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2 Aug 2017

Black Widow "Return To The Sabbat" 1999 (recorded in 1969) UK Heavy Prog


Black Widow  "Return To The Sabbat" 1999 (recorded in 1969) UK Heavy Prog
Recorded and produced at D.T. Studios. Kettering, Northants: November 1969 
Recorded as Pesky Gee and existed as one copy acetate. 
full

Never released before, this is the first recording of the Lords of the Dark before "Sacrifice" in 1969 with the incredible voice of Kay Garrett of Pesky Gee! .....

Black Widow may be 70s rock legend most undervalued but don't forget that they remain true pionners in term of obscure, evil influences in popular & rock music. Musically it's certainly not Heavy metal...their sound is more a kind of late 60s powerful rock with an obvious progressive and medieval flavor. We can hear a lot of organ, flute, sax...put together to create a very dark music which was quiet unusual at this time. The tiltle track is a funny incantatory hymn to the sabbat...I consider this album as their best. It's by far better than their more conventional "IV". Prog and 70s rock lovers can't be disappointed!.... by philippe 


This was a total surprise to me! All old versions of the songs on this one are far more better than on the "Sacrifice" album! Kay's vocals bring a strange and wonderful extra element to this music, and it's sad that they didn't continue doing material with the same line-up. I believe that the reason for this was Kay getting a child. I also found the sound from analog source pleasant, and the faint cracks of the vinyl bring a nice extra atmosphere to this release. 
I think that the album covers were bit more better on the 1970 version, though there's a funny hidden element on this one (a face of a devil?!). I first thought this was a four star album, but careful listening cleared it out that this is truly an unique masterpiece, and it deserves five stars. The only album by this band you seriously need!....by Eetu Pellonpaa .


Unlike one could have imagined, this Return To The Sabbath is not a re-working of the very good debut album of the lesser-known Black Widow. Each song featured on this album is a demo release of what would become Sacrifice which was released in 1970.
All these versions are dating from 1969 and they are being offered in a less achieved way than the ones which were recorded for the official album released in those early days of prog. Most of the songs are shorter in their pre-release formats if you would except the opening number In Ancient Days. The keyboards intro is more solemn and the sax parts longer.

There was a CD edition released in 2005 which almost group these two album versions called Ultimate Sacrifice: One (only Way To Power and Attack Of The Demon were omitted due to space constrains).

To be honest, I wouldn't say that the pre-release album sounds better; on the contrary. The best known track for instance: Come To The Sabbath is much more accomplished in its final form.

One of the tracks that is not working here is Seduction. It was not my fave from the original album, but it was miles better than this early copy. The great and heavy part ends this version while the original continued on a last vocal and harmonious part.

This album is for fans only but it is still a good one (Sacrifice is just phenomenal); I would just recommend more the official release from 1970 to any proghead willing to discover this almost anonymous band. Black Widow deserves it. Three stars....by ZowieZiggy .................

First of all, I'm going to think about this album as of 1969, or trying to think in terms and facts (and music) of this era, because even this was released in 1998, it means not much to me. Because this thing is old, so old, reminds me (first tracks) Troya - Point of Eruption a lot in matter of atmosphere and sound In Ancient Days, I really expected to hear their singer singing these lyrics. Also, there are satanist lyrics ? Another normal thing to me, it can't change anything and I would be foolish if it could. It's simply their way of doing things.
So, this should be their chronologically first release, demo version ? Doesn't sound much like that, more like good release. There one funny thing, in last track (connection with their next album) Sacrifice with Jethro Tull like flute. And very organic organ. And tracks are catchy, blending melody which I expect here (after hearing so many Heavy Prog bands), few their own things (like saxophone, bass guitar and vocals work). Atmosphere is one of the things I like a lot when listening prog and I'm sure this has it. They made it using power, instead of tricks and peaceful negotiation with listener, but that's doesn't matter, I like it. Nowadays, you can have death/extreme metal and it's the way of power now, but back then, this was one of the hardest music genres that could be.

5(-), impressive "debut", if I may call it that way. Devil isn't so boring buddy, is he ?....by Marty McFly ......


 I've always previously found Black Widow to be an album I just didn't "get", but these original demo tapes for Black Widow's debut album have won me over. With Kay Garret - lead vocalist from the band's previous incarnation as Pesky Gee - still around to provide female vocals, the theatrical intention of the conceptual song sequence is teased out more effectively (it really does help to have different people singing the different parts in this case), and whilst the sound quality isn't pristine, it's actually pretty solid for 1960s demo material. If nothing else, I can see why the likes of Blood Ceremony look to Black Widow for inspiration, and it's inspired me to take another look at their discography....by Warthur ..............

