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Atomic Rooster - Headline News CD (album) cover


Atomic Rooster


Heavy Prog

2.92 | 55 ratings

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Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer
3 stars After some years in hibernation, the year 1980 saw Vincent Crane collaborate once again with old cohort Arthur Brown and recording a fine album with 'Faster Than The Speed of Light' (in conjunction with German electronic wizzard Klaus Schulze). After this project, Crane decided on re-kindling the Atomic Rooster flame and called upon former guitarist John DuCann and a session drummer and cut a rather 'metal' sounding 'come-back' album which was, at least, partially successful. After some 12 inch E.P's, and some minor shifts in line-up (with yet another Rooster veteran, drummer Paul Hammond re-joining the fold) they cut this album. DuCann had left by this time, and guitar duties were handled by DAVID GILMOUR and Bernie Torme (from Ian Gillan's solo band) and the result was an uneasy blend of typically Rooster- ish (or rather Crane-ish) keyboard heavy prog-flavoured arrangements, and some stabs at blatant commercialism. Yeah, almost no-one could escape the tragic developments of 80's plasticiary - the somewhat cold, synthetic sounding production with 'gated' drums and synth-bass - well, at least after the 1st album, Crane always handled the bass with his Hammond, which sounded mightier than the synth....Anyways, the good songs : 'Hold Your Fire' starts out with some volume swells (courtesy of Gilmour) and a driving synth-based rhythm, the song is pretty good, with the inimitable Gilmour pouring more soul into his solo than, say, anything with a lot of soul. Title-Track 'Headline News' is an intense piece with jerky rhythms and odd time sigs, great organ and clavinet playing - the song itself has a real 'epic' and urgent feel to it. 'Metal Minds' is one of those 'cold' sounding minor-key things Vincent loved to dabble in. Gilmour again adding his magic touch on his (speculation) red Strat he was often seen with during this time (what a tone !!!). Machine' again features some jolting rhythms and is the song closest to their classic sound. 'Dance Of Death' (the title says it all, really) is an interesting track with an almost tribal sounding percussion bit somewhere in the middle. Some 'take-it' or 'leave-it' moments with 'Time', and some insipid pop tunes with predictable, cheezy melodies - 'Taking a Chance', 'Land of Freedom' and 'Carnival'. In all, 'Headline News' is great when it's great, but when it's bad, it's a bit of a let-down. 3 stars.
Tom Ozric | 3/5 |


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