A-440


Band members                          Related acts

- Ian Hoffman -- percussion (1978)
- Yvonne Iverson -- vocals (1978)
- Carlos Luevano -- lead guitar (1978)
- Craig Meacham -- bass (1978)
- Ted Neeley -- vocals (1978)
- Michael Rapp -- keyboards, synthesizers (1978)

 

- Ted Neely (solo efforts)

- Michael Rapp (solo efforts)


 

Genre: progressive

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Ulysses - The Greek Suite

Company: 20th Century Fox

Catalog: TC2-1101

Year: 1973

Country/State: US

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve; double LP; cut corner lower right; includes rare inserts

Available: 2

Catalog ID: 5398

Price: $35.00

 

A bunch of hardcopy and online music references tie this late-1970s outfit to a mid-1960s Houston-based psychedelic outfit who were contemporaries The Fun and Games Commission, The Red Crayola and The Six Pence.  I originally made the same erroneous connection.  Turns out that other than the name, they were totally unrelated.  I double checked that fact by contacting Michael Rapp's website.  

 

The group A-440 on the Ulysses did not start out as the one mentioned in Texas.  They are two different groups.  I hope this helps and should you need further assistance please let me know.

 

Kind regards,

Kathy Herder

RappCity Musical Enterprises

May 2008

 

A-440 appears to have been a studio entity built around the talents of writer/keyboardist Michael Rapp.  Produced by J.J. Jorgensen A-440's debut came in the form of  a rather bizarre 1978 effort entitled "Ulysses, the Greek Suite".  Released for 20th Century Fox, the resulting 23 track, double album set was clearly intended as a concept piece built on ancient Greek mythology. Written and arranged by keyboardist Rapp, musically the set showcased the talents of singers Ted Neeley (who'd previously released several solo efforts and starred in the film "Jesus Christ Superstar") and Yvonne Iverson.  Neeley wasn't half bad, displaying a nifty gruff voice that was well suited for more mainstream rock (the MOR Ambrosia-styled 'Ithaca'). Recalling Yvonne Elliman, Iverson wasn't as impressive, though it didn't matter since her performances were scattered far and wide ('Polyphemus (Island of the Cyclops)').  Exemplified by material such as the instrumental 'Greetings from Olympus', 'Ulysses Theme' and 'Island of the Lotus Eaters' the collection was heavy on pomposity, complete with spoken word narratives and over-the-top ELP-styled synthesizers and keyboards (check out the instrumental 'Greetings from Olympus'). Hardly something to get excited about, though it would have made for dandy background music when you were studying the Classics.  (The album was originally released with an elaborate gatefold sleeve and included a multi page lyric insert.)

"Ulysses, the Greek Suite" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Greetings from Olympus (instrumental)   (Michael Rapp) - 4:50
2.) Ulysses Theme   (Michael Rapp) - 2:44
3.) Interlude   (Michael Rapp) - 1:00
4.) Island of the Lotus Eaters   (Michael Rapp) - 6:30

(side 2)

1.) Ithaca   (Michael Rapp) - 4:22
2.) Interlude   (Michael Rapp) - :44
3.) Polyphemus (Island of the Cyclops)   (Michael Rapp) - 3:33
4.) What Will I Say   (Michael Rapp) - 3:43
5.) Circles Theme   (Michael Rapp) - 3:20
6.) Never Had a Woman On My Mind (For More Than a Day)   (Michael Rapp) - 3:22

(side 3)

1.) Free Them   (Michael Rapp) - 3:10
2.) Hades (Circe's Reprise)   (Michael Rapp) - 2:35
3.) Interlude   (Michael Rapp) - :19
4.) Your Journey's End (The Sirens)   (Michael Rapp) - 3:27
5.) Your Mind Is a Door   (Michael Rapp) - 3:50
6.) Scylla (instrumental)   (Michael Rapp) - 1:50
7.) Find Yourself   (Michael Rapp) - 4:22

(side 4)

1.) Charybdis (instrumental)   (Michael Rapp) - 2:50
2.) Take It from One Who Knows   (Michael Rapp) - 3:16
3.) Pardon My Tears (Prelude)   (Michael Rapp) - 3:45
4.) Plea To Ithaca   (Michael Rapp) - 3:54
5.) One Thing Sure To Get You There   (Michael Rapp) - 2:56
6.) Finale   (Michael Rapp) - :50

 

Guitarist Luevano has a small web presence at:

 

http://www.killerguitar.net/index.htm

 

Rapp's remained active in music and has a pair of interesting websites at:

 

http://www.rappcity.com

 

http://www.herdmusic.com/HerdRapp.htm

 

        undated photo of Michael Rapp

 

Postscript - Having listened to the collection for the first time in several years, I have to admit that I may have been a little hard on the album.  Yeah, it had plenty of 'over-the-top' segments, but it's actually far more fun than I recall with guitarist Carlos Luevano turning in some nice leads.  Neeley was also a far better singer than I originally gave him credit for.

 

 

 

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