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Atomic Rooster

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Atomic Rooster In Hearing of Atomic Rooster album cover
3.81 | 251 ratings | 22 reviews | 28% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Breakthrough (6:22)
2. Break the Ice (5:03)
3. Decision Indecision (3:54)
4. A Spoonful of Bromide Helps the Pulse Rate Go Down (instrumental) (4:43)
5. Black Snake (6:03)
6. Head in the Sky (5:42)
7. The Rock (instrumental) (4:35)
8. The Price (5:20)

Total Time 41:42

Bonus track on US 1971 LP & 1990 CD:
9. Devil's Answer (1971 single) (3:30)

Line-up / Musicians

- Peter French / lead vocals
- John Du Cann / guitars, arrangements (2,6)
- Vincent Crane / Hammond organ, piano (1,3,4,8), vocals (5,8), arrangements (2,7)
- Paul Hammond / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Roger Dean

LP Pegasus ‎- PEG 1 (1971, UK)
LP Elektra ‎- EKS74109 (1971, US) With a bonus track

CD Repertoire Records ‎- RR 4068-WZ ( (1990, Germany) With a bonus track (same as on US LP)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy ATOMIC ROOSTER In Hearing of Atomic Rooster Music

ATOMIC ROOSTER In Hearing of Atomic Rooster ratings distribution

(251 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(28%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(49%)
Good, but non-essential (19%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

ATOMIC ROOSTER In Hearing of Atomic Rooster reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
5 stars This is one of my all-time fave. The power and climates on this slice of vinyl always fascinated me as this is among the very first albums I listened to (I think I stole that one but the shop owner was a real asshole, anyway) and I still do almost every two months or so. This is the only Rooster album to have the same cover (Roger Dean) on both side of the Atlantic. The line-up of the previous album was augmented with the fantastic singer Pete French - from Leafhound and future-Cactus (along with some members Of Vanilla Fudge) - but this line-up will not last as this album was not yet finished that they had broken up, leaving Crane to finish up.

Most of the CD versions of this album come with their superb single Devil's Answer, but again almost every track is a real gem but Breakthrough and Black Snake are the stand- outs. The only minor fault I could point out is the lack of a real bassist Crane is filling that out ala Manzarek (foot pedals) but this is less so blatant than their previous album. Definitely a bedside album but the Spoonful of Bromide will help you get a hard-on instead of helping your pulse rate go down.

Review by Philrod
3 stars A drastic change over the two first albums of the band, and not necessarily for the best. Crane has clearly changed his working ways, as his always freakish approach to music changes here. This is no longer hard rock, but mostly mixes of funk blues, and still some old rock. One thing does not change, though, as the lyrics are still true to the hard rock clichés of the time. I see this album as a transitional one, as the passage from hard to melodic is seen here, and it is not always withou effort that we can see it. No bassist, as on the last album, death walks behind you. Where it worked on the last one, here the music would need a bit more structure. Quite good, but definitely not their best.
Review by hdfisch
4 stars This album certainly is together with Rooster's first two releases to be considered a milestone in early 70's progressive hard rock. There isn't any really weak track on here and songs like "Breakthrough" or "The Rock" became all-time classics. Overall their sound became a bit less heavy than on the previous ones but also more quiet tracks like "Decision/Indecision" and "Black Snake" are showing very well the musical potential of Vincent Crane and his colleagues. The line-up which stayed basically the same as on "Death Walks Behind You" had been completed here with a real lead singer (Peter French) who did his job very well. But as we know the group would break apart before recording of this album had been finished and actually one can hear already that their style would change thereafter significantly into more a funk and R&B vein which wasn't that much highly fascinating for me any longer. Anyway this one was an essential and seminal one in Prog and for sure worth 4 stars!
Review by Gooner
5 stars It's a given that the 3 main hard rock bands of the '70s that many other bands are measured by are Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin. Yet, I've noticed a new and old familiar sound coming out of the millenium from a band called WOLFMOTHER.

If WOLFMOTHER hasn't been influenced by Atomic Rooster's "In Hearing Of", than I'll be a monkey's bum! Surely, this can't be a coincidence.

