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Wigwam Tombstone Valentine album cover
3.08 | 85 ratings | 11 reviews | 12% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1970

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Tombstone Valentine (3:03)
2. In Gratitude! (3:44)
3. Dance of the Anthropoids (1:08)
4. Frederick & Bill (4:24)
5. Wishful Thinker (3:43)
6. Autograph (2:36)
7. 1936 Lost in the Snow (2:08)
8. Let the World Ramble On (3:19)
9. For America (4:21)
10. Captain Supernatural (3:01)
11. End (3:35)

Total Time 35:02

Bonus tracks on 2013 remaster:
12. Pedagogi (1970 single) (3:30)
13. Haato (1970 single) (4:11)

Line-up / Musicians

- Jim Pembroke / vocals
- Jukka Gustavson / organ, piano, vocals
- Pekka Pohjola / bass, violin
- Ronnie Österberg / drums

- Heikki Laurila / guitar, banjo
- Kalevi Nyqvist / accordion
- Jukka Tolonen / guitar
- Erkki Kurenniemi / Andromatic synth recorded in 1968 (3)

Releases information

Artwork: Jukka Vatanen

LP Love Records ‎- LRLP 19 (1970, Finland)
LP Svart Records ‎- SVR278 (2014, Finland) Remastered by Joona Lukala

CD Love Records ‎- LRCD 9/19 (1990, Finland) Bundled in 1 CD with "Hard N'Horny"
CD Love Records ‎- LRCD 19 (2003, Finland) 24-bit remaster by Pauli Saastamoinen
CD Esoteric Recordings ‎- ECLEC 2372 (2013, UK) Remastered by Ben Wiseman with 2 bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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WIGWAM Tombstone Valentine ratings distribution

(85 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(26%)
Good, but non-essential (48%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

WIGWAM Tombstone Valentine reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by loserboy
4 stars Released in 1970, WIGWAM's second album "Tombstone Valentine" uniquely stands on its own as not only a precursor to what was still to come but also a wonderful album bubbling over with soul searching folk/psych/prog leanings. The first few WIGWAM albums are truly wonderful and generally cover a wide range of musical ground. This album is a collection is 11 tracks with a heavy focus on folk-blues-rock songs giving at times allusion to the symphonic prog the later albums would explore. Hard to exactly peg down this album but definitely hear some PROCOL HARUM and a piece of maybe folk-era HOELDERLIN. "Tombstone Valentine" introduced us to new WIGWAM members Jukka Tolonen (guitarist) and bassist/composer Pekka Pohjola. WIGWAM were lead by both Jukka Gustavson (organ, piano) and vocalist England's Jim Pembroke'. Overall this is an excellent album that showed WIGWAM in early form performing unconventional and original selection of folk/prog and clearly shows a young band searching for a chemistry that began to gel on this album.
Review by Jimbo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Kim Fowley, a producer from England, apparently got so excited about Hard And Horny, that he decided to come to Finland to produce Wigwam's second album. He had an idea, that Wigwam would be the next Beatles. I'm still not sure whether this was a good thing or not. For one, Tombstone Valentine is not as experimental as their debut, but partly because of that, it's also a much more coherent and better balanced effort. The line-up had changed slightly, as this was Pekka Pohjola's (my favorite bassist)debut with Wigwam. Jukka Tolonen (who never officially joined Wigwam) also offers his hand, as Nikke Nikamo had left earlier on. On to the music then! Well, it's fairly basic early 70's pop/rock music, with some occasional prog/psych leanings. If looking for comparisons; Procol Harum, The Band and to a lesser extent Traffic spring to mind. "1936 Lost In The Snow" show-cases of what was to come of Pohjola later on, but in general, Tombstone Valentine leaves a slightly tame and bland impression on me. It's far from a bad album, but from their early ouput, it is ultimately the weakest. 3,5 stars
Review by Sean Trane
3 stars (Second in a series of seven)

Wigwam's second album is a slightly more refined version of the first album repeating the shizophrenian music (really two personality of tracks here represented by both main writers but also contributing to each other's compsition) . Unfortunately , the flaws encountered in the debut are also duplicated here: unclear musical directions - something they shared with TAS. PRES. Speaking of T P , Jukka Tolonen comes in with his guitar but never officialy joined , this being the first noticeable of many collaborations in between the two groups for years to come until the ultimate disbanding of T P and some members ending up in Wigwam.

