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Arthur Brown's Kingdom Come - Kingdom Come CD (album) cover


Arthur Brown's Kingdom Come


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.44 | 58 ratings

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3 stars KINGDOM COME Kingdom Come (1972) (Esoteric 2010 Re-issue) ***

This album has all the hallmarks of an `acid' album, this is confirmed in the sleeve notes as indeed being the case. It was recorded in the rural splendour of Rockfield Studios in 1972. This is Arthur's `water' album, it is sadly not as striking as his `Fire' suite, despite a very strong opening pair of tracks, and a killer closing piece. The way this album develops in the interim is ultimately frustrating, the acid seems to have opened up the portals a little too widely to let anything and everything come flooding in, and we get an uneasy amalgam of everything from light opera, sound effects, the Goons/Monty Python and even The Nice (a direct steal at one point from `For Example' on `City Melody'). The problem is that there are so many jump cuts and fragmentary episodes lasting not much more than a minute that it is difficult to comprehend what is going on at times, and the ultimate conclusion is that this work is so `all over the place' that what music there is really suffers under the weight of too much wackiness and kitchen sink interruptions. It's almost like they wrote two new minutes of music/dialogue a day, recorded it, and stuck it all together in the order in which it was written. Maybe that's exactly what they did.

The final and best section `The Hymn' finally allows the band to stretch out over a glorious mellotron chord sequence and 8 minutes with Andy Dalby soloing at the end a real highlight of the album, and one wishes there were more extended sections like this. On the whole though, the endless splices and sound effects get a little tiresome after a while, and at times it comes across more as a musical play for radio. Had it been commissioned by the BBC it might have made more sense in that context rather than as an album, but it is infused with a unique Englishness and as a melting pot representing the collective psyches of those who dropped out it is pretty much unfettered. It is simply impossible to imagine an album like this being made in any other year, and as a snapshot of what Kevin Ayers has termed `insane times' it is the real deal.

For those who have loved this album, it should be said that the re-mastering is exemplary, and the booklet is extensive and informative featuring photographs rescued from goodness knows where. The one in the centrefold has to be seen to be believed.

beebfader | 3/5 |


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