As many have indicated here, this is Atomic Rooster's most consistent sounding LP and an overlooked masterpiece of progressive hard rock. Some have called this a transitional album, but I call it everything Atomic Rooster embodied. The gloom of crunchy Deep Purple/Black Sabbath-like riffs still exist, but there are touches of things to come like funk and jazz, yet...the latter is touched on conservatively and tastefully. Two killer instrumentals to boot in "A Spoonful Of Bromide" and "The Rock". But folks, listen to "Head In The Sky" and tell me this isn't the blueprint for WOLFMOTHER's formula/success. It's easy to say that Atomic Rooster were a little ahead of their time, if somewhat unique.

I rank this album on par with albums like Deep Purple's "Machine Head" and Black Sabbath's "Paranoid". No turkies on Atomic Rooster's "In Hearing Of". A very consistent effort and highly recommended.

Review by debrewguy
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars As a consummate searcher, I love stumbling upon a third tier 70s bands that really clicks with me. Essentially, bands that might have made as high up the touring ladder to be a prime "special guest" act, one that could increase the concert draw, but wasn't big enough to headliine most places. Gnidrolog, a ton of RPI, Brinsley Schwarz, Crowbar, Budgie, etc ... Mostly because they have a raw appeal, where you overlay your sense of what the band is striving for. Atomic Rooster, however, are not one of these. Maybe it's because apart from RPI keyboards, the organ is an instrument I prefer to sound like Purple & Uriah Heep - the keyboard equivalent of a Les Paul through a loud Marshall. Not because of its' similarity to heavy guitars, but more because of their sonic growl. The organ sound on AR & many other early 70s albums sounds positively dated, as if the organ player was still playing as if he stayed in the 60s. So again, not bad music, just competent playing with some flashes of brilliance; but unless that sound is your nirvana, keep your money in your wallet for better buys.
Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars You Cann go now!

Atomic Rooster's third album sees John Cann remaining in the band as guitarist, but stepping aside as lead vocalist in favour of new member Peter French. The album signalled a subtle but significant change in direction for the band, or more specifically Vincent Crane. At the time, Crane was citing James brown as an influence, while seeking to adopt a more "structural" approach to the music.

There is an altogether funkier feel to this album, emphasised by French's voice and style of delivery. The opening "Breakthrough" with its emphatic piano basis and persistent but unobtrusive beat, something Palmer would never have been guilty of, might send you checking the sleeve to make sue you had definitely picked up an Atomic Rooster album.

"Black snake" has the feel of a Doors song, perhaps because of the "snake" reference, but also due to its slightly echoed vocal and psychedelic overtones. The Hammond organ work here is particularly striking if now rather of its time. The track also has similarities with the vocal sections of Deep Purple's "Child in time". The laid back feel continues on "Decision/Indecision", French's rather accented vocals not really suiting the sparse accompaniment. "Head in the sky" starts with a "Whole lotta love" like riff before bursting into a frantic organ drenched heavy rock number. The track has similarities with Vanilla Fudge and Iron Butterfly, essentially being a well developed pop song.

The closing track, "The price" is one of the few other tracks to hark back to the pure rock orientation of the previous albums, French sounding a little like Roger Chapman at times. The track is slightly theatrical towards the end, with the "Now you've got to pay the price"/ "I don't want to pay the price" argument.

The CD version has the non-album single "Devil's answer" as a bonus track. This was justifiably a huge hit single, which featured Cann's vocals and brass arrangement. Incidentally, by the time it was released as a single in the US, it bore French's lead vocal. The B side was the instrumental "The rock" which appears on the album and which also features a brass arrangement.

In all, an album which sees Crane trying to move the band in an alternative direction. There are strong undercurrents of the style which dominated the first two albums, but the influences of soul and funk are starting to come through in much more apparent form. As a transitional album, "In hearing of" largely succeeds. For me though, it has not worn particularly well, and now sounds somewhat dated.

The album had barely hit the shelves when Crane sacked John Cann, Paul Hammond leaving with him. This was a clear case of musical differences between Crane and Cann, a point emphasised by Cann's new band's name, Hard Stuff.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars The first two records from AR were rather exhilarating but when I listen to the opener Breakthrough, these bluesy sounds cool me off radically ("Black Snake" not being my cup of tea either; for the same reason).

