocals are a lot softer on this song than any other on the album. More "cougar screams" courtesy of Lord (damn those are awesome). Blackmore continues with a nice spaced out solo with a faint hint of oriental influence (Maggot Brain anyone?) After him, Lord kicks off a solo, which is nothing to the calibre, of say, Highway Star, but it’s pretty nice. Fade to black, and off we go to the final song on the album.

    In "Hard Lovin' Man", gongs predominate the beginning, with scratchy guitar parts that are reminiscent of "Speed King". Glover opens up the riff, and Blackmore follows suit. Lord starts smashing on some random keys and creates an awesome effect until finally embarking on his short overdriven solo. More piercing shrieks from Gillan, each of which throw the song into one of Lord’s organ themes. Lord solos again: at first listen, it may be hard to understand what the he is doing, but his atonal, and sometimes unpleasant, soloing starts to sound better after a few listens. One gong and then Blackmore starts his solo (which seems to be double tracked, like those of Tony Iommi: a nice effect). A nice little solo, with him racing upwards on the neckboard. The song is then thrown upside down, with tons of feedback, a whammied Blackmore solo (again) with excellent stereo panning (the band is faded and then returns), until the songs ends in a incomprehensible mess of feedback and stereo panning. Thus ends the legendary album. But wait, there's more!


    I decided to review "Black Night", Deep Purple's single of the time, because it is included (with many other extras) on the 25th Anniversary Edition of "In Rock", so here we go. "Black Night" has a nice riff, but Blackmore obviously ripped it from the Blues Magoos, from their song.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6RY2Hkn504


    Nonetheless, amazing basswork from Glover. Blackmore treats us once again with a totally spaced out solo filled with whammy bar up the ass, which segues into an alright solo by Lord, again, nothing special on his part, until it then segues into the main riff, with amazing drumfills by Paice. The song ends with more frantic fretwork and whammy bombs by Blackmore, until it slowly fades to silence.



    "In Rock", the first true heavy metal album that Deep Purple released, came just around the time of debuts of the other big heavy metal precursors of the time: Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Blue Oyster Cult. Many would say that Deep Purple's album "Machine Head" is the height of the early heavy metal scene, replete with rocking riffs and frantic soloing, and I tend to agree, but I still enjoy "In Rock" the most out of all of them, primarily because of the first first 3 songs, though all of them are spectacular. Mark II Deep Purple would go on to refine this kick-ass form of hard rock in their next two albums, "Fireball" and "Machine Head", until finally succumbing the fate that occurs to all bands: mediocrity. Since then, no Deep Purple album has been able to even come close to the brilliance of that era, from 1970-1972. Very unfortunate. Blackmore was fed up with the band, and went on to form Rainbow with Ronnie James Dio, another excellent band which I may review later.


    Deep Purple died after "Machine Head". But after "In Rock", the world would never be the same again.

    out of five.


    Complete Track List
    Speed King
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Bloodsucker
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 




    Child in Time (studio and live)
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Studio


    Live (second part includes live "Speed King"



    Flight of the Rat
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Into the Fire
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 



    Living Wreck
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Hard Lovin' Man
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    next up
    Last edited by therussian; April 26, 2009 at 06:18 PM.

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    therussian's Avatar Use your imagination
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    Default Re: therussian's Quality Music Reviews

    Updated!

    House of the Caesars | Under the Patronage of Comrade Trance Crusader. Proud Patron of Comrades Shadow_Imperator, Zenith Darksea, Final Frontier and Plutarch | Second Generation| ex-Eagle Standard Editor| Consilium de Civitate | Album Reviews

  11. #11
    God's Avatar Shnitzled In The Negev
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    Default Re: therussian's Quality Music Reviews

    I'm a speeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing!


    Great album, but I much prefer 'Black Sabbath'. Still, don't listen to it enough though.

