Page 14

R.A.T.W.

(continued from page 12)

IMPORTS

KING CRIMSON

A YOUNG PERSON'S GUIDE TO

KING CRIMSON

Island 7

With no U.S. release in sight, this import could rapidly become a collector's item. Guitarist and original member Robert Fripp's personal collection of tunes spanning the lamented Crimson's six year history offer the unindoctrinated listener a chance to discover what one may have missed after tiling away their monumental debut LP, "IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING". Contained among the albums' fifteen selections are "Epitaph" and the title track. from that first LP; "Ladies of the Road" from "ISLANDS", the breathtaking "Night Watch" from "STARLESS AND BIBLE BLACK". the classic "Starless" from their last studio recording. "RED", and two previously unreleased versions of songs already familiar to the Crimson cult: "I Talk to the Wind" (with Judy Dyble handling the vocals) and a studio rendition of "Groon", which appeared in this country on "EARTHBOUND", one of the most curious live albums to find its way onto the market. Conspicuous in absence are any tunes from the LIZARD LP, Crimson's boldest jazz/rock experiment.

Another important feature of the packaging of the Young Person's Guide is the booklet of photographs and diary entries chronicling the bands career from Giles, Giles and Fripp to Bruford.

Wetton, Fripp and MacDonald. The trivia contained therein should surprise the most ardent fans of the group and is as much a must as the recording itself.

John Wetton, bassist during Crimson's last permutations recently remarked that he felt "The Young Person's Guide" is directed too much toward the more rabid Crimson fans, with no real broad market appeal. There is a great degree of validity to his statement, and many of those who lost touch of King Crimson after their first or second releases will probably ignore this release, but Crimson's legacy is something that cannot be ignored. Their presence is felt to some degree in nearly every group in the "progressive rock" spectrum, which in itself is fitting tribute to a band whose former members feel reached only ten percent of its potential.

GRAHAM PARKER

HOWLIN' WIND

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Pub rock is a phenomenon that never grew simply because the name defines its boundaries. Bands like Ducks Deluxe, Brinsley Schwarz, Kokomo and a host of others became known and unknown in a very short time. In America, though, I Bruce Springsteen was fronting a wave of music that bore numerous similarities to pub rock, `cept here it was called 'bar music'. In either case, the distinguishing characteristics are a burnt, smoke-strangled vocal and lots of energy from the band (horns play a big part in this music); throw it all together in a small, dark club,

add lots of sweaty bodies and liquor, and you've got it. Get it?

Into all this self-inflicted craziness may we introduce one Graham Parker, a young lad from South London whose last job found him pumping gas. Now we find him with a large amount of material and an inherent feel for what he's doing that reminds one immediately of Springsteen or Van Morrison. Graham's band, The Rumor, includes veterans of Ducks Deluxe, Brinsley Schwarz and other London pub bands; the mixture of Graham Parker's music and his all-star pub band is a heady one indeed. Under the able guide of Brinsley Schwarz's producer, Nick Lowe, "Howlin' Wind" could start the wind of musical change a-blowin'. There's a definite feeling that Graham Parker and The Rumor will be spreading in the near future. Latest word is for an imminent U.S. release.

(continued from page 13)

DOMESTICS

In the rollcall of Southern rock acts, Marshall Tucker has held a place of esteem simply because they sounded a bit different than the rest of the bands working from the same area. Jerry Eubanks' sax and flute have added a dimension of sound that has allowed the band to explore new territory without leaving the basic structure. With "Long

Hard Ride", this continues to be the case; much of the album has that chug-a-lug rhythm typical of other Macon Movers like The Allmans, Wet Willie, etc. But the new territory the band checks out on this album lies more in a jazzier direction. True, they've been down that road before, but this time it seems the rest of the band is getting more into the feel of the genre.

The other noteworthy fact about this album is the somewhat more restrained feel to the music; it's almost as if the band were feeling the new influences, and moving away from the more frenetic pieces that characterized their earlier work.

Altogether, "Long Hard Ride" is an interesting album; starting off with an instrumental helps set the tone of what's to come, and it closes with some nice acoustic strumming and pickin', just to remind you where the boys are comin' from.

BEST RIDES: "Long Hard Ride", "Am I The Kind Of Man", "Windy City Blues", "You Don't Live Forever"

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BLACK OAK ARKANSAS

BALLS OF FIRE

MCA 2199

After several years of groping through a heavy metal mentality, Black Oak Arkansas has finally matured into a musically professional unit, still of questionable taste, but of accomplishment.

