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LUCKY LEIF & THE LONGSHIPS

Robert Calvert

Psychedelic/Space Rock


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Robert Calvert Lucky Leif & The Longships album cover
2.86 | 15 ratings | 4 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Unnamed track (0:17)
2. Ship Of Fools (4:17)
3. The Lay Of The Surfers (3:03)
4. Voyaging To Vinland (4:14)
5. The Making Of Midgard (2:21)
6. Brave New World (3:58)
7. Magical Potion (3:06)
8. Moonshine In The Mountains (2:38)
9. Storm Chant Of The Skraelings (4:52)
10. Volstead O Vodeo Do (4:13)
11. Phase Locked Loop (1:56)
12. Ragna Rock (5:42)

Total Time: 34:55

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Robert Calvert / Vocals, fjord horn, trumpet, harmonica, pecussion, globe, Aeolian piano
- Paul Fraser Rudolph / Bass, Rhythm and lead guitars, backing vocals , percussion
- Mike Nichols / Drums Percussion
- Brian Turrington / Bass guitar, piano
- Sal Maida / Bass guitar
- Andy Roberts / Kriwaczek string organ, guitar, harmonica, backing vocals, percussion
- Michael Moorcock / Banjo
- Nik Turner / Saxophone
- Simon House / Violin

Releases information

(UK LP) United Artists UAG 29852
(UK CD) Beat Goes On BGOCD 2

Thanks to Rob The Good for the addition
and to easy livin for the last updates
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ROBERT CALVERT Lucky Leif & The Longships ratings distribution


2.86
(15 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
0%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(13%)
13%
Good, but non-essential (67%)
67%
Collectors/fans only (20%)
20%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

ROBERT CALVERT Lucky Leif & The Longships reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Heptade
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Hawkfans on Progarchives should be ashamed of themselves! Bob Calvert is criminally underreviewed here. IMO, most of Hawkwind's best work was done under Calvert's influence, particularly the magnificent "Quark Strangeness and Charm". Unfortunately, his solo work, while undeniably the work of the unstable genius that he was, is a bit spotty. "Captain Lockheed' was a great work, almost the lost Hawks album, full of energy, humour and classic tunes. He tried a similar formula on this second album, but with less success. A strange theme about Vikings discovering America is fairly confusing as it veers from the proggy to pastiche. The Beach Boys parody "The Lay of the Surfers" is amusing, but not something you'd listen to everyday, as is the bluegrassy "Moonshine in the Mountains". The more serious tunes like "Ship of Fools" and "Ragna Rock" work better, sounding like a mixture of space rock and Roxy Music-ish glam, no doubt due to Eno's presence as producer on the recording. Paul Rudolph makes notable guitar contributions, and Michael Moorcock, Simon House and Nik Turner are also present. I do find that the marriage of topic and music does not work as well on this album as it did on Calvert's first, but no serious Hawkfan or lover of the weirder sort of seventies concept album should avoid giving it a listen.

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Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Good vibrations

The late Robert Calvert recorded this his second solo album in 1975, a year after his debut and two years after leaving Hawkwind. This time he called upon the services of Brian Eno as producer, and took his concept from the pre-Columbus visits of the Vikings to America.

The music is surprisingly accessible, ranging from the more melodic side of Hawkwind to folk and pop. Various notable guests appear along the way, including Nik Turner on sax, Michael Moorcock on banjo, and Simon House on violin. The highly gifted Andy Roberts also appears on a range of instruments.

The opening "Ship of fools" turns out to be one the album's highlights, offering a mid paced pop based song whose simplicity disguises a fine composition. "The lay of the surfers" is a tongue in cheek tribute to the Beach Boys including the lyric "I guess you could call us Barbarians" sung to the tune of "Barbara Ann". "Voyage to Vinland" ventures towards folk territories, the acoustic basis of the song suiting the melody well.

"The Making of Midgard" is an odd, unaccompanied poem recital with the reading multi-tracked and offset, along the lines of Queen's "The prophet's song". It contrasts well with the following "Brave new world", a wispy upbeat song with a country style chorus. "Magical potion" is a funky but cynical look at modern America while "Moonshine in the mountains" lives up to its name by diverting into a backwoods style Dukes of Hazzard sing-a-long.

"Storm Chant Of The Skraelings", the second longest track but still under 5 minutes, has more in common with Calvert's work with the British Amon Duul The slightly distorted vocals and sundry sound effects make the track the most intriguing here. Despite its lengthy sub-title, the reggae influenced "Volstead O Vodeo Do" is the low point of the album, even if I does sound like plenty of fun was had recording it. The brief "Phased lock loop" fares little better, apparently being the sound of someone re-tuning a radio. We close with "Ragna rock", the longest track on the album at a shade under 6 minutes. The song returns us to the accessible rock of the early songs on the album, the track benefiting from some strong guitar rhythms.

"Lucky lief.." was the cause of some divide among Calvert fans, mainly due to its diversity. It seems there was some friendly disagreement between Calvert and Eno about how best to present that diversity, with Calvert wanting to add brief linking narratives. Eno won the day though, and the tracks are left as isolated and disjointed pieces. This has the effect of rather annulling the concept of the album, as there is no continuity whatsoever. On the plus side, the diversity of sound means that there is something for pretty much everyone here. On the whole, a decent album by Calvert, with plenty to enjoy.

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Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars After the great "Starfighters" theme album, this Viking expedition to Vinland does not succeed very well in my opinion. Album starts with horn fanfares, leading to messy and tired sounding hard rock riffings. The melodies are guaranteed Calvert style, but there doesn't seem to be much enthusiasm in the stuff. Along the trip we get Beach Boys resembling surf-pop pastiches, multivocal march hymns, stoned rockings not leading to anywhere, annoyingly echoed reciting reminding a poor Monty Python joke, and lots of jolly funky loungings in country music spirited melodies, all treated in a light Hawkwind-styled manner. Funnily named "Ragna Rock" (Ragnarök is the apocalypse of Viking sagas or something such boring) is the best track here, direly placed as the last song of a quite dull album, so it is possible the some fans never get it to the end and hear it (well, they do not miss terribly much even in this case). I would recommend this only to the Hawkwind completionists, at least listen trough it carefully before purchasing.

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Latest members reviews

4 stars This album tells about Vikings' trip to America. Looking at the music side of this album I have to admit that "Leif..." is a unique collage of different music styles. There are tracks kept in Hawk-climate ("Ship Of Fools", "Ragna Rock" or electrically "Storm Chant Of The Skraelings") also You ... (read more)

Report this review (#87818) | Posted by Patique | Monday, August 21, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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