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28 Jun 2017

Kim Fowley "International Heroes" 1973 US Prog Glam Pop Rock












Kim Fowley "International Heroes" 1973 US Prog Glam Rock

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After the purposefully dirty proto-punk onslaught of I'm Bad, Kim Fowley shifted gears into something less outwardly off-putting on 1973's International Heroes. The album has often been described as Fowley's glam rock effort, though the addled folk-rock of the arrangements (banjos, accordions, and even pennywhistles bob in and out of the mix) has a good bit more to do with Hunky Dory-era David Bowie than the electric swagger of Ziggy Stardust or the more proletarian sounds of Slade and the Sweet. As usual, the lyrics reflect the darkly witty obsessions of sleaze genius Fowley, whether he's trying to impress a nameless woman with his incoherent love grunts on "So Good Wish You Would," or making some kind of socio-political statement about the media on "Ugly Stories About Rock Stars and the War." While Fowley has always been a bit of a loon, he's a loon with professional standards, and International Heroes shows that he knows how to put together an album; the studio band is sharp and the arrangements are imaginative, even when Fowley's attempts to sing with a Dylan-esque drawl help to push tunes like "World Wide Love" and the title track toward absurdity. Fowley gets a bit of his rock & roll groove back on the grand finale "Dancing All Night" but for the most part, International Heroes is one of Fowley's "thoughtful" albums, which is to say he was hoping America's youth would come to love him for his mind as well as his body. And the truth is, they'd fallen for worse before, and have ever since: at least Fowley has the talent and the force of will to back up his crazed world view on plastic and make it curiously fun......by Mark Deming..............

Kim Fowley had rough times this year, his bladder cancer tried to kill him and maybe it finally will win, but he recently married with Kara Wright and after all it's a way to keep death quiet some time. Since I saw that visitors came on this post, I decided to re-up this wonderful album on M. It's an overlooked masterpiece. Since I discovered him in 1972, I've never abandoned Kim Fowley, I'm rather proud of that. 
This is what everyone calls the "glam" or "glitter" LP of Kim Fowley. It's true that once in London, he certainly was influenced by the climax of the year (actually 1972) which was all for Bolan & Bowie. Since these 2 glam stars were an adaptation of Dylan, it's no surprise this album is what Kim Fowley tried to do with Dylan to produce his own glam identity. Actually, it's still very Dylanian and rarely goes in the real glam (except the T. Rex-influenced "Born Dancer" and "Dancing All Night"). But the fact is this album is surely his best (with Outrageous) cos' songs are really prime cuts and have supported the test of time more than many of those released at this period. It's true that Kim Fowley was backed and helped (for composition) by a strong team of musicians among whom Kerry Scott (where is this man, what has he done afterwards?) and Glen Turner, both on guitars. They provide a first class support and Kim Fowley seems exceptionnally concerned and focused. Only on the Ralph Shuckett co-penned "So Good Wish You Would", the madness Kim was used to, emerges again. But the most incredible song is "I Hate You", totally under the influence of Procol Harum, and most notably their Shine On Brightly period, with the doomest and darkest songs. The text is terrible (if you want to send a hate letter to an ex-lover, take it) and the song remains one of the highlights of the seventies. A perfect great forgotten song although it cannot be denied it's a Procol rip-off. Other gems are "World Wide Love" (a sure hit, why nobody released this on a single?), "International Heroes" or "Ugly Stories About Rock Stars", not forgetting "Something New", but actually there is no really weak track here. So, that nobody released this masterpiece on CD properly shows how the record industry only deserves to be despised until they die. .........................

This was waxed around the time he produced legendary recordings by the Modern Lovers so it’s no surprise that this is one of the best albums from the ubiquitous Kim Fowley. Son of actor Douglas Fowley, he produced the novelty hit “Alley Oop” in 1960, then went on to release some commercially unsuccessful solo albums, produced and wrote more oddities for other artists (including Kiss) and eventually unleashed Runaways on the world. And that’s just to name a few. He even found time to write songs with Skip Battin, which were recorded by the Byrds (Untitled LP) and Gene Parsons.

Those who’ve worn out their copies of Roxy Music/Eno/Bowie albums will be thrilled to exhume this forgotten (or never really even known) specimen of oddball glam. Judging from the cover, he didn’t want to leave anyone guessing about the sound he was shooting for. This platter plays like an instant classic, falling into some no man’s land somewhere between Roxy Music and the New York Dolls. Like Eno, he’s often playing post-punk years before it existed, but Fowley’s songs are looser and more accessible, sure to get you hooked on the first spin. “Something New” is simply a perfect pop song with a great update on a Byrdsian jangle feel. “I Hate You” is a gloomy slice of contempt that’ll leave you feeling good about your shitty mood. There are nice female soul/gospel backings throughout. “Dancing All Night” rocks like a garbage can bound outtake from Sticky Fingers.

