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Friday, January 4, 2013

Iguana - Iguana (1972 uk, superb progressive jazzy brass rock, 2012 Flawed Gems remaster)

The mysterious British band Iguana was formed in Southampton in early 70's and released one excellent album originally in 1972 on label Polydor Records. and then disappear without a trace. The core of the band was guitarist/vocalist Bruce Roberts, bass-player John Cartwright and drummer Pete Hunt, The trio was augmented by strong dual brass-section - Ron Taylor on alto sax and tambourine and Chris Gower on trombone also piano played here by Don Shinn.

Despite the album being released on the well-known Polydor label, it quickly became one of its most obscure items, since for some strange reason nobody was interested in the great blend of loud jazz-rock and energetic heavy rock stuffed with progressive elemenets.

The sound of Iguana is rich and colorful, based on permanent juxtapositions of heavy, some what funky guitar sound and jazzy saxophone riffs – most of the songs are catchy and easy-to-get-into, in spit'e of their complex structures, alluding stylistics soul unique, sophisticated and richly orchestrated with vocals reminiscent of Mike Patto.

Though most of the tracks are vocal-driven, there are enough space for adventurous instrumental excursions, the band achieves a perfect balance between song-oriented as is the longest piece on the LP, almost 9-minute 'Price Of Love' reminding Colosseum, Mogul Thrash and other brass rockers of the 1970s. Actually Brainchild's 'Healing Of The Lunatic Owl' would be the closest comparison to Iguana’s. debut, only if Brainchild work was closer to progressive realms, Iguana veers more towards pure rocking sound, making the accent on sheer intensity of the early British rock music.
by Adamus67

1. Iguana - 3:33
2. Southampton Blues - 1:47
3. Price Of Love - 8:46
4. Power Of Love - 3:45
5. I Don't Need No Buddy - 3:15
6. Ron's Tune - 4:23
7. Prostitude - 3:31
8. Grey Day Lady - 3:19
9. Celluloid Samba - 3:24
All titles written and arranged by Iguana.

*Bruce Roberts - Guitar, Vocals
*Ronnie Taylor - Alto Saxophone, Tambourine
*John Cartwright - Bass, Finger Drums
*Chris Gower - Trombone, Tambourine
*Pete Hunt - Drums, Congas
*Don Shinn - Piano

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Linn County - Fever Shot (1969 us, splendid west coast psych blues rock, 2007 Foot Print issue)

In the 1960s, several regional music scenes developed in cities across the United States and caught the ear of a national audience. The music revolution that took place in San Francisco was for real. The times they were a-changin. The 60s counterculture revolution that was taking place in the Bay Area made it ripe ground for a musical phenomenon to develop.

The birth of the hippie scene, the advent of underground FM radio which gave non-Top 40 music a chance to be heard, and several venues (Fillmore, Avalon, Matrix etc.) willing to booking up-and-coming local talent all made the Bay Area a fertile place for groups to grow and develop. The Grateful Dead, Country Joe and the Fish, Big Brother and the Holding Company with Janis Joplin and The Jefferson Airplane are a few of the best-known bands that emerged from this creative environment.

Although they never enjoyed the same national fame, Linn County was one of the most musically sound, in-demand and highly admired outfits in the Bay area, especially by other Bay area musicians. To trace the roots of Linn County's genealogy, one must venture back to their early days to the home state of Iowa when they were known as the Prophets.

An unusual late-'60s band that combined horn-embellished soul-rock with more interesting material utilizing jazz-colored arrangements and somewhat spacy songwriting. There were few parallels for this kind of thing at the time, other than perhaps the only slightly less obscure Insect Trust.

In 1968, the band signed with Mercury Records, moved to San Francisco, California, and changed its name to Linn County. They released their first album Proud Flesh Soothseer in 1968 and toured, performing with bands and people such as: Albert King, Led Zeppelin, Sly & the Family Stone, Eric Burdon & the Animals and Ten Years After. They never became too well known.

Futher albums followed in 1969 and 1970. The band broke up after Clark Pierson left with Janis Joplin. The solo album released by band member Stephen Miller in 1970 includes 4 tracks recorded by the final Linn County line-up.

1. Girl Can't Help It (B. Troup) - 4:10
2. Elevator Woman (J. L. Williamson) - 4:04
3. Too Far Gone (S. Miller, F. Walk) - 2:40
4. Suspended (S. Miller, F. Walk) - 8:18
5. Fever Shot (S. Miller, F. Walk) - 6:15
6. Lonely Avenue (J. Frederick, L. Branch) - 7:21
7. Ground Hog Blues (S. Boy Williamson) - 4:38

Linn County
*Stephen Miller - Organ, Vocals
*Larry Easter - Saxophone, Flute
*Dino Long - Bass
*Ray 'Snake' McAndrew - Drums
*Fred Walk - Guitar, Sitar

1968  Proud Flesh Soothseer

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