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ATOMIC ROOSTER

Heavy Prog • United Kingdom


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Atomic Rooster biography
THE CRAZY WORLD OF ARTHUR BROWN having disintegrated after their sole album and their worldwide hit Fire (I am the god of hellfire) Vincent Crane (responsible for the music of that album) and Carl Palmer founded ATOMIC ROOSTER with Nick Graham on bass and vocals. This line-up soon disintegrated (Palmer abandoning them to join ELP), Crane contacted guitarist John DuCann formerly of psych bands THE ATTACK and ANDROMEDA and Paul Hammond on drums to make a seminal early Heavy Metal masterpiece "Death Walks Behind You" and then they hired Pete French, the incredible voice to make their finest album "In Hearing Of...". Most people would agree that this was the better line-up of ROOSTER but the mood was always stormy between Crane and DuCann so they disbanded at the release of the third album. Vincent Crane, always prone to depressions, had to start from scratch again and hired superb vocalist Chris Farlowe (ex-COLOSSEUM) and other men to make another fine album "Made In England" and finally "Nice and Greasy". Those last album are often over-looked by progheads being categorized as funk but this is hardly the case even if the superb use of a horn section on a third of the tracks add a lot of depth to their music. Their most popular hits (they did not spit at the singles market made often reference to the devil or Satan but the general mood was not Satanist as they have been so often categorized along with BLACK SABBATH and BLACK WIDOW. Crane would re-form his band along the years when his health permitted it until his death in 89.

ATOMIC ROOSTER is highly recommended to everyone looking for Hammond organ-driven rock of the early 70's but to anyone looking for high-energy prog. It is responsible for some of the all-time best hard-rock albums and should figure in all collection (you should hide a copy of "In Hearing Of ...." in your grandma's collection just for kicks.

: : : Hugues Chantraine, BELGIUM : : :

This discography list is not easy to verify! If you have the correct information please send a message to the webmaster:

: : : DISCOGRAPHY : : :
1970 - Atomic Rooster (B&C 1970)
1970 - Death Walks Behind You (B&C 1970)
1971 - In Hearing Of (Pegasus 1971)
1972 - Made In England 'Space Cowboy' (Dawn 1972)
1973 - Nice 'n' Greasy 'IV' (Dawn 1973)
1974 - Assortment (comp.) (B&C 1974)
1977 - Home To Roost (comp.) (Mooncrest 1977)
1977 - This Is Atomic Rooster (comp.)
1980 - Atomic Rooster (EMI 1980)
1983 - Head...
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In Hearing ofIn Hearing of
Extra tracks · Import · Remastered
Castle Music UK 2004
Audio CD$4.61
$9.99 (used)
Atomic RooosterAtomic Roooster
Extra tracks · Import
Castle Music UK 2004
Audio CD$4.57
$9.99 (used)
Nice N GreasyNice N Greasy
Import · Remastered
Sanctuary UK 2008
Audio CD$4.57
$11.99 (used)
In HearingIn Hearing
Import
Repertoire 1995
Audio CD$6.77
$15.04 (used)
Death Walks Behind YouDeath Walks Behind You
Import
Indie Europe/Zoom 2008
Audio CD$44.00
Atomic RoosterAtomic Rooster
Extra tracks · Import · Remastered
Sony Japan 2005
Audio CD$46.88
$98.00 (used)
Best of Atomic Rooser 1 & 2Best of Atomic Rooser 1 & 2
Import
Saraja 1999
Audio CD$14.98
$11.99 (used)
Lost BroadcastsLost Broadcasts
Multiple Formats · Import
Ais 2011
DVD$8.58
$10.28 (used)
RaritiesRarities
Import
ANGEL AIR 2009
Audio CD$9.65
$17.56 (used)
Atomic RoosterAtomic Rooster
Extra tracks · Import
Angel Air 2005
Audio CD$10.05
$14.99 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
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USD $20.00 Buy It Now
1h 34m
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ATOMIC ROOSTER Do You Know Who's Looking For You 7" Demo B/w Throw Your Life Awa USD $8.19 Buy It Now 2h 32m
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ATOMIC ROOSTER ~ TOMORROW NIGHT ** 1970 B&C 45 USD $3.42 [3 bids]
8h 6m
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Atomic Rooster - IV aka Nice 'n' Greasy 1973 Elektra white label promo wlp LP USD $23.99 Buy It Now 9h
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ATOMIC ROOSTER, orig first press 1971 LP "Death Walks Behind You" Vincent Crane USD $6.99 [0 bids]
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ATOMIC ROOSTER The Devil Hits Back CD {English import} - Brand New/Sealed!!! USD $2.95 [0 bids]
16h 9m
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16h 43m
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LP death walks behind you ~ USD $23.45
CD in hearing of ~ USD $14.50
LP in hearing of atomic rooster ~ USD $31.01
LP made in england ~ USD $23.45
CD nice 'n' greasy ~ USD $10.07
LP nice 'n' greasy ~ USD $23.45
CD nice 'n' greasy ~ USD $15.51
CD nice 'n'greasy ~ USD $7.44
CD the first 10 explosive years vol.2 ~ USD $16.28


