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7 Jan 2017

Thundermug “Strikes” 1972 Canada Hard Rock








Thundermug  “Strikes” 1972 Canada Hard Rock
full
In 1972 Canadian Hard Rock band “Thundermug” released their debut album “Thundermug Strikes”. 
The first single from the album was the cover version of The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me” but when radio stations began playing “Africa” off the lp as well, direction changed. 
Soon after management released it as a single, “Africa” cracked the Canadian top 30, with the energized-blues flip side “Jane J James” becoming a programmer’s favourite as well. 
Their infectious groove had critics hailing them as the next potential supergroup. “Page 125” was issued as the third single in the middle of a North American tour, shortly before the album reached gold………. 

“Boy, do these guys ever strike!- with a knockout punch! They hit so hard, in fact, that a good description of them would be London’s answer to Led Zeppelin. What else can you say about a group that is determined to blow a speaker each time it appears live or that has put together an album of original rockers that pound their way into your brain? ” - Joe Matyas, London Free Press, 1972 …. 

Once billed as ‘the heaviest band in the world’, London, Ontario’s THUNDERMUG features Joe DeAngelis on vocals, Bill Durst on guitar and vocals, Ed Pranskus on drums and Jim Corbett on bass. Writing very unusual songs with the most intense driving beat, they toured Canada and the States during the 70’s. Greg Hambleton signed Thundermug in 1972 and his Axe Records released their first single “You Really Got Me” (AXE 3) followed by “Africa” (AXE 4) in 1972, from the 'Thundermug Strikes’ album. 

“Africa” was their most successful single and it became a cult favourite on Doug Morris’ independent Big Tree label in the States. EMI licensed ‘Strikes’ in Europe and CBS released a US compilation in 1973. Their 2nd Axe album “Orbit” was recorded and released in late 1973 followed by their 3rd Axe album 'Ta-Daa’ in 1974; released in the US by Mercury Records. 

Bill continues to tour under his own name The Bill Durst Band and continues to write songs with Joe Deangelis. Ed records and performs under the name Izzy Bartok while both Jim and Ed tour as sidemen in various bands…… 


Thundermug was formed in London, Ontario, Canada, and existed from 1970 to 1976. They regrouped in 1991 and officially disbanded in 2001. As a result of a signing facilitated by their manager, Wyn Anderson, their principal recordings were released by Axe Records, an independent Canadian label that was distributed by London Records in Canada and various labels in the US and elsewhere. Their music was initially distributed in the United States by the Big Tree and the Epic labels. As of 1975, Ta-Daa!! was distributed in the United States by Mercury Records. 

The band was initially composed of Joe de Angelis (guitar and vocals), Bill Durst (keyboards and guitar), James Corbett (bass) and Ed Pranskus (drums). Their first album, Thundermug Strikes, recorded at Toronto Soundstudios in the spring of 1972, was produced by Greg Hambleton, owner of Axe Records, and engineered Terry Brown. The album resulted in a Canadian Top 30 hit, “Africa”, based on radio interest in what was originally a non-single album song. The first single from the album had been a version of The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me”. The album is described by reviewer Richie Unterberger as “…above average, early '70s hard rock… It’s a minor entry in the style, but a decent minor entry, moving along with real guts and convincing riffs, but not at the expense of fair melodies, well-done vocal harmonies, and unusual progressions.” 

In 1973, the band recorded its second album, Orbit, at Toronto’s Manta Sound. The title track was a Top 40 Canadian single. The album is described by reviewer Richie Unterberger as “probably the best reflection of their straight-ahead, respectable-but-not-brilliant brand of early-'70s hard rock, muscular but reasonably melodic, with inventive interplay between lead and background vocals, ending with a rather impressive facsimile of Jimi Hendrix’s noisiest guitar wiggles.” 

Selections from the first two albums were released in 1973 in the United States by Epic Records, using the title from the first album, Thundermug Strikes. Review Richie Unterberger regarded the release as “confusing…(but) it did a reasonable job of representing the sound of this Canadian hard rock band, including some of its better-known tracks with 'Africa’, 'Orbit’, 'Garden Green’, 'Jane J James’, and a cover of the Kinks’ "You Really Got Me.” 

