Friday, January 27, 2017

Geraldo Pino - 1978 - Boogie Fever

Geraldo Pino
Boogie Fever

01. Ganja (Ganja) 07:53
02. 5th Bethoven Africana 04:08
03. Boogie Fever 05:55
04. Dance For Love 06:50
05. African Hustle 05:26
06. Shake Shake Shake 06:48

Does anyone know who the musicians on this album are?

When Geraldo Pino rolled into town from Sierra Leone with his Heartbeats, Nigeria had never seen anything quite like them. Slick, tight and playing the latest James Brown-style funk on the very expensive equipment, they soon had the country in their thrall. ‘Made me fall right on my ass!’ a chastened Fela Kuti remembered in 1982. Fans of Geraldo’s disarmingly eloquent enunciation on early albums – re-issued soon by PMG – may shocked the gruff, rawer tones on Boogie Fever. The album starts with a jaunty reggae track extolling the virtues of ganja and, later, ‘Dance Fever’ sounds like it was recorded down in Trenchtown after Geraldo had taken a toke or two of his own advice. Even the more traditional funk tracks like ‘African Hustle’ have a darker, more threatening vibe. Not that that is a bad thing. Boogie Fever is the sound of consummate musician letting his hair down. Or in Geraldo’s case, letting it grow into a tight afro and not bothering to watch his Ps and Qs anymore. - Peter Moore, / "Geraldo Pino came to Nigeria from Freetown in Sierra Leone in 1968 with his band THE HEARTBEATS and quickly changed the music scene completely. He was the first bandleader that brought sophistication into show business. He owned the best musical equipments, his costumes on stage was fantastic, his musicians were good looking guys with afro hair styles. His drummer then was Francis Foster who later played percussion with Paul Simon. Pino got the title of THE HARDEST WORKING MAN IN SHOW BUSINESS in Nigeria. Girls loved him. I later joined his band with new set of musicians in 1974 as a singer while he based in Kano in the north of Nigeria. To survive in Nigeria those days as a musician you have to be very good on stage and Pino was. His stagecraft was exhilarating, his costumes were dazzling, he command the band and his audience wherever he played with his dancesteps and he became an inspiration to many Musicians. He later moved to Port Harcourt where he lived and died many years ago. Though he is dead, his music lives on through his many songs and this vinyl in your hands. His memory also lived with those who watched him on stage. Ladies and gentle men, this is GERALDO PINO!"

"What's that Discogs? One copy for sale for £4,495.86? Fuck that! I'mma get this official reissue on the rather marvelous PMG if it's alright with you..."

Second hand piss-takery aside, this late 70s slice of groove heavy Afro-funk regularly changes hands for a monkey, so your bank manager should be thanking those fine folk in Austria. Drawing on reggae, disco and funk, Mr Pino gets up, down and all the way around across six party starting, largely instrumental offerings. Any record which starts with a buoyant reggae-disco ode to Barry's favourite plant life ("Ganja") is gonna be dope (ahem!), but when we're then taken through a bordering on ludicrous Afro-funk rendition of Beethoven's 5th, you know we're in safely wasted hands. You could easily assume this discoid arrangement would be whack, but you'd be better served throwing some shapes to the buzzing Moogs, chiming keys and wild wah guitar which make this beast purr. Things straighten out for the full steam ahead funk of title track "Boogie Fever" before "Dance For Love" opens the flip with a weirdo reggae lilt. If you're looking for the best party of your life condensed into five and a half minutes, then you should probably cast an ear over "African Hustle", crack your knuckles and dive into air piano ecstasy. After that Moog-led madness, there's just enough time to spark one up to the Afrobeat-meets-reggae of "Shake Shake Shake" before the run out groove reminds you it's time to pick the kids up from school. Killer!

Triumvirat - 1980 - Russian Roulette

Russian Roulette

01. Party Life (3:28)
02. You Can't Catch Me (4:08)
03. Come with Me (3:59)
04. Games (4:14)
05. Cooler (4:20)
06. The Ballad of Rudy Törner (4:20)
07. We're Rich on What We Got (4:09)
08. Twice (2:45)
09. Rien Ne Vas Plus (4:34)
10. Roxy (6:33)
11. Russian Roulette (5:48)

- Jürgen Fritz / piano, moogs, organ, percussion, synthesizers
- Arno Steffen / lead vocals
- Jeff Porcaro / drums
- Steve Lukather / bass guitar, electric guitar
- Tim May / electric guitar, acoustic guitar
- Robert Greenidge / steel drums
- Neal Stubenhaus / bass
- Pete Christlieb / saxophone, clarinet
- Mike Gong / electric guitar
- David Hungate / bass
- Alan Estis / congas, maracas

From the start, Russian Roulette is nothing like the classic Triumvirat music period that fans knew and loved, and many felt it was a let down because of that. My appreciation and understanding of this record has grown over what was a pretty long span of time. I initially made an error in only judging this album by those the band made previously, and now, after years later, i finally fully realize how much of a mistake that really was.
For years, i refused to give Russian Roulette a second chance, but on re-evaluating this record totally as it's own entity, my view and perspective have changed-it doesn't deserve the bum rap given by so many. The songs are catchy, but not commercial to the point of irritatingly so, and there is diversity here, which creates different moods, and that is actually refreshing. "Party Life" is an infectious song that flirts with an almost new wave/punkish feel and is quite well done. There is the reggae tinged "The Ballad Of Rudy Torner", the upbeat rockers like "Cooler" and "Were Rich On What We've Got", and the more mellow "Rien ne vas Plus"

Different songs for different moods-it is obvious in this musical experiment straying so far from what was tried and true for the band, Triumvirat had no one track mind. And a couple of musical guests from the excellent group Toto, Steve Lukather and Jeff Porcaro, help to diversify and shake things up, creatively.

When guitar player/singer Helmut Koellen left the band after the "Spartacus" tour in 1975, things were never the same, never on the same quality level-they couldn't be, with Koellen absent.

But 1980 was not like 1975, for any band, musically. I have finally come to the conclusion that Russian Roulette should not be ignored because of that. For me, you might say it's uniqueness and diversity has enabled me to grow to like it.

Triumvirat - 1978 - A La Carte

A La Carte

01. Waterfall (4:58)
02. (Oh I'm) Late Again (6:48)
03. Jo Ann Walker (4:46)
04. For You (5:53)
05. I Don't Even Know Your Name (4:47)
06. A Bavarian In New York (5:38)
07. Original Soundtrack From The Movie (3:48)
08. Darlin' (3:46)
09. Good Bye (4:28)

Bonus tracks on EMI remaster (2002):
10. Waterfall [Single Edit]
11. Jo Ann Walker [Single Edit]

- Jürgen Fritz / keyboards
- Matthias Holtmann / drums
- Werner Kopal / bass
- David Hanselmann / vocals
- Richard Hurwitz / trumpet
- Bill Lamb / trumpet
- Mark Isham / trumpet
- Vinnie Fannele / trombone
- Randy Alcroft / trombone
- Marie Robinson / French horn
- Allen Robinson / French horn
- Tommy Johnson / tuba
- Bob Hardaway / tuba
- Jene Cipriano / tuba
- Jules Chaikin / contractor
- Rob Stevens, Jon Osbrink, Jerry Whitman, Stan Farber, Walt Harrah, Larry Kenton, Fred Frank, Bill Brown, Gene Moredro, Gene Merlino, Allan Davies, Diana Lee, Sally Stevens, Terry Stilwell, Gloria G. Prosper, Linda Harmon, Susie McCyne, Darice Richman, Jackie Ward, Sue Allen, Peggy Clark, Myrna Matthews, Jan Gassman, Karen Kenton / singers
- Bill Cole / contractor
- Gordon Marton / conductor violins
- Israel Baker, Michelle Grab, Ken Yerke, Robert Lipsett, Brian Leonard, Robert Dubow, Spiro Stamof, Peter Kent, Mari Tsumura, John Wittenberg, Bonnie Douglas, Linda Rose / concert master
- Sam Bogossian, Denise Buffom, Linda Lipsett, Dan Neufels / violas
- Fred Seykora, Glenn Grab, Juliana Buffom, Gloria Strassner / cellos
- Steve Edelman, Buell Neiblinger / basses

Triumvirat's A La Carte is a quite nice pop-rock effort. Though nothing like the previously heralded progressive masterpieces from the band's past, and that something that a lot of listeners held against this record, if you want tasty pop-rock for a change, (and even a progressive rock fanatic like me gets in that mood sometimes) A La Carte delivers. Though not as diversified as the following Russian Roulette album, there is cohesion here, and the songs fit together quite nicely.
The album is very well produced, and sounds simply wonderful on headphones. Previous vocalist Barry Palmer is around for a few songs here, and Juergen Fritz, the one constantly remaining member, does play some tasty keyboards. The vocals are tastefully done, as well, and always discernible.

