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28 Jan 2017

Orang-Utan "Orang Utan" 1971 UK Psych Hard Rock

Orang-Utan  "Orang Utan" 1971 UK Psych Hard Rock
interview by psychedelic baby
An often considered Psychedelic, Acid Rock, Heavy Rock, Hard Rock group from London, England, whose only album was originally released in the U.S. exclusively. The band was previously known as Hunter but never issued any recordings under that name. They are based heavily on sludgy Blues type riffs. They have great musicianship in all instrumental departments the biggest emphasis being on the twin lead guitars. Their heavy sound can also be considered an influence on the Stoner Rock genre. Sounds similar to American and British groups such as, Deep Purple, Vanilla Fudge, Cream, Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Led Zeppelin, B.F Trike, and Mountain. 

“Orang Utan featured musicians from several other notable dissolving bands, that had been playing in north London in the late 60s. Singer Terry “Nobby” Clarke was co-founder of the band Jason Crest. They recorded their album at a 16 track studio facility in London. The band’s only album was released on the U.S. Bell Records label in 1970. 

The band had no idea their album was being released and only found out about it by accident. Adrian Miller was the person that claimed the producer’s title on the Bell album release. He was also the person responsible for stealing this material from the musicians and getting it released without the group’s consent or knowledge. Adrian even secretly convinced the group’s unsuspecting manager at the time, to suggest to the band to change their name to Orang-Utan. 

At the time the band were still going by their original name “Hunter” which they had taken from an Albert King song. It is believed that if the band had been managed with any real degree of integrity and professionalism, they possibly would have went on to do bigger and better things. The music itself consists of well played and diversely crafted heavy guitar oriented rock. It is not of a Psychedelic nature, or Acid Rock based as some have claimed. 

There was only one member that even smoked hash regularly. Several of the songs are nothing short of brilliant and serve to show what incredible talent these young 19-20 year old musicians possessed. Most all of the music was written and composed by Jeff Seopardie who was the drummer, with the majority of the guitar & bass riffs being developed and played by Mick Clarke & Paul Roberts respectively. 

“Nobby” Clark, whose powerful and well done vocal duties can be heard quite clearly on the album, only had one lung. “Nobby” was actually the second vocalist for the band and demos do exist from the band line up that proceeded him. 

Despite the greatness that is recorded on their lone album, the band has yet to receive any royalties from the original recording and any of it’s reissues.” ….. 

“Musically, Orang Utan features great twin lead guitar work and some long tracks with titles like “Chocolate Piano” this is similar in style to Leaf Hound and early Led Zeppelin with a late ‘60’s U.S. feel.“ ……… 

Currently, it appears the band may be in the works of putting together a reissue that they would actually benefit from and possibly a reunion tour. The group has not been in contact with one another too much since they folded in 1970 from financial and management issues. …………… 
If you’re into obscure early metal bands like Sir Lord Baltimore, Bang!, Leaf Hound, Granicus, & Dust, you’ll love Orang-Utan’s lone album, which has recently been made available for download. (Note : I normally DESPISE this digital non-format, but it has made many long-forgotten albums such as this readily available once again. But I digress…). “Orang-Utan” is a powerful, well written, played, & produced album, a cut above much of the similar hard & heavy music of the era . From the little info I’ve found, this UK band was screwed by their label before the ink had even dried on their contract. “Orang-Utan” was released on Bell in the US, but with little or no promotion and no chance of touring, the LP was stillborn and quickly hit the cut-out bins, an instant rarity. It’s been reissued a couple of times over the decades, but here’s your chance to grab this ear-rattler at a low price. Now..ROCK!!! ……………. 
Get ready for some early 70s heavy rock out of the UK with smoking twin-lead guitars and fiery vocals!! The music itself consists of some very well played, heavy, guitar-oriented rock somewhere near Leaf Houd or heavier Free with a bit of Zep’s style. 

The liner notes on this release are way off and name some folks who were in the band’s previous lineup and only recorded demos together when they were still named Hunter. For the album as released, most of the music was written/composed by drummer Jeff Seopardie, guitars by Sid Fairman & Mick Clarke with Paul Roberts on bass. The stellar vocals are from their replacement vocalist Nobby Clark - who incidentally had only one lung - and are a great match for the band’s sound. 

The album was recorded in London at a 16-track, state of the art facility and was subsequently 'stolen’ in 1970 and released only in the US by a seedy and 'self-named’ producer, all without the knowledge or consent of the band. They found out after the fact and have never been paid a dime for this fine record. When they found out the LP had been released, the band realized they had been screwed and went their seperate ways. 
One of the best 'lost’ 70s album in my collection and everything I look for in a lost classic. Too bad they were jilted and never got the opportunity to follow up this little gem…..By Tuco ………. 