In 1974, the band returned to Toronto Sound and recorded their third album, Ta-Daa, releasing a cover of The Beatles’ “Drive My Car” as the first single. The album was released in the United States on Mercury Records. 

Ta-Daa was not as successful as the band’s two previous releases. Joe de Angelis quit the band following the release of Ta-Daa, and the band continued through 1975 as a trio. The band released one final single in 1975, “Clap Your Hands and Stomp Your Feet”, which was a Top 50 single in Canada. The band did not formally break up, but became inactive, as of 1976. Band members then commenced various solo projects. Bill Durst joined a ZZ Top tribute band called Tres Hombres, and later was a member of The Brains, a band that released one album in 1980, on Falcon Records. Joe de Angelis became involved in production work, acting as assistant engineer on Meat Loaf’s 1981 album, Dead Ringer. In 1983, Durst released a solo album, Call Billy, on Passport Records. Joe de Angelis contributed background vocals. In 1989, Durst released a cassette-only second solo album,Father Earth, on the independent Cottage Records…… 

Joe de Angelis - Guitar, Vocals 
Bill Durst - Keyboards, Guitar, Vocals 
James Corbett - Bass 
Ed Pranskus - Drums 


Tracklist 
A1 Africa
A2 Page 125
A3 What Would You Do?
A4 Help Father Sun
A5 And They Danced
B1 You Really Got Me
B2 Fortunes Umbrella
B3 Jane “J” James
B4 Will They Ever
B5 Where Am I 

Zamla Mammaz Manna “För Äldre Nybegynnare” 1977 Sweden Avant Garde Prog,Jazz Rock





Zamla Mammaz Manna  “För Äldre Nybegynnare” 1977 Sweden Avant Garde Prog,Jazz Rock
full
By the autumn of 1976, Lars Hollmer’s group Samla Mammas Manna was a fairly big success in its native Sweden, and even had a couple of local hits. For various reasons, the band fragmented, with members forming various solo and small combo projects. However, Samla’s success reached overseas, catching the attention of Chris Cutler’s international (if underground) distribution at Recommended Records in London. With international promotion, the group got back together in early 1977 with a slight name change (Samla to Zamla) and a new guitarist, Eino Haapala. When they went on tour that summer, they played all improvisations, to the point where at one show a fan cut off their power because they wouldn’t play their well-known songs. The band recorded all the improvisations, and took the best ones for the second disc of this set, För Äldre Nybegynnare (“For Older Beginners”). Cutler was quoted at the time saying that this group was among the finest improvisers in rock, and it shows on this album. They have a wide range, from straight rock grooves to experimental textures. The album was put together in the studio and included conversations and cuckoo clocks as well as material from the tapes. Perhaps because this material was so unconventional, they paired För Äldre Nybegynnare with a second disc, Schlagerns Mystik (“The Mystery of Popular Music”), although this album is as unique in their discography as För Äldre Nybegynnare. (The original LP cover offered a dotted line with scissors so the purchaser could discard the improv album.) Side one of Schlagerns Mystik is a series of quirky folk songs, sung relatively straightforwardly. Although Zamla always included at least one track with vocals on most of its albums, the vocals were typically shouted, buried in the mix, or sung in falsetto. This time, the lyrics are completely comprehensible (in Swedish), and the arrangements are subdued. Yet they retain all of the tunefulness for which Zamla became famous, and even through the strange elements, the melodies are truly charming. Only the second side of Schlagerns Mystik contains anything like progressive rock; the long instrumental “The Fate” – structurally similar to Pink Floyd’s “Echoes” from its album Meddle – has a clearly stated theme, a spaced-out improvisational section in the middle, and a return to the theme. The closing moments of “The Fate” contain the same sounds as the beginning of För Äldre Nybegynnare, tying both records in the album together. [In 2008 the Japanese Arcangelo label reissued Schlagerns Mystik/För Äldre Nybegynnare as a two-CD set, remastered and packaged in a double mini-LP sleeve and including a mini-poster reproduction. The set was also included in Arcangelo’s eight-disc Samla/Zamla Box, featuring all the albums (also remastered and with some bonus tracks, and packaged in mini-LP sleeves) released by Samla Mammas Manna and Zamla Mammaz Manna between 1971 and 1980, along with the Gregory Fitzpatrick album Bildcirkus.]…by Caleb Deupree…allmusic…….. 

