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


The Arthur Brown Band



4.08 | 199 ratings

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The Wizard
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Found here are the seeds of shock rock, a genre that was made unique by the theatrics of rock artist found in there live shows and dramatic recordings. Much of these theatrics had to do with pseudo-satantanic imagery which certainly shocked many conservatives, thus earning the title of shock rock. All of that can be traced back to the eccentric Arthur Brown, who screamed 'I am the god of hellfire' and would go as far to 'crucify' himself onstage and wear a helmet that would set a flame, while dressed in exotic garbs. Crazy stuff, crazy stuff. Sadly Brown is remembered mainly as a novelty act for his hit single 'Fire', an excellent song nonetheless. But Arthur deserves way more respect than that, since he was also very interesting musically.

As far as organ driven rock goes, this can't be beat. Vincent Crane pulls off some great riffs and melodies and plays like he's on fire. The music here is very melodic and full of hooks, making it very accessible. There is also light orchestrations, which give a symphonic edge. For that, many people also credit this record as 'proto-symphonic'. Luckily, the orchestrations aren't pretentious like stuff The Nice and Moody Blues were doing and don't draw away from the rock edge the album carries. Some of the songs are also structured in typical prog fashion, like 'Time/Confusion' and the epic 'Child of My Kingdom'.

Arthur Brown is also a truly amazing vocalist, singing like his arse is on fire at times. He shows a very strong soul influence, which adds another element to the albums diverse sound. Very often he screams in a proto-metal fashion, sometimes like he's in terror, which clearly influenced guys like Robert Plant and Ian Gillan. The way he sings in theatrical, he goes from a blues shaman (the blues covers are great by the way) to the god of hellfire to a tortured sinner, portraying each role perfectly with just his voice.

The atmosphere is dark yet comical, in a tongue in cheek kind of way. It's clear that Arthur isn't trying to be serious, and the sense of humor is a definite asset to the record. Sometimes it's kind of cheesy, but it's not meant to be serious, just good fun. Another fault is that often lyrics and melodies are repeated in other songs, which might annoy some people. The spoken word songs like 'fire poem' and 'spontaneous apple creation' are weak, but not at all cringe-worthy. While this album has it's flaws, it's still great fun and great songs.

The Wizard | 4/5 |


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