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BULL ANGUS

Heavy Prog • United States


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Bull Angus biography
Known primarily to late 60s/early 70s vinyl fanatics, BULL ANGUS (a name inspired by the bull farms near a barn they'd rented for rehearsals) was a psychedelic blues band with significant prog leanings. Best evidence has them forming sometime in the late 1960s in Poughkeepsie, New York, by guitarists Larry LaFALCE and Dino PAOLILLO. The duo was soon joined by Geno CHARLES(drums), Frankie PREVITE(vocals,recorder,percussion), Ron PICCOLO(keyboards) and Lenny VENDITTI(bass). LaFalce and Venditti were formerly with NY bands The PYRAMID, Previte had been with The OXFORD WATCHBAND, and Piccolo a member of The REVELLS. With Vinny Testa producing, the group released a self-titled debut in 1971 on Mercury Records but poor marketing and sales meant that the band only issued one more album, 1972's 'Free For All', before BULL ANGUS split up (although PREVITE will forever be a footnote in pop history for penning "The Time of My Life" for the Dirty Dancing soundtrack!).

It is odd that BA didn't make a larger impact at the time; their brand of post-psychedelic heavy blues successfully crossed between jam-happy Southern rock and budding Prog. The material was often compared to heavyweights like URIAH HEEP and ATOMIC ROOSTER as well as homegrown GRAND FUNK RAILROAD, but the band's dexterity and large roster meant they could occasionally leave hardrock behind and dabble in early Crimson-style folk. Despite all this, Bull Angus never earned a cult following and has remained underappreciated to this day.

- The Whistler -

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Free For AllFree For All
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$24.98 (used)
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BULL ANGUS discography


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BULL ANGUS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.48 | 14 ratings
Bull Angus
1971
2.59 | 10 ratings
Free For All
1972

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BULL ANGUS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Free For All by BULL ANGUS album cover Studio Album, 1972
2.59 | 10 ratings

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Free For All
Bull Angus Heavy Prog

Review by ozzy_tom
Prog Reviewer

2 stars After partly successful mix of heavy prog and standard hard rock in their debut, self-titled album, Bull Angus recorded another LP called "Free for All". Unfortunately this one presents even more mainstream oriented material dominated by typical hard/southern rock with strong pop flavor. This staff can't be called heavy prog at all because it contains only few progressive influences.

And now let's look into the songs:

1. "Lone Stranger" - uninspiring rock song led by dual guitars & bland piano melody. Nothing to remember when it's over.

2. "City Boy" - another unmemorable tune, very soft & uninspiring. Nothing hard and nothing prog here. Sounds more like mid 60s rock'n'roller. Couple of blues-rock piano/guitar jams in the second part of the song doesn't add too much.

3. "Loving Till End" - finally some more ambitious material arrives here. Quite calm and atmospheric track with passionate vocals & some nice flute fragments. A bit of Jethro Tull & a bit of Cressida I would say. Definitely the most prog-rock moment on the album.

4. "Savoy Truffle" - very poppy song which reminds me some of Queen's material at its worst (usually I enjoy Queen anyway). Soul/R'n'B like choruses are especially dreadful. But there is one good thing: finally Ron Piccolo plays Hammond organ here! It's only one standard solo but it's still fact worth to be mentioned (but it can't be even compared with organ-driven debut of Bull Angus!).

5. "Drivin' Me Wild" - another normal hard rocker with rather annoying refrain. Lots of average guitar riffing + one smokin' organ solo. Near the end there are some more energetic guitar duels & Hammond chops but nothing extraordinary.

6. "(We're the) Children of Our Dreams" - not so bad rock ballad with quite catchy and not obstructive refrain. Rather standard but pleasant to listen. Some harmony vocals similar to Queen (and this time comparison is a compliment of course).

7. "Train Woman Lee" - more psychy/proggy track with main melody played by Ron on organ. Sometimes Uriah Heep/Deep Purple spring to my mind when I listen to it, but during extended organ solo I can also see clear Atomic Rooster influences. Along with "Loving Till End" this is my pick from the album.

