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MAY BLITZ

Heavy Prog • United Kingdom


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May Blitz biography
MAY BLITZ were formed by vocalist/guitarist Jamie Black who recruited Tony Newman on drums, (ex Sounds Incorporated and Jeff Beck Group), and Reid Hudson (bass, vocals) in 1969. The original lineup featured bassist Terry Poole and drummer Keith Baker, from Bakerloo, but both left before recording anything for the band. Baker had a better offer from Uriah Heep, and went to record "Salisbury" with the band.

The band survived long enough to record two incredibly heavy, powerful and psychedelic albums with strong blues undertones and progressive tendencies, despite the lack of keyboards. These were released on Vertigo, who we also associate with Black Sabbath and Uriah Heep - but the music is probably heavier than either. Their style comes in somewhere around High Tide and the Pink Fairies - but these are really ballparks.

Their debut album is a must-hear for anyone curious about the development of heavy music, and features a production in which it is not only almost possible to smell the ganja smoke, but is also rich and clear enough to provide the striking dynamic contrasts the music needs, as it occasionally veers from ambience to crushing riffs in the blink of an eye. It is certainly very unpredictable, even now.



Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
Because they're an overlooked progressive blues/rock/psychedelic band with a massive scarcity value, and music that is original and highly progressive to boot!

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May Blitz -  May Blitz / 2Nd Of MayMay Blitz - May Blitz / 2Nd Of May
Import · Remastered
BGO 2015
Audio CD$9.06
$9.05 (used)
2nd of May2nd of May
Import
Repertoire 2005
Audio CD$13.00
$17.77 (used)
Essen 1970Essen 1970
Import
Imports 2012
Audio CD$21.99
$30.27 (used)
May BlitzMay Blitz
Import
Repertoire 2005
Audio CD$188.14
$47.58 (used)
2nd of May2nd of May
Import
Universal Japan 2010
Audio CD$28.42
$24.98 (used)
2nd of May by May Blitz (2010)2nd of May by May Blitz (2010)
Universal Japan
Audio CD$75.41
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Universal Japan
Audio CD$71.65
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VERTIGO
Vinyl$125.00 (used)
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MAY BLITZ discography


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

MAY BLITZ top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.71 | 52 ratings
May Blitz
1970
3.41 | 36 ratings
The 2nd of May
1971

MAY BLITZ Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.75 | 4 ratings
Essen 1970
2012

MAY BLITZ Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

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

MAY BLITZ Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The 2nd of May by MAY BLITZ album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.41 | 36 ratings

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The 2nd of May
May Blitz Heavy Prog

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

3 stars When deciding on which May Blitz album to get, I listened to samples from both the debut and this one on YouTube. The song "Snakes and Ladders" really stuck with me and so I decided to go with "The 2nd of May" (nice title), though since then I have found that the debut is rather expensive as an import and that both albums have been released on a single disc. No matter. I have gone back to listen to samples from the first album and I am so far convinced that this was the better choice, even though the ratings say the debut is better.

May Blitz really kick off, as in kick ass, with the opening track "For Mad Men Only", a charging drum beat and ultra-pulsing bass overlaid with a thunder of distortion-heavy guitar and a second guitar delivering the melody with all the subtly of a steam drill boring through rock. The guitar solo unfortunately seems to search without tapping into any really good vein and there's a spot or two that could have used a retake. Nevertheless, this song has the elements of a demolition team bearing straight ahead through a concrete building.

There's a quick change of pace with the low-slung groove of "Snakes and Ladders", featuring a cool baseline and some hip percussion before the song gets overtaken by heavy minor chords that provide an awesome template for early doom metal. As the guitar distortion effects lay out the audio track for Hell awakening, the vocals replicate a demonic choir chanting the sinister theme to Armageddon (the event and not the movie).

"The 25th of December, 1969" is a partially lighthearted take on an enjoyable Christmas Eve spent together among friends without much of the trimmings and a political message about Nigeria's invasion of the Biafran capital on December 23, 1969 and the ensuing fighting and killing that continued through to January 7th. Perhaps well-intentioned, the song stands out as the weakest track on the album. A disappointment after such a strong start.

Never fear because May Blitz deliver another funky n' heavy number with "In Part" which features some groovin' flute as well. The last part of the song is dedicated to yet another obligatory early seventies drum solo, the second disappointment as the song was actually really going somewhere.

"8 Mad Grim Nits" is a frenzied instrumental track with more of that full-on bass thing and a showcase of guitar soloing and distortion effects. At times the guitar gets really dark and heavy. Plenty of tasty tidbits to be found here, though still quite freeform.

