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Bobby Beausoleil - Lucifer Rising (OST) CD (album) cover


Bobby Beausoleil


Progressive Electronic

4.22 | 35 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
5 stars In the course of this review, will take a good part of it to explain the background and the many legends/myths around one of rock history's most bizarre, elusive, mythic rock-related film ever produced, but very seldom-seen, even if it is about to get finally an official release almost 30 years after its completion, which itself took around 15 years.

In the mid-60's, noted obscurantist/occultist Kenneth anger drew plans to make a film through Alistair Crowley's works and had approached Jimmy Page (of Zep fame and a noted Crowley enthusiast, having bought his Scottish castle) for documentation, and through conversations, they decided that the guitarist would provide the soundtrack. A first version of the film, lasting 30- minutes once existed, but after some insistence, Jimmy Page convinced the filmmaker to extend his version and a second version, this time lasting 90 minutes, was finished by the very end of the 70's. But in the course of the decade, Page and Anger got into a solid dispute that still lasts nowadays, and Page forbade him to ever use his music for his film. Still nowadays, Page's composition remains almost never heard.

Having taken part in the Charles Manson gang through his musical activities (he was a guitarist on the LA scene), BB was also implicated in the series of murder that was one of the blows to the hippie dream. Purging a life sentence for murder, BB will most likely never see freedom again, so he started escaping, seeking freedom through his artistic activities.

Among these myths, apparently Beausoleil had played a role (this is highly implausible, because most of the filming took place while he was already incarcerated) in the first version of Kenneth Anger's film Lucifer Rising, which was an Egyptian-derived Alistair Crowley documentary. For some reasons, BB had some footage that Kenneth Anger needed and this was why they got in touch again. In either case, with anger looking for someone to provide the music, he turned to BB, which accepted, despite the fact that he was in jail. Legend has it that Beausoleil built most of the instrument needed for the music, by ordering the separate elements even down to the recording table and his colleague musician inmates' instruments as well. Whether this is true or not is not clear and belongs to the halo of haze around the film.

According to the few sources that did see the film, it is little else than nonsense and completely obtuse, but whatever few qualities are there, they are strongly enhanced by the superb soundtrack, courtesy of Beausoleil. And indeed, the soundtrack is quite a marvellous surprise; further human proof that even for criminals, artistic greatness is not related to the creator's character or persona.

The 90-min+ soundtrack is made up of six untitled movements, all entirely instrumental, and filled with breathtakingly beautiful music. Indeed, the whole albums circles around early Barrett-less Floyd and early Ash Ra Tempel music. Ranging from the mysteriously cosmic to the solemnly grandiose to the flabbergastingly beautiful, this music can only astound you, even more so knowing that it was created in prison. BB's electronicly-driven guitar, Sutton's keyboards (including a Fender Rhodes, which shoots the legend of self-built instruments), and Herbie Rascone's trumpet arte all providing spine-chilling moments over a not so simple backtrack of drumming, obviously tracing Nick Mason's better moments.

The whole album is a rather even affair, like you'd expect from Kosmische Muzik to be. Slow-evolving, but flawlessly progressing through the dreamy realm of Beausoleil's search for Nirvana in the depth of his jail cell, Lucifer Rising is certainly an awesome gem unearthed from this astounding 70's decade. A must for everyone, regardless of the future film's release.

Sean Trane | 5/5 |


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