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Second Hand

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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Second Hand Chillum (*) album cover
2.30 | 19 ratings | 6 reviews | 11% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Brain Strain (21:42)
2. Land of a Thousand Dreams (1:19)
3. Too Many Bananas (4:11)
4. Yes! We Have No Pajamas (10:33)
5. Promenade des Anglais Elliott (2:04)

Total Time: 39:49

Line-up / Musicians

- Ken Elliott / keyboards, mellotron, organ, vocals
- Kieran O'Connor / drums
- Tony McGill / guitars
- George Hart / bass

Releases information

LP Mushroom Records (1971)
CD See for Miles 491 (1998) (Chillum Plus with bonus tracks)

(*) Released using CHILLUM as band name.

Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the addition
and to ProgLucky for the last updates
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Buy SECOND HAND Chillum (*) Music

SECOND HAND Chillum (*) ratings distribution

(19 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(32%)
Good, but non-essential (26%)
Collectors/fans only (26%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

SECOND HAND Chillum (*) reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by stefro
2 stars Featuring enough aimless psychedelic jamming to fill several albums twice over, this self-titled release from early-seventies rockers Chillum manages to delight and frustrate in equal measure. Originally called Second Hand, but reverting to the name Chillum after the relative failure of their 1971 'Second Hand' album, this ambitious and eclectic four-piece seemed to suffer from a complete inability to settle down into one dominant style or genre. 'Chillum' features some bravura moments of musicianship, but it's an uneven, at times rather crude mess of an album, featuring a plethora of different moods and textures that juxtapose badly. From the percussion-heavy assault of 'Land Of A Thousand Dreams' to the epic, freaked-out noodling of the 21-minute long 'Brain Strain', the album is a sonic shanty-town of conflicting ideas that fails to create a coherent whole. One suspects that maybe the band were under the influence of certain, mind-enhancing substances, which is no bad thing, but just like listening to someone drone on about their drug experiences 'Chillum' proves to be a rather dull listen. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
Review by Dobermensch
1 stars This is a condemnation, not a celebration of prog.

Clearly 'Chillum' is an improvised jam displaying no structure or finesse whatsoever. Ugly, tuneless guitars, random drums, and a bass guitar that's played by someone who's obviously wearing a pair of boxing gloves, displays all of what's worst from the early 70's.

These guys play their instruments like they've never been in possession of a pair of hands.

This is an directionless, poorly recorded album and I find it very hard to believe that these same guys went on to produce one of the best, most bonkers prog albums the following year with the fantastic 'Death May Be Your Santa Claus'.

Listening to this prequel however, is the equivalent of rubbing vinegar into the eyes of kittens. As soon as I turn it on I can't wait for it to finish. Totally unstructured, where you can clearly hear the hesitancy between breaks as the band try and work out where to go next.

While writing the above review I worried that I'd get so annoyed I'd give myself an aneurysm.

If truth be told this may well be the poorest recording I've assessed in the Archives in over 200 reviews. Only 'Hairy Chapter's - Eyes'. comes close. At its conclusion I'm left with nothing but a cloud of depression like a nuclear winter hanging over my shoulders.

At last...It's Over...I can go to sleep now...

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Like an insane instrumental Canterbury band soundtracking the end of the world, `Chillum' is a difficult but hugely fascinating album that will easily divide listeners. Some will relish it's noisy tuneless chaos, thinking it was way ahead of it's time, others a total useless mess of bad ideas that will make them flee in terror for a safer listen! I fall somewhere right in the middle - one listen I'll find it an endlessly intriguing psychedelic knockout, the next time it'll drive me up the wall and I'll remove the album in disgust. Try not to be listening to the album too loud if you start to react negatively to it, as it may cause quite a violent reaction in you!

After a fairly rubbish comical introduction, the band charges head-first into the aptly titled `Brain Strain', a 21 minute side-long piece which may be the breaking point to a first time listener. A noisy and seemingly directionless freak-out, filled with a million musical ideas that occasionally work brilliantly, and other times fall a little flat, it does showcase some interesting and talented musicians. The endless extended fuzzy and scuzzy organ by Ken Elliot reminds me of a more unhinged and deranged version of Canterbury band Egg, and that sound dominates much of this track. Tony McGill's guitar work is frequently tuneless, bendy and shrill, but also quite imaginative. He comes across like a more deranged and sloppy Syd Barrett on the improv workouts on Pink Floyd's debut or the `Tonite Let's All Make Love In London' LP. George Hart's bass playing has a hypnotic and dreamy quality, frequently plodding and monotonous but also very fluid and loose. It's a bit of a stretch to say it helps the music really groove in places, because moments like that only last a few seconds before the next aimless direction kicks in. I feel Kieran O'Connor's drum-work and percussion really steals this piece. Frantic, fiery and lively, with the musician quickly adapting back and forth to the different directions and musical paths the album treads down. He really helps hold the piece together - as much as possible, anyway.

Side Two's all too brief `Land Of A Thousand Dreams' is a brief musical lullaby with restful Mellotron and pretty piano. It then segues into a very repetitive and mostly mundane percussion piece called `Too Many Bananas' that barely changes for it's four minute running time. The ten minute `Yes! We Have No Pajamas' is a very loose but oddly coherent workout. There's a real energetic groove to this one, with lots of knockout Hammond and pounding drum-work. Some very laid-back, almost bluesy guitar plays over some lively and melodic bass. Actually quite an upbeat piece, in a few brief moments it reminds me of a messier version of Focus. Probably for wary listeners, this track may be the best place to start with this album, but in some way it doesn't prepare you for the mind-breaking noise of the first side. `Promenade Des Anglaises' is a simple but lovely acoustic ditty with gentle percussion, some slight tasteful keys and Mellotron washes. A nice comedown to wrap the album on.

I really appreciate that the `Chillum' album is totally instrumental, as I found the previous band Second Hand's work was somewhat let down by comical vocals that were obviously hugely amusing to the band members themselves, but sabotaged their potentially interesting ideas to listeners. I do find that, for all it's chaos, noise and seemingly random arrangements, there's a very interesting and frequently exciting album here. The band seems to relish playing in such an unhinged and random fashion on the first side, while the second half shows their music is not completely devoid of a good tune or melody.

Three and a half stars!

Latest members reviews

2 stars I don't have the heart to give this album 1 star, and maybe it is better than that anyway. I have the Chillum ...... plus version, which is much better. It has more songs, but no matter what, this album doesn't have any great songs on it. The track 'brain strain' is a big instrumental jam, but ... (read more)

Report this review (#280681) | Posted by Brendan | Thursday, May 6, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Chillum aka Second Hand: Like Second Hand's "Death May Be Your Santa Claus" this equally bizarre album is also a psychedelic stoner freak out. Yet aside from sharing this general profile and the fact that both Ken Elliott and Kieran O'Connor from Second Hand are here, this record bears little resem ... (read more)

Report this review (#158219) | Posted by jonsilence | Thursday, January 10, 2008 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Have owned an LP copy of this one for sometime. On the first few listens, I was impressed by the musicianship - which to be fair is very good. Sadly the album suffers from a complete lack of structure. It's basically a rehearsal/demo LP with very little thought behind it. The longest track - B ... (read more)

Report this review (#123186) | Posted by kingdhansak | Wednesday, May 23, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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