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29 Jun 2017

The Legends "High Towers" 1968 - 1973- 2 CD Compilation US Psych Garage Rock







The Legends  "High Towers" 1968 - 1973- 2 CD Compilation US Psych Garage Rock

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Some people know 'em as the spawning ground for Dan Hartman of Edgar Winter "Free Ride"/"I Can Dream About You" fame. Other people know 'em for their four excellent singles. But until you've heard Arf! Arf! Records' new double-CD High Towers compilation retrospective, you haven't gotten the full perspective on the Legends.

From '64 to '73, the Legends were as synonymous with Central Pennsylvania as a Hershey Bar with almonds, and every bit as tasty. They got the audiences dancing with their mix of pop, rock and soul in the mid-'60s, freaked 'em out with heavy psychedelia in the late '60s, then rocked 'em back outta their shells with even harder rock in the early '70s. All phases are documented on High Towers, which traces the rise of the Legends from their garage band roots playing teen hops and fire halls into seasoned rockers blowing the doors off larger venues.

Featuring their four locally released singles and a promotional-only flexi from 1970, the first CD documents the Legends from 1967 to 1973, their most renowned era. But the listening pleasure doesn't end with rare 45 sides like the stompin' freakbeat cover of "Baby Get Your Head Screwed On" from '67 and the quirky wah-wah piano of "High Towers" from '69. CD number one is rounded out by a bevy of previously unreleased material, including seven more power-trio psych-outs from 1969, three pounding hard rockers from 1973 that should have the stoner rock crowd in air-guitar heaven, and even a CD-ROM of a video made by band ally Jerry King Musser in 1972 to promote "Rock and Roll Woman," a regional smash (later licensed to Epic Records) that almost got the Legends on American Bandstand.

And then there's the second CD, which throws a life preserver to those '60s fanatics who abandon ship when the captain's into psychedelia or hard rock. Fear not, garage fiends, as CD number two completes the Legends' voyage with 26 previously unissued cuts from 1965 and 1966, including a few band originals and teen-fueled renditions of "Shakin' All Over," "You Really Got Me" "I Need You," "Don't Bring Me Down" and even the Shadows of Knight's fuzz ripper, "I'm Gonna Make You Mine." Perhaps the coolest garage vault find of all, however, is a pair of cuts by the Donshires (featuring future Legend Joe Caloiero) from 1965, "Sad and Blue" and "Tripeline," which would be lighting up eBay if the songs had ever been pressed on a single.

The musical experience is only enhanced by a 24-page booklet lined with pictures, memorabilia and a detailed band history (including interviews with six former members) by Doug Sheppard of Discoveries/Ugly Things. Whether you're into garage, psych, hard rock or even Dan Hartman himself, High Towers is guaranteed to scale the rock and roll heights for you......................

Retrospective of the creation of the American garage-psychedelic group on 2 discs. The band was formed by guitarist Dave Hartman in 1964 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. On the first CD - a collection of singles recorded in the late 60's - early 70's, as well as unrealized things. The second CD covers the band's earlier material, consisting of their live performances of 1965; It also included records of the 1966 sessions in bassist Don Woolridge's lounge and a couple of tracks from The Donshires, which was played by Joe Caloiero, who joined the band in 1967. Dan Hartman, Dave's younger brother, later became a member of The Edgar Winter Group................

