Sunday, March 02, 2008

Hour Glass - Power Of Love (1968)

Εδώ έχουμε να κάνουμε με μία κυκλοφορία του Μαρτίου 1968 που αφορά το προηγούμενο σχήμα των Allman Brothers. Οι Hour Glass ήταν οι πρόγονοι των διάσημων Allman Brothers, οι οποίοι κυκλοφόρησαν δύο Lp’s. Αυτό εδώ είναι το 2ο που κυκλοφόρησε από την Liberty το 1968 και επανεκδόθηκε επίσημα για πρώτη φορά το 1992 από την ΕΜΙ (7-98826). Το rip που είχε κυκλοφορήσει στην Ελλάδα είναι από αυτή την επανέκδοση περιέχει ανέκδοτα κομμάτια τους).

Για να λέω την αλήθεια ο δίσκος δεν είναι βέβαια καθαρά ψυχεδελικός, ωστόσο έχει αξία αφού το συγκεκριμένο γκρουπ άνοιγε τις συναυλίες των Doors, των Buffalo Springfield. Μετά και το δεύτερο δίσκο και σε μία προσπάθεια να βρει ταυτότητα αλλά και πόρους μεταφέρθηκε στο Jacksonville της Florida όπου και συνεργάστηκαν με τους folk-rockers The 31st of February έχοντας στις τάξεις τους τον ντράμερ του γκρουπ Butch Trucks. Η ιστορία αναφέρει τον Neil Young όταν ήταν στους Buffalo Springfield να θαυμάζει τις ικανότητες του Gregg Allman. Σαφώς και αξίζει τον κόπο να ακούσετε αυτό το γκρουπ που δεν έχω δει να κυκλοφορεί στο net. Αποτελεί εξάλλου μία «αρχέγονη» ροκ ιστορία.

This is really an embryonic Allman Brothers band, with Duane and Gregg fronting the otherwise unfamiliar lineup. However, that's not to say that it's either good or particularly close to the Allmans' sound. Instead, it's dated L.A. acid rock, vaguely like the the Buffalo Springfield minus the harmonies (Neil Young's liner notes for this album were "witnessed" by Steve Stills). The material is uneven and the production is disgraceful, obsessing on gimmicky pop song riffs; and with the band featuring two keyboard players, skating-rink organ parts get plastered on everything.

The low point is a lame instrumental cover of "Norwegian Wood," with Duane plunking away on electric sitar. In the end, the band only seems comfortable on the slow Southern blues numbers ("To Things Before"; "I'm Hanging Up My Heart For You"). However, Gregg was already writing plenty of good tunes and singing up a storm, and Duane was a first-class guitarist despite not yet having mastered the slide and playing with the same dull disortion effects on track after track ("Going Nowhere").

Fortunately, the CD release includes six excellent bonus tracks that pumped up my rating a full star. Taken from an unreleased, early 1969 Gregg Allman solo project, they capture the gritty, professional Southern blues-rock style of the mature Allmans. For example, a version of "Down In Texas" blows away the official Power Of Love release, despite the fact that the latter is one of the best tracks on the album!

Gregg Allman – organ, piano, guitar, vocal (all tracks)
Duane Allman – guitars, electric sitar (tracks 1-12)
Paul Hornsby – piano, organ, guitar, vocal (tracks 1-12)
Johnny Sandlin – drums, guitar, gong (tracks 1-12)
Pete Carr – bass, guitar, vocal (tracks 1-12)
Several unknown studio musicians on horns, guitars, backing vocals, drums, bass, keyboards and percussion (tracks 13-18)

1 Power of Love (Spooner Oldham-Dan Penn) - 2:50
2 Changing of the Guard - 2:33
3 To Things Before - 2:33
4 I'm Not Afraid - 2:41
5 I Can Stand Alone - 2:13
6 Down in Texas (Marlon Greene-Eddie Hinton) - 3:07
7 I Still Want Your Love - 2:20
8 Home for the Summer (Marlon Greene-Eddie Hinton) - 2:44
9 I'm Hanging Up My Heart For You (John Berry-Don Covay) - 3:09
10 Going Nowhere - 2:43
11 Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) (John Lennon-Paul McCartney) - 2:59
12 Now Is The Time - 3:59
13 Down in Texas (alternate version) (Marlon Greene-Eddie Hinton) - 2:21
14 It's Not My Cross to Bear - 3:36
15 Southbound - 3:41
16 God Rest His Soul (Steve Alaimo) - 4:02
17 February 3rd (Composer Unknown) - 2:56
18 Apollo 8 (Composer Unknown) - 2:37

All songs by Gregg Allman, unless noted.
Tracks 1-12 constitute the original album.
Tracks 13-18 from the 1969 sessions for Gregg Allman's unreleased first solo album for Liberty (present on 1992 re-release only).


Anonymous said...

Congratulations for your wonderful blog, and thanks to post this great album pre-Allman Brothers Band. Please could post the first one "Hourglass".

psych-Spaniolos said...

I’m really sorry but I don’t have it. I’ll try to find it. Thanks a lot.

Anonymous said...

Fucked link. Please fix it. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

dead link - fuck off!