Arthur Brown


Band members                             Related acts

- Arthur Brown - vocals, percussion

 

  backing musicians (1974)

- Andy Dalby - guitar, backing vocals

- Phil Shutt - bass, percussion, backing vocals

- Victor Peraino - keyboards, synthesizers, percussion,

  backing vocals

 

  backing musicians (1975)

- Phil Bradbury -- backing vocals

- Charlie Charles -- drums

- Andy Dalby -- lead guitar

- Ken Elliott -- keyboards

- Malcolm Flynn -- congas

- George Kahn -- sax

- James Morgan -- bass

- Lee Robinson -- bass

- Enroc Smith - castinets

- Pete Soley -- keyboards

- Drachen Theaker -- percussion

- keith Tippet -- keyboards

- Steve Yorke -- bass

 

 

- Vic Peraino's Kingdom Come

- The Spirit of John Morgan (Andy Dalby)

- Vapour Trails (Andy Dalby)

 

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: *** ( 3 stars)

Title:  Journey

Company: Passport

Catalog: PPS-98003

Year: 1974

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 2

Catalog ID: 4361

Price: $40.00

Cost: $66.00

 

Actually credited as 'Arthur Brown's Kingdom Come', anyone expecting to hear something along the lines of 'Fire' was probably disappointed by 1974's "Journey".  This time around the Brown and company opted for a surprisingly aggressive set that mixed progressive moves such as the extended opener 'Time Captives' with extended instrumental segments.  With the focus on synthesizers (courtesy of keyboardist Victor Peraino), various electronic production enhancement and an irritating Bentley Rhythm Ace drum machine, to my ears heavily orchestrated tracks such as 'Gypsy' and 'Superficial Roadblocks' just never seemed to get going.  Luckily, when spotlighted, Brown's eccentric voice and mannerisms remained instantly recognizable.  While rather far and few between, the album managed to cough up a couple of redeeming moments.  'Spirit of Joy' and 'Come Alive' boasted fairly conventional rock structures (the latter had some nice guitar from Andy Dalby), while Brown's blood curdling screams on 'Conception' were pretty cool - they certainly upset the family cat.  Kind of a curiosity to me, but while the liner notes credit Dennis Taylor as producing the set, Taylor only handled two tracks. Turns out that Dave Edmunds (credited with 'remixing' the album) actually produced the remaining five tracks at his Rockfield Studios.  (In case anyone cares, the America cover courtesy by David Powell is far more attractive than the UK version.)

 

"Journey" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Time Captives   (Arthur Brown - Andy Dalby - Phil Shutt - Victor Peraino) 

- 8:13

2.) Triangles   (Arthur Brown - Andy Dalby - Phil Shutt - Victor Peraino)  - 3:20

3.) Gypsy   (Arthur Brown - Andy Dalby - Phil Shutt - Victor Peraino)  - 9:10

 

(side 2)
1.) Superficial Roadblocks   (Arthur Brown - Andy Dalby - Phil Shutt - Victor Peraino)  - 6:56

     a. Lost Time

     b. Superficial Roadblocks

     c. Corpora Supercelestia

2.) Conception (instrumental)   (Arthur Brown - Andy Dalby - Phil Shutt - Victor Peraino)  - 2:06

3.) Spirit of Joy   (Arthur Brown - Andy Dalby - Phil Shutt - Victor Peraino)  - 3:15

4.) Come Alive   (Arthur Brown - Andy Dalby - Phil Shutt - Victor Peraino)  - 8:45

 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: *** ( 3 stars)

Title:  Dance with Arthur Brown

Company: Gull

Catalog: GU6 405S1

Year: 1975

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 2

Catalog ID: 7371

Price: $15.00

 

Produced by Roger Bain and released by the small Gull label (which I think was distributed by Motown in the States), 1975's "Dance with Arthur Brown" was bound for instant obscurity. That was truly unfortunate since the set found Brown in good, if typically eclectic form throughout. While certainly not as demented as his debut, the album still exhibited it's share of English eccentricity. Perhaps the biggest surprise came from how good a singer Brown was.  Anyone who knew him from the crazed 'Fire' was bound to be surprised by the energy he brought to material such as the disco-tinged cover of 'We've Got To Get Out of This Place', the ballad 'Helen with the Sun' and 'Take a Chance'.  While catchy and commercial, much of Brown's own material (the '20s flavored 'Crazy' and 'Quietly with Tact') was simply too English for American audiences. Elsewhere, Brown's two religious numbers ('The Lord Will Find a Way' and 'Is There Nothing Beyond God') were among the oddest tracks - I've always wondered if the signaled some sort of religious rebirth, or he was simply goofing around. Not instantly likeable (I remember playing it once and dumping it in my "sell" pile), but an album that gets better the more you play it.   

