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Bigelf Money Machine album cover
3.63 | 75 ratings | 6 reviews | 17% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2000

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Money Machine (7:16)
2. Sellout (5:05)
3. Neuropsychopathic Eye (4:23)
4. Side Effects (3:14)
5. (Another) Nervous Breakdown (3:25)
6. Mindbender (2:00)
7. Ironheel (5:34)
8. Death Walks Behind You (5:05)
9. The Bitter End (5:21)

Bonus tracks on 2010 reissue:
10. Bad Reputation (3:56)
11. Sellout (live) (5:16)
12. Neuropsychopathic Eye (live) (4:21)
13. Money Machine (live) (8:11)
14. Sweet Leaf (live) (6:16)

Total time 69:23

Line-up / Musicians

- Andrew Butler-Jones / guitar, vocals
- Damon Fox / keyboards, bass, vocals
- Steve Frothingham / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Johannes Lindstrom with Stephen Linsley (photo)

CD Record Heaven Music ‎- RHCD28 (2000, Sweden)
CD Powerage ‎- PAGE011CD (2010, Europe) With 5 bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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BIGELF Money Machine ratings distribution

(75 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(48%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

BIGELF Money Machine reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Greger
4 stars In 1997 BIGELF released one of the strongest debut albums I've heard in recent years. It was a 6 track CD entitled "Closer To Doom", and it sounded like a blast from the past. Their music was a genuine mixture between ATOMIC ROOSTER, The BEATLES (look for the black & white photo of The BEATLES on the Marshall amplifier on the front cover), BLACK SABBATH, DEEP PURPLE, JELLYFISH, KING CRIMSONi and URIAH HEEP, produced by Sylvia Massy (RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS etc.). They were later signed to the Swedish Record Heaven label, where they released "Closer To Doom" as a 10 track full-length album (the 6 track CD + 4 bonus tracks). "Closer to Doom" has been spinning a lot in my CD player since then, and it has become one of my favorite albums (and my brother's too actually). We have been waiting for a follow-up for a long time, and now it's finally here, entitled "Money Machine". The new album follows the same musical direction as its processor. All the ingredients are here: the 60's-70's sound with lots of vintage keyboards such as Hammond organs, Mellotrons and Moogs, the BEATLES melodies and vocal harmonies, the SABBATH-like riffing and the good compositions and arrangements. Right from the opening title track you recognize the BIGELF-sound, and you find yourself head banging and humming along with this heavy tune. It's followed by "Sellout" which is another great track. "Side Effects" are my personal favorite on this album. "(Another) Nervous Breakdown" has been released as a single from this album. "Mindbender" and "Ironheel" are two other highlights. There's also a great version of ATOMIC ROOSTER's "Death walks behind you". The closing ballad "The Bitter End" is another one of my favorites. BIGELF are one of the best bands in recent years. Get this one as well as the debut album into your record collection. Highly recommended!
Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars The sound of this USA band is a spicey stew that contains tasteful elements from The Beatles, Black Sabbath, King Crimson and Atomic Rooster. The titletrack includes a heavy atmosphere (loaded with violin-Mellotron), a psychedelic keyboard solo, powerful vocals and the end could be a tribute to "Starless" from King Crimson. The other eight tracks also deliver captivating and original musical ideas: "Sellout" blends a climate of The Beatles and Atomic Rooster featuring a steamy Hammond and fiery electric guitar (pop meets heavy progressive), "Side effects" has Black Sabbath guitar riffs and compelling violin- Mellotron, "(Another) Nervous breakdown" features a flute-Mellotron-harpsichord duet, violin-Mellotron floods, a swirling organ solo like Vincent Crane and "The bitter end" has a moving rhythm with John Lennon-like vocals, wonderful organ and a splendid build-up guitar solo. Not every proghead will be pleased with music that changes from poppy like The Beatles to heavy like Black Sabbath and Atomic Rooster or bombastic like King Crimson but for me this is one of the revelations of the last years, WHAT AN EXCITING SOUND!!
Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars This is a little better than the debut, but to be honest I still can't get past THE BEATLES-like vocals. In fact if this was all-instrumental or had a different vocal syle i'd be singing their praises. The best thing about this album is the array of vintage keyboards that are in play.

"Money Machine" sounds so much like THE BEATLES except for the light riffs. Keyboards before 2 1/2 minutes as the vocals stop briefly. Lots of mellotron before 4 minutes. I do like the heavy instrumental section before 6 minutes. "Sellout" again has those THE BEATLES-like vocals front and center with light riffs. It settles as contrasts continue. Great sound before 3 minutes though with the bass, organ, guitar and drums. "Neuropsychopathic Eye" sounds like THE BEATLES singing "21st Century Schizoid Man".

"Side Effects" opens with a very brief SABBATH-like riff before vocals and lighter sound take over. Not a fan. "(Another) Nervous Breakdown" has an aggressive chorus that I like with much lighter verses. It's ok. "Mindbender" is a short straightforward track. "Ironheel" is led by keyboards and drums early before it settles with vocals. The contrasts of light and heavy continue. "Death Walks Behind You" is by far the best track on here. Yes it's a cover of the ATOMIC ROOSTER song, and a good one I might add. "The Bitter End" is laid back with vocals to start. It's fuller after a minute with organ. The highlight is the guitar solo after 3 minutes to the end.

3 stars.

Review by Rune2000
4 stars My feelings towards Bigelf will forever be biased by the circumstances that surrounded my introduction to the band. It all began during the summer of 2001 when the Swedish TV channel ZTV signed a distribution contract with Hultsfredsfestival to broadcast some of the festival highlights as a part of their summer schedule.