As you see from above descriptions, it's a rather weak album which doesn't deserve too much attention from progressive rock fans and casual hard rock lovers may also find it too poppy/mainstream. Compared with Bull Angus' debut compositions are quite lame here. Also keyboardist seems to be out of form and sticks mainly too piano (switches to organ only for couple of solos). Overall not highly recommended, you should better check real heavy prog albums first (for example Bull Angus' debut). But if you're in a mood for something less engaging you may try it.

More bands which play(ed) similar music: Bloodrock, Nazareth, Led Zeppelin, Lucifer's Friend, Uriah Heep, Deep Purple, Kansas (in their most mainstream moments in 70s).

Best tracks: "Loving Till End" & "Train Woman Lee".

2 stars (with small "plus") from ozzy_tom

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 Bull Angus by BULL ANGUS album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.48 | 14 ratings

BUY
Bull Angus
Bull Angus Heavy Prog

Review by migue091

4 stars Quite solid album this one I have come to quite accidentally. You will find here the highlights that made great bands like Rooster, Heep, Purple or even Lynyrd Skynyrd, such mix is thrown in these pieces of music.

Maybe this band did not have the recognition I think they should have had because there's not a single track that really stands out over the rest (maybe CY sets a different mood for its acoustic nature (great tune by the way!)), so due to low commercial success they delivered just two albums

Hammonds and double guitars are present in all the album, delivered in an energetic way, with good interplay, riffing and crunchy soloing. The doble guitar attack and the flavour is sometimes more sabbat, zep or purple but sometimes they threw some souther flavours ala Lynyrd Skynyrd. Quite tasty mix, let me tell you. There's even some flute every now and then that really fits the themes. The songs are complex and dynamic enough to consider this prog in the same terms as, for example, Uriah Heep.

Songwriting is ok, maybe not superb, but this is a very pleasant listen to everyone who loves heavy prog hammond and guitar driven.

There are also good vocal harmonies even in the backing vocals, and the lead singer reminds to Gillan or Byron, and is quite dynamic.

All in all, I'm having a really good time listening to this, and it is leaving me in a very good mood so...I'll give it a weak 4 stars, give them a try!

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 Bull Angus by BULL ANGUS album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.48 | 14 ratings

BUY
Bull Angus
Bull Angus Heavy Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars Almost four star, but not yet!!!

American sextet band (with four members ? id not all six - of Italian descendence) from the Midwest, who developed a hard-driving organ-lead prog rock a bit similar to what many English bands did in the early 70's. This is their debut album, which dates from 71 recorded in NYC and was released on the Mercury label with a big bullish gatefold artwork. This twin-guitar group with the singer playing flute and percussion and an ever-present keyboardist (who very modest songwriter in terms of credits) play an energetic rock somewhere between Purple, Heep and Rooster (Farlowe era), but the fact that they're six allows them more instrumental freedom, although I wouldn't say that there are major surprises either.

Eight tracks (4 aside) no longer than 7.5 minutes, but a fairly wide sonic spectrum, where the main songwriting guitar duo (6 co-credits each) dominates but not outrageously, leaving plenty of space for everyone to blossom out more or less freely, without affecting the tightness of the band's songs. If you can picture Previte's vocals as a cross of Gillan and Farlowe, Piccolo's organ (nope, not flute ;o))) sounding Crane-ian or Lord-esque, the twins stringers marrying Blackmore and DuCann. While all of the songs are catchy enough (sometimes with relatively fun lyrics), not one seems to stand out from the pack, except maybe the quieter Cy. The flute doesn't systematically intervene in all tracks and never grows to Tull-ian proportions, but when it does rear its spout, it's a real delight, bringing a real plus to the overall sonic scheme.

Well if you love early-70's UK organ-driven hard prog, no doubt you'll love this first album, but I can't tell you if their second is as good, cos I've never seen it (let alone heard it), either in vinyl or in CD format. I gather that both vinyls are rather rare nowadays, and the fans had to wait a fair bit of time before both got a legit Cd reissue, but I bet that most are happy it happened just after the Millennium. In the meantime, this debut should satisfy your curiosity. While generally BA has their own personality, one can't help but feeling a bit awkward when some passages are a little too close for comfort to the other groups mentioned, but it's absolutely not interfering with the overall enjoyment of the album.

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