Something happened to this crazy Swedish flock during the mid 70s, that inspired them to change route and thereby look at music in another fashion - dive into it with an altogether new inspiration. Now, while the old Samla Mamma Manna were anything but your average prog rock band, - in fact I think it’s safe to say that there was nobody out there who sounded quite like them during this period in music - something did happen during their last tour under the SMM name. They were performing with a brass band and playing music that wasn’t theirs to begin with. Snorungarnas Symphony was the brainchild of Swedish-American composer Greg Fitzpatrick, who also fiddled about with notorious Swedish rock figures Hansson and Karlsson during the latter part of the 60s. I personally think that things were bound to change for SMM, because what I get from these guys - what strikes me the most about them, is there inability to stand still - there will to drive on and push through. They were like human bulldozers in a world of pretty obstacles. 

Maybe it was time for a change. Coste Apetrea was replaced with a new guitarist called Eino Haapala, and the group was now pushing the sonic boundaries even further. What was possible within the confines of their own music? This is one of the main reasons that they during this time were associated with the Rock In Opposition movement, and together with bands like Henry Cow, Univers Zero and Stormy Six - the quest for music without a safety net was on - music with no self-preservation - free as a drunk ship mouse dancing merrily around on the very edge of conformity - these acts had now ventured out on a ledge that threatened to break off at any given moment. 

För Äldre Nybegynnare is Zamla Mammas Manna’s first peep, and although it was released as a double album with Schlagerns mystik, it is still very much a debut. It’s comprised of live recordings done at various Swedish live shows all through 1976-77. It is not the most accomplished live recordings I’ve ever been subjected to - in fact it sometimes comes off sounding like a garage job, although strangely enough, every nuance of any instrument played here is audible, which had me puzzled for a long time. Some kind of mysterious recording technique that sounds like it’s done under an old correlated iron roof during a heavy storm, yet still sporting a distinct clarity from the individual musicians, which obviously must be packed up in tin foil and helium vacuums. I’m not entirely sure, but it sure sounds unique and atmosphere inducing. Safe to say that I haven’t bumped into any other album sounding quite like this ever in my life. 

Now whereas the old group did sound frantic and haphazard - like a freaked out circus playing far too many melodies all at the same time whilst inhabiting a slightly skewed train wreck, the tunes as such could never be accused of being jams. Sure there were sections that inspired a bit of laissez faire - do whatever you want, - BUT in essence they were highly orchestrated and well thought out pieces, even if that sounds a bit mad. 

Zamla Mammas Manna on the other hand were diving head first into the unknown. It was about improvisations and loose structures based on whatever mood, sound, feel that was prevailing at the time of execution. Yeah - music of the moment, and while that sounds a bit like jazz, För Äldre Nybegynnare does not entirely sound like it. It doesn’t sound like anything other than itself - to be quite honest. Take the first 2 cuts here called Urmakare(Watchmaker). Starting off with a jolly guy singing: WAHALALALHAALAWA - then seeping into a cacophonous guitar wall, some snuffling electronics from before the time of Mario Brothers, but not unlike it - and tadah! you have the intro. Then the drumming starts with it’s nervous twitching along with a deep fat bass chugging along like a dirty swamp monster from your darkest dreams. It’s angular, mad, uneven, imaginative like a children’s fairytale and stuffed full of small segments swaying the track to change coarse for the more gritty, rocking, ethereal or everything in between. 

This could be a description of the album itself. A constant battle of differentiating moods and tempers - all conveyed in notes and musical journeys that will have you reaching for your sanity from time to time. It’s funny as well, but maybe that is down to the strange vocals. Man they make me laugh! Harsh screams sounding like the food of nightmares - then lingering into some bizarre yodelling textures only to end up with a hair caught in the mouth - coughing, spitting and grinning. Seriously though, this album is also very beautiful. Some of it is achingly ethereal with its mumbling screeching guitars that wander about in mid air. The long drawn out piece called Seldon In Memoriam is almost ambient, and to an electronic initiated like myself - that is certainly interesting. Still it sounds like a cartoon run amok in the studio of Tangerine Dream anno 1972 with creepy soundscapes and flickering marimba noises, a guy singing in the shower and a stagnant shaman like feel to the organs, as if these guys were trying to conjure up the god of insignificance. It is a snapshot of a crazed out band trying to do their very best not to fall in, obey and take orders. It ends in the most wonderful evil guitar riffing and drum assault - sounding like the whole of the studio suddenly got flipped over on one side, - breathing its last breaths and finally silently ebbing out in an eerie type of electronically infused epilogue. 

