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THE ARTHUR BROWN BAND

Proto-Prog • United Kingdom


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The Arthur Brown Band biography
ARTHUR BROWN was one of the prime movers behind the Progressive underground in late 1960s England, famous for his outlandish stage act which included psychedelic robes and a helmet of fire! He was born in Whitby, England during an air raid in 1944, after a failed bid to study Law at King's College in London he studied philosophy at Reading University. After singing in various R&B groups, he formed his band THE CRAZY WORLD OF ARTHUR BROWN: this consisted of Brown (vocals), Vincent Crane (organ) and Drachen Theaker (drums), the latter of which would soon be replaced by a young Carl PALMER after the band's US tour. Emotional problems caused Crane to leave the band, and he later formed ATOMIC ROOSTER from the ashes of the CRAZY WORLD...

They cut their self-titled debut album in 1968, and is a unique work of art which makes great use of Brown's scorching vocals, bizarre lyrics (& poetry) and Crane's Hammond Organ. THE CRAZY WORLD OF ARTHUR BROWN is recommended to all Prog fans who are interested in the early, underground days of Prog or Hammond Organ-driven rock with a psychedelic/theatrical touch. It is also recommended to fans who wish to trace the origins of ATOMIC ROOSTER, out of which (along with THE NICE & KING CRIMSON) grew ELP.

: : : Rob Cook, NEW ZEALAND : : :

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THE ARTHUR BROWN BAND discography


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THE ARTHUR BROWN BAND top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.07 | 135 ratings
The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
1968
2.29 | 12 ratings
Dance With Arthur Brown
1975
2.96 | 9 ratings
Chisholm In My Bosom
1977
2.82 | 15 ratings
Strangelands
1988
2.33 | 3 ratings
Tantric Lover (1st edition)
2000
3.00 | 2 ratings
Tantric Lover (2nd edition)
2002
3.17 | 6 ratings
Vampire Suite
2003
0.00 | 0 ratings
Voice of Love with Rik Patten
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
Zim Zam Zim
2014

THE ARTHUR BROWN BAND Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.04 | 4 ratings
Order From Chaos : Live 1993
1995
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live At High Voltage
2011
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Magic Hat with Rik Patten
2012

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THE ARTHUR BROWN BAND Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Strangelands by BROWN BAND, THE ARTHUR album cover Studio Album, 1988
2.82 | 15 ratings

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Strangelands
The Arthur Brown Band Proto-Prog

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

2 stars ...and along came Arthur, one of the most extravagant and brilliant musicians of the day. From the bluesy origins of the british boom he took the bold step into territory rarely tread before him. Mad as a hatter, obviously, but equipped with the most focused of minds, visionary and brave he set forth digging out a piece of the musical world that belonged to him and him alone.

The first album was a sort of compromise between blues and progressive rock which turned out really well. I suppose the album made quite an impact with it's theatrical vocals and scary, to be frank, compositions. Yet I cannot feel that the album was anything but a compromise where Brown constrained himself beyond his strength to make an album that would appeal to parts or any of the audience. Why? Simply because the next album he recorded, yet never saw released back then, was a chaotic piece of musical tapestry far beyond any normal mind. The album was in fact abnormal. The only sane thing about it is it's title, Strangelands, which encapsulates everything the album is. Strange and set in a strange land.

To listen to this album you need to be prepared for something beyond complex. There are no songs or epics in the normal sense. What you get is a bunch of musicians painting a canvas of distorted, twisted and deranged motives, with colours able to scare you. Sort of like a horror movie twisting your brain. You will not find structure. Well, that's not completely true. I will explain.

The Arthur Brown band of 1969 is the equivalent of modern day Mayhem, the norwegian black metal band. The reason for this statement is the immaculate ability to walk the ever so thin line between utter chaos and some sense of structure. Buried between the chaos you do find traces of order, proof of the true visions and musical skill possessed by the band, or both bands in this case. That is the scary part, the slight presence of order in a chaotic setting. Sort of like a workplace for orchs, really. Amidst all that chaos and devestation they do manage to build something that's both functional and impressive, given the circumstances.

With all that said, I must bear witness and let my personal feelings fly high, which, all things concerned is the purpose of reviews, and proclaim that this is not particularily enjoyable. I find it intriguing and interesting but not enjoyable. There are no real paths to follow and no real songs to endear me. The only real reward is after the album is over is the feeling of being impressed by how anyone is able to produce something like this. That is impressive but does not transform the music into anything other than noise, albeit with a sugar coating. (Though the coating must have gone off.)

