Showing posts with label Rock Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rock Reviews. Show all posts

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Rock-Progressive Review: 6 Turning 4 Burning-6T4B

Release Date: August 26, 2023

Label: Bomber Records


Those Hellraisers From Cleveland, Ohio, 6 Turning 4 Burning, have released a rock album for all true music lovers to give a spin or to blare from your vehicle while cruising down the roads of America. Listen to 6T4B, and I will tell you why track by track.

Indicative of the cover art, they will appeal to those who believe in the freedom of the U.S. and the open roads to travel anywhere. Their music is very eclectic, bordering or launching into full-on progressive.

"Crazy Peace" is an instant satisfying rocker, and the lyrics are a riot! It is about the lady friend or wife, as it may, having their crazy "time of the month." It is a great way to kick off the album. Also, you will hear some exemplary musicianship on the recording. It is bound to click when you assemble a group of seasoned players. The second track, which clocks in at 7:02, is a tribute to their all-around talents and a tight band exhibiting all their skills within one track. It is a killer track featuring all aspects of the band at each position. Notably, the vocals are outstanding.

"So Deep" was a famous track that got thousands of views. It is a rocking love song, a slow cooker, and a tremendous vocal performance. It serves as another dimension of the band to be admired and appreciated.

"Help Me Through This" differs significantly from the previous tracks for 8:29. The guitar playing is bluesy, which fits the lyrics nicely. I am getting more impressed the further I get into the album. The diversification is quite impressive. And because of that, it keeps things interesting. Also, with extensive songs, it is essential not to lose the listener. That never happens because of all the changes. This one is a progressive rocker.

"Something's Wrong" keeps up with the pattern of change. The track starts with a soft acoustic guitar as the bass and drums come in. The vocals are heartfelt and expressing the lyrics beautifully. If you like blues-country tracks, this one is a nice change from the previous track. They sound like a different band on this one.

"It's Over" starts with a funky bass line accompanied by a driving guitar line, then it changes into a slower pace to emphasize the lyrics about the abuse of drugs and all the struggles it can bring. It doesn't sound like any fun, and it should discourage those wanting to take drugs. I think that was the point. As the song lumbers along, the words hit you like a brick wall at 90 mph, saying, "Cocaine's got me down, rest in peace." About halfway through, the song turns into the fast line as the bottom end pushes it along. The guitar plays some fat chords and nice cutting lines to show off their chops. It is another excellent track with 8:44 of fantastic changes and music to keep you wondering what is coming next. Then, at the end, you can hear someone snorting coke.

"Karma" is another long one coming in at 9:34, so I am amazed at how they can keep pumping out all these impressive tracks with such length and complexities. It starts with some definitive chicken pickin', rapid drumming, and a big bass sound. It all changes as it goes back and forth with different paces and styles of playing. It's like a country-fried rocker with hints of the blues for extra color. You may wonder when the vocals will come in, but they finally arrive well into 3+ minutes. And in this case, that is a good thing, as I enjoyed the long instrumental intro. The vocals add their sentiments with lines like "Karma speaks to you all alone." Those words change how we can relate to and experience karma. Which, of course, works if you believe in it. I believe in it without question, so I found the lyrics relatable.

"Take a Hike" is their magnum opus, dialing in at 11:24. I did not know what to expect with a track this long; it had to be progressive. At least, that was my first thought. It starts epically with a hard-driving metallic power; then they start reciting lines from the bible to help save them from the dark master himself, the Devil. It is an incredible track with magnificent music. It is reflective, opaque, and anticipatory. This one convinced me what a superior group of players this band is. Fans of Black Sabbath would love this one for sure. It is most certainly a hike to the darker side of life. In typical fashion, at 4+ minutes, it completes changes in pace and sound. This bass is prolific here. The vocals reminded me of Ian Gillan of Deep Purple. It is so soulful and passionate, and if anyone wants to know how good this band can play, it should be your first track. It's a must! And remember what they say in the song "Don't listen to Devil!" "Take a hike, Devil, disappear!" All instruments are superb throughout the run of the song.

