Saturday, 9 December 2017

Keith Mlevhu “Love And Freedom” 1976 Zambia Psych Prog Afro Psych

Keith Mlevhu “Love And Freedom” 1976  Zambia  Psych Prog Afro Psych

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In 1976, Keith travelled to Nairobi under the sponsorship of Teal Record Company to record his second album Love And Freedom. Recorded at Sapra Studios, the album was still on the Mac Bullet label and set new record production standards. This was the first Zambian album to be presented in a full colour cover sleeve jacket. On the cover design, Keith, with plaited locks, is depicted adorned in military camouflage breaking the chains strapped around the globe, his axe deliberately aimed at Southern Africa, where Zimbabwe, Namibia, Angola, Mozambique and South Africa were still struggling for their freedom. The album design was accredited to the artiste himself.
Axe-wielding guitar wizard Keith Mlevhu chops the chains of the socio-political Southern Africa of 1976. “Love and Freedom” is the title track of his second solo outing recorded at Sapra Studios Kenya and released on Teal in 1976. The acclaimed LP would see another release by WEA in 1978. It is believed to be the first Zambian album to be adorned in a full-colour sleeve….zamrock….~

Mlevhu was born on 14 September 1950 in the mining town of Chingola.
He started his music career from the time he was still a juvenile and played in a number notable music bands in his formative years on the Copperbelt. He started with Dyna-Magic as an instruments handy boy in his early teens before graduating into a sensational guitarist for the same band. Keith later on pioneered and led several other pop groups, namely: The New Orleans, Mac Beth, The Rave Five, The End and The Aqualung.

As a young musician in 1969, Mlevhu led The Rave Five into winning a contest for bands dubbed ‘The Mini Woodstock’ held at Lusaka Showgrounds. The following year, he led another youthful outfit, ‘The End’ on a six-month tour of Congo-Kinshasa where the band was resident at a Lubumbashi club. When ‘The End’ returned home they split with Mlevhu forming a new band, The Aqualung. 

It was after the disbanding of Aqualung that he pursued the new three-year diploma course in music at Evelyn Hone College in Lusaka where, because of his brilliance and competence, he was retained as a lecturer. During his lecturing days, Keith found time to enter the Zambia Broadcasting Services studios for recordings. His very first piece to hit the airwaves was ‘You, Me and the Other Fellow’ in 1975. This song and its accompanying video were done as a political advert calling for love and unity in the nation. The same year his debut solo album, ‘Banafimbusa’ was released.

In 1976, Mlevhu travelled to Nairobi under the sponsorship of Teal Record Company to record his second album Love and Freedom. Recorded at Sapra Studios, the album was still on the Mac Bullet label and set new record production standards. This was the first Zambian album to be presented in a full colour cover sleeve jacket. On the cover design, Mlevhu, with plaited locks, is depicted adorned in military camouflage breaking the chains strapped around the globe, his axe deliberately aimed at Southern Africa, where Zimbabwe, Namibia, Angola, Mozambique and South Africa were still struggling for their freedom. The album design was accredited to the artiste himself….wiki…~

Mega rare LP by Zambian artist, recorded in Kenya. 
Fabulous record, sometimes more afro pop, sometimes afro psych with fuzz and killer grooves 
Keith Mlevhu got a real nice and unique voice that makes the ensemble so special. 
Record only released in france I guess….~

All Vocals, Electric Bass, Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards & Drums by Keith Mlevhu

A1 Love And Freedom 3:27 
A2 Bwelelenimo Kumushi 2:48 
A3 I Am Your Warrior 2:44 
A4 Fwebana Ba Nomba 3:23 
A5 Repenting My Sins 2:37 
B1 My Gun 2:46 
B2 Ubungtungwa 3:59 
B3 Inkongole Tashawama 3:00 
B4 I Am Your Star 4:16 
B5 Adam And Eve 2:23

Banafimbusa (1975) 
Love and Freedom (1976) 
Through Fire To Heaven (1977) 
Touch of the Sun (1979) 
The Bad Will Die (1976 - 1979) (2014) 
Can’t You Hear Me: African Nuggets (2016) 

Violeta de Outono “Volume 7” 2007 Brazil Psych Space Rock

Violeta de Outono “Volume 7” 2007 Brazil Psych Space Rock   recommended..!

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Formed in 1984, the Violeta de São Paulo group emerged after the end of the BRock Zero group. He was consecrated in the country, during the decade of the 80, for works like Violet of Autumn (1987) and Everywhere (1989). Between comings and goings, the group remains in the active, led by the guitarist and vocalist Fabio Golfetti. 
This is the seventh disc of the group’s general discography (before, in addition to the two mentioned are Woman on the Mountain, Islands, Eclipse and Live at Rio ArtRock Festival ‘97), and besides Fabio, musicians Claudio Souza (drums) Gabriel Costa (bass) and Fernando Cardoso (keyboards).
Volume 7 opens with “Além Do Sol. Despite being the Violet of Autumn we know, the band has gained a completely different sound. Partly by the keyboards, mainly the Hammond organ of Fernando. Gabriel’s bass is also a direct influence, since there is a big difference between the style of Ângelo Pastorelo (original bass player) - that plays with a pick - and Gabriel playing with Pizzicato (fingers). The live recording privileged, and much, the concise sonority of the band. 
The call Canterbury, sound founded by bands like Soft Machine and Camel, took its total form in that disc. Not that the psychedelic atmosphere of Pink Floyd and Gong are gone. In no way! They are still present, but in another way. 
"Caravan” has a space climate, calm, quiet. At least until we get close to the second minute of the song, when Hammond takes over the sound and the band engages a more energetic rhythm. Fabio’s guitar is always a case in point! Sharp, correct, precise. I like the sound he takes from his Fenders. The etheric vocals make you travel, literally, without any additives. Just sit comfortably to listen to the track that sounds like a direct tribute to English band Caravan. 
If I did not know the band, I would not say she’s Brazilian. “Broken Legs”, third track, was composed by Fernando Alge (as well as the next album) and has a more cheerful syncopated rhythm, including some stretches in which Fabio uses the technique of glissando (technique that consists of using a metallic object in the strings to get different sounds). 
In “Eyes Like Butterflies”, one thing is certain: Fernando makes a huge difference in the sound of the band. Who, like me, listened to the previous records, knows what I’m talking about. The use of Hammond was perfect with the sonority of the songs. The refrain is a sublime beauty … “Eyes of the morning sun …”, perfect! I really like the bass and drums right after the first chorus! The duo Gabriel / Claudio conducts very well the melody that accompanies the verse and, in sequence, the wonderful refrain. One of my favorites on the record. 
Shortly after the three minutes of song, Fernando souza attacks a powerful solo with his Hammond. Definitely, the recording at MOSH studios (one of the best in Latin America) made a difference. 
Partnership between Fernando and Fabio, “In Every Instance”, brings what most caught my attention in the album: the unit that the band achieved. Volume 7 does not sound like a disc of songs apart. Even when we know that three of the eight songs were composed well before that record was finished. I have often heard discs in which all songs look like one. I am not referring to conceptual records like The Wall (1979) by Pink Floyd, for example. I mean records where all the songs sound like one.
The Violeta de Outono was able to maintain such a unity that the album plays without realizing that the songs are passing. That, my dear friends, is what I call a record that flows perfectly. 

“Little Wandering Beings” was originally composed for the Invisible Opera Company of Tibet project and uses the glissando technique in its entirety. The sound of the track is incredible. Poetic (without even words), psychedelic, spatial, traveling, rippling … For some reason, that word came to my mind as I listened to this track. 

The organ present so densely in the previous bands is replaced by the synthesizers. Sounds are fired here and now. Thing of who has already played a lot of Progressive Rock (Fernando has already played in cover bands of Yes and Rush). The ground that appears near the seventh minute of the song shows us this clearly. Rest your bodies, relax and travel a little inside your heads. 

