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14 Jun 2017

Rex Holman "Here In The Land Of Victory"1970 US Psych Folk











Rex Holman "Here In The Land Of Victory"1970 excellent US Psych Folk 

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Ultra-rare U.S. psych/folk album originally from 1970.
Here In The Land Of Victory is a very good folk psych album, Holman has a mid-range quavery voice, and the songs are all very fragile, floating acoustic type of songs, with sitar, tablas and other exotic instrumentation scattered liberally throughout.
The album cover is a very psychedelic montage featuring Holman super-imposed over scenes of down and out street people.
Holman also wrote Bizarrek Kind covered by Vision Of Sunshine.................

It’s time to present one of my all time favorite albums, Here in the Land of Victory (1970) by Rex Holman. A man and artist that has been present throughout the many decades yet lingering in the shadow. This album is in the genre of psychedelic folk and it is declared to be a cult album by us connoisseurs, it is mentioned but not well known, referred to yet undistributed and with all right a masterpiece. It was the only album he ever released, at the age of 42. Here I want to dedicate a post to him and about his life as far as possible.

This album is so well played and stands out on a mystical plane compared to other albums in the genre from that time. The soundscape in it is fractal and I hear new details over the years I listen to it. The lyrics are vivid, dreamy, serious and dark and sometimes camouflaged in psychedelic idleness. The musicians (but they were really sensitive and good) were anonymous due to some record label issue – maybe that’s why it remains in dimness and did so from the release of it
The album starts of with the title track and it’s floating rhythmic guitar that is accompanied by tables, flute and a wonderful bass. Holman’s lyrics are dreamy and carry you along and away in different realms of imagination, especially listening to them in good stereo or headphones while lying down, relaxing, meditating and inviting the magic.

Copper Kettles is a song with a waddling and gloomy psychedelic style. A harpsichord plays the melody in left stereo, a guitar is present in just the right moments and in the right side of the soundscape Holman sings out the extremely dreamy and imaginative story. I wonder how a man at the age of 42 went to the studio and managed to bring the musicians together and get this album recorded. All while working with supporting roles in various films and series. Copper Kettles is only 2:25 minutes but I experience it differently every time, sometimes it feels like being half an hour long. That is what manifests a quality psychedelic album.

Red is the Apple is a surreal story and a very beautifully phrased song, with saxophone, piano and electric guitar in a very odd jazzy feeling straight out of the colorful underworld. As always on this album Holman’s lyrics crystalize an endless flow of fractal associations together with the music. Just to mention, there is one more song from him that he wrote for the band Vision of Sunshine called Bizarrek Kind.

It’s very hard to find any information about Rex Holman (born Roy Eugene Baker). There are some clips from parts in films and movies he’s been in, where he often had the role of a villain. We can see that he was an elegant and handsome man with a good looking face. The best info I found on him was from an interview in Starlog Magazine issue 152 from 1990. It was a sci-fi magazine and the reason for his interview was that he played the character first seen on screen in Star Trek – Final Frontier. A very short role but important because it sets the mode for the rest of the film. He is among the few to have been in both the Star Trek Original Series and a film. Back in 1968 he played a mean sinister cowboy in black in the episode Spectre of the Gun.
At the time of the interview in 1990 he had been financially supporting himself as an actor for 33 years. At the time of the interview he lived in the Californian desert close to the Apple Valley. On IMDB I also did find some discussion posts from some people curious about him and some replies from a person who’d been in touch with him. Rex Holman is described as a real and honest person, full of life and adventure. A former neighbor tells about how he used to come over and play cards with his grandmother and son. Another actress tells about his pleasant attitude during filming and that he had a good singing voice. As we hear on the album, where his characteristic vibrato is just right for it.................by...Sanjin Đumišić.............

Actor Rex Holman is perhaps better-known to Star Trek and Monkees fans than music enthusiasts, but connoisseurs of acid folk have long treasured this, his sole album, which originally appeared in 1970 (when he was almost 42 years old). A hypnotic blend of melodic, contemplative songs (set to acoustic guitar, sitar and tabla) and philosophical lyrics sung in a quavering voice that has been compared to Tim Buckley’s, it’s nothing short of an overlooked gem, and is sure to appeal to fans of artists such as Damon, Pat Kilroy and Mark Fry.

Rex was a small time tv character actor who appeared on Star Trek, the Monkees, the Man from U.N.C.L.E., Gunsmoke, Charlie's Angels, etc. His weeningly smooth baritone & downer lyrics also caused local record connoisseur Rob T. to appropriately christen him 'Gordon Darkfoot'.

Released in 1970 (when Holman was already 42), "Here In the Land of Victory" featured all original material, though the mix of Indian-flavored instrumentation and Holman's hyper serious lyrics sounded like something that was recorded circa 1967. Holman's vibrato-drenched vocals (which were an acquired taste) and his over-the-top lyrics certainly weren't for everyone. Imagine Richard Harris reincarnated as Donovan and you'll have a feel for tracks like 'Listen To the Footsteps', the sitar and flute propelled 'Sit and Flatter Me' and 'Come On Down'.  Ironically if you could get over those characteristics, then the album rewarded you with quite a bit of memorable material.

