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11 Jun 2016

Flaviola E O Bando Do Sol ”Flaviola E O Bando Do Sol” 1976 Brazil Psych Folk

Flaviola E O Bando Do Sol ”Flaviola E O Bando Do Sol” 1976 Brazil Psych Folk.

full album

Interest in Brazil’s 1960s/1970s music scene is pretty much dominated by Tropicalia these days, but behind this popular front lay a bevy of fantastic psychedelic rock albums that don’t otherwise fit in with the kaleidoscopic coastal sounds of folks like Caetano Veloso, Gal Costa or Os Mutantes. One of these is the self-titled release by Flaviola e o Bando do Sol, an ethereal slice of psychedelic folk music put together by many of the same cats who made Lula Côrtes and Zé Ramalho’s Paêbirú such an enduring classic.
There is a lazy, mellow vibe to the proceedings here that really puts you in a midnight, beach campfire vibe, with jangling acoustic guitars and wispy flashes of percussion bedding Flaviola’s warm, reassuring vocals. Flute, dulcimer, and what sounds like a harp also make appearances here, as well as several other instruments that sound distinctly Brazilian, though I’ll be damned if I can name them. The rare, rapid-fire semi-electric number “Asas” and the catchy “Balalaica” are definitely the numbers to play to Tropicalia fans, featuring the record’s most energetic rhythms, with Flaviola and friends cheerily chanting out the title on the latter (whether or not the song actually makes use of a Russian balalaika I have no idea). Slower pieces like “Noite” and the autoharp punctuated “Canção de Outono” are more personal numbers, with sleepy sways to them and delicate finger picking.
The record is pretty short, at just under half an hour long, so I’ll keep the review short in turn. After all, this isn’t exactly an album that you can say very much about, as it’s more about the magic of hearing all these simple acoustic sounds come together – there is nothing shocking or avant-garde here, simply beautiful music that is bound to stick with you long after the needle’s been lifted. British-based reissue label Mister Bongo has done us all a favor by repressing this one on 180 gram vinyl, though if that’s not your thing (and it should be) then they also have copies on compact disc. Don’t miss this one…
What would happen if Robin Williamson, Mike Heron or Vashti Bunyan had been born in Recife, Brazil? … How they would sound? Probably, we will never know, but for me the closest answer lies in 1974’s album “Flaviola e o Bando do Sol” (Flaviola and the Flock of the Sun).

Williamson, Heron or Bunyan weren’t in Brazil at that time, but Flávio Lira, Lula Côrtes, Pablo Raphael, Robertinho of Recife, and Zé Ramalho certainly were, and they could have been perfectly the “Incredible String Band Brazilian counterparts”, their self tiled lp sounds astonishingly fresh, full of native acoustic Brazilian instruments, gloomy at times [canto funebre], hysterical [asas (pra que te quero)] or extremely poetical [noite].

If you like the folkier side of other Brazilian kids Called Os Mutantes (I know that you like them) you certainly will love Flaviola, as Forced Exposure points: “this is a brilliant album, full of strange moments (cellophane crinkled into the microphone as percussion), some deft acoustic guitar, and some of the prettiest songs this side of Vashti Bunyan”

This mystical album alongside Zé Ramalho & Lula Côrtes “Paêbirú” (recorded the same year and almost with the same lineup as Flaviola…) and Satwa’s “Satwa” constitute the three jewels of Recife’s acid folk crown.

What are you waiting?, put your headphones, turn on the music, and smell the perfumed night of Recife. This could be the cheapest and exciting Holidays ever!
Keep Listening…!!! ….

A1 Canto Fúnebre (Abertura)
A2 O Tempo 
Written-By – Flaviola 
A3 Noite 
Words By [Excerpt From "hamlet" By] – William Shakespeare 
Written-By – Flaviola 
A4 Desespêro 
Written-By – Flaviola 
A5 Canção De Outono 
Words By [Excerpt From An Anthology Of Poetry By] – Garcia Lorca* 
Written-By – Flaviola 
A6 Do Amigo 
Written-By – Flaviola 
B1 Brilhante Estrêla 
Written-By – Roberto* 
B2 Como Os Bois 
Written-By – Flaviola, Lula Côrtes 
B3 Palavras 
Words By [Excerpt From An Anthology Of Poetry By] – Henriqueta Lisboa 
Written-By – Flaviola 
B4 Balalaica 
Words By [From An Anthology Of Modern Russian Poetry By] – Wiadmir Maiacovsky* 
Written-By – Flaviola 
B5 Olhos 
Written-By – Lula Côrtes 
B6 Romance Da Lua Lua 
Words By [Excerpt From An Anthology Of Poetry By] – Garcia Lorca* 
Written-By – Flaviola 
B7 Asas (Prá Que Te Quero?) 
Written-By – Flaviola

