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The Arthur Brown Band - The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown CD (album) cover


The Arthur Brown Band



4.09 | 181 ratings

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4 stars Had the group sustained itself longer, this could have been the progressive rock version of the Alice Cooper Band (maybe without the tongue-and-cheek sense of humour). Both bands have gained notoriety for their frontmen's stage antics, and I believe both Brown and Cooper have great voices and great bands backing them. The similarities stop there; Cooper has had a longer career in the realm of garage rock/heavy metal while Brown sort of fizzled out, but Arthur Brown (on this album at least; I have yet to discover Kingdom Come) had a pseudo-jazzy psychedelic soundscape lurking in the background. But what an experience this album is.

The big accomplishment CRAZY WORLD OF... made is the novelty hit ''Fire'', and that hit best explains the album in a nutshell. Arthur Brown might as well be the very first heavy metal singer as his range is incredible hitting shrieks that could be considered Halford-esque. And he sings likes he is on the stage; there's great drama in his voice that makes ''Fire'' believable. Add those on top of the rich Hammond organ sound (courtesy of Vincent Crane of Atomic Rooster fame) and you get a sense of why this group is in the PA database. The rhythm section is pulsating, driving and not overtly technical. (By the way, Carl Palmer does not play on the album; he was a member of the touring group)

''Fire'' gives you the biggest taste of what the album is like as ''Nightmare'' and ''Come and Buy'' are of similar form. ''Fire'' actually has a prelude that reminds me of the Doors' track ''Horse Latitudes'', only better (spoken poetry over wild music). ''Child of My Kingdom'' is jazzier than the other tracks and is worth its seven minutes of airtime. The second half of the album is generally safer and more different than the first half including the poppy ''Rest Cure'' and the two cover tracks (''I've Got Money'' and ''I Put a Spell on You''). But then there's still ''Spontaneous Apple Creation'', the weirdest track on the album by far (and you thought ''Fire'' was out there...).

CRAZY WORLD OF... is more than a 60's novelty band. There are some great psychedelic cuts on the record belted out by one of the most underappreciated singers in music. It's one of the wackiest experiences in music and deserves at least a mention in the vast space of prog rock.

Sinusoid | 4/5 |


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