I recommend you, if you like Arthur Brown, to give it a spin or two since it is a sort of progressional phase. "Galactic zoo dossier" was totally different and "Kingdom Come" (my favorite) is a sort of blend between the latter and "Strangelands". Purely an interesting note in the annals of Brown.

Conclusion: I'll give this album two stars, based only only on the fact that it is an impressive piece of work. That's all.

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 The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown  by BROWN BAND, THE ARTHUR album cover Studio Album, 1968
4.07 | 135 ratings

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The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
The Arthur Brown Band Proto-Prog

Review by Xonty

5 stars The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown's debut is definitely one of my favourite psychedelic albums. An incredibly colourful and dreamy pre-prog album, yet still bold and well structured.

The album starts off with "Prelude - Nightmare" with luxurious chords and tunes which pushes onto the keyboard-based verses with Arthur Brown's unique vocal style, similar only to that of Ian Gillan of Deep Purple. The following track "Fanfare - Fire Poem" employs more musical styles and texture to the album. The fanfare evolves into an excellently lively organ playing as Brown recites an extraordinary, deliciously psychedelic poem leading you into the classic track "Fire". This track probably needs no description as you've probably come across the song before but just in case, "Fire" is really the essence of the album crammed into 3 minutes and presented to you as a catchy psychedelic tune with multiple hooks throughout.

From here onwards, the album sort of starts to go downhill or is not really as consistent as before. "Come And Buy" is more steady going song and acts nicely as a break from the earlier musical chaos. The melody is also quite relaxing, with the occasional upbeat section, although the lyrics aren't as adventurous as I would have liked in some places. "Time" further brings down the album into a calmer state into a wonderfully psychedelic dream, with more loud occasional interruptions to keep the listener interested. This segues into "Confusion" where familiar tunes are heard. Nothing too different is heard here.

Starting Side 2, an excellent rendition of Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I Put A Spell On You" is heard. The band really make it their own, and create a brilliant atmosphere through the wall of sound. The Great "Spontaneous Apple Creation" follows with a bizzare intro, more creative poetry and chord progressions. Intriguing effects are used to fill the air along with vivid drumming. Overall quite an odd song but fits in nicely to this album. "Rest Cure" is another more mainstream attempt as heard on "Fire" (of which it is the B-side of). It makes a great upbeat fun song onto the album but upholds the adventurous standards as heard previously.

"I've Got Money" - a James Brown cover - has incredibly soulful sections which the whole of the band contribute to greatly, especially as the keyboard chords build up to the chorus. "Child Of My Kingdom" was a little bit of a letdown, not as memorable as the previous songs but still good. The song carries some nice Canterbury Scene-esque verses, with honky-tonk keyboards and steadily rocking rhythms. Interesting little tunes fill in any empty sections in the solos towards the end, without making them too clustered, and in effect creates a well structured ending to the album.

A(+) - One of the greatest and most underrated gems of the psychedelic era. Must be heard by anyone who likes the song "Fire" or bands like Deep Purple.

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 The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown  by BROWN BAND, THE ARTHUR album cover Studio Album, 1968
4.07 | 135 ratings

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The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
The Arthur Brown Band Proto-Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

4 stars The record "The Crazy World of Arthur Brown" from 1968 is a powerful record. It is early and inspired many musicians afterwards. In this music I mostly hear progressive rock but Browns mighty voice also discovers lands that later were showed in the hard rock and metal genres. Its cover shows a face painted in different colours and a pink star signs the name of band and record.

Arthur Brown sings, speaks, Vincent Crane plays keyboard and organ, Sean Nicholas plays bass and Drachen Theaker drums on this disc. The best songs on this album are "Come and Buy", a deep song with poetic lyrics, "Fire" a mighty melody and a gorgeous organ background, "Child of my Kingdom" which is magic, long and has some nice whistleling, "Prelude/Nightmare" where we first meet Browns voice and "I put a spell on you" which is a psychedelic hit. "Time/Confusion" is like a psychedelic rock lulluby and also fantastic.

