Linnegar, Steve (aka Steve Linnegar's Snakeshed)

Band members               Related acts

- Jethro Butow -- guitar (1982-)

- Peter Hubner -- keyboards (1982-)

Martin Kopelowitz -- lead guitar, backing vocals (1982-)

- Steve Linnegar -- vocals, guitars (1982-)



- Morocko (Jethro Butow)





Genre: rock

Rating: 4 stars ****

Title:  Classic Epics

Company: Snake

Catalog: LK 1000

Year: 1982

Country/State: South Africa

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: original South African pressing; gatefold sleeve; no insert

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 5357

Price: $325.00


I remember spotting this one at a yard sale about five years ago (along with a second Linnegar LP) and buying them because I'd seen them in one of Hans Pokora's Record Collector books.  Well, these albums then sat in my 'to listen to' pile for five years before I finally got around to listening to them.   


One of the funny things about this album is that you simply can't find a great deal of information about namesake Steve Linnegar or the band on the internet.  I don't know if that dearth of info is due to Linnegar's South African background, or what ...  regardless there's scant detail out there.


Co-produced by Linnegar and keyboardist Peter Hubner at Hubner's Johannesburg based Emcee Studios, I have to admit that I wasn't sure what to expect from 1982's "Classic Epics".  Given the cover art and song titles such as 'Tao Ch'ang Wu Wei', 'Tao Riders' and 'Kamakura Dragons' I half expected to hear a collection of oriental-influenced atmospherics, or something suitable for your local lite jazz station.  Frankly I wondered if I'd fallen victim to another slice of dealer hype (though I didn't pay a great deal for either LP).  Well, the good news is that the album wasn't anything like those fears.  Largely written by Linnegar (one song co-written with guitarist Martin Kopelowitz), tracks like 'I Will Cry' sported a nifty mid-1970s AOR feel.  While Linnegar didn't have the most distinctive voice (his performances actually bore a resemblance to David Gilmour), tracks like the opener 'Tao Ch'ang Wu Wei'  were surprisingly catchy and would have sounded good on mid-1970s FM radio.  Also drawing a comparison to Gilmour, Kopelowitz's chunky chiming guitar certainly stood out (check out the roaring 'Kamakura Dragons').  The Gilmour/Pink Floyd comparison wasn't a perfect fit, but if you pictured the Floyd at their more commercial latter stages (imagine 'Comfortably Numb') and you were in the right aural neighborhood.  (At least a couple of friends have mistaken 'Tao Riders' for a Floyd track.)  Best of the lot was side two's extended 'Desert'.  Starting out as a largely acoustic piece, over 13 minutes the song twisted and turned into a wonderful slice of music that incorporated pop, progressive and even native African elements.  Fantastic ...  The one exception to the package was the strange violin-propelled 'Lamplight Shines'.  Every time I hear it I have to wonder if it's the same band.  As if anyone cares, but as a big fan of South African rock this is in my top-10 list.



"Classic Epics" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Tao Ch'ang Wu Wei   (Steve Linnegar - Martin Kopelowitz) - 

2.) Tao Riders   (Steve Linnegar) - 

3.) Monitoring   (Steve Linnegar) - 

4.) Kamakura Dragons   (Steve Linnegar) - 

5.) Lamplight Shines   (Steve Linnegar) - 


(side 2)
1.) Desert   (Steve Linnegar) - 

2.) I Will Cry   (Steve Linnegar) - 




Genre: bizarre

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Karate Moves

Company: GNP Crescendo

Catalog: GNPS 2716

Year: 1985

Country/State: South Africa

Grade (cover/record): NM / NM

Comments: still sealed

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 5358

Price: $100.00


It's probably a pretty wild story, but I have no idea how South African Steve Linnegar ended up having a record released on Gene Norman's GNP Crescendo label.  That said, anyone looking for a "Classic Epics" part 2 should probably pass on this baby.   Still 1985's "Karate Moves  The Mystical World of Karate" isn't without some merits having  gone on to become a cult favorite within the collecting realm.  Narrated by South African musician Mike Faure, the album was apparently released in an ill advise attempt to cash-in on the American audience's mid-1980s rediscovery of karate.  To quote from the liner notes "This record is a vivid audio documentary on the mystical world of karate.  It is a revelation to the layman and a great motivating vehicle for the karate student!"  Translated into plain English that meant you got to listen to an incredibly weird mixture of spoken word narratives covering martial art history, 'lessons' on how to fight, couple with over-the-top atmospheric instrumentals that were apparently really meant to serve as an instructional record.  Strange, strange, strange ...


"Karate Moves" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Karate Moves   (Steve Linnegar) - 0:50

2.) In the Wind   (Steve Linnegar) - 6:18

3.) Shimizu Shi   (Steve Linnegar) - 6:50

4.) In the Class   (Steve Linnegar) - 0:59

5.) It's Just Love   (Steve Linnegar) - 1:08

6.) The Song   (Steve Linnegar) - 4:05

7.) The KIA Scream   (Steve Linnegar) - 0:21


(side 2)
1.) Time   (Steve Linnegar) - 1:31

2.) In the Class   (Steve Linnegar) - 5:00

3.) Close It   (Steve Linnegar) - 2:17

4.) Karate Moves   (Steve Linnegar) - 0:42

5.) 6th of April/Honolulu Beat   (Steve Linnegar) - 3:13

6.) The Walk In Peace/The Sword   (Steve Linnegar) - 1:48

7.) Karate Moves   (Steve Linnegar) - 4:00


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