In “Transition Point”, the piano gives the sound. Beautiful melody! Fabio’s voice is fragile, that’s what gives her the beauty. I’ve never really liked bands that have real vocalists. In my opinion, the best vocalists are people who do not have a voice to sing like Geddy Lee (Rush), Roger Waters (Pink Floyd), Peter Gabriel (Genesis) or, out of the Progressive field, Ozzy Osbourne (Black Sabbath). Fabio Golfetti is on this list! 
The disc ends with “Border”. I believe this is a direct influence of Camel. The bass, drums, keyboards, melodic style, totally Camel of Mirage phase (1974) and Moonmadness (1976). Not a copy, even direct influence. 
The organ at 3:20 gets to fear with such a melody break that causes the same. Then the song takes completely different form with riff in broken and apocalyptic time. When they return to the original theme, Claudio calls his attention with his intricate and broken battery. The repetition of the strange part comes even stranger, crooked, out of time and very sullen. Great track! Along with “Eyes Like Butterflies” is my favorite track. We finished the record with the feeling that we have just heard one of the best albums of the last 20 years. Congratulations to the band!…~

Do you believe in love at first sight ? How about love at first listen ? The first time I heard this record I stopped what I was doing and listened, not believing what I was hearing. The music is melodic, catchy and filled with Hammond organ. The vocals are in both Portuguese and English and remind me of the vocals on the early PINK FLOYD albums from “Saucerful Of Secrets” to “Dark Side Of The Moon”. Actually their sound is very similar to early PINK FLOYD which isn’t too surprising considering they have played their own versions of Syd Barrett era PINK FLOYD songs and Syd Barrett solo songs since 1984 when they first became a band. I need to thank Greg Walker which I have done by phone already for recommending this album so highly, even putting their Myspace link on his site. I know I get carried away with adjectives when I really like the music i’m reviewing and at times like with the NOSOUND’s “Sol29” I have no words that adequatly express how I feel. And that’s the thing, it’s the emotions that this music causes me to feel that really can’t be properly expressed by words. I’m going to try though. This will be in my top ten of 2007 and probably number one. I chose this record for my 900th review. 
“Alem Do Sol” opens with gentle piano as the beautiful organ joins in. Pretty soon the whole band has jumped on board including the Portuguese vocals. The vocals eventually stop, giving way to an almost mournful Hammond organ solo. When it stops the guitar steps up for a solo of it’s own as piano joins in. Organ is back as the guitar is just ripping it up ! There are no words at this point. It’s all so warm and beautiful. “Caravana” opens with gentle vocals,cymbals and organ all played slowly. The vocals become processed briefly bringing PORCUPINE TREE to mind. The song kicks in before 2 minutes as drums and organ lead the way. Amazing ! The guitar a minute later is amazing. There is a melancholic vibe to the guitar, it’s great ! “Broken Legs” is an uptempo feel good song. Feel good is a bit of an understatement. English vocals in this one. I can’t stop smiling when this song is playing. Great bass and organ as well. “Eyes Like Butterflies” has a “Meddle”-like flavour to it. Especially the vocals. You should hear them. There are some spacey moments on this track as well as English vocals. Check out the organ and piano melodies ! The organ 3 ½ minutes in is a highlight. A tasteful guitar solo before 5 minutes as the organ plays on. 

“Em Cada Instante” opens with piano as drums then a spacey vibe sets in. Vocals in Portuguese. Honestly this music here is breaking me. I can’t explain. The song kicks in at the 3 minute mark as organ, guitar, drums and throbbing bass create magic. Yes ! These first five songs are all perfect in my estimation. Trying to pick a favourie would be impossible at this point. “Pequenos Seres Errantes” is the only track in the liner notes that has a description before the lyrics. “Under universal influence of INVISIBLE OPERA COMPANY OF TIBET…thanks Daevid”. This means so much to me since one of my all time Psychedelic albums is by that band which includes the guitarist(Fabio) here from VIOLETA DE OUTONO and I received that album directly from Fabio ! This song opens with a very spacey 2 minute intro before we get a ryhthm of bass, cymbals then drums. Portuguese vocals before 5 minutes in this very psychedelic song. The synths are quite prominant to close out the song. “Ponto De Transicao” is PINK FLOYD-like during the verses. The chorus has more of a beat with piano. Guitar and bass come into the soundscape and are excellent. Such a dreamy, relaxed tune. “Fronteira” has some Jazz elements early with the organ and bass standing out. The spacey sounds arrive as it slows down. Vocals are sung slowly in Portuguese. Some heaviness 3 ½ minutes in. Nice soothing guitar solo follows. A spacey calm settles in 5 ½ minutes until a full sound comes back 7 minutes in. 
Please seek this one out. This isn’t just for Psychedelic fans or PINK FLOYD fans. This is for fans of uplifting melodic music…by Mellotron Storm …~

I have to confess that I was never a huge admirer of VIOLETA DE OUTONO, although their early efforts were neatly soaked into Syd Barret’s PINK FLOYD era (which I like immensely) - well, I don’t know the reason, maybe some kind of sound sweetening or different perspective made me disdain VIOLETA’s work until recently. Something sparked on me after listening to their 2005 release named “Ilhas”, not a marvelous piece, but containing certain points that really caught my attention, and so I decided to have a look at “Volume 7” and the result was very close to what I wished - a fine production, indeed. 
VIOLETA keep many of the 60s and 70s flair but this time they explore new paths much in accordance with the newest trends. Their natural inclination to act as FLOYD tributary remains but this time added with spices from other bands like KING CRIMSON, JADE WARRIOR, OZRIC, PT and even vintage acts like late BEATLES or early MUTANTES, joined with a final touch of band’s proper personality, finally unveiled. The blend works neatly and in the end “Volume 7” goes well-crafted and homogeneous in spite of so many influences perceived. 

'Além do sol’ opens the album in a high mood; here the band’s signature is clearly discernible - a plethora of keyboard sounds, heavy drumming action, discreet guitars and vocals like coming from a box or from somewhere out there, certainly a delicacy for space rock fans and admirers and also catchy enough to please all tastes. The next song, 'Caravana’, shows a dosing of old psych tunes and some modern fusion atmosphere; a plain and average track. The opening duo is trimmed by the first album song sung in English (the first two are sung in Portuguese), 'Broken legs’, a track that could fit doubtlessly in a 1967 release done by The Beach Boys or The Hollies; fair, almost cheesy but meaningless. 

The second song where VIOLETA uses the English language, 'Eyes like butterflies’, is probably album’s highest moment, a 6’ real top-notch track, which is followed by another fine song, 'Em cada instante’, soft and pungent and displaying a vigorous and surprising tempo changing that maintains the album in its peak. 'Pequenos seres errantes’ brings some of the most Floyd-esque (circa 1968, I mean) segments in the whole release, and it’s agreeable and audible; there are some synth tunes extremely pleasant reminding the hearer of past classics of the prog-rock scenario; also for the first time, guitar chords appear in their plenitude - a track to compete with previous 'Eyes like butterflies’ to be honored as album’s best. 

Album closing tracks include the short 'Ponto de transição’, truly an amusing transition point for the longest and final song, 'Fronteira’, and where the trains almost derails, due to the poor lyrics (in Portuguese) and the over-repetition of space rock clichés that brings some dullness feelings to the listener. The heavy rock segment near the song’s end saves the track and at least yields a fair good- bye to the whole release. 

My rating oscillates between the 'good-but non-essential’ and the 'excellent addition’, but since broken ratings cannot be awarded I’ll upgrade the mark as a tribute to a band that has managed to survive for almost a quarter of a century amidst so many obstacles. ….by…by Atkingani …..~

Some twenty years after their debut album, two musicians are still on board of this amazing Brazilian band. Fabio Golfetti (the brain) on guitars and vocals as well as Claudio Souza on drums have been able to keep the essence of their music throughout all those years (even if the latter was not always present). 
The music available on their prior albums was seriously early Floyd influenced and the overall headed towards the late sixties psychedelic movement. Nothing new then, but the band was always faithful to his origin and kept playing this type of music quite well I must say. The only work which was maybe somewhat behind was their prior “Ilhas”. 

This seventh album opens on a brilliant rock song which features a great guitar break (but this is a trade mark for Violeta). The following “Caravana” is more on the jazzy angle and includes brilliant keys solo. As usual, the soft voice from Fabio conveys such a gentle atmosphere. 

