Friday, September 8, 2017

The Bachs - 1968 - Out Of The Bachs

The Bachs 
Out Of The Bachs

01. You're Mine
02. Pleasure Of Your Company
03. Free Fall
04. I See Her
05. My Independence Day
06. Minister To A Mind Diseased
07. Tables Of Grass Fields
08. Show Me That You Want To Go Home
09. Sitting
10. Nevermore
11. Answer To Yesterday
12. I'm A Little Boy

Blake Allison - Bass Guitar and Lead Vocals.
John Peterman - Guitar and Lead Vocals
John Babicz - Drums and Percussion
Mike De Have - Rhythm Guitar
Ben Harrison - Lead Guitar

The band formed in 1966 in the Chicago suburbs of Lake Forest and Lake Bluff, the group were together for 3 years, mostly playing school dances and various other shows in their local area. In 1968 they self financed and put-out their LP privately, they managed to put their 'Out Of The Bachs' album out and pressed around 100-150 copies (exact amount is unknown to me and is debatable amongst collectors), this means original copies of this album are exceptionally rare and extremely expensive too.

The album was released as a means for the band to say 'goodbye' to their fans and also to document their time together as a band.

'Out of The Bachs' features twelve stunning, original penned tracks (which during the time was rare, as most albums usually featured a bunch of covers) written by band members Blake Allison and John Peterman.

'Out of The Bachs' is one of if not, my all time favourite album within the garage genre, the songs fit the zeitgeist of the times and for me are a perfect insight into the mindset of a group of young men in 60s America.

The album opens with the triumphant and angst-ridden 'You're Mine', this is a song I totally relate to, the song opens with the desperate plea "You Better Listen To My Advice, He Don't Treat You Very Nice"... the song continues in a frantic manner akin to Arthur Lee and Love's debut; killer jangle and punk attitude.

Following on from this initial teen-punk explosion, the mood takes a turn and what proceeds is the wonderful moody monster which is the track 'Pleasure Of Your Company' which features haunting harmonies, mood altering melodies and heartfelt desperation in the lyrics, Innocent love torn confusion commited to tape.

The album then tail spins into a psychedelic summer vibe with the stoned hay-fever like evocations of 'Free-Fall; which sends the mind into a dizzy ecstasy that makes the listener comfortably happy and numb at the same time.

'I See Her' turns the speed up a notch of which The Bachs turn the jangle button up and sing a track about one of those 'girls' that tend to ignore guy's like us (me and the Bachs), amazing guitar riffs and yet again harmonies which take the breath away.

Side 1 of the LP finishes on what can only be described as the best ending to a vinyl side ever!!!, side one ends with two amazing moody garage classics. 'My Independence Day' which is my favourite song on the album, features an amazing chord progression, fantastic instrumentation and an amazing dual vocal shared between Peterman and Allison, to top it off there is interweaving harmonies about finding and losing love. the song is so full of teen confusion and subsequently is one of my personal favourite songs recorded.

The final track on Side 2 is 'Minister To A Mind Disease', which breaks into the paranoia of psychedelia, here we have a track so rooted in being 'freaked out' that just by listening to it you'll suffer some anxiety induced panic attack, You only need to hear the ear-piercing fuzztone guitar solo to know that, that will clear any cobwebs that your mind holds within..."It's 6 o'Clock now and it's time to eat and rest your feet, of course you're hungry cos you eat to live or is it live to eat??"... mind boggling yet strangely wise??

Just before I begin to talk about Side 2, I want to remind the reader that this album was recorded by teenagers, yep!!! that's correct - young kids.

Their album during it's release was criminally unknown and I guess even to this day it is still considered an 'unknown' release even amongst garage and psych heads and collectors - which in my opinion is a real crying shame.

Side 2 kicks off with the total folk-psych dreaminess of 'Tables of Grass Fields' which sends the listener into more happy stoned vibes, imagine scenes of cornfields and walking hand in hand with that special girl (or guy) that you love in the summer sunshine is shining down and the world is perfect, well then this is the song for you, if you have that mindset currently going around your brain.