Surprisingly, there was no hit single from A La Carte, though the album could be called radio friendly and a potential for the mainstream market. Of course, in 1978, the industry was still in the grips of punk rock, and the emerging "new wave", so progressive groups, even going mainstream like here, still had an uphill climb of it. Come to think of it, though, Triumvirat were never really much a successfully singles oriented band, like some of their more well known colleagues in prog.

When i want full blown progressive rock, of course i don't turn here, and put on Spartacus or Illusions On A Double Dimple, but when i want something easy and fairly light, but still an intriguing listening experience, i go to A La Carte.

Triumvirat - 1977 - Pompeii


01. The Earthquake 62 A.D. (6:18)
02. Journey Of A Fallen Angel (6:15)
03. Viva Pompeii (4:16)
04. The Time Of Your Life...(?) (4:35)
05. The Rich Man And The Carpenter (5:57)
06. Dance On The Volcano (3:31)
07. Vesuvius 79 A.D. (6:40)
08. The Hymn (7:04)

- Jürgen Fritz / Steinway grand piano, Hammond C3 organ, moog synthesizers, Yamaha polyphonic synthesizer CsS-80 & GX-1, ARP string essemble, Fender Rhodes piano, Hohner clavinet, bells, tympani.
- Barry Palmer / lead & background vocals
- Dieter Petereit / Fender, Rickenbacker & Yamaha bassses
- Curt Cress / Gretsh & Fiber drums, roto toms, timbales, Paiste cymbals & gongs, handclaps, moog-synthesized percussion.


- Ulla Wiesner, Hanna Dölitzch, Brigitte Witt / female backing vocals
- Sondra / female vocals on track 4
- String section, Horn section & Choir arranged and conduced by Jürgen Fritz

Triumvirat, is one of the most underrated bands in prog' history, they're often accused of being ELP clones without remembering that their arrangements are so unique that the similarities don't matter at all when the sound is so spectacular as in their first three albums.
After the great commercial and musical success of Illusions on a Double Dimple and Spartacus, the band releases the slightly inferior Old Love Dies Hard, but this time they hire two new musicians Dick Frangenberg for the bass (allowing Köllen to dedicate fully to the guitar) and Barry Palmer as lead vocalist due to the problem of Jürgen with his hard German accent, but after this release Köllen and Bathelt leave Triumvirat, leaving Fritz as the only original member of the once great trio.

Of course Jürgen Fritz was not happy with he idea of an early retirement at the peak of his career, so he makes a slight change in the name of the band to The New Triumvirat and he stays as the only official member inviting Peter Pettereit for the guitar and bass, Curt Cress in Percussion and Barry Palmer as vocalist.

With this lineup The New Triumvirat releases another conceptual album about Roman history, this time not about gladiators and wars but about the natural cataclysm and volcanic explosion in Pompeii.

Being a Triumvirat fan and feeling that they could do a great work about this concept bought Pompeii the same day it was released, but it was a big disillusion,

The album starts very promising with the Earthquake that has a very similar sound and atmosphere as Spartacus, great changes, and strong keyboard solos made me believe Pompeii could be another masterpiece, but the reality was different, immediately after this song ends the dream vanishes.

It's evident at the first listen that the music has almost no relation with the concept, the arrangements without Köllen and Bathelt are far bellow Triumvirat's level, Barry Palmer sounds like a bad version of Sting that makes me miss Jürgen's accent but great voice and Curt Cress is good but not in the level of Bathelt.

The second song Journey of a fallen Angel is a clear example of most of the album, Fritz has good ideas but doesn't has the help required to develop them, seems the band doesn't know where are they going.

But not everything is bad, Fritz abilities as a composer still are present in moments of the album like in Viva Pompeii, The Rich Man and the Carpenter and Dance on the Volcano, songs in which remains the great sound that turned the German trio one of the best bands outside the UK and made me dream of a better future for The Rat. This are by far the best tracks of the album

It will be long and boring to comment song by song this album because there's not much more to be said. Only want to add that the most important achievement of The New Triumvirat in Pompeii is that we can still listen the great keyboard virtuoso Jürgen Fritz at the peak of his abilities.

Triumvirat - 1976 - Old Loves Die Hard

Old Loves Die Hard 

01. I Believe (7:52)
02. A Day In A Life (8:14)
    a) Uranus' dawn (2:57)
    b) Pisces at noon (3:51)
    c) Panorama dusk (1:21)
03. The History Of Mistery (Part One) (7:50)
04. The History Of Mistery (Part Two) (4:00)
05. A Cold Old Worried Lady (5:50)
06. Panic On Fifth Avenue (10:31)
07. Old Loves Die Hard (4:28)

8. Take A Break Today (3:44)

- Hans Bathelt / Slingerland percussion
- Dick Frangenberg / Fender bass
- Jürgen Fritz / Steinway Grand piano, Hammond C3 organ, Moog synthesizers, Fender, Wurlitzer & Hohner pianos, ARP string ensemble
- Barry Palmer / lead vocals

Additional credits:

- The Cologne Children Choir on 1
- Jane Palmer / backing vocals on 7
- Charly Schlimbach / saxophones on 2
- Sondra / spoken words (money!) on 1
Strings on 5 arranged and conduced by Jürgen Fritz

What a memorable album. Well, I may write a novel about this excellent album. Musically, this album is not as excellent as ELP or KC or Genesis around the time of this release. However, the musical nuances created by this album remind me clearly on my teenage times when I kept on waiting everyday about "what's next" rock album available in local record store. Hey, at that time we did not know what is prog or not prog; we just loved rock music but were not aware about the prog categorization. Secondly, there was no internet and I had a (very) limited access to international music magazine like Muzik Express. So, no news about upcoming rock albums. No "pre-order: kind of thing like we have nowadays under digital era. I just wait at the record shop. Everyday! Yeah, music was my passion since childhood - no music, no life!
When this album came out, it blew me with the "The History of Mystery". I like the catchy introduction part with nice piano melody and great voice of Barry Palmer. "Give me a chance to see through my reason. Wasting my time because I was so young ." uuughh . man . this melody has been killing me everytime I play the CD. Overall track (part 1 and 2) is heavily influenced by ELP. If you like ELP, there might be two outcomes I guess would happen after first listen: you like it because it's similar in composition (even though much simpler, I would say), or you completely hate it and say "ELP ripp-offs!". Whatever your comment, my appreciation about this album stays intact. It's still an excellent album for me.

"A Cold Old Worried Lady" is not a prog (at all!) song but . it's really a great tune! Again, the harmony of Barry's vocal and Jurgen's piano touch is really top notch! It's accessible to many people.

"I Believe" is a track that my colleagues and I - who at that time claimed our-self die hard fans of rock music - use to voice outloud our passion on rock: "I sold my soul to rock'n'roll and never got it back ..". It's the opening lyric of this track. The track combines the pop, classical, jazz and sort of "prog" (that I knew later) elements. It's a simpler form of ELP music, I would say. It's an enjoyable track.

"A day in a life" is a simple instrumental piece using keyboard and piano as lead melody. Classical music influence appears strongly. "Panic on 5th Avenue" is an excellent track exploring Jurgen Fritz' similarities with Keith Emerson. It's definitely very close to ELP music. I love the solo keyboard / synthesizer during the interlude part. "Old loves die hard" concludes the album with a slow style and classical influence. Great composition, excellent melody. I think this final track is also accessible to most music buffs.

I think this album is an excellent addition to any prog collection. Highly recommended. Keep on progging!