The sonic assault and battery of most of the album thus far has been a treat; however, "High Beech" slows us down in the right way with an acoustic number that is both haunting and beautiful while steering into that cool funky groove that the band are very good at conjuring. One of my three favourite tracks on the album.

"Honey-coloured Time" seems to attempt to make better that serious part in track three. It's developed much better, imbued with images of cool swirling purple and blue flows of colour (or are they amber?). There's a smooth jazzy bit and more psychedelic groove. So much groove on this album. Then surprisingly, the song concludes like a heavy blues rock number. Not sure of the logic behind that.

Now we are almost into Pink Floyd country with a simple acoustic number tripping with wavering guitar notes. "Just Thinking" sounds partially inspired by "Ummagumma" but still tries to hold together in the form of a song without becoming overly experimental.

"The 2nd of May" is a true product of its time, at once heavy and rampaging while maintaining a certain grooviness about it and also more laid back in late psychedelic atmosphere of the early seventies. Sometimes mellow and tripping, sometimes bombastic and aggressive. There are some who will want to check this one out. It's not particularly proggish, at least not in the symphonic or eclectic sense, but still has some rewarding moments.

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 The 2nd of May by MAY BLITZ album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.41 | 36 ratings

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The 2nd of May
May Blitz Heavy Prog

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

4 stars May Blitz - The 2nd of May (1971)

This English powertrio is one of tightest rhythm and blues units of history, playing a mixture of heavy psych with progressive influences. May Blitz is one of the few band that manage to really get that hard rock style that is distinctively exciting, you know that good old Jimi Hendrix bad-ass sound. The drums of Tony Newman are exciting on every moment, one of the best of the era. The guitars of James Black sound cool and well played, but the production of the debut did more justice to his skills. Their heavy psych debut-album is perhaps more well known, but on this second album May Blitz is actually slightly more progressive - for it sees the band experimenting with folk, funk, metal and jazz textures. What I can't understand is the departure of that great reverb- rock sound to more dry recording sound that sounds a bit bleak in comparison with the debut. Also the vocals tended to sound better on their first record.

For Mad Men Only is a heavy metal opener with nice fierce vocals and screaming guitars. Snakes an Ladders adds some funk textures and sees de band finding back its psych rock feel in the middle section. The 25Th Of December 1969 is a folky ballad that is plagued by vocals that fall short, the album would have been better without this track. In Part is another heavy psych track with some great themes - to bad it ends with a drum solo. 8 Mad Grim Nits has a great drum and bass sound and a dirty guitar solo reminding us a bit of mister Robert Fripp. High Beech a fairly modern sounding folkrock track, with an acoustic guitar solo that reminds me a bit of Nirvana Unplugged. Honey Colored Time is Hendrix-like cool heavy rock track with a surprising jazzy interlude. Just Thinking is one of the few track I've ever heard that really reminded me of the sound of the German krautrock act Can, a nice atmospheric track.

Conclusions. May Blitz may be one of my favorite bands when it comes to the rhythmical playing and the awesome heavy psych feel. This album shows just how much potential the band had, though the production doesn't always do the band justice. There isn't much early heavy psych so if you like Captain Beyond, T2, Budgie and The Groundhogs you should defenitly get into May Blitz. Three and a halve stars.

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 May Blitz by MAY BLITZ album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.71 | 52 ratings

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May Blitz
May Blitz Heavy Prog

Review by Menswear
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I swear the lady on the cover lives on my block.

Don't judge a book by it's cover, and again, it's true here. With art like that, what kind of music would you logically expect?!?

What you CAN expect is surprisingly good musicianship, especially in the guitar and drums departments. Newman is rolling thunder on the drums, inventing Peart before Peart. The guy is tight as Mick Jagger's pants while Black is giving all he can on every number, psychadelic here (with good delay) and heavy blues there (Les Paul without a doubt). Not a Hendrix rip-off, but strongly influenced for sure. Like Rush, Blue Cheer or Cream, it's impressive what those 3 guys can come up to as a trio.

Obscure band with truckloads of talent and swagger. Perfect to listen by candlelight or riding a motorcycle with Peter Fonda.

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 The 2nd of May by MAY BLITZ album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.41 | 36 ratings

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The 2nd of May
May Blitz Heavy Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars Although the big-boned mama is still hanging out on the album cover on this second release by MAY BLITZ she learns the art of keeping company with bird-headed folk as to take the emphasis off of her voluptuousness. Just like the visual art theme, also do we get a continuation of what's inside, namely more heavy proggy bluesy psych although a bit heavier at times with a little more expansion into other sounds.