This will almost certainly not be for everyone, and if you are one of those who think that Frank Zappa on occasion gets a bit too experimental and weird, then you should probably stay away from this outing. If you however think of Henry Cow and others that veered into the more abrasive and shapeshifting forms of music - those from the RIO movement that pushed the envelope and ran with the zebras - then you are most likely going to love this album just as much as I do. It’s bizarre, off, beautifully entrancing, cartoonish, gritty, fun like hell, cheery, evil, schizophrenic, waltzing, folky, angular, heavy, corny, electronic, staccato, jump-rope like and far more things than I could ever possibly hope to attach to it. The fact of the matter is, that I adore it like Monty Python - not because I understand it, but because I’m able to flow with it - get with it like a human transformation of the river raft. ……… 

This was the first release under the moniker Zamla Mammas Manna. Something happened to this crazy Swedish flock during the mid 70s, that inspired them to change route and thereby look at music in another fashion - dive into it with an altogether new inspiration. Now, while the old Samla Mamma Manna were anything but your average prog rock band, - in fact I think it’s safe to say that there was nobody out there who sounded quite like them during this period in music - something did happen during their last tour under the SMM name. They were performing with a brass band and playing music that wasn’t theirs to begin with. Snorungarnas Symphony was the brainchild of Swedish-American composer Greg Fitzpatrick, who also fiddled about with notorious Swedish rock figures Hansson and Karlsson during the latter part of the 60s. I personally think that things were bound to change for SMM, because what I get from these guys - what strikes me the most about them, is there inability to stand still - there will to drive on and push through. They were like human bulldozers in a world of pretty obstacles. 

Maybe it was time for a change. Coste Apetrea was replaced with a new guitarist called Eino Haapala, and the group was now pushing the sonic boundaries even further. What was possible within the confines of their own music? This is one of the main reasons that they during this time were associated with the Rock In Opposition movement, and together with bands like Henry Cow, Univers Zero and Stormy Six - the quest for music without a safety net was on - music with no self-preservation - free as a drunk ship mouse dancing merrily around on the very edge of conformity - these acts had now ventured out on a ledge that threatened to break off at any given moment. 

För Äldre Nybegynnare is Zamla Mammas Manna’s first peep, and although it was released as a double album with Schlagerns mystik, it is still very much a debut. It’s comprised of live recordings done at various Swedish live shows all through 1976-77. It is not the most accomplished live recordings I’ve ever been subjected to - in fact it sometimes comes off sounding like a garage job, although strangely enough, every nuance of any instrument played here is audible, which had me puzzled for a long time. Some kind of mysterious recording technique that sounds like it’s done under an old correlated iron roof during a heavy storm, yet still sporting a distinct clarity from the individual musicians, which obviously must be packed up in tin foil and helium vacuums. I’m not entirely sure, but it sure sounds unique and atmosphere inducing. Safe to say that I haven’t bumped into any other album sounding quite like this ever in my life. 

Now whereas the old group did sound frantic and haphazard - like a freaked out circus playing far too many melodies all at the same time whilst inhabiting a slightly skewed train wreck, the tunes as such could never be accused of being jams. Sure there were sections that inspired a bit of laissez faire - do whatever you want, - BUT in essence they were highly orchestrated and well thought out pieces, even if that sounds a bit mad. 

Zamla Mammas Manna on the other hand were diving head first into the unknown. It was about improvisations and loose structures based on whatever mood, sound, feel that was prevailing at the time of execution. Yeah - music of the moment, and while that sounds a bit like jazz, För Äldre Nybegynnare does not entirely sound like it. It doesn’t sound like anything other than itself - to be quite honest. Take the first 2 cuts here called Urmakare(Watchmaker). Starting off with a jolly guy singing: WAHALALALHAALAWA - then seeping into a cacophonous guitar wall, some snuffling electronics from before the time of Mario Brothers, but not unlike it - and tadah! you have the intro. Then the drumming starts with it’s nervous twitching along with a deep fat bass chugging along like a dirty swamp monster from your darkest dreams. It’s angular, mad, uneven, imaginative like a children’s fairytale and stuffed full of small segments swaying the track to change coarse for the more gritty, rocking, ethereal or everything in between. 

