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Sweet Smoke

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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Sweet Smoke Sweet Smoke Live album cover
3.68 | 25 ratings | 3 reviews | 16% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Live, released in 1974

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. First jam (19:15)
2. Shadeout mapes / Ocean of fears (18:02)

Total Time: 37:17

Bonus tracks on 2000 release:
3. People are hard
4. Schyler's song
5. Final jam

Line-up / Musicians

- John Classi / percussion, sound f/x
- Andrew Dershin / bass, percussion
- Jay Dorfman / drums, percussion
- Rick Greenberg / rhythm guitar, sitar
- Marvin Kaminowitz / lead guitar, vocals, percussion
- Martin Rosenberg / tamboura, percussion

Releases information

LP EMI/Harvest 1C 062-29513 / LP EMI/Electrola 1C 038-15757701 / CD EMI CDP 538-7 93067 (1990) / CD EMI 7243 5 22683 (2000)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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SWEET SMOKE Sweet Smoke Live ratings distribution

(25 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(16%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(48%)
Good, but non-essential (28%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

SWEET SMOKE Sweet Smoke Live reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This album is worth buying if there is only one song: "First Jam", which is excellent example of a free-form jam session, with lots of changes of tempo and time signatures. Since I am a fan of Grateful Dead, this always remined me of the equally magic psychedelic improvisations of "Live/Dead" version of "Dark Star". Much better than the band's previous studio effort "Darkness to Light". Recommended!
Review by Sean Trane
4 stars Unfortunately , my copy is the old one without the bonus tracks and with the Steppenwolf Live cover album where the wolf has vanished and only smoke is left (it's probably sweet , too) but man, is this still enjoyable. You get the same still exhilarating music so fluid as you do from the Poke album and on the longer number of Darkness. However, the only surprising moment is a six minute free-jazz improv halfway through the second number but this is still correct.

The newer version of this album actually separates the second track Shadout Mapes/Ocean Of Fears into two different tracks but also adds three new tracks to give more interest. I recently acquired this version and love every minute of People Are Hard and Schyler's Song. The Final Jam is just that a jam and is of lesser interest especially after repeated listening.

Please note that I have never seen the sleeve artwork presented above. The copy I own now is derivative of the first edition but with a comic-like drawing of the musicians playing in concert. Half of the liner notes are written in German. Some progheads might have a problem calling Sweet Smoke as prog because of their improvisations and tendency to jam, but almost all of them will agree that this good time music and positive vibration emanating from their music make it a must for everyone.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars I have the 2001 edition put out by EMI/ Electropola with the three bonus tracks from the same concert. This was recorded live in Berlin, Germany in 1973 at the College Of Music and the sound quality couldn't be better. SWEET SMOKE often get lumped into the Krautrock sub-genre because people think they are German, but these Americans moved from Brooklyn, New York in the Winter of 1969 to Germany supported by sculptor Waldemar Kuhn. The music is very jammy and they remind me somewhat of what AGITATION FREE might have sounded like if they had these long extended jams. I find the music very uplifting, filled with light and the lyrics are positive as well, kind of hippy-like. I really like the relaxed vocals as well. All six guys are credited with playing percussion during this concert.

"First Jam" opens with it sounding like they are warming up but they are grooving after 2 minutes. A calm before 5 minutes as they all but stop then they kick again. The instrumental work stops 7 minutes in as we get vocals for the first time. The music kicks back in and the vocals will come and go the rest of the way. It settles right down before 15 minutes as he starts to sing "The creator has a master plan, peace and happiness for every man" over and over. Trippy stuff. "Shadout mapes" is so uplifting with vocals and that gorgeous guitar, we get backing vocals too. It turns all-instrumental a minute in then it all stops 6 minutes in where it turns surprisingly experimental until it changes back 10 minutes in.

"Ocean Of Focus" has this trippy, melancholic sound as the vocals join in fairly quickly. It turns instrumental before 2 minutes to the end with the guitar and bass shining, such a pleasant sound. The final three tracks are the bonus songs. "People Are Hard" is a melancholic and beautiful piece of music. Love the vocals too. This becomes instrumental only with picked guitar, percussion, keys and bass as usual. Great sound! The vocals are back after 4 1/2 minutes. Nice. They are brief though but they come back to end it. "Schyler's Song" has vocals and it's very laid back and trippy. Love the instrumental closing section beginning around 2 1/2 minutes. The tempo picks up 4 1/2 minutes in but I prefer the slower pace of earlier. "Final Jam" is almost all instrumental. It starts with the singer encouraging the audience to get up and dance. This is a joyous finale where the crowd claps along. Lots of picked guitar, beats, bass and keyboards. Some spoken words before 5 minutes as they try to get the crowd dancing again. There is singing late.

Man I really enjoy so much of this, it transports me to another place where all I feel is peace. I highly recommend this live one and their first studio album "Just A Poke".

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