Friday, May 23, 2008

Some Underground Blues?

The Best Classic Rock and Blues Albums You Never Heard Of by P Hershon

If you love classic rock and the blues, the chances are good that you never heard of most of the groups and the CDs in this article, which are amongst my favorites. I love discovering overlooked groups and these stick immediately too mind. My only criteria was that they had to be groups that most people in the US never heard of, only one album per group, and no "Best Of" albums (with one exception). Some groups like The Blues Band & Cuby and the Blizzards, are well known in their own countries, but not as well known in the US. The albums are listed in alphabetical order by group, album title, CD company and the year the album was originally recorded.

Bacon Fat "Complete Blue Horizon Sessions" Sony 1971

An American Blues group led by Rod Piazza performing Chicago Blues with a wonderful dirty grimy authentic sound. This is actually a compilation album with alot of live stuff added.

Blonde on Blonde "Rebirth" Phantom Sound & Vision 1970

Great songs and incredible lead singing by Dave Thomas whose voice sounds like a Welsh operatic Roy Orbison playing with a great rock band.

Cuby & the Blizzards "Tripping Thru A Midnight Blues" (Three Originals) Universal 1968

Legendary Dutch blues band featuring the excellent English vocals of Cuby (Harry Muskee) and the incredible tasty lead guitar of Eelco Gellng who was asked to replace Peter Green in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. This is the blues, baby.

Betterdays "No Concessions" Aftermath Records 1994

White boys rock the blues. The Betterdays were a 60's English blues band that reunited in the late 90's to record their original act in the studio because other then the odd single, they had little recorded for posterity. This is crisp retro 60's British Blues band R&Bperformed like there is no tomorrow.

Blues Band "The Official Bootleg Album" BGO 1979

Probably the best known of all the bands here, featuring ex Manfred Mann vocalist Paul Jones on vocals & Harp, Tom McGuinness on guitar as well as Dave Kelly on slide guitar and vocals, this is their debut and best album, featuring uptempo Chicago Blues done in English style with incredible energy.

Complex Way We Feel Wooden Hill 1971

The first of our Zombies sounding groups, which is meant as a great compliment. This group had incredible originals and a great keyboard player as well as wonderful harmonies. This group recorded a previous album with even better material but unfortunately the recording quality was very poor due to a screw up by the place they pressed the original record up which is why I am recommending this album instead because of its much better audio quality.

Dr. K's Blues Band "Rock This Joint" Akarma 1968

There's an amazing groove to this album that I can't quite put into words. Led by one time John Mayal Bluesbreakers member Geoff Krivet on lead guitar. Dr. K on piano and Eric Peachy on drums, they sound sound like what the Band would sound like if they were a 60' s British Blues Boom Band playing Chicago Blues and someone lit a firecracker in their asses!

Forever Ember "Love Cycle" Wooden Hill 1969

Imagine a poor man's Zombies doing a poor man's "Odyessy and Oracle" and I mean that as the highest compliment. These were originally a private recording by these guys who never knew how great they were done using non state of the art equipment but still sounding great.. If you're a Zombies fan you'll have to get this. One of the sweetest sounding albums. The strange thing is, according to the notes, they barely performed any of these tracks live. Great keyboards, lead vocals, vocal harmonies, original songs, the works.

Jerusulem "Jerusalem" Universal Japan 1972

One of the heaviest greatest riff rock albums ever. Imagine Deep Purple without keyboards which mught be attributed to the fact that Ian Gillian produced this hard rock masterpience. Absolute balls to the walls rock with great vocals, guitar, great originals, everything.. These guys should have been stars.

Jodo "Guts" Lion 1971

Heavy 1971 Cream like Heavy Superb Blues Rock. They sound like Cream would sound like if they had Randy California, RIP, of Spirit on Guitar and vocals instead of Clapton.

Killing Floor "Killing Floor" Repertoire 1969

Imagine Led Zeppelin played the blues while on amphetamines. These are the blues played with adrenaline the likes of which have never been heard before.

Mahogany "Mahogany"

Great riffy tight UK blues rock, really nice original melodic bluesy songs with great lead guitar by John Mackay on guitar and vocals and some really tasty harmonica by Steve Darrington. These guys look the Carpenters but rock steady. Originally recorded in 1969

Otis Spahn Bigggest Thing Since Colossus (Sony) 1969

Otis Spahn is backed for the entire album by Fleetwood Mac's classic blues line-up of Peter Green and Danny Kirwin on guitar and John McPhie on bass, produced by famous Blues Producer, Mike Vernon. All tracks were recorded in a single take with no overdubs and the playing is hot and incredible.

The Sorrows "Take A Heart" Castle 1968

This is incredible Garage Rock freakbeat style done by a legendary 60's English rock group that never came over the US. Every track on this album is perfect, fantastic drum beat, the bass plays the perfect notes, the guitar drives and the singer is great as are the songs. "Take A heart" is considered a classic and "She's Got the Action" is a pounding freakbeat and "We Should Get Along Fine" is one of the sweetest songs ever.

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