This could be a description of the album itself. A constant battle of differentiating moods and tempers - all conveyed in notes and musical journeys that will have you reaching for your sanity from time to time. It’s funny as well, but maybe that is down to the strange vocals. Man they make me laugh! Harsh screams sounding like the food of nightmares - then lingering into some bizarre yodelling textures only to end up with a hair caught in the mouth - coughing, spitting and grinning. Seriously though, this album is also very beautiful. Some of it is achingly ethereal with its mumbling screeching guitars that wander about in mid air. The long drawn out piece called Seldon In Memoriam is almost ambient, and to an electronic initiated like myself - that is certainly interesting. Still it sounds like a cartoon run amok in the studio of Tangerine Dream anno 1972 with creepy soundscapes and flickering marimba noises, a guy singing in the shower and a stagnant shaman like feel to the organs, as if these guys were trying to conjure up the god of insignificance. It is a snapshot of a crazed out band trying to do their very best not to fall in, obey and take orders. It ends in the most wonderful evil guitar riffing and drum assault - sounding like the whole of the studio suddenly got flipped over on one side, - breathing its last breaths and finally silently ebbing out in an eerie type of electronically infused epilogue. 

This will almost certainly not be for everyone, and if you are one of those who think that Frank Zappa on occasion gets a bit too experimental and weird, then you should probably stay away from this outing. If you however think of Henry Cow and others that veered into the more abrasive and shapeshifting forms of music - those from the RIO movement that pushed the envelope and ran with the zebras - then you are most likely going to love this album just as much as I do. It’s bizarre, off, beautifully entrancing, cartoonish, gritty, fun like hell, cheery, evil, schizophrenic, waltzing, folky, angular, heavy, corny, electronic, staccato, jump-rope like and far more things than I could ever possibly hope to attach to it. The fact of the matter is, that I adore it like Monty Python - not because I understand it, but because I’m able to flow with it - get with it like a human transformation of the river raft…….by Guldbamsen ……. 


Hans Bruniusson / drums, pinochet, chimes, xylophone, radio, voicet 
- Eino Haapala / guitars, voice 
- Lars Holmer / electric piano, Korg polyphonic, Hohner-symphonic grand piano, Farfisaorgan, voice 
- Lars Krantz / bass, trumpet 

01. Watchmaker 1 
02. Watchmaker 2 
03. The Funktrap 
04. Short Inheritance 
05. The Modern 
06. Temporal You Are 
07. Harness in Memorandum 
08. To the Oval Meter 
09. Do You Think You Like Me? 

Discography 
als Samla Mammas Manna 

Samla Mammas Manna (1971) 
Måltid (1973) 
Klossa Knapitatet (1974) 
Snorungarnas symfoni (1976) 
Kaka (1999) 
Dear Mamma (2002) 
als Zamla Mammas Manna 

För äldre nybegynnare/Schlagerns mystik (1978) 
Familjesprickor (1980) 
als von Zamla 

Zamlaranamma (1982) 
No Make Up! (1984) 
… 1983 (live) (1999)

