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Monday, April 8, 2024

Arthur Brown - The Story Of Arthur Brown (1965-2003 uk, classic freak psych space rock, 2003 double disc remaster)

Arthur Brown is synonymous with his 1968 hit "Fire", and the Hammond-driven "Crazy World" line-up which spawned it. However, his 'God of Hellfire' burned out fast and, in 1970, he returned with a new project: prog-festival freak-show Kingdom Come. They made three astonishing albums for Polydor, then fell apart without achieving any commercial breakthrough.

Those initial four band albums, by 'The Crazy World of Arthur Brown' and by 'Kingdom Come', are thrilling, as tend to be Brown's cameos on other peoples' projects. Obviously a great collaborator, his solo work has often been impressively poor. Without a persona, a theme, or other characters to play against in the creative process he seems to lose conviction.

To the credit of this collection, it's a goldmine of immaculately mastered rarities. Inevitably, some of these tracks prove to have deserved their obscurity. There are half a dozen pre-fame recordings which posterity could thrive without. Ditto the majority of solo tracks. But, to be fair, this set claims to be The Story Of not a Best Of. A collection of Arthur Brown's best work would discretely set aside year upon year of aimlessness and stick to the period when he found his muse.

The heart of this offering is the selection of guest vocals, oddities, and tracks from currently-deleted Kingdom Come albums. There is ''The Lord Doesn't Want You'' salvaged from an aborted 1969 Crazy World follow up, offering stunning declamatory funkadelia. There are eight  faultless Kingdom Come tracks, including rare single ''Eternal Messenger''. Then there is nutter-vs-God-of-Hellfire action from Rob Calvert's "The Gremlin", heading a clutch of collaborative gems. Sadly the provenance of some tracks is left vague by the album notes.This is currently your only option if you have Crazy World Of... and are longing to hear what came after. 
by Rob Fawcett, 2003

Disc 1
1. Prelude: Nightmare (Arthur Brown) - 3:53
2. You Don't Know (Walter Spriggs) - 3:33
3. Don't Tell Me (Jean-Pierre Bourtayre, Jean Bouchéty) - 2:30
4. Baby You Know What You're Doing (Jean-Pierre Bourtayre, Jean Bouchéty) - 1:55
5. The Green Ball (Arthur Brown) - 3:22
6. Devil's Grip (Arthur Brown) - 3:21
7. Give Him A Flower (Arthur Brown, Vincent Crane) - 3:02
8. Rest Cure (Arthur Brown, Vincent Crane) - 2:47
9. Fanfare: Fire Poem (Arthur Brown, Vincent Crane) - 2:02
10.Fire! (Arthur Brown, Vincent Crane, Mike Finesilver, Peter Ker) - 2:54
11.I Put A Spell On You (Screamin' Jay Hawkins) - 3:43
12.Child Of My Kingdom (Arthur Brown, Vincent Crane) - 7:01
13.The Lord Doesn't Want You (Arthur Brown, George Khan, Jonah Mitchell, Android Funnel, Dennis Taylor, Drachen Theaker) - 3:01
14.Eternal Messenger (Arthur Brown, Mike Finesilver, Peter Ker) - 3:49
15.Night Of The Pigs (Arthur Brown, Andy Dalby, Michael Harris, Julian Paul Brown) - 1:05
16.Sunrise (Arthur Brown, Andy Dalby, Julian Paul Brown) - 6:50
17.Creep-Creation (Arthur Brown, Andy Dalby, Michael Harris) - 4:06
18.Love Is (The Spirit That Will Never Die) (Arthur Brown) - 4:20
19.Time Captives (Arthur Brown) - 7:46
20.Spirit Of Joy (Arthur Brown, Michael Harris) - 3:15

Disc 2
1. Gypsy (Arthur Brown, Dennis Taylor) - 9:11
2. The Lord Will Find You (Lee  Robinson) - 4:15
3. Eyesight To The Blind (Sonny Boy Williamson) - 5:54
4. The Gremlin (The Song Of) (Adrian Wagner, Arthur Brown, Robert Calvert) - 3:23
5. Universal Zoo (Danny Beckerman, Wil Malone) - 2:44
6. The Lord Is My Savour (Arthur Brown) - 3:40
7. Tight Rope (Arthur Brown, Mike Finesilver) - 3:55
8. Speaknotech (Arthur Brown) - 5:15
9. The Fire-Ant Said To The Cockroach (Arthur Brown) - 5:30
10.Lord Of The Dance (Traditional) - 3:11
11.Hound Dog (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller) - 2:16
12.Let A Little Sunshine (Into Your Life) (Arthur Brown) - 4:11
13.Heartaches (Arthur Brown, Malcolm Mortimore, Rick Patten, Stan Adler) - 5:13
14.A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall (Bob Dylan) - 5:30
15.Silver Machine (Robert Calvert, Dave Brock) - 5:16
16.Fire (Die Krupps Remix) (Arthur Brown, Vincent Crane, Mike Finesilver, Peter Ker) - 3:14

The Arthur Brown Set
*Arthur Brown - Vocals
*Martin Kenny - Lead Guitar
*Robin Short - Keyboards
*Barry Dean - Bass

Crazy World
*Arthur Brown - Vocals
*Vincent Crane - Keyboards
*Sean Nicholas - Bass Guitar (later known as Nicholas Greenwood)
*Drachen Theaker - Drums

Kingdom Come
*Arthur Brown - Vocals
*Andy Dalby - Lead Guitar
*Martin Steer - Drums
*Desmond Fisher - Bass
*Julian Paul Brown - Backing Vocals
*Michael Harris - Organ
*Phil Shutt - Bass
*Victor Peraino - Keyboards

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