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BRIAN AUGER

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United Kingdom


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Brian Auger biography
Born July 18, 1939 and growing up in London, BRIAN AUGER began taking notice of his parent's player piano at the age of three; "After a while I noticed that I was able to recognize the patterns in all the notes... I began to copy the notes [and] I was actually able to copy these melodies", he recalls. After the Auger home was bombed and destroyed in 1944, Brian found other pianos and was determined to keep playing. In addition to the British and American pop music of the time, he also became fascinated with jazz artists like Duke Ellington, Count Basie and other popular jazz coming in through Armed Forces radio. Soon the great modern jazz pianists captured him, Oscar Peterson, Hampton Hawes, Bill Evans, Red Garland, Victor Feldman, and McCoy Tyner.

By eighteen, his musical prowess began attracting attention and in 1962 he formed a trio with bassist Rick Laird, Phil Knorra on drums, adding a young John McLaughlin and saxophonist Glen Hughes. 1964 saw AUGER winning a Melody Maker jazz poll, soon becoming in-demand among London's music scene. Though a fan of rock (the BEATLES in particular), AUGER was more interested in the technical side of playing and after hearing JIMMY SMITH on Hammond organ, he knew he had to have one. In November 1964, he formed the TRINITY with drummer Micky Waller and bassist Ricky Brown. By 1965, English blues singer LONG JOHN BALDRY had put together a band with AUGER and with the addition of Rod Stewart, Julie Driscoll and guitarist Vic Briggs, the band STEAMPACKET emerged and lasted almost a year playing the mix of R&B, blues-jazz and rock that would cement AUGER's reputation. September 1966 saw a rebirth of the TRINITY that included Driscoll and Briggs, guitarist Gary Boyle, bassist Roger Sutton and Clive Thacker on drums. "The idea of the Trinity", he reflects, "was a combination of Blues, Mowtown and Messengers". They released a debut in 1967 titled "Open" from which a Bob Dylan cover reached #5 and put the LP on the charts. "Definitely What" was an instrumental record released in 1968, and "Streetnoise" that same year, this time with Driscoll on vocals. The outfit disbanded finally in 1970 after the flop "Befour" but never one to give up, 'Aug' formed OBLIVION EXPRESS with Jim Mullen on guitars, Barry Dean on bass and drummer Robbie Macintosh. After several good jazz-rock fusion albums, a new version of OBLIVION EXPRESS recorded "Closer To It", the band toured the U.S. and the album landed on both the R&B...
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Back to the Beginning ...Again: The Brian Auger Anthology, Vol. 2Back to the Beginning ...Again: The Brian Auger Anthology, Vol. 2
Import
Freestyle Records 2016
Audio CD$13.19
$18.83 (used)
Back to the Beginning: The Brian Auger AnthologyBack to the Beginning: The Brian Auger Anthology
Freestyle Records 2015
Audio CD$14.51
$20.75 (used)
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New NOS Brian Auger's Oblivion Express Reinforcements Sealed 8-Track Tape 1975 USD $29.99 Buy It Now
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JULIE DRISCOLL,BRIAN AUGER,TRINTY.BEST OF,LP ON POLYDOR 2334-004,1969 USD $6.32 [0 bids]
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BRIAN AUGER joins CBS with 4 page interview 1970s PRESS RELEASE USD $15.13 Buy It Now 48m 1s
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Befour. Edition] by Brian Auger & the Trinity. USD $37.63 Buy It Now 1h 23m
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Search Party [Remaster] by Brian Auger (CD, Nov-2006, Castle Music Ltd. (UK)) USD $6.29 Buy It Now 23h 11m
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BRIAN AUGER & JULIE TIPPETTS, (DRISCOLL) ENCORE, 1978 USA PRESSING,VG+ CONDITION USD $13.91 [0 bids]
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BRIAN AUGER, JULIE DRISCOLL & TRINITY- OPEN - 1967 UK Marmalade Stereo VINYL LP USD $14.89 [0 bids]
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Brian Auger's Oblivion Express - A Better Land (Includes Bonus Track - Castle USD $16.95 [0 bids]
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USD $10.00 Buy It Now
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BRIAN AUGER discography


