Thursday, August 03, 2023

Dragonfly - Dragonfly (Great Guitar Drivin´ Psychedelia US 1968)

Size: 90.4 MB
Bitrate: 320
Ripped By: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included

The album by this Colorado band is superb, full of driving rhythms and excellent psychedelic guitar. It's easy to see why copies of this collectors' item now change hands for a fair bit. My personal favourites were I Feel lt, Portrait Of Youth and the spacey Miles Away, although it's difficult to single out tracks as such a high standard is maintained throughout. 

The same outfit released an album for Megaphone under the name Legend, a couple of years earlier, along with an early 45 version of Portrait Of Youth.

Killer cusp of the 60's heavy psych album from California. Plenty of wailing psychedelic guitars, and a heavy garage psych edge give the album an awesome power. With weird trip-outs such as "Trombodo" and the soaring "I Feel It" this is prime Endless Journey style US psych with all the right acid dimensions. Great !!

Dragonfly was actually a band called The Legend who's debut album (on which they weren't allowed to play or contribute songs) was somewhat butchered by their record company. So they decided to pursue other interests. Under a different name (association with that Legend album wasn't gonna happen), they recorded this. They didn't have the best sound quality (crackles and pops still cover the sound on CD), but they had enough technology to mess around. Throughout this album, the track suddenly jumps into backward recording, slows down suddenly, or dissipates altogether. The boys explode into ridiculous giggles, get wasted by a moaning trombone, and turn into a giant rolling ball of mung at the end before returning to form. Along the way, we have some good songs. "Blue Monday" opens the album with a moan of "Oooh my God.." then harsh chords, before rhythm guitarist Gene cracks his throat in anger. "Enjoy Yourself" is bouncy, thoughtful psychedelia, "Crazy Woman" sounds very 60s and somewhat Moby Grape. "To Be Free" is a good bit of yearning and hope: the classic 60s message. There's just all kinds of good stuff here. The drums are fierce and the fuzz-toned lead guitar is excellent. There's some heavy solos on this album. Great performing. Gene's vocals sometimes sound like Keith Relf of the Yardbirds and sometimes like Jack Bruce of Cream. It's forgotten, and that's a pity. Take an acid trip ito the good ol' days of heavy psychedelic hard rock. It'll blow you away. 

There was never really a band by the name of Dragonfly, and no gig was ever played under that name. Dragonfly was was just an album. The story goes on from here. A guy from Durango, Colorado, by the name of Gerry Jimerfield, had a band called The Lords of London. Of course none of them were British but it sounded good during the days of the British Invasion. Gerry was twenty-six and the others were nineteen and twenty. Gerry had already been in the military and had taken a rock band to LA, made a couple of records, and played on the TV show Hullabaloo. The band business in LA being what it was, Gerry moved back to Durango and stayed at his parent's kitchenette motel.

Meanwhile, Barry Davis and Jack Duncan were playing in a local band in El Paso, Texas by the name of The Pawns. The El Paso music scene was jumping and for a town that size there were tons of bands, lots of very good players, but few good singers. The Pawns had been through a couple of incarnations but were still very successful. Jack joined The Pawns in 1965 and when drummer Jimmy Wagnon of the Bobby Fuller Four quit Barry Davis was hired. The other two guys in the band were married so Jack and Barry became good friends. Bobby Fuller was from El Paso and had a big time recording studio in his house. Jack had know Bobby and his brother Randall since he was sixteen and did some local rodie work for them. When Jack joined The Pawns he was learning guitar but the bass player wanted out. He sold his bass to Jack for $50.00, and showed him the basics of the the songs and that was it.

Through Bobby Fuller, The Pawns got turned on to playing Farmington, New Mexico with a local promoter up there. The Pawns would go up there about once every couple of months and play. They were very popular, made a ton of money, and word got around about them. One Saturday night Gerry Jimerfield and his then keyboardist, Erin McElaine, came down to Farmington to hear what The Pawns were all about. After the show Gerry introduced himself to Jack, said he had connections on the West Coast, and offered to put something together if Jack and Barry ever wanted to.

A few months later, they gave Gerry a call. He invited them to move to Durango and said they could stay for free at his parent's motel. Barry and Jack threw their equipment in the back of Barry's '57 Canary Yellow Chevy Bel Air hard top and took off for Durango. The band rehearsed there for a couple of months as a four piece and then decided it was time to hire another guitar. Jack and Barry suggested another home boy by the name of Randy Russ. He had been in a competitive El Paso band by the name of the Instigators but when they called he jumped at the chance. Randy moved up to Durango and everything was in place.

