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Atomic Rooster - Home to Roost CD (album) cover


Atomic Rooster

Heavy Prog

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4 stars One can easily argue that no-one really needs a compilation album, because the true fan will have the music on the original recordings. This is at the same time true and false. True, because you can enjoy an original album far more (well, at least most of the time) because you know that the tracks come in the exact order the artist(s) wanted them to be. On the other hand a compilation - if it's done with feeling for the subject - leaves out the weaker material which may have been on the original albums. Plus a compilation can sometimes include material, which hadn't been released on the original albums. And last but not least, sometimes compilations are the only way to get material of a band when the original albums are out of print and you don't want go searching around for them (which in the pre-internet days could be a time consuming effort). "Home To Roost" is compiled from the first three albums of Atomic Rooster and - IMHO - the job was very well done. Of course a "Best of.." after just three albums may seem like a foolish idea, but in this case it wasn't. Atomic Rooster had undergone changes in the line-up and thus with this compilation (and a bit of research to find out who played on what track) you do have the chance to hear and compare, to follow the progress the band made. I'm not going to comment on most of the songs, as you can easily refer to the reviews on the original albums. But "Home To Roost" had "Devil's Answer" on it, which - if I'm informed correctly - wasn't included on any contemporary British album while it was added to the US copy of "In Hearing Of". "Devil's Answer", written by John Cann, had enough rough edges to be hard rock, but was at the same time pop enough to bring Atomic Rooster to number 4 in the British singles charts in 1971. It has about everything an Atomic Rooster title should have: Vincent Cranes hellish organ, great bass and guitar work by Cann, heavy drums by Paul Hammond and slightly evil vocals by Pete French. With some horns added the song went from blues rock to heavy to jazzy and the other way round. All in all "Home To Roost" is not bad at all. Yes, it's a compilation, and no, you don't have to like compilations. But if you're interested in just the first years of Atomic Rooster it certainly is worth a try.

PS: I really don't understand why the first rating for "Home To Roost" was only one star. Maybe it was a compilation hating rater - or somebody who doesn't dig Atomic Rooster at all.

Report this review (#74134)
Posted Wednesday, April 5, 2006 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
3 stars A double album celebrating the greatness of Atomic Rooster is irresistible for the collector if you find this on vinyl that is. The packaging is great too with nice gatefold and info on the band.

The album boasts some of the best Rooster material from their classic 70s albums. "Atomic Ro-ooster" to "Nice 'N' Greasy" all had their moments of brilliance and some material best not served up on a best of compilation menu but this double album is a great collectors item. I guess most people expected that the band had broken up and nothing came out again till 1980 but this compilation sums up the greatness of the band in their early phase.

The LPs feature some of the quintessential Rooster with classics from the "Death Walks Behind You" album namely, the brilliant title track, V.U.G., Seven Streets, Sleeping for Years, Can't Take No More, and Nobody Else; virtually the whole album sans one track! This is a drawcard for those who don't have their best album.

From "In Hearing Of" there is Breakthrough, Decision/Indecision, A Spoonful Of Bromide Helps The Pulse Rate Go Down, Black Snake, Head In The Sky, Break The Ice; once again all bar one song of this awesome album. From the debut is Friday the 13th, And So to Bed, Banstead, Winter, Broken Wings, Before Tomorrow; so we are missing only 2 tracks from the original album.

From "Made In England" there is, wait for it..... nothing! Not a sausage from one of their greatest albums!

Needless to say there is nothing from "Nice N Greasy" either, yet these albums were out well before the release of this compilation and it all comes down to problems with the labels unfortunately, they were not permitted to release these tracks. The switch of labels made it impossible to release a best of definitive compilation.

But on the plus side the tracks here from the first 3 albums are wonderful and it also contains the two singles Devil's Answer and Tomorrow Night. The best comp of course is the 2 CD package "Heavy Soul Anthology" but this is still a nice collection of essential Rooster.

Report this review (#285427)
Posted Monday, June 7, 2010 | Review Permalink

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