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Walrus Walrus album cover
3.18 | 27 ratings | 4 reviews | 11% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1970

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Who Can I Trust?
2. Rags and Old Iron/Blind Man/Roadside
3. Why?
4. Turning/Woman/Turning
5. Sunshine Needs Me
6. Coloured Rain/Mother's Dead Face in Memoriam/Coloured Rain (Reprise)
7. Tomorrow Never Comes
8. Never Let My Body Touch the Ground

Line-up / Musicians

Steve Hawthorn / bass guitar, 12-string guitar (3)
John Scates / lead & rhythm guitars
Noel Greenaway / vocals
Bill Hoad / soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, flute, alto flute, clarinet
Roy Voce / tenor saxophone
Don Richards / trumpet, celesta (4)
Barry Parfitt / piano & organ
Roger Harrison / drums (1, 6), claves, cowbells, tambourine
Nick Gabb / drums (2,3,4,5,7)

Releases information


re-released on Esoteric Records, 2008

Thanks to Atavachron for the addition
and to Tarcisio Moura for the last updates
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WALRUS Walrus ratings distribution

(27 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (48%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

WALRUS Walrus reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Rip-roaring fun on this 1970 debut from 9-piece heavy blues-jazz-rock orchestra Walrus, blasting forth with ragged and rich numbers from founder Steve Hawthorn's warm basses, guitarist John Scates' dirty riffs, and the over-the-top tribal yell of Noel Greenaway. On backup is a pulsing band of horns, woodwinds and percussion making this, their only release, a surprisingly tight blend of the sophisticated brass-jazz of Blood,Sweat&Tears, the stormy blues of Janis and her Holding Co., and echoes of early Who or Jethro Tull.

'Who Can I Trust' is typical but perfect hard acid rock boldly followed by 13 minute epic 'Rags and Old Iron', a journey of rhythm 'n blues, ancient ancestry, stoic folk rock, weird Brit-pop and sprawling brass-psych. 'Why' is a confident folk bit in paisley with Bill Hoad's pretty intertwined flutes and Greenaway's pining lament, tongue-in-cheek romp 'Turning', refreshing modern jazz in 'Coloured Rain', and beyond kitsch 'Tomorrow Never Comes' reminds of The Nice.

Nothing spectacular and brutally old-sounding, Walrus were destined to evaporate with little trace but the ensemble's impressive arrangements put them on a par with contemporaries as Room, and they deserve their small spot among the progressive orchestras of the era.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars Walrus is one of one shot wonders from UK in the early '70's with a short career. Formed in late '60's by the bassist Steve Hawthorn , Walrus release in november 1970 their selftitled album at Decca records. The band was formed by 8 musicians, like a small orchestra, but only the head of the band Hawthorn was the main composer. The music offered by Walrus is jazz rock with brass intrstuments, horns arrangements and some vague progressive elements added here and there, the resoult is not bad, little dated now but ok most of the time and enjoyble. They remind me of, for instance, Jethro Tull (Benefit era) but less flute orientated and with some bluesy touch , tipical for that period aproach, Audience, Family or even Blood, Sweat & Tears. There are some fine moments , like short opening track Who Can I Trust, the lenghty Rags and Old Iron with some good mellow parts melted with some folky parts, heavy prog passages, a great tune and jazzy cover version from Traffic first album - Coloured Rain, the rest are ok. Overall a good release that desearves one way or another to be discovered, but is nothing realy a spectacular release, that's why the best I can give is 3 stars. My version of the CD is the first issue on this format from Black rose label in 1999 with some comments about the band and pieces inside. Not to be confused with other bands with same name Walrus .

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars Interesting obscure band from which has released a single, self titled LP, in 1970 and quickly disappeared without trace soon after that. Their sound was a curious mix of brass rock a la Blood, Sweat & Tears or Chicago with psychedelic rock, jazz and even some acid-folk bits (like in Why). The music of this octet is quite appealing and certainly the band was promising: bassist Steve Hawthorn shows up as a viable songwriter of good material, while the players are obviously skilled enough. Singer Noel Greenaway is another great find, with a fine voice that handles well all styles of music. With time they probably could produce a personal and outstanding sound. Unfortunately this was not to be. I guess at the time there were enough good brass bands riding the charts and their psychedelic takes were already dated by 1970. Even the cover was not that original for the period:it looks like several others Ive seen then.

Anyway, if you like the above mentioned styles you should give this album a chance. I was quite surprised by the strong performances and the overall good songwriting and arrangements. Nothing spectacular or groundbreaking, but nice to listen to. The production is very good for the time and the CD release has a bonus track that was not included on the original LP. Nice find.

Rating: 2,5 stars rounded up. good, but clearly non essential in any way.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Tucked away in the darker recesses of any prog collection are sunk without trace gems from the late 60's/early 70's. I was surprised and pleased that over a dozen others have at least heard this and bothered to rate it. It has even had a couple of reviews. I shall add mine then! With previous r ... (read more)

Report this review (#1519647) | Posted by Groucho Barks | Monday, January 25, 2016 | Review Permanlink

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