So, if all of that wasn't enough, they test their abilities by covering the ELP classic 'Lucky Man" within 10:07. Could they once again prove themselves as a legitimate force in music? It starts differently than the original, then changes to the more familiar melody you are used to hearing in 2+ minutes. The vocals are excellent, and the music from start to finish is outstanding. It was risky to close out such a superior recording like that, but they pulled it off like the five-star band they are.

6T4B is a title that may give people a different idea of what this band is all about, including the cover art. Trust me on this one; you are in for a treat for the senses with 6 Turning 4 Burning. Every track is entertaining and well-played, and you will be sorry it all ends, so play it again.

Keith “MuzikMan” Founder

December 6, 2023


1. Crazy Peace 5:26

2. Release Me 7:02

3. So Deep 5:28

4. Help Me Through This 8:29

5. Something's Wrong 4:25

6. It's Over 8:44

7. Karma 9:34

8. Take a Hike 11:24

9. Lucky Man 10:07

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Rock Review: Mandoki Soulmates-Living in the Gap + Hungarian Pictures

Release Date: June 19, 2020

Label: 2020 Purple Pyramid Records


Mandoki Soulmates debuted in 1991. The band consists of many members but, the founding three are Ian Anderson, Jack Bruce, and Al Di Meola; along with Leslie Mandoki. Often coined as a ‘supergroup,’ Soulmates present themselves as a unified front. They direct the band as one whole unit, rather than several different bodies and voices just up on a stage. While most artists and bands either remain on one side or the other of the political aisle or keep their personal politics out of their artistry, Mandoki Soulmates lightly sprinkles political undertones throughout their music, especially on the newest released album Living in the Gap + Hungarian Pictures.

Now let’s get down to the business of the music. “Living in the Gap” starts the album with a big-band/jazz, funk-fusion that is quite fitting for such a time as this. The group sings of unity and bridging the ‘gap’ to where we separate from others intentionally on almost every subject nowadays. It also hints of a thought that there is no “right and wrong” rather, it’s a matter of collective agreement or disagreement.

“Young Rebels” is a shout to how all different young individuals, each with varying backgrounds and experiences are trying to get through each day of this world and possible change in a peaceful but ever-so-nonchalant manner. In the same way, they cannot decide whether they are trying to bring about some old ideals as a youth, or much older but with youth mindsets and hopes. “Turn the Wind” takes a bluegrass-like spin in the record. It comes down to simply a relaxed tune, but, it does beg the question within, “can we stop anything, anymore, at all?” Or, is it a lost cause in trying to make a big change? “Where We Belong” sings of this back and forth between feel-good moments and some that dig in a little deeper in pain or sorrow.

What I might call the ‘anthem song,’ “Let the Music Show You the Way” is a bright and uplifting tune to bring anyone out of their funk. Completely void of any particular signaling or message, it simply enlightens the listener that music is the universal peacekeeper as it allows us to align our feelings to any song we choose. “Too Much Pride” belts out a trumpeted jazz message of an overwhelming sense of pride, unable to move out of our own way to see more clearly, other individuals and how they see and feel through life.

“Old Rebels” is a continuation of “Young Rebels” but, carries the same message from before with a wiser, somewhat opposing perspective. “Welcome to Real Life” eerily fits well with today’s political and human climate. Between the unrest of all of us being quarantined and innocent individuals dying all across the country, the lyrics ring too true, wherever your viewpoints may fall. “Hottest Queen of Cool” invokes a sexy, sleek, jazzy number to a woman who absolutely dominates what seems to be the entertainment lifestyle, almost emulating a Hollywood starlet, turning everything before her, about her.