Triumvirat - 1975 - Spartacus


01. The Capital Of Power (3:13)
02. The School Of Instant Pain (6:22)
- a. Proclamation
- b. The Gladiator's Song
- c. Roman Entertainment
- d. The Battle
03. The Walls Of Doom (3:56)
04. The Deadly Dream Of Freedom (3:54)
05. The Hazy Shades Of Dawn (3:09)
06. The Burning Sword Of Capua (2:41)
07. The Sweetest Sound Of Liberty (2:35)
08. The March To The Eternal City (8:46)
- a. Dusty Road
- b. Italian Improvisation
- c. First Success
09. Spartacus (7:38)
- a. The Superior Force of Rome
- b. A Broken Dream
- c. The Finale

- Jürgen Fritz / electric & grand pianos, Hammond organ, Moog & ARP String synths, producer
- Helmut Köllen / bass, acoustic & electric guitars, vocals
- Hans Bathelt / drums, percussion

After the great artistic success of Illusions in a Double Dimple, The Rat strikes again with the Conceptual and epic album Spartacus. Based in the story of the Gladiator who lead an insurrection against the all mighty Rome, this album is almost as good as the previous (even when some people believe it's better). The concept of course is simpler because the history can't be changed, but this leaves less artistic freedom to the band.
TRIUMIRAT managed to keep the same lineup with Jürgen Fritz, Helmut Köllen and Hans Bathelt that worked so well, and the result couldn't be better, with more clear ELP influence but with much better arrangements, Spartacus is an album that is worth to have in any collection.

The Capital of Power is a magnificent overture or introduction (choose the adjective that fits better for your taste); totally instrumental resumes the epic atmosphere of the album and gives the listener a clear idea about the whole concept. If I had to describe musically the greatness of ancient Rome, there a no doubt I would choose this excellent track of amazing keyboard and extremely accurate drumming.

School of Instant Pain is a small multi part epic that starts with a very beautiful piano solo, which is followed by the classic vocals of Helmut Köllen, a great voice but still keeps the hard German accent. The song develops as a powerful ballad where Helmut's voice and Bathelt drums add enough strength too keep the interest. In the middle of the track there's an interesting jazz/march section where Jürgen Fritz keyboards and piano are outstanding, somehow when you listen this section, the ELP sound is present, but not as a copy, only a strong inspiration. At the end a psychedelic keyboard, bass and drums passage gives a clear perspective of the Gladiator's training, even without a single word.

The Walls of Doom is not one of the best tracks, the marching music intro sounds weak, but the final keyboard and drums section is probably enough to save the song and again provide enough power.

The Deadly Dream of Freedom is a very beautiful ballad mainly for vocals and piano which narrates the moment when the idea of Liberty is born in Spartacus mind idea that's expressed in the phrase "I have a dream that we can make it", before the end we can listen a keyboard section reminiscent of ELP and of course a touch of extra piano, where Jürgen Fritz shows his skills with the keys.

The Hazy Shades of Dawn starts as another march but changes into a more complex tune again very reminiscent of ELP but with the characteristic and unique style of The Rat.

Burning Sword of Capua starts with an absolutely baroque Hammond solo, but what impresses me more is that Bathelt keeps the military drumming to maintain the revolutionary and epic atmosphere, also changes into a very complex and progressive Hammond based song with some good changes.

The sweetest Sound of Liberty is another beautiful and powerful ballad where the rhythm section provides unusual power and strength for a soft and beautiful tune, a song of contrasts, simply delightful.

The March to the Eternal City is another multi part mini epic, the first part Dusty Road works as an introduction for the track, starts as a slow march followed by a vocal part where all the band is amazing, in some way expresses the difficult march of the rebels to Rome, the piano adds dramatics to this first part. Italian Improvisation is an extremely complex section with crossed rhythms and complex keyboards. The last part The Battle, a frantic short section where the listener can feel the fight.

The album couldn't end in a different way than with "Spartacus" another mini epic divided in three songs, The Superior force of Rome, A Broken Dream and Finale, again a complex track full of contrasts and changes, that mixes with great talent frenetic battle sections softer tunes full of nostalgia with sadness and jazzy chords, simply progressive rock at it's best expression.

IMHO Spartacus is not as brilliant, innovative and free as Illusions in a Double Dimple because of the historic frame that leaves little room for the personal expression, but The Rat does a hell of a job even with the limitations.

Triumvirat - 1974 - Illusions on a Double Dimple

Illusions on a Double Dimple

01. Illusions On A Double Dimple (22:59)
- a. Flashback (0:54)
- b. Schooldays (3:20)
- c. Triangle (6:55)
- d. Illusions (1:40)
- e. Dimplicity (5:28)
- f. Last dance (4:42)
02. Mister Ten Percent (21:22)
- a. Maze (3:01)
- b. Dawning (1:01)
- c. Bad Deal (1:40)
- d. Roundabout (5:49)
- e. Lucky Girl (4:32)
- f. Million Dollars (5:19)

Total Time 44:32

Bonus tracks on Harvest/EMI 2002 remaster:
03. Dancer's Delight [Single] (3:34)
04. Timothy [Single ] (4:10)
05. Dimplicity [Edited Single version] (3:17)
06. Million Dollars [Edited Single version] (2:35)

- Jürgen Fritz / grand piano, Hammond organ, Moog synth, electric piano, vocals, producer, arrangements & direction (choir, strings & brass)
- Helmut Köllen / bass, acoustic & electric guitars, vocals
- Hans Bathelt / drums, percussion

- Karl Dewo / saxophone solo (2)
- Hans Pape / bass (1)
- The Cologne Opera House Orchestra / strings (violins, violas & celli)
- The Kurt Edelhagen Brass Section / brass (trumpets, trombones & tenor saxes)
- Peter Cadera / spoken words (1)
- Hanna Dölitzsch / backing vocals
Vanetta Fields,
- Brigitte Thomas / backing vocals
- Ulla Wiesner / backing vocals

When I ask my friends about "Illusions on a Double Dimple", most of them seem to like the music, but almost everyone believes TRIUMVIRAT is some kind of "B" class band that cloned ELP music, IMHO they are all wrong, the band's music and specially their wonderful arrangements are so unique and well designed that "Illusions a Double Dimple" is at least as strong as the best ELP album, but totally different. They may sound similar because both bands work as a power trio The Rat uses some ELP influences but for nothing more, and it's totally unfair to call them clones or copyists. Lets try to kill the myth man by man:
Jürgen Fritz is an excellent keyboardist and multi instrumentalist plus a talented composer, his style has an obvious influence of Keith Emerson, but his style is absolutely different, while Keith is worried about creating a bombastic or epic sounds, Jürgen tries to be less spectacular but much more solid, probably less classical oriented (by choice not for lack of skills or training), Fritz music flows in a gentler way even when the song's structure forces him to do dramatic changes.

Helmut Köllen was a very talented guitars and bass player (As Greg Lake), but in this case I believe Hans has a much smaller ego, he never tries to shine over the band, he played for TRIUMVIRAT and not for his glory, something Greg forgets some times. He also had a great voice but a terrible German accent. When he left the bad tried to make a solo career but in 1977 sadly died while listening his unreleased tracks in the car poisoned by carbon monoxide.

Hans Bathelt style at drums is the opposite of Carl Palmer; even though he's very strong his roots are obviously in Jazz more than in classical (which is Carl's main influence), he's less solid in the bass drums but his work with metals is amazing.

"Illusions on a Double Dimple" is a perfect band work where personal ambitions are left aside for the wealth of the band, they even called Hans Pape (an ex-member) to help them with the bass in almost all side A, the arrangements for the Cologne House Symphony Orchestra and the Kurt Edelhagen brass section are simply delightful and imaginative, similar to nothing ELP had ever done before 1973.

As not many people know it's a conceptual album about the personal views of life that the band had in the early 70's. The album is divided in two multi-song epics.

"ILLUSIONS ON A DOUBLE DIMPLE" is IMHO the stronger of both epics, the radical changes are amazing and the entire band is perfect, being of course Jürgen Fritz absolutely spectacular. This first side of the album is divided in six songs and begins with "Flashback", a melancholic piano and vocals introduction that resumes the spirit of the side, expressing their fears about life and death. The change between this song and the second one "Schooldays" is amazing, they turn from sadness to a bright and happy sound but keeping the melancholic atmosphere, the guitar work is amazing.