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

BRIAN AUGER top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.98 | 5 ratings
Attention
1965
3.18 | 14 ratings
Open
1967
2.22 | 11 ratings
Definitely What (with The Trinity)
1968
2.67 | 6 ratings
Jools And Brian
1969
4.13 | 34 ratings
Streetnoise
1969
4.03 | 25 ratings
Befour (with the Trinity)
1970
3.75 | 32 ratings
Brian Auger's Oblivion Express
1970
2.44 | 24 ratings
A Better Land (as Oblivion Express)
1971
3.53 | 23 ratings
Second Wind (as Oblivion Express)
1972
3.71 | 17 ratings
Closer To It! (as Oblivion Express)
1973
3.30 | 16 ratings
Straight Ahead (as Oblivion Express)
1974
2.98 | 9 ratings
Reinforcements (as Oblivion Express)
1975
2.52 | 6 ratings
Happiness Heartaches (as Oblivion Express)
1977
2.20 | 6 ratings
Encore (with Julie Tippetts)
1978
2.68 | 6 ratings
Search Party
1981
3.00 | 2 ratings
Here And Now
1984
2.00 | 1 ratings
Keys To The Heart (with Oblivion Express)
1987
3.00 | 2 ratings
Voices From Other Times (as Oblivion Express)
2000
3.29 | 5 ratings
Looking In The Eye Of The World (as OBLIVION EXPRESS)
2005
4.00 | 2 ratings
Language of the Heart
2012

BRIAN AUGER Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.82 | 8 ratings
Live Oblivion Volume 1
1975
3.11 | 6 ratings
LIVE OBLIVION Volume 2
1976
0.00 | 0 ratings
Access All Areas ( with Eric Burdon)
1998
4.00 | 1 ratings
Live at the Baked Potato (with Oblivion Express)
2005

BRIAN AUGER Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

2.96 | 4 ratings
Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & The Trinity
1970
0.00 | 0 ratings
Once Upon A Time (with Julie Driscoll)
1971
0.00 | 0 ratings
Faces And Places Vol. 10
1972
4.00 | 3 ratings
The Best of Brian Auger's Oblivion Express
1977
0.00 | 0 ratings
Mod Jazz Years Featuring Julie Driscoll
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best Of Brian Auger
1997
0.00 | 0 ratings
Auger Rhythms: Brian Auger's Musical History
2003
4.05 | 2 ratings
Get Auger-nized!: The Anthology
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
This Wheel's on Fire: The Best of Brian Auger
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Jazz Years
2006
3.00 | 1 ratings
The Mod Years 1965-1969
2006

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

4.00 | 3 ratings
This Wheel's On Fire
1968

BRIAN AUGER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Closer To It! (as Oblivion Express) by AUGER, BRIAN album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.71 | 17 ratings

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Closer To It! (as Oblivion Express)
Brian Auger Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Progfan97402

4 stars By this point, it's clear that Brian Auger was targeting the American audience (he would soon move to the States by 1975). Closer to It started incorporating elements of soul with the percussion-laden jazz rock he's been doing with the Oblivion Express. Luckily he doesn't go all Motown on us. It's just a bit less rock than the previous album, Second Wind. Here the Oblivion Express is without a vocalist, so Brian Auger himself handles all the vocals. Personally, I really find this album quite enjoyable, even their take on Marvin Gaye's "Inner City Blues" (complete with Mellotron). "Happiness is Just Around the Bend" is another wonderful song I can't get enough of. The rest may have not stuck in my head, but I still find the album very enjoyable. What I do know is the Santana-influence has really had itself felt, probably due to the release of Caravanserai caused many jazz musicians to take notice, where the previous albums (the Woodstock-era) were more geared to the rock audience. At least here Auger didn't include songs that were more fitting of Motown, which is the trouble I often have with albums like Welcome, Borboletta or Moonflower (these albums obviously worked best when the vocals weren't trying to be so soul-oriented, or when the vocals are dropped in favor of instrumental guitar-oriented jams). After being just absolutely blown away by Streetnoise, with Julie Driscoll and the Trinity, it sounds like the Oblivion Express albums tend to tread safer ground, but I can't complain, given I still find Closer To It (and several others from this era) very enjoyable, and well worth getting.
 Streetnoise by AUGER, BRIAN album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.13 | 34 ratings