The next track 'Show Me That You Want To Go Home' is strangely contemporary sounding, again the lyrics point at love lost and the confusion of young love. Proceeding is the morbid 'Sitting' which instantly kicks in with minor chord 12 string jangle, this song is the tale of isolation, yearning and teenaged confusion and questioning.

This type of songwriting and subject matter and the total conviction with which The Bachs relay the message is a huge influence to me and my own music and well my life too. With regards to The Bachs you can't help but believe they lived the life they sung about - they were truly Outcasts amongst their peers and society, this is something I relate to, cos it's how I feel too.

After the misery-fest of the song above we drift back into hazy psychedelia with the track 'Nevermore' which is one of the stand-out tracks on the album for me, What I love is the call and response  in the vocals and I totally dig the desperation in the lyrics... The song moves along like a snake, amazing 12 string guitar jangle and extravagant songwriting craft and to top it off a ferocious fuzztone guitar solo that would have blown any of the guitar gods away!

The theme of teenage innocence continues on the next track 'Answer to Yesterday' which is a mournful heartbreak of a song and acts almost like an apology in record format, song such as this act as an anecdote to anyone who has lost someone in their lives.... these Guys REALLY understood the deal with things.

The album ends on a momentous high with the proto-grunge track 'I'm A Little Boy', the song is fantastically psychedelic and also highly mesmerising, I would classify this one of the finest endings to an album ever (just like side 1 ended hip too) and is a great swan-song for the band to end their short-lived career's on.

The Bach's were a tremendous group, their stand alone album is one of the hallmarks of 60s music for me and is also in my opinion one of the BEST albums out there.

Blake Allison and John Peterman were genius songwriters who wrote fantastic music and lyrics, the created the sound track soundtrack to my early to mid twenties and I still completely adore this album.

Bachdenkel - 1977 - Сталинград


01. The Whole World (Looking Over My Shoulder) (3:37)
02. After The Fall (4:27)
03. Seven Times Tomorrow (3:56)
04. For You To Live With Me (3:23)
05. The Tournament (2:52)
06. (It's Always) Easy To Be Hard (4:46)
07. Xenophon (4:51)
08. Ctalingpad (3:30)
09. Stalingrad (4:33)

10. You Lied About Your Age (The Unreleased Singles) (3:11)
11. Ring Of Truth (The Unreleased Singles) (2:55)
12. Sirocco (The Unreleased Singles) (2:58)

13. Ctalingrad (Studio Live) (3:23)
14. After The Fall (Studio Live) (5:35)
15. For You To Live With Me (Studio Live) (4:38)
16. Seven Times Tomorrow (Studio Live) (6:50)
17. Through The Eyes Of A Child (Archives) (4:01)
18. An Appointment With The Master (Archives) (3:39)
19. Bo Bo's Party (Live, Cannes '75, Extract) (6:11)

- Colin Swinburne / guitar, organ, piano
- Peter Kimberley / 6 string bass, piano
- Brian Smith / drums

- Karel Beer / electric 12-string guitar, slide
- Irv Howray / vocals (7)
- Andy Scott / ARP synthesizer

The second album called "Stalingrad" (in cyrillic letters) was recorded and released in 1977. in the mean time BACHDENKEL toured small venues through europe (mostly France). BACHDENKEL started as a Flower Power psychedelic rock band (Pink Floyd, Soft Machine, Beatles, Procol Harum), but developed towards a more symphonic/melodic progstyle for their second album. Their sound is dominated by guitar and drums, with great vocals and occasional keyboard passages.

he second and last album by this obscure UK progressive rock band who released albums in France,recorded in 1975 and saw the light in 1977. Another great work of "the best British unknown group."

It is unfortunate that the great potential of this band remained undiscovered until to the end. Even quite successful concert performances were, in fact, "playing in the second division." They had to settle for the role of 'support' live King Crimson or Genesis. In general - is another example of how a lack of decent management can bury a great band. This CD features ten bonus tracks some of which date from the bands recording sessions for Phillips. Fragile atmospheric and gentle progressive rock that can be compared with Barclay James Harvest.