Song three "Triangle" starts with a soft piano and rhythmic triangle sound that's soon followed by the rest of the band, taking gently the music towards a short but beautiful chorus (by Ulla Wiesner, Brigitte Thomas & Hanna Dolitzsch), but then the song changes to a more aggressive synth based sound, that at the end changes to a very complex section where the members of the band really rock, specially Hans Pape in the bass. This hard section is constantly interrupted by choral fragments,. pure prog' rock!!! After a couple more changes more, the song ends with a beautiful keyboards and vocal section that leads to the fourth song.

"Illusions" is probably the one of the most beautiful songs of the whole album despite it's short duration, starts with a spoken section by Peter Cadera, a bit mysterious and would be sad if it wasn't for his strong accent which is a bit shocking, this short intro is followed by a vocal and piano passage very dramatic and again melancholic, with the chorus that adds a bit of drama, if anyone still believed TRIUMVIRAT sounded like ELP, should have changed his mind by this point, the Manticore band never did something remotely similar to this song.

The next song "Dimplicity" starts with a fast and light drumming, followed by the voice of Köllen, and supported by the same chorus that smoothes at least a bit his hard accent. The changes are also dramatic with complex polyphonic sound and crossed rhythms, another wonderful track, the epic has reached the climax with the chorus acting as an additional instrument that replaces the absence of mellotron, great apotheosis!!!

The last song of the first epic "Last Dance" starts with a jazzy drum that leads to a change where the keyboards take the lead, at this point I find more reminiscences of ELP, a short complex passage constantly interrupted by keyboard sections lead to the end with a strong rock & roll passage, 23:11 minutes of great progressive Rock.

Side B (original LP format) presents the second epic "MISTER TEN PERCENT" also divided in 6 songs, the introduction "Maze" starts stronger than side A, with a jazzy piano supported by horns, shocking chorals but when the whole band enters they reach a more aggressive sound, almost violent specially for the solid drumming. Ends with a section that reminds me a bit of Peter Gunn especially for the strong bass, this time played by Helmut Köllen.

Without any interruption starts the second song "Dawning", softer than the previous and more like side A, with a extremely beautiful piano track that is dramatically stopped by the famous Mister Ten Percent lyrics which announce the next song "Bad Deal", that sounds as a threaten against an abusive landlord, supported by a beautiful keyboard section the song ends with a jazzy section with the peculiar style of Triumvirat, a band that can change style in a matter of fraction of seconds. Hans Bathelt does his stronger job with the drums and Köllen's bass is stronger than ever.

The next song "Roundabout" is the first point where ELP and TRIUMVIRAT meet in an obvious way, a song that carries the spirit of Tarkus, but again the arrangements are so unique that never turns into a cheap copy, they work the influence in a very professional style.

"Lucky Girl" is the softer song of the album and the only one composed by Helmut Köllen, in this case the acoustic guitar and the name are a clear reference to Lucky Man, but even when the song is almost a ballad (or power ballad), has no relation with the ELP hit, except maybe for the keyboard section that sounds very familiar to ELP fans even when the track ends totally different and join immediately with the closer song "Million Dollars", which works as a nostalgic summary of the atmosphere of the album, the ending section is again extremely beautiful and a bit sad, great song.

I don't usually justify my ratings, but in this case I will make an exception, the album is one of the most clearly progressive ones I ever heard, the music, production, arrangements and skills of the musicians are wonderful, probably TRIUMVIRAT is the best German band and IMHO Illusions on a Double Dimple is their best album, there are some obvious influences but every band must be influenced by somebody.

Triumvirat - 1972 - Mediterranean Tales

Mediterranean Tales

01. Across The Waters (16:31)
- a. Overture
- b. Taxident
- c. Mind Tripper
- d. 5 O'Clock Tea
- e. Satan's Breakfast
- f. Underture
02. Eleven Kids (6:00)
03. E Minor 5/9 Minor /5 (7:55)
04. Broken Mirror (7:14)

Total Time: 37:00

Bonus tracks on EMI remaster (2002):
05. Be Home For Tea [Edit] (3:38)
06. Broken Mirror [Edit](3:24)
07. Ride In The Night (4:28)
08. Sing Me A Song (4:37)

- Hans Pape / bass, vocals
- Hans Bathelt / drums, percussion
-Jürgen Fritz / organ, electric piano, piano, synthesizer, percussion, vocals

In 1972 this German trio had the courage to start their careers releasing a semi conceptual album in a foreign language, and they did a great job. Often dismissed by critics as a "B" class ELP clones, Triumvirat is far from being that simple, specially because Mediterranean Tales is a Symphonic album and ELP is a Classic Prog' band something absolutely different, we know of course "The Rat" and specially Fritz have some Emerson influence (they are declared fans of "The Nice") but their arrangements and lyrics are absolutely unique that deserve much more recognition than they got.
Must add that I believe Triumvirat at their peak is not less than ELP and most of the "big 5" prog' bands.

The founding members were Jürgen Fritz , Hans Bathelt and Werner Frangenberg but the third one decided to continue his career in a pop band, so he was replaced by Hans Pape, a talented bassist and very decent vocalist, this is the lineup that recorded Mediterranean Tales.

Incredibly the album starts with a 16 minutes multi part epic "Across the Waters" in which the band combines various classical influences that go from Baroque to Romantic, Jurgen Fritz is impeccable with his keyboards even when his German accent is hard to swallow by purists. A very good song and impressive starting point for a career.

"Eleven Kids" is a simpler song, which starts with a classical keyboard instrumental strongly supported by powerful bass and drums, but soon changes into a simpler tune where the band shows their pop side even when you can find some psychedelic fugues and classical chords, weaker than the previous but still pretty good track.

"E Minor 5/9" is a more eclectic song with strange timing where bass and drums carry the weight of the music except in the middle srction where a psychedelic keys semi solo breaks the repetitive rhythm and gives extra brightness, probably the track that reminds me more of The Nice or early ELP.

The original album ends with "Broken Mirror" which IMO is the best track because the band shows what their classical sound will be, incredible piano and complex structure that prepares the listener for Triumvirat's next two releases adding a jazz fusion section.

The Digital Remaster edition contains four more tracks "Be Home by Tea" (edition of part of the opening Track), an also edited version of "Broken Mirror" and two more songs ("Ride in the Night" and "Sing Me a Song") that probably didn't reached the original album due to the limitations of the vinyl format, but much weaker than the all the previous.

A very good album even when the band is not in the peak of their creativity that will be reached with Illusions on a Double Dimple and Spartacus. An excellent addition for any prog' collection and a must have for Triumvirat fans.

Trapeze - 2003 - Live at the Boat Club 1975

Live at the Boat Club 1975

01. Back Street Love 5:13
02. You Are The Music 5:20
03. Jury 14:00
04. Star Breaker 3:37
05. Way Back To The Bone 9:44
06. Medusa 8:08
07. Black Cloud 15:31
08. Sunny Side Of The Street 2:58
09. The Raid 3:55

Bass – Pete Wright
Drums – Dave Holland
Guitar – Rob Kendrick
Guitar, Vocals – Mel Galley
Synthesizer – Terry Rowley

Recorded on 13th September 1975

Trapeze began in Wolverhampton, England in March 1969. The original five piece band consisted of Mel Galley, Glen Hughes, Dave Holland and ex-Montanas John Jones and Terry Rowley. They made their television debut on July 7th 1969 on the BBC show 'Colour Me Pop' which showcased new talent in the music industry. It was eagerly viewed by the A&R departments of record companies looking to sign new bands to their roster. Trapeze walked off with the 'Most Popular Group' award and were besieged by offers of recording contracts. They eventually settled with the Moody Blues label Threshold and recorded their first album simply titled Trapeze' in 1969, which received rave reviews and important airplay on the BBC's Radio 1.

With tours booked to take in both Europe and America, an underlying change of direction started to develop in the camp. The gentler harmonies on their first album were to get heavier and this led to both Rowley and Jones leaving the band. Trapeze then became a trio of Mel Galley, Glen Hughes and Dave Holland, which played with a higher energy, harder rock approach. Their second album 'Medusa' containing the classic tracks 'Black Cloud' and 'Jury' was released on 13th November 1970 to excellent reviews. It proved to be the watershed of their career and it started a growing interest in the USA with big demand from concert promoters and radio stations. The largest fan base developed in the South as Trapeze shared equal billing with bands like ZZ Top, headlining large arenas. In Houston, they sold out two shows in one night, literally bringing the house down as the balcony collapsed due to excess fans and weight.