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Streetnoise
Brian Auger Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Progfan97402

5 stars This is clearly the most ambitious album Brian Auger had ever done in his career. This is also the most progressive album in his career. It's a really eclectic collection of songs, with a few surprises. Although this is the third album with The Trinity, it's the second with Julie Driscoll. As with Open (the debut with Jools), she doesn't sing on every song either, here Brian Auger or Dave Ambrose also sing on some of the songs. There are times that Auger almost goes into ELP territory in his organ playing, mind you this is before ELP, and when Emerson was in The Nice. Auger's style, unlike Emerson, always remained rooted in jazz. "Tropic of Capricorn" is pretty typical Auger & The Trinity, with his trademark organ playing, plus it's him that provides the vocals. Jools' "Czechoslovakia" is, naturally, about the Soviet invasion of said country in 1968, not too many songs at that time addressing that! The song starts off pretty typical Auger fashion, but then it goes acoustic, and calm, with a rather disturbing undercurrent, when then ends with the simulated sounds of army tanks. A cover of Nina Simone's "Take Me to the Water" is next. Well, this may not be to everyone's liking, this is very much southern gospel, and pretty straight-ahead gospel, even Brian Auger keeps his organ playing more in the church style here. While gospel has never been my music of choice, I can help but be blown away by Jools' vocals and the overall performance. Progheads won't get much out of the song, though. As much as Jools strikes me as a white soul singer, no doubt a big inspiration for Linda Hoyle of Affinity or Inga Rumpf of Frumpy and Atlantis, she seems just at home with folk music as well, her own "Word About Colour" could almost pass for Fairport Convention with those Sandy Denny-like vocals. I was also surprised she was fully capable of playing the acoustic guitar. She also takes on traditional song, "When I Was Young", which is more of a dirge, with Auger playing organ, done in a way you couldn't mistake for Fairport Convention or Steeleye Span. Two songs from Hair are also included, "Flesh Failures (Let the Sunshine In)" and "I've Got Life", as much as I usually shy away from the music from Hair, they did a great job at it. "Ellis Island" is an instrumental song, with more of a '70s feel, thanks to the clavinet, which Brian Auger puts to great use. Dave Ambrose's "In Search of the Sun" is a rather psychedelic number, but I like that proggy organ break Auger gives here. Ambrose proves he's better on the bass than singing, but doesn't bother me, despite his shortcomings. I do like that psychedelic vibe, though. "Looking in the Eye of the World" is a rather calm, piano-dominated jazz piece with Auger on vocals. Some may not take too well to the slow pace, but I like the mood, and I actually enjoy it. "Vauxhall to Lambeth Hall" is another one of those folk numbers by Jools, once again how she can make as great a folk singer as a white soul singer (or vocal jazz singer). There's also a take on Miles Davis' "All Blues" (originally from 1959's Kind of Blue), this version includes vocals from Jools herself. This version is dominated by piano, rather than wind instruments, with the addition of vocals from Jools. There's also a cover of Ritchie Havens' "Indian Rope Man", which so many other bands have covered: Frumpy (who does it similar to this version), Tomorrow's Gift, Warm Dust, and probably otheres too. There's also a wonderful take on Laura Nyro's "Save the Country". It's rather soul influenced, so it may not appeal to everyone, but then, like the gospel of "Take Me to the River", regardless if these songs are to your personal liking, make no doubt about the amazing performances. Personally, I do enjoy this take on "Save the Country" (and while I'm not a fan of Laura Nyro, I do like her original version as well). While this album is literally all over the place, there are some great proggy moments that progheads would need to take notice. Mind you, this was out before In the Court of the Crimson King, so I have to say this is a very accomplished album, combining jazz, folk, blues, soul, gospel, and prog, and all done so well I don't even have problems with the non-prog stuff (like the gospel of "Take Me to the Water"). Wonder how these bluesy/jazzy prog bands fronted by female vocalists, like Frumpy (who also did a version of "Indian Rope Man", as mentioned earlier) or Affinity got a lot of their inspiration? Look no further! I wouldn't be surprised if Jools was a main influence for Linda Hoyle or Inga Rumpf. I can't believe how much futher Auger & Co. went that extra mile to create a truly diverse album stacked with simply amazing stuff. I have a bunch of other stuff he did, with the Trinity, and with the Oblivion Express, and make no doubt about it, Streetnoise tops them all. Regardless how you may feel about the whole album, because some songs will not appeal to everyone, to me, this album simply blew me away. Really worth your time.
 Open by AUGER, BRIAN album cover Studio Album, 1967
3.18 | 14 ratings