“Wake Up” is a call-out type of song to all who will listen to change the things we see going on in the world before it might be too late, according to the band at least. Singing of “dark hearts and free minds,” one can imagine, the song is to be about making the world as bright and light as can be. “Mother Europe” follows with a song seemingly of a love of the European continent as though they are defending the nation. “I’m Not Your Enemy” begins with a 2-minute and fifty-second instrumental, cool and mellow guitar-turned-keyboard-turned trumpet solo. Afterward, the singer comes in calm and peacefully proclaiming how she and another do not have the same mindset of anger and resentment. Instead, she speaks of how she will always remain by the other’s side. Another minute and a half instrumental solo takes place before the chorus chimes back in.

A stroke of a piano keyboard twinkles the next song, “Sessions in the Village.” While the singer sings of what sounds to be a very poetically structured verse, the song then cuts from her to a synthesizer party, including a trumpet at times;  making waves in this piece to make it seem like it is a village celebration. “Utopia for Realists” brings back a male vocalist to explain how the band sees modern awareness of the world’s happenings as a glimpse of the utopia beyond. “Transylvanian Dances” is a piece of periodic verses and an overall somber tone. At the 12:22 mark, it begins to speed up for about a minute and eight minutes, turning into an all-out rock fest. Then, ending it out, it slows back down to a man singing of his son being pointed towards open roads.

“You’ll Find Me in the Mirror” is the singer looking back and reflecting on what might have been of him and now he longs for that same trust and security back that he once had. Then comes in “Return to Budapest,” and it’s exactly what you’d expect from that title. It’s a soothing, alluring song of tradition and simplicity. “Barbaro” does give off the initial impression of barbarianism with its rush of drums. When the trumpet kicks in, it turns into more of a jam session of beautifully blending instrumental families. With the piano, it kind of throws a bit of a side curveball but keeps the dramatization of the piece going, sounding like the song is growing faster and faster; thus, more exciting. Ending out the entire album, “The Torch” sings of empowerment and strength to those who come after the singers, in relaxed, chant-like fashion.

Key Tracks include: “Living in the Gap,” “Too Much Pride,” Barbaro,” and “I’m Not Your Enemy”

Gregg Keniston - Staff
July 15, 2020

Track Listing:
01.   Living in the Gap
02.   Young Rebels
03.   Turn the Wind
04.   Where We Belong
05.   Let the Music Show You the Way
06.   Too Much Pride
07.   Old Rebels
08.   Welcome to Real Life
09.   Hottest Queen of Cool
10.   Wake Up
11.   Mother Europe
12.   I’m Not Your Enemy
13.   Sessions in the Village
14.   Utopia for Realists
15.   Transylvanian Dances
16.   You’ll Find Me in Your Mirror
17.   Return to Budapest
18.   Barbaro
19.   The Torch

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Rock-Americana-Progressive Review: Euphoria-The Reverie Suite

Release Date: September 17, 2019
Label: Independent

Euphoria’s second release titled The Reverie Suite was released in September 2019. This is the kind of music that can be hard to put into a corner and stick a label on. For my ears, that is a fine start knowing that I was in for a lot of diversity and surprises.

I would call it Rock-Americana with a Progressive twist, just as the band describes it. What is initially indicative of the progressive leanings is the length of the tracks.

The band explains the album like this: It is a concept album based on the life of vocalist Saskia who delivers her story with an earnest passion that’s hauntingly beautiful. Its theme is centered around childhood and musically presented with a sound that evokes America in all its beauty – whether it be folk, rock, jazz, or Native purple mountains majesty with progressive tinges.

I think that statement puts it all into a proper perspective for potential listeners. It serves as a looking glass into what you can expect. It is everything and more than one would expect actually. Saskia has a rich powerful voice that pulls you right into the story and holds you. The music is all very tasteful and well suited to the lyrics and vocal style of Saskia. Every track is a musical carpet ride that will capture your imagination. In a word, it is all quite cinematic. Choosing the recording to be a concept album worked well.

Hoyt Binder’s guitar is fantastic. He can be powerful with some meaty chords or tone it down to sound quieter and more textured. He also utilizes a banjo and mandolin to get that Americana element in place sandwiched in between his power strokes. I most certainly appreciate all of his work with the stringed instruments. His multitude of talent leads the way, inviting Saskia’s inviting vocals to come out and play with the music making it a complete experience for a listener. Her vocals were giving me goosebumps.