Is Orang-utan the lost 70s hardrock gem everyones been searching for? No.Is it a godawful album not worth your time or money? Again a resounding no.Id have to rate this cd as middle of the road early rock,nothing mindblowing but a worthy addition to your obscure rock recordings collection. Here’s the linear notes in all their glory: 
As most people dont know: Orang-utan grew from the dying members of Jason Crest,whilst the remaining members continued with new vocalist Brian Prebble and ex-Mike Stuart Span/Leviathan guitarist Brian Bennett under the new name.Their US-only album is full of far music heavier than the Crest ever managed to cut.“I can see inside your head” is unsubtley Hendrixian and very 'eavy {but not at all 'umble!}therefore quite brilliant.'Slipping Away’ is also bloody heavy,this time Led Zep sounding. Its mellowed interlude,complete with phased vocals,shows that the path from 'Black Mass’ lead somewhere equally troubled:“Time is all kinds of pain and your mind is never quite the same” 'Love Queen'is very cool.'Chocolate Piano'is bombastic and 'kin great! A vertible epic.This is one of the very best heavy albums of the period,and most definitely not for the popsykers!But if you dig Broughtons, Writing on the Wall,or the Faries I am sure you’ll dig this big time;and song titles such as 'Fly Me High'or 'Magic Playground'leave no one in doubt that this is music stuffed full of brain fryin'chemicals.In fact,this is one of the very few genuine UK 'Acid Rock'albums. Play loud,play very very LOUD!……Again 3 stars on the music and 5 stars on the album cover. ORANG-UTAN Original release 1971 USA Bell Records 6054…………. 

Once again a very forgotten psychedelic rock classic from the early 70’s. Orang-Utan is very unknown in these days and they weren’t very famous back then either. But this album is full of classy music that every psych fan should check out. 

Many nice standouts in here like for example “Slipping Away”, maybe my favourite song “Chocolate Piano”, “If You Leave Me” and “Fly Me High”. Rest of the songs are great too. This album has only eight songs so there isn’t any fillers. This record is one tight package full of awesome hard and bluesy psychedelia numbers with some very fine guitarwork. 

I like this one a lot. But I still can’t rate this with a full five stars rating. It’s very close to perfect but could have been even better. Definitely an enjoyable work….by CooperBolan ………… 

ORANG-UTAN was one of a number of lesser-known hard rocking outfits to emerge in the British music world in the late 60s combining hard bluesy rock with heavy psych. The band became the refuge for a collection of musicians that formed from the ashes of several dissolving bands that were on the scene in late 60s North London led by ex-Jason Crest co-founder Terry Clarke. The band originally went by the moniker Hunter but was convinced to change their name to ORANG-UTAN and managed to record enough material for this one album released by the Bell Records label. 

This eponymous album was only released in the US and not in their native UK. The tale of ORANG-UTAN is a tale of corruption and outright theft. The album was released without their knowledge and the band only later found out by accident that it had actually hit the market. Their producer apparently had the gall to take all the material outside the UK to find a record deal and manufactured the finished product only to release the album without the band’s consent. Due to this miscreancy and the stealing of thunder by much more successful bands in the era, they decided to split up and pursue other endeavors. Only guitarist Mick Clarke and bassist Paul Roberts are still active in the music business to date. 

The music is fairly typical of the era. It’s hard to say that ORANG-UTAN sounds like any particular band of the era because they have ingredients that sound like many of their contemporaries. The riffs range from the types heard from Cream, Mountain and even Led Zeppelin. There are dual guitar assaults that bring Wishbone Ash and the Allman Brothers to mind and the overall hard bluesy rock feel can also remind a lot of Free, Leaf Hound or a less heavy Sir Lord Baltimore. 

This is one of those albums that isn’t gonna blow you away upon first listen if you’ve heard your share of bluesy rock from the era, however what makes this a touch more interesting than the vast universe of early proto-metal bluesy hard rock is that the compositions are decently constructed, the musicianship is quite developed and the stylistic mix of acid rock and heavier bluesy metal is well played. Terry Clarke’s vocals fit in perfectly for the style as well. This is a great release if you are looking to hear the harder spectrum of rock from the early 70s beyond the heavy hitters of Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath or Deep Purple. While ORANG-UTAN doesn’t quite compete with those behemoth bands, they recorded enough quality material for this release. It is however quite disheartening that the band spent their own money to record in a state of the art studio of the day and have yet to receive even one cent in royalties….by silly puppy…… 

Very good psychedelic blues rock from the best year for music ever…1971. Excellent fuzz/wah-wah guitar with some great bass lines and some well written tunes. Another great one and done from this era. A mental adjustment and headphones help………….. 

A1 I Can See Inside Your Head
A2 Slipping Away
A3 Love Queen
A4 Chocolate Piano
B1 If You Leave
B2 Fly Me Hight
B3 Country Me
B4 Magic Playground 

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..





Cassete Deck

Cassete Deck