The album opens with jug band title track followed by a Traffic-inspired track . The highlight is the Cream-sounding Fred & Bill while Thinker is reminiscent of Bob Seeger (especially in the vocal delivery). Again , the Pembroke tracks are in the late 60's Dylan mode while Gustavson's are more Procol but really Traffic-inspired. With the arrival of super-bassist Pohjola, the equilibrium between Gustvson and Pembroke is tipped in favor of Gustavson but this is not apparent yet. Pohjola is clearly influenced by classical and jazz as his later solo albums will show.

The first two albums are , now, on one cd but even for the better value, this should be for confirmed Wigwam fans with enough complacency to indulge in those early confused albums , evoking a group still seaching for itself. Something they will manage better with the following two albums , once Pohjola's influences fully integrated. I also rounded off the rating to the upper unit.

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars With this album the band tried to attract some international attention, as KIM FOWLEY arrived from England to do the production. Maybe this lowers it's value in my ears, as I liked WIGWAM's debut album's rawness and the wildness of their ideas. This album has much more commercial sound in it, and the added "crazy parts" (excerpts from Kureniemi's electronic music) seem quite artsy. There are still good tracks on this album, like PEKKA POHJOLA's violin driven "1936 Lost in the Snow". "Wishful Thinker" is also beautiful song, but it sounds like a direct plagiarism of THE BAND's "Unfaitful Servant".
Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars WIGWAM are considered as the most significant band of the Finnish prog scene of the 70's.Having their roots in the jazz rock act ''Blues Section'',they were formed in 1968 and released ''Hard'n'horny'' in 1969.Both written in English and Finnish language,this was a rather hard-listening release with a sound close to psych,jazz and blues.''Tombstone Valentine'' shoed the arrival of bassist/violinist Peeka Pohjola,a major rock figure in Finland.Now,with a more delicate sound and reminding most of UK bands due to English singer Jim Pembroke,WIGWAM were ready to win wide success.THE BEATLES' influences are all over the place,combined with smooth violins and jazzy guitars.Very good work on piano by Jukka Gustavson,a classical-trained member focused on a more symphonic style of playing,especially in some superb organ intros.While ''Tombstone valentine'' isn't a release,which will leave you mind-blown,it's a good album,sometimes dominated by pop partts,sometimes it has a quite psych atmosphere,other ones jazzy/bluesy guitars lead the way.A recommended release for fans of early-70's smootyh and jazzy progressive/art rock.
Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars Take a Finnish band full of skilled musicians and try to make them sound like the Beatles. The result is not too bad because they are skilled musicians, but it's far from reaching the scope. For Wigwam not becoming the new Beatles may have been a bad thing, economically speaking, but for us listeners it's better so.

Tombstone Valentine failed to make Wigwam the new Beatles because they were Wigwam. I mean that the band's member, one for all Pekka Pohjola have their way to make music, surely influenced by the Beatles but when artists have personality they can't stay on a standard too strict.

"Tombstone Valentine" sounds Beatlesian enough specially in the slowest parts, but the second track is enough to understand that they are making their own music.

Te third, short, track "Dance of The Anthropopids" is an experimental electronic shot. More experimental than Revolution 9.

"Frederick & Bill" sounds more similar to Gong or Gentle Giant than to Beatles, and taking into account that it's 1970 it means that they were enough in advance respect to their times.

"Wishful Thinker" is a slow country-rock ballad. It makes me think to Rolling Stones and their Wild Horses just with a touch of Procol Harum added by the organ.

Still on the countryside with the fiddle and the banjo of "Autograph", but giving attention to the chords it's not totally country, like Geoff Richardson's Caravan.

