December 6, 2014

101 Reel-to-Reel Tapes 85: Atomic Rooster ~ Made In England

reel-to-reel tape 
Design Concept – Mike Gill Associates Ltd.
photo by Styrous®

In addition to my vinyl LP record collection I'm selling, I have hundreds of reel-to-reel, pre-recorded tapes as well. This is an entry about one of them that is for sale on eBay (see link below). Interested? Contact me by email, please, not by a comment.

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Atomic Rooster was an English rock band, originally formed by former members of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. Keyboardist Vincent Crane was the only constant member, and wrote the majority of their material. Their history is defined by two periods: the early-mid-1970s and the early 1980s. The band went through radical style changes, however they are best known for the hard, progressive rock sound of their hit singles, Tomorrow Night (UK No. 11) and The Devil's Answer (UK No. 4), both in 1971.

The intro song, Time Take My Life, is a fantastic intro to the album. With organ by Crane and a symphonic orchestra, the intro goes into a syncopated "hambone" or Juba dance beat that is a wonderful blending of progressive rock and funk. It is my favorite song on the album.

Their hit song, Stand By Me, has a hesitant piano intro by Crane with a drum and funk wah-wha guitar accompaniment, that goes into a fast rock-funk that moves with the speed of an express train.

The intro to Breathless is a bit weird, it sounds a bit like a gospel meeting but then it goes into a terrific hard rock with funk overtones (once again the wah-wah guitar). It features fantastic piano work by Crane and great guitar by Bolton; there is no vocal. It is fast, furious and as the title implies, it leaves you breathless!

reel-to-reel tape box back detail
detail photo by Styrous®

Space Cowboy starts out just like that, spacey! Once that is over, it is hard/progressive rock at its best.

All In Satan's Name is a jazzy, progressive study with a great vocal by Chris Farlowe. It also becomes a bit spacey at the end. Then it crashes!

links to all songs on YouTube below

reel-to-reel tape box spine details
detail photos by Styrous®

In summer 1969, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown had to cease touring in the middle of their second U.S. tour because of keyboardist Vincent Crane's mental illness. When he recovered, he and drummer Carl Palmer took the step to leave Arthur Brown and return to England, the return date being Friday, 13 June 1969, which was the year of the rooster in the Chinese calendar, and arranged a meeting with Brian Jones to discuss a collaboration. After Jones's death, they adopted the name Atomic Rooster (with influence from the US band Rhinoceros), and soon recruited Nick Graham on bass and vocals. They followed with what had emerged as The Crazy World of Arthur Brown formula of vocals, organ, bass, and drums.

At their first headlining gig at the London Lyceum on Friday, August 29, 1969, the opening act was Deep Purple.

reel-to-reel tape label detail
detail photo by Styrous®

The 1971 Atomic Rooster line-up featuring Steve Bolton on guitar, Ric Parnell on drums, and Crane on keyboards toured Italy, right across America and Canada. This line-up ended their international tour to appear at a benefit gig in September 1971 at the Oval cricket ground, appearing in front of some 65,000 people, supporting The Faces and The Who. After this concert, French moved on to sign with Atlantic records and joined the American rock band Cactus. In February 1972, Crane recruited vocalist Chris Farlowe, at that time with Colosseum, to take the place of French. They went on tour and recorded their first album together in spring 1972. They released the album Made in England along with the single Stand by Me, on Dawn Records. They were more into soul at this point, and the progressive and heavy rock leanings from the previous releases had receded.

reel-to-reel tape label detail
detail photo by Styrous®

Track listing:

Side one:
  1. "Time Take My Life" (Crane) 6:01
  2. "Stand by Me" (Crane) 3:47
  3. "Little Bit of Inner Air" (Parnell) 2:39
  4. "Don't Know What Went Wrong" (Crane) 4:00
  5. "Never to Lose" (Bolton) 3:17
Side two:
  1. "Introduction" (Crane) 0:26
  2. "Breathless" (Crane) 4:51
  3. "Space Cowboy" (Bolton) 3:20
  4. "People You Can't Trust" (Crane) 3:53
  5. "All in Satan's Name" (Parnell) 4:44
  6. "Close Your Eyes" (Crane) 3:49


Time Take My Life on YouTube 
Little Bit of Inner Air on YouTube  
Don't Know What Went Wrong on YouTube 
Never to Lose on YouTube    
Breathless on YouTube  
Space Cowboy on YouTube    
People You Can't Trust on YouTube   
All in Satan's Name on YouTube   
Close Your Eyes on YouTube  

complete Made In England album on YouTube

the Atomic Rooster ~ Made In England, reel-to-reel tape, is for sale on eBay 

other reel-to-reel tapes now on eBay

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