The rhythm of “Broken Legs” is quite upbeat and the organ is pretty sustained as well. This hasn’t always been the case on prior works but it adds some nice flavour to the cake. It provides a certain heavy prog feel to the whole which is quite different to their earlier recordings. “Em Cada Instante” is another and very good example. 

It is also the first time that the band plays longer songs than usual. “Pequenos Seres Errantes” almost clocks at eight minutes and opens on a nice and melodic spacey keyboards intro full of sweetness. It ends up in a wild and tortured psychedelia. This is another very enjoyable track by all means! 

The well named “Ponto de Transição” leads to the epic and closing song from this album. “Fronteira” conveys a jazzy atmosphere during the intro, which is again very much keyboards oriented. The pace sets back for a while and leaves the place for a melodic and sweet vocal part. No shouts here: pure melody my prog friends! This song reminds me of the great “Santana” period of “Caravanserai” (except for the guitar of course even if it appears during some parts of “Fronteira”). 

This album is quite different from their previous ones. It is less psychedelic and more symphonic jazz oriented. There are more keyboards (excellent work from Fernando Cardoso) and much less guitar. It is still their best effort to date IMHHO. Seven out of ten, but upgraded to four stars. Multo bon!… by ZowieZiggy …~

One of the most historical Psychedelic Rock bands from Brazil, Violeta de Outono from Sao Paolo were found in 1984 by guitarist Fabio Golfetti and drummer Claudio Sousa, after both left the group Zero.Together with bassist Angelo Pastorello they formed a very energetic trio, creating six Psych Rock albums over the span of two decades.In 2005 they were joined by keyboardist Fernando Cardoso, but this was also they year the trio was split, as Pastorello left Violeta de Outono to be replaced by Gabriel Costa.Two years later the Brazilian veterans returned with their seventh studio work “Volume 7”, recorded in just two days at Mash Studios and released on Voiceprint for Brazil and Musea Records in Europe. 
The addition of keyboards have given the band a nice fresh color and to my ears Violeta de Outono sound extremely similar to early-70’s British Psych/Prog groups like very early CARAVAN or CRESSIDA.The tracks show a great balance between light grooves and organ jams and are characterized by a melodic and dreamy sound full of positive energy.In the same vein the vocals are also quite warm yet expressive.Cardoso is the main reason that Violeta de Outono sound a lot like a British band with his lovely and vintage organ moves, the discreet use of synths and the careful addition of ethereal piano lines.Fabio Golfetti’s guitar remains another leading force of the group, smooth chords exchanged with more upfront solos with a retro aesthetic.The longer tracks sound more flexible like “Pequenos Seres Errantes” that even features a strong, spacey atmosphere now with the synthesizers in evidence and the long grooves performed by the rhythm section or “Fronteira” with its changing moods, the harder guitars and the richer overall sound. 

With “Volume 7” Violeta de Outono step carefully within the fields of Progressive Rock.70’s-influenced Psych/Prog with good groovy parts and interesting melodies is the result on this effort, that comes warmly recommended….by apps79 ….~

Ever since I discovered this group with 2012’s Espectro I have been in love. At the time my all-time favorite album from the classic “Canterbury Scene” was KHAN’s Space Shanty and with Espectro I thought I was hearing a reincarnation of the one-off Hillage, Greenwood, Stewart & Peachy collaboration. Volume 7 only solidifies this feeling. While others note some kind of PINK FLOYD sound or feeling to them, I only hear the wonderful sounds of KHAN (and maybe a little CARAVAN). And yet, Brazil’s Violeta De Outono, are a major force in and of themselves–and have been since the mid-1980s.
1. “Além do Sol” (5:20) introduces us to the nostalgic sound of this band with lightly picked arpeggios on the electric guitar, Hammond organ, bass and drums. The vocalist has a bit of a STEVE HILLAGE sound to his voice–which is lightly doused in reverb and mixed into the background (as it usually is). The first instrumental solo, taking place in the third minute, goes to the Hammond, followed by the HILLAGE-like guitar in the fourth minute. Neither are anything too extraordinary but both are so perfect in further enhancing the KHAN-like nostalgia feel. If KHAN had ever continued, this is what they would have sounded like. (10/10)

2. “Caravana” (4:34) opens with a mellow vocal section using a melody line familiar from Pink Floyd’s “Breathe” before amping up into a full out Canterbury jam and then returning for the end to the opening section. Great organ and guitar play with solid support from the rhythm section. Great pre-digitized sound to the recording. (10/10)

3. “Broken Legs” (3:08) a fairly straightforward pop/rock song with some jazzy rhythm guitar work, 1960s sounding vocals and slide guitar work. Could be off of an early BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST or REO SPEEDWAGON album! (7/10)

4. “Eyes Like Butterflies” (6:02) opens with organ, picked electric guitar, flanged lead guitar strums, and slow-paced drumming. The bass almost has the melody lead–sometimes distracting me from the vocal. The chorus melody is gorgeous, if understated. Piano, organ, and Southern Rock-like lead guitar riffs pop out from time to time making this song a real pleasure from the standpoint of unpredictability. Really a cool composition–again one that could have come from an early 1970s blues rock band like the ALLMAN BROTHERS. (8/10)

5. “Em Cada Instante” (5:12) great Canterburian jam in the middle. (9/10)

6. “Pequenos Seres Errantes” (7:49) opens with some sliding guitar notes floating, echoing around the soundscape in the vein of DAEVID ALLEN in the GONG pre-Radio Gnome Invisible era. As it evolves it continues to develop in the vein of a couple of the space jams from Camembert like “Fohat Digs Holes in Space” or “Tropical Fish” only with synths taking the place of the saxophones. Great song–one in which the drumming and bass also stand out for the fact that they are mixed farther into the foreground. Even the vocal sounds psychedelic-Daevid Allen-esque. Awesome song! (10/10)

7. “Ponto de Transição” (3:48) is another rather simply constructed melodic pop-rock song. The vocal has a bit of a melancholy feel to it (though I don’t know its content since it’s in Portuguese). Piano, bass, drums and guitar–slide for the ABACAB solo. (7/10)

8. “Fronteira” (10:19) is an awesome jazz-tinged Canterbury-styled epic with multiple instrumental jam sections featuring the HILLAGE-like guitar lead and all-pervasive presence of the almighty Hammond organ. Great drumming on this one. Some great fast-paced sections balanced by equally great slow, spacious and delicate sections. (10/10)

4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of progressive rock music. These Brazilians have mastered a sound that is, for me, one of the most engaging of all of progressive rock. And, should you find yourself liking this album, then you simply must check out 2012’s masterpiece, Espectro–my favorite album of that year… BrufordFreak …..~

Formed in August 1985 by guitarist Fábio Golfetti (born in 1960, São Paulo, SP), bassist Ângelo Pastorello (born in 1959, São Paulo, SP), and drummer Cláudio Souza (born in 1959, São Paulo, SP), the Violeta de Outono were a psychedelic group heavily influenced by Pink Floyd. Getting together after their tentative bands since 1981 – Lux, AMT-1, Ultimato, Zero, and Fragata – they were considered the best Brazilian group in the psychedelic genre. In 1987, the group recorded their first LP, Violeta de Outono, through the independent label Wop-Bop. In the next year, RCA contracted them, yielding a second LP, Em Toda Parte, released in 1989, with the trio transformed into a quartet with the addition of electronic programmer R.H. Jackson (former Nomenclatura). This album fused their Pink Floyd influences with Echo and the Bunnymen and the Cure. The group continued to play sporadically, recording the live CD Vivo (Record Runner) in 1996. In 1989, Fábio Golfetti released a solo single, Ópera Invisível (Wop-Bop), followed by two solo albums: the LP Invisible Opera: Glissando spirit (Low Life, 1993) and the CD Cosmic Dance: From Astral Amazonian Jungles to Remote Himalayan Regions (Nova Sampa, 1997). ~ Alvaro Neder……..~

Fabio Golfetti: Guitar & Vocal 
Gabriel Costa: Bass 
Claudio Souza: Drums 
Fernando Cardoso: Hammond Organ, Piano & Synth 

Track list 

1. Além Do Sol 
2. Caravana 
3. Broken Legs 
4. Eyes Like Butterflies 
5. Em Cada Instante 
6. Pequenos Seres Errantes 
7. Ponto De Transição 
8. Fronteira 

Frijid Pink ‎ “Frijid Pink"1970 + "Earth Omen” 1972 + “All Pink Inside” 1974 Detroit Heavy Blues Rock

Frijid Pink ‎ “Frijid Pink"1970 + "Earth Omen” 1972 + “All Pink Inside” 1974 Detroit Heavy Blues Rock 

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FRIJID PINK was a Detroit-based, blues rock band formed in 1967. They started releasing singles in 1969, in the hope of getting some success. Fortunately their distorted-guitar cover version of “The House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals reached the Top 10 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

This made FRIJID PINK release their first, self-titled, album in 1970, including their massive hit. The line-up included Kelly Green on vocals, Gary Ray Thompson on guitars, Tom Harris on bass, Richard Stevers on drums, and additional keyboardist Larry Zelanka. However, this album, as well as their following, “Defrosted”, also released in 1970, showed no traces of Prog, but was simply straight-forward Blues Rock, with some Psych influences.