At the time, ZTV was sort of a continuation of ideas set by MTV during the '80s where the channel broadcasted shows that were aimed towards a younger audience in the age group span of 15 to 25. I happened to be 16 at the time so their programs were on top of my list when it came to television. Of course most of the programs had non-existent productions values and relied heavily on the show hosts to make the best of the situation, but that was part of the charm.

With this setting in mind came the Hultsfredsfestival summer, which due to my age I couldn't attend so I relied entirely on ZTV to fill me in on the events of the festival. One of the smaller acts that caught my attention was this obscure doom metal/stoner rock outfit called Bigelf that was interviewed during one of the broadcasts and they definitely managed to make an impression on me! The band played retro rock styled music using equipment from the '70s which tweaked their sound to a carbon copy of the music I loved so much. The first song that the band performed was called Money Machine and it totally blew me away in terms of songwriting, performance and most of all the sound. I was hooked from the get-go! I remember racing to the record store, the next day, only to find out that Bigelf's material was nowhere to be found. Ahhh, the disappointment I felt at the time! Eventually I've got my hands on a copy of Money Machine a few days later and spinned that album like crazy for the rest of that summer and all the way towards the middle of autumn.

The first composition is Money Machine and it basically hits you with its wall of sound in the introduction section. I would definitely recommend this 7 minute composition to everyone who is remotely interested in '70s rock music. The nods towards progressive rock are of course unavoidable when it comes to '70s styled compositions and there are quite a few excellent passages here and there that would even make the most critical listeners feel pleased. Most noticeable for me is the ending of the title track which borrows heavily from the '70s King Crimson especially the second part of Starless but also Cirkus and probably a few others.

This by no means implies that Bigelf is another copy & paste band because their sound is actually very original and it's easy to recognize a song of theirs when you hear one. Most of the other compositions on the album like Sellout and Ironheel keep the high quality and being a fan of great melodies I just love the performance of Side Effects.

The only track that I've always considered inferior in this mix is Death Walks Behind You. I never understood the reason for my disliking of this particular song until I found out that it actually was a cover of Atomic Rooster's track off the song-titled album. It always felt as though Bigelf was limiting themselves on this cover by leaving most of their innovative sound twitching and bending skills in favor of a fairly straightforward representation of this cover.

Money Machine is a great album with a nostalgic twist to it!

***** star songs: Money Machine (7:13) Side Effects (3:11)

**** star songs: Sellout (5:02) Neuropsychopathic Eye (4:20) (Another) Nervous Breakdown (3:22) Mindbender (2:00) Ironheel (5:32) The Bitter End (5:19)

*** star songs: Death Walks Behind You (4:32)

Review by aapatsos
3 stars Can you imagine yourself being in a 60's-70's retro party with fancy colourful clothes, long hair and big sunglasses? Add to this the elements of prog and heavy guitars and it might be approximately what you feel like listening to this album... And if you are a rock/metal fan, imagine a prog version of Monster Magnet and Spiritual Beggars and you will not be too far away...

BIGELF present here an interesting mix of heavy edge riffs (Black Sabbath, Atomic Rooster), hammond/keys-filled psychedelic passages (Hawkwind, Uriah Heep, Deep Purple) and a lighter prog-pop side (Beatles). The vocalist Damon Fox displays a wide range of influences and singing styles that give flexibility and variety to the final result. The use of mellotron, hammond and keyboard sounds revive the late 60's feeling which is dominant in BIGELF's sound.

The opening title track more or less sets the stage for the style expected in the rest of the album: mid-tempo composition, supported by heavy prog riffs (especially reminding of Uriah Heep in this case) and a continuous keyboard background ''rocking'' along with the main riff. The (longest in the album) track succeeds in catching your attention with the slightly dark interim guitar riffs (a-la Atomic Rooster), while the ''distorted'' theatrical vocals fit perfectly. The same recipe is used for tracks like Neuropsychopathic Eye, which adds more complicated riffs and speedier psychedelic prog passages in the vein of Hawkwind. This heavy side is also reflected in Ironheel, showing a mix of Sabbath-derived riffs on a berzerk psychedelic atmosphere. Atomic Rooster's cover of the legendary Death Walks Behind You is exactly on the same pattern and well executed by the band.

Mindbender is an excellent example of how to fit a catchy psychedelic rock piece of music in just 2 minutes. The ''other'' - lighter or poppier - side of the album is represented with the rest 4 compositions. Although not as enjoyable as the heavy aspect of the album, the lyricism of Sellout and mostly The Bitter End shows the diversity in the band's sound, producing attractive melodies. Side Effects and (Another) Nervous Breakdown are the least appealing tracks in my opinion, directly influenced by The Who and especially The Beatles. The light-hearted feel, although giving a more relaxed atmosphere between heavier tracks, fails to keep my interest at the same level.

In summary, the first full-length album from BIGELF is a highly entertaining experience and would definitely appeal to retro-prog fans that prefer heavy-edge riffs of the Sabbath/Rooster/Heep school. Although not very original in ideas, the blend of psychedelia and heavy prog is at least interesting and promising for future releases. 3.5 stars deserved.

Latest members reviews

5 stars from the first note..the first know you´re in for a with their first album BIG ELF are the real thing...that is..the real seventies thing. as ive said before these guys are extremely capable of doing the seventies style and with such a force that you really believe they´re fro ... (read more)

Report this review (#27603) | Posted by Tonny Larz | Friday, March 19, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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