Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1  (1968-70)

- Esther Jinx Dawson -- vocals

- Jim Dolinger -- guitar

- Rick Durrett -- keyboards

- Christopher Neilsen -- guitar, vocals

- Gregory Oz Osbourne -- bass

- Steve Ross -- drums, percussion


  line up 2  (1970-74)

- Esther Jinx Dawson -- vocals

NEW - John Hobbs -- keyboards (replaced Rick Durrett)

NEW - Christopher Neilsen -- guitar, vocals (replaced Jim Dolinger)

- Gregory Oz Osbourne -- bass

- Steve Ross -- drums, percussion


  supporting musicians (1974)

- Alan Estes -- percussion

- Frank Smith -- sax




Aorta (Jim Nyeholt)

- Jinx Dawson (solo efforts)

- The Exceptions (Jim Nyeholt)

- Freeway (Jim Holt)

- Him, Her and Them (JInx Dawson and Greg Obourne)

- Jim Holt (solo efforts)

- Lovecraft (Jim Dolinger)

- The Notorious Cherry Bombs (Jim Holt)

- The Roadhouse Band (Jim Holt)

- The Rockets (Greg Osborne)

- Kenny Rogers and the First Edition (Jim Holt)

- Rotary Connection (Jim Nyeholt)



Genre: rock

Rating: 2

Title:  Blood On the Snow

Company: Buddah

Catalog:  BDS 5614

Country/State: Indianaoplis, Indiana

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve' with lyric insert

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 30006

Price: $80.00

It's not uncommon for bands to change their musical direction over the span of a recording career.  That was certainly the case with respect to changes between Coven's first and second studio releases 1969's "Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls" and 1971's "Coven").


Released in 1974, the Sham Talmy produced "Blood On the Snow" merely served to smooth out the band's few remaining rough edges and push them further in the mainstream commercial direction.  Admittedly, getting The Who's former producer onboard was an interesting choice; the results showing themselves in a collection that essentially abandoned earlier Satanic elements in favor of a surprisingly straight forward set of rockers and radio friendly ballads. With the exception of Ann Miller's unique cover art and the blood splattered inner sleeve photos, little of that earlier "bad boys and girl" image was on display.  In fact, if you came to this set knowing nothing about their occult roots, or without any preconceived notions about what to expect, then tracks  like 'Don't Call Me' and 'Hide Your Daughters' came off as professional, if somewhat pedestrian rockers.  Dawson remained the main draw; her voice somewhat reminiscent of Heart's Ann Wilson, or occasionally Kate Bush ('Blue, Blue Ships'), but the biggest surprise stemmed from the number of conventional ballads.  'This Song's For All the Children' and 'Lost without a Trace' sounding like they'd been penned specifically for top-40 radio.  Even more commercial was the pop-rocker 'I Need a Hundred of You' and the country-tinged 'Lady-O'.  Certainly an okay listening experience, but you had to wonder what their original fans thought of the album.  Reading some of the reviews that continue to praise the band's demonic leanings - hail queen of darkness Jinx  ...  You simply had to wonder if these folks were listening to tracks like 'Lady O' ...  

"Blood On the Snow" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Don't Call Me  (Jinx Dawson - Christopher Neilsen) - 3:44   rating: *** stars

If there's a demonic or occult element in 'Don't Call Me' it's totally lost on my sensibilities.  The lyrics which are largely limited to repeating 'Don't call me cause I can't make it, Don't call me cause I can't go" seem pretty innocuous.  In fact, that's a pretty good description for the entire album.  Professional, but bland boogie rock.

2.) This Song's For All the Children  (Jinx Dawson - John Hibbs - Steve Stone) - 2:53   rating: *** stars

Geez, about all I can say is 'This Song's For All the Children' is  not what I would have expected to hear from the band.  A hyper commercial ballad, it's hard to imagine this one wasn't picked up by top-40 radio.  Mind you, I'm not saying the song was good; merely commercial.  Again. the only thing demonic about this one was how calculated it sounded.  This one sounded like one of those mid-'80s yacht rock tunes that was put together in a lab to ensure maximum radio exposure.

3.) Lady-O  (Jinx Dawson - Christopher Neilsen) - 3:36   rating: ** stars

With a mildly country twang, 'Lady O' left you with the impression Dawson and company had become addicted to top-40 success.  Kicked along by Jim Nyeholt's barrelhouse piano some nice Dawnson-Neilsen harmonies and Talmy's sappy, overwhelming strings, it wouldn't be a stretch to imagine this one on country radio.  Needless to say, I really disliked the tune.

4.) Blue, Blue Ships  (Jinx Dawson - Christopher Neilsen) - 5:12   rating: **** stars

Okay, 'Blue, Blue Ships' introduced a touch of the macabre to the mix, but buried it in one of their prettiest melodies.  Maybe it's just me, but parts of 'Blue Blue Ships' reminded me of Kate Bush.  It started out as another pretty ballad, but picked up steam as it went along; Neilsen even getting a chance to drop in a nice guitar solo.  Not exactly the old Coven, but one of the album's highlights.


(side 2)

1.) I Need a Hundred of You  (Jinx Dawson - Christopher Neilsen) - 3:36  rating: ** stars

To my ears 'I Need a Hundred of You' sounded like another tune that had been written and recorded strictly for airplay, or at a minimum to be picked up as the theme song for some television sitcom.  Even Dawson sounded uncomfortable on this one.  Of course that may have had something to do with the waves of strings that threatened to drown the band.  The track was tapped as a British single and released as a promo 45 in the States:





- 1974's 'I Need a Hundred of You' b/w 'Blood On the Snow' (Buddah catalog number BDA 440-N)







2.) Hide Your Daughters  (Christopher Neilsen) - 5:13   rating: *** stars

'Hide Your Daughter' was Neilsen's shot at the spotlight, featuring him on lead vocals (Dawson relegated to backing vocals and the second section).  Another conventional rocker, this one sounded a bit like Buckingham-Nicks era Fleetwood Mac.  John Hobbs got a chance to showoff his keyboards.

3.) Lost without a Trace  (Christopher Neilsen) - 5:54  rating: *** stars

'Lost without a Trace' was another power ballad with Dawson and Neilsen sharing vocals.  Dawson buried Neislen's performance. The melody was actually quite endearing; the opening baring more than a passing resemblance to The Fab Four's 'Because'.  Elsewhere Neilsen turned in one of his prettiest solos.

4.) Easy Evil  (Alan O'Day) - 3:31  rating: *** stars

If you've ever heard the Alan O'Day original, or the covers by Tony Orlando and Dawn, Three Dog Night, or The Captain & Tennile, you'll probably be surprised by Coven's boogie version of the song.  Complete with Latin percussion and  a nice sax solo from Frank Smith, this one fell in the anonymous rock category, though Dawson turned in a nice vocal.  Better than the competition, but it could have been so much better.

5.) Blood on the Snow  (Christopher Neilsen) - 2:03   rating: *** stars

Showcasing Neilsen's chops, the title track was the album's toughest rocker and could have been the standout performance had it not been edited down to what was essentially a song fragment.


Shot by an audience member at a February 2018 performance at Los Angeles' Regents Theater,, YouTube has an performance of the tune.  Surrounded by a band that could be her grandkids, Dawson seemed pretty with it, playing up the queen of darkness angel, though there wasn't much to the song - she basically just repeated "It's too hard to day no" over and over.  Dawson looked mildly amused when the audience member climbed on stage and dived off.

The video and sound quality are poor, but YouTube has a copy of the pre-MTV promotional clip the filmed for the song:




For anyone interested, there are a couple of Coven related websites: