Band members               Related acts

- Dave Bernard -- lead guitar (1972-73)

- Chris Kellesis -- keyboards (1972-73)

- Charlie Shannon -- vocals (1972-73)



- none known




Genre: rock

Rating: 4 stars ****

Title:  Awake

Company: Periwinkle 

Catalog: PER 7309

Year: 1973

Country/State: Toronto, Canada

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: Radioactive reissue # 157 of 1,000

Available: not for sale

GEMM catalog ID: not for sale

Price: not for sale


James Plummer's Radioactive Records was one of those 'gray area' reissue labels.  Before going under in 2006 the label apparently paid royalties to some artists, but screwed far more outfits over.  That said, I'm not sure whether this band ever saw any money out of the company ...  If I were a betting man, I'd say no.  Assuming the Radioactive release was a boot that puts people in the tough position of having to shell out some big bucks for an original copy, waiting for an approved reissue, or temporarily abandoning their morals in order to check the music out. It's not much of a personal defense, but I actually bought a couple of Radioactive releases after I saw a full page ad they'd placed in a nationally distributed music magazine.  I mistakenly thought that a company with such a blatant ad campaign must be legitimate.  (You'll also notice that my Radioactive copy of this LP isn't for sale.)    


I've always been kind of curious to know how Mr. Plummer selected his 'projects'.  Looking over the Radioactive catalog, I suspect that he was aware of Hans Pokora's series of Record Collector's Dreams books since a large proportion of those albums (including this one), were listed in the Pokora books.  The funny thing is that many of the Radioactive releases were rare albums, though not necessarily good albums.  This is one that was both rare and good.


There isn't a great deal of info out there on this trio.  The were apparently from Toronto and the line up consisted of lead guitarist Dave Bernard, keyboardist Chris Kellesis (who with brother James wrote most of the eight tracks), and singer Charlie Shannon.  Released by the small Periwinkle label, 1973's self-produced "Awake" was their sole release and showcased a set of eight extended originals.  Given the LP's high stature in collecting circles the few brief reviews I stumbled across weren't all that promising drawing broad comparisons to Deep Purple and other mid-1970s hard rock outfits (Captain Beyond, Warpig, etc.). Having low expectations may not have been all that bad since my initial impressions were of a competent and occasionally quite impressive set of hard rock with more than a little progressive influence scattered throughout.  I can see folks already hitting the escape key, but hold on ... The good news is this is an album that grows on the listener.  As lead vocalist Shannon had a gruff and dry voice that you were either going to love or totally dislike.  He didn't have a great deal of range, but his raspy delivery was well suited to the band's barebones attack and I'll admit to being a converted fan.  The real finds were lead guitarist Bernard and keyboardist Kellesis.  Bernard wasn't the flashiest player you've ever heard, but he brought a spare and impressive style to the album.  Check out his lead on 'Sunny Side of the Day'.  Kellesis deserved similar praise, turning in surprisingly deft and melodic backing on tracks like 'At the Station' and 'For You'.  Certainly not the most original album you'll ever hear, but on songs like 'A New Day Has Arisen' and 'How Time Has Flown' they churned out material that was tuneful, driven and every bit as good as their better known competitors. 


"Awake" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) At the Station   (Chris Kellesis - Jack Kellesis) - 

2.) For You   (Chris Kellesis - Jack Kellesis) - 

3.) Sunny Side of the Day   (Chris Kellesis - Jack Kellesis) - 

4.) A New Day Has Arisen   (Chris Kellesis - Jack Kellesis) - 


(side 2)
1.) How Time Has Flown   (Chris Kellesis - Jack Kellesis) - 

2.) Lost in the World   (Chris Kellesis - Jack Kellesis) - 

3.) In the Heavens   (Chris Kellesis - Jack Kellesis) - 

4.) Awake   (Chris Kellesis - Jack Kellesis) - 


The album's been reissued several times, including CD releases by the Laser's Edge and Labyrinth labels.  As mentioned above, Radioactive also reissued the collection in 2004 (Radioactive catalog number RRLP022 (LP) and RRCD022 (CD)).



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