And this aspect is too dominant during "In Hearing Of Atomic Rooster". It is also difficult for the fans to go through these permanent line-up changes. One thing is for sure: Crane still knows how to write impressive tracks. While listening to the fantastic "A Spoonful Of Bromide Helps The Pulse Rate Go Down", one is brought back to the best of their earlier recordings. Heavy organ, heavy beat, heavy track. Great track: the highlight.

This album is quite different and the new musical orientation (blues oriented) is not the best I was expecting. Fortunately, here and there, some songs are great and can be compared with their best work: the wild "Head In The Sky" is such a number. Another highlight.

I can't say the same about "The Rock" which is another funky/bluesy trip which I can't stand very much.

I was very enthusiast about their prior two releases. As long as they stuck to the great and heavy-rock music, the band still shows how effective it can be, but I'm afraid that the mix with so many blues or soul doesn't work on me.

If I could, I would rate this album with five out of ten, which means average. I upgrade it to three stars thanks to these two outstanding numbers (Spoonful and Head). This album is more heavy soul than heavy rock oriented.

Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars These guys hardly had their head in the sky.

The follow up album to the wonderful, Death Walks Behind You is one that shows Rooster turning in a new direction, and in this transitional stage they've managed to create another killer album. While this one would prove to be not nearly as dark as their previous album, something evident just by looking at the cover art (this is likely one of Roger Dean's strangest creations to date, and is a whole lot more welcoming than the cover to Death Walks Behind You), it still shows Rooster pioneering the genre of heavy prog. Their heavy riffs and piano sections mixed in with sharp vocals (Pete French joins the band at this point to take over vocals from John Cann) make for a mean team and show Atomic Rooster at what was likely the high point of their career.

One of the biggest noticeable differences here is the shift in style. While Death Walks Behind You was rather gloomy with upbeat sections, this album is entirely upbeat with maybe one gloomy moment. The band's funk influences are clearly starting to creep in, although they haven't taken over yet like on the follow up to this album (Made In England), with an instrumental like The Rock utilizing just that top make for a very unique blend of funk, rock and progressive rock. The closing The Price also fits into this category with its underlying organ work and fast drumming. On this album as well, the songs are a lot shorter, more condensed. There's no sprawling 8-minute instrumental, in fact the longest tune on the album just manages to get over 6-minutes. This clearly poses no problems for the boys, however, since the band are able to develop ideas well in a short period of time. Besides, Rooster have never been known for any kind of side-long-suite or the like.

Of course, what we know Rooster best for is blistering tracks that are sure to blow your head clean off - and there's some of those here, of course. One of the biggest things that helps to make this album as good as it is is the fact that it has a lot of tracks that really rock. The heavy piano off the top of Breakthrough establishes that fact immediately as French steps in to deliver his first vocals for the band. Complex pieces of guitar, organ and a wonderful drum beat coming out of the chorus sections make this track one of Rooster's absolute best. To make things better, it's followed up by another classic, Break The Ice. This one is a bit more straightforward than the opener, but it proves as an ample backer. Soft guitar and organ work explodes into a heavy guitar riff and we're on our way. More impressive drum wizardry from Paul Hammond drive the song into its soft entry into the chorus which builds until we're into a yell from French. Very impressive. Head In The Sky is the other pure rocker on the album - but this one likely rocks the hardest. The riff from this one sounds like it's coming from some kind of proto-Max Webster (bonus points if you know who that is!) until Crane's wonderful organ comes in to bring back the Rooster feeling. Hammond's drumming on this one is once more incredibly potent and the vocal melodies from French are just wonderful. It may not be a ''head in the sky'' zoned out space rock song - but it certainly is the kind that will knock your head clean into the sky. Check out that organ solo from Crane in the middle of the song, excellent!

