Sunday, February 1, 2015

Morgen - 1969 - Morgen


01. Welcome To The Void
02. Of Dreams
03. Beggin Your Pardon (miss Joan)
04. Eternity In Between
05. Purple
06. Shes The Nitetime
07. Love

*Steve Morgen - Vocals, Guitar
*Rennie Genossa - bass
*Bob Maiman - Drums
*Barry Stock - Rhythm Guitar

When it comes to psychedelic hard rock (my favorite genre), they really don't come much better than this. I most certainly recommend several listens before forming an opinion, though, as it has a strong reputation for growing on you. As great as it sounds after the first go-round, you actually find yourself liking it even more with each successive spin. Each cut has it's own distinctive style, and sound about as different as anyone could expect from a trio. Though Steve Morgen's guitar is obviously the centerpiece, he seems to bend over backwards to try and not steal the show. As a matter of fact, one of my few complaints about the record might be that the guitar is way too far back in the mix on most cuts, particularly "Begging Your Pardon". But you can help to bring it out with balance and treble adjustments. One more minor criticism (and this is strictly my personal opinion) is that Morgen's voice is, perhaps, a little too "fair" for some of the heavy cuts that he sings. Though this works in his favor on certain cuts ("Of Dreams", "Eternity in Between", and "Purple" in particular), on others ("Welcome to the Void" and "Begging your Pardon"), it would have sounded heavier had his voice been a little rawer and/or harder. Another astonishing fact about this album is that such an overtly psychedelic LP was released on a major label such as ABC Probe. Major label psych releases were few and far between, and this is the star atop the tree. What a shame this was their only album. But for completists, there is 1 single that features a shortened, alternate version of  "Of Dreams", as well as a slightly shortened B-side version of "She's the Night Time", both remixed for mono. I guess the obvious comparison would be with the Hendrix Experience, but I honestly feel this album is more polished than Hendrix, though the quality of song-writing might not be on the same level. I also feel Hendrix was a better power trio guitarist than Morgen, something requiring the simultaneous playing of both lead and rhythm parts. In this respect, Morgen probably would have benefited considerably from a second guitar player. I strongly recommend this to any/all psych fans. It's a true must-have!

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