Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Sugarloaf - 1971 - Spaceship Earth

Spaceship Earth

01. Spaceship Earth (4:27)
02. Hot Water (4:10)
03. Rusty Cloud (3:01)
04. I Don't Need You Baby (5:11)
05. Rollin' Hills (3:36)
06. Mother Nature's Wine (2:58)
07. Country Dawg (2:36)
08. Woman (4:19)
09. Music Box (2:28)
10. Tongue in Cheek (7:39)

Jerry Corbetta / Vocals
Rob Webber / Guitars
Bob Raymond / Bass
Bob Yeazel / Guitars
Bob MacVitte / Drums

We all know this Denver-based band for the 1970 hit "Green-Eyed Lady", which you can find the full version on their 1970 debut. Shortly after their debut the group brought in Bobby Yeazel, which helped the band focus entirely on originals this time (the debut had some originals, but a bunch of covers too). Also the songs are shorter. I actually find this album better than their debut, because they went for tighter compositions and not so much stuff that meanders. This album is really all over the place musically, but surprisingly well focused for a band pulling something like that off. The title track is a great prog number, while "Hot Water" is a heavy number, with some great organ playing. "Rusty Cloud" has a bit of a Southern Rock feel. "Rollin' Hills" is no doubt the work of an American band, with that folk/country/blues feel. "Mother Nature's Wine" was an attempt at another "Green Eyed Lady", complete with that same Hammond organ playing and clavinet, but as you know, it was never a hit. "Woman" features some great vocal harmonies. "Music Box" is basically a song about a person in love with the music box dancer, and the music imitates a music box, with the celeste, and the way the music slows down at the end like the music box slowing down after it was wound up. "Tongue in Cheek" is a rather heavy number. To me I found the album rather enjoyable, but for many progheads, I have to warn you: not everything here is prog, and the music is often very American, the vocals sound very American, because they were American (unlike, say Cathedral with Stained Glass Stories who went out of their way to sound like a British band, same for Starcastle or Fireballet). But I was surprised to enjoy the album as much as I do given the diverse styles explored here. Certainly the album didn't spawn a hit like "Green-Eyed Lady", but that didn't matter to me as this was quite good.

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