The demand from America meant that Trapeze made fewer appearances in their native UK, although when they did return, Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham would always try and catch up with the band, often joining them on stage for the encore. He once said that "Trapeze are the best three piece band I have ever seen". Other fans of the band included: Gary Moore, Jimmy Page, Bonnie Rait, David Bowie, Chaka Khan and Stevie Wonder. Due to their hectic touring schedule, there was no new album from the band in 1971 as they didn't have time to write new material. However, in the summer of 1972, sessions with a new producer began for their next album, which was finished by December. The third I album titled 'You Are The Music..We're Just The Band' was a classic and again received universal critical acclaim. The new material added depth and merged funk and soul with " white power rock. In just three and a half years, the band had notched up six tours of America and two classic rock albums. It was regarded in the States that Trapeze were just one album away from superstar status but in June 1973, things were about to change. After : watching the band several times, Deep Purple 3 on the look-out for someone to fill the vacancy left by departing bass guitarist Roger Glover,  made Glen Hughes an offer few could have refused. Glenn joined Purple in time for the 'BURN' sessions and tour, initially seen as a . devastating blow to Trapeze.

Having finished with Warners, Trapeze then played a series of live gigs to complete their existing commitments as a band before they temporarily disbanded. This live set was recorded during that period, originally for a live radio broadcast. It captures the band in fine form playing funky riffs and favourite songs to a small enthusiastic audience at Nottingham's legendary Boat Club, a venue which has seen many major British rock bands pass through. Just weeks later, Mel Galley and Dave Holland had joined up with ex-Moody Blues John Lodge and Justin Hayward in The Blue Jays. Trapeze reformed in late 1976 with Pete Goalby taking over the vocals for the album 'Hold On'. In 1979 original drummer Dave Holland decided to quit the band and join heavy metal band- Judas Priest, notching up seven albums and countless world tours. Trapeze finally disbanded again in 1981 when guitarist Mel Galley joined David Coverdale's Whitesnake touring the world non stop for the next two years. In 1994, to celebrate their 25*n anniversary, Trapeze reformed once more with the 'Medusa' trio of Galley, Hughes and Holland touring both the UK and their old stomping ground the USA.

It was great fun recording and touring with the band throughout the 1970s. I suppose overall, my favourite album was 'You Are The Music' but when Glen left the band, we still had much to offer and decided to become a four piece adding Rob and Pete who quickly gelled together. After a short period of rehearsals, we left for a US  tour and then went in to record studio sessions for our 1974 album 'Hot Wire'which I still think is a great album. Our sound while still funky, became more harder, rockier and less souly. We introduced some of the new songs and I took over all the vocals and, shared lead guitar with Rob using as always my black Les Paul. I didn't really go for effects but used an occasional wah wah. One of my favourite tracks to play live was 'Black Cloud' which remained in the set throughout the 1970s. We were playing large 10-20,000 seater venues in the southern states where we had a strong following. One of the highlights I guess, was playing the Cotton Bowl in Dallas with The Stones, The Eagles and Montrose. Although we played smaller venues when returning back home, it was good to play venues like The Marquee and The Boat Club where there was always a great noisy crowd and good rocking atmosphere. This recording was made just before we decided to take a break. Our record contract had finished and we wanted time to write new material. It was one of the last gigs by the four piece of Dave, Pete, Rob and myself. Hope you like it.
by Mel Galley 2003

Trapeze - 1998 - Welcome to the Real World--Live 1992

Welcome to the Real World--Live 1992

01. You Are The Music
02. Way Back To The Bone
03. Welcome To The Real World
04. Coast To Coast
05. Midnight Flyer
06. Homeland
07. Touch My Life
08. Your Love Is Allright
09. Black Cloud

Bass, Vocals – Glenn Hughes
Drums – Dave Holland
Guitar – Mel Galley
Keyboards – Geoff Downes

Holy frickin' smokes, this is one incredible one-off "reunion" shows specially recorded. Glenn Hughes, Mel Galley and Dave Holland are in fine, funk if not rockin' form. Accompanied by Asia's Geoff Downes of keyboards, Trapeze fly high from the start. All of their well known songs are here, plus two additional ones, Homeland and Welcome to the Real World. The 2 newer ones are also featured on Glenn Hughes/Geoff Downes "The Work Tapes" CD, which released in 1991 was a collection of studio quality demos. The 2 vary much, as Trapeze perform them with actual drums and guitar that make them very good songs while on the Work Tapes they came across as light pop music. Aside from that though, this concert demonstrates the powerfulness behind Glenn Hughes voice. Anyone who was BLOWN away by his own Burning Japan Live CD in 1994 and even on the Tommy Bolin 1997 tribute release will be tickled to death to hear him on this, he is absolutly astonishing! This is the closet he comes to sounding like the voice he had in the 70's, shattering glass once again. Mel Galley and Dave Holland also shine on this. Mel's guitar playing is still good, even after years of hand problems, you'd never know it here. He even gets in a vocal shot on Midnight Flyer, giving Hughes a break in the action. Dave Holland, who drummed for the Mighty Priest almost the entire 80's , get's down and dirty on this. Him and Hughes lock in some of the tightest and nastiest funk rhythms ever heard. Geoff Downes, the unoffical Trapeze member is around. He safely stays low throughout the entire show except for the new songs and getting into the extended jams here and there. I thought at first it'd be a bit annoying heringa keyboard in the funk sound but i was surprised just how little i heard after listening. Fans of Hughes, funk, rock, soul music should get this. Fans of Purple, Whitesnake, and Priest, this is an acquired tatse, but a delicious one at that!

Trapeze - 1998 - Way Back to the Bone - Live

Way Back to the Bone - Live

01. Way Back To The Bone
02. You Are The Music (We're Just The Band)
03. Seafull
04. Your Love Is Alright
05. Medusa
06. Black Cloud
07. Keepin' Time
08. Touch My Life

Bass, Vocals – Glenn Hughes
Drums – Dave Holland
Guitar – Mel Galley

The early '70s saw some of hard rock's all-time great acts truly hit their stride -- perhaps more so than any other time in the history of rock. And one group that seemed destined for greatness during this era was Trapeze, who were a bit of a stylistic chameleon -- that could effortlessly shift from doing Black Sabbath-y metal to Stevie Wonder-like funk. But for various reasons, Trapeze never reached the stratosphere like many of their contemporaries did. However, many consider the group to have been an extraordinary live act, and the concert compilation, Live: Way Back to the Bone, certainly has its moments of sonic evidence. Containing previously unreleased material recorded live in 1972 -- and featuring only the definitive Glenn Hughes-Mel Galley-Dave Holland lineup -- Live: Way Back to the Bone features solid renditions of such Trapeze classics as the funk-rockers "You Are the Music" and the title track, as well as the slowly building headbanger, "Medusa." While probably not the definitive Trapeze live document (since it is not a complete performance), Live: Way Back to the Bone does deliver a showcase of standouts from the Hughes-Galley-Holland songbook.

One of the finest 3 piece bands ever this recording which I believe started life as a radio show from Texas I think circa the You are the music album so 1972. It's a good live recording ie :- raw 70's hard rock soulful and at times bluesy. Glenn was still to fully develop his vocal prowess but it still stands up fantastically. The performance of "Seafull" introduced as not having performed for 2 years but being done by special request is unbelievably wonderful powerful and soulful  and "Medusa" stands out as a superb hard rock #. Not a bad track here and I'm hovering between 4.5 and 5 stars , because I appreciate that some expect polished perfection from rock, this is not polished .. but has a quality that transcends that.