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    Athenogoras's Avatar Campidoctor
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    Default Re: therussian's Quality Music Reviews

    Great review of Deep Purple. Brings back memories. Always had this album and the live in japan as recorded tape on the hockeybus. Highway star was the soundtrack the first day I got my drivers license.(I crashed though)

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    Claudius Gothicus's Avatar Petit Burgués
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    Default Re: therussian's Quality Music Reviews

    INTO THE FIREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE naa naa nanaa nana nanana nanana

    Hhahaha great review man I love Purple and yes they kinda died after Machine Head but still they have influenced many Heavy Metal and Hard Rock till present, making them one of the greates rock bands ever.

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    vizi's Avatar Vicarius Provinciae
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    Default Re: therussian's Quality Music Reviews

    Good review sir. A great album.

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    Default Re: therussian's Quality Music Reviews

    Disraeli Gears – Cream (1967)


    Personnel
    • Eric Clapton - guitar, vocals
    • Jack Bruce - bass, harmonica, lead vocals
    • Ginger Baker - drums, percussion, vocals


    Track Listing
    1. "Strange Brew" (Eric Clapton, Felix Pappalardi, Gail Collins Pappalardi) – 2:46
    2. "Sunshine of Your Love" (Clapton, Jack Bruce, Pete Brown) – 4:10
    3. "World of Pain" (Pappalardi, Collins) – 3:03
    4. "Dance the Night Away" (Bruce, Brown) – 3:34
    5. "Blue Condition" (Ginger Baker) – 3:29
    6. "Tales of Brave Ulysses" (Clapton, Martin Sharp) – 2:46
    7. "SWLABR" (Bruce, Brown) – 2:32
    8. "We're Going Wrong" (Bruce) – 3:26
    9. "Outside Woman Blues" (Blind Joe Reynolds, arr. Clapton) – 2:24
    10. "Take It Back" (Bruce, Brown) – 3:05
    11. "Mother's Lament" (Traditional, arr. Clapton, Bruce, Baker) – 1:47

    Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton, and Ginger Baker were already big names in the English blues scene before the formation of Cream. Clapton was deemed God during his stint with John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers (where he met Bruce), and Bruce and Baker were already well known through their stints with the Graham Bond Organisation, though perhaps more well known for their legendary fights. But Clapton was set on creating this supergroup, and so the first power trio in rock history was born. By the time Disraeli Gears came out in mid 1967, Cream was already steamrolling over England, but weren’t exactly well known in America. Their debut album Fresh Cream, released in late 1966, reached #6 in the UK charts, but only #39 in America (though still an impressive feat). It was not until Disraeli Gears that Cream reached the apex of their short yet influential career. As a side note, the story of the creation of the album name is quite interesting: Eric Clapton had been thinking of buying a racing bicycle, and was discussing it with Ginger Baker, when Mick Turner, one of the roadies, commented on the performance of "its got them Disraeli Gears" meaning to say "derailleur gears". The two thought it was so funny that they chose to name the new album Disraeli Gears.

    While Fresh Cream was rooted mainly in blues, with a bit of psychedelia,
    Disraeli Gears took the different approach. Still deeply rooted in blues, the music was by far more psychedelic, as can be seen in tracks like "Tales of Brave Ulysses" and "SWLABR". As opposed to the epic blues jam “Spoonful” that was found on the debut album, none of the songs Disraeli Gears are longer than 4:10 minutes. Not to say that this formula was followed during live performances, which were predominately composed of the epic blues jams that made the three musicians famous (check out “Steppin’ Out” from Live Cream Vol. II, or “Spoonful” below).
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    The part around 3:49 is particularly mindblowing.


    But enough of that, on to the real meat of the review: the songs!

    Right off the bat, the listener is left with their jaw hanging. "Strange Brew" is a fairly relaxed piece, with a very nice rhythm. Jack Bruce treats the listener to some nice falsetto vocals, which show no indication of the operatic voice that he possesses, and will show off later in the album. Clapton’s guitar is especially noteworthy for his use of reverb, which gives the guitar an especially unique tone, nothing like the tone with which he is mostly associated, his “woman tone”, used in Sunshine of your Love. All in all, it is a nice psychedelic rock song, and definitely one of the best off the album. The main riff was lifted from an Albert King song.

