Friday, August 29, 2008

Still Life

"Still Life" 1971

This mysterious group (nobody seems to know who actually played in the band) released their first and only album on the Vertigo-label in 1971. Their music was organ-based progressive rock. The organ-player had a warm, atmospheric and very typical progressive sound on his organ, but his playing never went into very virtuosi solo-passages as the songs on the album were more based in strong and structured melodies than instrumental exercises. The opening number "People in Black" was very representative for the album. Good melodies sung with strong vocal-harmonies and with the earlier mentioned organ-sound as the instrumental foundation in the sound. "Don't Go" is a good ballad and the best example of the band's vocal-harmonies. "October Witches" is also a great song, but maybe a bit repetitive. The maybe best song on the album is in my opinion the more acoustic-based "Love Song No.6 (I Never Love You Girl)". A superb song with a great melody and tasty arrangement. "Dreams" is much harder rocking, with a catchy and aggressive chorus. The closing number "Time" is on the other hand mediocre and stands as the weakest song here. But most of the album is a very nice slice of organ-based progressive rock, and is recommended for everyone who just can't get enough of that early 70's feel and atmosphere.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Track List
1. People in black (Howells)
2. Don't go (Howells/Cure)
3. October Whitches (Howells)
4. Love song no.6 (Howells)
5. Dreams (Howells/Cure)
6. Time (Howells/Amos)

Members :
Martin Cure vocals
Terry Howells keyboards
Graham Amos bass
Alan Savage drums

STILL LIFE — Still Life Review by
Easy Livin (Bob McBeath)
Sell it….and buy a house with the cash!Still Life were a one album band whose only recordings are contained on this self titled release. There have been suggestions of other unreleased tracks by the band, but according to vocalist Martin Cure, these are spurious. The band arose from the ashes of Coventry outfitThe PEEPS, who became the RAINBOWS. Included in the line up of both those bands was Roy Albrighton, who left before they become STILL LIFE. At the time Albrighton left, the RAINBOWS were playing some dates in Hamburg. He remained behind there, going on to form NEKTAR.The line up of the band, while not stated on the sleeve consists of bass, drums, vocals and keyboards (organ). This gives the band something of a one dimensional sound, similar to EGG. It should be said however that this is where the similarities with EGG end, as the musical direction is decidedly different. In terms of the music, the band bears comparison with DEEP PURPLE's Jon Lord led offerings, BEGGAR's OPERA's earlier work, and PALADIN. In all cases, this is essentially due to the dominant Hammond organ.The tracks vary from reasonable heavy rock, to softer ballad passages. The opening to "Don't go" for example has distinct overtones of PROCOL HARUM's "A whiter shade of pale". There are plenty of uncredited additions to the sound, such as the female vocal backing, and what appears to be flute on "People in Black". This 8 minute opening track is driven by the up front bass, but is effectively some brief verses and plenty of virtuoso organ playing. "Love song no. 6" features what appears to be acoustic guitar, although this soon gives way to the ubiquitous Hammond."Dreams" has some eerie spoken word along the lines of BLACK WIDOW or ARTHUR BROWN, while the closing "Time" opens with a URIAH HEEP like ah-ah over climbing organ.It is easy to forget when listening to the album that it dates from 1971, and thus precedes a number of the bands and albums it bears comparison to. While now very much of its time, and perhaps slightly deficient in the song-writing department, this is nonetheless something of a lost gem.The LP's gatefold sleeve opens vertically, instead of the usual horizontally. This reveals the apparently tasteful array of flowers on the front to be a toupee for a skull!As for the band members, sadly bassist Graham Amos died in 2003. Terry Howells and Alan Savage are no longer involved in the music business. After Still Life, vocalist Martin Cure joined the commercially successful Cupid's Inspiration ("Yesterday has gone"), with whom he still performs from time to time today.Original “Still life” LP records now change hands for grossly inflated amounts due to the fact that there are not that many of them, and also because it was issued on the legendary Vertigo “swirl” label.
Posted Friday, August 04, 2006

resources :

29 August, 2008 10:15  
Anonymous Brian Andrew Marek said...

Didn't need to download it as I already have a copy, but what a great album! Prog rarities are sometimes overrated, but this one deserves the acclaim. Good songs, good melodies, good arrangement, just enough pomp to pump it up. Another excellent offering from Lizardson!

29 August, 2008 12:36  
Blogger Govindas Dream said...

well, another blog, I did, but with no complete albums, it's a kind of jukebox, with groovy psychedelic and acid stuff...

wanna link this blog too? I linked you on that blog... :)...

the link:

amadeus :)

29 August, 2008 16:45  

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