Original released on LP Pegasus PEG 1
(UK, August 1971)
Atomic Rooster's preparation for their third album included the departure of two band members, so they did well to produce something as accomplished and dynamic as this. In came lead singer Pete French from Leafhound, guitarist Steve Bolton and drummer Ric Parnell. Previously, guitarist John Cann had handled vocals. 'Breakthrough' is a lively opener, but almost seems like a warm-up for the two outstanding tracks which follow, 'Break The Ice' and 'Decision/Indecision'. These and my favourite, 'Head In The Sky' suggest that this line-up are at their best as an uptempo unit in which Vince Crane's keyboards provide most of the colour without being over-dominant. 'Black Snake' is also superb, an insidious, twisting song which French struggles with at times. Nevertheless, 'In Hearing Of' is a near classic from a band worthy of greater recognition. (in Amazon)
Bought this album back in 71 and appeared to be in the minority who rated this highly at the time. 37 years later and my love of this album remains undiminished. Its one of a kind and in my opinion Rooster's best album, and can only assume it didn't receive greater recognition as it doesn't conveniently fall into any specific genre of music.
It's Heavy...but not the heaviest.
It's got Soul....but it ain't James Brown.
It Rocks....but it ain't Elvis.
You get my drift. But that doesn't mean it's not the best. It's the best heavy soul rock album by the best (and probably only) british heavy soul rock band, and who could ask for more than that? Whilst many rock albums of this era gave into excess and stereotypical lyrics (ELP and Deep Purple) Rooster played it relatively straight forward, with lyrics often relating directly to Crane's unfortunate tortured mental state, and for this reason is as relevant today as it was 37 years ago. The musicanship from all the band is superb, and Peter French is an overlooked treasure as a vocalist. If your looking for a classic 70's British rock album...then this is the place to start. (in Amazon)