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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Howard Werth And The Moonbeams - King Brilliant (1975 uk, smart glam prog rock)

Howard Werth kick-started his music career with The Lloyd Alexander Blues Band in the sixties (and he doesn't remember it because he was there!), playing  a range of music covering the r'n'b / soul / Motown / psychedelia spectrum, and gigging round the circuit at that time, which included such West End all-night haunts as the Flamingo and the Whiskey A (Jo-Go (later to become The Wag Club), as well as thriving suburban venues such as the Blue Opera Clubs. These places all attracted the Motown mods, the art school blues and psychedelic crowds that dominated what was the burgeoning underground scene of that time.

The Lloyd Alexander Blues Band supported U.S. blues legends such as Jimmy Reed, and were the house band at the Uppercut Club in Fast London at a time when artists such as Otis Redding and Jimi Hendrix played there (Hendrix wrote Purple Haze in the dressing room).

Howard was searching for a new set of cultural references and musical triggers to draw from, which culminated in him forming Audience in 1 969. After a debut album for Polydor (reissued on CD by RPM Records). Audience recorded three more great albums for Charisma (now available through Virgin, along with a compilation). At the end of a very productive and hard working four years - w h i c h saw Audience play extensively around Britain, Europe and America (supporting Rod Stewart and The Faces in 1971) - the band were exhausted and in need of new impetus, and split up.

It was at this point that Howard began to work on his first solo album "King Brilliant". Gus Dudgeon produced and the core of the Elton John band provided the hacking, with the help of Bob Weston, fresh from his lime with Fleetwood Mac. The first two tracks to be laid down were ''Lucinda", a single that received a lot of airplay , and "Fading Star", which were recorded with members of Kokomo plus Davey Johnstone from Elton's band. Because of the limitations of vinyl , the track "Mechanical Dream", recorded during the sessions, had to be left off- and this hidden gem (which had never even been mixed) appears here for the very first time. A haunting, atmospheric piece, it sits perfectly with the rest of the material.

It was during the making of this album that Howard was approached by The Doors and asked to fill the space left by Jim Morrison. The Doors flew to England, and Howard spent some time rehearsing with them, but after some agonizing and deliberation, Ray Manzarek decided against The Doors reforming and the project floundered.

However Howard was later to reunite with Ray in Hollywood, where they worked together extensively on Howard's songs, some of which would later be re-worked to form the basis of the album "Six Of One", which was originally released on Howard's own METABop! label. 

Howard has stayed involved with music and following the reissue of these two classic solo albums, will be issuing a brand new recording on Luminous shortly. He is also planning to go back on the road playing selected gigs. He will also he contributing to an upcoming Doors tribute album at the request of Ray Manzarek....

1. Cocktail Shake - 2:59
2. Got To Unwind - 4:50
3. The Embezzler - 4:28
4. A Human Note - 2:47
5. Ugly Water - 6:03
6. Midnight Flyer - 4:12
7. Fading Star - 3:03
8. Dear Joan - 3:12
9. Roulette - 3:28
10.The Aleph - 5:48
11.Lucinda - 3:07
12.Mechanical Dream - 4:21
All songs by Howard Werth

*Howard Werth - Vocals, Guitar
*Bob Weston - Guitar
*Mike Moran - Piano
*Freddy Gaudy - Bass
*John Gustafson - Bass
*Roger Pope - Drums

Audience discography
1969 Audience (2002 remaster edition)
1971  House On The Hill (2015 Esoteric)
1972  Lunch (2015 Esoteric)

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