In spite of that, it only took 2 years for FRIJID PINK to take a more Progressive direction. Now, with new vocalist, Jon Wearing, and new guitarist, Craig Webb, FRIJID PINK created “Earth Omen”, leaving behind their former, straight-forward Blues Rock style, and moving towards a Heavy Progressive sound in the style of Uriah Heep, with remarkable Hammond organ and powerful guitar riffs.
Unfortunately, in 1975 FRIJID PINK went through another personnel change, leaving out vocalist Jon Wearing, who was the only one interested in exploring new grounds (he died on January 4, 2009). This brought about their final album, “All Pink Inside”, showing once again a straight-forward Blues Rock band, with nothing new to show to the masses. The band finally disbanded soon after its release.
However, in 2007 FRIJID PINK reformed, and have since been engaged in a series of live performances in the US. They have also been recording a new album, which should be released later in 2009.
While FRIJID PINK are not a 100% prog band, their third album, “Earth Omen”, definitely shows a Heavy Rock band with a Progressive sound, very much in the vein of the already mentioned Uriah Heep, as well as Atomic Rooster. Recommended to all 70’s Heavy Prog lovers. ….Cacho (Pablo) - April 2009..~

Frijid Pink was one of the most successful of the many hard rock bands emanating from Detroit in the late 60’s and early 70’s. They were the first rock group from the Motor City to chart a Top Ten single, 1970’s “House Of The Rising Sun”, and the first to have their self-titled debut LP crack the Top Twenty on Billboard’s Top Albums chart. The band would chart one more album and two singles before the original band line-up underwent some significant changes in personnel.
The Frijid Pink saga began in Allen Park, a suburb of Detroit located in the southern part of Wayne County. Composed of tree-lined streets and neat brick houses, the city was closely associated with the Ford Motor Company. Many of the auto company’s offices and facilities are still located within the city limits as is the Uniroyal Tire, the world’s largest sculpture of a tire. The city’s main roadside attraction was previously a Ferris wheel at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. The structure, which is 80 feet tall and weighs 12 tons, was moved to Allen Park in 1966.
Rick Stevers grew up in seemingly idyllic Allen Park, the son of a police officer. Stevers said that “going through elementary school and junior high with my father a cop was a bitch. I wore glasses and my old man was a cop; back in those days you couldn’t get much worse than that”. He revealed that this combination made him a frequent target of bullies and often resulted in him “walking blocks out of the way so I could get home without getting my ass beat”.
Rick’s interest in music started with his grandfather who gave him a small phonograph when he was three-years-old. Rick would listen to music for hours and wore out several copies of a Nat “King” Cole record his parents had purchased. He loved the violins on the record and this carried over to rock and roll through the string-drenched productions of Owen Bradley on many of Brenda Lee’s biggest hits.
Since Rick’s parents didn’t even have a radio in the house, his introduction to rock and roll came at the houses of his older cousins. There he immersed himself in their record collections which included the classic recordings of Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Gene Pitney, and the Everly Brothers. Stevers started playing instruments in elementary school and was a drummer in in both the marching bands and concert bands in high school.
Tom Harris’ home situation was very different from Rick’s. His family came from Alabama and music was an important part of the family dynamic. Harris moved to Allen Park when he was two-years-old. Every Sunday the family would gather for what they called “pickin’ and grinnin’” sessions at his grandparents’ house.
Like Stevers, Harris started playing music in the school band in elementary school. Although his teacher wanted him to try the saxophone, Tom says he “wanted to play the clarinet in the woodwinds section because that’s where all the girls were”. His dad bought him a guitar and at the age of thirteen, and he was invited to jam with his neighbor’s band. They needed a bass, so they took two strings off his six-string guitar and painted it black. Harris became a bass player from that point on.
The Detroit Vibrations started in 1964 in the Stevers’ basement. They were basically a teen R&B band that covered the Motown hits as well as the releases of many other popular artists of the day. Besides Stevers and Harris, the original members were Billy O’Reilly (lead singer), Cary Dayton (lead guitar), Tim Machnik (rhythm guitar), all from Melvindale High, and Dan Mason (keyboards) from Taylor High. The young band was managed and transported to gigs by Rick’s parents, Clyde and Clara Stevers, along with Tom’s sister Judy Harris and her husband Marv Wilson.
Both Tom and Rick were avid record collectors, especially after they formed the Detroit Vibrations. Being a cover band that played the current hits, they anxiously awaited new releases so that they could be the first group in the neighborhood to play it. Back in the days before there were cuing arms on record players, the band members would try to figure out the lyrics on the newest hits by lifting the needle off the 45, write down some words, and then try to put it back at the same spot so they could continue the laborious process of obtaining the lyrics for the entire song.
The hottest Allen Park rock and roll venue for teens was The Chatterbox. The Detroit Vibrations were soon the kings of that scene and the champions of many early “battles of the bands” held at the club. The winner of each battle would earn the right to play the club that weekend, and the Detroit Vibrations played twenty-three weekends in a row at one point. Local television deejay Robin Seymour was a friend of the club’s owner, and that connection led to frequent highly prestigious appearances by the band on Seymour’s popular teen dance television program, Swingin’ Time.
The first personnel changes in the Detroit vibration occurred in 1966. Rick Stevers recounted how it all went down: “Gary Thompson and Kelly Green (a.k.a. Tom Beaudry) were from Wyandotte High. They showed up at a gig one day at the Chatterbox in Allen Park and approached my dad and said ‘We’re a lot better than the guys you got on stage’. So we tried them out and they ended up being in the group. “We let Tim Machnik go. He really wasn’t doing the job, didn’t care about playing guitar, and just wanted to look good for the babes. As for Cary Dayton, I believe it really came down to his father who was pretty controlling and just didn’t want him in a band”. After operating with two lead guitarists for a short time, the band’s management cut loose Billy O’Reilly. Guitarist Dan Yehlely also played in the band briefly, but he was forced to leave the group when he was drafted into the Army. Yehley was sent to Vietnam and killed in an enemy ambush just two weeks into his deployment.
The Detroit Vibrations were getting so much work that Stevers had to drop out of the high school band in his junior and senior years because he didn’t have the time to participate in the homecoming parades and all the other required activities. His band director, Lincoln Naumoff, made sure Rick still received his varsity letter for band, however, because he knew Rick was pursuing his music career outside of school. Naumoff was a talented music teacher who supported his students in and out of school. He later did the lead sheets for Frijid Pink’s first three albums and even wrote a score for the Melvindale High Marching Band’s performance of “Sing A Song For Freedom”, one of Frijid Pink’s three charting singles.
According to Stevers: “We were pretty good, but we were playing backyard parties, teen clubs, and sometimes two shows a day at The Chatterbox - one for kids with no alcohol, then one at night for the over-21 crowd with alcohol. We were still the Detroit Vibrations when the decision was made to play originals. One of the driving factors of going with original songs was Kelly Green and Gary Thompson joining the band. It made for an interesting combination as Harris and I were more R&B and Green and Thompson were more rock”.
This new direction precipitated a name change for the band, but what name to choose? Clara Stevers got the ball rolling when she suggested ‘frosted pink’ after seeing the pink paint in both Dan Yehley’s and Rick’s hair and on their clothes after painting the family bathroom. That didn’t exactly fly with the macho young men in the band since it was quite fashionable at that time for women to have their hair frosted, but the idea didn’t completely go away.
The solution to the dilemma came as the band’s four managers were discussing ideas for the new band name on a Friday night in the Stevers’ kitchen over a bottle of Canadian Club. When 'frosted pink’ was brought up again, Judy Harris suddenly changed it to 'frigid pink’ after staring at the Stevers’ Frigidaire refrigerator. Clyde Stevers then suggested using the ‘j’ instead of the ‘g’ because it was both different and looked German; and a classic band name was created.
