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Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Third Power - Believe (1970 us, detroit high energy acid rock, 2010 Relics extra tracks issue)

This three-piece hailed from Detroit, and formed as The Blewsies in 1967, with a line-up of Drew Abbott (guitar, vocals), Jem Targal (bass, vocals) and Jim Craig (drums). Living together in a rented farmhouse, they played all the local rock clubs, and issued a 45 on the tiny Baron Records in 1968 'We, You, I' / 'Snow'.

The disc received local airplay, but barely sold outside the area. Both sides are included as bonus tracks here. The band were soon supporting local heroes the MC5 and others at the legendary Grande Ballroom. By 1969 they'd signed a record deal with Vanguard, a predominantly folk label that was (largely unsuccessfully) branching out into psychedelic rock.

Produced by famed blues historian Sam Charters, the raw and heavy Believe was released in May 1970. 'A trio who manage to stay away from the Cream / Hendrix pitfalls and produce an album with some substance', wrote Circus magazine that July, while the American Record Guide commented that 'this trio has produced a record of above-average interest. The sheer volume output is staggering (as are the power and clarity of Vanguard's engineering), and there is enough musical interest in Drew Abbott's guitar-playing to hold the listener'.

Stereo Review were far less complimentary, stating that The Third Power sounds, on recordings at least, just as loud and just as overbearing as Grand Funk Railroad. Producer Sam Charters has been responsible for some of Vanguard's finest blues collections, but his powers of musical perception must have been out to lunch when he put this date together. This one is for masochists only.'

The album sold poorly, prompting the band to split. Targal went on to release a highly-rated solo LR Lucky Guy, in 1978, while Abbott joined Bob Seger's Silver Bullet Band.

1. Gettin’ Together - 4:24
2. Feel So Lonely - 4:20
3. Passed By - 3:45
4. Lost In A Daydream - 2:35
5. Persecution - 3:29
6. Comin’ Home - 3:54
7. Won’t Beg Anymore - 4:31
8. Crystalline Chandelier - 3:24
9. Like Me Love Me - 6:06
10.We, You, I (Bonus track) - 3:22
11.Snow (Bonus track) - 2:44

The Third Power
*Drew Abbott - Guitar, Vocals
*Jem Targal  - Bass, Vocals
*Jim Craig - Drums

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  1. Thanks alot Marios, kind of you to share :)


  2. Thanx a lot for the bonused issue, Marios !!

  3. Killer LP. Thank you.

  4. Thanks very much Marios!

  5. "Account suspended" :(

  6. Thanks a lot for this CD, Marios! One of the best (if not *the* best) Michigan bands, for me.

    Is there any chance that anyone here has a copy / rip of this reissue?
    I think that these 2016 releases (CD / LP) are the only reissues of this album sourced from the master tapes. When this reissue came out for RSD, I went to the record store and bought a copy of the LP variant. It seemed like the superior investment at the time; it came with a digital download (MP3s…) of the bonus tracks, but I figured a CD rip would appear online eventually with the uncompressed audio of the full set. Well, it’s been 5 years, and nothing has appeared, and the CD is now an expensive item — go figure. So any help tracking it down is massively appreciated!

    Anyways, thanks again! :)

  7. My sentiments TPB, the "lost second album" bonus trax are elusive in anything above 320. Upon listening, many are killer before any filler.

  8. @TPB - I never saw either the LP or CD or that record store day or since. I too assumed a regular release would subsequently appear. You are lucky that you have even the mp3 copies. I don't. It's a pity the chat box has gone because I definitely would have requested the mp3s there.

  9. To be ultra clear - I am talking ONLY about the Future Days edition mentioned by TPB

  10. Hey JohnM, what are you actually on about ???

  11. @Derrick
    The Future Days release of this album is here. You can see it has eleven bonus tracks. The Relics edition that Marios' posts here shares 2 of those. That leaves 9 bonus tracks that are only on the Future Days release.
    The Future Days release was a record store day release about 5 years ago that AFAIK came as vinyl with download bonus tracks and a CD. It has never been reissued since. I've seen only one copy of the CD in all that time and that was ~$90 although there were no buyers.
    I would like this particular CD and requested it multiple time on Marios' chat. It's rare and no one offered to post it. It's also not on torrent, and I've failed to locate a download on the web.
    I learnt a few days ago that the PoodleBites has the mp3s. If the chat was still around I would have requested that he/she posts the mp3s. That avenue is closed. I don't know if Marios would welcome such activity in his comments but I kinda hoped that some kind soul would offer to post them and we work out the details.

  12. Thanks! Another great band that should have done better.

  13. These MP3s are already "out there" since I posted them on What.CD back in the day... though probably only a handful of people downloaded them. Anyways, here's a new, direct link:

    The two "bonus tracks" included on the bootleg CD which Marios is kindly hosting here are ripped from the 45 on Baron, which I also ripped in hi-res, and which is available on my blog. The same two tracks are also in these bonus MP3s, but they again seem to be vinyl rips, so the tapes apparently have never been located for those pre-Vanguard sessions.

    I do hope that someone posts a FLAC of the CD... they were easy to find even online for a couple years after the release, and my local record store had dozens of them on RSD. I'm just astounded that between the CD and the vinyl, the CD has become the rare item. The big vinyl booklet with interviews & beautiful band photos is just way cooler than a CD, for me.