The opener "For Mad Men Only" continues where the debut left off complete with that signature bass sound. On the 2nd track "Snakes And Arrows" we get some really cool fuzz guitar and some interesting electronic effects. On the 3rd track "The 25th of December 1969" we get some folk rock alternating with groovy bass dominated sections. "In Part" has a surprise accompaniment by a flute but eventually turns into an even more surprising and out of place drum solo. I do like drum solos but was this one necessary? The rest of the album continues the heavy psych with songs becoming slightly weaker (but always pleasant) by the time we get to the end.

This second album doesn't disappoint as it ramps up their sound a tad. Most reminiscent of Captain Beyond before they existed but there are obvious influences from both Hendrix and Sabbath but never too much so. The band was clearly open to experimentation and I have to say that it pays off for the most part with only scant few head scratching moments. Sadly their only two albums came and went without much success so the band called it quits but became a cult classic.

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 May Blitz by MAY BLITZ album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.71 | 52 ratings

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May Blitz
May Blitz Heavy Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars A feel-good album of the first degree conjuring up a mix of the best of what heavy psych had to offer from the 60s and injected some seriously hard rockin groovy riffs to create the perfect recipe for some seriously addictive progressive blues rock that has the stamina to deserve the added tag of proto-metal.

MAY BLITZ formed in 1969 in the UK and quickly imploded leaving Canadian Jamie Black (Lead guitar and vocals) to replace those missing in action and recruited fellow Canadian Reid Hudson (bass, vocals) and Englishman Tony Newman (who was the drummer for Jeff Beck and the Hollies). After touring the pub scene they scored a record deal with Vertigo Records (also of Black Sabbath, Colosseum, Uriah Heep, Gentle Giant and Cressida fame).

This album really rocks! Every track on here is every bit as good as the best hard rock of 1970 you can think of with progressively complex yet catchy groovin melodic riffs and knock-yer-socks-off drum rolls with a beefy bass to boot. Everything comes together perfectly from the very first track 'Smoking The Day Away' to the echo-and-effect laden closer 'Virgin Waters.' Pay no attention to the hilarious cover! It's really what's inside that counts! And you can count on some high energy hard rock that perfectly balances the formula of heavy prog, bluesy psych with a groovy and even slightly funky edge. In the vein of Captain Beyond but two years prior.

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 May Blitz by MAY BLITZ album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.71 | 52 ratings

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May Blitz
May Blitz Heavy Prog

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

4 stars May Blitz - s/t (1970)

May Blitz is yet another good example of high quality hard-rock with an artistic appeal. This power-trio, guitar, bass & drums has a very concentrated riff-based rock-sound and experiments along the way. All songs have fresh ideas and there are no compositional mistakes.

There are very few clichés. The vocals are a bit in the background in order to get us focussed on the tight rhythm and blues interplay. The riffs are most of the time played with a clean electric guitar, whilst the long solo sections are played with heavy distorted guitars. On some progressive passages the acoustic guitar with reverb is used to get us into new hard-rock territory, hence the 'heavy prog'-label. I would however prefer to call this proto-prog. All songs have some innovative ideas and more themes then would be necessary for a standard hard- rock band. The rhythm changes are very strong throughout.

Yet, not only the music of May Blitz is strong, but their daring artwork is a real treat. The hideous fat lady in underwear with a smile on her face is really a good anti-commercial statement. This completes the package into a fine rarity, one I love buying as a vinyl collector.

Conclusion. A very strong innovative riff-based proto-metal record that was released at a very early point in history. The progressive influences and the underground sound of record make this a real treat for collectors like me. Way better then Led Zeppelin if you'd ask me! Four stars.

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 May Blitz by MAY BLITZ album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.71 | 52 ratings

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May Blitz
May Blitz Heavy Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The anglo-canadian group May Blitz released two LP's at the front-end of the 1970's before, like so many before and after them, disappearing into the rock netherworld. Thanks to Germany's Repertoire Records, both albums are now available on lovely, remastered, special-edition- mini-vinyl-replica editions, complete with the original artwork by Tony Benyon. Of the two releases, the eponymously-titled debut is by far the better album, featuring a powerful, bass-driven and, at times, very psychedelic sound which comes across like a heavier and more freaked-out version of Eric Clapton's Cream. Like Cream, May Blitz were a three-piece, featuring James Black(guitar, vocals), Reid Hudson(bass) and Tony Newman(drums), all of whom helped produce their debut along with ex-Vertigo Records engineer Barry Ainsworth, thus giving the album a thunderous overall sound peppered with feedback-drenched guitars and intense, tribal drumming. Released in 1970, 'May Blitz' sold very little, with the follow-up '2nd Of May' also proving a commercial failure, and the band were soon dropped by their label. However, thirty-plus years down the line and the group's first album is being rightfully hailed as a 'lost classic' from the golden era of popular music, and the group's reputation has risen from non-existant to cult-status as a result, with several internet fan clubs now being run for lovers of this un-compromising threesome. Adorned by some spectacularly odd artwork - a fat, ugly, large-nostrilled lady who looks like the lovechild of a gorilla and British politician Anne Widdecombe - the album starts with the brooding, marijuana-soaked rocker 'Smoking The Day Away', an 8-minute-plus heavy rock odyssey that demonstrates the group's pounding style. This is, in turn, followed by a collection of psychedelic rock songs peppered with the odd moody ballad, all of which find each member of the group in blistering form. Most outstanding is Reid Hudson's throbbing bass, which underpins every track with a ominous tension, though Tony Newman's drumming is pretty incredible throughout. The real shame, however, is the fact that the group abandoned this impressive formula in favour of a gruesome proto-metal sound for 'The 2nd Of May', consigning the group straight to the dustbin of promising rock acts and truncating a promising career right at it's inception.