There are some slower moments on the album, but they really slow down the show. On the band's previous album the slower moments were a couple of the most potent, emotional and memorable songs on the album. While Nobody Else (from the previous album) featured a wonderful speed change that made the first half of the song so potent the slower tunes on this album seem to like to stay the same speed. Black Snake is driven by a slow (but still impressive) drum beat and Crane's organ. Unfortunately, for its 6-minute duration it really doesn't pick up and while it is enjoyable thanks to French's vocal style it does slow down the album as it opens side 2. Decision/Indecision is in the same vein, although this one does feature a blistering organ solo in the middle. This one isn't so weak, but after the first two tracks that hit so hard it does seem somewhat out of place.

But what would Rooster be without their instrumentals? On this album were treated to two, the previously mentioned funk-flavored The Rock and the organ-festival that is A Spoonful Of Bromide. Crane really wanted to show off with this track, and it really works. Paul Hammond in the background once again giving the skins the what-for as this one moves on. Another stellar track.

A moment or two that lag but otherwise a very impressive work from the Rooster. Though this would likely be the last time the boys would do so well in the world of prog rock thanks to the funk road they would take by the time their next album would be released. Still, this one stands as a monument to early heavy prog and is quite deserving of a shining 4 stars. Recommended to heavy prog fans and anyone who likes a little guitar with their organ.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars In Hearing Of is another classic offering from heavy prog pioneers Atomic Rooster and features some of the best in the band's repertoire.

It begins with the pounding riff-heavy 'Breakthrough' and it is one of the highlights of the album.

'Break the Ice' is also a great rocker and features well-executed heavy guitar riffs.

One of the best instrumentals is featured in the form of 'A Spoonful of Bromide' and it features shimmering Hammond that stabs along with menace complimented by a killer guitar riff.

'Black Snake' is quintessential Rooster, a live staple for the band and one of their most well known. The ominous vocals build and the music is as dark as the band gets.

'Head in the Sky' is definitely worthy of mention too with a memorable riff and doomy lyrics.

The bonus tracks are excellent too featuring the U.S. Version of 'Devil's Answer' always a fan favourite, and some BBC Concert versions of 'Breakthrough' and 'Spoonful of Bromide'. Overall, this album is one of the best from AR and indeed a great example of early 70s prog.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars In Hearing Of Atomic Rooster is the third full-length studio album from UK hard rock act Atomic Rooster. Itīs safe to say that I havenīt enjoyed the first two albums from the band much and I kind of lost interest in trying out this album. But after waiting about a half year Iīve decided to give the band another try.

The music is basic hard rock but with lots of hammond and piano. The songs are simple in structure and there are not many links to progressive rock IMO. The two instrumentals A Spoonful Of Bromide Helps The Pulse Rate Go Down and The Rock does qualify to that description though. Where most hard rock bands are guitar driven the music on In Hearing Of Atomic Rooster is very driven by hammond organ and piano. The guitars are not very dominant and itīs a bit of a let down for me. Not because I donīt like hammond and piano but because I think the music lacks power because of the restrained nature of the guitar. Iīm not very happy about the vocals either. New lead singer Pete French might suit many peoples taste but I donīt like his voice. Vincent Crane sings on the song Black Snake but his vocal performance doesnīt do anything for me either.

The musicianship is very good on the album. Tight interplay and thereīs especially some interesting organ playing on the album.

The production is good even though I find that the hammond and pianos are a bit too high in the mix at times.

In Hearing Of Atomic Rooster doesnīt suit my taste at all. I just canīt hear the charm. The music lacks power and the compositions are too simple to excite me most of the time. I canīt give more than a 2 star rating.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars Roger Dean's worst ever cover art?

Atomic Rooster was a very turbulent band and in only four years the released five studio albums with as many different line-ups! After two rather remarkable Heavy Prog albums, Atomic Rooster lost some of their heaviness and also some of their "progressiveness" and the result is more of a Blues Rock/Hard Rock album. There are more guitars here than on previous albums and the new vocalist has a slightly more conventional approach. Atomic Rooster sound more like Led Zeppelin here than ELP, even if they never sounded like either. The Blues, Funk and Soul influences are as strong here as anything Prog. The end result is that they have lost much of what made them so special and unique the year before.

However, the band once again comes up with some good songs and instrumentals, but they don't sound as inspired as they did on previous albums. Head In The Sky, for example, sounds very much like Lucifer's Friend's Ride The Sky (from the year before this album) only not half as good. The drumming overall makes me miss Carl Palmer.

