Friday, November 07, 2008

Aorta – Aorta (1969)


Πολύ παλιό μου άκουσμα αλλά από τα καλά. Έτυχε σε κείνον τον καλό άνθρωπο στους Μετς να ακούσω τότε το original. Με την προσμονή κάποτε να μπορέσω να το αγοράσω έπεσα στην επανακυκλοφορία της Buy Or Die.
Το πολύ ενδιαφέρον αυτό group προέρχεται από μέλη των The Exception, για τους οποίους πολλές πληροφορίες θα βρείτε εδώ http://pages.prodigy.net/cussmith/chicago00.html.
Δυστυχώς δεν μπόρεσα να βρω κάποια φωτό από το γκρουπ ως Aorta, αλλά αυτή που έβαλα ως The Exception, όπου ο «ξένος» της παρέας είναι νομίζω ο τυπάκος με τα γυαλιά κάτω αριστερά.

Personnel:
Mike Been -- bass, guitar, backing vocals (replaced
Billy Jones) (1970)Peter Cetera -- vocals, bass (1968)Jim Donlinger -- vocals, lead guitar (1968-70)Tom Dolinger -- drums, percussion (replaced
Billy Herman) (1970)Billy Herman -- drums, backing vocals (1968-69)Billy Jones -- bass, backing vocals (replaced
Peter Cetera) (1968-69)Jim Nyeholt -- keyboards (1968-69)

ALBUMS:
1(A) AORTA (Columbia 9785) 1969 168
2 AORTA 2 (Happy Tiger 1010) 1970 R1 -
NB: (1) also released in France: (CBS S7-63690) 1969. (1) reissued on CD by Buy Or Die.

45s:
1 Shapes Of Things To Come/Strange (Atlantic 2545) 1968
2 Strange/Ode To Missy Mtfzspkik (Columbia 44870) 1969
3 Sand Castles/Willie Jean (Happy Tiger 567) 1970

These two albums of acid psychedelia are highly rated by some. Their first album is consistently good throughout and is certainly recommended. A wide range of material is held together by tight playing and some fine guitar/organ interplay. Unfortunately, the second album pales by comparison and is largely uninspired with no real highlights.
The band came from Chicago and during the mid-sixties were a popular Top 40's lounge group, going by the name of The Exceptions. After a couple of years of regurgitating the latest hits, they were getting bored and were looking for room to explore their musical talents, when producer Bill Traut (of Dunwich Records) approached them with an offer to record an album of original material. All of the group with the exception of Pete Cetera lept at the chance, and with the bass slot now filled by Bobby Jones, they renamed themselves as Aorta.
Curiously their first album was released the same month as three other Chicago acts signed to Columbia Illinois Speed Press, The Flock, and Chicago (who incidentally included Pete Cetera). This was a marketing ploy to push a "Chicago" scene and all four albums entered the Billboard Top 200, with Aorta's peaking at around 168 and remaining in the chart for a respectable six weeks. Incidentally, the basic tracks and vocal tracks for the first album were recorded at Great Lakes Recording studio in Sparta, Michigan, with one track Sprinkle Road To Cork Street referring to two roads in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Been and the Donlinger brothers had all formerly played in The Rotary Connection, another Chicago act, and Been and Jim Dolinger were later in Lovecraft. Nyeholt also played with The Rotary Connection during a brief period between the two albums, and Billy Herman went on to play for New Colony Six. Michael Been later played with Moby Grape members Jerry Miller / Bob Mosley in Fine Wine, and is still active on the music scene.
Tom Donlinger later played drums on several Van Morrison albums. His brother dropped their last name (which they had already shortened from Dondelinger) and recorded as James Vincent, playing in a Christian jazz/fusion style. See his website - http://www.jamesvincent.net for more details.
Aorta were also the creative force behind Coven's first album. Once again it was Bill Traut who got them all together, but Jim Donlinger wrote most of the songs, arranged them, played guitar and sang backup. Jim Nyeholt also played keyboards. They were very coy in the liner notes, but Mike Been and Tom Donlinger are named (as "Practici").
The compilation Psychedelic Dream features three tracks from their first album:- What's In My Mind's Eye, a beautiful piece of orchestrated pop-psych; Sleep Tight, a rather disjointed song which wasn't one of their finest moments but ended with some pleasant keyboards and Catalyptic, a cover of a Colours song, which is another keyboard dominated number with some occasionally scintillating guitar. The latter track has often puzzled collectors, as it fits neatly into the 'concept' of Aorta, but is pre-dated by the Colours version. In fact, Bill Traut had received a demo of the track, and suggested it to Aorta for their album, but other than that there's no direct link between the groups.
Anyone interested in digging into Aorta's roots may be interested in the Collectables CD The Quill Records Story: The Best of Chicago Garage Bands, which includes two Exceptions singles: As Far As I Can See and Business As Usual.
Also recommended is the 45 version of Strange, which includes different guitar and can be found on U-Spaces: Psychedelic Archaeology Vol. 1 (CDR).
(Vernon Joynson/Byron Stewart/Stephane Rebeschini/Michael Packer/Steve Murray w/thanks to Jim Nyeholt)

Tracks:
1. Main Vein –J . Vincent
2. Heart Attack -J. Vincent/J. Nyeholt
3. What's In My Mind’s Eye - J./G. Vincent
4. Magic Bed - J. Vincent/D. Hoagland
5. Main Vein Ii - J. Vincent/J. Nyeholt
6. Sleep Tight - R. Titleman/L. George
7. Catalyptic - J. Dalton/G. Montgomery
8. Main Vein Iii - J. Vincent
9. Sprinkle Road To Cork Street - J. Nyeholt/D. Hoagland
10. Ode To Missy Mxyzosptlk - J. Vincent
11. Strange - D. Hoagland
12. A Thousand Thoughts - J. Vincent/W. Herman
13. Thoughts & Feelings/ Main Vein Iv - J. Vincent

Produced by Bill Traut and James Vincent. Originally recorded in 1968. Basic tracks and vocal tracks arranged by Aorta and recorded at Great Lakes Recording, Sparta, MI. Engineers: David Kalmbach and Bryce Roberson. Orchestra arranged by Jim Nyeholt and recorded at Universal Studios, Chicago, IL. Engineer: Jerry de Clercq. Remixed at CBS Studios, New York. Remix engineer: Glenn Kolotkin. Special effects by Bill Traut.

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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Spaniolo, FYI, I found it posted at http://orexisofdeath.blogspot.com/2007/07/aorta-aorta-1968-us-psychodelic-rock.html along with some info ...

psych-Spaniolos said...

Not only there. I think that lost-in-tyme post it long time ago. My infos are from Fuzz Acid and Flowers or Tapestry from Delights or elswhere.

daniel said...

gracias!!
hace mucho tiempo que buscaba este disco!!