The Detroit Vibrations officially changed its name to Frijid Pink in 1967 at the Harbor Lights – a movie theatre turned concert venue. It hosted big name acts like Kenny Rogers and the First Edition and the 4 Seasons. The band had its own light show and fog machine and decided to do the change on its big stage during its second set. The set opened with their cover of the Vanilla Fudge version of “You Keep Me Hanging On” and with fog enveloping the stage, the band came out in new pink satin and velvet outfits. The design, patterns, and sewing of the flashy new Frijid Pink apparel was completely done by Judy Harris and Clara Stevers.
Besides ruling the stage at The Chatterbox, The band regularly appeared at a variety of teen dance clubs in the area including The Hullabaloos in both Ann Arbor and on Ford Road near Telegraph, The Pumpkin in Westland, and The Inferno in Flat Rock. The Mummp was another popular teen club gig. It was located in the Northland Mall in Oakland County. The venue was formerly the Northland Playhouse. The Amboy Dukes were the house band at The Mummp for a time.
Because of their foundation in R&B, Frijid Pink was often called upon to back some of the bigger name acts who would appear at the teen clubs promoting their recent releases. They played behind a number of well-known black performers during the 60’s including The Four Tops, The Parliaments, The Dynamics, The Contours, and The Falcons.
It was their ability to back other artists that led to Frijid Pink’s first recording contract. They got an opportunity to be part of the ALSAC show at Cobo Hall, Danny Thomas’ all-star benefit for St. Jude’s Hospital. Neil Diamond, Bob Seger, and many others played at the prestigious affair. Jerry Jaye was another of the scheduled performers. He had charted two recent country/pop hits, “My Girl Josephine” and “Let The Four Winds Blow”, but his backing band didn’t show up in time for his appearance.
Jaye’s manager asked Frijid Pink if they could back Jaye. The band agreed, and went backstage and did a couple of quick run-throughs of the two songs. The actual performance went so well that Jaye asked them to become his new backup band. They couldn’t take the job because both Harris and Stevers were still in high school, but Jaye’s manager was appreciative of what they had done for his artist and told them to record something and send him the tapes.
Frijid Pink recorded an album’s worth of songs at the Pioneer Studio in Detroit. The band had bought several blocks of studio time, but they were so well rehearsed that they had time left over in the session. The band was asked if they had anything else ready to record, and they tried a hard rock version of the old folk blues “House Of the Rising Sun”, recorded in 1937 by Georgia Bell Turner, covered by Bob Dylan on his debut album, and updated in 1964 by The Animals for their only # 1 hit single.
Prior to the recording session, the fuzz-drenched arrangement had only been worked on by Stevers and Thompson. It was Thompson’s idea to do the cover, not as a recording but as a song to be played in the band’s live set. With twenty minutes left in the session, Stevers, Thompson, Harris, and Green did a quick run-through and then recorded “House” in just in one take.
The tapes eventually reached the desk of Walt McGuire, the President of London Records. Frijid Pink was then signed to Parrot Records, an American division of London Records that had been started in 1964. Parrot had several important acts including The Zombies, Them with Van Morrison, Tom Jones, Lulu, Savoy Brown, Engelbert Humperdinck and The Moody Blues.
Frijid Pink was then flown to New York to finish recording what was to become their first album at Media Sound Studios. “Tell Me Why”, backed with “Cryin’ Shame”, was Parrot’s choice for the first single to be released in advance of the album. Issued in 1969, it was a blast of grungy Motor City hard rock that fit right in with the recent releases by the MC5 and The Stooges. It was popular in Detroit and north along the I-75 corridor, but the single might have been a little too raw to gain much airplay outside of the state.
Parrot’s second try was the power ballad “God Gave Me You”, backed by another rocking number called “Drivin’ Blues”. Although arguably more radio-friendly than “Tell Me Why”; “God Gave Me You” was also doing little business outside of Michigan, when fate intervened.
Stevers was dating the daughter of Paul Cannon, the program director at WKNR, and took the studio tapes of the band’s recordings over to get his opinion. He played Cannon short snippets of each song to give him an idea of what they had in the can. “House Of The Rising Sun” was the last song on the tape, and Stevers shut it off after just a few seconds and started rewinding since it wasn’t intended for release. Cannon stopped him and told him play more of the song that was recorded as an afterthought. Recognizing its hit potential, he suggested that the band’s management immediately call Parrot; and advised them to have the company pull “God Gave Me You”, and put out “House Of The Rising Sun” in its place.
Three weeks later Stevers was making out with Linda Cannon in her parents’ driveway when they were interrupted by the dreaded knock on the window by her father. Called into the house and thinking he was in trouble; Stevers was greeted instead with the sound of “House Of The Rising Sun” blaring out of the Cannon family radio. The song was on its way to becoming a massive hit.
“House Of The Rising Sun” debuted on Detroit’s WKNR the first week of January, 1970, and would spend the next two months on the ‘KEENER’ charts. It hit the Billboard Hot 100 on February 7th and would remain on the national chart for the next 13 weeks, peaking at # 7, and earning Frijid Pink the first gold record ever awarded to a Detroit hard rock band. The song was an international sensation as well, reaching # 3 in Canada, # 4 in the United Kingdom, and spending an incredible eleven weeks at # 1 in Germany.
Parrot released the band’s first album, “Frijid Pink”, in the wake of the singles’ success. Graced with a striking day-glo pink and black cover, the LP debuted on the Billboard Top 40 Albums chart on March 7th, and would spend a total of 13 weeks there, peaking at # 11. The LP, which included the earlier singles along with their hit cover of “House”, still holds up today as one of the stronger albums to come out of the Detroit rock scene at that time.

Everything changed after “House Of the Rising Sun” hit. Frijid Pink was on the road constantly. They traveled with six guys in a Ford LTD, sometimes driving hundreds of miles to get to the next gig the following day. They were making lots of money but had no time to spend it. Stevers said that both he and Harris had stacks of uncashed checks in their dresser drawers during that amazing first year of success.
Although Frijid Pink had played at the Grande Ballroom and at a slew of Michigan festivals, they spent less time in Detroit after the success of “House Of the Rising Sun”. As a result they never really became part of the Detroit rock band clique. Because their bookings were done by Willard Alexander out of Chicago, they were seldom included in the package shows in Michigan on which bands like SRC, Frost, MC5, the Bob Seger System, the Amboy Dukes, and the Stooges would all play the same venues, booked by local promoters like Brass Ring or Mike Quatro.
According to David Carson’s Grit, Noise And Revolution: “the band toured Australia and Canada, as well as the United States, including an impressive date at Unganos in New York. An article in Creem said Frijid Pink had experienced an “overnight rise,” and that everyone in Detroit seemed surprised. While the “5”, the Stooges, Frost, and other Detroit bands were having problems selling records away from home turf, Frijid Pink had seemed to come out of nowhere and go international.”
Although there was no apparent jealousy from the other Michigan bands at the time, Frijid Pink still suffers from their outsider status today. They were included in David A. Carson’s book but they were not interviewed for the Louder Than Love documentary about the Grande Ballroom; even though a brief segment of “House Of The Rising Sun” was used on the film’s soundtrack. In addition, Frijid Pink was barely mentioned in Steve Miller’s book, Detroit Rock City, an oral history of Detroit’s hard rock scene, despite the fact that they were the first Detroit rock band to break big outside of Michigan.
Frijid Pink once again appeared on Swingin’ Time to perform “House Of The Rising Sun” and were presented their gold record by host Robin Seymour. In the summer they appeared on Upbeat, the syndicated musical variety show produced in Cleveland. The band performed their big hit and repeated being presented their gold record, but this time it was done by the Upbeat’s host, Don Webster.
Having a big hit can also land you on national television. Frijid Pink took part in an early video for a syndicated musical variety series called Something Else, hosted by comedian John Byner. The band was flown to a small mining town outside of Reno, Nevada, to shoot the scenes. It was the first time any of them had ever been on an airplane. They filmed all day long in the ghost town during which Stevers claimed they “froze their asses off”. Being Michigan boys, none of the band realized how cold it got in the desert once the sun went down and didn’t bring any warm clothes. Shots in the mining town were then mixed with scenes of Frijid Pink lip-synching to the recording of “House Of The Rising Sun” for the actual broadcast.