The band went up to the Denver area and played many happening clubs of the time in Denver, Boulder, Ft. Collins, and Estes Park. They were well received and stated playing as an opening act at the famous Family Dog. One of the bands they seemed to end up exchanging sets with was a band named the American Standard with a great guitarist by the name of Tommy Bolin. The Lords of London were feeling their oats, so they headed out to California where Gerry said they would hook up with his old managers. They went through the stereotypical starving musician life for a while, living in a single motel room with little or nothing to eat. They headed back to Colorado to play for the summer and make some money and had a very successful time in the now-famous summer of love, the summer of '67.

Going back to LA, their managers were ready to get an album going but there was one problem: these guys were "old school" and believed that rock bands should neither write their own material nor play in the studio. They were looking for a new name when a traveling companion by the name of Mark Clark suggested The Jimerfield Legend. After all, Gerry was older, was the leader of the band, and had a stage charisma that epitomized the sixties. Many gigs were played under that name and one of the historical references to it is from one the Family Dog posters which can be seen on the wall in the stairwell of Steve McQueen's house in the movie Bullit. But their old school managers did not want to use the name Jimerfield because what if he left the band? So the Album came out under the name The Legend with a bunch of squirrelly-assed songs chosen by the managers and played by studio musicians, albeit by some of the best of the time like Carol Kaye and Hal Blane. The arrangements were done by the late Gene Page of Motown and Barry White fame.

One of the managers saw them at Family Dog in Denver, on the big stage, with psychodelic lights, and lots of kids going nuts. He was astounded at how the audience was into the band. After the first show, he asked the band why they hadn't told him they could write and play like that. They of course said they had tried to explain it to them but they just didn't get it.So the manager goes back to LA and tells his partner they need to let the band do an original album. When they got back to LA, they started recording what would become the Dragonfly album. In the meantime, the keyboardist had left the band and Dragonfly was done basically as two-guitars, bass and drums album. The managers also hired a producer by the name of Richard Russell (real name Richard Egizi) and the band cut the album at Amigo in I.D. Studios in north Hollywood with Hank Cicalo engineering. They made it an album, with no band member names listed and no pictures, again afraid that if anyone quit or changed it would damage the credibility of the band.

When all was said and done, the band was financially broke, had no gigs and no promotions behind them. Nevertheless, they got a little air play on LA radio as Jack remembers hearing it and getting one small BMI royalty check. At one point, one of the managers called to say they could get them a gig at The Fillmore West in San Francisco. The guys never knew how serious this was but the wheels to move on were already in motion so it wasn't seriously considered. So Dragonfly went the way of many bands, off into oblivion. About 1998 or so, Jack got a call from a guy in Belgium, saying there was a radio station that played old obscure vinyl and one of the Dragonfly songs was in the top ten in terms of requests!

♦ Barry Davis - Drums, Vocals
♦ Gerry Jimerfield - Guitar, Lead Vocals
♦ Randy Russ - Guitar, Vocals
♦ Ernie Mcelwaine - Keyboards
♦ Jack Duncan - Bass

01. Blue Monday (B. Davis, J. Dunkan)  03:16
02. Enjoy Yourself (R.Russ, B. Davis)  03:19
03. Hootchie Koochie Man (W. Dixon)  04:42
04. I Feel It (J. Dunkan, B. Ray)  04:37
05. Trombodo (R. Russel) - 00:32
06. Portrait of Youth (G. Jimerfield)  02:46
07. Crazy Woman (J. Dunkan, R. Russ)  02:34
08. She Don't Care (G. Jimerfield)  02:50
09. Time Has Slipped Away(J. Dunkan)  02:40
10. To Be Free (J. Dunkan)  03:17
11. Darlin' (G. Jimerfield)  00:38
12. Miles Away (J. Dunkan)  04:48


Head Over Heels - Head Over Heels (Superb Hardrock US 1971)

Size: 92.3 MB
Bitrate: 320
Ripped By: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included

A Michigan power trio whose album is powerful and inventive - one of the best hard rock albums on the label. Showcasing a line up consisting of drummer John Bredeau, singer/guitarst Paul Frank and singer/bassist Michael Urso, the band only managed to release one instantly obscure album, but what an LP! Produced by Dan Moore and Buzz Clifford, 1971's Head Over Heels is simply great. Loud, tough, yet surprisingly accessible, material such as Road Runner and In My Woman showcased the trio's knack for melodic, but crunching guitar rock. 