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Open
Brian Auger Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is almost a split album, were it not for Brian Auger and the Trinity playing on all the tracks. There's two sides of the album, each representative of the two main creative forces here. The first side, "Auge", consists of Brian Auger leading the Trinity through a range of mostly-instrumental tracks, which are decent enough; the second side, "Jools", consists of a clutch of songs recorded with regular collaborator Julie Driscoll, who knocks it out of the park (as usual) with her excellent vocals. These psychedelic-tinged soul-jazz numbers may be artifacts of their time, but it's a time certainly worth revisiting in Julie's company, and there is an extent to which the "Auge" side feels like little more than a warm-up act. Three stars for side 1, four stars for side 2.
 Second Wind (as Oblivion Express) by AUGER, BRIAN album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.53 | 23 ratings

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Second Wind (as Oblivion Express)
Brian Auger Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars By 1972 Auger had to be one of the busiest men in the rock field.Not only he was fully commited to his own ''oblivion express'', but he had also become an entry in Roland Kovac New Set, a band with which he released a handful of albums during the year.But he also found time to work on his brainchild's next effort, he had actually invited Alex Ligertwood from Troc to join them on lead vocals, so he could focus on his instrumental work.Again the Advision Studios in London was the place of the recordings of ''Second wind'', released in 1972 as well on RCA.

With ''Second wind'' Brian Auger's Oblivion Express would find again their way into efficient and tricky music, the album walks exactly on the thin line between the style of the debut and the somewhat flat offerings of ''A better land''.The accesible influences and playful parts are still present in a great number of funky and Soul influences, but the music is more professional, recollecting the jazzy flavors of the debut and eventually delivering a decent amalgam of intricate and more poppy tunes.Auger shines with his work on Hammond organ, while his piano moments are coming straight out of a Jazz band, the supporting group is always consistent with some muddy bass lines, smooth guitar moves and solid drumming.The album balances dangerously between in-your-face organ-drenched paces and the jazzy abnormalities, where the pieces begin as typically song-structured and end up being a storm of piano and organ tortuting.Alex Ligertwood is definitely a welcome addition on vocals, delivering a nuance of a more rockin' attitude, moreover strengthened by the mass of rhythmic parts.A couple of tracks are still weak, dominated by dated psych and Pop leftovers of the 60's, but the bulk is going the right way with a nice sense for instrumental originality and vocal balance.

Back on track for Brian Auger's Oblivion Express, a sweet little album of jazzy, psych and Fusion elements, recommended for all lovers of organ-based light Prog/Psych.