 

"Dance with Arthur Brown" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) We've Got To Get Out of This Place   (Barry Mann - Cynthia Weil) - 

Hum, Brown opts for a stab at disco ...  well this was recorded in 1975 so I guess there was a cultural defense for the song.   With Brown screaming over a funky rhythm built on Pete Solley's keyboards and Steve Yorke's bass, the results weren't actually that bad, sounding a bit like something the band Santa Esmeralda was charting with during the timeframe.  While there were better tunes on the album, this is the one that was tapped as the single.   rating: *** stars

2.) Helen with the Sun  (Andy Dalby - Leslie Adey) - 

I've always liked Brown's weird sing-song, almost operatic voice ...   His voice is simply unique and though I can't begin to explain it, he's always sounded great on mid-tempo rockers like 'Helen with the Sun'.   'Course the song's secret weapons came in the form of former Kingdom Come compatriot Andy Dalby's gorgeous lead guitar and Lee Robinson's melodic bass line.   Great tune that had some FM radio potential.  rating: **** stars

3.) Take a Chance  (Arthur Brown) - 

'Take a Chance' was another song that showcased how good the eclectic Brown could be.   Surrounded by one of his better melodies (including some jittery Kevin Elliott Moog and George Kahn's jazzy sax), the song somehow managed to cram pop moves, '50s rock, "world music" touches, and an elaborate, quasi-progressive structure into something that was more than the sum of it's parts.   One of the standout performances on the album.   rating: **** stars

4.) Crazy   (Arthur Brown) - 

'Crazy' caught Brown at his campiest ...   kind of a '20s/'30s flapper feel that didn't do a great deal for me.   rating: ** stars

5.) Hearts and Minds   (Arthur Brown)

Based on Lee Robinson's killer bass line and Keith Tippets piano, 'Hearts and Minds' was the album's most outright commercial tune.  Geez, the song even had castanets !!!   Hard to understand why this one wasn't tapped as the single.  rating: **** stars

 

(side 2)
1.) Dance   (Arthur Brown)

The song would have been a lot stronger without the shrill backing singers ...  As it was, the title track was a moody, slightly reggae-tinged performance showcasing some nice Drachen Teaker percussion touches and another nice vocal from Brown.  But those backing singles ...  rating: *** stars

2.) Out of Time   (Mick Jagger - Keith Richards) - 

Wasn't sure what to expect from the Stones cover ...  In this case Brown stretched the tune out, giving it an almost country-tinge.  Interesting if it wasn't going to make you forget the original.  rating: *** stars

3.) Quietly with Tact    (Andy Dalby - Leslie Adey) - 

The album's second real disappointment, 'Quietly with Tact' was a nice enough pop ballad, but the song found Brown employing his most cloying voice which, combined with the over-reaching backing singers, effectively sucked the energy out of the tune.   Nice lead guitar from Andy Dalby.   rating: ** stars 

4.) Soul Garden   (Arthur Brown) - 

Judging by the performance credits and the overall sound - pure reggae, 'Soul Garden' was recorded at different sessions that the rest of the album.   Not bad, but not particularly memorable.  The genre wasn't something that suited Brown all that well.   rating: *** stars

5.) The Lord Will Find a Way   (Lee Robinson) - 

I've never been able to tell whether Brown was playing it straight on 'The Lord Will Find a Way'.   Written by bassist Lee Robinson, the song wasn't bad, showcasing an upbeat, Moog-propelled Gospel revival feel.  Complete with Gospel chorus and Brown vamping along at the end, you were left to wonder.   Hum, Arthur Brown as a born-again Christian ...   guess I've heard of stranger things.   rating: *** stars

6.) Is There Nothing Beyond God   (Arthur Brown) -

One of six Brown originals, 'Is There Nothing Beyond God' was built on a nifty little funky riff, but sounded like a demo that hadn't been finished.  Lyrically there wasn't anything here - just Brown repeating the title refrain over and over and over ...   rating: ** stars

 

As mentioned, the album spun off a British single:

 

  

 

- 1975's 'We've Got To Get Out of This Place' b/w 'Here I Am' (Gull catalog number GULS 13) 

 

Needless to say, the set vanished without a trace, though Motown seems to have printed a ton of copies since I see the set quite a bit in my area.

 

 

 

D

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