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Arthur Brown's Kingdom Come - Journey CD (album) cover


Arthur Brown's Kingdom Come


Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.11 | 139 ratings

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5 stars KINGDOM COME Journey (1973) (Esoteric 2010 2CD Reissue) *****

This was Arthur Brown's third and final Kingdom Come album, and is entirely different in many ways from its two predecessors. It is a lot easier to digest for a start, there are regular tempos and extended codas here. For the first time is an album based around the drum machine (operated by Brown) instead of a human counterpart. The reasons for this are unclear but it would certainly mean there was more room in the tour van and it didn't drink all the beer like the real thing. Obviously these days it does sound a little quaint, but it's nowhere near as basic as it could have been, being the Bentley Rhythm Ace, a drum machine so great that a 90's band named themselves after it. Luckily the material built around it is superb, coherent and well executed and represents Brown's finest hour certainly since the debut Crazy World album.

As well as the drum machine, there are major developments on the keyboard front with those twin staples of all things cosmic the Mellotron and the VCS3 synthesizer at the forefront and there is an inevitable gravitational pull towards Hawkwind territory because of this. There is no doubt that this is out and out space rock, Arthur Brown style, and the opening suite works particularly well. `Time Captives' is a powerful and definitive opener, utilising the speed button on the Bentley drum machine to cover a range of tempos before settling down into the groove and the journey begins . The three pieces here have a fine cohesion, flowing into each other, with Mellotron and swooping synthesisers from new recruit Victor Periano, and Andy Dalby's ever present guitar providing the colours behind Brown's vocals and tempo changes. This cohesion continues into the extended `Roadblocks' and closer `Come Alive'. However the album as a whole becomes a little disjointed with the presence of the out of context `Spirit Of Joy' an ill advised attempt to write a `proper' song. Cosmic travellers do not need proper songs. On the whole this is a unique album even within the annals of the progressive genre. It would be years later before people would attempt to record using programmed drums again.

This reissue from Esoteric re-masters the audio to the highest standards and includes a bonus disc of out-takes and single sides, and includes a Peel session too, although from an off air source. Even this will have many wiping a deeply nostalgic tear, given that they have left Peel's comments intact on the recording.

After this, Brown went off to India to find himself, which he presumably did, and he's mercifully still with us.

beebfader | 5/5 |


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