 Befour (with the Trinity) by AUGER, BRIAN album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.03 | 25 ratings

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Befour (with the Trinity)
Brian Auger Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Recorded after their split with Julie Driscoll, Befour found the Trinity steering away from wide- eyed psychedelic pop to get down and dirty with some jazz fusion material. This might have alienated fans of their prior work, but it did at least position Auger as one of the more interesting of the early prog keyboardists, even if his work isn't as widely celebrated as the likes of Keith Emerson, Dave Greenslade, Tony Banks, Rick Wakeman or Hugh Banton in retrospect. Punchy without being obnoxious, clever without being pretentious, and technically complex without being dull, it's as confident a transition from psychedelia to progressive rock as ever I've seen.
 Looking In The Eye Of The World (as OBLIVION EXPRESS) by AUGER, BRIAN album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.29 | 5 ratings

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Looking In The Eye Of The World (as OBLIVION EXPRESS)
Brian Auger Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Anon-E-Mouse

3 stars A steady performer, elder statesman of the British Jazz-Rock scene, AUGER has been delivering quality material for decades. Indeed, he is so steady that his predictable approach to the Hammond organ has become repetitive and somewhat tedious.

So, what's new here? Well, there is a bit and that's not always a plus. This release appears to have been designed to promote his very talented children while daddy provides a familiar background.

Daughter SAVANNAH has a sweet, endearing voice and sings in the finest tradition of female Jazz vocal. Son KARMA AUGER on drums is on his way to challenge PIERRE MOERLEN, or BILL BRUFORD when it comes to sharp, tight delivery on the skins.

So, what's wrong with this album? Nothing much really, but nothing much right, either. A family promotion designed not to offend, but to appeal to the masses in a compromised way. Some of the tunes are little more than elevator music and when it comes to the horns, it appears that AUGER had sacrificed his identity in order to gain recognition by the US music market. Such attempt by many have failed "big time" before and AUGER's approach is but another casualty.

Enjoyable, but hardly essential work. .

.

 Befour (with the Trinity) by AUGER, BRIAN album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.03 | 25 ratings

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Befour (with the Trinity)
Brian Auger Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Cactus Choir

5 stars Befour seems to be the forgotten runt of Brian Auger's litter, coming after break-up of the Trinity with Julie Driscoll and prior to the increasingly jazz-fusion style he pursued with Oblivion Express, but it's actually my favourite Auger album.

Recorded at Advision in 1970 with Eddie (ELP and Yes) Offord producing, something of the Spirit of Prog appears to infuse Mr Auger, even to the extent of doing a couple of nifty classical interpretations of Faure's Pavane and Albinoni's Adagio in his signature groovy jazz-rock style.

Befour is largely made up of non-original covers, which might be taken by some as a lack of inspiration, but what amazing covers several of them are. The two real standouts are a version of No Time To Live that trumps Traffic's original for existential angst with wonderful vocals from guitarist Gary Boyle and brilliant Hammond work from Auger. It is matched by Maiden Voyage, where the transition from the jazz piano and horns of Herbie Hancock's original to organ and guitar works wonderfully well. Mr Auger once again just totally rocks the Hammond on this track, and really was on top form when this album was made. The one group original, Just You Just Me, has a cool groove and excellent vocals from Auger.

Try to get the infinitely superior cover art with the group reflected in rainwater, which far better reflects the mood of the album than the more common flowers and group pics version. Befour reminds me of a rainy autumn day in London - I quite like rainy autumn days in London and I love this album. Four and a half stars rounded up to five.