Sometimes Brown reads and sometimes he screams and the full album is theatrical. His voice are so clear and distinct. What's most obvious in this music is the dramatic organs that show how you can do progressive music.Beside of that we have Brown thatrical voice that is something totally different with earlier pop song heroes. This is a new voice with integrity and power and music which can be considered pure art.

This album combines a dated but wonderful sound of the sixties I love with something very new and forward-looking and that makes it so essential. I like The Web's record from the same year "Fully Interlocking" and there are similarities I like between those two otherwise quite different gems. I recommend you this music because it's the roots of prog and it is prog.

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 Chisholm In My Bosom by BROWN BAND, THE ARTHUR album cover Studio Album, 1977
2.96 | 9 ratings

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Chisholm In My Bosom
The Arthur Brown Band Proto-Prog

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Anyone looking for musical insanity? Yes? Well, maybe you ought to check out the Galactoc zoo dossiers instead, because Chisholm in my bosom isn't really that insane. Is it any good, then? The album possessess certain qualities and undoubted charm, that's for sure.

The first six tracks on the album are all listenable at variyng degrees. Nothing special or overly brilliant, just enjoyable pop-rock. The greatest effort and the track which makes the album worth every penny is the title track. It is not as crazy or wild as the earlier stuff by Arthur Brown but it is a lovely track, brilliant in it's own right and a delight to listen to.

For the last few days I have dedicated my attention to this particular track. It has got some wonderful progressive elements which strikes great chords with me. The lyrics are amusing, the vocal melodies great and the instrumentation fabolous (as expected). The british quirkiness is there, alongside a feel of inspiration, though maybe slightly forced.

Anyway, you could skip the first six tracks of the album, as far as I am concerned, and head straight for the title track. Get on board and make that journey towards Chisholm. I dare say you won't be disappointed.

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 The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown  by BROWN BAND, THE ARTHUR album cover Studio Album, 1968
4.07 | 135 ratings

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The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
The Arthur Brown Band Proto-Prog

Review by ExittheLemming
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Lost Soul Music

Despite Brown's perennial citation as Godfather to the infant Prog, I'm not so sure he can continue to explain away the lingering cot deaths suffered by the likes of Yes and ELP or even that flushed denial behind which a Crimson prince's defence rests from charges of filling crushed velvet diapers. Arthur has always been an entertainer first, an artist second and an apologist for the worst excesses of his beneficiaries a distant third. It's only within the cosmiche cul de sac of 'Prog' that the description 'psychedelic soul singer' would be considered a pejorative one. This is unequivocally popular music albeit with subject matter, imagery, structural and textural innovation hitherto unprecedented at the time of it's release.

Spoiler warning: people whose taste you routinely abhor as crassly venal and shallow will 'dig' this record just as much as you do but for different reasons. Deal with it and move on esoteric hippy snobs. My dad is 81 years young and he loves this album hugely (his only reservation being that yes, the singer is certainly 'doolally' and that no, he wouldn't, even though he is on fire)

Arthur asks: what does Pop music want to be when it grows up? His question went largely unheeded but received the best response to date perhaps by Genesis, who on both Get Em Out By Friday and Supper's Ready share that quintessentially English take on rock with a vestige of R'n'B soulfulness (via the Gabriel tonsils) together with the storytelling elements provided by theatre that manage to avoid kitschy camp until the Lamb surrendered the keys to the Shari Lewis panto wardrobe.

Such is the convoluted, fractious and contradictory nature of how this album came into being, it might serve us well to consider several factors in its appraisal. Like most people, I cling to the comforting idea that my favourite records of all time are the painstaking result of innovative and visionary thinking, attention to detail and unswerving integrity. Well cherubs, we can spit all those pacifiers straight out of the cot now methinks. From what I can glean from a variety of competing sources, the only clear-cut consensus on offer here is that it's a miracle this dissolute, unwashed, inept, petulant and naive conglomerate of talents produced an enduring masterpiece as opposed to something that sounds like a fire in a pet shop. Producer Kit Lambert rejected the original band recordings featuring Brown, Crane, Theaker and Greenwood and opted instead to re-record the entire project in a variety of London studios using alternate personnel of his own choosing. These included John Paul Jones, Jon Hiseman, Aynsley Dunbar and John Marshall (Soft Machine) plus the addition of orchestral parts prepared by hired arrangers. It seems that Lambert and 'associate producer' Pete Townshend had also rejected the original orchestral arrangements submitted by Crane and despite what some Crazy World band-members lament as cheesy 'Danger Man' music in their place, I find the brass, flute and strings to be unfailingly inspired, commensurately subtle or dramatic when required and lend proceedings an elegant sheen that sits in perfect counterbalance to the gritty R'n'B grunt of the band. If such prevarication were not dispiriting enough for what was a new and untried group, the last straw must have been that 'executive decision' by Track Records to revert back to the original band recordings for the final release after much needlessly expensive delay. Organist Vincent Crane grew up very quickly at around this time and came to see Lambert's cynical modus operandi at close quarters: keep the band in debt so they can't leave.

