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Captain Beyond

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Captain Beyond Dawn Explosion album cover
3.03 | 64 ratings | 5 reviews | 8% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1977

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Do or Die (3:39)
2. Icarus (4:18)
3. Sweet Dreams (5:30)
4. Fantasy (5:58)
5. Breath of Fire, Part 1: A Speck Within a Sphere (3:05)
6. Breath of Fire, Part 2: Alone in the Cosmos (3:13)
7. If You Please (3:16)
8. Midnight Memories (4:17)
- Oblivion (4:01) :
9. Space Interlude (0:52)
10. Oblivion (2:14)
11. Space Reprise (0:55)

Total Time 37:14

Line-up / Musicians

- Willy Daffern / lead vocals
- Larry Reinhardt / acoustic, electric & slide guitars
- Lee Dorman / bass, String Ensemble, vocals
- Bobby Caldwell / drums & percussion, vocals

Releases information

Artwork: Carl Ramsey

LP Warner Bros. Records ‎- BS 3047 (1977, US)

CD One Way Records ‎- OW 33639 (1996, US)
CD Friday Music ‎- FRM 1087 (2008, US) Remastered

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy CAPTAIN BEYOND Dawn Explosion Music

CAPTAIN BEYOND Dawn Explosion ratings distribution

(64 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(16%)
Good, but non-essential (55%)
Collectors/fans only (20%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

CAPTAIN BEYOND Dawn Explosion reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ClemofNazareth
2 stars While the first Captain Beyond album was pretty thick with social and political themes, this last offering from the band is more of a last-hurrah for the bluesy hard rock that most of its members were known for both before and after their Captain Beyond days. The pedigree of all the members was top-notch, but overall this is a rather lackluster album that failed to take off creatively or commercially, and the band dissolved shortly after its release.

Vocalist Rod Evans (Deep Purple) is long gone, replaced by relative unknown Willie Daffern, formerly of Hunger and Truk, bands just as unknown as he was. Evans would briefly resurface fronting a sham Deep Purple touring group before disappearing forever. He’s probably living under an assumed name in some Caribbean resort town these days. Daffern has a decent enough voice, but he lacks any range or inflection to speak of, and as a result tends to detract from the excellent guitar work and pretty decent drums. Larry Reinhardt and Lee Dorman, formerly of brief Iron Butterfly fame are both back, as is former Johnny Winter session man Bobby Caldwell. There are no keyboards in this lineup, leaving the sound a bit more one-dimensional than their previous two efforts, and with inevitable comparisons to a dozen southern-fried bands of the same general era. It’s all guitars, all the time.

The songs here generally fall into two thematic categories: nebulous fantasy tales, and tight-jeaned frivolous numbers. The two seem to be about equally distributed. Those in the former category include “Fantasy” and “Icarus”, with “Icarus” being the better of the two in terms of energetic tempo, strong guitars, and a real attempt to reach beyond simple two-chord riffs and simple rhythms. In the latter category are “Do or Die” and both versions of “Oblivion”.

The most striking track is the two-part “Breath of Fire”, with its tantalizing tempo change mid-track and emphasis on both acoustic guitar and slide progressions. This is also southern-boogie in reality, but not so far removed from Wishbone Ash or the Allman Brothers to not be mildly appealing. It’s a far site better than .38 Special or most of what Bad Company did after their first two albums anyway.

“If You Please” uses a riff lifted from somewhere, I just can’t place where exactly. Someone clue me in, please.

There’s nothing particularly wrong with this album, it’s just that there’s nothing overly appealing about it either. For Captain Beyond fans (and I’m sure there are still some out there), this is probably worth having in their collection. For anyone else, you can probably pass on this and you won’t be missing much. Two stars.


Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars "Dawn Explosion" is the 3rd full-length studio album by US hard rock act Captain Beyond. The album was released through Warner Bros. Records in 1977. The band had broken up by the end of 1973 but reformed again in 1976 with new lead vocalist Willie Daffern. He replaces Rod Evans (Ex-Deep Purple). Drummer Bobby Caldwell, bassist Lee Dorman (Ex-Iron Butterfly) and guitarist Larry Reinhardt are still featured in the lineup, who recorded the bandīs second album "Sufficiently Breathless (1973)".

The music style on the album is hard rock in the softer end of the spectrum and Iīm reminded more than one time of Wishbone Ash in their mid 70es period and albums like "Thereīs the Rub (1974)", "Locked In (1976)", "New England (1976)" and "Front Page News (1977)". I was really impressed with Captain Beyondīs 1972 self-titled debut album which is through and through a fantastic album and I thought "Sufficiently Breathless (1973)" was decent too, but on "Dawn Explosion" itīs like the music lacks power and soul. New lead vocalist Willie Daffern has a somewhat similar sounding voice to Rod Evans but he isnīt nearly as convincing as Evans. The three veterans in the band, who handle the instrumental part of the music, are all skilled musicians and thatīs fortunately obvious throughout the album.

"Dawn Explosion" feautures a decent sound production that suits the music. Compared to the more layered sound on "Sufficiently Breathless (1973)" (which featured an omnipresent piano), the sound on "Dawn Explosion" is a more stripped down and hard rocking affair. Still itīs like the tracks are a bit halfbaked and uninspired, and paired with the fact that Willie Daffern isnīt exactly a reinforcement on the lead vocalist spot, "Dawn Explosion" isnīt the comeback it could have been. A 2.5 star (50%) rating is warranted.

Review by Gooner
4 stars Same line-up as the first but with Willy Daffern on vocals. This albums certainly deserves a better rating than a 2 or a 3. 3.5 stars, really. A great mixture of both the first and 2nd albums. Of note, Willy Daffern has a pretty fine set of hard rock pipes(would've fit in well with Van Halen or Rainbow). _Icarus_ is an excellent composition with time signatures reminiscent of the first album. _Do Or Die_ actually reminds a bit of Iron Butterfly(probably the Lee Dorman influence...and the vocals sound a little like Doug Ingle as well). The style is more varied on DAWN EXPLOSION, not unlike a Thin Lizzy album where you'll get a ballad, outright heavy metal and funk infused hard rock. If you enjoy hard rock albums by the Joe-Lynn Tuner version of Rainbow or mid '70s Deep Purple a la _Burn_ and _Stormbringer_, than this should fit in well with your collection.

Latest members reviews

4 stars I think this album deserves better than the very average review it is typically given in most cases. One of the problems with successive albums released by groups which had an initial stellar album is that everyone typically compares the successive releases to the first release. While Captain Be ... (read more)

Report this review (#133053) | Posted by Sporkman | Tuesday, August 14, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album is essential hard rock. The music is consistant thoughout most of the LP. It doesnt quite match the greatness of the first one but is a great sequel to it. I miss Rod Evans vocals on this one too.I personally own both Captain Beyond & Dawn Explosion. Their second effort missed my b ... (read more)

Report this review (#26457) | Posted by | Wednesday, May 4, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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