Band members Related acts
- Shof Beavers -- drums, percussion (1973-75)
- Wain Bradley -- vocals, bass (1973-75)
- Peter Richardson -- vocals, keyboards (1973-75)
- John Sadler -- keyboards (1973-75)
- Don Swearingen -- keyboards, backing vocals (1973-75)
- Grady Trimble
-- guitar (1973-75)
- none known
Rating: *** (3 stars)
Catalog: AMA 12501
Country/State: Memphis, Tennessee
Grade (cover/record): VG / VG+
Comments: cut out hole top right corner; press package insert with two photos, bio and tour schedule
GEMM Catalog ID: not yet listed
Musically this 1974 LP it professional and mildly entertaining, though it probably won't drastically change your life. What caught my initial interest was the fact the band hailed from Memphis ... hardly a hotbed of 1970s progressive moves.
Formed out of the ashes of the Little Rock Arkansas-based E. Bartlett, by 1973 the band had relocated to Memphis and adopted the name Leviathan. With a line up consisted of drummer Shof Beavers, bassist Wain Bradley, singer/keyboardist Peter Richardson, keyboardists John Sadler and Don Swearingen and guitarist Grady Trimble the group began attracting a following on the local club circuit. Their initial break came when they attracted the attention of Hi Records producer Kenny Smith and Hi studio manager Bill Taylor. The two convinced Hi President Willie Mitchell to sign the group to Hi's newly formed Mach subsidiary.
While the thought of a three keyboard=propelled progressive-oriented line up is likely to turn off lots of potential listeners, in this case the results are actually worth hearing. Produced by Smith, "Leviathan" has a distinctive progressive sheen though material such as the opening rocker 'Arabesque', the pretty ballad 'Angela' and 'Angel of Death' give the album a surprisingly commercial sound. Elsewhere the fact that three of the six members contributed material certainly helps give the collection a diverse sound. Keyboardists Richardson, Sadler (on Mellotron) and Swearingen prove surprisingly light-of-touch throughout the proceedings allowing guitarist Trimble to turn in some nice solos. Curiously, while various reviews we've seen compare lead vocalist Richardson to Robert Plant - don't believe it. Richardson's certainly a capable and professional singer, but he's nothing spectacular. At least to my ears the band's at their least interesting when pursuing their progressive interests. Tracks like 'Seagull' and the droning 'Endless Dream' sound like early Kansas throwaways.
"Leviathan" track listing:
1.) Arabesque (Grady Trimble) -
2.) Angela (Don Swearingen - Wain Bradley) -
3.) Endless Dream (Wain Bradley) -
4.) Seagull (Grady Trimble) -
5.) Angel of Death (Grady Trimble) -
6.) Always Need You (Wain Bradley)-
7.) Quicksilver Clay (Wain Bradley) -
In spite of good reviews in Rolling Stone and Record World and a number of tours opening for the likes of Curved Air, ELO, Manfred Mann and Trapeze, the LP failed to generate much in the way of sales.
The group recorded a second LP for Mach, but the project was promptly shelved and by the 1975 the band had called it quits.
The Arkarma label reissued the LP in vinyl and CD format (Arkarma catalog number AK 110).
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