The Reverie Suite is engaging, precise, diversified, exciting, and filled with the many colors of the world and cultures. I sincerely appreciate that kind of take on a recording, it is always impressive and something you cannot forget. The musicianship is stellar. Ronald Van Deurzen adds the quintessential keyboard element while The Americana Daydream Revival Orchestra delivers background harmonies, flute, percussion, harmonica, bass, and strings, which in turn gives their sound a layered effect that makes each track a real musical journey. (I have included a list of all contributors below)

Their magnum opus is ”Paradise Road,” which clocks in at a hefty 9:42. With this one track, you get the whole package and stylings that this band commands in one track. It is quite impressive to sit back and hear everything going on. I loved every minute of it. The long instrumental breaks are a testament to this band’s all-around talent. This is the one track I would call definitively progressive. The way it ends so suddenly with Saskia singing “And paradise is her name,” puts the final touch on the elements of prog as the door shuts and you get ready for the next track (or another one opens).

Then you get the full instrumental track “Remind Me.” It is a delight, bringing a distinct Americana/Celtic flair to your senses, transporting the listener to a world stage. Getting the full instrumental treatment of their sounds encourages you to paint your personal picture on the canvas of their music.

The Reverie Suite
may take a few listens to get it all into perspective, but I believe that any listener that has an appreciation for rock, prog, Americana, folk, or any combination thereof, will find great value in this album.

Saskia Binder - Vocals
Hoyt Binder - Guitars, banjo, mandolin, background harmonies
Ronald Van Deurzen - Piano, organ
Trevor Lloyd - Strings
Tollak Ollestad - Harmonica
Rebecca Kleinmann - Flute
Paulo Gustavo - Bass
Chris Quirarte - Drums
Mike Disarro - Background harmonies
Bobby Albright – Percussion

Mixed by Smiley Sean
Mastered by Howie Weinberg at Howie Weinberg Mastering

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
April 28, 2020
Founder of:

Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk

Track List: 
01. Prelude/ She's Calling 04:54
02. Reverie 07:12
03. On My Way 07:31  
04. Heartbeat 04:53
05. Bridge of Dreams 04:38
06. Queen of Hearts 04:47
07. Paradise Road 09:42
08. Move On 05:21
09. Seasons 07:00  
10. Reprise 03:24
11. Remind Me 05:44
12. Content 05:57

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Prog Rock Review: District 97-Screens

Release Date:  October 4, 2019
Label:  MindScan Records

The Chicago-based prog-rock quintet, District 97, is back with a new studio release, Screens. Both the band and their sound have evolved through several incarnations since their inception in 2006. The band started as an instrumental rock band until changing direction in 2007 when American Idol finalist, Leslie Hunt, joined as vocalist. A few years later, a renowned Chicago Symphony Orchestra cellist, Katinka Kleijn joined the band as well. Ms. Hunt’s vocals capture the angst of society’s marginalized. Her vocals, combined with the unabashed musicianship, form a curious, yet absorbing the sonic experience.

Screens pick up where the band’s previous three studio albums leave off, with a more evolved and accessible sound. Therein lies one challenge I faced as a listener, blending the stylistic, almost pop vocals into what feels like an unnatural prog-rock habitat. As a result, I found it hard to surrender completely. Just as the Zappa-esque prog/jazz/fusion creativity takes me in one direction, the glossy vocals take over and pull me in another.  

Songs like “Bread & Yarn,” where vocals are more subdued and democratized, stand out. “ShapeShifter” and “Ghost Girl” come closer to vocal/musical synergy as Hunt sounds a bit less polished and produced. This suits the twists and turns of the undercurrent well. Vocals aside, some masterful performances are starting with Jim Tashjian’s jazz-infused guitar licks where he takes the listener on short sprees away from the rhythm and masterfully returns them to the start. Founder Jonathan Schang’s drumming is clever, accomplished, and brings forth rhythmic illusions in the vein of Gavin Harrison of King Crimson and Porcupine Tree. 