 Brian Auger's Oblivion Express by AUGER, BRIAN album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.75 | 32 ratings

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Brian Auger's Oblivion Express
Brian Auger Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Brian Auger's Oblivion Express first album selftitled from 1971 is considered one Brian Auger best works in his long career and one of the most intresting hammond driven jazz rock/progressive rock albums of first part of the '70s. Trinity his first band now is history Brin Auger allowing in his music lots of instrumental arrangements going from jazz rock to progressive rock with some spacey ingredients thrown in, the result is more then ok to my ears. The album is powerful and gives to the listner no rest from first to last piece with hammond running all over plus a quite good guitar work and druming. I'm not bothered at all by the vocal lines Auger voice is pleasent to my ears, really is more then ok like on The road, very pleasent vocal parts and groovy instrumental sections. Not a weak moment here on this release, only energic pieces with intresting creative passages all over. One of my fav musicians keyboardists and albums. 4 stars maybe in places 4,5 stars. recommended for sure.
 A Better Land (as Oblivion Express) by AUGER, BRIAN album cover Studio Album, 1971
2.44 | 24 ratings

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A Better Land (as Oblivion Express)
Brian Auger Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars In 1971 Auger helped with the production and appeared in the sole release of Mogul Thrash, while at the same time he entered again the Advision Studios with his supporting group to record Oblivion Express' second album ''A better land''.The same year the sophomore release of the group saw the light on RCA.

What a huge dissapointment to see this great band after a nice debut turning the sound into more Pop, Psych Rock and R'n'B sounds.Generally ''A better land'' can be considered as a melodic Psychedelic/Pop Rock album with no connections to the early Jazz/Fusion style of Oblivion Express.Full of delicate vocals, smooth piano lines, melodic guitar work with jazzy touches and a laid-back drum/bass support, the album is an easy-going travel with tendency towards more emotional songwriting and no signs of technical or virtuosic passages.The music is very mellow, the tracks are simplistic and the atmosphere remains soft all the way.Auger's monster organ sounds are totally absent except for a couple notable solos, his Hammond now plays the secondary role of filling the sound in most of the tracks and the lack of his energetic runs are more than evident.

Unimpressive jazzy melodic Psych Rock.Questions about this sudden turn in sound remain until today.Only for archivists, collectors and die-hard fans of Psychedelic/Jazz Rock.

 Brian Auger's Oblivion Express by AUGER, BRIAN album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.75 | 32 ratings

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Brian Auger's Oblivion Express
Brian Auger Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars The master of Hammond organ Brian Auger was born in London in 1939, where he would produce some of his best music.His first band was Steampacket along with Julie Driscoll, with whom he would form Brian Auger & the Trinity in 1968 (featuring Gary Boyle of Isotope).With Trinity Auger produced two albums mixing Jazz, Blues and R'n'B, before founding his most prolific band Brian Auger's Oblivion Express in 1970.With Jim Mullen on guitars, Barry Dean on bass and Robbie McIntosh on drums Auger would record Oblivion Express'es eponymous debut at Advision Studios in London in November 1970, released the following year on RCA.

Side A contains some of the best early-70's Jazz-Rock to be heard, both the short ''Dragon Song'' and the long ''Total eclipse'' are pure Jazz-Rock/Fusion delights with some powerful, dominant bass lines by Dean, Auger performing incredibly on organ and some fine jazzy guitar soloing by Mullen.''The light'' on the other hand is closer to the sound of Trinity, groovy organ- based Fusion/R'n'B with plenty of vocals by Auger with a positive taste at the end.On the flipside ''On the road'' kicks off with more of the same style, pleasant Fusion with good jazzy guitar soloing and Auger rather performing on the background this time than delivering any virtuosic notes except the middle solo.With ''Sword'' the band seems to lack inspiration, another long organ/guitar-led rockin' Fusion cut, very similar to the previous to the point you can't set them musically apart.The last track ''Oblivion Express'' has a certain DEEP PURPLE vibe on its groove, being a good blend of organ-based Heavy Rock and guitar-based Jazz-Fusion with Mullen in pure orgasm by the middle and some fiery almost EMERSON-ian organ offerings by Auger later.

It's a pitty tha the album did not maintain the high inspiration of the first pair of compositions.But again the rest of it is played with some great passion and energy, so Brian Auger's Oblivion Express'es entry in discography can be listened easily even today.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Thanks to Atavachron for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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