The band had debuted their new single, “Sing A Song For Freedom”, during their appearance on Upbeat. The song was released in advance of the new Frijid Pink album due for release later in the year and was backed by “End Of The Line”, a song that had been issued on their first LP. Despite a push by Parrot, the newest Green/Thompson composition did not come close to matching the sales of “House” and peaked at # 55 on the Hot 100 in the summer of 1970.
Frijid Pink returned to Detroit in the late summer and performed at the first of the “People’s Ballroom" benefit concerts at the Grande Ballroom for MC5 manager and political activist John Sinclair who had been sentenced to ten years in prison on a marijuana charge in 1969. Other acts performing on the bill included the MC5, the Up, Detroit featuring Mitch Ryder, and Third Power.

“Defrosted”, Frijid Pink’s second album, was released in the fall. It was no match for their debut. Perhaps the group needed a little more time to work on their follow-up because the songs just didn’t measure up to those of “Frijid Pink”; and although “Sing A Song For Freedom” was included, their sophomore effort didn’t contain a knockout song like “House Of The Rising Sun”. In addition, the album cover art, which pictured the band inside a giant ice cube, was lackluster compared to their first album. To top it off, Parrot committed the blunder of printing the wrong last name for bass player Tom Harris in the album credits. “Defrosted” was a sales disappointment and only reached # 149 on Billboard’s Top Albums chart.
The band took to the road again to support “Defrosted”. Harry Phillips, formerly of the band Catfish, was added on keyboards to bolster the band’s live performances. One of their strangest shows on the tour involved playing for President Richard Nixon, who supposedly was a fan of their version of “House Of The Rising Sun”. Prior to their performance, the FBI came to Allen Park and investigated the band to see if they were safe enough to play with the President in attendance.
Don Costa did “Exodus” with his big band as an opener for the show attended by Nixon. Frijid Pink had also been playing the song live and closed the show with a hard rock version of “Exodus” that brought down the house. Their cover of the song was released many years later on the “Frijid Pink, Frijid Pink, Frijid Pink” album. Afterwards, Costa gave the band compliments for their version and later bought Stevers his first card to get into the Playboy Club in Chicago. Sammy Davis Jr. was also there, and when he discovered that Stevers was blind in one eye, Sammy invited Rick to a party on his personal yacht.
In an attempt to regain their momentum in record sales, Frijid Pink released a non-album single in December, 1970. Harry Phillips suggested they do a cover of Elvis Presley’s first big hit, “Heartbreak Hotel”. Phillips came up with the crucial keyboard part but before they could record the song, they had to get permission from Tree Publishing, the company that published Elvis’ hit in 1956. That turned out to be relatively easy since Tom Harris’ cousin, Buddy Killen, was not only an important figure in the music business but was also one of the owners of Tree Publishing.
The band’s cover of “Heartbreak Hotel” is great for the same reason as their cover of “House Of The Rising Sun”. Instead of trying to imitate the original version, the band turned the song on its ear by turning a moody mid-tempo blues ballad into a hard rocking rave-up. The single was only a minor hit, reaching # 72 of Billboard’s Hot 100 early in 1971, but it was big in Europe and would have been a welcome addition to the tepid “Defrosted” album.
Frijid Pink had just released a new single in 1971 called “Music For The People” when in Stevers’ words, “the shit hit the fan”. The gospel-styled song prominently featured the keyboards of Harry Phillips and boasted the backing vocals of Thelma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent Wilson, who by the end of the year would join Tony Orlando as Dawn. It was a big departure for Frijid Pink and original group members Thompson and Green apparently did not like the new direction.
The band was staying in a hotel in East St. Louis with a gig scheduled the following day at a big college two states away. The next morning, as they were preparing to depart, Thompson and Green could not be found. The pair had left during the night without telling anyone and hitchhiked to Detroit. The pair then took a plane to New York and the offices of Walt McGuire, head of London/Parrot Records. Thompson and Green reportedly declared themselves the stars of Frijid Pink and demanded a new drummer and bass player. McGuire not only turned them down but also informed them that they were in breach of contract and that the band was through at Parrot Records.
Gary Thompson and Kelly Green were described by Stevers as “hard to work with”, but their leaving not only derailed the tour and killed any hopes for the “Music For The People” single, but also cost the band its record label. Thompson and Green would go on to form Bullfrog in the wake of departing Frijid Pink, but that band produced nothing of significance. Thompson and Green are, however, still receiving royalty checks from the first two Frijid Pink albums because they are listed as the composers of most of the albums’ songs. Stevers and Harris, on the other hand, never thought to insist on composer credit for their contributions and earn nothing in songwriting royalties.
The two remaining original members of Frijid Pink weathered the storm and auditioned new musicians. They eventually came up with a lineup that included Harris and Stevers along with keyboardist Larry Zelenka, Jon Wearing (formerly of the Tidal Waves) on lead vocals, and Craig Webb on guitar and vocals. Now signed to Lion Records, a subsidiary of MGM, this is the group that recorded “Earth Omen” in 1972. By this time the band’s management had also changed. The road had taken its toll on the marriage of Judy Harris and Marv Wilson and they dropped out after their divorce, leaving Clyde Stevers in charge.
The change in band personnel was reflected in the new material; and many of the songs were written during casual jam sessions while sitting on the floor of Stevers’ apartment. The album was recorded in the Osmond Brothers studio in California. “Earth Omen” was a commercial flop, however. Looking back, it may have been a little ahead of its time; and it was certainly different from the first two albums which may have confused or even disappointed Frijid Pink’s original fan base.
When it came to the all-important promotion of “Earth Omen” Stevers stated: “Lion dropped the ball, didn’t push it, didn’t give it to the reps to push in the music stores. They didn’t do anything. It was just left to lie and rot. It was unfortunate because there were some good songs on it. The sound of the music was cleaner, easier to listen to, and more progressive than the other stuff we had done to that point”. Equally disappointing were the singles “Lazy Day” and a cover of “Go Now”, featuring the backing vocals of Hopkins and Wilson, released in the wake of “Earth Omen”.
Although it difficult to find today; the “Earth Omen” album has gained respect over the years. Julien Cope’s Head Heritage site reassessed “Earth Omen” and declared it: “a magnificent opus, fully heavy progressive rock of the highest caliber… In short, one of the most polished rock albums of 1972-73, and definitely one of the most overlooked”.
It would be three years and a lot of road miles before Frijid Pink would record its next album, 1975’s “All Pink Inside”, on Fantasy Records. Tom Harris left the band during this time. Looking back, Harris feels that he was kind of pushed out by manager Clyde Stevers who was “looking for something else”. He was replaced on bass first by Art Wolf and then Larry Popolizio. Jon Wearing was badly injured in an auto accident and was succeeded by Joe Baker on lead vocals. This lineup disintegrated after the “All Pink Inside” album failed to chart. Tom Harris would go on to form Fortress which became a very successful bar band, playing covers of classic rock and working 6-7 days a week.
Although they had not recorded a hit since 1971 and now contained only one original member, Frijid Pink was still a big name; and the band continued to tour through 1979. The last Frijid Pink lineup that went out on the road in the 70’s was composed of Rick Stevers on drums, along with three former members of another band managed by Clyde Stevers called Outer Drive; Bob Gilbert on guitar and vocals, Terry Stafford on bass and vocals, and Ray Knapp on keyboards and vocals.
After this version of Frijid Pink ground to a halt, Rick Stevers felt it was time to step away. He played in a bar band for a time and then took a steady job with Jeep Truck Engineering in Toledo, Ohio.
In 1993, the rock and roll bug bit again as Arlen Viecelli and Ray Gunn joined up with original members Stevers and Harris. Although this lineup showed a lot of promise, Rick Stevers claimed it didn’t work out because manager Clyde Stevers didn’t set up any jobs for the band and the members weren’t making any money.
Clyde Stevers owned the rights to the name Frijid Pink. In 2001 he made another attempt to put a new Frijid Pink lineup together and record an album. Rick Stevers remembered: “My old man threw these people together, never heard of them before, never saw them before. We started to work on some new original stuff and I’m seeing what’s going on and I didn’t like it. He got a monotone, baritone country singer and that just doesn’t work in Frijid Pink. He also got a guitar player named Randy Mack, and it was going to turn out to be the Randy Mack show because everything was lead guitar. And I told those guys, ‘It isn’t working and if you hang with this, and if you don’t get a contract signed with my old man, he’s gonna screw you!’ I dropped out at that point and he (Clyde) went and grabbed a drummer from another old-time band and recorded this trash (an album called “Inner Heat”) and then tried to go out on the road as Frijid Pink. I think they had one job booked on the west side of the state. Of course they couldn’t even do “House Of The Rising Sun”, so the booking agent said he couldn’t book them anymore”.
Clyde Stevers passed away a few years ago. He had originally registered Frijid Pink in his name because Rick wasn’t old enough. The name was supposed to go to Rick when he turned 21, but it never happened. His father told him that he could have the band name back when he died, but then Clyde left it in his will, along with Frijid Pink’s publishing company, to Rick’s sister. Rick said he “spent several years and a lot of money getting my own damn band name back”. He also set up a new publishing company since the relationship with his sister is rocky at best.
Rick Stevers started reviving Frijid Pink in 2006. He explained his motivation to the Toledo Free Press: “We had a lot of fans and it’s a great name. I decided I wanted to put a band back together and do what I had the opportunity to do the first time, which was to make some really, really good music”.
He tried to get Kelly Green back in the group so that there would be more than one original member, but that didn’t work out. He has since recruited four new members; Rick Houke on vocals and guitar, Brent Austin on bass and vocals, Chuck Mangus on keyboards and vocals, and Rick Zeithaml on lead guitar and lead vocals. Stevers said that the new lineup is “stable, steady, no egos – they work together well”.
The band is also recording. Their first project was rerecording some old tracks for a CD called “Frijid Pink, Frijid Pink, Frijid Pink” that was released on the Repertoire label in 2011. The four-song Frijid Pieces EP came out in 2012, and it’s for sale on the Frijid Pink site and at the jobs they play. Stevers says their sets are 90% originals, along with the signature “House Of The Rising Sun” and a couple of covers like “Tobacco Road” and “Stormy Monday”. The current lineup has 12 recently composed songs ready for a new album to be titled “Made In Detroit”.
In 2014, Frijid Pink signed with Dynasty Records. “Made In Detroit” was released the same year. Containing eight new originals highlighted by “Take Me Back”, “Promises”, and “Slip Away”, along with three re-recorded versions of songs featured on the Frijid Pieces EP, the album is a welcome addition to the Frijid Pink catalogue.
There is still some legal wrangling among record companies over the rights to “House Of The Rising Sun” and the other early Frijid Pink releases, but none of this will probably benefit the original members of the band. What seemed glamorous to the public has fallen victim to lawyers and the legal system. Judy Harris, who has returned as the band’s manager, said it best during an interview: “We had a tough life. Everybody thinks that entertainment and show business and making it big is so easy. It’s not. You sacrifice a lot, you give up a lot. It cost me my marriage. There’s always a price to pay and it’s not always money”.
As for the other original members: Kelly Green still lives in Michigan, but has had some health problems and recently underwent a quadruple bypass; Gary Thompson lives in Grosse Isle and is still playing guitar; and Tom Harris is currently playing bass in a covers band.
Frijid Pink was voted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends online Hall of Fame in 2013. The band’s biggest hit, “House Of The Rising Sun”, was voted a Legendary Michigan Song in 2009……..~ 