Frank and Urso had attractive voices and as we said before, they sure could generate some sound. Among the few missteps were some out of kilter harmony vocals (Question) and the bland power ballad Children Of The Mist (which was almost redeemed by Frank's nice guitar solo). Elsewhere, recorded at Detroit's Eastowne, an extended cover of Willie Dixon's Red Rooster and the Franks-penned Circles were in-concert efforts that aptly showcased the band's impressive live chops. 

Frank and Urso subsequently reappeared with the band Fresh Start. Urso was also a late-inning member of Detroit's Rare Earth (along with the Scorpion guitarist Ray Monette), playing on several of their albums in the mid-70s. 

Track Listings
01. Roadrunner        
02. Right Away        
03. Red Rooster        
04. Children of the Mist        
05. Question        
06. Tired and Blue Land Band        
07. In My Women        
08. Circles

1. Head
2. Head
3. Head

Cain - A Pound Of Flesh (Great Private-Pressed Hardrock US 1975)

Size: 91.1 MB
Bitrate: 320
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included

 (I’d like to dedicate this review to the memory of my good high school friend and metal brother Dion Ronald Kajfosz, who passed away on April 24, 1996.)

– CAIN: A Pound of Flesh (Monster Records/Rockadrome Records)

“Katy girl, chocolate and sweets
you’re the prettiest girl that I have kissed
Would you really mind if I took a ride on you?”

Now that is a CAN OF CRAP! Well, not crap exactly. It’s more like a can of slimy, slithering, vile, disemboweled intestines, overflowing from the
tin can as if it were a merely a rusted-out can of baked beans boiling over the campfire. This is sick stuff, my friends, and I haven’t even taken a big whiff or touched it, or anything.

What I’m referring to, obviously, is the graphically sick, yet perversely beautiful artwork for Cain’s A Pound of Flesh. Though the album cover
concept, which wouldn’t be inappropriate fodder for a Mortician, Disembowled Something Or Other or Dismembered Fetus disc (that actually was a grind band in Denver years back, ha!), was featured on a melodic hard rock/metal record back in 1975, it reflected on the context of the album’s originally release–YES, that WAS some sick-ass stuff for back then. The fact that the album’s “8 Prime Cuts” reveal a majestic, grandiose, and dynamic brand of ’70s rock demonstrates that sometimes a lyrical book’s cover is, in fact, gloriously misleading.

“Katy girl, chocolate and sweets
you’re the prettiest girl that I have kissed
Would you really mind if I took a ride on you?”

Minnesota hard rock legends Cain took a lot of time to develop the mesmerizing sound found on their A Pound of Flesh debut. The band formed in the late 1960s out of the exoskeletons and peels of rival Twin Cities bands The Grasshoppers and The Bananas(!), and after breaking up eventually combined forces and changed their name to Cain. Alongside their assembly line of drummers and keyboardists, Cain was led by phenomenal vocalist Jiggs Lee, their talented guitarist Lloyd Forsberg and the towering thunder of bassist Dave Elmeer. They sharpened their claws in the Chicago club circuit of the early ’70s, and routinely toured Milwaukee and Iowa, as well as their native Minnesota.

“Katy girl, chocolate and sweets
you’re the prettiest girl that I have kissed
Would you really mind if I took a ride on you?”

A remarkable note about Cain is that, despite their ultimate obscurity, they were actually contemporaries with some bands that would become huge
arena rock acts. Cain plowed the same club territory that bands such as Kansas, Styx and Cheap Trick also inhabited, while others like Todd Rundgren, Fleetwood Mack and Mott the Hoople were prowling clubs after shows in search of an open stage.

A Pound of Flesh came to fruition in 1975, and the result of six years of labor was an incredibly innovative and harmonically rich piece of work, one
that grows on me and becomes embedded in my head and soul with each listen. Their sound was decidedly ’70s, of course, but they possessed a much more grandiose, and, dare I say, bombastic edge than later heavies like Amulet.

