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Atomic Rooster - Headline News CD (album) cover


Atomic Rooster

Heavy Prog

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4 stars "Headline News" came in the 1983 and it was the last Atomic Rooster album with new material.

I have to admit that when I heard this album I was really surprised. Songs are really different from Atomic Rooster "classic" albums. Here you can listen the 80's influence: in this LP, for example, there are often digital drums.

For me, "Headline News" is a four star album. Songs are generally good... but not excellent. But "Machine" (a song that reflects a lot the Atomic Rooster 70's sound), the magnificent "Carnival" (a strange mixture of progressive sound, 80's rhythm and dark atmospheres) and "Land Of Freedom" (a pure pop song, but really nice) richly improve the album quality.

Report this review (#32388)
Posted Friday, April 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars < This disc was really a great, and positive surprise for me. Just before I've just listened the classical 1st album of Atomic Rooster (Atomic Rooster), and found it very eclectic , hardly understandeable. Contrary, the music of the Headline News is matured, written in a consistent style. Vincent Crane's organ and piano play is really excellent and gives a very fine base under the vocal -even if he sings alone or with female backing vocals (Land of Freedom, Machine). > < A special value of the music is the very characteristic bass, leads a bit to the direction of jazz-rock. Together with the smooth percussions, the rhytm section raises the album to the highest peaks of the prog rock history. > < The only reason why I could not rank the album as a five stars one is the relatively weak guitar play. Sometimes I miss somehow a bit more characteristic guitar for emphasizing, highlighting the main themes. Until the 9th song maybe you can't perceive the lack of the guitar, but when you can recognize the sound of David Gilmour's guitar (who is a guest player of the album) at the 9th piece -"Time"-, you will agree with me.> < Finally I really don't understand why the album i's almost undiscovered by the prog rock lovers, since the music is very high-level, and enjoyable.
Report this review (#122789)
Posted Saturday, May 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
Tom Ozric
3 stars After some years in hibernation, the year 1980 saw Vincent Crane collaborate once again with old cohort Arthur Brown and recording a fine album with 'Faster Than The Speed of Light' (in conjunction with German electronic wizzard Klaus Schulze). After this project, Crane decided on re-kindling the Atomic Rooster flame and called upon former guitarist John DuCann and a session drummer and cut a rather 'metal' sounding 'come-back' album which was, at least, partially successful. After some 12 inch E.P's, and some minor shifts in line-up (with yet another Rooster veteran, drummer Paul Hammond re-joining the fold) they cut this album. DuCann had left by this time, and guitar duties were handled by DAVID GILMOUR and Bernie Torme (from Ian Gillan's solo band) and the result was an uneasy blend of typically Rooster- ish (or rather Crane-ish) keyboard heavy prog-flavoured arrangements, and some stabs at blatant commercialism. Yeah, almost no-one could escape the tragic developments of 80's plasticiary - the somewhat cold, synthetic sounding production with 'gated' drums and synth-bass - well, at least after the 1st album, Crane always handled the bass with his Hammond, which sounded mightier than the synth....Anyways, the good songs : 'Hold Your Fire' starts out with some volume swells (courtesy of Gilmour) and a driving synth-based rhythm, the song is pretty good, with the inimitable Gilmour pouring more soul into his solo than, say, anything with a lot of soul. Title-Track 'Headline News' is an intense piece with jerky rhythms and odd time sigs, great organ and clavinet playing - the song itself has a real 'epic' and urgent feel to it. 'Metal Minds' is one of those 'cold' sounding minor-key things Vincent loved to dabble in. Gilmour again adding his magic touch on his (speculation) red Strat he was often seen with during this time (what a tone !!!). Machine' again features some jolting rhythms and is the song closest to their classic sound. 'Dance Of Death' (the title says it all, really) is an interesting track with an almost tribal sounding percussion bit somewhere in the middle. Some 'take-it' or 'leave-it' moments with 'Time', and some insipid pop tunes with predictable, cheezy melodies - 'Taking a Chance', 'Land of Freedom' and 'Carnival'. In all, 'Headline News' is great when it's great, but when it's bad, it's a bit of a let-down. 3 stars.
Report this review (#158575)
Posted Monday, January 14, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars Three years after their good rocking album AR '80, the band came back with this effort which is quite different in mood. Of course, on the guitar Du Cann has left and Gilmour (yes, David) came to give a hand to Vincent (but he was not alone in the guitar role).

While listening to the opening song, you can hear almost instantly that this album is going to be very different from its good predecessor. This effort sounds more electronic than truly rock unfortunately.

Still, while listening to a track like Taking A Chance, most fans of the early days are probably going to flee. Accordingly. Press next to avoid this awful electro-pop miserable tune (I should be granted to have listened to it completely).

This album is more atmospheric (Metal Minds), more easy listening than usual AR albums. The problem is also that it is more contemporary of its time. I mean that you'll have to bear lots of synth pop tracks (or part of tracks) which are not always great to listen to.

Some new wave sounds could be found on their previous album, and they are confirmed on this one as well. The upbeat part of Land Of Freedom sounds as a pure Ultravox! and a track as Machine is not alien to the incomparable Devo during its initial phase. It evolves impeccably into a great heavy keys part but I wonder if the average AR fans are keen on this...

I would say that this album is not as good as their previous reunion album. The great and heavy beats are almost forgotten and this album investigates more into specific mid-eighties sounds. These are less interesting and therefore this album is a bit of a deception as far as I am concerned even if Carnival is more in-line with the good old music that the band was used to.

Two stars is my rating because there is an evident lack of good song writing as well as moving songs (the poor closing Time is the best example of this situation). This is the last Atomic Rooster album. Vincent decided to leave our world some years after this album. RIP Vincent: you have greatly contributed to the evolution of music. I can only be thankful AND grateful for this. You were a GREAT guy.

Report this review (#183488)
Posted Wednesday, September 24, 2008 | Review Permalink
Andrea Cortese
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is the seventh and final effort of Atomic Rooster, the musical testament of Vincent Crane (who sadly died few years after its release) and in fact the album is generally regarded as a solo effort by Crane.

The album sounds like a cross between later Pink Floyd (it even features the collaboration of David Gilmour) and Hawkwind with the addition of 80s electro-rock (or is that new wave influence?) that sounds today a little bit dated. The general mood is far from what this band has accustomed us to in the early seventies. However the songs are far from awful: Crane's playing is haunting (he even provides vocals); he probably was on a creative high at that time. The only negative remark is that new wave type of sound that weakens the whole impact of the record.

Report this review (#646865)
Posted Monday, March 5, 2012 | Review Permalink

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