The Legends have gone down in larger history as, if anything, a footnote to the career of Dan Hartman, being the band he started with as a teenager and eventually ended up leading before finding wider success in the early '70s. This extremely fine two-disc retrospective, put together by the Arf Arf label and easily ranking with the best reissues and packages from Rhino or Bear Family, fleshes out the story much more thoroughly, becoming a document of a hot Central Pennsylvania act who reflected the rapid changes in music between 1965 and 1973. The second disc covers the earlier material, consisting of a live performance from 1965, a living room session the following year, and a couple of tracks from the Donshires, a band that provided later Legends member Joe Caloiero. It's enjoyable but not totally remarkable, the record of a solid cover band who knew how to please a crowd and obviously worked hard at making a great party atmosphere, drawing on Motown, British Invasion, L.A. rock, and other sounds and styles. The first disc is the real discovery, collecting the various singles the band made over the end of the '60s and early '70s along with a slew of unreleased numbers. For the most part this was when Hartman led the band, and it's little surprise his combination of psychedelic crunch with his lingering affection for heavy soul led to his link-up with Edgar Winter and further fame. Besides the enjoyable and quite melodic title track, other winners include "Fever Games" with its great guitar yowls, the solid rocker "Deception," and the backwards-tapes/good-time jam of "Marianne Summer." The detailed booklet provides plenty of interview moments with past members, the full scope of the band's often unstable history, photos, and drawings and a couple of great anecdotes showing the lingering affection for the band in its home area to the present day. [Minor track listing glitch: "Great Day" and "Sole Rider" are switched on the disc.]........by Ned Raggett...............

Personnel:
The Legends:
Gene Brenner — guitar (CD 1: 13-15)
Joe Caloiero — bass, vocals (CD 1: 01-15, 20)
Dave Cope — bass (CD 1: 18-19)
Dan Hartman — keyboards, guitar, vocals (CD 1: 01-10, 16-20; CD 2: 01-26)
Dave Hartman — guitar, vocals (CD 2: 01-08)
Derek Parsons — bass (CD 1: 16-17)
Larry Sadler — drums (CD 1: 01-15, 18-20)
Ralph Schwartz — drums (CD 1: 16-17; CD 2: 01-26)
Larry Swartzwelder — lead guitar (CD 1: 11-20; CD 2: 09-26)
Denny Woolridge — bass (CD 2: 01-26)
The Donshires:
Joe Caloiero — bass, vocals
Jery King Musser — lead guitar
Paul Stivali — rhythm guitar
Dave Still — drums, lead vocals

Tracks:
CD 1 (The Baldwin Sessions 1967-1973)
01. High Towers — 2:57
02. Fever Games — 4:02
03. Jefferson Strongbox — 3:06
04. Gone April Gone — 3:04
05. Yes, Someone Called Me — 3:50
06. Circle Rise — 3:58
07. Marianne Summer — 4:29
08. Somebody Else — 3:35
09. Deception — 3:38
10. Sometimes I Can’t Help It — 3:18
11. Rock And Roll Woman — 2:58
12. Problems — 3:26
13. Full Moon — 2:39
14. Great Day — 3:08
15. Sole Rider — 4:17
16. Baby Get Your Head Screwed On — 2:48
17. Why — 2:40
18. Keep On Running — 2:37
19. Cheating — 2:53
20. Jefferson Strongbox [Alternate Version] — 2:43
21. Concert Radio Spot — 0:34
CD 2 (The Early Years)
Progress Fire Hall Session (1965):
01. Set Me Free — 2:01
02. The Last Time — 3:05
03. The Bells Of Rhymney — 3:05
04. All I Really Want To Do — 1:55
05. She Left Me — 2:32
06. You Were On My Mind — 2:31
07. Laugh At Me — 2:36
08. Shakin’ All Over — 2:26
Don Woolridge Session (1966):
09. I Need You — 2:22
10. I’m Gonna Make You Mine — 2:34
11. Shapes Of Things — 2:30
12. I’ll Always Love You — 2:01
13. Devil With The Blue Dress/Good Golly Miss Molly — 3:29
14. Why — 2:43
15. Norwegian Wood — 2:06
16. If I Needed Someone — 2:21
17. You Really Got Me — 2:16
18. Summer In The City — 2:38
19. My Little One — 2:48
20. I’m A Believer — 2:59
21. Don’t Bring Me Down — 3:20
22. A Winter’s Day — 3:10
23. Mr. Dieingly Sad — 3:01
24. Keep On Running — 2:35
25. Louie Louie — 2:59
26. Legends Jam — 5:38
The Donshires (1965):
27. Sad And Blue — 2:26
28. Tripeline — 2:57

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