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ATOMIC ROOSTER shows & tickets


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ATOMIC ROOSTER discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ATOMIC ROOSTER top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.61 | 139 ratings
Atomic Roooster
1970
3.82 | 197 ratings
Death Walks Behind You
1970
3.72 | 131 ratings
In Hearing Of Atomic Rooster
1971
3.68 | 80 ratings
Made In England
1972
2.73 | 58 ratings
Nice 'n' Greasy
1973
3.15 | 28 ratings
Atomic Rooster '80
1980
2.97 | 32 ratings
Headline News
1983

ATOMIC ROOSTER Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.88 | 5 ratings
BBC Radio 1 in Concert
1993
3.00 | 1 ratings
Devil's Answer
1998
2.98 | 5 ratings
Live And Raw 1970 & 71
2000
3.00 | 1 ratings
Live In Germany '83
2000
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live At The Marquee 1980
2002

ATOMIC ROOSTER Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.64 | 7 ratings
Atomic Rooster
2003
3.00 | 2 ratings
The Ultimate Anthology
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
Lost Broadcasts
2011

ATOMIC ROOSTER Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 4 ratings
Assortment
1974
3.35 | 6 ratings
Home to Roost
1977
1.00 | 1 ratings
This Is Atomic Rooster
1977
2.05 | 3 ratings
Lose Your Mind
1980
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best Of Atomic Rooster
1987
3.36 | 5 ratings
The Devil Hits Back
1989
3.28 | 9 ratings
The Best & The Rest Of Atomic Rooster
1989
1.91 | 2 ratings
Space Cowboy
1991
3.50 | 4 ratings
The First 10 Explosive Years
1999
2.33 | 3 ratings
Best of Atomic Rooster, Vol. 1-2
1999
3.04 | 5 ratings
Rarities
2000
3.00 | 2 ratings
First 10 Explosive Years, Vol. 2
2001
2.00 | 1 ratings
The Ultimate Chicken Meltdown
2002
3.68 | 5 ratings
Heavy Soul: Anthology
2002
4.00 | 1 ratings
Resurrection
2002
3.48 | 4 ratings
The Best Of Atomic Rooster
2003
3.83 | 3 ratings
The Devil's Answer
2003
0.00 | 0 ratings
Rebel With A Clause ("The First 10 Explosive Years"/ "Headline News" remastered
2005
3.00 | 1 ratings
The Essential Atomic Rooster
2006
5.00 | 1 ratings
Devil's Answer - The Singles Collection
2006
2.80 | 5 ratings
Homework
2008
3.50 | 2 ratings
Anthology 1969-81
2009

ATOMIC ROOSTER Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.95 | 2 ratings
Tomorrow Night
1970
2.91 | 3 ratings
Friday The 13th
1970
2.95 | 2 ratings
Devil's Answer
1971
2.00 | 1 ratings
Stand By Me
1972
2.00 | 1 ratings
Tell Your Story (Sing Your Song) b/w O.D. 7 single
1974
2.00 | 2 ratings
Do You Know Who's Looking For You ?
1980
2.92 | 5 ratings
Play It Again 12''
1981
4.73 | 2 ratings
End Of The Day (12")
1982
0.00 | 0 ratings
Land Of Freedom
1983
0.00 | 0 ratings
Little Live Rooster
1989