Mona Lisa “Grimaces” 1975 France Prog Symphonic Rock









Mona Lisa  “Grimaces” 1975 France Prog Symphonic Rock
full
Founded in 1973, in Orleans, this is a symphonic band in the style of Genesis, but with a distinctively French flair (Because of it’s peculiar stage show they are 
labeled as French Theatric Symphonic in some sources). 
Another close comparison is Atoll, with some references to Osanna and Premiata Forneria Marconi. 
The first album was recorded with Christian Gallas on electric guitar and violin, Jean-Luc Martin on bass, Jean-Paul Pierson on keyboards, guitar and backing 
vocals, Francis Poulet on drums, percussion and backnig vocals, Gilles Solves on additional guitars, and , ?Dominique LeGuennec on lead vocals, sax, flute, and 
percussion. Solves would not remain for the next album, and Gallas would be replaced by Pascal Jordan for the third release. This lineup stayed intact for two  
albums. 
Disillusioned by lack of success, singer Dominique LeGuennec left the band. He was soon followed by Jordan. This led to a major reshuffling of personnel, and 
assignments. Drummer Francis Poulet pulled a Phil Collins, and became the lead singer for 1979’s “Vers Demain.” This would be the last of any semblance of the 
original Mona Lisa. 
In 1998 Le Geuennec reformed the band with most of the members of Versailles. A younger band, who were influenced by Mona Lisa and Ainge. This Lineup recorded “De 
l'ombre a la Lumiere,” and “Progfest 2000” (with only one change in personnel). 
The band is described as being highly orchestral, and very theatrical. Dominique LeGuennec receives constant comparisons to Peter Gabriel. They may not have had 
the notoriety of their contemporaries, but they are strongly recommended……… 

The second album from this French band who is by now turning into the band they were mostly known as. A band in the Ange modus. 

We are talking theatrical symphonic prog here. Although with a lot more folk prog than I am used to by this band though. The Jaqcues Brel and Genesis influences is still here. But some more Bretagne like folk rock is also present here. 

Mona Lisa is more theatrical than Ange in many respect. Dominique Le Guennec sounds even more theatrical than Christian Descampes. Mona Lisa takes this style to excess on this album and looses the melodies in the process. There is no great songs on this album. Despite of that, the music is good. But it lacks the melodic qualities they later developed on the two following albums. 

This is a good album and well worth checking out for those into French symphonic prog………… 

Even on its first record “L'Escapade” (1974), MONA LISA appeared as a dedicated follower of the theatrical, emotional and melodramatic rock created by ANGE. The emphasis, the sensibility, the vocal subtlety of Dominique Le GUENNEC goes beyond the usual style. He “lives” his lyrics and surprises the listener by performing an expressive and suggestive music that evoke GENESIS. The group got better with each album. “Grimaces” (1975) and especially “Le Petit Violon De Monsieur Grégoire” (1976) are two different landmarks of their technical maturity, that is evident thanks to a Steve HACKETT style of guitar and the growth of the singer’s vocal power and charisma. “Avant Qu'Il Ne Soit Trop Tard…” (1977) is a success for this band, given that it mixes the vocal emphasis with the theatricality of its music, and it also goes beyond this thanks to a great instrumental variety and truly captivating and powerful melodies. Dominique Le GUENNEC decided then to leave, and the vocals were then offered to drummer Francis POULET. “Vers Demain” (1979) shows then a come-back to more concise and direct theatrical rock. Still, the former, after the final split-up of his true band, went back again to his first love at the end of the century. He gathered again the other musicians of VERSAILLES in order to re-create this lost alchemy. “L'Ombre Et La Lumière” is then MONA LISA’s comeback. This 1998 album shows a music that has remained as expressive, poetic, melodramatic and suggestive as ever. This unique formula was by the way the sensation of the year 2000 edition of the famous ProgFest, creating a great enthusiasm amongst the American audience due to their typical French style ! You can find this exceptional show on the Musea CD “ProgFest 2000”, as well as on DVD. No doubt about it, this is the inspirational quality that allows MONA LISA to remain among the greatest of the French-speaking line-ups of the Seventies. A true landmark of the Seventies French Progressive rock scene !…. 

Rock theatre was a very popular medium of entertainment among French audiences in the seventies. It is well known that Peter Gabriel’s electrifying performances with Genesis had a huge impact in this respect, but Ange, too, was a group with an unique vision and their own original ideas. 