Jiggs Lee’s ballsy throat stylings, are absolutely breathtaking, shifting from the crystalline, to wicked screams to beautifully operatic falsetto with precision. Forsberg employs plenty of monster riffs that recall Alex Lifeson and Ritchie Blackmore with equal aplomb, and his well-textured and
fiery solo sections are flawless. I can’t find any fault with the groove machine that is the rhythm section of DeRemer and Elmeer either; Elmeer’s bass

lines are ever-moving like John Entwistle, but ponderously heavy, more like Geezer Butler or Geddy Less; DeRemer anchors the band with finesse but never takes the band in too extreme of a tempo direction.

“And the Skating Rink was Heaven, I think
“The Skating Rink was Heaven I think”

It’s hard to describe accurate A Pound of Flesh in general terms, except to say that if one is in the mood for listening to mid-paced hard rock with plenty of balls and exciting, Cain generally fits the bill. I think it makes sense now to briefly jot some notes on each individual track, for they each have their own individual flair.

01. “Queen of the Night.” This driving opener is the fastest cut on the album and an appropriate barnburner to start such a compelling record. Forsberg’s forceful, percussive opening riff recalls Rush’s “Anthem” of the same year, while Lee’s full-throated, operatic bellows recall Ian Gillan at his best. Cain adds their trademark layered vocals on the pre-chorus and chorus. These can, at times, straddle the line laid by Queen and Uriah Heep in terms of bombast, but they thankfully never cross it. A strong opener.

02. “Katy”. A gorgeous, distorted arpeggiated guitar line opens this pseudo ballad that is among the album’s best and most dramatic cuts. The unbelievable arpeggios again underline the chorus on several occasions, and combined with a flute-like sound in the background, create a haunting ambience. Lee’s vocals truly shine here as well, but “Katy,” as a whole, is a
masterpiece of dynamic variance and masterful songcraftsmanship.

03. “South Side Queen.” Track 3 opens with a cowbell-propelled riff that morphs into Forsberg’s tasty verse riff. This hard-grooving stomper boasts
catchy riffing, sweet vocal harmonies and a killer bassline.

04. “Badside.” A southern-blues kinda tune, this one is a nice change of pace from the album’s first three tracks. I call it something like swamp rock, lethargic but melodic enough to keep it fairly interesting.

05. “Born of the Wind.” This is an uptempo, straight-ahead grooving song that lacks some of the fire of the first four tracks. Not that it’s a bad song, by any means, but its hooks don’t work as well as on the earlier tracks. Neverthelsss, the song, though heavily blues-based, features some more stellar leads from Forsberg.

06. “Heed the Call.” Now, this one’s a winner! Forsberg goes to town on the Blackmore-esque opening riff. This is another mid-tempo tune that is somewhat akin to the powerful, yet mellow work of Dio-fronted Rainbow.

07. “If You Right Don’t Get You the Left one Will.” Ahh, metal needs way more songs about jackin’ off inthe bathroom to bit-titty porn magazines. Plus, it’s actually not a bad tune. It has a cheerful main riff and it’s all a cheerful and fairly catchy batch of self-indulgent pleasure.

08. “All My Life.” The album’s closer is a bit of an epic, and certainly one of Cain’s strongest songs. Forsberg’s crunchy, palm-muted opening riff gives way to some flanged chords ala Rush, followed by the pre-NWOBHM NWOBHM metallic force of the verse riff. This one’s got it all: acoustic arpeggios, awesome vocals, fluid basslines, WICKED VOCALS, a memorable
chorus, and introspective lyrics. It’s an overall good tune, ya know, and I’m simply running out of things to say about the whole deal.

“And the Skating Rink was Heaven, I think
“The Skating Rink was Heaven, I think”

Cain released their second LP Stinger to fulfill their two-album contract with ASI. The band started work on a third-LP in 1978, but it never
materialized with the onslaught of the disco movement. It’s too bad, but it’s also never too good that labels like Monster (now Rockadrome Records) are re-releasing this stuff. Of course, I highly recommend A Pound of Flesh for fans of vintage Rush, Deep Purple, Rainbow and Uriah Heep. So long suckers (to quote Lizzy Borden).

“Katy girl, chocolate and sweets
you’re the prettiest girl that I have kissed
Would you really mind if I took a ride on you?” 

01. Queen of the Night  03.10
02. Katy  06.36
03. South Side Queen  03.20
04. Badside  05.56
05. Born of the Wind  03.15
07. Heed the Call  03.53
08. If the Right Don't Get You, the Left One Will  03.49
09. All My Life  08.05 

1. Cain
2. Cain
3. Cain