ATOMIC ROOSTER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Nice 'n' Greasy  by ATOMIC ROOSTER album cover Studio Album, 1973
2.73 | 58 ratings

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Nice 'n' Greasy
Atomic Rooster Heavy Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

2 stars After a change in direction with the previous album `Made in England' for a more white soul/R&B sound, the fifth Atomic Rooster album `Nice N Greasy' saw the band still carrying on in that style, but to sadly diminishing returns. Apparently recorded in something of a hurry, the results only confirm that statement, and it's a noticeable step down in quality from the previous albums. It's a bunch of mostly just decent tunes, with a pretty useless cover of one of their biggest earlier hits and only one or two pieces that offer the classic dark magic of Rooster albums past. New guitarist Johnny Mandela (actually John Goodshall, later of fusion band Brand X) stands out the most, filling the album with smouldering electric bluesy wailing, and of course (as on all their albums) the drumming, from Rick Parnell, is front and centre and full of fire. Vocalist Chris Farlowe is still in decent form, just unfortunately saddled with mostly inferior material, but the biggest letdown of all is unforgivable - piano/organ player Vincent Crane is so low-key and subdued that it's like he's frequently missing altogether. When the `leader' is mostly missing in action, what chance does an Atomic Rooster album have to truly shine?

Album opener `All Across The Country' is a decent start, a well performed bluesy chill-out, driven by Johnny's slow-burn guitar soloing throughout the entire piece. Farlowe croons along confidently, Parnell drums up a busy storm, and Crane plods along on electric piano, but it takes for the more up-tempo second half for the piece to leap to life and for him to make his presence known with some brief soloing. `Save Me' is an uninspired horn driven remake of `Friday the 13th' from the self-titled debut album, with a tiresome histrionic vocal from Chris, only the little snarling electric guitar fills before the `Somebody...please save me' pre-chorus moments lift the track, bringing a little metal danger. `Voodoo In You' is the first standout moment, a slowly grooving classic darker Rooster track full of dark lust with that slight occult tinged unease they're known for. Johhny's simmering guitar leads the way, Chris purrs a seductive echoing vocal, but sadly Vincent is completely swamped by the other players and should have been mixed more upfront. `Goodbye Planet Earth' that follows is a slow funky jam dominated by Chris's hoarse bellow, but it's dull with a repetitive vocal that never really goes anywhere, and worse still, Vincent seems totally absent from the piece altogether.

`Take One To Toke' opens the second side with a heavy jazz/funk jam, with just a little aggressive piano, chugging wah-wah electric guitar and improvised vocals, but the `Do you want it, do you need it' words couldn't be more tired and tedious. You can hear Crane's Hammond straining to emerge at the end, but it retreats back with not even a whimper. Much better is the surprising gospel ballad `Can't Find A Reason', with big orchestration and classy warm piano from Vincent, and it's easily one of the most purely romantic and spiritual moments to appear on a Rooster album. Finally we get one of those infectious killer instrumental workouts that light up all their other albums, and for the first time on the LP Crane's Hammond organ and electric piano roars to life on `Ear In The Snow'. It's ably backed up by scratchy electric guitar and nimble unhinged drumming, and the entire band totally cooks on this one, easily making it the highlight of the disc. Sadly the promisingly titled album closer `Satan's Wheel' doesn't deliver much. Opening with jazz-fusion electric guitar ripples and creeping tip-toeing piano, some dreamy spacier verses are fine, but a boisterous chorus is repeated over and over, never achieving much at all. Damn, with a title like that, it should have been the perfect opportunity for some infernal brimstone-fuelled Hammond organ from Crane, but it never shows.

This version of the Atomic Rooster band would quickly splinter after this recording, until a new line-up reformed around Vincent Crane in 1980 in more of a heavy metal style. The Castle Music CD reissue adds a few bonus tracks, as well as a detailed booklet with many fascinating anecdotes and quotes from Chris Farlowe, doing what it can to make the album more completely appealing. Half of `Nice N Greasy' is worthwhile, the rest is throwaway if well-performed, but there might just be enough to get stronger fans over the line. Newcomers should check out the first three albums, followed by `Made in England, and only then look into this one. This is really for more forgiving die-hard followers of the band, and they'll definitely find something worthwhile here, even if it's often a pale imitation of the band at their strengths.