Frijid Pink ‎ “Frijid Pink”  1970

For some bizarre reason, perhaps related to the misspelling of their name, Frijid Pink are often mistaken for being a band from mainland Europe. In fact, they hail from Detroit in the USA, the band forming in the late 1960's out of a band called the Detroit Vibrations. One of their early claims to fame is that they were once supported by a newly formed Led Zeppelin.

Frijid Pink's 15 minutes of super-stardom came early on in their recording career, and is included on this album. Towards the end of a recording session, they still had some time available to them, so they came up with a cover of a traditional folk song which had previously been a hit for the Animals called "House of the rising sun". Despite its "New Orleans" references, the song is generally regarded as British in origin, having been later adapted by settlers heading west. Whatever its roots, Frijid Pink's heavy lead guitar laden version captured the imagination of the singles buying public on both sides of the Atlantic in 1970, and became the band's only notable hit single.

As a whole, this the band's début album is best compared to the work of their label mates Ten Years After (one of Woodstock's greatest successes). Blues rock tracks such as "I'm on my way" and "Driving blues" (an earlier unsuccessful single which became the B-side of "House of the rising sun") are straight-forward heavy blues numbers featuring distorted lead guitar, dominant drums and heavy rock vocals.

The majority of the songs are composed by guitarist Gary Ray Thompson and vocalist Tom Beaudry (who adopted the stage name Kelly Green). Album producer Michael Valvano is also credited with writing or co-writing two of the tracks, but he was reported to be upset that he was not financially rewarded for his contribution to the success of "House of the rising sun".

Most of the tracks fall within the standard 3-5 minute range, but the last pair run for slightly longer. Unfortunately, the lengthening of "I Want To Be Your Lover" is mostly down to an amazingly tedious drum solo but "Boozin' blues" is a decent attempt at more traditional slow blues.
In all, this album would probably fall into the proto-prog category had it been released a couple of years earlier. As it is, the songs are most likely to appeal to those who enjoy the sounds of the (early) 70's. Do not expect any lost prog classics though. That said, the version of "House of the rising sun" recorded by the band is undoubtedly the definitive one.
The Repertoire records CD re-issue includes two non-album singles A-sides (their respective B-sides can be found on the "Defrosted" album. "Heartbreak hotel" is a heavy cover of the Elvis song. "Music for the people" is a band original with a highly commercial hook, similar to The Guess Who's "Share the land" Easy Livin ..~

It surprised me that Frijid Pink is now included here at this site as I previously categorized the band as straight forward blues rock music with some rock'n'roll flavor. I knew the band in early 2000 when I saw the CD was displayed at local store here in Jakarta, Indonesia. When I looked at the label, it's REPERTOIRE ... so I purchased the CD; I bought three albums altogether because I was sure that Repertoire is a reputable label for classic rock outfit. I think all of my Babe Ruth CDs are all released by Repertoire as well.
The music contained here with this debut album really represented the time when rock music was emerging in early 70s. In fact the CD sonic quality is so vintage and it represented the period. As long as you can appreciate vintage rock music, I would think you like this album regardless the recording quality. For me personally this album serves a change when I get bored with digital recording where everything is so clean. Well, sometimes I need to return to the old times and this music is really good representing the seventies. You will find vintage guitar work throughout the album.
The opening track 'God Gave Me You' is a straight forward classic rock music that reminds me to the time when music was characterized by riffs and guitar solo. 'Crying Shame' follows similar vein like the opening track but this time with bluesy touch. The third track 'I'm On My Way' is a rock'n'roll track. One of my favorites is 'Drivin' Blues' that reminds me to John Mayall style or people called is white blues. In here they use harmonica to demonstrate the blues style, combined beautifully with guitar solo. People know very well The Animals' 'House of the Rising Sun' and this was one of the factors that made Frijid Pink was known by American in 1970. The closing blues track 'Boozin' Blues' is a very good blues music.... by Gatot ...~

Frijid Pink's self-titled debut is the essential recording by the band. It contains their signature tune, "House Of The Rising Sun" plus the group's first two singles, "Tell Me Why" and
"God Gave Me You". The Repertoire reissue also contains two interesting non-album bonus cuts. Their cover of Elvis Presley's first big hit, "Heartbreak Hotel", was Frijid Pink's last charting single in early 1971. The reissue also includes the "Music For The People" single that was out when the original lineup shattered while on tour later in the year. This song includes the backing vocals of Thelma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent Wilson, who would go on to join Tony Orlando in Dawn....~