George Grant “Plimsoll Liner” 1980 UK Private Psych Folk

George Grant “Plimsoll Liner” 1980 UK Private Psych Folk

full album

Omecron “Autumn/Walking Around” 1973 EP German Hard Rock.

Omecron “Autumn/Walking Around” 1973 EP German Hard Rock

A Autumn
B Walking Around

The Up “Killer UP!” 1969-72 recordings US proto punk

The UP Bob Rasmussen, Scott Bailey, Frank Bach, and Gary Rasmussen, in the basement of 1520 Hill Street

The Up “Killer UP!” 1969-72 recordings US proto punk.

full CD

Ann Arbor, Michigan-based proto-punks the Up were formed in the spring of 1967 by vocalist Franklin Bach, then the stage manager and announcer at Detroit’s famed Grande Ballroom. Rounded out by guitarist Bob Rasmussen, bassist Gary Rasmussen and drummer Vic Peraino (soon replaced by Scott Bailey), the group was managed by David Sinclair, the brother of local White Panther Party leader John Sinclair, and as such their history became inextricably linked with that of local revolutionary rockers the MC5, with the two bands even living together at the same Ann Arbor commune. The Up regularly opened for the MC5 as well, and were the opening act at the legendary September 1968 show at the Union Ballroom that so impressed Elektra Records president Jac Holzman that he offered a contract not only to the Five but also the second act on the bill, the Stooges; as both groups went on to national notoriety, the Up remained mired on the regional circuit, becoming the primary musical outlet for the White Panthers’ propaganda after the MC5 broke away from the party. Finally, in 1970 the Up recorded their debut single “Just Like an Aborigine,” a blistering cut similar in sound and spirit to the punk records which emerged from Britain at the end of the decade; a second single, “Free John Now!” – a rallying cry in honor of the imprisoned Sinclair – followed a year later. Although the group disbanded in 1973 – Gary Rasmussen later resurfaced in Sonic’s Rendezvous Band – they left behind enough material for a 1995 retrospective LP, Killer Up! ..

The Up (often styled as The UP) was an American rock band formed in Detroit, Michigan in early 1967. Along with fellow proto-punk bands the MC5 and The Stooges, The Up served as a “house band” for the Grande Ballroom in Detroit.

The original band line-up consisted of vocalist Frank Bach, guitarist Bob Rasmussen, bassist Gary Rasmussen, and drummer Vic Peraino. The band was closely related to the MC5, as both bands’ members lived in White Panther Party founder John Sinclair’s commune. In May 1968, Sinclair moved the commune to Ann Arbor, Michigan and both bands followed. The Up served as the opening act for the MC5 during a September 1968 show at the University of Michigan’s Union Ballroom in Ann Arbor. This show was attended by Elektra Records president Jac Holzman; Holzman was impressed with both the MC5 and The Stooges (who were the concert’s second act) and offered both bands contracts. The Up did not get signed to Elektra and unlike the MC5 and The Stooges, the band never received a major record label contract.

The Up continued to play gigs at the Grande Ballroom and other local venues. In 1969, the MC5 ended their association with John Sinclair and the White Panther Party; The Up took the place of the MC5 as the main musical outlet of the party’s propaganda. The Up disbanded in 1973 and faded further into obscurity. In 1975, the band’s bassist Gary Rasmussen later joined Sonic’s Rendezvous Band, a Detroit rock scene supergroup featuring former members of the MC5, The Stooges, The Up and The Rationals.

In 1995, a retrospective album titled Killer Up! was released containing all of The Up’s song recordings. The album contains all of the band’s singles, songs from a recording session at Head Sound Studios in Ypsilanti, Michigan and several live tracks recorded at the Agora Ballroom in Columbus, Ohio in 1972. John Sinclair states in the album’s liner notes that, “It’s common to name the MC5 and the Stooges among the forefathers of what they call punk rock, but it was their associates in a third band, the Up, who could more accurately be identified as the real precursors of punk.”.. ….