While the blend of pop and heavy prog may not be everyone’s cup of tea, one can tell by the skill of the players, the shifting tempos, and the spaces left between the notes that District 97 would be an engaging live band. The One More Red Night album released in 2014 confirms the assertion. 

Overall, District 97 embodies the Prog rock principals of pushing the envelope and opening the listener’s mind to new sonic possibilities. This is a modern progressive sound that melds elements not typically melded together. While Screens shines in places, this listener had to work to find them and did not become as absorbed as he had hoped.  

Tom Endyke - Staff
November 7, 2019

Rate the Tracks

1.  Forest Fire
2.  Sheep
3.  Sea I Provide
4.  Bread and Yarn
5.  Trigger
6.  After Orbit Mission
7.  Shapeshifter
8.  Blueprint
9.  Ghost Girl


Thursday, October 24, 2019

Rock/Prog Rock-American Tears-White Flags

Release Date: June 21, 2019
Label: Escape Music Ltd
The renaissance of 70’s power keyboard legends, American Tears is in full force with their second release in as many years, White Flags.  Not only are they influenced by keyboard-driven progressive rock of the album-oriented 70’s such as Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Genesis, and Deep Purple, they helped define the genre. Founder Mark Mangold’s boundless musical energy and skill spawn critically acclaimed, yet commercially unsuccessful releases Branded Bad and Tear Gas in the mid-’70s.  American Tears would morph into Touch in the early ’80s yet remain clouded in anonymity.  Mangold moved on to collaborate with artists such as Michael Bolton, write hits for Cher and Benny Mardones, and release his solo records.
The band’s current incarnation unearths an ambiance from a time in rock history when keyboard solos reigned supreme. Tom Scholz’s masterful Hammond organ solo on Boston’s Smokin comes to mind.  Mangold’s keyboard riffs are rife with passion and energy. The moment you feel him about to wind down and wrap up, he reinvents the song and takes it to another level.  In this regard, American Tears defies formulaic structure. To the delight of the listener, these songs keep going and going. After all, if you’re enjoying the ride, why would you want it to end? 
In a recent interview on The Final on Vinyl Podcast (or play below), Mangold quotes Pete Townsend when The Who was accused of sounding self-indulgent and pretentious “Thank you very much,” said Pete, clearly proud of being labeled as such. Mangold is justifiably proud, as well.   
Listening to his vocals on White Flags, one is reminded of the soul and range of The Cult’s Ian Astbury.  Each song on White Flags is consistently upbeat with a broad array of tempos and melodies.  Two of the more soulful tracks which accentuate his vocal range come in the form of “Give me More” and the album’s closer “White Flags.” 
To Mark Mangold, White Flagsis about surrender and sacrifice.  Giving up the battles and giving all of oneself is a sure path to freedom. The lyrics, vocals, and driving power keyboards echo that refrain.  Those who remember American Tears from the ’70s will enjoy this next chapter in their evolution while an emerging fan base is sure to keep growing. 
Tom Endyke - Staff
October 19, 2019

Key Tracks Include: “Hell or High Water,” “Fire Down Below,” “Turn U On”, “Turn the Page”

Rate the Tracks


01. Turn U On
02. Wake up City
03. Hell or High Water
04. Waltz of the Angels
05. Fire Down Below
06. Give Me More
07. Love is Love
08. Turn the Page (Blue Dog)
09. Pitch Black
10. Keep on Movin’
11. White Flags

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Rock-Prog-Pop Vinyl Review: ELO (Electric Light Orchestra)-The UK Singles Volume One 1972-1978

Release Date: September 21, 2018
Label: Sony

Electric Light Orchestra, better known as ELO for brevity purposes, has a large body of work dating back to the 70s. The first album I ever bought was Eldorado. I remember how different that album sounded the first time I heard it. At that time, I enjoyed it but not as much as I do now. With the passing of time, great music reaches a different level as heard through the ears of a more mature listener (like everything it is a matter of time). 