Line-up / Musicians
- Tom Beaudry aka Kelly Green - lead vocals
- Gary Ray Thompson - guitars
- Tom Harris - bass
- Richard Stevers - drums
- Larry Zelanka - keyboards

God Gave Me You 3:35
Crying Shame 3:11
I'm On My Way 4:34
Drivin' Blues 3:14
Tell Me Why 2:50
End Of The Line 4:07
House Of The Rising Sun 4:44
I Want To Be Your Lover 7:30
Boozin' Blues 6:01

Frijid Pink ‎ “Earth Omen” 1972

After releasing two albums within a year in 1970, Frijid Pink fell apart when the core song writing team of lead guitarist Gary Ray Thompson and vocalist/bassist Tom Beaudry (AKA Kelly Green) left the band. Not one to be put off by such minor setbacks(!), drummer Richard Stevers promoted guest keyboard player Larry Zelankato full band membership then brought in new vocalist Jon Wearing and lead guitarist Craig Webb. Bassist Tom Harris, who played on the band’s début album, also returned to the line up having been absent without replacement for “Defrosted” (Beaudry filled in on bass). 

It is therefore immediately apparent that this is not the band which recorded the wonderful adaptation of “House of the rising sun”, but a largely new band exploiting the name of their predecessors. It is ironic then that this is generally hailed as the best, and certainly most progressive, album released under the band name. 
From the opening bars of “Miss evil” it is apparent why Zelankato has been promoted, his Hammond organ fanfare indicating that this album will exploit his talents to a much greater extent. The oft quoted comparisons with Uriah Heep are justified, but only in relation to Heep’s earliest days (“Very 'eavy, very 'umble”) when they were still finding their own direction. 
The progressive credentials of the band should not be overstated though, even when referring to this album. While tracks such as the opening “Miss evil” display an admirable willingness to indulge in more complex arrangements, other songs such as “Sailor” are largely straightforward, in this case anthemic pop, affairs. 
Musically, “Earth omen” is light years ahead of the band’s two preceding albums, both in terms of composition and performance. Almost completely absent is are the basic blues tenets which dominated those albums, to be replaced by a rich variety of styles and sounds. “Lazy day” is one track which sums up this diversity nicely, the song’s pop ballad foundations being built upon by fine harmonies, delightful mandolin, and some excellent bass playing. Another highlight is “Eternal dream” which features Uriah Heep like multi-part harmonic ah-ahs and “Dream” references. 
“Earth omen” is in many ways a one off album. At times it reminds me of Rare Bird’s flirtation with prog around the same time (“As your mind flies by”), in that it is radically different to the other Frijid Pink releases. The album features the heavier (but not metallic) end of the prog spectrum, driven along by powerful organ and a fine bass/drum workhouse. Its strength lies in both the song writing and the performances by the band members. 

The CD version includes two bonus tracks which made up a non-album single in 1972, although one of these is a single edit of the album track “Lazy day”. The other is a note for note cover of the Moody Blues “go now”. Easy Livin …~

Frijid Who? I hear younger readers ask, incredulously. 

Yet this is the band who, following their massive hit with a guitar-drenched cover of the Animals’ “House of the Rising Sun” had such minor bands as Led Zeppelin for support act. 
Indeed - a huge and monstrous sound is to be expected, and is also delivered in spades. Yet this, their 3rd album, is considered by fans as one of their weakest. 
But there’s no ignoring the hi-energy that belts out of the grooves from this magnificent opus, fully heavy progressive rock of the highest calibre. 
Guitars bludgeon heavy riffs into your cranium, while swirling organs (oo-er!) provide a shimmering shine and jet-propelled propulsion simultanetously. Masterful, tight, but never over-busy beats keep your feet a-tapping, and even though the music is finely crafted and accessible, surprises lurk around every corner. 
It’s easy at times to completely forget that this was released in 1972, such is the quality of the music, and yet, the music itself could not have been written at any other time. It is infused with the heady scent of patchouli and sandalwood, it speaks of those parties with just a few close friends, the intoxications of your choice that last into the wee small hours until the last person passes out with the pleasant fatigue of good times. 
There is no answer to the question “what is the music like”, for it covers a multitude of bases. The closest bands I can think of are Spooky Tooth, Uriah Heep, Atomic Rooster and Vanilla Fudge. 
Miss Evil hits you straight away with swathes of Hammond curling from a rotating Leslie, quickly joined by a piano duplicating the Hammond’s part for a stalkfest in a dark alley. The fuzzed-out guitar riff that follows, the hard-edged, crystal-clear vocals and the little solo lines quickly get mixed up in a maelstrom of sounds that sit at the edge of controllability - and that is why this music is so great; You can practically feel the musicians at the edges of their abilities and pushing hard, but never succumbing to the temptation to overdo it and ruin the whole thing by sounding amateurish. The musical interlude gives visions (probably illegal) of “evil women” and their seductive, tempting dances. 
This is followed by the haunting shanty “Sailor”, which features some of the tastiest piano licks ever buried in a mix. Shame on the engineer responsible. This being 1970s rock, we have a Tufnell special of a guitar solo. I recommend not listening to this on headphones, as the engineer decided it would be fun to pan it all over the place as the poor guy was recording it. I mean OK, it’s not the most exciting solo ever, but it’s pretty good, and didn’t deserve that. 
Earth Omen carries a cheese warning - but at the same time you have to give the band props for being environmentally aware and putting this much sheer passion into getting the message across; “Oh lord, what have we done?” indeed. Very stirring stuff indeed, providing you can ignore lines like “first we killed the sea and now we kill the sun”. 
And so it goes on - Frijid Pink demonstrate their mastery of forms and styles by chucking in some mandolins on “Lazy Day”, and produce a magnificently soporific tune. “Train Woman” is a piece of heavy blues par excellence, “Eternal Dream” hearkens back to a more innocent psychedelic era, while maintaining a progressive symphonic feel like Procol Harum or the Moodies at their best, “New Horizon” ventures into a funk-rock territory and gets you dancing around your clothes, which are probably in a pile on the sitting room floor by now. Close the curtains, would you? 
To round off the album, Rainbow Rider delivers a gospel-style soul that’s utterly infectious, and Mr Blood produces some of the scariest and heaviest rifferama outside of Sabbath. The vocal harmonies give Uriah Heep a run for their money too. The burn-out practically justifies the price of the album alone. 
In short, one of the most polished rock albums of 1972-3, and definitely one of the most overlooked. There are no real classics on this album - no monster hits, but each song is a personal moster hit waiting for you to discover it and share it - but only with people you really like :…by Certif1ed,….~

Bass Guitar – Tom Harris (2) 
Composed By [All Selections] – Webb*, Wearing*, Zelanka*, Stevers*, Harris* 
Drums – Rick Stevers* 
Lead Guitar – Craig Webb 
Lead Vocals – Jon Wearing 
Piano, Organ – Larry Zelanka

Miss Evil 6:20 
Sailor 4:20 
Earth Omen 3:35 
Lazy Day 4:36 
Train Woman 3:59 
Eternal Dream 4:24 
New Horizon 4:25 
Rainbow Rider 2:55 
Mr. Blood 4:37

Frijid Pink ‎ “All Pink Inside” 1974


Bass – Larry Popolizio 
Drums – Rick Stevers* 
Guitar – Craig Webb 
Harp, Vocals – Joe Baker 
Piano – David Ahlers 
Vocals – Rockin’ Reggie Vincent*

Money Man 2:53 
Put It In Your Pocket 3:13 
Portrait 2:09 
Gonna Get It Yet 3:35 
Paula In My Dreams 3:04 
A Day Late A Dollar Short 3:01 
Got To Go Back (San Francisco Bay) 2:23 
Take Me To Your Palace 3:38 
School Day 3:40 
Lovely Lady 4:21 
(There Ain’t No) Rock And Roll In China 3:08 

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“A Revolutionary New Triumph in Tape” 1958

“A Revolutionary New Triumph in Tape” 1958