Throughout Balls an electric sensuality oozes from the raunch 'n' roll vocals of Jim Dandy (whose nude posing on the cover is going to have the little girls squirming in their seats). The randier the cut, the better Dandy and BOA seem to become, witness the old Jerry Lee Lewis title cut; "Rock 'N' Roll;" and "Fistful Of Love". The last is best described as porno disco.

The Rolling Stones may be the Playboy of rock, but Black Oak Arkansas is the Hustler of raunch 'n' roll.

Selected cuts: "Great Balls Of Fire", the instrumental "Leather Angel", Bob Seger's "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man", and "Fistful Of Love".

THE MARSHALL TUCKER BAND

LONG HARD RIDE

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Black Hole Stars

(being a series devoted to albums, both foreign and domestic, that were either neglected upon release, never released in this country, or are noteworthy because of the early musical associations contained therein)

The first thing that happened when I sat down to listen to this album again before writing the review was that the music intrigued a couple of friends of mine who wanted to know just who this band was anyway.-That's the way it always was with Flash; formed by Pete Banks, original guitarist with Yes, Flashmusic was always semi-popular with the public, yet the band seemed to lack a cohesive identity.

But I'm jumping ahead of myself. To the beginning, then; it's 1971 and both

Tony Kaye (keyboards) and Peter Banks (guitars) are :lecoming weary of the concept of Yes. Feeling that Yes might be moving away from that unique combination of commerciality and instrumental virtuosity, Pete formed a new band, featuring Ray Bennett (bass), Colin Carter (vocals) and Mick Hough (drums).

In London, if you're a new band, you're judged as much by your image and group personality as you are by the music. Forming a band that consisted primarily of unknown quantities and dubbing the assemblage 'Flash' is sticking your neck out; after all, the only other instance of a band causing a furor because of their name (and all its attendant implications) was Cream.

The scenario was therefore set; the band was in everybody's conversation, a tour was about to start, and the album was finished. What, everyone wondered, would it be like?

Not bad, not bad at all, said the folks back home. Released in June of 1972 in America, "FLASH" contained the instrumental flair of Yes combined with songs that had real neat commercial hooks in them. The album starts off with "Small Beginnings", perhaps the definitive Flash number; wryly titled, the tune nonetheless achieved a high chart position as a single,

and the band seemed well on the way. Pete Bank's frenetic guitar runs became a trademark of Flash's sound, and his dual playing with Tony Kaye (who contributes keyboards to the album even though he was never a member) is instantly memorable.

"Morning Haze" follows, a quiet pastoral piece that became, in its own little way, another Flash trademark. "Children Of The Universe" closes out side one in just as energetic a fashion as "Small Beginnings" introduced it. Mick Hough's drumming is particularly effective here, and some of Pete's guitar leads waver dangerously between the frenetic and the neurotic—all in all, it's a most charming piece.

"Dreams Of Heaven" starts out side two, and like side one, this is a song of epic proportions; running almost 13 minutes, "Dreams Of Heaven" is a concentrated assault on guitar, as Pete Banks attempts some very bold passages. More often than not, his ideas work perfectly, and the coloration and tempo of each section kind of melts into the next—as time went on, this number became one of Flash's highlights live. More on that later.

"The Time It Takes" closes out the album, and is rather more a thematic amalgamation than an individual piece,

yet in context with the other songs, it takes on the role of summation, of adding the pieces of the album up to see how they tally with the listener. (This technique can be more recently demonstrated with 'Los Endos' from the new Genesis 1p 'Trick Of The Tail'.)

Flash were a solid progressive-pop band; live, they were truly exciting, but a large part of that excitement lay in whether or not you thought Peter Banks could play all the notes that were on the album. The fact that Tony Kaye never joined the band as a live performer may have lessened Flash's chance for success. They remain today a cult band, admired for what they laid down, yet regarded as an idea that didn't work. Today, Pete Banks is getting something together with Lee Jackson (ex-Nice), Mick Hough is in the States drumming with an American band called Buck, and Tony Kaye is currently David Bowie's keyboard player; of Colin Carter and Ray Bennett, nothing has been heard.

"Hey, who'd you say these guys were, anyway?"

"Just a Flash in the pan, I guess, mate." (but they deserved so much more.) FLASH's finest; Small Beginnings, Child of the Universe, Dreams of Heaven.

FLASH

FLASH

Soverign SM AS - 11040

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