30 de março de 2008

VELVETT FOGG - Velvett Fogg (1969)

Velvett Fogg (on their controversial 1969 album cover) - (Top) Graham Mullett (drums), Ian Leighton (guitar), Mick Pollard (bass). (Front/center) Frank Wilson (vocals, Hammond organ). Other members not pictured - Tony Iommi (guitar), Paul Eastment (guitar, vocals) and Keith Law (songwriter). The two nice-looking painted ladies are models

The original line-up of Velvett Fogg was formed in 1968 by soul singer Ernie Handy and guitarist Bob Hewitt. The other band members were drummer Graham Mullett, bass guitarist Mick Pollard, and Londoner Frank Wilson who played Hammond organ. The band were soon off to Germany where they spent most of the year playing at army bases and clubs. Their exciting stage act included a light show and a go-go dancer (who later married Ernie). The initial line-up of Velvett Fogg featured guitarist Tony Iommi (later to make the big time with Black Sabbath). Tony stayed in the line-up for only one gig before leaving to be replaced temporarily by Ian Leighton. It was during this time that Pye Records arranged a photo-shoot of the band for the cover of their proposed first album (left). This is the pre-Paul Eastment line-up of the band wearing garish make-up/body-paint, and also included two well-endowed young women wearing nothing but strategically applied body paint! U.K. disc jockey John Peel commented in the sleeve notes that "There is a lot of good music on this record. Remember Velvett Fogg - you will hear the name again." Material for the Velvett Fogg album would be supplied by local songwriter/guitarist Keith Law who became a friend of the band, and contributed the songs "Yellow Cave Woman" (also covered on Standarte's Stimmung album), "Once Among The Trees" and "Within' The Night". Before recording could begin in late 1968, Ian Leighton and was replaced by guitarist/vocalist Paul Eastment (a cousin of Tony Iommi's). Eastment was also to contribute original compositions for the album along with Wilson, Mullet and Pollard. Velvett Fogg recorded the tracks for their debut album under direction of Pye producer Jack Dorsey, who aimed to get the band onto the then-popular "progressive" band wagon. The band also recorded covers of a few songs they liked and these included psychedelic-sounding versions of "New York Mining Disaster 1941" by The Bee Gees, and Tim Rose's "Come Away Melinda". The self-titled album was released on the Pye label in January of 1969, who also released a single: a cover of The Tornado's classic instrumental "Telstar" hoping to cash in on the publicity surrounding the American moon landings taking place at that time. While receiving some radio play, the record did not sell enough copies to chart and a big advertising campaign planned by the record company to promote the album never materialised. Though the band did a bit of touring after the single came out, poor sales made Pye lose interest in the band, and they withdrew their backing. In the autumn of 1969 the group disbanded with the members going their separate ways. Paul Eastment went on to found another progressive rock band, originally called Holy Ghost and later releasing an album as The Ghost. Frank Wilson joined Riot Squad, The Rumble Band and finally Warhorse in 1970. In 2002 the Sanctuary Records Group Ltd. re-issued Velvett Fogg officially for the first time on CD (CMRCD619). Keith Law and Frank Wilson are back together writing and recording for a proposed new Velvett Fogg album under the name Velvett Fogg 2. -- John R. Woodhouse (from the band's bio, heavily edited by Fred Trafton)

AMISH - Amish (1972)

Grupo de hard rock, com umas pitadas de progressivo, lá do Canada. O som é arrebatador, pegando o ouvinte com uma vibrante guitarra wah-wah e orgão à la Uriah Heep, além do vocal rasgadão, que faz deste album uma verdadeira masterpiece. Destaque para Black Lace Woman, Down the Road e Dear Mr. Fantasy, cover do Traffic. Altamente recomendado aos apreciadores de gemas setentistas perdidas no tempo.