Trapeze - 1981 - Live In Texas - Dead Armadillos

Live In Texas - Dead Armadillos

01. Back Street Love
02. Hold On
03. Midnight Flyer
04. You Are The Music We're Just The Band
05. Black Cloud
06. Way Back To The Bone

Recorded At – Opry House, Austin, Texas

Mel Galley - guitars, vocals
Pete Goalby - lead vocals, guitar
Pete Wright - bass
Steve Bray - drums

By 1981, only guitarist Mel Galley remained in Trapeze from its original line-up. Glenn Hughes had left and returned and left again, years earlier. Dave Holland was settling in as drummer for Judas Priest. A new singer had been added to invigorate the band's sound. And a drummer who knew the Trapeze library had been found. In this form, Trapeze took the stage in Austin, Texas in May 1981 and recorded what would be the group's last album, "Live In Texas -- Dead Armadillos."
On the opening track, "Back Street Love" from the 1974 "Hot Wire" album, Galley's guitar work is peppy, and it heats up as the songs progress. His solo on "Midnight Flyer," also from "Hot Wire," stays fairly true to the studio version, with a bit of added energy. Galley keeps the momentum going with crisp, quick bursts on "You Are The Music" and "Way Back To The Bone," both pulled from 1972's "You Are The Music ... We're Just The Band."
Singer/guitarist Pete Goalby does most of the lead vocals during this performance, respectably handling lines sung originally by Hughes or Galley. "Hold On," the title track from a 1979 Trapeze record, does give Goalby a chance to sing one for Austin that he also did in the studio. He lacks Hughes' range and dynamic sound but still manages a solid version of "Black Cloud," the only song here drawn from Trapeze's "Medusa" album. Galley takes verse two of "Black Cloud" and makes you wish he hadn't. Here and elsewhere in this live set, Galley's vocals are flat. You keep hoping he'll find the range he shows on the studio recordings, but he doesn't. Whether it's wear and tear from a long tour or just a bad night, he can't quite reach the pitch.
Less the weak vocals from Galley, the six songs and 42 minutes of music on "Live In Texas" show that the band could still please a rock 'n' roll crowd. Bassist Pete Wright sounds lively in spots. And drummer Steve Bray is steady, if somewhat mechanical. Crowd noise can be heard but isn't distracting. And happily there's little banter with the audience included here -- something that spoils some live recordings.
"Live In Texas -- Dead Armadillos" is not the album to buy for someone who's just getting to know Trapeze. It's not the album for fans whose interest in Trapeze keys on Glenn Hughes. It's not even the best choice from among the Mel Galley era of Trapeze recordings. But for enthusiasts of the band, here's a healthy taste of the group at the close of its career.

Trapeze - 1978 - Hold On

Hold On

01 Don't Ask Me How I Know
02 Take Good Care
03 When You Get To Heaven
04 Livin' On Love
05 Hold On
06 Don't Break My Heart
07 Running
08 You Are
09 Time Will Heal

This album originally released in Germany in 1978 under the name "Running" with a different track order and album cover. A re-sequenced version with a different cover and title "Hold On" was later released in the U.K. and other countries in 1979 and in the U.S. market in 1980.

Mel Galley – guitars, vocals
Dave Holland – drums, percussion
Pete Goalby – lead vocals, guitar
Pete Wright – bass

Steve Huey called Hold On by Trapeze, reissued on CD in 1998, their "final proper studio album (and) quite possibly their best, as the group had perfected the sort of blustery heavy rock that filled arenas in the mid- to late-'70s." Credit must be given to the late producer of the Rolling Stones, Jimmy Miller, who smoothed out the gruff sound of a band like Motörhead, handing that particular group Overkill and Bomber, two metal classics that would not be the same without the production maestro's participation. Miller was also involved with the Plasmatics at this point in time, working multiple projects by influential bands who may not have had the impact of Jagger and Richards, but were still musically vital. So, too, with the straight-ahead blues-rock of Trapeze featuring founding members Mel Galley and Dave Holland. Miller tightens up their sound and puts it in a very proper setting, Savoy Brown with a bit of an edge. Mr. Jimmy's appreciation of the fusion of blues and rock was fundamental to his production style, and though there are none of his trademark percussion sounds here, extras that frosted the cake for artists from the Rolling Stones to Johnny Thunders, the three Pete Goalby originals, and six songs from guitarist Mel Galley play with briskness and uniform continuity from track to track. The toughness of "Take Good Care" and "When You Get to Heaven" is matched by the two best songs on the disc, the poppy title track, "Hold On," and the exquisite slow sustain of "Time Will Heal." You can hear Bad Company and Humble Pie in the grooves, the last song reflected in the back cover of a full moon and clouds against a night sky. It also recalls music Jimmy Miller created ten years earlier with the Hungarian group Locomotiv GT and Doug Fieger of Sky (later, the Knack). "Don't Break My Heart" veers off from Rolling Stones to Free, solid British rock with bite. Hold On by Trapeze may have a second life as Jimmy Miller's work outside of the Stones finds renewed appreciation.

Trapeze - 1975 - Trapeze

1975 -

01. Star Breaker 3:30
02. It's Alright 4:12
03. Chances 2:30
04. The Raid 2:45
05. Sunny Side Of The Street 2:40
06. Gimme Good Love 3:10
07. Monkey 3:40
08. I Need You 4:35
09. Soul Stealer 3:30
10. Nothin' For Nothing 3:53

Mel Galley – guitar, vocals
Rob Kendrick – guitar
Pete Wright – bass
Dave Holland – drums
Glenn Hughes – vocals on tracks 3 and 10

Refusing to succumb to defeat, Trapeze regrouped, this time adding two new members to fill the void left by Hughes whilst founding member Mel Galley assumed lead vocal duties. ‘Hot Wire’, the resultant album, was an impressive statement, sending out an unequivocal message that the band was far from spent. Indeed, their stature in the US and especially Texas, was further enhanced with intensive gigging and chart success. For their fifth album (confusingly self titled) the band continued their musical assault, unleashing a record that was more consistent with arena rock of the mid seventies.

Released in 1976, produced by Steve Smith (Back Street Crawler, Rough Diamond and Detective) and recorded in London at Island Studios (mixed by an uncredited Eddie Kramer), the record showcases defiant swagger, and riffs to die for. It even contains two songs featuring Glenn Hughes who had remained a staunch supporter of the band.

Trapeze - 1974 - Hot Wire

Hot Wire

01. Back Street Love 5:02
02. Take It On Down The Road 4:46
03. Midnight Flyer 4:02
04. Wake Up, Shake Up 3:56
05. Turn It On 5:12
06. Steal A Mile 4:53
07. Goin' Home 5:12
08. Feel It Inside 8:44

Mel Galley – guitar, lead vocals, backing vocals (tracks 3, 5, 6 and 8), slide guitar (track 6)
Rob Kendrick – guitar, backing vocals, production
Pete Wright – bass, backing vocals, production
Dave Holland – drums

Terry Rowley – synthesizers and backing vocals (tracks 3, 5, 6 and 7) organ (track 2), electric piano (track 8)
Kenny Cole – backing vocals (tracks 3, 5, 6 and 8)
Misty Browning – backing vocals (tracks 3, 5, 6 and 8)
John Ogden – congas (tracks 2, 3 and 8)
Chris Mercer – saxophone (tracks 2 and 6)

After Glenn Hughes departed in June of 1973 to join Deep Purple, Holland and Galley kept the band going with a varying line-up of members until 1979 when Holland went on to join Judas Priest. Holland tried to revive the band back in 1990 after leaving Judas Priest, but the band finally broke up in 1994.

Hot Wire is the fourth studio album by the band, and the first to be recorded since the departure of Glenn Hughes.  Replacing him was Pete Wright.  This line-up also included second guitarist Rob Kendrick, joining Galley on vocals/guitar and Holland on drums.  It was also the second album produced by Neil Slaven in 1974 for Warner Bros. Records.

To be truthful, before doing this review, I had never even heard of this band, but I wish I would have. If you like good rock and roll with a little bit of funk and fun to it, then this Trapeze is for you!
While best known for his guitar skills, Mel Galley does an amazing job on vocals on this album.  This guy can sing... and I mean sing!  Peter Wright lets his presence be known, as his bass is over-the-top on the first track on the album titled "Back Street Love," which also happens to be my favorite track on the disc.  

"Wake Up Shake Up" has more great vocals from Galley, but it’s the twin guitars that make this a really fun and catchy rock song.  "Turn it On" and "Feel it Inside" feature guitar riffs that are just amazing. Kendrick can play as good, or better, than some of the bigger name guitar players out there. If you like some funk with your rock then "Midnight Flyer" is a track you’re going to get down and get funky with; it’s true ‘70s funk with a little bit of rock thrown in for good measure!  

Over-all this is a good album, it makes me want to go out and pick up their other albums to see what they are like. And if they are as good as this one.... then it’s a win-win for me… and you too!