The cover art is by none other than the great Roger Dean, but this one is very uncharacteristic of his style. But, then again, I don't think that his usual fantasy themes would have fitted this good but rather middle-of-the-road music.

Needless to say at this point, In Hearing Of is not my favourite Atomic Rooster album and is a bit disappointing after the first two albums. But this is not bad and it is recommended, but only after the first two albums.

Good, but non-essential

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars After their magnum opus "Death Walks Behind You" the band got a new vocalist and changed their style somewhat. Overall this album just doesn't measure up to the previous one. The cover art is brutal as well. This just isn't as dark or heavy as the previous one.

"Breakthrough" is led by piano and drums with vocals a minute in. Catchy stuff but i'm not a fan. "Break The Ice" features organ early before the vocals, drums, piano and guitar take over before a minute. Again this is catchy. Guitar is prominant to end it. "Decision Indecision" opens with piano as reserved vocals join in. Drums follow in this laid back tune.

"A Spoonful Of Bromide Helps..." is an uptempo track with lots of piano. Guitar and organ trade off after 2 minutes. Piano is back leading. "Black Snake" is mostly vocals, organ and drums. Catchy but not a fan. The last three tunes are great. "Head In The Sky" is bombastic with vocals after a minute. Nice guitar after 4 1/2 minutes. "The Rock" is an instrumental that opens with drums and bass. Organ join in then guitar. Sounds like sax after 1 1/2 minutes then guitar. "The Price" reminds me of a GENTLE GIANT tune when the vocals come in. My favourite song on here.

3 stars.

Review by FragileKings
3 stars I kept reading the name Atomic Rooster as I read reviews on this site and I finally figured that I had to check them out. I vacillated between buying Death Walks Behind You and In Hearing of, and in the end it was the song Head in the Sky that made me choose because one reviewer had noticed that the style was like a prototype of Wolfmother and I love their music, so I was intrigued.

By now, my prog explorations had taken me to Yes, Genesis, Rush, ELP, and the bands I already had in my collection, such as Deep Purple and Uriah Heep. I was developing a notion of how progressive rock should sound: complicated rhythm changes and odd time signatures, virtuosic playing of all instruments including bass and keyboards, songs over 10 minutes long, lyrics on a more enlightened level than just sex, cars and the life of a drifter or a criminal. A first listen though, I can't say this album really blew me away. Some of the songs just seemed too much like ordinary early seventies rock.

After a few more spins and some specific digging I found that some of the progressive elements I had sought were indeed there. On tracks like Breakthrough and A Spoonful of Bromide there are some interesting classical piano parts that add colour to the standard slightly funky or jazzy hard rock sound as well as some cool drumming with tricky rhythm. There is also the brass in the instrumental The Rock, which would figure more strongly on the Made in England album. And Head in the Sky indeed sounds like the grandfather of Wolfmother except it begins with some atrocious guitar playing in a flood of distortion in a very lame attempt to impress that this song is going to be a wild one.

There are other things about the album that don't really impress me. Pete French's guttural Joe Cocker-like voice doesn't appeal to me, sounding rather like a non-prog band's vocalist. Break the Ice is a catchy rock number but the bum-ba-de-dum keyboard repeating throughout the song has me wanting something more Emmerson/Wakeman/Lord-like. The guitar never really goes above standard rock either. I can't say any of the solos impressed me much and there is little in the way of inspiring riffs. Most of the guitar riffs also sound very mundane to me. Perhaps Messieurs Alex Lifeson, Steve Howe and Steve Hackett who have spent so much time recently in my ear buds have spoiled me for more standard playing.

In conclusion, I find this to be a pretty good rock album and at least three of the tracks are finding themselves selected for mixed playlists. But I can't say I can rate this highly as a prog album. Maybe I am missing something? Maybe I'll find it eventually.

Review by kev rowland
4 stars Given that Atomic Rooster had a single in the charts, the classic "Devil's Answer" (written by singer/guitarist John Cann), it might seem strange that band leader Vincent Crane invited Paul French to join the band as singer. Pete's first job was to re-record all of the vocals for 'In Hearing Of', at which time Vincent sacked John who left, taking with him drummer Paul Hammond. The result was an album being released, but with only two band members still there. There had been a clash caused by John's love of hard rock, and Vincent wanting to take the band in a different direction. It wasn't the last time that Vincent showed who was boss.