Anyone who had attended the earlier 'Vincent Crane Combo' playing a gig in Brighton featuring Arthur circa 67 would have been privy to a phenomenon distinctly at odds with the music we are being asked to consider herein:

'It was very jazzy at that point' witness and future Crazy World drummer Drachen Theaker recalls. 'It was basically Vincent doing his set with Arthur squawking over it, coming on in a variety of different costumes and behaving like a maniac!' Crane had his reservations about this new teaming, but concluded: 'I felt compelled to work with this mad bastard, because he had a rapport with and control of the audience that was quite remarkable'

For me, this ability to intuit and manipulate (for benign purposes) a room full of potentially implacable, indifferent or discerning souls is a hard won skill that only entertainers of the calibre of Arthur Brown, Alex Harvey, Screaming Jay Hawkins, Ray Davies, Peter Gabriel and Alice Cooper could pass muster. Crane's admission here goes right to the heart of Prog's innate weakness i.e. it was mainly populated by long winded instrumentalists who couldn't string two words together.

Brown's sorcerer's apprenticeship was served during a residency at the Moulin Rouge in Paris where he entertained, amongst other luvvies from the transiently fab and groovy 'A' list, Ornette Coleman and Salvador Dali. It was during this wood-shedding period that Arthur devised and refined many of the performance techniques and ideas that were to provide such an irresistible momentum to his already burgeoning reputation. The flaming head-dress, mummer play/death mask face paint, multiple costume changes and theatrical props all became inseparable from the live experience that concert goers were immersed in by the Crazy World entourage. (not to mention that curious elbow flailing dance of his that resembles a much taller and skinnier Chubby Checker with Irritable Bowel Syndrome) If you want to catch a glimpse of what the Crazy World of Arthur Brown sounded like before the patronage of Kit Lambert and Pete Townshend then cast an ear to Strangelands, that abandoned and mercifully unreleased 2nd album that betrays it's lineage of free-form/jazz w.a.n.k extemporisation be-getting total freedom for those not remotely equipped to deal with same. Say what you like about Kit Lambert, but he had a nous for polishing unrefined talent despite not possessing a sliver of musical ability in his entire junkie soul. The 60's is not wanting for similarly flamboyant partying svengalis like Oldham, Epstein, Stratton-Smith et al and it's hard to imagine the longevity of a body of work by the counter culture without the intervention of those its creators habitually considered as irredeemably 'square' on first acquaintance. Pop group managers and midwives have some unlikely common ground: they often have perfectly justifiable cause to slap the baby. I know it's just pure speculation but I've long harboured the suspicion that the discipline, brevity, accessibility and imagery harnessed by this music was the result of a bartered compromise between the competing agendas of Brown/Crane and Lambert/Townshend. Art v Rock - not even Mrs Schoenberg wanted to f**k Schoenberg

Left to their own whooshy and sparkly devices, many a blurred visionary from the late 60's would have quickly disappeared up their own backside without the tutelage and business acumen provided by the aforementioned reviled 'suits'

It's unlikely that Mr B would have been afforded more than a passing asterisk in the margins of popular music shorn of the global smash hit represented by Fire. Denied that launchpad to what should have been a stellar trajectory fell considerably short of allowing Arthur to escape the wearying and stifling gravitas of our forbidding planet. Sued for stealing the melody from an avowedly drippy love song created by Messrs Finesilver and Kerr called Baby, You're a Long Way Behind (how hideously apt, like a chainsaw franchise suing a beaver) Arthur and Vincent lost most of their royalties as a result and waved goodbye to unforetold riches and welcomed home the ageing bulimic calf. I've never yet managed to locate a version of the purported original, so it begs the question: how many songs that have come to be considered emblematic of an entire decade were written in F minor?

