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MUSIC EMPORIUM

Psychedelic/Space Rock • United States


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Music Emporium biography
Initially called The CAGE, this trippy West Coast psych band from the 60's were quite sophisticated for their time. They started off in 1968 when keyboardist Bill Cosby joined forces with guitarist Dave Padwin and two female musicians, namely bassist Carolyn Lee and drummer Dora Wahl. All four were either classically trained or seasoned club veterans, Cosby himself being a UCLA music major. Evolving smack in the middle of the flower power era, they played their blistering rockers and wispy melodies quite convincingly, borrowing from jazz, classical music, avant-garde and rock. On the psychedelic side, they were definitely more song oriented than, say, early PINK FLOYD; although they did pour a mean dose of organ on their self-titled LP, released in 1969. Unfortunately, a year later Cosby got drafted and the band broke up.

Their album is a fascinating testimony of a different time and place. Highly organ dominated, it has just about everything one would expect from a late 60's album: driving rhythms, heavy guitar riffs, trippy Farfisa organ and cool, groovy male/female vocals by Cosby and especially Lee who delivers her druggy, cosmic lyrics with style. Their solos are concise and they know how to lock into a groove without jamming aimlessly, as did so many bands of that era. They also know how to structure songs that best display their strengths although in retrospect, it is their softer tunes that seem to have aged better, especially those with a nice gothic/classical feel. The CD version, which was recorded from the master tapes, comprises five bonus tracks, all of them instrumental versions of songs from the LP.

Highly recommended to collectors of early psychedelia, particularly to fans of the band IT'S A BEAUTIFUL DAY.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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Music EmporiumMusic Emporium
Sundazed Music Inc. 2001
Audio CD$7.76
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Sundazed Music Inc. 2001
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$31.12 (used)
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3.98 | 16 ratings
Music Emporium
1969

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 Music Emporium by MUSIC EMPORIUM album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.98 | 16 ratings

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Music Emporium
Music Emporium Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Legionnary

3 stars I dont recommend this disc to allergic organ, omnipresent in this album and all those who dont like psychedelic rock striped / dark. Go away, you'll be disappointed ! For all who love this rather particular type of music or just curious, take a look there!

Initially called "The Cage", the band began in 1968 and founded by Bill Crosby . Like many of the 60 Group, Music Emporium is a Californian group in Los Angeles more specifically .Cosby itself was major of UCLA, he already took the stage with the "Shrine Auditorium" where he was exercising his music both classical and jazz at New York's Carnegie Hall in Los Angeles . He received in 1967 the coveted Prix Frank Sinatra of UCLA . Dave Padwin from Chicago and played with many good country-rock bands of the Midwest . Carolyn Lee was a Masters student of music in California, Long Beach State College. This is the one and only album, again it is very short (just over 29min !!!)

Band line-up -Bill Cosby: Hammond organ, vocals -Dave Padwin: lead guitar, acoustic guitar, Voice -Carolyn Lee: bass, acoustic bass, piano, organ, voice -Dora Wahl: drums, percussion

As shown here, the group consists of two women, something very rare at the time, Music emporium should be one of the first (the first?) To innovate in this area .Also, we could find singers in other groups: Grace Slick (Jefferson Airplane), Janis Joplin (Big Brother and the Holding Company), Patti Smith, but Dora Wahl is certainly the first woman drummer of the rock history !

Dont try to find the original version of this album on vinyl,you will waste your time, unless you have $ 1,500 to spend, which is usually the price recorded for the first shot pressing only 300 copies! Its undoubtedly one of the most popular LPs and top-rated...

"Nam Myo Renge Kyo" is the main track of the album, it differentiates itself from the others because its very well rythmed and "filled" while the rest of the album is pretty asleeping . With "velvet sunsets" it is already different organ very heavy, almost fatal, Cosby and Lee are a perfect match, one with acute tones and the other with a fairly serious voice "Prelude" fairly simple piece wheres 'alternate vocals passages and organ. "Times like that," piece rather nice compared to the rest of the album, in the same idea of "nam myo renge kyo" but without instrumental. "Gentle Thrusday" is definitely the song I like the most about this album. Unlike other pieces where its mainly Cosby vocals, register, here we change with a female voice, peaceful, a flute interwining background. "Winds have changed" still a very good piece, and from the beginning, you can feel the influences of Padwin insipred by Krieger of the Doors of Indian music. We find the style Padwin in the next song, "Cage", also quite chaotic. "Sun never shines" pretty good intro, the rest also am, again alternating sung and instrumental passages. "Day of wrath" still an obscure song from the beginning the organ is very far and it sounds like a priest who chants in the background accompanied by the organ !!! Disturbing and surprising, the flagship of the psyche / dark! Among the more obscure songs and spinning spooky include: "Velvet sunsets", "catatonic variations," "Cage", "day of wrath".

In conclusion, because of the organ too far to see even repetitive, this album could alienate listeners who are not accustomed to listen songs where organ is the essence of the album. Nevertheless, music emporium is innovative and unique in the sense that it is difficult to find a group that produced something resembling it in any way. Some like it, some do not !

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 Music Emporium by MUSIC EMPORIUM album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.98 | 16 ratings

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Music Emporium
Music Emporium Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by greenback
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars For 1969, this was really promising and surprisingly progressive. The tracks are pretty short, with a total time of nearly 30 minutes for 10 tracks. An omnipresent shiny electric church organ gives a strong & pleasant psychedelic style to the music. The drums, played by a woman, are definitely elaborated and well played. The bottom bass is not timid at all. The omnipresent electric guitar does not take too much room. Every track has something really catchy: that's why it is a very pleasant album to fully listen. The very good lead & backing vocals, shared between a man & a woman, are often quite intimate. On the last track "Day of wrath", Bill "Casey" Cosby saturated the intro with a VERY loud & vibrant church organ: impressive, especially when played loud. It is a very good album of the flower power era, not really a party album but definitely not depressing at all.

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 Music Emporium by MUSIC EMPORIUM album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.98 | 16 ratings

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Music Emporium
Music Emporium Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by ofurglassi

5 stars Look out, fanboyish review coming up! There's one funny thing about Music Emporium, looking at the photos of the band in the cd booklet they don't look very hip, that is they don't look like an awesome psychedelic band but they sure sound awesome, in fact they probably could have played Woodstock and blown away most of the acts there (Hendrix would probably have wet his pants if he had had to perform after these guys). That being said I'm surprised to find Music Emporium on the archives since I don't see any totally obvious prog moves on their sole album (perhaps the prominent use of organ somehow qualified them for the archives?). However, prog or not, Music Emporium has been one of my favourite albums for about two or three years. The band is not doing anything totally radical or incredibly original they simply do their stuff very well and it's a big plus that they do no covers because their song writing skills are so damn good. I think there can be little doubt about this being a masterpiece, and the album is mandatory for fans of psychedelic music, but I'm not so sure about hardcore proggers liking this if they have absolutely no interest in psychedelic music.

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