Two and a half stars.

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 In Hearing Of Atomic Rooster by ATOMIC ROOSTER album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.72 | 131 ratings

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In Hearing Of Atomic Rooster
Atomic Rooster Heavy Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

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.

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  Play It Again 12'' by ATOMIC ROOSTER album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1981
2.92 | 5 ratings

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Play It Again 12''
Atomic Rooster Heavy Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Atomic Rooster was a trio when this gem "Play It Again" was released. Vincent was still a powerhouse keyboardist, John still sung with passion and played that axe with zeal, and drummer Preston slammed the skins with admirable force. The 12 inch vinyl is an oddity and flies by swiftly with only one track on side one and 2 on side two played at 45rpm. I grabbed the vinyl at a second hand market as it sat between some Abba and ACDC albums and jumped into my hands. The cover art is typically garish and is actually identical to the compilation that was available toward the end of the naughty nineties. The nudity and sorcery would be enough to sell it I guess, but I was more impressed that it was available for only $2.50 and not scratched.

Well, I had to indulge and when I played it I knew it was the heavier side of the band. Play It Again is a guitar rocker with some great hooks and decent singing. Start To Live is a slammer with the raucous speed and guitar bashing of John, accompanied by staccato keyboard played viciously by Vincent. It is always great to hear Devil's Answer, and this live version is a belter. The roar of the crowd can be heard especially at the end of it.

Overall the recording is high quality even on my scratchy record player. It was worth picking up and I recommend it to the prog faithful who admire the heavy prog of Atomic Rooster.

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 In Hearing Of Atomic Rooster by ATOMIC ROOSTER album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.72 | 131 ratings

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In Hearing Of Atomic Rooster
Atomic Rooster Heavy Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

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

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 First 10 Explosive Years, Vol. 2 by ATOMIC ROOSTER album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2001
3.00 | 2 ratings

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First 10 Explosive Years, Vol. 2
Atomic Rooster Heavy Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars This is the second (and apparently final) compilation of rare songs put together by John Du Cann featuring the Du Cann, Vincent Crane and Paul Hammond line-up. They were a great live band, certainly the best act I saw on the college circuit, and the booklet is interesting, with some great photos. But, there is hardly any information on the source of the music! Anoraks like me need to know where the songs originate from on collections like these. It was only on reading the press release that I discovered that "Broken Window" was the last ever song recorded by this line-up.

The result is an album that annoyingly sits between two areas. It is fascinating for the fan, but they would like to know more, yet there are not enough versions of well known numbers to attract the casual listener. A shame, as musically this album shows how powerful a unit they could be with the Hammond organ and drums driving Du Cann further on both guitar and vocals. Less waffle about how great they were and more data about the songs please!

Originally appeared in Feedback #64, Oct 01

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 Rarities by ATOMIC ROOSTER album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2000
3.04 | 5 ratings

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Rarities
Atomic Rooster Heavy Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars It does exactly what it says on the tin! This is an album comprised solely of unreleased or rare versions with some demos and radio ads thrown in for good measure. However, although this is obviously aimed at the hard-core fan, there are some real gems that show even to the uninitiated that here was a band that never really fulfilled their potential. Listen to the live in the studio version of "Death Walks Behind You" from 1981, and be impressed with the sheer power.

There is even the original demo version of "Devil's Answer" from 1970, with a young Mr. Palmer on drums. The ads were for American radio, and sound quite funny and extremely dated. Their last 'hit' was "Play It Again" and the demo is also on here from 1981.

Overall an interesting compilation that shows just a little of what this fine band were all about. An excellent booklet, as one would expect from Angel Air, which makes this a 'must purchase' for the fan.

