Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Hour Glass - Power of Love (Great 2nd Album US 1968)

Size: 153 MB
Bitrate: 256
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included
Source: Japan SHM-CD Remaster

Power of Love was the second studio album by Hour Glass, issued in March 1968 on Liberty Records, the final by the group with the namesakes of The Allman Brothers Band. After the failure of their first album, Liberty Records allowed a greater independence for the group, who had been virtually shut out of the decision making for their first album by the label and producer Dallas Smith. 

However, with the label's decision to retain Smith as producer, the group, especially Duane Allman, once again felt constricted by their label's expectations for the album.

With Smith behind the boards, Gregg Allman was still the focus. The younger Allman, who had seen only one of his compositions on the previous album, contributed seven of the twelve tracks. 

The remainder were two from Marlon Greene and Eddie Hinton and one each from the teams of Spooner Oldham and Dan Penn, John Berry and Don Covay, and John Lennon and Paul McCartney. The group performed all of the instrumentation, with Duane Allman adding electric sitar to their cover of The Beatles' "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)", a staple of their live act.

Neil Young of Buffalo Springfield wrote the liner notes, describing his experience sitting in on the session for the album track "To Things Before", watching Gregg Allman leading the group through the number.

After the failure of the album to enter the chart, the Hour Glass traveled to Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, in an attempt to further refine their sound. However, Dallas Smith and Liberty Records were displeased with the group-produced blues-fueled rock tracks that the group returned to Los Angeles with, as they were light years away from the pop music Smith envisioned them performing. Additionally, seeing himself cut out of the group's picture was not ideal for Smith, even if his relations with the group had been strained.

Hour Glass disbanded shortly thereafter, with Gregg Allman returning to California to satisfy the terms of the group's contract with Liberty. Paired with a studio band, Allman recorded roughly an album's worth of material, though it took nearly a quarter of a century for it to surface. [Wikipedia]

Now this is a little more like it. The group really isn't sounding like they did at the Whiskey, but the playing by the band is pretty ballsy, and Duane's guitar is right up front and close, and he's showing some real invention within the restrictions of the pop sound that the producer was aiming for. He also plays an electric sitar on the strangest cut here, an instrumental cover of Beatles' "Norwegian Wood." 

From the opening bars of the title tune, one gets the message that this is a group with something to say musically, even if this particular message isn't it -- the guitar flourishes, the bold organ and piano by Paul Hornsby, and Gregg Allman's charismatic vocals all pull the listener better than 98% of the psychedelic pop and soul-pop of the period. 

The outtakes that are included as bonus tracks are much more important, consisting of songs cut for a never-issued Gregg Allman solo album (intended to keep Liberty from suing over the group's breakup and departure), where he sounded a lot more like the lead singer of the Allman Brothers Band than he'd ever been given a chance to with the Hour Glass, on songs that included the future Allman Brothers classic "It's Not My Cross to Bear." [AMG]

Gregg Allman – organ, piano, guitar, vocal (all tracks)
Duane Allman – guitars, electric sitar (tracks 1-6, 8-12)
Paul Hornsby – piano, organ, guitar, vocal (tracks 1-12)
Johnny Sandlin – drums, guitar, gong (tracks 1-12)
Pete Carr – bass guitar, guitar (track 7), vocal (tracks 1-12)
Several unknown studio musicians on horns, guitars, backing vocals, drums, bass guitar, keyboards and percussion (tracks 13-18)
Bruce Ellison - Engineer (all tracks)

01. "Power of Love" (Spooner Oldham, Dan Penn) - 2:50
02. "Changing of the Guard" - 2:33
03. "To Things Before" - 2:33
04. "I'm Not Afraid" - 2:41
05. "I Can Stand Alone" - 2:13
06. "Down in Texas" (Marlon Greene-Eddie Hinton) - 3:07
07. "I Still Want Your Love" - 2:20
08. "Home for the Summer" (Marlon Greene-Eddie Hinton) - 2:44
09. "I'm Hanging Up My Heart For You" (John Berry, Don Covay) - 3:09
10. "Going Nowhere" - 2:43
11. "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) - 2:59
12. "Now Is The Time" - 3:59

Bonus Tracks:
13. "Down in Texas" (alternate version) (Marlon Greene-Eddie Hinton) - 2:21
14. "It's Not My Cross to Bear" - 3:36
15. "Southbound" - 3:41
16. "God Rest His Soul" (Steve Alaimo) - 4:02
17. "February 3rd" (Composer Unknown) - 2:56
18. "Apollo 8" (Composer Unknown) - 2:37
19. "I've Been Trying" (alternate version) (Curtis Mayfield) - 2:35
20. "Kind of a Man" (Composer Unknown) - 3:07
21. "D-I-V-O-R-C-E" (Bobby Braddock, Curly Putman) - 3:12
22. "She Is My Woman" (Composer Unknown) - 2:38
23. "Bad Dream" (Gregg Allman) - 3:37
24. "Three Time Loser" (Don Covay, Ronald Miller) - 2:40

Tracks 13-18 from the 1969 sessions for Gregg Allman's unreleased first solo album for Liberty (present on 1992 re-release only).
 Tracks 19-20 are outtakes from the 1st Hour Glass Album.
 Tracks 21-24 are tracks from aborted 1968 and 1969 sessions by Gregg Allman (present on 1992 re-release only).

All songs by Gregg Allman, unless noted.

1. Hour Glass
2. Hour Glass
3. Hour Glass

Some Christmas Reading About Allman Brothers Band

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ChrisGoesRock, Huddinge Hill, Sweden