This group from Orleans belonged to the French “rock theatre school”, as initiated by Ange. Possibly, Mona Lisa was the most artistically successful among the early pioneers (they were formed as early as 1970). “L'Escapade”, recorded at Citadel Studios in October 1974, was a competent debut album, but marred by a rather thin and tinny sound. It was produced by the guitarist from Ange, Jean-Michel Brezovar (this being his first attempt at such a job). Musically, this only hinted at things to come, with obvious Genesis influences throughout, particularly on the Hackett­style guitar parts. Other features were an uncommon organ sound and Dominique Le Guennec’s passionate, sometimes even disturbing, vocals and flute. Overall, the album sounds only half-formed and a bit unfocused, as if their ideas were not recorded on the tape the way they had been intended. 
Not satisfied with their debut album, Mona Lisa recorded “Grimaces” at Azurville Studios in September 1975, aided by Jean-Pierre Massiera and Bernard Belan. Their sound had now matured considerably with much more variation in the use of instruments, higher intensity and more memorable musical themes. The vocalist had now developed a very distinctive, loud and expressive style. Listening to the songs it’s easy to imagine Le Guennec acting in some outrageous costume (like he did in their popular live performances). The album is full of musical highlights, such as “Le Jardin Des Illusions” and “Accroche-Toi Et Suis­Moi”. It’s easy to assume they were influenced by Genesis’ “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway”, released the previous year. 
Even so, Mona Lisa were capable of improving on a very good album. Their third one was their masterpiece, equalling the best works of Ange and Genesis on the title track (a suite of three pieces filling the whole of side two). This was due to carefully-constructed compositions and a more accessible sound. The group worked on the album for several months with Massiera and Belan engineering. Recommended listening…..by Scented Gardens of the Mind - by Dag Erik Asbjørnsen, ….. 

Albums: 

L'Escapade - 1974, Arcane 87015 (CD reissue by Musea, 1991, FNAC MUSIC 672 024/Musea FGBG 4032.AR) 
Grimaces - 1975, Arcane 913050 (CD reissue by Musea, 1994, FGBG 4119.AR) 
Le Petit Violon De Mr. Gregoire - 1977, Crypto ZAC 6402 (CD reissue by Musea, 1995, FGBG 4009.AR) 
Avant Qu'il Ne Soit Trop Gard - 1978, Crypto ZAL 6440 (CD reissue by Musea, 1995, FGBG 4107.AR) 
Vers Demain - 1979, Crypto ZAL 6483 (CD reissue by Musea, 1994, FGBG 4120.AR) 

- Dominique Le Guennec / lead vocals, flutes, sax, percussion 
- Jean-Paul Pierson / keyboards, vocals 
- Christian Gallas / guitar, vocals 
- Jean-Luc Martin / bass, vocals 
- Francis Poulet / drums, percussions, vocals 

Tracklist 
A1 La Mauvaise Réputation 3:30 
A2 Brume 5:05 
A3 Complainte Pour Un Narcisse 4:25 
A4 Le Jardin Des Illusions 6:35 
B1 Accroche-Toi Et Suis-Moi 6:00 
B2 Au Pays Des Grimaces 6:15 
B3 Manèges Et Chevaux De Bois 7:00

Beckett “Beckett”1974 UK excellent Prog Rock











Beckett  “Beckett”1974 UK excellent Prog Rock..recommended
Beckett “Rainclouds"1973 
Beckett  “A Rainbow’s Gold” (Old Grey Whistle Test 1974) video
full on vk
A progressive rock outfit from Newcastle, who formed in 1970. Ken Mountain was ex-Yellow. After their Little Girl flexi, Gibbons left to join Halfbreed and was replaced by Ian Murray (ex-Music, Goblin). After their album, which was produced by Roger Chapman of Family, Barton and Fisher left, being replaced by Arthur Ramm (ex-Les Humphries Singers) and Barry Black (ex-John Miles Set). Then Ian Murray departed, to be replaced by Jimmy Wiley (ex-Icarus). After the band split, Wilson-Slesser went on to Back Stree Crawler, Wiley and Barton ended up in Captain Whizzo (1976) and Black rejoined John Miles. ….. 

This self-titled album from UK Prog Rock band "Beckett” was their only album from 1974. They have a huge following in the South Tyneside area of England. It is worth noting that Iron Maiden covered “A Rainbow’s Gold”, which is featured on the B-Side of their ‘Two Minutes To Midnight" single. And a few members of “Beckett” went on to form the band “Back Street Crawler” with the ex-guitarist of 'Free’, Paul Kossoff………… 

The album “Beckett” - just one of the greatest and most unjustly neglected of progressive rock albums of the '70s. This small masterpiece belongs to Beckett band from Newcastle, which was formed in 1970. The style of music was always somewhere between progressive and hard rock. This is their only LP, released in 1974, which was produced by Roger Chapman (Eng. Roger Chapman), best known for working with a group of Family. The original vinyl today is, surprisingly, a rarity. 
The album, in short, can be described as follows: after a brief prelude “Once Upon a Time … The End” a group gives us the first gem - it’s an amazing song “Rolling Thunder”. What follows is a beautiful ballad “Rainclouds” and the famous “Life’s Shadow”. Famous is the fact that the group Iron Maiden, cleverly used the lyrics of this song for his composition “Hallowed Be Thy Name” from the album “The Number of the Beast”, and did not forget to grab some musical passages, or rather an instrumental part for the song “The Nomad "from the album” Brave New World “. 