Pete was a different type of singer to John (as can be heard on the American version of "Devil's Answer", included here as one of the bonus cuts, where Pete again overdubbed his vocals onto John's), while Vincent wanted the music to be less hard rock and much more keyboard based. In fact, he removed many of John's guitar parts from the recordings. The album itself is very consistent, and gives an inkling of what the band might have achieved if they had stayed together and if they had decided to consolidate the home market before embarking on breaking the States, but it wasn't meant to be. The booklet goes a long way to trying to make sense of what was troubled times for the band, with lots of quotes from Pete himself. The band toured with Ric Parnell (later in Spinal Tap, believe it or not!) back in the band on drums, and guitarist Steve Bolton, but Pete French was quickly disillusioned with the whole thing and accepted an invitation to join Cactus.

Originally appeared in Feedback #79, May 2004

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The final of the holy trinity of the first three classic Atomic Rooster albums, Vincent Crane and his cohorts here delivered another scorching set fuelled by his brimstone powered Hammond organ on 1971's `In Hearing Of'. A winning mix of heavy proto-prog, lightly R&B, blues and funk influenced rockers and some brooding ballads, plus their delicious and borderline wicked occult tinged trademark lyrics all still make an appearance. However, despite still being very heavy, what makes the album stand out is a slightly lighter touch resulting in perhaps their most mellow, even introspective album, especially coming after all the bluster and noise of the Carl Palmer-powered debut or the aggressive stomp of `Death Walks Behind You.' It's a collection of eight piano/organ driven hard-rocking tunes, without a single poor moment on the entire LP.

`Breakthrough' may be one of the most restrained pieces to appear on an Atomic Rooster album, a classy album opener with an unhurried dramatic build delivered by sophisticated piano and Paul Hammond's commanding drumming, Pete French's raspy vocal delivering the necessary emotion to convey the pleading words. `Break The Ice' is a spiky and addictive guitar-driven rocker with call- and-response-like Hammond purrs and aggressive drumming, and Pete gets to let rip with a suitably throat-shredding vocal. Ballad `Decision Indecision' is one of the warmest Rooster moments ever to appear on one of their studios discs, with a moving thoughtful vocal and some lovely restrained piano that lifts into uplifting clouds of bliss in the soaring middle. `A Spoonful of Bromide...' is a snapping rocker, a frantic piano and Hammond organ soaked instrumental with relentless charging drumming and cymbals with wailing electric guitar full of fire from John Cann.

The classic Rooster track `Black Snake' slithers with a murky unease, Vincent Crane taking the lead vocal and asking "What's in the dark that makes you feel so wild...?". Fuelled by deceptively soothing coatings of wavering Hammond that makes you feel like you're levitating in air, the piece is simply dripping with temptation and lust. Knowing the demons the late Mr Crane went through in his life gives the track an even more ominous and unsettling quality, but his playing and his voice are so full of inspiration and passion. The up-tempo dirty rocker `Heads In The Sky' offers scuzzy heavy metal riffing and wild drumming in the style of Black Sabbath, only with more lashings of rippling and spirited Hammond organ soloing over the top. `The Rock' is a sweaty grooving instrumental with horns and feedback-drenched electric guitar eruptions. There's a sly menace to album closer `The Prince' (even more hammered home with more occult themed lyrics), with a maddening repetition to the piano and drums, not to mention some forceful screeching vocals that makes it quite overwhelming. Pay close attention to the contradictory lyrics, the protagonist clearly having made a very bad deal with a Devil and being confronted with his actions. Powerful stuff.

This particular version of Atomic Rooster would split almost as soon as the album was released, making it all the more special, unique and distinctive. You can't go wrong at all with the first three Rooster albums, and the furious spirit present on this album, as on the earlier two as well, is truly infectious. It's further proof what a talent the troubled Vincent Crane was as a musician, his organ and piano workouts positively crackling with energy, and he's ably backed up by a trio of other great musicians here who get plenty of standout moments throughout as well. The occasional lighter flourishes resulted in one of the most varied and easy to enjoy Atomic Rooster albums, and it's more evidence of what a fine band they were, making `In Hearing Of' is an impossibly strong and always consistent collection of hard-rocking organ-driven tunes, and proto/heavy prog lovers will likely already know they need to own this.