Originally appeared in Feedback #61, Feb 2001

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 Live And Raw 1970 & 71 by ATOMIC ROOSTER album cover Live, 2000
2.98 | 5 ratings

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Live And Raw 1970 & 71
Atomic Rooster Heavy Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars While the sound quality of this CD may not be the best in the world there are plenty of warnings, both in the title and the booklet. What is important is that the first half of the CD contains four live cuts from the line up which included Carl Palmer on drums, and these are the only live recordings known to exist from that era. Recorded at the Paris Theatre with Mr. John Peel introducing each number, and giving the fans some history, such as the fact that John Du Cann had only been in the band a month. All of these four songs are interesting but to me the highlight must be the instrumental "Gershatser" which contains some great Hammond Organ from Vincent Crane, but also a drum solo from Carl. This is how ELP would have sounded if they had become a hard rock band. By the time that Rooster returned to the Paris Theatre a year later Carl had left to join some other guys, and he was replaced by Paul Hammond. This is a very different sounding band, as John had by now removed a lot of the jazz influences and had made them very much a hard rock band. Of the four songs, one is "Tomorrow Night", which was their second biggest hit.

Originally appeared in Feedback #58

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 End Of The Day (12 Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1982
4.73 | 2 ratings

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End Of The Day (12")
Atomic Rooster Heavy Prog

Review by presdoug

5 stars This Atomic Rooster EP is unfortunately overlooked and under the radar for a lot of fans of the group, and that is definitely a mistake-for fans of the classic period of the band, this record is a dream come true.

In 1980, Atomic Rooster, now with guitarist John du Cann back in the fold, released an exciting album known as "Atomic Rooster 80", and it was a great hard rocking effort, exhibiting that no holds barred Rooster sound akin in some ways to the Death Walks Behind You music. It was not really that promoted or known by fans, with the result a vote mainly of indifference. While a group like Budgie rode the tide of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal in a successful way, AR did not, perhaps even though they had a hard rocking side to their sound, their credentials were more progressive than Budgie, and with the result that fans did not turn out in droves to see them in the early 80s during the UK heavy metal upsurge.

An unfortunate misconception is that Rooster, as the eighties progressed, were at a low ebb, musically, perhaps because their weakest effort, 83's Headline News album, was the one that was on the radar for a lot of people. In between 1980 and 1983, the band produced a couple of EPs on Polydor, the second of which is End Of The Day from 1982.

The result is a totally different sound than Headline News, and even an improvement on the 1980 album. End Of The Day has three songs, and for the first time on record again is the lineup that produced the Death Walks Behind You album, Crane, du Cann, and Paul Hammond (but with guest bassist Big John McCoy added). For fans of the classic Death Walks sound, this EP has everything you could wish for-an exciting, gutsy groove, Du Cann and Crane playing together, and playing off each other in that inimitable Rooster fashion with Hammond's heavy drum beat in the background. Du Cann does the vocals in that no holds barred way of his that is so infectious and keeps you glued to the song at hand.

After side one's End Of The Day track is side two's Living Underground, and a real treat, a new recording of the classic Rooster hit Tomorrow Night- the band are in such fine form, and rock your socks off in the process!

This is everything appealing about Atomic Rooster, but with an updated, improved production, though never loosing that gutsy, in your face appeal. A perfect record for those who think the band had lost it's way in later times, and once you hear this, i guarantee you will have found your way! Five stars

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 In Hearing Of Atomic Rooster by ATOMIC ROOSTER album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.72 | 131 ratings

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In Hearing Of Atomic Rooster
Atomic Rooster Heavy Prog

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 Headline News by ATOMIC ROOSTER album cover Studio Album, 1983
2.97 | 32 ratings

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Headline News
Atomic Rooster Heavy Prog

Review by Andrea Cortese
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars This is the seventh and final effort of Atomic Rooster, the musical testament of Vincent Crane (who sadly died few years after its release) and in fact the album is generally regarded as a solo effort by Crane.

The album sounds like a cross between later Pink Floyd (it even features the collaboration of David Gilmour) and Hawkwind with the addition of 80s electro-rock (or is that new wave influence?) that sounds today a little bit dated. The general mood is far from what this band has accustomed us to in the early seventies. However the songs are far from awful: Crane's playing is haunting (he even provides vocals); he probably was on a creative high at that time. The only negative remark is that new wave type of sound that weakens the whole impact of the record.

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