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Atomic Rooster

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Atomic Rooster Sleeping For Years (The Studio Recordings 1970-1974) album cover
3.08 | 5 ratings | 1 reviews | 20% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 2017

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1:

Taken from the Album "Atomic Rooster" - Released in February 1970:
1. Friday 13th
2. And So To Bed
3. Winter
4. Decline and Fall
5. Banstead
6. S.L.Y.
7. Broken Wings
8. Before Tomorrow
9. Friday 13th (US Album Version)
10. S.L.Y. (US Album Version)
11. Before Tomorrow (US Album Version)
12. VUG (1970 Demo with Carl Palmer)
13. Devils' Answer (1970 Demo version)
14. Tomorrow Night (Single Version)

CD 2:

Taken from the Album "Death Walks Behind You" Released in Sept. 1970
1. Death Walks Behind You
2. VUG
3. Tomorrow Night
4. Seven Streets
5. Sleeping for Years
6. I Can't Take No More
7. Nobody Else
8. Gershatzer
9. Play the Game (B-side of single)
10. Devil's Answer (A-side of single)

Taken from the Album "In Hearing of Atomic Rooster - Released August 1971
11. Breakthrough
12. Break the Ice
13. Decision / Indecision
14. A Spoonful of Bromide Helps the Pulse Rate Go Down


1. Black Snake
2. Head in the Sky
3. The Rock
4. The Price
5. Devil's Answer (Pete French vocal version)

Taken from the album "Made in England" - Released October 1972
6. Time Take My Life
7. Stand By Me
8. Little Bit of Inner Air
9. Don't Know What Went Wrong
10. Never to Lose
11. Introduction / Breathless
12. Space Cowboy
13. People You Can't Trust
14. All in Satan's Name
15. Close Your Eyes

CD 4:

Taken from the Album "Nice 'N' Greasy" - released September 1973
1. All Across the Country
2. Save Me
3. Voodoo in You
4. Goodbye Planet Earth
5. Take One Toke
6. Can't Find a Reason
7. Ear in the Snow
8. Satan's Wheel
9. What You Gonna Do? (US and German tracks)
10. Moods (US and German tracks
11. Tell Your Story (Sing Your Song) (single)
12. O.D. (single)

Line-up / Musicians

- Band line-ups vary. See Album program notes.

Releases information

Esoteric Recordings (ECLEC 42612)
4 CD box set released in Europe on Dec 1, 2017

Thanks to TCat for the addition
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ATOMIC ROOSTER Sleeping For Years (The Studio Recordings 1970-1974) ratings distribution

(5 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(20%)
Good, but non-essential (40%)
Collectors/fans only (20%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ATOMIC ROOSTER Sleeping For Years (The Studio Recordings 1970-1974) reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Matti
3 stars The British organ-heavy progressive/ hard rock band Atomic Rooster was sovereignly led by organist Vincent Crane who hired and kicked out other members as he saw fit. The group was formed in 1969 after the disbanding of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, in which Crane had been the primary composer. Drummer Carl Palmer continued the collaboration with Crane for one album before joining with Keith Emerson and Greg Lake, and the third original Rooster member was bassist-vocalist Nick Graham. This trio recorded the eponymous debut (1970).

This 4-cd box set released by Esoteric Recordings contains everything -- that is, five studio albums plus the singles -- the band recorded in their original timeline. There are plenty of Atomic Rooster compilations, undoubtedly many of them musically more up to the point. But although they drifted further away from prog towards soul and funk flavoured rock, I think it's exactly the constant change in both the line-up and the style that makes it very reasonable to have the all-inclusive package with lavish liner notes on the group's history. I borrowed this set from library, having never been very much into this band (I once had the third album "In Hearing of Atomic Rooster", the one with the Roger Dean cover art, but sold it away quite soon). In fact there are only one or to tracks per album that I personally have enough interest in for repeated listening. For the most part this hard rock band of a cult status leaves me pretty cold, and therefor my review is more about sharing information than evaluating the music itself.

"Atomic Rooster" (1970) -- its drawn cover art circulated here -- is generally seen less noteworthy than its classic follower "Death Walks Behind You" (1971) coated in the William Blake painting, in which the newly recruited guitarist John [Du] Cann took the vocal duties too. Vincent Crane replaced the missing bass guitar with his Hammond. I don't necessarily see the latter album anyhow better, but it rocks heavier which may be the reason for its classic status as a predecessor of metal. Anyway, one of my favourite pieces on this whole 4-cd set is the moody and delicate 'Winter' from the debut. I'm not fond of Cann's vocals, nor was Crane obviously, because on the third album he gave the post for Peter French. Bluesy 'Black Snake' was exceptionally sung by Crane himself; French (or someone) thought in the liner notes that the lyrics reflect perfectly Crane's troubled psyche. A great part of the interview-based liner notes deals with Crane as a problematic personality to work with. He died of a deliberate overdose of Anadin tablets in 1989, at the age of 45.

"Made in England" (1972) introduced the new vocalist Chris Farlowe who really can pour soul in his singing. Steve Bolton is the guitarist on this album, but he was also very temporary member. On "Nice 'n' Greasy" (1973), definitely the weakest and least proggy album of the five, the guitars are played by John Goodsall (later of Brand X fame), albeit using the pseudonym Johnny Mandala!

Only the lack of track lengths bothers me when evaluating the overall presentation of this box set. In theory I could give a higher rating, but since I don't much like most of the music here, let's make it three.

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