Fully Remastered Audio - 16 page full-colour booklet, 2,500 word essay, brand new interviews with Mel Galley & Pete Wright, enhanced artwork and previously unseen photos. Trapeze were initially one of the most promising and, later on, revered bands to have emerged from the UK during the 1970s. They blasted their way from obscurity to international acclaim, then, just as stardom beckoned, the carpet was pulled from under their feet when in 1973 vocalist and front man Glenn Hughes opted to leave the band, hitching his wagon to hard rock grandees Deep Purple. The general consensus was that Trapeze would not be able to carry on after such a catastrophic blow yet, against all the odds, they dusted themselves down, retrenched and got back in the ring to fight another day.

Choosing to expand the band's line up, founding members guitarist Mel Galley and drummer Dave Holland opted to recruit fellow Midlanders, bassist Pete Wright and second guitarist Rob Kendrick. Together they took the Trapeze blueprint of funky hard rock and injected it with a far more hook-laden sheen. Showing real growth the band's sound evolved incrementally, with Mel Galley taking on lead vocals, there were now songs that wouldn't be out of place in the esteemed company of mid-seventies US arena acts such as Derringer, Montrose and Foghat. Originally issued in 1974 and produced by veteran blues champion Neil Slaven (Savoy Brown, Chicken Shack, Stray) at Island Records Basing Street studios in London, the album contains a stellar selection of hard-hitting tracks, including 'Back Street Love', 'Wake Up, Shake Up' and the album centrepiece 'Midnight Flyer', an impressive and hard hitting funk fuelled track built to blow your mind.

Trapeze - 1972 - You Are The Music...We're Just The Band

You Are The Music...We're Just The Band

01. Keepin' Time 3:42
02. Coast To Coast 4:02
03. What Is A Woman's Role 5:45
04. Way Back To The Bone 5:30
05. Feelin' So Much Better Now 3:40
06. Will Your Love End 5:07
07. Loser 4:45
08. You Are The Music 5:21

Glenn Hughes – bass, piano, vocals
Mel Galley – guitar
Dave Holland – drums, percussion

B. J. Cole – steel guitar on "Keepin' Time" and "Coast to Coast"
Rod Argent – electric piano on "Coast to Coast", piano on "Feelin' So Much Better Now"
Kirk Duncan – electric piano on "What Is a Woman's Role"
John Ogden – percussion on "What Is a Woman's Role"
Frank Ricotti – vibraphone on "Will Our Love End"
Jimmy Hastings – alto saxophone on "Will Our Love End"

Though they were best known for a kind of muscular funk rock, the band Trapeze always had a jazzy element, and on You Are the Music, We're Just the Band it is the softer tunes that stand out. This isn't to say that there aren't some good rockers here, since the title tune and "Keepin' Time" are energetic and enjoyable. However it is on "Coast to Coast" and "What Is a Woman's Role" that the band really shines. This is partly because both are really good songs, partly because both benefit from some inspired sax and vibes work from guests Jimmy Hastings and Frank Ricotti. Vocalist Glenn Hughes takes the lead on most tracks, and is very effective as long as he stays in his low range; on the rock tracks he uses his higher register, which tends to have a squealing or screechy tone. Those who only know Hughes from his subsequent work with Deep Purple may be surprised to hear his warm, soulful work on this disc, which was his last with Trapeze.
"You are the music we're just the band" is a ground breaking album, believe me, there was nothing like it in 1972. It predates the chilli peppers by 25 years. The first Trapeze album as a five piece had an aura of their mates "The Moody Blues" , the second album 'Medusa' [the first one as a three piece] they couldn't decide whether to be the new Free, or the next Black Sabbath. But with "you are the music" they were most definitely Trapeze, helped I think by the vastly underrated producer, Neil Slaven. One great album! I sometimes wonder what would have happened if Glen hadn't have joined Deep Purple - what would they have become. Their sound somewhat stolen a few years later by Wild Cherry and their hit 'play that funky music whiteboy'.
One of my favorite albums of all time!
Play it LOUD!!!!

Trapeze - 1971 - Medusa


01. Black Cloud 6:13
02. Jury 8:10
03. Your Love Is Alright 4:54
04. Touch My Life 4:06
05. Seafull 6:34
06. Makes You Wanna Cry 4:41
07. Medusa 5:40

Mel Galley – guitar, vocals
Glenn Hughes – bass, piano, vocals
Dave Holland – drums

John Lodge – production

Medusa is the second studio album by English hard rock band Trapeze. Recorded in 1970 at Morgan Studios, it was produced by The Moody Blues bassist John Lodge and released in November 1970 by Threshold Records. The album was preceded by the release of the single "Black Cloud" in 1970.

Not only is Medusa the finest offering from '70s outfit Trapeze, it is one of the decade's most underappreciated hard rock recordings. With a lineup that consisted of future Deep Purple, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath members, there seems to be proof that at least a few fellow musicians appreciated this 1971 offering. Fans of his later work might be surprised by Glenn Hughes' soulful vocal delivery, especially on the midtempo blues-rockers like "Black Cloud" and "Your Love Is Alright." Guitarist Mel Galley also deserves mention for his sparse approach to classic rock riffing that is catchy and affective. Even the ballads are focused, memorable, and unique. There are some melodic moments on the closing title track that sound almost as if a '90s alt-rock crooner composed them. Considering that Medusa predates many similar, and more successful, classic rock LPs from the likes of Bad Company, Nazareth, Foreigner, and others, it's a wonder that the record isn't mentioned more when influential albums of this era are discussed.

Trapeze - 1970 - Trapeze


01. It's Only A Dream 0:44
02. The Giant's Dead Hoorah! 3:33
03. Over 3:38
04. Nancy Gray 2:48
05. Fairytale - Verily Verily - Fairytale 7:41
06. It's My Life 2:51
07. Am I 3:08
08. Suicide 4:52
09. Wings 3:30
10. Another Day 2:37
11. Send Me No More Letters 4:35
12. It's Only A Dream- Reprise 0:40

John Jones – lead vocals, trumpet
Mel Galley – guitar, bass
Glenn Hughes – bass, guitar, piano, trombone, lead vocals
Dave Holland – drums
Terry Rowley – organ, guitar, piano, flute

John Lodge – production

Recorded 1969 at Morgan Studios and Decca Studios, London

A highly respected trio of elite players that, although held in high esteem by their musical contemporaries, would never reap the just rewards their undoubted talent deserved. Instead, TRAPEZE would find a loyal sales base in the southern States of America and after their break up go on to influence the platinum hued careers of acts of such status as DEEP PURPLE, JUDAS PRIEST and WHITESNAKE.

TRAPEZE were formed around the nucleus of ex PINKERTONS ASSORTED COLOURS drummer, Dave Holland, ex RED CAPS guitarist, Mel Galley and ex THE HOOKER-LEES/THE INTRUDERS/THE IN PACK/THE NEWS bassist/vocalist, Glenn Hughes. The trio originally came together to form FINDERS KEEPERS with guitarist Alan Clees and vocalist Ian "Sludge" Lees. The latter individual later found success out of the rock'n'roll field, as a comedian.


One of the most popular local Wolverhampton groups of the 1960's, The Montanas, came together in 1964 with Johnny Jones as vocalist, Bill Hayward on lead guitar, Terry Rowley on bass and Graham Crewe on drums. The group was renowned for their comedy sketches as well as their superb renditions of contemporary American harmonies.

They recorded on Picadilly and Pye Records and their best remembered numbers, both released in 1967, were 'Ciao Baby' and 'Anyone There', the latter made it into the lower half of the American Hot 100.

In 1967 Jake Elcock joined the group from FINDERS KEEPERS and Graham Hollis became the drummer. In 1969 the group underwent a fundamental personnel change when Johnny Jones and Terry Rowley joined the original five-piece, TRAPEZE.

The third of four 1967 Pye Records UK releases garnered their biggest hit, 'You've Got To Be Loved' backed with 'Difference Of Opinion'.

Hughes, Holland and Galley split to form TRAPEZE with ex THE MONTANAS vocalist Johnny Jones and keyboard player Terry Rowley. With this line up the band appeared on the TV show COLOUR ME POP, scoring interest from Threshold Records. This was a new label set up by MOODY BLUES bassist John Lodge.

Terry Rowley took over production duties in order to record the debut 'Trapeze' album in 1969. The album was a noted success, with BBC Radio One actually playing the album in its entirety from start to finish!