Four stars.

Review by ALotOfBottle
5 stars Atomic Rooster always remained a second league act. However, the band has many personel's links to other progressive rock outfits due to various line-up changes. In Hearing Of Atomic Rooster is the group's most representative album at their peek. The organ-driven, bass-less quartet seems to estrange the heavy proto-metal methods of their previous work Death Walks Behind You. Instead, Atomic Rooster incorporates a funkier and jazzier feel to their material.

The album opener "Breakthrough" is in my book one of the best from the band. What I like is that the main keyboard riff is not used as an opener. Inteligently, the band uses it in the middle of the song as a sort of musical climax, therefore letting the song to build up. Compared to their previous release, John Cann's guitar tone is much mellower and not so heavy. The guitarist's playing seems to be a lot "tastier", even though he doesn't get as many solo parts. "A Spoonful Of Bromide Helps The Pulse Rate Go Down" is another favorite of mine. It's nothing more than a psychedelic vamp on one or two chords, but it has a really interesting and elegant mood to it. "Black Snake" is a slow progressive blues rock number, if you will, which again showcases Vincent Crane's phenomenal virtuosity. Pete French has a fantastic voice and writes great lyrics. Paul Hammond skillfully puts great rhythm foundation for the band with his drumming.

All in all, In Hearing Of Atomic Rooster is an essential heavy prog album and in my opinion Atomic Rooster's strongest effort. Needless to say, In Hearind belongs in every Atomic Rooster fan's collection and is a great way to get into the band's music. Perhaps not a five-star album itself, but I feel like four stars would be a tad too low and a bit inadequate, as it is the best work of the band, which was a great band. Nontheless, highly recommended!

Latest members reviews

4 stars I kind of missed Atomic Rooster first time round. My pre-teen tastes at that time tended to take me more in the direction of the likes of Slade and T Rex. However I caught the revived Rooster twice on the current festival circuit with Pete French on vocals and Steve Bolton on guitar and was migh ... (read more)

Report this review (#1787575) | Posted by Tonbridge Man | Wednesday, September 27, 2017 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Re-Posting of a review I published as CheapPurple on Sputnik Music, slightly edited: Review Summary: Atomic Rooster's last great album, the band tapers their sound quite a bit, but still manages to pack a punch and make a dent in the emerging heavy prog scene of the early-70s. After the succe ... (read more)

Report this review (#1425594) | Posted by PoolmanProgger | Tuesday, June 9, 2015 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Probably the best progressive album ever produced by a group that no one talks about. In Hearing of Atomic Rooster belts out a broad range of great songs from the fast paced 'Breakthrough' the slower and more somber 'Decision/Indecision' to the raucous instrumental 'A Spoonful of Bromide Helps t ... (read more)

Report this review (#154025) | Posted by PensRule11385 | Tuesday, December 4, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The third work released in 1972 "In Hearing Of Atomic Rooster". In addition, it is an upgrade as hard rock. It is overall simple and small feeling hard rock though it is rough music. I feel a progressive stance that succeeds the art rock. The jacket by the Roger Dean is excellent. ... (read more)

Report this review (#60550) | Posted by braindamage | Saturday, December 17, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Ok we are in the presence of a new change in the Rooster's line up, but the songwriting is is compact, more near to the hard prog influences, strong and at the same time full of powerfull riffs guitar. expecially songs like "Break the Ice" and "head in the sky" shows very well this side. But ... (read more)

Report this review (#39969) | Posted by | Friday, July 22, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A great early prog/hard rock album from 1971. Not a bad song on the album and the musicianship is above average for the hard rock of the era. Vincent Crane (former keyboardist on The Crazy World of Arthur Brown) is a very skilled keyboardist/songwriter and the drumming is superb. If you are ... (read more)

Report this review (#32380) | Posted by dalt99 | Thursday, October 7, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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