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5 Mar 2017

Black Peal “Black Pearl” 1969 first album + Black Pearl “Live” 1970 second album US Soul Psych Rock

Black Peal “Black Pearl” 1969 first album +  Black Pearl “Live” 1970 second album US Soul Psych  Rock
full two albums
Black Pearl “Black Pearl” 1969 US Psych Soul Rock first album

Originally released on the Atlantic records label in early 1969,first pressings of this, along with first pressings of Led Zep's debut, were among the very last to be issued with Atlantic's old 60's style purple and tan label. Though apparently formed in Colorado, the band originally built a solid following in the Detroit area, before band leader and vocalist Bernie Fieldings grew displeased with his band, and walked off stage, mid-performance. Relocating to the west coast, he rebuilt another band, and another solid reputation, as a soul based rock outfit. Their one and only studio recording, released as a self-titled affair, expounded on this reputation. I can agree with almost everyone I know of that has heard it, including at least one reviewer here, that at first listening, this is not a particularly memorable album. Indeed, it languished in my collection for years, relatively untouched, until I happened across the single version of, arguably, the album's best cut, "Mr. Soul Satisfaction". As is so often the case, the mono single version, though with apparently no difference in mix from the stereo LP version, just hit me in a way the album failed to in my initial listening. Going back to re investigate, I discovered it to be better than I had remembered, and it continues to grow on me to this day. I will describe the music as semi-hard, west coast influenced rock, with a distinctive soul flavor, due mostly to Fieldings' unique vocal style and some semi-funky beats here and there. That afore-mentioned "unique" vocal style can be an acquired taste, even annoying over the course of an entire LP. But individual tracks are certainly tolerable, and the whole album is worthy of investigation. Also, check out the live album, released after this, but recorded the year prior to this album. Grades - 1 A-,2 B+'s, 4 B's, a B-, and a .........

Back in the late '60s, there were several bands that amped up the smooth and sexy R&B sound of the day -- giving it a shot of adrenaline and a bit more, well, cajones. The prime example of this approach was the mighty MC5, but there were other acts that followed the same template -- albeit all but forgotten over the years -- such as Black Pearl. Although they hailed from San Francisco and were pals of the Grateful Dead, they did not reflect the expected hippie-dippie-isms from bands of that area/era. Singer Bernie B.B. Fieldings had obviously studied his James Brown records, as his vocal delivery brings to mind the hardest working man in show business, as well as the MC5's Rob Tyner at times. But unlike the 5, Black Pearl weren't loaded with as many memorable hooks in their songs, nor a raise-your-fist-in-the-air anthem like "Kick Out the Jams." Still, their lone studio album (their other release was a live recording) -- a self-titled release from 1969 -- provided a much needed alternative to all the mellow/laid-back music that was ruling the mainstream at the time, especially on such funky-psychedelic-garage rock ditties as "Crazy Chicken" and "Mr. Soul Satisfaction." As you've probably guessed by now, if you're a fan of the MC5, it would certainly be worth it to hunt down a copy of Black Greg Prato ...allmusic.........

Bruce Benson (guitar), Jeff Mackay (guitar), and Jerry Causi (bass), all three previously of the Barbarians, got together to form an new band in 1967 called Black Pearl. The band became a popular live attraction, and received positive reviews for their hard-edged debut. In 1969, Black Pearl released a self-titled album that featured the excellent “Climbing Up the Walls” which featured aggressive guitars and harsh vocals. Their performance at the Fillmore showed that the power of the Barbarians hadn’t diminished, but they were unable to make a commercial breakthrough. Black Pearl split up shortly after.............

Crazy Chicken 3:00
Thinkin' 'Bout The Good Times 4:11
White Devil 4:55
Mr. Soul Satisfaction 3:35
Forget It 3:41
Climbing Up The Walls 3:51
Bent Over 2:55
Endless Journey 3:49
Reach Up 4:03 

Black Pearl "Live" 1970 US Psych Soul Funk second album

Nice bit of rockin' funky soul by a band that we know little about, but who seem to be an LA rock band that's obsessed with soul music. The LP contains a great 11 minute version of "Cold Sweat", played with a lot of funky vamping by the band in a JB's style. There's also a nice version of "People Get Ready", plus the tracks "Uptown" and "Hermit Freak Show".............

Black Pearl was a West Coast rock group of the late '60s and early '70s. The lead singer was wild showman Bernie "B.B." Fieldings. Though the members of the group were from the Boston area and the band was formed in Boston they left immediately to play in Aspen, Colorado where they were a house band for several months. They moved to San Francisco in 1967. The formation of Black Pearl by Oak OConnor and Geoff Morris was what split up of the Barbarians for whom some of the group had previously played. The group released an album and a single in 1969 and a second album in 1970. They finaly returned to Boston while on tour to play at The Arc in 1969.

When Moulty, The Barbarians drummer decided he did not want to drive all the way to Aspen Colorado for a 2 week gig, drummer Oak OConnor stepped in and the remaining members (Morris, Causi and Benson) started prepping for the gig in Aspen. With the addition of fellow Tom Mulcahy and newly minted lead singer B.B. Fieldings (Champy) they formed Black Pearl in 1967. They rose quickly to a sold out album and number 100 with a bullet in Billboard.

The bands three guitar line-up created one of the first heavy psych groups, with strong R&B roots. Their first album, produced by Lee Kiefer and Richard Moore, contained nine short tracks, with titles like Crazy Chicken, White Devil and Mr. Soul Satisfaction. It's cover was designed by Eve Babitz. Lester Bangs reviewed their albums in Rolling Stone Magazine and in the Rolling Stone History of Rock and Roll he called them one of the first Heavy Metal bands although it was more R&B on LSD.
Oak OConnor........................

I picked up the album on this page in New York City and had never heard of or seen it before--this is after 30 years of collecting music of the hippie era.

But it was recorded at the Filmore East and consists of a lot of jamming on a James Brown-ish groove. It is not quite that funky, a little more soul-based, and absolutely great.

The album brings to mind a soul band you would see in a movie scene of the era where a couple walks into a club-=not really distinctive, but works so well because the band is so good and the singer so soulful.
Don't forget this type of music was all over the radio. so small local bands assimilated this into their music---Black Pearl does this particularly well.

So............. how does a collector go so long without finding out about an album of his or her chosen genre---who knows? It humbles you some notches and drives you crazy wondering how many of these gems--well, in this case pearls--are floating around out there, probably played once on FM radio and then winding up in a record shop--or Jesus--landfill a life time later. Each one you miss is a hair you pull out, and each one you find is a audio lottery ticket.

I wonder what the next one sounds like.................

Black Pearl
*Bernie "B.B" Fieldings - Vocals
*Bruce Benson - Guitar, Bass
*Tom Mulcahy - Guitar
*Jerry Causi - Drums
*Jeff Mackay Morris - Lead Guitar
*Oak O'Connor - Drums

A1 Uptown
Written-By – Betty Mabry
A2 I Get The Blues Most Every Night
Arranged By – Black Pearl (9)
Written-By – Traditional
A3 Hermit Freak Show
Written-By – Black Pearl (9)
B1 Cold Sweat
Written-By – Alfred Ellis, James Brown
B2 People Get Ready
Written-By – Curtis Mayfield

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..





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