Holman's uber earnestness was somehow charming and most of the lyrics were no worse than your standard college English paper (okay, 'The Chosen One' was far worse). Certainly a reflection of my personal tastes, but Holman was at his best when backed by a full rock ensemble. As such personal highlights included 'Pink Lemonade', 'Today Is Almost Here', and the bluesy 'Red Is the Apple'. The disturbing artwork including a back cover photo of Homan sitting blissed out next to a passed out drunk certainly didn't help sales. (The inner sleeve picture showing Holman in his best psycho-killer stare is even more disturbing.).....Bad Cat..........

This album is a reasonably entertaining set of sort of mellow, singer-songwriter light psych. The production has a nice think woodsy sound, and the songwriting is rarely embarrassing. Holman has a pretty strong 'dude-with-a-mustache' voice, although his vibrato often gets a little out of control - it's like he's singing in a fan or something. Still, this music sits in a strange grey area between Kris Kristofferson and Donovan that should hold your attention for a bit.

The best tracks here blend Holman's 'manly-hippy-on-the-moors' sound with a bit of an Eastern vibe, which basically means a few bongos and a sitar. "Rowin'," "Sit and Flatter Me," and "Debbie" all ride this sort of groove pretty well and are probably the best tracks here. "Debbie" especially has a cool shuffling rhythm and makes me think of Scott Walker before he started using slabs of meat as percussion. I also dig the twilight psych of "Copper Kettle" and "Come On Down." Yeah, for some reason side two seems to be the superior side. Well, the opening title track is pretty solid as well, adorned with chimes, flute, and a catchy Brit folk melody. It's also worth mentioning that Rex doesn't rock. He sort of, kind of gives it a shot on the bluesy "Red is the Apple" and the 'Dylan as bubblegum pop' "I Can't Read My Name," but, y'know, they're both still pretty mellow when you come right down to it.

In full disclosure, this isn't quite up my particular musical alley. I'm definitely cool with the psych and Eastern touches, as well as the general British folk underpinnings, but this really is halfway down the Wonder Bread, 70's singer-songwriter hallway. If you've got a 'thang' for that sort of thing, then you'll probably have some additional appreciation for these recordings.............

Rex Holman was an actor but in 1970 he released this gem of an album which sounds like if early gordon lightfoot would have went to india or dropped acid. In many ways this is one of the better records ever recorded by the "actor musician"! Holman's deep warbly voice just seems perfect for the material which maintains a somewhat melancholy but always interesting acoustic arrangements speckled with flutes sitars and eastern style percussion! I am suprised to be the first reviewer of this album as i really rank it up there with the best acid-folk albums of the period- in fact i prefer this over the much hyped Mark Fry record which is also good but falls short of this effort. Too bad Holman never recorded again but thanks to Fallout for releasing this acid folk masterpiece!......By Elan Bodwick............

Rex Holman's better known as an actor, having worked in television and film (mostly as a bad guy in westerns) since the later 1950s. That career includes an oddball solo album ...

Released in 1970 (when Holman was already 42), "Here In the Land of Victory" featured all original material, though the mix of Indian-flavored instrumentation and Holman's hyper serious lyrics sounded like something that was recorded circa 1967. Holman's vibrato-drenched vocals (which were an acquired taste) and his over-the-top lyrics certainly weren't for everyone. Imagine Richard Harris reincarnated as Donovan and you'll have a feel for tracks like 'Listen To the Footsteps', the sitar and flute propelled 'Sit and Flatter Me' and 'Come On Down'.  Ironically if you could get over those characteristics, then the album rewarded you with quite a bit of memorable material. Holman's uber earnestness was somehow charming and most of the lyrics were no worse than your standard college English paper (okay, 'The Chosen One' was far worse). Certainly a reflection of my personal tastes, but Holman was at his best when backed by a full rock ensemble. As such personal highlights included 'Pink Lemonade', 'Today Is Almost Here', and the bluesy 'Red Is the Apple'. The disturbing artwork including a back cover photo of Homan sitting blissed out next to a passed out drunk certainly didn't help sales. (The inner sleeve picture showing Holman in his best psycho-killer stare is even more disturbing.)..........by...RDTEN1 .........

Bit-part actor Rex Holman is perhaps betterknown to Star Trek and Monkees fans than music enthusiasts, but connoisseurs of acid folk have long treasured this, his sole album, which originally appeared in 1970 (when he was already 42 years old).

A hypnotic blend of melodic, contemplative songs and philosophical lyrics, sung in Holman's quavering voice (which has been compared to Tim Buckley's), set to acoustic guitar, sitar and tabla, it's nothing short of an overlooked minor classic, and is sure to appeal to fans of artists such as Damon, Pat Kilroy and Mark Fry. ........................

Tracklist
A1 Here In The Land Of Victory 3:10
A2 Pink Lemonade 2:12
A3 Rowin'
Composed By – Rex Holman
Lyrics By – Terry Fulton
2:30
A4 Today Is Almost Here 3:05
A5 Listen To The Footsteps 2:52
A6 Red Is The Apple 4:16
B1 Sit And Flatter Me 3:30
B2 Copper Kettles 2:22
B3 Come On Down 2:38
B4 Debbie 2:27
B5 The Chosen One 2:53
B6 I Can't Read My Name 2:26 

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..

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