Word to the wise Prog kinder: when listening to this record you should dispense entirely with those spurious 'mono version' tracks that clutter up most CD versions of this release. Program yer CD spinner to play from the sexy stereo Prelude Nightmare right through to Child of my Kingdom, pour yourself a measure of success, unleash the hush puppies, take your ears off the hook and simply luxuriate in one of the finest 40 (ish) minutes of your life you can enjoy as a willing and fully clothed accessory to crimes against inhumanity.

What strikes many as odd or unusual about this album is the complete absence of guitar and that the iconic single Fire is but just one part of a song suite spanning the entire first side of the original vinyl LP. This had the working title Tales From The Neurotic Nights of Hieronymous Anonymous and that Townshend and Lambert declined to use such was probably wise. They correctly surmised that discerning and inquisitive listeners i.e. you lot, would trace the line if provided with just the dots. Joe Blow on the other hand, does NOT find descriptions of - thematically linked albeit discrete song/spoken word sections that portray an individual soul's descent into the infernal region a.k.a hell y'all- particularly inviting or helpful. Joseph B would be perfectly justified in considering such a menu item to be 'the veggie choice' offered by those who describe a spade as a 'manual earth moving implement'. Here is where we meet the kernel of genius at the heart of Arthur Brown and it is hewn from the same stuff as that of the seemingly incongruous Roger Waters from Dark Side of the Moon i.e. both articulate very elusive and unpalatable ideas in such terms that they can be understood by anyone provided they have a pulse (the price of your entry is sin) The intellect is not required here to appreciate a moral fable that circumvents entirely the subsequent demarcation of the arts into hierarchical consumer 'brands'. There are those in our midst who naturally fear such deviant atavism as how else can they either champion or pour scorn on such music that stubbornly refuses to belong to any particular aisle in their upmarket ubermarket?

One of the pitfalls of mainstream success is that the particular is much more often confused with the general e.g. if a demographic think you are the devil and have come to devour their toddlers, drink granny's blood, molest her kittens and defecate in the local church fount, who are we to disabuse them of this deluded but lucrative notion? Alice Cooper, who I love to bits, has exploited this phenomenon in the pursuit of a very long and rewarding career.

Thus in the stubborn and unyielding popular consciousness, Arthur will forever be inextricably linked with the demonic iconography of what has since mutated into a particularly obtuse niche of the market place where confirmation bias is a plus (go figure hirsute paleface) Like anyone who exemplifies a strident humanitarianism wedded to an unstinting belief in the inviolability of the individual spirit, Arthur would be saddened by the idea of 'Satan' having been reduced to Rawk's favourite cartoon fetish villain. Let's be clear: the hero depicted in Arthur's tale is NOT a moral monster called to atone for his transgressions or a life of feckless debauchery. The unnamed protagonist is Everyman, he is one of us, an ordinary chap who has in parts, an innate and learned moral compass, is flawed but tries to be a good guy, doesn't shove his values down anyone's throat and probably sends his Mum flowers on her birthday. The real sin or crime that Arthur warns us about so brilliantly and thrillingly is that of unthinking conformity, consumerism (Come and Buy) self serving belief systems (God brother, you lie) and pretty much like everyone in our orbit, we would prefer your sincerity to your virtue. I would even forgive the Welsh (provided they emigrate).

I do have serious reservations however about the lazy association of Gothic that is thrown like careless confetti in the direction of this wondrous marriage of soul and psyche. I mean, it's got some spine tingling Hammond devilment on it which in places mimics a liturgical feel yes, but I can't see Arthur's corpse paint from where I'm sitting and as drummer Drachen Theaker stated:

It was a wild act, but it wasn't that wild musically. We were just an R&B group underneath. It wasn't like the Pink Floyd, because we took our cue from the whole US mid-sixties soul music invasion. What made it psychedelic was Arthur's acting ability and the fact that Vince and I just overplayed to death at gigs. We made a hell of a noise for two people

Crane agreed: Arthur was a soul singer then. We did psychedelic soul music and that's why you've got things like 'Money' on the album. A lot of people used to think he was coloured

Did you know that Chuck Berry's record sales declined when his predominately white audience came to realise he was black?. Is the opposite true for Arthur Brown? Even spookier is that the so-called God of Hell-fire was forced into semi-retirement during the 70's to become a (gulp) carpenter. Although it's true that the Crazy World of Arthur Brown presaged Prog, it should be abundantly clear by now that the good will 'oft be interred' with the formers bones (even those painted on for Top of the Pops)

