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1 Jan 2017

Armageddon “Armageddon” 1969 US Psych Blues Rock

Armageddon  “Armageddon” 1969 US Psych Blues Rock
A Los Angeles band, although Mark Creamer, Jim Parker and John Stark were earlier members of the Texan Kitchen Cinq. They did not release any 45s on this label but the album is now a very minor collectable. They sound influenced by Cream on a couple of tracks and also covered Tales Of Brave Ulysses. The album, which was produced by Tom Thacker, also contains a weird cover of The Magic Song (Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo), from Disney’s “Cinderella”. 
Robert Ledger went on to play in Simon Stokes’ Nighthawks, whilst James Parker and John Stark also played on Them’s U.S.-only album In Reality. Marc Creamer played for his wife (Laura Creamer)’s band, Eve, on their Take It And Smile album, (LHI 3100) 1970 (also produced by Tom Thacker and featuring Ry Cooder, James Burton, Hal Blaine and Sneaky Pete). Finally, Skip Battyn played in The Evergreen Blueshoes and would later join The Byrds. orexisofdeath…….. 

Not to be confused with Keith Relf’s far better known outfit (and also with the homophone German band), this Texas-to-the-West Coast obscurity. 

Singer/lead guitarist Mark Creamer, rhythm guitarist James Parker, and drummer Johnny Stark had previously been members of the Texas-based The Kitchen Cinq. Following the band’s collapse the trio along with Kitchen Cinq bassist James Dallas Smith decamped for Los Angeles. Smith apparently decided to return to Texas in order to get a college degree and was quickly replaced by Skip Battin. 

The quartet was quickly signed to Jimmy Bowen’s newly formed Amos label (Kitchen Cinq manager Tom Thacker and Bowen were longtime friends). As you probably guessed, the move to Southern California and a new label found the band ditching their earlier pop-psych roots in favor of a distinctively tougher, rock-oriented attack. Produced by Tom Thacker, 1969’s cleverly titled “Armageddon” marked a major step forward in terms of creativity. 

Whereas The Kitchen Cinq LP and singles frequently followed prevailing musical trends, original tracks like ‘Armageddon Theme’, 'Water Lilly’ and 'Another Part Of Our Life’ offered up a first-rate set of fuzz guitar propelled hard rock, though much of the material was tempered by catchy melodies. The other big difference was found in the vocal performances. Whereas The Kitchen Cinq lacked a distinctive singer, this time out all four members came off as first-rate vocalists. 

Virtually every one of the ten tracks was worth hearing (okay, any song based on a Tolkin character was of dubious worth ('Bilbo Baggins’ and the stoned cover of the Walt Disney class 'The Magic Song’ was simply a bad idea to start with). Personal favorites included the acid-tinged ballad 'Cave of the Winds’ and their Cream cover 'Tales of Brave Ulysses’. Not a major masterpiece, but easily on of the better albums I’ve stumbled across over the last couple of years. 

Piece of needless trivia - Finishing the recording sessions Battin dropped out in order to join a late inning Byrds line up. He was replaced by Robert Ledger (Ledger’s face is on the album cover). 
Bad Cat Records……… 

The Kitchen Cinq were a folk beat group from Amarillo, TX, who were heavily influenced by the British Invasion bands (the Dave Clark Five in particular) and West Coast folk-rock (Beau Brummels, etc.). They evolved from another local Amarillo-based group, the Y'Alls (who, in 1966, recorded the Beatles’ “Run for Your Life,” along with an original, “Please Come Back to Me,” for the Ruff label). In 1967, the Kitchen Cinq — Mark Creamer (guitar/vocals), Dale Gardner (bass/vocals), Jim Parker (guitar/vocals), Dallas Smith (guitar), and Johnny Stark (drums) — issued a total of five impressive singles and one album, Everything but…the Kitchen Cinq, which collected these tracks and added a few additional numbers, including covers of Neil Diamond’s “Solitary Man” and Buffy Sainte-Marie’s “Codeine.” The album and singles were recorded under the supervision of songwriter/arranger/producer Lee Hazlewood and released by Hazlewood’s Hollywood-based LHI label (who also issued Safe at Home by Gram Parsons’ International Submarine Band). Hazlewood also contributed the closing track, “Need All the Help I Can Get.” The band’s jangly version of the Beau Brummels’ “Still in Love With You Baby” was a regional hit in many U.S. cities. The Kitchen Cinq released a couple of singles on Decca during 1968, before Parker and Stark joined up with a U.S. touring version of Them. The remainder of the Kitchen Cinq re-formed as Armageddon, issuing an LP on underground label Amos in 1969. (Allmusic)…………. 

*Mark Creamer - Vocals, Lead Guitar 
*Robert Ledger - Bass (Replaced Skip Battin) 
*James Parker - Vocals, Rhythm Guitar 
*Johnny Stark - Vocals, Drums, Percussion 
*Skip Battin - Bass 

01.Armageddon Theme - 4:12 
02.Water Lilly - 3:34 
03.Another Part Of Our Life - 5:00 
04.Come Tomorrow - 3:47 
05.Cold Cold Tracks - 3:19 
06.Cave of the Winds - 4:05 
07.The Lamp - 2:33 
08.Bilbo Baggins - 3:58 
09.Tales of Brave Ulysses - 5:06 
10.The Magic Song (Bibbidi-Bobbidid-Boo) - 4:09 

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..