International Heroes is another exceptional rocknroll record that is in dire need of CD release. Good luck finding any cheap copies on ebay.....Rising Storm .....review........

The first ever reissue of this overlooked gem of Kim Fowley's discography from 1973.
DESCRIPTION After a relatively calm period in terms of his own releases between the late 60s and early 70s, Kim Fowley quickly followed 1972's "I'm Bad" with "International Heroes" the next year. Considered by many his strongest collection of songs along with "Outrageous" from 1968, this outstanding LP seems to channel Dylan through the prism of early British glam..........

Kim Fowley passed away last January at the age of 75, and this International Heroes (1973) has lived for four decades (42 years, plus month, minus month) as if time did not pass by itself. Listening to it recently, as I have heard it repeatedly before and during the making of this text, I realize that it is in excellent health, and that it is strongly recommended. Not being an expert in the evaluation of the work of the American artist, I chose this album to be included in today's post from your Altamont for reasons that seem reasonable and easy to understand. The first one has to do with the fact that it is the album that I prefer, even though most experts choose to choose other albums, such as Outrageous (1968) or Love Is Alive And Well (1967), for example. The second concerns another simple circumstance, which is that of this International Heroes to be accessible to any ear, although not so immediately so, that is, without letting itself fall into facilitations that, if they do happen, would immediately raise my choice. The third, also very substantive, is that when I hear it, I also hear echoes of glam without great fuss, more contained glam, some folk-rock, and even Bob Dylan resonances in Fowley's voice, especially in the way of dragging the corner. It reminds me still of Hunky Dory, of Bowie. All good reasons, so to remember.
The 10 songs from International Heroes are frankly enjoyable to listen to, and when I'm predisposed to actually give them some more attention, I get a better sense of their charm. And so, after what I mentioned in the previous paragraph (with such an attentive addition that I mentioned) I am also able to find, for some of the songs on the album, a bit of Stones (the theme "Dancing All Night" serves as an example) , Bolan (in "Born Dancer") and even remnants of Procol Harum, as seems to happen in "I Hate You". In fact, in addition to the great songs mentioned, all the rest are quite interesting, and some of them would look good as hits that they never really were. "Ugly Stories About Rock Stars And The War", "E.S.P. Reader "and" International Heroes "might have been successful, but fate did not want to. It was worth it. They are strong, tender, pleasant to their musical marrow. Another good example is "World Wide Love", dylanously beautiful and appetizing, with perfect choirs and everything. Had I been born from the strings of Bob Dylan's guitar, and would have gone another way ...

International Heroes could have been a huge success, but it stayed in history as a kind of middleweight triumph, so to speak. Surrounded by excellent and very cohesive musicians (Kerry Scott and Glen Turner on the guitars are fantastic), Kim Fowley knew enough to let go of some of his unbridled eccentricity, dedicating himself to creating a fantastic batch of songs, thus showing compositional abilities Of undeniable value.

One last reference to the disk, just to mention its cover and back cover. Fowley's facial make-up leaves no doubt about the decade in which it was made, and in the verse it's no longer just the face of the artist to be in evidence, but the whole body. Kim Fowley appears with a fur coat over a t-shirt where you can read the expression space age, wearing heeled shoes to make any king of the glam period jealous. Perhaps these are the only true features of a record that seems timeless, but that nevertheless sank in the forgetfulness of time. Maybe now, with the recent death of the artist, someone take International Heroes and give you a CD edition, which to date does not seem to exist. If you also do it on vinyl, since the growing market for black slips tends to assert itself more and more, my congratulations will be double. It remains for me to wait, and to have fingers in both hands.................by.....CARLOS LOPES .............

Along with "Outrageous" (1968), the album "International Heroes" (1973) is one of the most important works of Kim Fowley, who in this LP was immersed in the current glam rock. The American recorded the album in a Britain dominated musically by T. Rex and David Bowie.
It was released in Capitol with production by Jeffrey Cheen, collaboration in the arrangements of Kerry Scott (member of the band rock and folk rock Anno Domini), in the orchestration of Jenny Duncan, choirs of Madeline Bell and participation in the guitars of Glen Turner. Reissued by Vinilisssimo, the album was presented with the self-titled single, a song co-written by Fowley and Kerry Scott to listen alongside those of Mott The Hoople or those of Bowie himself from the early 70's ... International Heroes, we got the teenage The theme was versioned by the British Lions, band formed by several components of Mott The Hoople, in 1978.................

Tracklist
A1 International Heroes
A2 E.S.P. Reader
A3 King Of Love
A4 Ugly Stories About Rock Stars And The War
A5 I Hate You
B1 Something New
B2 Born Dancer
B3 So Good Wish You Would
B4 World Wide Love
B5 Dancing All Night

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