Next we come to the "A Rainbow’s Gold”, which is simply one of the best songs the mid 70s. Her Iron Maiden have taken as they are and played on the 1984 single “2 Minutes To Midnight” is only slightly heavier. 

Of course very sorry that the guys from Beckett did not wait honored sales of the album, but they have received in the future, a little recognition. The vocalist, incredible, Terry Wilson-Slesser (Eng. Terry Wilson-Slesser) later joined the band Paul Kossova (Eng. Paul Kossoff) Back Street Crawler…………. 

Here we have an English hard progressive band formed in Newcastle in the year 1970. Produced by Roger Chapman of Family, the band was composed by Ian Murray (brother of guitarist Dave Murray of Iron Maiden), who soon left the band and was replaced By Jimmy Wiley (ex-Icarus). After the separation of the group Wilson-Slesser entered the Back Street Crawler. Iron Maiden re-recorded the song “Rainbow’s Gold” for 2 minutes to midnight, and the “coincidences” with Iron do not stop there … The song “Life Shadows” of that disc was sucked by Iron Maiden and Is the part of the soil of Nomad, of Brave new world. Check it out !!!………… 

Beckett Vocalist Terry Wilson-Slesser, a native of Newcastle upon Tyne, was to figure in ex-Free guitarist Paul Kossoff’s solo outfit Back Street Crawler and was later hook up with Charlie. The vocalist was also known to be in contention during 1980 for the AC/DC frontman vacancy following Bon Scott’s death. 

Wilson-Slesser had replaced original Beckett singer Rob Turner, the previous frontman having been killed in an auto accident. Soon after this appointment guitarist Les Tones quit. The group’s first major performance was supporting UFO at Newcastle’s City Hall. Beckett carved out a live reputation by performing residencies at the infamous Star Club in Hamburg, Germany. Beckett , having scored the financial backing of Island Publishing, then underwent a major line-up change. 

The band’s 'My Lady’ single was a clear flexi-disc given away free at gigs in 1974, the same year the band released their eponymously titled album, produced by Family’s Roger Chapman, on the Raft label subsidiary of Warner Bros. On the live front Beckett supported the likes of Wizzard, Slade, Free, Ten Years After, Thin Lizzy and The Faces. The band performed at the 1974 Reading Festival, after which they switched labels to CBS Records. For a period Wilson-Slesser was rehearsing with Mott The Hoople musicians following Ian Hunter’s exit. 

The Beckett concerts with Free would ultimately lead to an eventual union between Terry Wilson-Slesser and guitarist Paul Kossoff in Back Street Crawler. Slesser was known to be in contention for the AC/DC frontman position during 1980 after Bon Scott’s death. The singer also acted as backing vocalist on Def Leppard’s 'Pyromania’ album. The Beckett song 'A Rainbow’s Gold’ was covered by Iron Maiden as a B side on their 1984 hit single '2 Minutes To Midnight’. That same year Wilson-Slesser acted as an offstage singer for the Michael Schenker Group, performing on a European and Japanese tour. 
The Rock Detector………. 

Personnel: 
Arthur Ramm — guitar 
Frankie Gibbon — bass 
Terry Wilson-Slesser — vocals 
Kenny Mountain — guitar 
Keith Fisher – drums 
Roger Chapman – producer 


Tracks: 
01. Once Upon A Time… The End — 0:56 
02. Rolling Thunder — 5:23 
03. Rainclouds — 5:11 
04. Life’s Shadow — 6:52 
05. New Dawn Chorus — 1:02 
06. A Rainbow’s Gold — 4:41 
07. Don’t Tell Me I Wasn’t Listening — 5:31 
08. Green Grass Green — 4:36 
09. My Lady — 3:26 
10. True Life Story — 5:36 

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