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H.P. Lovecraft - Live May 11, 1968 CD (album) cover

LIVE MAY 11, 1968

H.P. Lovecraft



3.75 | 12 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars Rarely has a posthumous album been so justified. In 91, Edsel records released this concert of almost forgotten HP Lovecraft, catching them live at their peak, just prior to recording their second album. Recorded in one night at the Fillmore West (the Carousel Ballroom - with support from Loading Zone and Crome Syrcus) on the date mentioned (it was the last of a series of three nights) in their San Fran home base - they had relocated there from Chicago - the tapes dormed, forgotten, for over twenty years, before specialist label Edsel records released them , and they can be warmly thanked for it, since my interest for HP Lovecraft dates from this release.

The recordings are of superb quality (especially given the means available back then) and the band is in pristine form, the show being flawless and the choice of material simply outstanding and suffering no discussion. Most of the tracks are pulled from their first albums, but there are two (At The mountain Of Madness is a superb homage to the writer and It's About Time with its chilling with atmospheres and drama) coming from the second album to be recorded in the studio two months later. I personally do not think any overdubs were added, and the playing is absolutely perfect, showing how experienced they were.

Some of the tracks are extended from the original studio version, most notably Wayfairing Stranger (almost quadrupled time) and The Drifter (doubled time), but there is not one single second wasted or over-indulging in solos, just tight playing even when improvising. Then comes the two "new tracks" but separated by a superb rendition of the debut album's centrepiece, The White Ship with its stupendous bolero pace. The second part of the record is made of shorter covers of Folk giant Fred Neil and another from Randy Newman, all three fairly close to the debut album version.

This live album is really worthy of sitting next to their two studio album and the booklet as a full story of the group including great photos of their Sausalito home - a san Fran hippy community right next to the bay, across the Golden Gate.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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