    Next up is the juggernaut of the album, the legendary “Sunshine of Love”. The riff, created by Jack Bruce, is one of the most widely recognised riffs of all time, behind maybe Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water” and Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man”. It hooks the listener immediately, and drags him farther into the song. Jack Bruce’s vocals finally achieve the operatic level, soaring above the primeval riff (of course, trading off with Clapton). Clapton on the other hand, achieves the sweetest tone that he ever would in the rest of his life. The opening notes to the solo (inspired by the pop standard “Blue Moon”) make me want to....well.....cream my pants. All the while, that same incessant riff plays in the back ground, and the listener just can’t resist. After a majestic solo, Clapton skilfully and tactfully returns to the main riff. Underneath all of this fantastic work by Clapton and Baker is the sometimes underappreciated drumming of infamous madman Ginger Baker. Try listening to the drumming separately from the music, and then together. Amazing, no? Baker was inspired to use this unconventional drumming pattern by the patterns found in African drumming, which helped mimic the descending riff that was being played on guitar and bass, and sung. And it works so well. Eventually, the song ends in chaos, a start contrast to how it ended: with the lone descending riff being played simultaneously by Bruce and Clapton.

    How could anything be able to follow up a mammoth like that? While "World of Pain" certainly cannot equal the intensity of Sunshine, it does a good job making up for it with grace and elegance. A simple drum rhythm and simple (how can it be?) bass line from Bruce make it so. Clapton offers some very subtly and simple wah wah accompaniment until flying into a graceful solo that seems to be harmonised with another guitar. Like all of Cream’s songs on Disraeli Gears, it has excellent hooks and very catchy choruses.

    "Dance the Night" away is a song in the same vein as World of Pain, featuring very haunting airy vocals by Bruce and harmonies with Clapton, very psychedelic guitar solos from Clapton (done by some very subtle but complex picking techniques: if you listen close enough, you can hear that he’s actually picking the strings incredibly fast), and unlike the last song, an interesting drum pattern by Baker.

    "Blues Condition" is perhaps one of my favourite songs off the album. No, there’s nothing special about it. But it is the ultimate “chill out” song. Its lazy rhythm and melody, not to mention that Ginger Baker sings it, are what make it so awesome. In the background you can hear a faint honky tonk piano, giving it an even more lazy feel. For most people, it marks the low spot of the album, between the first giants, "Strange Brew" and "Sunshine of Your Love", and the later giants, "Tales of Brave Ulysses" and "SWLABR".

    But enough of that, time to move on to what is arguably the greatest song off of Disraeli Gears and the greatest song from Cream’s entire catalogue. That song is “Tales of Brave Ulysses”. Even from the opening, you can tell that this isn’t your average psychedelic blues piece, it is something completely different. Bruce’s bass and Clapton’s wah wah are clearly heard after the brief explosion from Baker’s cymbals, until finally throwing itself forward, propelled by Bruce’s driving bassline (based off a simple D minor chord progression, one which was obviously ripped by Lynyrd Skynyrd for “Sweet Home Alabama”, and which Cream would reuse for "White Room" off of Wheels of Fire). We finally hear more of that operatic Jack, singing some of the most psychedelic lyrics of the period. The story is that Martin Sharp (the man who also designed the amazing cover) wrote the lyrics on a napkin at a bar and gave them to Clapton. The lyrics are full of vivid imagery and sweet mellifluous alliteration.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    You thought the leaden winter would bring you down forever,
    But you rode upon a steamer to the violence of the sun.
    And the colors of the sea blind your eyes with trembling mermaids,
    And you touch the distant beaches with tales of brave Ulysses:
    How his naked ears were tortured by the sirens sweetly singing,
    For the sparkling waves are calling you to kiss their white laced lips.
    And you see a girl's brown body dancing through the turquoise,
    And her footprints make you follow where the sky loves the sea.
    And when your fingers find her, she drowns you in her body,
    Carving deep blue ripples in the tissues of your mind. (AMAZING!!!)
    The tiny purple fishes run laughing through your fingers,
    And you want to take her with you to the hard land of the winter.
    Her name is Aphrodite and she rides a crimson shell,
    And you know you cannot leave her for you touched the distant sands
    With tales of brave Ulysses; how his naked ears were tortured
    By the sirens sweetly singing.
    The tiny purple fishes run laughing through your fingers,
    And you want to take her with you to the hard land of the winter.