Bachdenkel - 1970 - Lemmings


01. Translation (4:16)
02. Equals (1:52)
03. An Appointment With The Master (5:19)
04. The Settlement Song (11:23)
05. Long Time Living (2:22)
06. Strangerstill (6:56)
07. Come All Ye Faceless (9:06)

Bonus tracks on 1990 CD re-issue (from the EP):
08. The Slightest Distance (6:08)
09. Donna (4:16)
10. A Thousand Pages Before (6:32)

- Colin Swinburne / guitar, organ, piano, vocals
- Peter Kimberley / bass, piano, vocals
- Brian Smith / drums
- Karel Beer / organ

BACHDENKEL was an English rock band that started under the name "YOU KNOW WHO" in 1968. The three piece consisted of bandleader Colin Swinburne on vocals/guitars/keyboards, Peter kimberley on bass/piano/vocals and Brian Smith on drums, with Karel Beer as additional musician, lightening engineer and producer. The band moved to France to live, perform and record.

In the 10 years of excistence BACHDENKEL only recorded 2 albums, the first album "Lemmings" was recorded in 1970, but wasn't released until 1973, the second album called "Stalingrad" (in cyrillic letters) was recorded and released in 1977. in the mean time BACHDENKEL toured small venues through europe (mostly France).

BACHDENKEL started as a Flower Power psychedelic rock band (Pink Floyd, Soft Machine, Beatles, Procol Harum), but developed towards a more symphonic/melodic progstyle for their second album. Their sound is dominated by guitar and drums, with great vocals and occasional keyboard passages.

The band wasn't (and isn't) well known, but that doesn't lesson the experience and thrill you get when listening to their music. The 90's revival of prog resulted in some aknowledgement to their music, and Bachdenkel re-released their two albums on CD, with additional, mostly unreleased, material. Those CD's are very much recommended, also because the additional songs are practically as good as their previously released 'forgotten' masterpieces.

 With an adventurous story on their backs, Bachdenkel from Birmingham, UK, evovled from the Psych group U No Who in 1967 with guitarist/keyboardist Colin Swinburne, singer Peter Kimberley, drummer Ron Lee, bassist Dave Bradley and a second singer named Terry Hidland.Slowly developing a cult status within the city's borders, Bachdenkel were among the greatest lesser known Psych/Prog bands of the country, eventually settling in France in late- 60's reduced to a trio of Swinburne, Kimberley and drummer Brian Smith.Between June and August 1970 they recorded their debut ''Lemmings'', but at the time there was no interest by a label to release it.Three years would pass before Phillips gave a shot to Bachdenkel's debut.
The album has a more than evident late-60's British Psychedelic Rock flavor all the way, but comes as a mix of shorter Psych Rock tracks with occasional harder moments and longer, more developed compositions in a Proto Prog/Psych Rock style.While not particularly complex, the album shows hints of a more demanding musicianship in the trend of the time, yet the short tracks retain more of an early-60's mood and a bit dated Rock style with sensitive vocals, strong guitar movements and powerful drumming, while sometimes even some BEATLES-like melodies pop up here and there.However there is a certain attempt by the group on the longer ones to come up with a more inventive sound.Dynamic guitar workouts, heavier use of organs and changes between mellower vocal moments and heavier guitar-based passages, but again the psych elements remain in the forefront.

The Ork Records CD release seems the more attractive of all the album's reissues, featuring three bonus tracks Bachdenkel recorded around the time in a similar vein as with ''Lemmings'' tracks, while there are three extra tracks from the band's late-60's days (among them an early version of ''An Appointment With the Master'') in a great, powerful Psychedelic Rock style, confirming why Bachdenkel were among the most talented groups of the age.

Good and passionate Psych/Proto Prog Rock with an intense British flavor.Fans of the sound will simply love this, but moreover it is recommended to check out ''Lemmings'' for its inner strength and well-crafted atmospheres.