"1936 - Lost In The Snow" doesn't have anything of Lennon or McCartney. It's more in the vein of Canterbury. Not jazzy as Soft Machine but promising of what will come in the following years. The final fadeout is really a pity.

"Let The World Rumble On" is a poppy song on which Pekka's bass makes a good work.

"For America" is the first true jazzy song. Bass and piano in 5/4 turning to swing after a while. The best track of this album IMO.

"Captain Supernatural" is a song reminding of Procol Harum. Nothing wrong in sounding like Procol Harum in 1970.

"End" (nice title for a closer) is an experimental organ solo in the first half, then piano and voice complete the song. This is, I think , a Pekka Pohjola's composition.

The album is just a collection of unrelated songs with different moods. I like it but it fits perfectly into the 3-stars definition.

Review by siLLy puPPy
3 stars WIGWAM debuted in 1969 with "Hard 'n' Horny" which proved the band was up to speed with the psychedelic 60s and created a fairly interesting take on "Sgt Pepper's" psychedelia with a unique Finnish spin. While the band made some waves, the album ultimately proved to be a little behind in the psychedelia race that was quickly evolving as the 70s approached. It didn't take long before bassist Mats Hulden took off and was replaced by Pekka Pohjola who would help steer WIGWAM into more progressive territories but not quite yet. Likewise guitarist Nikke Nikamo jumped ship and no replacement could be decided upon so Jukka Tolonen of Tasavallan Presidentii stepped in as a guest musician to supply the needed guitar parts on the second album TOMBSTONE VALENTINE.

TOMBSTONE VALENTINE is very much a transitional album in WIGWAM's career. While the debut was a really decent slice of 60s psychedelic rock with some jazzy touches and the following "Fairyport" and "Being" are complex slices of progressive rock, this one is more of a grab bag of all kinds of disparate tracks that more often than not don't even seem like they are from the same band. In fact the completely out of place mini-electronic weirdness heard on the third track "The Dance Of The Arthropoids" wasn't even recorded by WIGWAM but rather was an experimental electronic piece recorded by Erikki Kurenniemi all the way back in 1968. Kim Fowley, the band's first American producer deemed it fitting to include it for whatever reason.

This album seems more like an archival release of unreleased tracks than an album itself displaying the turbulent times between their psychedelic and progressive rock years. Despite the fact that Pekka Pohjola is on board, this one doesn't display his brilliant bass playing techniques and the tracks vary from rather bland Grateful Dead sounding country rock such as on the title track, "Frederick & Bill" and "Autograph," the last of which includes the use of violin and banjo to "Let The World Ramble On" which sounds like some AOR hit single from the era reminding me of Seals & Croft or some other similarly insipid sappy ballad.

All is not lost for progressive rock however despite too many speed bumps in the way. "In Gratitude" offers up some rockin' chops that hints towards the leap of complexity that would take place on the following "Fairyport" whereas "For America" offerings a nice tasty serving of jazz-rock which would be teased out into more sophistication on the next album. "Captain Supernatural" resides somewhere in between prog, jazz and the more commercial rock that many tracks attempt to tackle. The last track appropriately titled "End" is one of the coolest tracks with a mystifying ambience and psyched out organ drive that sounds like the best of the 60s psychedelic scene taking you on a true trip but would've sounded more at home on the debut or on a Procol Harum album once the vocals start.

TOMBSTONE VALENTINE is quite the mess of an album with an atrocious lack of unifying theme. While the debut "Hard 'n' Horny" did seem like two different EPs stitched together with each album side retaining a different mood, somehow the album worked as a whole even if not perfectly executed. This sophomore release, on the other hand, is just all over the place jumping from proggy rock to experimental electronica and then to country rock and then off to jazz-fusion. While the cream of the crop of the tracks are quite decent, this album resides in between the psychedelic pop of the debut and the hardcore prog of the next album, therefore the pop aspects are dampened by the prog attempts and the prog is weak because of the pop. This was obviously an uncertain time where the band were reinventing themselves and wouldn't be ready for primetime until "Fairyport" but still has several enjoyable tracks despite the awkwardness.