Few albums have undergone such a dramatic transformation in their fortunes as Black Widow's Sacrifice. Best known for so long on the strength of one track ("Come to the Sabbat") on an early-'70s CBS sampler, Sacrifice was for so long the guilty secret of a mere handful of prog fans that it felt like it might never be rediscovered. But it was and, today, no less than three full versions of the seven-song opus are available on CD, the original LP, a spellbinding live version recorded for German TV (with accompanying DVD!), and this, the band's initial 1969 demo. Cut while the group was still known as Pesky Gee!, and working toward the follow-up to its Exclamation Mark debut, it features additional vocalist Kay Garrett alongside the familiar Kip Trevor and, while the lyrics and arrangements are unchanged, there's an urgency to this performance that the vinyl simply cannot match. Added emphasis on sax and organ pushes things hard, while every song is taken just a few beats faster than listeners are accustomed to, to bring a delirium to the performance that is perfectly in keeping with the subject matter. Not even the presence of a little surface noise (the CD was mastered from acetate) can detract from the magnificence of the performance and, if you've spent the last however many years marveling at the Sacrifice that fans know and love, this one will take you even higher.....by Dave Thompson ......

1998 Reissue of the Originallyginal recording of the 1970 LP 'Sacrfice' by dark metal pioneers , this version differs from the subsequent release in that it features Kay Garret alongside frontman Kip Trevor on the vocals to all seven cuts, rather than the later release with just Trevor's vocals................

Just to let everyone know, this isn't actually a reissue of Black Widow's 1970 album Sacrifice, but rather an original 1969 recording of Sacrifice with a second vocalist, Kay Garret. This version had only surfaced recently. Apparently what happened as the band was recording Sacrifice, Kay Garret left, and the band re-recorded that album for CBS and the re-recorded version was the one that got released in 1970 as Sacrifice. This original 1969 collected dust until the late 1990s. If you've heard Sacrfice, you'll noticed while the music is basically more or less the same, the arragements are a little different, such as "Seduction" where there were strings on Sacrifice, there are no strings on this version, and a Hammond organ is in its place. Also if you heard Return to the Sabbat, it sure seems refreshing to hear these songs sung by a female vocalist as well, something you won't find on Sacrifice. Black Widow did actually record a proper album with Kay Garret, but it was under a different name called Pesky Gee. Pesky Gee released one album in 1969 called Exclamation Mark. I haven't heard that one, but I understand it contains a lot of cover songs like Jethro Tull's "Dharma For One", Janis Joplin's "Piece of my Heart", Steppenwolf's "Born to be Wild", and Family's "Piece of Mind" (it so happens that Family was also from Leicestershire, just like Pesky Gee/Black Widow, so I'm sure the band knew Family). So if you like Sacrifice, and you like a slightly different twist to that album, be sure to get Return to the Sabbat....By BENJAMIN MILER..............

I've always previously found Black Widow to be an album I just didn't "get", but these original demo tapes for Black Widow's debut album have won me over. With Kay Garret - lead vocalist from the band's previous incarnation as Pesky Gee - still around to provide female vocals, the theatrical intention of the conceptual song sequence is teased out more effectively (it really does help to have different people singing the different parts in this case), and whilst the sound quality isn't pristine, it's actually pretty solid for 1960s demo material. If nothing else, I can see why the likes of Blood Ceremony look to Black Widow for inspiration, and it's inspired me to take another look at their discography....by....Warthur .......

Return To The Sabbat is the exciting original recording of Black Widow's 1970 album release called Sacrifice, which achieved black magic notoriety as well as hitting the Top 30 Charts.
Recorded in late '69, the self produced recording differs from the subsequent release in that it features the vocal talent of Kay Garret who shared the vocal duties with front man Kip Trevor, before leaving the band prior to the recording of Sacrifice. What the future may have held for a girl with such a powerful voice can only be wondered at. Other than the female voice and some differenses in the arrangement of the songs and some lyrics, this gem delivers the same concept as that of Sacrifice. The mastertapes of this pre-production remained in the possession of band member Clive Jones and the recording of this cd has been lifted from that sole acetate, and whilst, despite intensive remastering, one or two slight imperfection may remain, it was felt that the release of Return to the sabbat would be of interest both as an historical document and a collector's item for devoted fans....by...Mr Morguen616 ...

[At the ripe old age of twelve I discovered the band Black Widow. It was quite a few years ago, and the band was old even then. They released their infamous Sacrifice album in 1970, before a lot of us fans were even born. So, there I was, perusing a used record shop's cassettes when I found a strange compilation called 'Metal Inferno.' I was already into bands like Slayer and Venom, but none of the names on this comp sounded familiar, except Venom. To this day I'm not familiar with most of the obscure bands that were on it. Well, I gave it a try and most of the stuff wasn't exactly to my liking, until a strange and unique song came on called 'Come to the Sabbat.' The compilation labeled the artist wrong as only 'Widow,' which in the days without the internet only complicated my search for more material. I hadn't heard anything remotely like 'Come to the Sabbat' and to this day, hundreds and hundreds of bands later, still haven't. They were pioneers of their time and blazed a trail for all who would follow. It was great to talk to a member of this once mysterious band. Here we interviewed Clive, a very cool and fan-friendly member of the band who played the unforgettable flute parts of 'Come to the Sabbat' among other interesting tracks. While Black Widow might not be for everyone, with their very theatrical portrayal of black magic/the occult, every metal fan should hear this remarkable band at least once, especially my favorite 'Come to the Sabbat,' which, like a childhood nursery rhyme to me now, all these years later, still beckoning me to 'Come, Come, Come to the Sabbat, Come to the Sabbat, Satan's There...']................

