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The Arthur Brown Band - The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown  CD (album) cover

THE CRAZY WORLD OF ARTHUR BROWN

The Arthur Brown Band

 

Proto-Prog

4.07 | 134 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
5 stars After so many decades is almost impossible to understand the importance of ARTHUR BROWN, a Psychedelic musician that also fits in Proto Prog, Proto Metal and Proto almost everything. This lunatic dancing with a hat made of two candlesticks proclaiming himself as the "God of Hellfire" really altered forever the perception of music back in 1967 with his masterpiece called "The Crazy World of Arthur Brown"

His fantastic voice capable of going from 20 to 100 DB in less than a second has only parallel in David Byron, maybe the only problem is that once the monster was let free not even he was able to control it and his vocals scratched the limits of dementia, but at the same time this is his trademark, almost an animal out of control, simply amazing.

But this album is not only Arthur, because n his days the classically trained Vincent Crane had already gained fame as the wildest and loudest piano player. If you add Drachen Theaker, a very capable Jazz drummer who rejected an audition with Jimmy Hendrix to join Arthur and last but not least the excellent bass player Sean Nicholas who had already gained a name as session musician in UK you got a wild band.

This weird album is a mixture of everything, from R&B, Jazz, Rock, Psychedelia and experimental Rock, this guys were tears advanced to their pairs, in the album you can get not only music but also, narration, gongs, shouts, Symphonic passages (shorts though) and a trip to wherever you want to get.

The album really starts in the seventh song (The first six are mono versions of some tracks of the album). "Prelude/Nightmare" starts soft and symphonic, but once the bulbs of the organ are warm and Arthur has the voice ready, starts a concert of screams and keyboards solos with flute, wild drums and accurate bass but without ever loosing control simply brilliant, even the horns create a spectacular effect.

"Fanfare - Fire Poem" announces with a full wind section a narration that serves as an introduction to the central piece fire, or I'm crazy or this guy is playing with the words of the book of Revelations, everything seems under control until the killer end, pure and beautiful cacophony.

"Fire" is the best known track, even played by ELP because of Carl Palmer's involvement with this project, an incredible song, while other bands were creating the spirit of the 60's with the Farfisa Organ, Vince Crane was almost forcing his Hammond to the limit and giving Deep Purple a couple of free lessons about hard Rock with keyboards, the vocals go from controlled low ranges to extreme wild, the melody is really R&B but played with extra spice, radical changes, unexpected tempo, if this is not pure Prog, this guy was very close back in 1967.

"Come and Buy" acts as a relief (And God knows it's required), rhythmic and paused with a violin in the background give a feeling of control with a touch of mystery, but Arthur can't stop playing with his versatile voice, extremely beautiful and well developed song, pure Prog before Prog, at the end Vincent gets a bit carried away and lets himself a bit of freedom, another hit on the head of the nail.

"Time/Confusion" an almost dreamy and trippy song, the structure has it's roots in classical music but hard to identify the precise piece, in the middle turns into some sort of Jazzy Power Ballad with provocative vocals., this album keeps geting better and better, special paragraph for the drumming, Teaker is a human metronome, the final narration is really creepy but I love the feeling.

It's now the turn for Arthur Brown to remake the "Screamin Jay Hawkins" classic "I Put a Spell on You", even when the spirit of the song is respected, the wonderful interpretation of Crane in the Hammond and the vocals of Arthur are so unique that they manage to make probably the version with more attitude.

"Spontaneous Apple Creation" can't be described without loosing the sanity, a totally experimental and weird song full of sounds and narrations with a Jazz drumming that must be listened to be believed, I won't waste my time trying to review it, just will say it's weird and decades ahead of time.

"Rest Cure" is a return to normality, a typical song of the late 60's, not the highest point of the album, for the first time the music is predictable, but hey, not everything can be so out of hand, not bad neither great.

"I Got the Money" is an excellent Jazz song, if you heard Satchmo or any of the past glories playing in this style it wouldn't surprise me, of course Arthur's screams and the organ take us back to reality, a prove of how versatile this guys were.

The album is closed with the 7:02 mini epic "Child of my Kingdom", now I believe it's a sin to spoil the experience of the listener reviewing this song, I heard it without being told a word and I believe it's the only way to do it, I will just say it has everything and it's a perfect closer, one of the nicest piano songs I ever heard.

How to rate "The Crazy World of Arthur Brown"? Well, for me it's not hard, original, intelligent, ahead of it's time, not a weak moment, revolutionary and highly influential for everything to come later, so 5 stars is the only choice.

If you don't have it, you're missing not only an important piece of history but a masterpiece from start to end, despite the Psyche atmosphere, it's hard to believe somebody was so advanced in 1967 or 1968, make a priority to get it.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 5/5 |

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