Thursday, March 30, 2017
Even with the huge success of their second single ‘Evil Woman’ (it sold upwards of 600,000 copies in it’s first year, and was covered on the first “Black Sabbath” LP), Crow made fateful choices that killed their career in record time. “Atlantic almost signed us,” said Dave Wagner. “We had Atlantic on one line and Amaret on the other. Amaret was decided upon because (managers) Traut and Golden felt we’d get buried with the Atlantic. In a matter of months, it turned out to be the biggest mistake we ever made.” Between late 1969 and early 1971, Crow either opened for or headlined with Jefferson Airplane, Three Dog Night, Steve Miller Band, Steppenwolf, Eric Burdon & War, Janis Joplin (three separate times) and Iron Butterfly. The group was working more than ever, but seemed to be enjoying it less. “We were becoming more and more disillusioned with Amaret by the day,” said Wagner. “We fought with them over our artistic direction. We had some really good material for what was to be our fourth album all ready. But they turned it all down saying it wasn’t commercial enough, or it wasn’t this or that.” Elektra Records were very interested in the group, but Amaret wouldn’t let them out of their contract, unless they wouldn’t use the name Crow. And Elektra didn’t want Crow without their name. In the closing months of 1971, Dave Wagner, feeling there was absolutely no way out of the band’s financial and managerial mess, left the group. In 1972, Amaret released a “Best Of Crow” (Amaret AST 5012) as a sort of epitaph to a this unique band. That same year, Amaret was sold to MGM records. A deal was worked out with MGM for Dave Wagner to release a solo album. “They sent me a list of material to choose from, about twenty songs,” Wagner said. “One of the songs they insisted I re-record was a Micky Newbury tune we had done as Crow called ‘Mobile Blues.’ I worked with some top-notch musicians. Basically, MGM was fulfilling its obligatory contract to get the album (“Dave Wagner, d/b/a Crow”) out. They had no interest in really backing the project.” And so, the album and Crow’s career, came to a quiet end.
01. Mobile Blue (3:33)
02. Cado Queen (3:48)
03. Everything Has Got To Be Free (2:52)
04. She Makes Me Warm (3:40)
05. If It Feels Good, Do It (3:07)
06. Before My Time (3:32)
07. The Time That I Love You The Most (3:38)
08. Load The Boat Up, Captain (3:30)
09. I Don’t Want My Love Refused (3:03)
10. Victims Of The Darkness (3:07)
David Wagner: Lead Vocals, Guitar
Jim Gordon, Johnny Guerin, Larry Brown, Bobby Hally Porter, Joe Osborn, Mike Deasy, Don Peake, Dean Parks, Michael Omartian, Jackie Kelso, Bud Brisbois, Buddy Childers, Ollie Mitchell, Ron Hicklin, Stan Farber, Gene Morford …
The first thing to say is that this is one of the greatest albums in the history of music. It should be required listening for everybody who likes rock. This album deserves to be much better known. It is a very psychedelic album, in fact it is one of the best psychedelic albums ever made. The combination of power, aggression and beauty is still quite stunning after more than thirty years.
Before buying the album I had never heard anything by the Outsiders but was attracted by their legendary cult status and my growing interest in Dutch psychedelic and progressive music of the sixties and seventies. There are many great bands from the Netherlands who are far too little known internationally.
The Outsiders had a short career and this 1968 album was their last. You can almost understand why this was the band's last album. There is a peaking of power and feeling here, which would be next to impossible to repeat. Every track is a masterpiece.
I bought the album a few weeks ago at Fame in Amsterdam and have been listening to it continuously ever since. If you like psychedelia I would be very surprised if you did not like this album. This is not flower power psychedelia and nor is there anything whimsical about this music, that is very hard edged. It is difficult to compare to other bands but the Pretty Things would possibly be the most similar music or the era.
The outsiders should have been huge internationally. The combination of energy and aggression foreshadows punk. It is not everyone's cup of tea. It's probably one of those love or hate albums. If you like psychedelia but you also love the power of the MC5 and Teenage Head era Flamin Groovies I think you will like this album very much. The musicians are superb. Ronnie splinter should be a world renowned name for the things he was doing with the guitar in 1968. Wally Tax, who wrote the lyrics, is one of the best singers I have heard. The drummer and bass player are both very powerful.
This album should have the same legendary status as 'After Bathing at Baxters', 'Electric Ladyland' and other world renowned classics from 1968.
Another comparison I would make is with Love's 'Forever Changes'. Both albums inhabit a unique and idiosyncratic world of genius. Indeed more than inhabiting, they shape their own particular worlds. To me the world of CQ is a much darker world then Arthur lee's.
There isn't a weak song on the album. Particular highlights for me are 'Zsarrahh', 'Happyville', 'Man on a dune', 'the Bear' and 'Doctor'. The guitar of Ronnie Splinter on the latter track is awesomely powerful and innovative. The last song 'Prison song' is possibly the darkest end to an
album I know and an amazing psychodrama in itself. As soon as I had heard this album for the first time I had to play it all again straight away. I have heard thousand of albums and this is one of the few that has compelled an immediate replay.
The 2001 reissue is a piece of art in itself. Pseudonym have obviously put great effort into the packaging and sleeve notes and you will get great pleasure from this, if you choose to buy the disc. Pseudonym are my favourite reissue label, having done an equally beautiful job with the
reissue of Group 1850s Agemo's Trip to mother earth a few years ago.
Buy this album as soon as you can. You will not regret it.
I hope I have made you want to hear this album. If as a result of reading this review you are tempted to buy it please e-mail me and let me know what you think. It would be nice to know I influenced somebody to listen to the Outsiders.(By James The Bin)
Recorded in September 1968 at the G.T.B. Studio, The Hague, The Netherlands.
04. Daddy Died On Saturday
05. It Seems Like Nothing's Gonna Come My Way
07. The Man On The Dune
08. The Bear
10. You're Everything On Earth
11. Wish You Were Here With Me Today
12. I Love You No. 2
14. Do You Feel Alright
15. Daddy Died On Saturday
16. I Love You No. 2
Frank Beek : Bass, Guitar, Organ, Piano, Vibraphone [Vibes], Cymbal, Vocals
Ronald Splinter : Guitar, Bass, Vocals
Leendert "Buzz" Busch : Drums, Congas, Tambourine, Maracas, Jew's Harp [Mouthharp], Vocals
Wally Tax : Vocals, Guitar, Vibraphone [Vibes], Harmonica, Flute, Balalaika, Tambourine, Cymbal, Organ