    Couple those vivid lyrics with Bruce’s driving bassline and Clapton’s impeccable use of wah, and you have yourself a song for the ages. By the way, I seem to have completely forgotten about poor Eric, though he is the one that really stands out in this piece. Like I said, his use of wah wah throughout the piece, especially in the solo is mindblowing. He was one of the first (even before Hendrix) rock guitarists to really utilise the wah pedal, and it absolutely sets the mood for the whole piece. "Tales of Brave Ulysses" was one of the few songs, along with "Sunshine of Your Love", that survived to be played live by the band, and they have some excellent versions of it, the most notable being on their live album, Live Cream Vol. II.


    (Oh and by they way God, I know you're reading this, and no, Trouble's cover version is not better. Though Hendrix's cover is pretty sick.)


    The next big song of the album is "SWLABR". Along with the track name (which stands for She Was Like A Bearded Rainbow), it is one of Cream’s most successful forays into psychedelic blues. Along with Jack Bruce’s operatic vocals, Clapton contributes heavily to the psychedelic sound by running his guitar through a fuzz box and wah pedal. The lyrics are also highly reminiscent of the psychedelic movement, since they make no sense whatsoever, but I’ll just let you be the judge of that.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Coming to me in the morning, leaving me at night.
    Coming to me in the morning, leaving me alone.
    You've got that rainbow feel but the rainbow has a beard.
    Running to me a-cryin' when he throws you out.
    Running to me a-cryin', on your own again.
    You've got that pure feel, such good responses,
    But the picture has a mustache.
    You're coming to me with that soulful look on your face,
    Coming looking like you've never ever done one wrong thing.
    You're coming to me with that soulful look on your face.
    You're coming looking like you've never ever done one wrong thing.
    So many fantastic colors; I feel in a wonderland.
    Many fantastic colors makes me feel so good.
    You've got that pure feel, such good responses.
    You've got that rainbow feel but the rainbow has a beard.


    Like I said…

    Those two songs really are the apex of Disraeli Gears, but it’s not over yet. “We’re Going Wrong” is another one of those really gloomy songs by Cream, along the lines of “Dance the Night Away”. The high points are some pretty nice drumming by Baker, some of the best off of the album, and more airy falsetto by Jack Bruce. Clapton is really subdued in this track as opposed to the previous two, contribute mainly with gentle chords and very eastern sounding guitar fills every once and while. His tone is once again sweet and fluid. Again, like "Blue Condition", many people find this to be a weak track. While certainly not as good as Sunshine of Your Love or Tales of Brave Ulysses, it is special in its own way, showing the two (or rather three) different sides of Cream. It’s one of my favourite off of the album. But then again, there are only two comparatively weak tracks on it.

    "Outside Woman Blues" features Clapton on lead vocals throughout the whole song, the first and only on Disraeli Gears. It’s a great blues song with a very catchy riff and hook, which separate both the verses, as well as fragments up Clapton’s solo. I personally would prefer if it were all continuous instead of continuously starting and stopping, but what can you do? It’s one of my favourite off the album (God I like that riff!)

    Next is “Take it Back” another blues number reminiscent of Clapton’s Bluesbreakers years. It’s a nice tune with some excellent harmonica courtesy of Jack Bruce. Nothing else really needs to be said about it. And onwards to the final track!

    For many, the closing track “Mother’s Lament” can be a real put down. Many expect another rocking psychedelic tune replete with a courtesy Clapton solo. Not so. “Mother’s Lament” is a Cockney tune sung by all three accompanied by a single piano. Personally I find it hilarious. Musically it isn’t really that good, but just the sentiment behind it makes me smile everything I hear it. The final comment “You want to do it again?” asked by Jack Bruce (or is it Baker?) close the album on a very light note.