TRAPEZE's second album, 'Medusa', released in 1970, was another success and the single 'Black Cloud' gained the band valuable American airplay. TRAPEZE by now specialised in hard Funk Rock workouts and achieved remarkable success in Texas, so much so that the band relocated to the US state. This would lead to TRAPEZE touring America six times in three years.

Needless to say, the band played infrequently in their home country due to concentrating on America. When the band did undertake the occasional club gig it was known that LED ZEPPELIN drummer, John Bonham, would often jam with them for encores if they were playing in the Midlands.

During one of their rare home country appearances, they were offered a slot on a BBC radio broadcast. One of the highlights of the set was a stunning rendition of 'What Is A Woman's Role'.

Also included in that performance's line-up, was none other than, John Ogden, featured on the Congas. There was also mention of Glenn Hughes' plans to give up his Bass role and switching to Rhythm Guitar!! That never came to be, as shortly after this appearance he accepted an offer to join DEEP PURPLE.

TRAPEZE only really came to public attention in their home country when Hughes left to join DEEP PURPLE in mid-1973 following the 'You Are The Music, We're Just The Band' album, released the previous year, 1972. Hughes, after a creative if turbulent spell in DEEP PURPLE, was also to turn up later in various shades of distinction with HUGHES/THRALL, BLACK SABBATH and GARY MOORE.

TRAPEZE soldiered on, adding guitarist Rob Kendrick and bassist Pete Wright. The band's profile was kept high by the release of the compilation album 'The Final Swing' in 1974, which featured two new tracks in 'Good Love' and 'Dat's It'. It was the band's first album to crack the national American charts, peaking at number 172.

The new line up signed to Warner Bros. Records to release 1974's 'Hot Wire', another chart album reaching number 146. A further two albums followed with TRAPEZE maintaining their cult status in the southern States.

There was a brief reunion of the original 3-piece lineup in 1976. Glenn Hughes, having just left the then disbanded, DEEP PURPLE, reformed TRAPEZE - it was to be a full-fledged reunion with an album of new songs to be released, followed by a World Tour. In the end, a handful of North American dates were successfully completed under the banner, The Appreciation Tour. The expected album was later released as a Glenn Hughes solo album entitled, Play Me Out, two songs of which were included in this tour's setlist, LA Cut-Off and Space High.

Later and after Mel Galley continued on, having added vocalist Pete Goalby and bassist Peter Mackie, both previously with Wolverhampton band FABLE, in 1978 TRAPEZE debuted their new singer with a show supporting HUMBLE PIE before touring as support to NAZARETH. During the same year Holland upped and left to join JUDAS PRIEST, a stay that lasted until 1990 and included platinum albums such as 'Screaming For Vengeance' and 'Turbo'.

The 1981 TRAPEZE live album therefore featured drummer Steve Bray, as Goalby quit, briefly joining RAINBOW before finding a more solid base with URIAH HEEP.

TRAPEZE reassembled the same year with Galley, Bray, ex BIG DAISY vocalist Mervyn 'Spam' Spence and erstwhile MAGNUM keyboard player Richard Bailey.

This line up toured Britain supporting EDGAR WINTER. Bray was replaced by another ex MAGNUM member, Kex Gorin, and the band began recording for a projected album. However, Galley was also working on the PHENOMENA concept album project and was eventually lured to WHITESNAKE. Bailey teamed up with ALASKA. Many of the TRAPEZE recording session songs from this time were to turn up on the next WHITESNAKE release and the PHENOMENA album.

TRAPEZE eventually reformed as the classic trio and toured in 1992 with the addition of ASIA and YES keyboard player, GEOFF DOWNES. A few years later a live release was issued of one of their London shows, titled Welcome To The Real World - Trapeze - Live At The Borderline.

The original line-up reunited once again in February 1994 when they played a New York show in tribute to former BADLANDS and BLACK SABBATH vocalist RAY GILLEN. Rumours of a more permanent Hughes/Galley/Holland reunion in 1993 finally bore fruit in mid 1994 with a batch of American and European dates that also included veteran blues guitarist, Craig Erickson accompanying Mel on both lead and rhythm guitar.

Trapeze were the first act signed by the Moody Blues to their newly founded Threshold Records label, and remain the most substantial talent -- along with Nicky James -- ever to pass through that company's roster, apart from the Moodies themselves. Those listeners who only know the subsequent albums by Trapeze may be surprised by this debut effort, the sole recording left behind by the original five-piece version of the band. With Moody Blues bassist John Lodge producing a lineup that included ex-Montanas lead singer John Jones and guitarist/keyboardist Terry Rowley alongside singer/guitarist Mel Galley, bassist Glenn Hughes, and drummer Dave Holland, late of Finders Keepers, the sounds here don't closely resemble the hard-rocking work of the subsequent trio -- there are lush choruses, psychedelic interludes, and hook-laden romantic ballads scattered throughout this record. Yet that trio, of Hughes, Galley, and Holland, is pumping out high-energy music within the context of psychedelic pop/rock throughout this album, which comes off as a much higher-wattage alternative to the Moody Blues. And in some respects, this album also closely resembles the better moments on those three early Deep Purple albums (the ones with Rod Evans on lead vocals), when they were essentially a hard rock outfit still playing pop/rock -- the results aren't bad and, in fact, are quite catchy at times, but it's clear that three of these musicians are holding back to one degree or another in these surroundings. Galley's high-energy leads and power chords and Hughes' already larger-than-life bass are the dominant sounds about 60 percent of the time, overpowering much around them, with songs like the Galley/Jones-composed "Fairytale" and Hughes-authored "Am I" pointing the way to their future sound -- and even on Rowley's rock ballad "Send Me No More Letters," Holland is playing drums about as hard as the music will permit. The core trio does find a good compromise with Rowley and Jones' more lyrical, psychedelic pop sensibilities, and Trapeze probably could have held this sound together longer than they did but for Jones' and Rowley's departures. But it's also clear that there was another band trying to break out from within the sound of this lineup, which happened later in the year when Trapeze were reduced to a trio.

Toad - 2008 - Yearnin' Learnin' - Live 1978

Yearnin' Learnin' - Live 1978

01. 'Cause You're Not
02. Yearnin' & Learnin'
03. Makin' You Feel Alright
04. I'm Going
05. Behind The Wheels
06. Tomorrow Blue
07. Mama Come Back
08. Down To The Bone
09. Bring It Up
10. I Wish You Were Here
11. Usin' My Life
12. Purple Haze
13. Red House
14. Drum Solo

Live recording from 1978.

Vic Vergeat - Guitar, Vocals
Werner Froehlich - Bass
Cosimo Lampis - Drums

"This previously unreleased live performance by Toad was recorded near Geneva in 1978. As Vic Vergeat is finely accompained by Werner Froehlich and Cosimo Lampis, the gig soars at very high levels of energy. The difference here is that at the time Vergeat was heavily influenced by black music (funky) and all that results in covers like Yearnin’ Learnin’ by Earth Wind & Fire and other funkyish stunts. You also get Tomorrow Blue, the heavy boogie rock in Down to the Bone, and of course Hendrix.The virtuosity and versatility of Vergeat’s guitar come out in full, and this is a must-have for all the fans of Toad as well as of good blues-rock."

"Swiss hard rock and blues-rock outfit Toad leaped (sorry) onto their country's charts with their debut single, "Stay," in 1972 -- paving the way for the massive Swiss metal movement of the early '80s and such notable bands as Krokus and Celtic Frost. Mainly a three-piece, consisting of Vittorio "Vic" Vergeat (guitar/vocals), Werner Frohlich (bass), and Cosimo Lampis (drums), Toad often enlisted the help of an additional lead vocalist in much of their studio work (Bens Jaeger sang lead on their debut, but departed the group as soon as recording was completed). That same year, the live album Open Fire: Live in Basel 1972 hit stores, taking advantage of the band's constant and successful touring. Tomorrow Blue followed shortly after, appearing in 1973, and the band released Dreams early in 1974. A few live albums, compilations, and studio works continued to trickle out during the rest of the '70s and early '80s, with the core Toad lineup still firmly in place. By the early 2000s, interest in the early European hard rock scene in general (and Toad in particular) led to a slew of deluxe CD reissues and collections -- the best of which were to be found on the Italian imprint Akarma.". (J. Scott McClintock, All Music Guide)