There’s a lot to say about rock and roll from Detroit. Generally, the line goes something like, that’s where proto-punk hails. No, that doesn’t seem off base. And considering that John Cale produced the Stooges disc and the MC5 were…well, the MC5 those that dispute the fact are gonna be fighting an up hill battle. And while all of that seems only vaguely important at this late date, there were a huge clutch of groups performing in and around Detroit  and Ann Arbor. SRC was kicking around, Frijid Pink and Bob Seger were on the scene, but the group that receives the shaken heads (most of the time) regarding its missed opportunity at fame is the UP.

At one time sharing a living space with the MC5, the UP were as much an arm of the White Panther Party as its more famous flat mates. And with the Five eventually heading off to greener pastures, the UP were tapped by John Sinclair to carry on that freeq banner.

Forming during ’67 or so, the UP wouldn’t actually release a single until 1970. The landscape of American music over that three year period under went a tremendous shift. There was still a buncha fey folksy stuff kicking around, but bands like Blue Cheer and Detroit’s the Stooges were either on the way out or just not at the height of their powers any longer.

So along come these politicos, wielding a guitar player - Bob Rasmussen - that clearly had the aggressive tone down,   just not the chops to always come up with the most enticing hooks. Arguably the group’s best known song, “Just Like an Aborigine,” sounds like nothing more than a buncha stoned, red book toting lefties raving up a few chords.

Those few chords, though, ended up being the right ones on other tracks collected on the band’s anthology Killer UP. “Together,” as one should expect is a political polemic that finds Frank Bach, the group’s singer, speaking on nothing but revolutionary tactics and how unity is indispensible. The mix isn’t all that flattering here with the guitar and drums taking up more space than the vocals ever could. But in that, there’s a bit of punk flair that isn’t present all over the rest of the disc.

The ‘60s punk and sludge of “I Don’t Need You” comes off similarly to “Together” apart from the fact that there’s a bit more Blue Cheer inherent on this track. It’s not all drum fills and guitar solos, but both are amply represented.

Patches of Killer UP deliver what Detroit exploito fans are looking for, but it’s pretty spotty overall. And considering the fact that there were more bands in the Detroit/Ann Arbor scene than one could readily recollect – not to mention all of the soul stuff from the same period – the UP’s anthology is only for folks that want or need to fully conceive of the scene that could be considered the jumping off point for punk. It’s an historical nugget, to be sure, just not one that everyone needs to search out……



“Just Like An Aborigine” / “Hassan I Sabbah” (1970) (Sundance 22190)
“Free John Now!” / “Prayer For John Sinclair” (1971) (Rainbow 22191)


Killer Up! (1995) (Total Energy NER 3002)

“Just Like An Aborigine”
Let ‘Em Have It! Vol. 1
Michigan Mixture, Vol. 1

“Hassan I Sabbah”
Michigan Mixture, Vol. 1

1 –Up (5) Just Like An Aborigine (Mix 1) 4:09 
2 –Up (5) Do The Sun Dance 3:34 
3 –Up (5) Free John Now (Mix 3) 4:03 
4 –Up (5) Come On 
Written-By – Earl King 
5 –Up (5) C'mon And Swim 
Written-By – S. Stewart*, T. Coman* 
6 –Up (5) Hassan I Sabbah 4:02 
7 –Up (5) Sisters, Sisters (Sisters Rising) 2:50 
8 –Up (5) Together 4:23 
9 –Up (5) Train Kept A Rollin' 
Written-By – T. Bradshaw* 
10 –Up (5) Just Like An Aborigine (Mix 2) 4:10 
11 –Up (5) I Don't Need You 2:29 
12 –Up (5) Never Say Die 4:03 
13 –Up (5) Free John Now (Mix 1) 4:08 
Bonus Cut 
14 –Allen Ginsberg Prayer For John Sinclair 
Guitar – Steven Taylor 
Written-By, Recorded By, Read By [Recitation], Harmonium – Allen Ginsberg

Brother Fox And The Tar Baby “Brother Fox And The Tar Baby“1969 US Psych Garage Rock

 Brother Fox And The Tar Baby “  Brother Fox And The Tar Baby “ 1969 US Psych Garage Rock

full album

Brother Fox and the Tar Baby Originally released 1969 Re-issue Tone Arm Garage Psych Rock With Excellent Fuzz Guitar. Boston’s Brother Fox and the Tar Baby featured the talents of former Profits and The Front Page Review guitarist Richie Bartlett, Pugsley Munion bassist Tom Belliveau, guitarist Dave Christiansen, drummer Bill Garr, singer Steve High. and keyboardist Joe Santangelo. One of the era’s isolated multi-racial bands, the group were signed by the small Oracle label, which released 1969’s Bruce Patch produced Brother Fox and the Tar Baby. Read more on User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply. .... .....