Leicester, England-based Black Widow formed in 1969 from the ashes of blue-eyed soul band Pesky Gee! Jim Gannon(vocals,guitar, vibraphone), KipTrevor (vocals, guitar, harmonica), Zoot Taylor (keyboards), Clive Jones (woodwinds), BobBond (bass),and Clive Box (drums) played dark, allegedlysatanically inspired rock along the lines of Black Sabbath, and gainedplenty ofattention and controversy for their theatrical live sets. Black Widowmade the U.K. Top 40 with their 1970 debutalbum,Sacrifice. Despite, or perhaps because of, the focus on their occult trappings, they moved awayfrom their dark rootswith their1971 self-titled album and continued this trend with the following year's Black Widow III. By this time, however, lackofcriticaland label support, plus many lineup changes, caused the group to falter. Late in 1972, after losing their deal with CBSRecords,Black Widowrecorded Return to the Sabbat, a self-produced set that did not see the light of day until 1999, when itwasreleased by Blueprint Records. A tributealbum, Come to the Sabbat, appeared later that year as well......

Black Widow went back to a band from Leicester, which is Pesky Gee! called. Pesky Gee! Were Kay Garret (vocals - a lady), Kip Trevor (vocals, guitar), Jim Gannon (guitar, vibraphone), Jess "Zoot" Taylor, Clive Taylor, Bob Bond and Clive Box (drums) - so basically the complete later occupation of Black Widow. In June 1969 the first album of the band ("Exclamation Mark"), which consisted largely of cover versions of songs from other bands, appeared. In autumn 1969, Pesky Gee !, apparently at the instigation of drummer Clive Box, turned into Black Widow and missed a black, demonic image.

Even if most of the band members claimed that they were really fascinated by occultism, the whole thing was probably not much more than an advertising gag. As early as January 1970, Jim Gannon confessed in an interview: "It's true that we have a lot of fun." Everything just show so? Anyway, the band's calculation went on. Her performances, her satan show (including the execution of a naked, female demon), were a success and well-attended. Conservative and ecclesiastical circles stirred up and the people bought the debut LP "Sacrifice".

The version of "Sacrifice", which was released in March 1970, was not the first one to record the band. In November 1969 the renamed Pesky Gee! Into the studio to make demo recordings of the songs planned for their new album. An acetate was apparently pressed, which was then used to interest a plate company for the material (which also worked with the CBS). When Black Widow recorded "Sacrifice" for the CBS in the beginning of 1970, however, singer Kay Garret was no longer there. She wanted to marry and found a family, so she left the band in late 1969.

In 1998 Mystic Records dug this demoversion of "Sacrifice" and published it on CD. As you can see, the sequence of "Return to the Sabbat" numbers is identical to that of "Sacrifice". It is not a question of semi-finished demoversions, but the material was clearly finished. Some plays have different seasons, but otherwise there are the same compositions. The differences are not great! The band is perhaps a bit louder, in "Ancient Days" a little longer jammed, there is no strings (which makes the album sympathetic to me) and there is a female singing (such as à la Julie Driscoll). Some pieces, e.g. "Seduction", by the female lead song a slightly different, softer character. The music sounds richer and simpler, but otherwise you can hear it here as on "Sacrifice".

The sound quality is however quite modest. The Acetate-LP pressing of this recording session has served as a template. It rushes and there are very clear groove noises. You can hear everything well and the music has been professionally mixed, but the whole is no listening pleasure.

Why do you need "Return to the Sabbat" now? Well, Black Widow fans will probably find these first versions of the numbers of "Sacrifice" interesting. If this album had a decent sound, this somewhat jazzy and slightly stripped version of the material might even be better. So this CD is really only for fans and fans. However, it is also not necessary to add the album to the "enjoyment" of these alternative versions. The "Sacrifice" version of the Sanctuary Records label, with the expanded title "The Ultimate Sacrifice", contains almost all of the early numbers as bonus material (the short tracks "Way to power" and "Attack of the Demon" ). As a bonus I let these recordings synonymous quite pleased!...by....Achim Breiling 



Credits 
Bass – Bob Bond 
Drums, Percussion – Clive Box 
Flute, Saxophone, Clarinet – Clive Jones 
Lead Guitar, Vibraphone, Guitar [Spanish Guitar] – Jim Gannon 
Organ, Piano – Zoot Taylor 
Vocals – Kay Garret, Kip Trevor

Tracklist
A1 In Ancient Days 9:28
A2 Way To Power 4:08
A3 Come To The Sabbat 4:11
A4 Conjuration 5:53
B1 Seduction 4:41
B2 Attack Of The Demon 3:57
B3 Sacrifice 10:48

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..

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