Bacamarte - 1983 - Depois Do Fim

Depois Do Fim 

01. UFO (6:26)
02. Smog Alado (4:11)
03. Miragem (4:54)
04. Pássaro De Luz (2:28)
05. Caño (1:59)
06. Último Entardecer (9:29)
07. Controvérsia (1:57)
08. Depois Do Fim (6:31)

Bonus track on 1995 Rarity CD:
09. Mirante das Estrelas (6:11)

Tracks 1 - 8:
- Jane Duboc / vocals (2, 4, 6, 8)
- Mário Neto / acoustic & electric guitars, producer & mixing
- Sergio Villarim / keyboards
- Marcus Moura / flutes, accordion
- Delto Simas / acoustic & electric basses
- Marco Veríssimo / drums
- Mr. Paul / percussion

Track 9:
- Mário Neto / all instruments (guitars, keyboards, bass, electronic drums)

This was a Brazilian septet including Mario Neto (guitar/vocals), Sergio Villarim (keyboards), Delto Simas (bass), Marco Veríssimo (drums), Marcus Moura (flute/accordion), Mr. Paul (percussion) and Jane Duboc (vocals). A rich and symphonic music with wonderful keyboards and a very nice flute which enlightens the compositions full of interest and detours. A few female vocal interventions complete to enrich this great work. The band surpasses their influences: LOCANDA DEL FATE, PFM, QUELLA VECCHIA LOCANDA and ILLUSION. 

They made two albums entitled "Depois Do Fim" ('83) and "Sete Cidades" ('99). In '95 Rarity Records released their first LP on CD with the addition of a bonus track (due to appear in their second LP). The CD "Depois Do Fim" is one of the highlights of the South-American Prog rock: a compelling blend of varied keyboards (vintage synthesizers, strings, piano, organ), skillful acoustic and electric guitar and strong Portuguese vocals. The nine compositions (four instrumental) sound warm and elaborate with many changing atmospheres. I'm mostly impressed by Mario Neto's alternating guitar play: from powerful and howling electric guitar to a slight Andalusian touch and classical like JOHN WILLIAMS (Sky-era) or using the tremolo-technique on the Spanish guitar (like "Recuerdos de la Alhambra" from TARREGA). Not to be missed by any serious Prog rock aficionado!

 Just wonderful. For me, the best Brazilian album ever. Imagine the most beautiful and delicated melodies sung by a clear and sweet female voice (in Portuguese), tons of symphonic keyboards and great guitar interplaying. Well, this is what BACAMARTE offers. At the end of the first song, you'll think that the highlight it's over, but the next track is another highlight, and the next again, and again... Nine pieces will take your breath away. A true masterpiece!

Babylon - 1999 - Better Conditions For The Dead

Better Conditions For The Dead

01. It Is Time
02. Dreamfish
03. Mote In God'Eye
04. Foam Rubber Philosopher
05. Forest Of Orelse
06. Saint Vitus Dance
07. Pyramid Mask
08. Cathedral Of The Mary Ruin
09. You Are Sentenced To Life On Earth
10. Ultima Thule

Recorded Live at The Empty Keg, University of South Florida May 18, 1978

Rodney Best - drums, percussion
J. David Boyko - guitars
Gary Chambers - keyboards, voice
Rick Leonard - bass, bass pedals, voice
Doroccas (Rod Sacco) - lead voice, keyboards

Live in Concert: Better Conditions for the Dead is a reissue on one CD-R of two live LPs released in 1989: Night Over Never and Better Conditions for the Dead. Even though this is an official release, it bears the sound of a bootleg. The recording has been made from within the audience and crowd noises become noticeable the moment the music gets softer. The sound is muted and the master tape has faults in it. Still, this is the only recording of a Babylon show ever made. Even more, seven of the ten tracks have never been released elsewhere. "Mote in God's Eye," "Dreamfish," and "Cathedral of the Mary Ruin" get similar treatment to the studio recordings available on Babylon. "It Is Time" is a sound collage serving as a walk-on. "Foam Rubber Philosopher," "Ultima Thule," and mostly "You Are Sentenced to Life on Earth" are excellent progressive rock compositions in the same vein as the album material. The songs will appeal to fans of Genesis' Selling England By the Pound, Happy the Man, and IQ, although, for sound quality reasons, one should definitely start with the studio album.