Over the last few years, I have immersed myself in purchasing and listening to all kinds of vinyl, actually a lot of it is what I used to own and subsequently got rid of in my foolish youth.

So along comes The UK Singles Volume One 1972-1978 offering an opportunity to reminisce and hear all those big hits and tracks that were previously only available in the UK. 

For this listener, it was a complete joy to hear all this music and watch it spin around on my turntable. That whole experience of having the vinyl to hold in your hand with the artwork for each individual 45, is what it is all about. The sound is incredible, vinyl has CDs beat by a long shot. The sound of vinyl is more natural and warmer - take away the digitizing, downloading and iTunes and what do you have? Not only something physical but music as it was meant to be heard. This was remastered from the analog source tapes. That fact should get audiophiles salivating.

Jeff Lynn has been and always will be the main cog in the wheel that keeps ELO rolling along. In fact, they are going on tour for the first time in 30 years as Jeff Lynn’s ELO. The music stands on its own. Well put together packages like The U.K. Singles Volume One: 1972-1978 do not come around on a regular basis so it immediately becomes a treasure trove of delights for any vinyl junkie or ELO fan. Check off both boxes for me in regards to those two points. 

The Beatles influence in the ELO cannon has always been obvious and their leader has always acknowledged that influence. For my ears, that works just fine as I love the Fab Four without question and I can spot their influence in anything I hear. Make no mistake about it, this band proved unequivocally that you could rock and add orchestra related instruments to the mix and it all would sound killer if done well. It goes without saying that Jeff and his band really had that formula down straight away. It has taken some years to really appreciate this music more as I mentioned earlier but you cannot deny the string of radio-friendly hits that were blaring out of the radio back in the 70s. I was there and heard it all which makes getting this set that much sweeter and more memorable. 

Some of the highlights in a box set jammed with them were “538 Overture b/w First Movement (Jumping Biz) * (1972 – U.K. No. 9),” which reminded me fondly of the great instrumental from the 60s titled “Classical Gas.” There are some riffs in that track that sounded unmistakable as far as my ears were concerned. This is not unusual at all it just made me smile inside to feel that recognition so quickly.

“Showdown b/w In Old England Town (Instrumental) (1973 – U.K. No. 12)” was so good to hear again on vinyl and “Old England Town (Instrumental)” was an odd bird but certainly quite original and a step away from the ELO norm. It is one track I will not forget.

“Can't Get It Out Of My Head b/w Illusions In G Major (1974)” features a great rocker on the B side “Illusions In G Major,” so don’t be fooled by the track titles that may imply you are going hear something complex and progressive, you may hear a flat-out rocker like this one.
Of course, there is the all-time classic “Evil Woman,” no doubt one of their most recognized hit singles. To sweeten the pie, it is backed with “10538 Overture (live) (1974 – U.K. No. 10),” which is excellent.

On to the surprises I found in the set…All along I was thinking it was standard black vinyl. “Livin Thing” and “Mr. Blue Sky,” turn out to be that beautiful translucent blue vinyl. That was the icing on the cake for this collector/music freak. 

When all is said and done The UK Singles Volume One 1972-1978 is a must-have for any ELO fan or music fan for that matter. So, snag it up and put under the tree this year for the music lover you know, that is if you can stand waiting that long to crack the seal and give it an ear yourself!

