Wednesday, February 6, 2013
On the second LP, “Situation Normal”, Pete Solley had taken over much of the control of the band. There is a strong country-rock influence on this album, which makes you either hate or love it.
Solley’s keyboard/fiddle playing is wonderful throughout the album. At the same time, Micky Moody was exploring music by the likes of Ry Cooder and getting more and more into playing slide guitar. Harrison’s vocal work is sublime and the rhythm section is both tight and soulful.
Surprisingly, it was not as well reviewed as its predecessor. The band toured America as a support act for Emerson Lake and Palmer but wasn’t happy with the results of having to play to a completely different audience.
01. No More – 6:19
02. No Bitter Taste – 3:24
03. Brown Eyed Beauty & The Blue Assed Fly – 3:25
04. Lock And Key – 2:49
05. Big Dog Lusty – 3:41
06. Playboy Blues – 8:16
07. Jessie Lee – 4:37
08. Ragtime Roll – 5:05
Bobby Harrison / vocals, congas
Micky Moody / guitar, mandolin, harmonica
Colin Gibson / bass
Terry Popple / drums, washboard
Pete Solley / keyboards, fiddle, ARP synthesizer
Mel Collins/ Alto & Tenor Saxophones (Track 08)
Steve Gregory/ Tenor Saxophone (Track 08)
Bud Beadle/ Baritone Saxophone (Track 08)
Well, if you found your way to this page you must be a real fan of early 70's heavy psych rock as this one's been out of print (as a standalone) since 1995 but most of the album is available as side 2 of a double album released in 2003 which is still available here Works V.4. I'm surprised this is the first review of this lost classic.
No Red Rowan is a hard, heavy, blues-psych acid rock album released in 1971 out of the UK. Supposedly some kind of studio-musician supergroup and boy do they sound super!! Plays well as an album front to back, good stuff!
If you are a fan of the early 70's sound, this is a very worthwhile addition to your 'obscure gems' collection. (By Tuco)
There is no reliable information about the history of this band. Apparently this album was recorded in Wakefield between 1970-1971, England, engineered and produced by Mike Levon.
It collects Their Contributions to Astral Navigations, Gagalactyca, Loose Routes I and II. "David J. Smith (formerly of David John and the Mood) co-produced and sang on some tracks of an" ad hoc "group (ie They Were the studio creation) called Thundermother During 1969.
This one band shared with lp Light years Away called "Astral Navigations" (Holyground 1971). Thundermother's Contribution was recorded over one weekend.
Acid guitars, Hard Acid rock, heavy Acid Psych, Heavy Acid Prog, Acid Blues !! Progressive/hard rock featuring a lot of fuzzed guitar!!
02.Country Lines 1:05
03.Boogie Music 4:48
05.Lady (Lay By Me) 3:39
06.The People Show 3:55
07.Come on Home 4:53
08.Woman in My Life 4:17
09.Rock Me Babe 6:03
10.Boogie Music (Coke Version) 4:53
11.Duce Blues 1:14
12.Watch Your Step 3:30
13.You Know Me Babe 1:26
14.Come on Home (Space Version) 7:31
David John - lead vocals, percussion
Dave "Ginner" Millen - lead vocals, lead guitar, bass
Frank Newbould - guitar, bass, vocals
Fred Kelly - drums, percussion
Dave Wilkinson - piano
Dave Smith "Daz" - bass
Jerusalem Smith - Drums On "Woman"
When Paladin folded in 1973 I noted that their keyboard player/violinist Pete Solley had joined Snafu. This was a progressive rock band formed by Bobby Harrison (ex Procol Harum) and Mick Moody (guitarist ex Juicy Lucy - check the latter out too!) which produced 3 albums. A year or two later I picked up a vinyl copy of Snafu's second album "Situation Normal". This was influenced by Pete Solley and was an OK country-rock based album. Having read that this first album had been re-released on CD and was reputed to be better and more rock than country I bought it.
It's all round a better album to me, more rock with excellent slide guitar, some mandolin on one track and violin included on a couple of others. The album opens with a rocking "Long Gone", some great vocals by Harrison on the track and nice guitar from Moody. "Said he the Judge" reminds me of a slow rock song in the Lynyrd Skynyrd mold. "Monday morning" features the mandolin and violin and has a country hoe-down theme. The next track, "Drowning in the sea of love" has a soulful/rock feel with backing wah-wah guitar work. "Country nest" is another laidback country-style song which has what sounds like a steel-pedal guitar rather than slide. "Funky friend" is what it says, a funky rocking track with some violin work again. "Goodbye USA" is another slow rock song with synthesiser work by Solley. The final track "That's the song" is back to rock with plenty of guitar and Hammond organ.
The CD comes in a cardboard gatefold sleeve which replicates the original vinyl copy. The front cover includes a Roger Dean design and when opened there's a photo of the group and their names/roles on the left side, track listing and other production credits on the right hand side. Enclosed in one sleeve is a pull-out sheet of excellent extensive notes on Snafu and the individual musicians put together by Chris Welch with input from Micky Moody. The latter also gives fairly detailed notes on each track.
I liked this CD at the first hearing and the package, whilst only cardboard is far superior because of its original-design finish and the included notes than many bland, noteless plastic-cased CD's. I understand that their last album, "All funked up" is another good funky rock album with no country influence as Solley had left by this time. Must seek that out next.
A short-lived act, like Paladin, but one that I never had the opportunity to see live unfortunately. And the name Snafu? From the American TV series, Sergeant Bilko, it was short for "situation normal, all fouled up" but not applicable to the group or this album! (By J. Bodicoat "Digger")
01- Long Gone
02- Said The Judge
03- Monday Morning
04- Drowning In The Sea Of Love
05- Country Nest
06- Funky Friend
07- Goodbye U.S.A.
08- That's The Song
09- Dixie Queen
10- Sad Sunday
Lead Vocals, Percussion – Bobby Harrison
Guitar, Mandolin, Backing Vocals – Micky Moody
Bass Guitar – Colin Gibson
Drums – Terry Popple
Keyboards, Backing Vocals – Pete Solley
Solley left the band to join Procol Harum. Brian Chatton and Tim Hinkley was recruited to complete the lineup that would record the band’s third album.
As the title suggests, the overall sound is very funky rock with an evident blues debt. Micky Moody’s overdriven slide adds a touch of Southern boogie to the mixture. The laidback country-rock groove sustained throughout has held up remarkably well in the quarter-century since its release.
Shortly after the release of the album, the general feeling of disillusionment and loss of direction which dominated the established British rock scene in the mid-seventies finally caught up with Snafu as well. During a tour of Germany, Micky Moody was invited to join David Coverdale (for the band which would become Whitesnake) and he accepted. Snafu was no more.
01. Don’t Keep Me Wondering – 5:21
02. Bloodhound – 5:25
03. Lock And Key – 2:56
04. Hard to Handle – 3:22
05. Every Little Bit Hurts – 4:41
06. Turn Around – 4:23
07. Deep Water – 5:27
08. Keep on Running – 3:24
09. Barroom Tan – 3:48
10. Dancing Feet – 5:51
11. Are You Sure (Bonus Track) - 3:43
Bobby Harrison - vocals
Micky Moody - guitar
Colin Gibson - bass
Brian Chatton - keyboards
Tim Hinkley - piano, organ
Terry Popple - drums, percussion
Mel Collins - saxophone
Liza Strike, Viola Wills - background vocals