Night Over Never "Live At The Empty Keg 1"

01. Dreamfish 9:00
02. Before The Fall 10:20
03. You Are Sentenced To Life On Earth 8:40
04. Ultima Thule 9:10

Better Conditions For The Dead "Live At The Empty Keg 2"

01. The Mote In God's Eye 7:50
02. Cathedral Of The Mary Ruin 8:00
03. St. Vitus Dance 6:23
04. Spin 5:40
05. Foam Rubber Philisopher 7:55
06. Forest Of Orelse (Beyond The Shadow Of Doubt) 7:55

After listening to Babylon's self titled release my only complaint was that there was not more of it. Only four brilliant tracks left a hungry feeling after every listen to the disc. Well, there is a second course. The band has another release available, the live release Better Conditions For The Dead, and even though it is basically a heavily tweaked bootleg quality recording, this is a good disc and it captures an inspired performance from the band and it contains a number of tunes that did not appear on the original Babylon CD re-issue. This CD combines ten tracks that were previously released on two vinyl LPs that were released on the Syn-Phonic label in 1989. The tracks were recorded at a gig at the Empty Keg, on the campus of USF at Tampa, Florida. The small crowd was taken aback by the performance. Frankly, they were stunned into silence. Babylon's vocalist Doroccas (Rod Sacco) tells me that the crowd was probably expecting to hear a southern rock boogie band and didn't quite know what to make of Babylon. All this aside, the band turned in a brilliant set. The original recording has been heavily processed (which was not done to anyway near this extent on the 1989 LP releases) by the band's longtime engineer and associate, Steve Repetti, using the latest version of Sony Digital's Sound Forge, employing most of the available plug-ins including the newest noise reduction package. The result is quite listenable release with none of the annoyances of most bootleg releases. The mix, while not absolutely perfect, is good with very few dropouts and little noticeable noise.

The CD features a pair of sonic soundscapes, tracks one and seven, "It Is Time" and "Pyramid Mask". They consist of some rather dated taped sound effects, spoken words, conversation, and echoing synthesizer dwiddling. I tend to skip over these gratuitous exercises, especially the first, "It Is Time," which stretches out for nearly five minutes.

The band performs the majority of the tracks from their only studio release, giving the audience perfect renditions of "Dreamfish," "Mote In God's Eye" and "Cathedral Of The Mary Ruin". These are all brilliant compositions, showing the group adeptly synthesizing the style of their main influence, Genesis, into some absolutely stunning symphonic masterpieces. I cannot overemphasize the quality of these tunes and I am consistently amazed at the writing, arranging and the sheer musical mastery of the players. Yes, it is all derivative of Genesis, but the songs rival the best music that Genesis ever produced.

So that leaves us five tracks that have not been heard before, except, of course by those who managed to lay their hands on the LPs that were produced, oh? and the reportedly very drunk crowd who attended this live performance. Now I will admit to being a somewhat rabid fan of Babylon, but I hope you will take me at my word, and my word is this, it's all amazingly good. There, I've said it, and it's all true, trust me on this, ok?

"Foam Rubber Philosopher" is a gorgeous instrumental featuring Gary Chambers' keyboards in multiple, flowing themes that bring the endlessly moving sea to my mind. This tune sounds more like it was influenced by Happy The Man than Genesis. It is followed by "Forest Of Orelse" where Doroccas treats us to some over the top vocals. The tune ends with an incredibly powerful motif and Chambers's crushing keyboards. Another instrumental comes up next, "Saint Vitus Dance," a very complex number with loads of syncopated lines and one that shows off both guitarist J. David Boyko's strengths and bassist Rick Leonard's flawless approach to his instrument.

"You Are Sentenced To Life On Earth" suffers a bit from Doroccas's loud and strident vocals, but the great majority of this tune is made up of surging instrumental passages and a glittering, reflective final theme featuring Chambers beautiful synthesizer work. This releases final tune, and the highlight of the set is the huge and overpowering "Ultima Thule." The band gives a furious performance of this instrumental piece and it blends well the most exciting elements of progressive rock, sounding like a mix of King Crimson, Anglagard and UK, as well as Happy The Man and Genesis. Drummer Rodney Best gives a manic drive to this one and Chambers' keyboards and Boyko's guitar work are both superb.

Better Conditions For The Dead is one of a handful of rare works, a live album that provides far more than a collection of rote performances of familiar works. This is one that expands and burnishes the group's reputation as one of the greatest unknown bands of their time.

This is definitely a disc to add to your collection. This band should have rightfully worn the crown as America's best symphonic progressive group. Listen to this great disc and hear what should have been.