Review by Matti
3 stars Tombstone Valentine, the second studio album by the Finnish prog legend WIGWAM, was the first Finnish album ever to be released in the USA; the US release -- by Verve company -- was in fact a double vinyl featuring also tracks from Blues Section (the late 60's proto prog band whose members, such as British immigrant Jim Pembroke, continued shaping the Finnish prog scene in both Wigwam and Tasavallan Presidentti) and other artists of the Love Records label. The album itself was produced by the American producer Kim Fowley, whose steering of the band first resulted as the departure of the original guitarist Vladimir "Nikke" Nikamo. The original bassist Mats Huldén also left to continue his university studies. At this point, soon-to-be-legendary bassist and composer Pekka Pohjola joined the group, but the guitar parts were played by two non-members: Jukka Tolonen of Tasavallan Presidentti, and Heikki Laurila, probably the most active session musician in the country. The musically lighthearted title track, a satirical Jim Pembroke composition, features accordion of another guest musician.

The music on this album is in general much more straightforward than the debut album Hard 'N' Horny (1969), which contained a jazz-flavoured, Finnish-language first side written by organist and vocalist Jukka Gustavson, and a side-long 'Henry's...' suite written by Pembroke. The latter dominates here in the compositions. For some reason Fowley wanted to add a one-minute excerpt of the experimental electronic music piece recorded in 1968 by Erkki Kurenniemi, even though it had nothing whatsoever to do with Wigwam. Gustavson's 'In Gratitude' shows a strong influence of TRAFFIC. 'Frederick and Bill' is co-composed by Pembroke and Pohjola; preceding reviewers here have compared it to e.g. Cream and Gentle Giant, but it's not among my favourites.

I rather like the laid-back and swinging 'Wishful Thinker' which has a slight US West Coast feel. On the easy-going Fowley-Pembroke composition 'Autograph' Pekka Pohjola (who had a classical background as a musician) plays also violin, as he does in his own 2-minute instrumental piece, classically influenced '1936 Lost in the Snow'. 'Let the Whole World Ramble On' is another laid-back Pembroke song which is harmlessly nice and nothing more. Gustavson's instrumental 'For America' is the jazziest track of the album, and his deeply thoughtful and serene 'End' is IMHO the album's most beautiful piece featuring passionate singing and a warm, harmonic organ sound.

Especially Jukka Gustavson has later reflected this album without fondness: under the guidance of an American producer Wigwam weren't completely true to their own visions. It is also a bit peculiar that even though there's no guitarist in the band at this point, here there are relatively lot of guitars for an album of Wigwam's early era. The following, legendary prog albums Fairyport (1971) and Being (1974) are indeed artistically miles above the pop oriented lightness of Tombstone Valentine, which is admittedly uneven and slightly disjointed, but also charming in its own way. Friendly three stars.

Latest members reviews

1 stars Their second album is actually even worse than their first one, even there is Pekka Pohjola on bass. The songs are worse and it's also less interesting. And there is a strong smell of commercialism too. I mean, they are trying to be like new beatles or something. The annoying title track could ... (read more)

Report this review (#423567) | Posted by Talybont | Sunday, March 27, 2011 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Tombstone Valentine has to be the weakest Wigwam album (At least of their albums up to Dark album, haven't heard the rest) I have heard. Being (Heheh) released after the awesome, underrated debut album "Hard 'n' Horny" and coming out before the excellent "Fairyport" this album fails to reach t ... (read more)

Report this review (#113814) | Posted by Wutu Banale | Wednesday, February 28, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Wigwam's second album, Tombstone Valentine (1970), was in a way a landmark in prog music, because within it Pekka Pohjola entered the scene. Arguably the best bass player of his generation, Pohjola not only brought his ear-dropping bass fingerings to the band, but also his composition style that ... (read more)

Report this review (#75140) | Posted by OT Räihälä | Sunday, April 16, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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