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Arthur Brown's Kingdom Come - Galactic Zoo Dossier CD (album) cover

GALACTIC ZOO DOSSIER

Arthur Brown's Kingdom Come

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.98 | 86 ratings

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beebfader
4 stars KINGDOM COME `Galactic Zoo Dossier' (1971) *** ESOTERIC Reissue 2010

This was Arthur Brown's next recorded work after the `Crazy World' went a little too crazy and left him to form Atomic Rooster, and quite a melting pot it is. Like the old cliché `a movie for the ears', this album really does play out like a series of `scenes' rather than a collection of songs. Brown's attempt to describe the state of western society at the time, it's quite a bold construction, there's a jump-cut feel recalling the editing techniques of Frank Zappa, a figure who loomed large over the musicians of this era, and alongside the relatively conventional band line-up there is a lot of clever editing and some quite disconcerting use of vari-speed alongside splashes of then state of the art VCS3 synthesizer.

It is best regarded as two side long suites, and works well as such. It is a thoroughly entertaining album packed with lyrical and musical ideas. The staple of early 70's underground music, the Hammond organ, dominates while Andy Dalby acquits himself well on guitar and the drums are crisply recorded. After that, anything goes from the mock- religious opening to `Internal Messenger' to the full blown freak out closer `No Time'. There are time and tempo changes galore, and a momentum which carries through the whole album. It can be loosely described as `space rock', but Hawkwind this isn't, it's far too composed and theatrical for that. Imagine this on medium wave with a little static, and you could be listening to a typical John Peel show from the era it has such an archetypal yet individual sound. The actual sound quality here is superior to the previous re-issue, as is the informative and well illustrated booklet. From the photos within, we learn that Arthur Brown is one of the few rock stars (answers on a postcard please) to have sported a half- shaven/half-bearded face and seemingly walked the streets like that, and what he's doing on the cross dressed in two separate sets of clothes divided down the middle is possibly lost in the mists of time...

The music here is more suitable perhaps for stage performance, lacking as it does a truly killer stand out track, but the `everything but the kitchen sink' cornucopia of the effects of the era (phasing, panning etc) make it an entertaining listen and OK, if you will?somewhat of a movie for the ears?and surprisingly perhaps, Brown actually sounds like a psychedelic Tom Jones at times!

This album has `1971 underground' written all over it and for aficionados of that scene is pretty essential. (This edition comes with 3 alternate takes as bonus tracks)

beebfader | 4/5 |

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