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
October 5, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided By MuzikMan Reviews & News


Electric Light Orchestra

The U.K. Singles Volume One: 1972-1978

Disc 1: 10538 Overture b/w First Movement (Jumping Biz)* (1972 – U.K. No. 9)
Disc 2: Roll Over Beethoven** b/w Queen Of The Hours (1973 – U.K. No. 6)
Disc 3: Showdown b/w In Old England Town (Instrumental) (1973 – U.K. No. 12)
Disc 4: Ma-Ma-Ma Belle b/w Oh No Not Susan (1974 – U.K. No. 22)
Disc 5: Can't Get It Out Of My Head b/w Illusions In G Major (1974)
Disc 6: Evil Woman b/w 10538 Overture (live) (1974 – U.K. No. 10)
Disc 7: Nightrider b/w Daybreaker (live)(1976)
Disc 8: Strange Magic b/w Showdown (live) (1976 – U.K. No. 38)
Disc 9: Livin' Thing b/w Fire On High (1976 – U.K. No. 4)
Disc 10: Rockaria! b/w Poker (1976 – U.K. No. 9)
Disc 11: Telephone Line b/w Poor Boy (The Greenwood) / King Of The Universe
(1977 – U.K. No. 8)
Disc 12: Turn To Stone b/w Mister Kingdom (1977 – U.K. No. 18)
Disc 13: Mr. Blue Sky b/w One Summer Dream (1978 – U.K. No. 6)
Disc 14: Wild West Hero b/w Eldorado (1978 – U.K. No. 6)
Disc 15: Sweet Talkin' Woman b/w Bluebird Is Dead (1978 – U.K. No. 6)
Disc 16: The ELO EP: Can't Get It Out Of My Head / Strange Magic b/w Ma-Ma-Ma Belle / Evil Woman (1978 – U.K. No. 34)

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Rock-Blues Review: Cream-Nineteen Sixty-Seven

Release Date: April 6, 2018
Label: Vogon

Cream Nineteen Sixty-Seven features a fantastic live recording made for Swedish radio in March 1967 and previously unreleased BBC radio sessions. Also included are live in-concert and live in the studio recordings made in the period leading up to their classic 1967 album Disraeli Gears.

Personally, I have always appreciated Cream and the talents of Eric Clapton (guitar, vocals), Jack Bruce (bass, vocals) and Ginger Baker (drums). I remember when the first round of the remastered catalog CD releases came out many years ago. I was in awe of their power and skill. They were the first supergroup trio that I can recollect. 

This CD is a documentation of a band maturing from a rock-blues band to a progressive wide-open rock-blues improvisation unit. You can hear them stretching out on all of the eleven tracks. “Toad” for instance, just cuts loose on every instrument. Baker’s drums are simply phenomenal and of course, Bruce playing bass, keeping up with his rhythm section mate, is a true wonder. And last but not least is Clapton, peeling off some scorching licks on his six-string. 

Cream was a band destined for music immortality and the music these three men made was incredible. If you stop and considered what they presented, it sounded more like 4 or 5 musicians. That is how amazing they were.

Nineteen Sixty-Seven is a fantastic recording considering how dated it is. The Vogon label did a nice job of curating and a mastering the tracks. They are as clear and concise as I could have hoped for from that time period.

Another example of how this band was cooking along is “Traintime,” with Bruce on harmonica. He definitely emulated a train rolling down the tracks on that blues burner.

Cream fans will be glad to know that this is not just for the completist. This is a group of recordings that have great historical value but at the same time hold up very well to this day. At some point, this release will be coming out on vinyl and I know I will want a copy.

The Vogon label has a growing library of releases of classic rock music. I have provided a link to the Discogs site so you can take a look for yourself.

4/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
March 26, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided By MuzikMan Reviews and News

01. N.S.U.
02. Stepping Out 
03. Traintime 
04. Toad 
05. I'm So Glad 
06. Sleepy Time Time ("Saturday Club", Recorded 8 November 1966 - Broadcast 11 November 1966) 
07. I'm So Glad ("Saturday Club", Recorded 8 November 1966 - Broadcast 11 November 1966) 
08. Traintime ("Saturday Club", Recorded 10 January 1967 - Broadcast 14 January 1967)
09. Toad ("Saturday Club", Recorded 10 January 1967 - Broadcast 14 January 1967) 
10. Tales of Brave Ulysses ("Joe Loss Show", 14 July 1967) 
11. Take it Back ("Joe Loss Show", 14 July 1967)