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Mormos The Magic Spell Of Mother's Wrath album cover
3.45 | 6 ratings | 2 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

Side A
1. Homeside (5:32)
2. Walk In The Light Of The (Lord) (3:03)
3. Octobersong (0:37)
4. Plastered In Paris (1:21)
5. Doves Are White (1:50)
6. Cows In My Colorbook (3:53)

Side B
7. Hush (For Lynn's Picture) (0:34)
8. No 5 In The Book (4:34)
9. Rit Yellow (9:38)
10. Lady Of Night (3:18)

Total time 34:20

Bonus tracks on 1997 Spalax CD:
11. Magic Stone (2:50)
12. Hey Gilles (3:05)

Bonus tracks on additional EP, Wah Wah Records, 2014:
1. Magic Stone (2:50)
2. Hey Gilles (3:05)
3. Little Frenzies Underneath (Previously unreleased)
4. We None Of Us (Previously unreleased)

Line-up / Musicians

- Jim Cuomo / bandleader, domra, recorder, vocals, balalaika, clarinet, saxophone
- Annie Hat Williams / lead vocals, bass
- Elliott Delman / guitar, vocals
- Rick Ernest Mansfield / flutes, balalaika, piano, harmonica, percussion
- Sandy Spencer / cello

Releases information

Recorded at Acousti Studio, Paris

LP CBS CBS 64979 (1972, France)

CD Spalax Music CD 14541 (1997, France, with 2 bonus tracks)
LP + 7'' EP Wah Wah Records LPS133 (2014, Spain, Limited Edition of 500 copies, with additional 4-track EP, remastered by Roger Prades)

Thanks to Sean Trane for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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MORMOS The Magic Spell Of Mother's Wrath ratings distribution

(6 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(17%)
Good, but non-essential (83%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MORMOS The Magic Spell Of Mother's Wrath reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars After their concession-less debut album, the group lost two members (even if both of them end up on the album as guests) but managed to find a new sound and this album is clearly of a much greater interest for progheads. Again recorded in Europe (partly in Paris, partly in London), the music incorporates jazz elements that were previously absent, even if their leader James Cuomo had fiddled around with them in his previous group Spoils Of War, and acid-psych-jazzy-electronic-folk rock ensemble.

After a jazzy opener Homeside, the group returns to their hippie acid folk for a trio of short bluesy-folk tunes culminating in silliness with Plastered In Paris. Retuirning shortly to the jazz realm with Doves Are White and then plungeing for the Joni Mitchell-inspired Cows In My Colourbook, the first side is a bit unfocused and not preparing us for what else is to come.

After the almost a capella Hush and the disturbingly quiet No 5 In The Book, the album reaches its climax with the amazing 9-min+ Rit Yellow (this track was already played with Spoils Of War), and the group shows everything they are capable of with their incredible Spanish Corrida lyrics drama to go with the bolero-flamenco feel of the song the whole thing incredibly sprinkled in jazzy interplay. Cuomo's clarinet sounds a bit like Maneige's Jerome Langlois and the flute answering him is equally excellent and the whole thing just climaxes grandiosely. This track is worth the price alone of the album, even if you get an unremarkable Lady Of The Night to end the record.

Wjhile I would not say that Mormos is one of the most spectacular example of progressive folk, this album is definitely worth the proghead's investigations.

Review by ClemofNazareth
3 stars Mormos were one of those products of the late sixties that end up being featured on those VH1 ‘Where are they now?’ shows, although I don’t know if any of these guys ever made it onto one of those episodes. Like other acid/psych rockers of the late sixties, several members of this band left one such band (Spoils of War, which I’d never heard of outside the context of Mormos) and formed an acoustic folk group that migrated in true hippie fashion to France to spend a few years – well, being hippies I guess. The group released a couple of albums before a few of them wandered back to the U.S. to land in a more conventional rock group named Mountain Bus (and later renamed to SkyFarmer after they were not surprisingly sued by Leslie West and his Mountain crew).

The music on this, Mormos’ second and final album, is a mildly interesting blend of acoustic folk, inevitable mellow psych influences, and some pretty odd vocals. Annie Hat (now Ann Lindquist) plays flute and provides plead vocals, while the rest of the band lays down these wandering tracks of domra, cello, acoustic guitar, balalaika, zither, recorder and various whistles and hand drums. This is a fairly short album at only a bit more than 30 minutes, although the Spalax reissue includes a couple of bonus tracks.

There’s nothing too revolutionary or exciting about this particular album, and the leanings are closer to free-form jazz on many places than to actual folk, but Hat’s vocals keep the folk fašade going well enough for the most part.

This is another of those old American folk records that fetches prices that exceed the actual merits of the music, but thanks to reissues those of us with more modest discretionary income can have a listen as well. The lengthy “Rit Yellow” is the marquee track on the album with persistent acoustic guitar strumming laying a bed for the various flutes, recorders, whistles and stringed instruments that seem to be largely improvising throughout most of the nine-plus minutes that the track runs. An interesting but rather unfocused piece of music that pretty much describes the rest of the album. Several of the other tracks aren't much more than remnants of a couple minutes or less duration with little to distinguish them.

I wouldn’t go out your way to find this one unless you are a fan of obscure early American folk music with psych and jazz leanings. That’s kind of a narrow interest group, but if you are one of those then this should probably be in your collection. Otherwise I’ll just say this is a low three star effort and leave it at that.


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