Boston's Brother Fox and the Tar Baby featured the talents of former Profits and The Front Page Review guitarist Richie Bartlett, Pugsley Munion bassist Tom Belliveau, guitarist Dave Christiansen, drummer Bill Garr, singer Steve High. and keyboardist Joe Santangelo. One of the era's isolated multi-racial bands, the group were signed by the small Oracle label, which released 1969's Bruce Patch produced "Brother Fox and the Tar Baby". Christiansen was credited with penning all eleven tracks, the result being an odd hodge-podge of musical styles. Quite diverse, the set included stabs at conventional hard rock ('We All Love Him'), Tom Jones-styled MOR ballads ('I Start To Cry') and the plain bizarre ('Maxie the Meanie'). The first couple of times I listened to the album I'll readily admit to being a little under whelmed, but repeated spins saw me start to warm up to the collection. Clearly not the year's most innovative album, there are still numerous tracks worth hearing. To my ears the highlights included 'Metal Soldier', 'Three Tots and a Man and their most psych-oriented track 'Mr. Sleepy'. (The album was original released in a gatefold sleeve.)...Bad Cat..............

Garage Psych Rock With Excellent Fuzz Guitar. Boston's Brother Fox and the Tar Baby featured the talents of former Profits and The Front Page Review guitarist Richie Bartlett, Pugsley Munion bassist Tom Belliveau, guitarist Dave Christiansen, drummer Bill Garr, singer Steve High. and keyboardist Joe Santangelo. One of the era's isolated multi-racial bands, the group were signed by the small Oracle label, which released 1969's Bruce Patch produced Brother Fox and the Tar Baby............

- Richie Bartlett -- guitar (1968-70) 
- Tom Belliveau -- bass (1968-70) 
- Dave Christiansen -- guitar (1968-70) 
- Bill Garr -- drums, percussion (1968-70) 
- Steve High -- vocals, percussion (1968-70) 
- Joe Santangelo -- keyboards (1968-70) 

Electric Chair 4:17 
Old Ladies 2:52 
Steel Dog Man 3:38 
Maxie The Meanie 3:03 
We All Love Him 2:28 
To Your Dreams 3:29 
Three Tots And A Man 4:19 
I Start To Cry 3:03 
Metal Soldiers 4:53 
Mr. Sleepy 4:47 
Crazy John 3:52 

Green Bullfrog “The Green Bullfrog Sessions” 1971 UK Blues Rock

Green Bullfrog “The Green Bullfrog Sessions” 1971 UK  Psysh Blues Rock

full album

Green Bullfrog - The Green Bullfrog Sessions (1971) - feat. Ritchie Blackmore, Roger Glover & Ian Paice - ex-Deep Purple) (bonus tracks!)

Green Bullfrog - Do the names Speedy, Sleepy, Bevy, Sorry, Boots, Pinta, The Boss, The Vicar and Jordan mean anything to you? The Green Bullfrog sessions were originally released with many of the artists cloaked behind pseudonyms and consequently it sold 428 copies upon its original March 1971 Decca release. 

Green Bullfrog was an album resulting from a one-off studio project and recorded between February and May 1970. The album was the idea of producer Derek Lawrence who assembled a group of musicians with whom he had worked in the 1960s. For contractual reasons, the musicians were billed under pseudonyms:Earl Jordan (a.k.a. 'Jordan'), Ritchie Blackmore ('Boots'), Albert Lee ('Pinta'), Big Jim Sullivan ('Boss'), Rod Alexander ('Vicar'), Chas Hodges ('Sleepy'), Tony Ashton ('Bevy'), Matthew Fisher ('Sorry') and Ian Paice ('Speedy'). Obviously the record is a highly sought after rarity. 

