Thursday, June 22, 2006

Ramases 'Space Hymns' (UK Prog-Folk 1971)

Ramases was undoubtedly one of the most bizarre and eccentric personalities to record music in the 70's. He claimed to be the reincarnated ancient Egyptian god of the same name, and had been given a vision to enlighten mankind with his "cosmic knowledge" (or something like that). His way to do that was to write a bunch of songs together with his wife Sel. On his debut "Space Hymns" he was backed by a group of studio-musicians that soon would be better known as 10cc. The album is ironically remembered more for the gigantic foldout cover (one of Roger Dean's coolest and most spectacular creations) than for its musical content. But with the exception of the sappy folk balladry of "And the Whole World" and "Jesus Come Back", the music is quite good and original. It can probably be best described as some sort of spacey, psychedelic and folk-inflected progressive rock with strong Eastern influences from time to time. The opener "Life Child" has a good melody and some nice Moog and stands as one of the best on the album. Songs like "Hello Mister", "You're the Only One" and "Molecular Delusions" are based in quirky and repetitive vocal lines. The almost touching "Earth People" features some distorted flute not unlike what Nik Turner often did in Hawkwind. "Quasar One" is also good, and next to "Molecular Delusions" the most eastern-sounding song. The closer "Journey to the Inside" features lots of backward tapes and an ending that shows that Ramases after all probably didn't take himself or his project all that serious. The philosophical and space-oriented lyrics are also a plus, at least for me. Nice stuff.

1. Life Child
2. Oh Mister
3. And The Whole World
4. Quasar One
5. You're The Only One Joe
6. Earth-People
7. Molecular Delusions
8. Balloon
9. Dying Swan Year 2000
10. Jesus Come Back
11. Journey To The Inside


McGuinness Flint 'Lo and Behold' (UK Folk-Rock 1972)

This is one of the finest records of its era (originally issued on DJM and Sire) and, amazingly, as a record of cover versions, had lots of rock press credibility as well. It should have fared about as well as the Hollies' venture into Dylan territory, except that Coulson, Dean, McGuinness, Flint were more suited to the Dylan material, and the Dylan songs they chose were a deliberate effort to delve specifically into material that Dylan had not released (as of that time) in any official versions -- this was stuff that was known either only as compositions, or from various white-label bootlegs that were around then. The result was a record as good as anything the Band ever turned in, a gorgeous, haunting electric/acoustic mixture with impassioned vocals, impeccable musicianship, and what were then revelations about some of Dylan's best and least-known songs. (Remember, he was off the road then, and releasing maybe an album a year.) The numbers include "Eternal Circle" (added to this reissue in an alternate mix version as a bonus track), "Lay Down Your Weary Tune," "Open the Door Homer," "Don't You Tell Henry," "Get Your Rocks Off," "Tiny Montgomery" (a bonus track previously available only as a single B-side), "I Wanna Be Your Lover," "Let Me Die In My Footsteps," "Lo And Behold," and "Sign On the Cross." The sound is stunningly clean, and the new historical notes by Tom McGuinness are cool. [The Japan edition featured different cover art.] ~ Bruce Eder, All Music Guide

1. Eternal Circle
2. Lo and Behold
3. Let Me Die in My Footsteps
4. Open the Door, Homer
5. Lay Down Your Weary Tune
6. Don't You Tell Henry
7. Get Your Rocks Off
8. The Death of Emmett Till
9. Odds and Ends
10. Sign on the Cross
11. Tiny Montgomery
12. I Wanna Be Your Lover
13. Eternal Circle [Alternate Version]

7 Comments:

Blogger Pessi said...

What an oustanding post, Lizardson!!
I'll enjoy the bonus tracks.

Thanks a lot for this!

29 September, 2006 02:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any chance to see ramases reupload?
I know its hard work to do but it is also a great album!

Thanks in advance

22 October, 2006 03:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks my friend really thanks,is a great beautiful album!

22 October, 2006 17:23  
Anonymous ge said...

Now THIS is a great one!
Our new fave song!: "O Mister, Hel-lo hel-lo, hello hello hello"

08 October, 2007 23:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a tad late to the party on the mcguiness flint album - uteerly fantadtic.

24 July, 2008 12:32  
Blogger zappahead said...

I personally think...these are better versions than the originals...excellent album and one that definatley got away...thank you very much for this.

17 November, 2008 19:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how does a person download this stuff that you post, some I need real bad for my library others look good but I have no idea how to download.

wincraft@eastlink.ca

thanks in advance, man

30 June, 2011 01:11  

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