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 Strangelands by BROWN BAND, THE ARTHUR album cover Studio Album, 1988
2.82 | 15 ratings

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Strangelands
The Arthur Brown Band Proto-Prog

Review by gietek

4 stars This album is just too crazy. I doubt the musicians were concious when recording this album. Although it lacks any concept, its first three pieces (Country, City and Cosmos) are all products of the same jam session. I'm sure I've never heard Drachen drumming so good and the organist is playing such a weird set of chords that je ne sais quoi. I think even Vincent's playing wasn't that crazy. The woodwinds make a great addition to the psychedelia (the bassoon and the flute on this album are just... well... crazy!).

I absolutely love The Replicas part - and if you thought the organist playing with Arthur was mad, then the guitarist surely was his great master. I'm absolutely certain I've never heard anyone play a guitar like this. There is some kind of robotic structure to the sound - I mean... you need to sniff a tone of coke to start playing like this.

And Arthur's singing is superb! We mustn't forget Arthur! The way he does The Lord Doesnt Want You is just so intense! And keep in mind that it was only a jam session. Loopy music for loopy ears. Theaker said there were hours of recorded material. I wish I could listen to the whole session.

Gave 4 stars because I understand this music is just too hard to listen to.

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 The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown  by BROWN BAND, THE ARTHUR album cover Studio Album, 1968
4.07 | 135 ratings

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The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
The Arthur Brown Band Proto-Prog

Review by Sinusoid
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Had the group sustained itself longer, this could have been the progressive rock version of the Alice Cooper Band (maybe without the tongue-and-cheek sense of humour). Both bands have gained notoriety for their frontmen's stage antics, and I believe both Brown and Cooper have great voices and great bands backing them. The similarities stop there; Cooper has had a longer career in the realm of garage rock/heavy metal while Brown sort of fizzled out, but Arthur Brown (on this album at least; I have yet to discover Kingdom Come) had a pseudo-jazzy psychedelic soundscape lurking in the background. But what an experience this album is.

The big accomplishment CRAZY WORLD OF... made is the novelty hit ''Fire'', and that hit best explains the album in a nutshell. Arthur Brown might as well be the very first heavy metal singer as his range is incredible hitting shrieks that could be considered Halford-esque. And he sings likes he is on the stage; there's great drama in his voice that makes ''Fire'' believable. Add those on top of the rich Hammond organ sound (courtesy of Vincent Crane of Atomic Rooster fame) and you get a sense of why this group is in the PA database. The rhythm section is pulsating, driving and not overtly technical. (By the way, Carl Palmer does not play on the album; he was a member of the touring group)

''Fire'' gives you the biggest taste of what the album is like as ''Nightmare'' and ''Come and Buy'' are of similar form. ''Fire'' actually has a prelude that reminds me of the Doors' track ''Horse Latitudes'', only better (spoken poetry over wild music). ''Child of My Kingdom'' is jazzier than the other tracks and is worth its seven minutes of airtime. The second half of the album is generally safer and more different than the first half including the poppy ''Rest Cure'' and the two cover tracks (''I've Got Money'' and ''I Put a Spell on You''). But then there's still ''Spontaneous Apple Creation'', the weirdest track on the album by far (and you thought ''Fire'' was out there...).

CRAZY WORLD OF... is more than a 60's novelty band. There are some great psychedelic cuts on the record belted out by one of the most underappreciated singers in music. It's one of the wackiest experiences in music and deserves at least a mention in the vast space of prog rock.

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 The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown  by BROWN BAND, THE ARTHUR album cover Studio Album, 1968
4.07 | 135 ratings

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The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
The Arthur Brown Band Proto-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This was a very significant album at the time of it's release in 1968 because there was nothing out there quite like it. Sixties psychedelia gone beserk. Fronted by a man who was larger than life and a lot left of center.The crazy world of Arthur Brown indeed. It was produced by Pete Townsend and featured the legendary Vincent Crane on the organ. Interesting that Carl Palmer would join this band not long after this was released and toured with them for this album. He and Crane would then leave and form ATOMIC ROOSTER which was just a stepping stone for Palmer who would shorlly thereafter be in ELP.