How's about Ian Paice and Ritchie Blackmore ( Deep Purple, but you knew that ), Tony Ashton ( Ashton, Gardner and Dyke), Chas Hodges and Albert Lee ( Heads, Hands and Feet), Big Jim Sullivan (Tom Jones), Matt Fisher ( Procol Harum), Rod Alexander (JoDo) and Earl Jordan ( Les Humphries Singers)? Thought so - well, for some of them, anyway! This was a fantastic "once-off" blues/rock project put together by Derek Lawrence, who produced Deep Purple's first two albums and who was also working with Wishbone Ash at the time. 

Legal constraints prohibited the various musicians from using their real names. The album was first released in 1971 in the US on Decca Records and later on in the UK on MCA Records in 1972. If you have a copy of the original MCA album, frame it and look after it - it's very sought after. It was released on CD,including this stunning cover of the Elias McDaniels classic,( rivaled only by Juicy Lucy's and Tucky Buzzard's versions! ) CD reissue, remixed at Abbey Road studios in London during 1991, re-produced by original producer Derek Lawrence. Originally engineered by Martin Birch; remastered by Peter Vince. A Connoisseur Collection 1991 re-release of the GREEN BULLFROG tapes, re-titled 'The Green Bullfrog sessions', added a further three previously unreleased tracks 'Ain't Nobody Home', 'Louisiana Man' and 'Who Do You Love' were included. Some of the original tracks were also extended and the running order was altered. If you like blues or rock music or are a fan of Blackmore, Deep Purple, Jim Sullivan or Albert Lee you really cannot afford not to hear this album. 

The album itself was recorded live on a four track at Kingsway Recorders during two long sessions on April 20th and May 23rd 1970. One session not starting until the early hours of the morning as Blackmore and Paice had been doing a Purple gig earlier. The strings and horns were added on 4th January 1971 with Del Newman. Tracks wise it's a mix of old standards, a Derek Lawrence penned slow blues and the classic million miles an hour (uncredited due to contractual reasons) Blackmore instrumental 'Bullfrog'. Now, to me this is rock'n'roll of great people, listen with due attention, especially track "My Baby Left Me",where there is a duel between guitar-raising Lee & Blackmore, and see if I'm not right! 

"Green Bullfrog" opens with the rock and roll stomp of 'My Baby Left Me' and from the very outset the energy and quality is top notch. Its not just the guitars of Blackmore, Lee and Sullivan that hog the limelight either as although this is certainly a 'guitar' album the ivory tinklers get their moments in the sun, as does the bass of Chas Hodges. Ian Paice of course holds the thing together and drives it all along in the way only he can. Vocalist Earl Jordan is no passenger either as he delivers some energetic raspy blues soaked vocals simply dripping in soul and feeling. Why the bloke isn't thought of more highly is beyond me. 'Makin Time' is a great blues rock stomper with a great riff whilst 'Lawdy Miss Clawdy' features some great rock and roll piano to compliment the guitar. 

The instrumental 'Bullfrog' is for many the highlight of the album as Blackmore, Sullivan and Lee trade solos like gunslingers. This could be the fastest Blackmore has ever played. No lover of the guitar should miss out on hearing it as it is a truly wonderful peice of music. It has been featured on numerous Blackmore anthologies and retrospectives so shouldn't be difficult to track down even if the original album is nigh on impossible to find. Apparently Blackmore just started playing it when Lawrence suggested they needed an instrumental and Sullivan came in underneath and Lee on top in perfect harmony. It is almost like they are racing or duelling at times. With the swirling organ and driving rhythm of the drums you could certainly imagine it as a Purple track. It certainly deserves its place up there as one of the top Blackmore tracks. 'I Want You' is possibly the weakest track on the album but is still no back number. 

A little slower than the majority of the album it still features some great riffy guitar with Blackmore sounding very like he did on the "Fireball" sessions. 'I'm A Free Man' has an almost soul motown feel to it in places in the vocal and Blackmore plays some great guitar again including a nice 'picked' Shuggie Otis type solo to which singer Jordan can be heard saying "thats mean Ritchie baby" before Blackmore launches into another fast rock solo. Absolutely brilliant stuff. Even with all the fantastic guitar on offer the personal highlight for me is 'Walk A Mile In My Shoes'. This is for me the definative version and really highlights Earl Jordan's vocal ability. 

