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Atomic Rooster - Atomic Roooster CD (album) cover


Atomic Rooster


Heavy Prog

3.60 | 230 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars A goood start

Atomic Rooster's almost eponymous first album (the extra "o" in Roooster is deliberate), was released in 1970. The band evolved from The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, with both Vincent Crane and Carl Palmer leaving that band together to form the new group. The line up was completed by bassist/vocalist Nick Graham. Graham, who joined the band as a result of auditioning, would turn out to be the band's only bassist in their entire career, Crane using his keyboards to fill that role after the first album.

The first album is rather different to what was to follow, and it largely reflects Crane's mental state at the time. Indeed, the track "Banstead" refers to the mental institution Crane found himself in after a nervous breakdown while touring with Arthur Brown. Graham's fine flute work on tracks such as the beautifully melancholy "Winter" is similar to Peter Gabriel's early playing with Genesis, while his vocals are more reminiscent of early Barclay James Harvest.

"Broken wings" is the first Rooster track to feature a brass arrangement, the band giving this blues number a radical overall. The contrast in the vocal style between this song and "Winter" is interesting, perhaps indicating an ongoing search for a direction. There are surprisingly few truly upbeat songs, the opening "Friday 13th" being one of the notable exceptions. The song is very much of its time, now sounding decidedly rough around the edges. Crane adds some excellent Hammond organ though. "Decline and fall" is Palmer's opportunity to take centre stage, even including an unnecessary drum solo.

Overall, this is a credible first album, although in reality every album was pretty much a first album, such was the turmoil in the line up. Those who are seeking the band which made "In hearing of" and "Death walks behind you" though should be a little wary. This album is quite different.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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