"Prelude-Nightmare" has this orchestral intro before the organ comes in followed by the bass, drums then vocals. Arthur gets theatrical before 2 minutes (get used to it) as Crane lets it rip on the organ. Horns come in late. "Fanfare-Fire Poem" opens with horns then this groovy led organ melody takes over. Spoken words join in. It becomes very intense.

"Fire" was the hit single. A catchy organ / vocal led tune. "Come And Buy" is a mid paced relaxing track with vocals. It picks up 1 1/2 minutes in with fast paced vocals then it settles back as contrasts continue. Arthur gets theatrical 5 minutes in.

"Time / Confusion" is a mellow tune with vocals. It changes 3 1/2 minutes in to a more upbeat sound. I like it. "I Put A Spell On You" is kind of bluesy and is a cover.

"Spontaneous Apple Creation" is all about Arthur with the spoken words then singing then his fast paced spoken words. "Rest Cure" is one of my favourites. Piano late. "I've Got Money" opens with drums as piano and vocals join in before a minute. Arthur gets...theatrical.

"Child Of My Kingdom" sounds great when it settles 30 seconds in with piano, drums and reserved vocals. It does pick up after a minute. Some whistling in this one too.This is my favourite track.

A must for fans of sixties psychedelia. My rating is based on how innovative this was at the time. I must admit I much prefer his later stuff with KINGDOM COME.

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 The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown  by BROWN BAND, THE ARTHUR album cover Studio Album, 1968
4.07 | 135 ratings

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The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
The Arthur Brown Band Proto-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars The explosion of creativity let off when Vincent Crane and Arthur Brown pooled their creative talents didn't leave behind much when it blew over, but this single album is one of the best of both their careers. Wild, uncontrolled, alternatingly crooning and shrieking, putting the listener in mind of both a terrified sinner and the very devil himself... and that's just Crane's organ, though Arthur's vocal performance is just as good. With side one being a theologically-themed epic on the subject of damnation and side two being a fine set of Brown/Crane originals and finely picked soul covers (when was the last time you heard a James Brown track on a prog album?), the album's unique fusion of Brown's deranged-yet-philosophical lyrics and Crane's dark organ work would never be matched.

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 The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown  by BROWN BAND, THE ARTHUR album cover Studio Album, 1968
4.07 | 135 ratings

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The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
The Arthur Brown Band Proto-Prog

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Arthur Brown - The Crazy World of Arthur Brown (1968) * review rewritten

Cult-hero Arthur Brown's only album that is actually really good was his debut of '68. His appearance and style made him the first shock-rock act and he can also be attributed to be one of the first artists to make fun of the hell and the devil on stage. Lyrics like "Why is it so cold out here, let me in!, -"The price for your entry is sin" are classic examples of how the rock musicians would eventually get 'hell' out of the realm of scary things.

I wouldn't lay to much weight on this aspect of 'The Crazy World of Arthur Brown', because the album has way more to offer then it's lyrical exploration. The compositions of Brown are actually very catchy and his vocal performance stands out as original, energetic and at times mind-blowing. The electric guitar is absent, but the heavy organs of Crane (who would later form Atomic Rooster) are both great sounding and a document of it's time. The wind-sections on some songs add a slightly big-band jazz vibe at times, which works very well with these songs. The song 'Fire' ("I'm the god of hellfire, and I bring you!") became a hit, but all songs of side one are of the same quality. The 'Fire Poem' is a great psychedelic track with spoken words by Brown that make a perfect intro for 'Fire'. 'Come and Buy' has vocal-jazz influences (think of Sinatra) and is very original. On side two Brown's version of the obscure classic 'I put a spell on you' is very well sung. The psychedelic/spoken (or screaming) word track 'Spontaneous apple creation' is really funny and remains funny after more spins. 'I've got money' is a cover of the James Brown song (keep on laughin'). The last track 'Child of my kingdom' is easily overseen, but it's one of the strongest tracks of the album because of it's epical and devoted style.

Conclusion. For collectors of proto-prog and '60 psychedelic rock classics this album is highly rewarding. The vocals, compositions, originality, pleasant craziness and pure catchyness are all winners for me. I must say I wasn't too fond of it before I heard it on a vinyl. The digital versions seem to lack the ability to really produce what was intended, so it seems. Four stars for this great '60 psych album.

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