The guitar solos are a little more understated but still straight out of the top drawer. Paice's shuffle drumming is also vital to the overall feel of the song. The backing vocals are, for me anyway, the icing on the cake. Whenever I need cheering up on it goes and it never fails to do the trick. The final track 'Loving You Is Good For Me Baby' is a brooding blues from the pen of Derek Lawrence which I could imagine being recorded by Free. According to Lawrence he played the demo to Sullivan who complained "Oh no not another blues, lets make it interesting". He then played it in 17:9 time without anyone batting an eyelid. 

A superb end to a truly wonderful album. I can't see why MCA would have sat on it for over a year but can find no definative proof one way or the other. One thing that is for certain though is that is didn't sell many copies. According to MCA it sold less than 500 copies and they have never recouped the $15,000 advance they gave Lawrence for the rights to it. Something which puzzled Lawrence as he claims that everyone he has ever met claims to have a copy !! 
by Adamus67 ................

A lot has been written about who appeared on the Green Bullfrog album - particularly which members of Deep Purple played. This album not only gives the definitive answers, but presents a fabulous re-mastering AND adds extra tracks. What more could you ask for?
For those of you unfamiliar with the Green Bullfrog thing, its a guitar-hero album of reasonably familiar covers that comes from a couple of informal sessions in 1970. Originally released in 1971 with almost no publicity and with no reference to the artists real names (for contractual reasons) it sank without trace. Later of course, it became much sought-after and surrounded by rumour and mythology - often not helped by the vague and only partially accurate press recollections of key players. The most famous people on it depend on your perspective. Rockers will say Ritchie Blackmore and Ian Paice, while country pickers will argue for Albert Lee. Whichever way you see it, nobody hogs the limelight - at least no more than your average guitar hero - and it all comes together to make a great album. 'Bullfrog' is a slice of instrumental Purple, while 'Louisiana Man' is southern blues at its best. There's funk in there too, a little country, more blues and even some (admittedly heavy) pop leanings in 'Makin' Time'.
Buy this for lots of reasons. It has good songs. Its been cleaned up to a very high standard. Its a slice of history, featuring people you know well. And its unbelievable good value!............By David Socha ..................

This is a great collection of ripping blues songs by members of Deep Purple and friends. However, this CD has all new mixes of the songs. I actually prefer the mixes that were on the original vinyl release, and wish they included the old mixes along with the new mixes on this CD.
Have to give this CD 3 stars, for not including the original mixes of the songs......

A CD reissue, remixed at Abbey Road studios in London during 1991.
Re-produced by original producer Derek Lawrence.
Originally engineered by Martin Birch.
Re-mastered by Peter Vince.

Bevy [= Tony Ashton] - keyboards
Boots [= Ritchie Blackmore] - guitar
Boss [= Big Jim Sullivan] - guitar
Jordan [= Earl Jordan] - vocals
Pinta [= Albert Lee] - guitar
Sleepy [= Chas Hodges] - bass
Sorry [= Matthew Fisher] - keyboards
Speedy [= Ian Paice] - drums
Vicar [= Rod Alexander] - keyboards

Ain't Nobody Home
Bullfrog 7:15
Walk A Mile In My Shoes 3:33
My Baby Left Me 3:16
Makin' Time 2:51
Lawdy Miss Clawdy 3:15
I'm A Free Man 4:30
Lovin' You Is Good For Me Baby 5:05
I Want You 3:38
Louisiana Man
Who Do You Love

Undertakers Circus “Ragnarock” 1973 Norway Prog jazz Rock

Undertakers Circus “Ragnarock” 1973 Norway Prog jazz Rock

full album

A pretty lively record for a group named Undertakers Circus – not the funeral proceedings you might expect, and instead a romping bit of jazz-infused rock, served up with some occasional funky touches! The group clearly draw inspiration both from the brassy sound of North American groups like Chicago or Blood Sweat & Tears, and some of the jazz rock pioneers of the UK scene too – but they’ve also got a heady sound that’s all their own – partly because of their Norwegian lyrics, and partly from the way these guys move past easy rhythms, and often hit these more complicated passages in their tunes. The vocals often come together in this offbeat way – and when things get moody one minute, they’re quickly set free by some riffing guitar – and all of the horn passages you might expect from a jazz rock group. Titles include “Na Sitter Vi Og Venter”, “2007”, “Ragnarock”, “Nettenes Prinsesse”, and “Pa Striklestad”. (Beautiful reissue – heavy vinyl and cover, with heavy inner sleeve, and obi with notes in English!)….. 
UNDERTAKERS CIRCUS is a jazz-rock band from Lillestrøm, Norway, with their most active period between 1967 and 1976. With a full horn section accompanying traditional rock instruments their sound resembles bands like CHICAGO and BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS, but with melodies and harmonies more of the BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST and THE MOODY BLUES mode. 

