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Frijid Pink - Frijid Pink CD (album) cover


Frijid Pink


Heavy Prog

3.13 | 26 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars By the way, which one's Frijid?

For some bizarre reason, perhaps related to the misspelling of their name, Frijid Pink are often mistaken for being a band from mainland Europe. In fact, they hail from Detroit in the USA, the band forming in the late 1960's out of a band called the Detroit Vibrations. One of their early claims to fame is that they were once supported by a newly formed Led Zeppelin.

Frijid Pink's 15 minutes of super-stardom came early on in their recording career, and is included on this album. Towards the end of a recording session, they still had some time available to them, so they came up with a cover of a traditional folk song which had previously been a hit for the Animals called "House of the rising sun". Despite its "New Orleans" references, the song is generally regarded as British in origin, having been later adapted by settlers heading west. Whatever its roots, Frijid Pink's heavy lead guitar laden version captured the imagination of the singles buying public on both sides of the Atlantic in 1970, and became the band's only notable hit single.

As a whole, this the band's d├ębut album is best compared to the work of their label mates Ten Years After (one of Woodstock's greatest successes). Blues rock tracks such as "I'm on my way" and "Driving blues" (an earlier unsuccessful single which became the B-side of "House of the rising sun") are straight-forward heavy blues numbers featuring distorted lead guitar, dominant drums and heavy rock vocals.

The majority of the songs are composed by guitarist Gary Ray Thompson and vocalist Tom Beaudry (who adopted the stage name Kelly Green). Album producer Michael Valvano is also credited with writing or co-writing two of the tracks, but he was reported to be upset that he was not financially rewarded for his contribution to the success of "House of the rising sun".

Most of the tracks fall within the standard 3-5 minute range, but the last pair run for slightly longer. Unfortunately, the lengthening of "I Want To Be Your Lover" is mostly down to an amazingly tedious drum solo but "Boozin' blues" is a decent attempt at more traditional slow blues.

In all, this album would probably fall into the proto-prog category had it been released a couple of years earlier. As it is, the songs are most likely to appeal to those who enjoy the sounds of the (early) 70's. Do not expect any lost prog classics though. That said, the version of "House of the rising sun" recorded by the band is undoubtedly the definitive one.

The Repertoire records CD re-issue includes two non-album singles A-sides (their respective B-sides can be found on the "Defrosted" album). "Heartbreak hotel" is a heavy cover of the Elvis song. "Music for the people" is a band original with a highly commercial hook, similar to The Guess Who's "Share the land".

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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