Babylon - 1977 - Babylon


01. The Mote In God's Eye (7:00)
02. Before The Fall (10:54)
03. Dreamfish (9:12)
04. Cathedral Of The Mary Ruin (7:38)

- Rick Leonard / bass, voice, bass pedals
- Doroccus / lead voice, synthesizers, electric piano, Orchestron, Omni
- Rodney Best / drums, percussives
- J. David Boyko / guitars, muted variations thereof
- G.W. Chambers / synthesizers, acoustic and electric piano, orchestron, Omni, voice

The state of Florida isn't what you call a hotbed of prog rock. Usually when you think of that state's rock scene, you think of some of the southern rock bands that resided there, amongst them, LYNYRD SKYNYRD, .38 SPECIAL, BLACKFOOT, and MOLLY HATCHET. But coming out of St. Petersburgh came BABYLON. The band consisted of:
Rick Leonard: bass, voice, bass pedals / Doroccus: Lead voice, synthesizers, electric piano, Orchestron, Omni / Rodney Best: drums, percussives / J. David Boyko: guitars, muted variations thereof / G.W. Chambers: synthesizers, acoustic and electric piano, orchestron, Omni, voice

Of course the Omni refers to the ARP Omni, a combination string synth/polyphonic synth (that's basically an ARP String Ensemble with the very basic features of the Odyssey). The electric piano in this case is the RMI Electric Piano/Harpsichord, as what Tony BANKS used on "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" and Rick WAKEMAN used while with YES and on "The Six Wives of Henry the VIII".

Far from trying to sound like SKYNYRD, like many bands of the time in that region often did, they much preferred the sounds of early, GABRIEL-led GENESIS and of YES. BABYLON released their one and only album in 1978, locally on the U.S. Artists label (it also says "Mehum Music" on the label, as well, but only on side one of the LP). In 1989, a small, up and coming prog label out of California owned by Greg Walker called Syn-Phonic released two albums of live archival material, "Night over Never" and "Better Conditions" for the DEAD.

Anyway the music of BABYLON is very influenced by GENESIS, with some YES thrown in, so originality isn't on their side. Doroccus oddly sounds more like MARILLION's FISH than of Peter GABRIEL (although there's a section of "The Mote in God's Eye" where he sounds like SUPERTRAMP's Roger Hodgson), so the MARILLION comparison does often surface, although this is from 1978, five years before "Script of a Jester's Tear". And if you dread MARILLION, don't worry, as it sticks in the classic prog vein, with lots of great HACKETT-like guitars, great use of Moog and string synths, and lots of lengthy and complex passage for those diehard-in-the-wool progheads who straightforward three minute long songs won't do. That means if you fear a proto-neo-prog album, rest easy. Certainly the vocals need a little getting used to, because it's more dramatic than GABRIEL (or even FISH), and there is more that "modern" feel that isn't the most appealing to me. The album has only four lengthy cuts, so the proghead who want lengthy epics won't be disappointed. Another album this reminds me of is a little of CATHEDRAL's "Stained Glass Stories", except without the KING CRIMSON and proto-ÄNGLAGARD sound (and with more the emphasis on the GENESIS style).

And for all you UFO and alien abduction buffs who own the CD reissue wonder why the Grey alien on the cover looks exactly like the one featured on the cover of Whitley Strieber's Communion, when you know for a fact in the 1970s, the Greys were never portrayed as looking like that in the 1970s, well, here's what happened: When Syn-Phonic reissued this on CD, they wanted to update the artwork. So the alien now ended up looking like Strieber's alien, with the dark, black, slanted eyes, and the "Babylon" logo was now color, as opposed to black and white like on the old LP. The original LP (which I own) features the alien with more human looking eyes (not unlike the aliens that abducted Betty and Barney Hill in 1961). So the reissue portrays the Grey as in the 1980s and 1990s version of it, while the original portrays the Grey as the 1960s, 1970s, and probably early 1980s version of it.

Well, back on the subject of the music, basically if you don't mind the sound of a prog rock band obviously influenced by GENESIS (but not an outright clone), and you don't mind some of the "modern-ish" sounding vocals, then I can highly recommend this album.