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 May Blitz by MAY BLITZ album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.71 | 52 ratings

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May Blitz
May Blitz Heavy Prog

Review by Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Oh my, this album is a storming 'Progressive' rarity that features NO keyboards what-so-ever, quite unusual, truth be told (not that the 'keyboard' is the be-all and end-all of all Prog-Rock.....) MAY BLITZ was a not-so-average 3-piece, harder-edged band, simply consisting of a marvellous Guitarist in James Black, and a solid 'backbone' of Bassist Reid Hudson and Drummer/Percussionist Tony Newman. All musicians display a quite adventurous zeal on their respective instruments and their creativeness holds no boundaries to their song- writing. Admittedly, it's taken some years for me to get around to the band, and I have to say that I'm quite impressed with what I hear (if only I discovered them around 1989/90, back when I ........) anyway, here we have something that could be considered as a basic Blues-based band, but their seasoned musicianship and colourful arrangements stretch out further than many of their contemporaries. The album (now a seldomly obtainable record that was originally released on the famed 'Vertigo' label, lovingly re-issued by the amazing Italian vinyl specialists, AKARMA) features the original 7 tracks that offer the listener a surprising insight to what this inspired group of professional musicians can achieve within their simplistic, 3 piece format. The opening piece, the 8 min+ 'Smoking The Day Away' makes me wish I was (ho ho). It's a totally blowing piece of guitar-heavy music, superb riffs, great singing (in a Jack Bruce kinda way) with the rhythm section supplying a constantly changing backdrop for Mr Black to demonstrate his chops - indeed, the middle section displays some of the finest acoustic-guitar playing I've heard for a long time. The album also shows off some early-morning 'descending mood' moments (as I recall them.....) with 'Tomorrow May Come' and 'Virgin Waters', which are great mellow-out tracks. 'Squeet' is very impressive, too - Reid Hudson absolutely cooks on the Bass-Guitar. I'm inclined to give this fantastic album a 5, but I'm aware that many folks will find its contents less than enthralling - so, a strong 4.5 stars feels adequate - not really a weak moment throughout. Please discover this under-rated gem.

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 May Blitz by MAY BLITZ album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.71 | 52 ratings

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May Blitz
May Blitz Heavy Prog

Review by Starless

3 stars Firstly, let me declare a sentimental interest in all things Vertigo "Spiral". Way back in the very early 70s, I used to spend my pocket money on bargain bin LPs because i could not afford full price releases. Nearly all the "Spiral" releases were in there, along with RCA Neon and other obscure labels. All of these are worth a mint now, but only cost 50p each at the time!

One of my early purchases was this May Blitz album. I probably bought it because of the lovely lady on the cover! I still listen to it now, and although it is heavily influenced by Cream (the singer is a dead-ringer for Jack Bruce) and The Groundhogs in particular, it has its own charm.

Standout tracks are Smoking The Day Away, I Don't Know, and Virgin Waters. The guitarist seems to be more jazz than blues influenced at times, which lends the solos an interesting edge.

This LP is far better than their second effort, when they seemed to run out of ideas after the first track.

Incidentally, if May Blitz is on this site, why not Clear Blue Sky, who were probably more proggy??

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 The 2nd of May by MAY BLITZ album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.41 | 36 ratings

BUY
The 2nd of May
May Blitz Heavy Prog

Review by clkarob

1 stars See my review on their debut, stay away. Competent musicianship does not make for quality. Rarity & the herd instinct (he'll pay $XXX, then I'll Pay $xxxx, cause there's only 3 available). There's nothing here that's more than mediocre, & ingesting mind enhancing matters should not be necessary to determine a music's worth.

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Thanks to Certif1ed for the artist addition.

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