    In closing, let me just say this. Cream were the apex of psychedelic blues in the 1960s. Jack Bruce’s operatic vocals and virtuosic bass playing, Clapton’s incendiary guitar, and Ginger Baker’s manic drumming were the blueprints of music to come, and many critics cite them as one of the key "proto-metal" bands: whether you support such classification is not the point. The point is that they were REALLY REALLY IMPORTANT. They were the precursors to the hard rock of the 70s that was being played by bands like Led Zeppelin and Co.

    While, many say that the Jimi Hendrix Experience were the greatest power trio of the age, but this battle has being going on since 1967, and will continue to rage until people stop listening to this music, which will hopefully be never. Cream rose to the heights of their glory with Disraeli Gears, and went on to make Wheels of Fire, a dual studio/live album. However, this power trio was not meant to be. Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker were still mortal enemies and continued to have legendary fights; one story says that Baker even pulled a knife on Bruce backstage once. All these tensions took their toll, and by November 1968, the world’s first and greatest rock power trio was done. Clapton and Baker would go on to both form/play in Blind Faith, and after that Clapton formed his legendary Derek and the Dominos. Jack Bruce went on to have a successful career as a solo artist, but in my eyes, none of them were able to match the intensity and the greatness they achieved from the years 1966-1968. Two years. But what influential and productive years they were.

    out of five.

    (Yes, I do give a lot of fives. But then again, these are my favourite albums)

    SONGS

    Strange Brew
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Sunshine of Your Love
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    World of Pain
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Dance the Night Away
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Blue Condition
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 



    Tales of Brave Ulysses
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    SWLABR
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    We’re Going Wrong
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Outside Woman Blues
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 



    Take it Back
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Mother’s Lament
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Next up: Free - Free
    Last edited by therussian; April 26, 2009 at 06:19 PM.

    House of the Caesars | Under the Patronage of Comrade Trance Crusader. Proud Patron of Comrades Shadow_Imperator, Zenith Darksea, Final Frontier and Plutarch | Second Generation| ex-Eagle Standard Editor| Consilium de Civitate | Album Reviews

  16. #16
    Claudius Gothicus's Avatar Petit Burgués
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    Default Re: therussian's Quality Music Reviews

    As usual a great review.

    Cream was like a dream come true, but it couldn't last I've heard that they splitted because Eric got tired of resolving Bruce and Baker's fights.


    Disraeli Gears is like one of those milestones in Rock(and blues) history, it has the bluesy feeling of the first one but the psychedelic influence is much more noticeable specially in songs like We're Going Wrong or Tales of Brave Ulysses.

  17. #17
    Claudius Gothicus's Avatar Petit Burgués
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    Default Re: therussian's Quality Music Reviews

    I think that your reviews need to make a serious come back they're great.

  18. #18
    therussian's Avatar Use your imagination
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    Default Re: therussian's Quality Music Reviews

    Oh they definitely will once winter break rolls around.

    House of the Caesars | Under the Patronage of Comrade Trance Crusader. Proud Patron of Comrades Shadow_Imperator, Zenith Darksea, Final Frontier and Plutarch | Second Generation| ex-Eagle Standard Editor| Consilium de Civitate | Album Reviews

  19. #19
    Starlightman's Avatar Calling Card
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    Default Re: therussian's Quality Music Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by therussian View Post
    Oh they definitely will once winter break rolls around.
    Excellent taste of music Mr...

    ...my heartiest congratulations for this thread...

    maybe in the future we are lucky for a Rory's review...or Funk Inc...?

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  20. #20
    therussian's Avatar Use your imagination
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    Default Re: therussian's Quality Music Reviews

    Thank you. A Rory Gallagher review may be in store for the future, maybe after my Free review. Funk Inc, unfortunately, I have not yet listened to.

    House of the Caesars | Under the Patronage of Comrade Trance Crusader. Proud Patron of Comrades Shadow_Imperator, Zenith Darksea, Final Frontier and Plutarch | Second Generation| ex-Eagle Standard Editor| Consilium de Civitate | Album Reviews

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