They were the first rock band in Norway to write social critical lyrics in their native language. They also put music to two poems by working class poet Rudolf Nilsen. Other lyrical subjects was, amongst others, Norwegian history and Norse mythology. 

In 1968 they released their first single, “Little Boy Blue”/“Gotta Get Away” (both Curtis MAYFIELD covers), but it took them another four years to get signed by Polydor and release their second single, “Riil køntri mjusik”/“Menuet silikose”. A shortened version of “Menuet silikose” later emerged on the bands first album, while “Riil køntri mjusik”, which was an ironic comment to the discussion between music snobs and the rest of the country’s artists, became their greatest ever hit, although, as it was musically based on THE LOVIN’ SPOONFUL’s “Nashville Cats”, it wasn’t very representative for the band’s sound.  

The following year they released their first album, “Ragnarock”. At the time the band counted 11 members: Thor S. GRENI (vocals), Per Kristian LINDSTAD (guitar), Frank MYRSETH (guitar), Stein GUDMUNDSEN (vocals, congas), Erik THOEN (bass), Frode KILDAL (drums), Øystein BJØRK (trumpet), Johnny TORP (trombone), Kjell KRISTOFFERSEN (trumpet), Ivar HOVDEN (tenor sax) and Wiggo NILSEN (trombone). HOVDEN left the band later that year to join NEW JORDAL SWINGERS. “Ragnarock” was remastered and re-released by Pan Records in 2004, with “Riil køntri mjusik” and “Menuet silikose” (single version) as bonus tracks. 

One of the songs on the album, “Nettenes Prinsesse” (The Princess of the Nights), originally titled “Queen of the Night”, was composed and written, with lyrics in English, by guest piano player Eigil BERG (NEW JORDAL SWINGERS), and later reappeared on his solo album “Alhambra” (1981). The Norwegian lyrics on UNDERTAKERS CIRCUS’ version was written by Thor S GRENI. In 1999 the song once again reappeared, this time as “Long Distance Man”, on “Electric Psalmebook”, an album by BIGBANG, a band fronted by Thor S. GRENI’s son, Øystein GRENI, who has performed with UNDERTAKERS CIRCUS on a few occasions in later years. 

In 1975 UNDERTAKERS CIRKUS (now written with a “k”) released their second album, “Brød & Cirkus” (Bread & Circus). By then only four of the eleven members who made “Ragnarock” was left; THOEN, KILDAL, MYRSETH and GRENI, with two new members added on; Arild STAV (woodwinds, piano, vocals), who had appeared as a guest musician on “Ragnarock”, and Tom DANIELSON (piano, guitar, vocals). The horn section on “Brød & Cirkus” consisted of several guests, most notably Bjørn RØSTAD, who later played in Åge ALEKSANDERSEN’s (ex PRUDENCE) backing band, SAMBANDET. 

Soon after the release of their second album UNDERTAKERS CIRKUS disbanded, but they’ve come back together for several concerts over the years, and are still active as a live band as of 2015. 

Main source: 
“Norsk pop- og rockleksikon” (Norwegian Pop and Rock Encyclopedia) from Vega Forlag (Vega Publishers) (2005) 

Alto Saxophone [Altsax] – Arild Stav 
Art Direction – Peter Wharton 
Bass – Erik Thoen 
Congas – Earl Wilson 
Drums – Frode Kildal 
Engineer – Inge-Holst Jacobsen* 
Flute – Svein Greni 
Guitar – Frank Myrseth, Per Kristian Lindstad 
Photography By – Jim Bengston 
Piano – Egil Berg (2) 
Producer – Johnny Sareussen 
Tenor Saxophone [Tenor] – Ivar Hovden 
Trombone – Johnny Torp, Wiggo Nilsen 
Trumpet – Kjell Kristoffersen, Øystein Bjørk 
Vocals – Thor S. Greni 
Vocals, Congas – Stein Gudmundsen 

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..







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