Sunday, 22 July 2012

Jon Lord - Before I Forget 1982

Jon Lord has sadly passed away

Jon Lord 9 June 1941 – 16 July 2012.

It is with deep sadness we announce the passing of Jon Lord, who suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism today, Monday 16th July at the London Clinic, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Jon was surrounded by his loving family.
Jon Lord, the legendary keyboard player with Deep Purple co-wrote many of the bands legendary songs including Smoke On The Water and played with many bands and musicians throughout his career.
Best known for his Orchestral work Concerto for Group & Orchestra first performed at Royal Albert Hall with Deep Purple and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1969 and conducted by the renowned Malcolm Arnold, a feat repeated in 1999 when it was again performed at the Royal Albert Hall by the London Symphony Orchestra and Deep Purple.
Jon’s solo work was universally acclaimed when he eventually retired from Deep Purple in 2002.
Jon passes from Darkness to Light.

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Rock
Original Release Date: 1982
Label: Purple Rec

Before I Forget was Jon Lord’s fourth solo album and the only one he did as a member of Whitesnake. Jon was a member of Whitesnake from August 1978 to April 1984, a period of Jon’s life where I think it is fair to say that he didn’t make himself heard very much.

With two guitarists as well as a singer who probably didn’t want the instrumental parts of the songs make anybody doubt who the star in the band was (after all, the most merited member was Jon Lord), making oneself heard might not have been the easiest task. The name of the record, Before I Forget, hints at the fact that most of the songs are built around different memories of Jon’s. My thought when I first saw the title, however, was that this was Jon taking the chance to put out a solo record and to make him heard again before he forgot how to do it. The cover of the record has the head of an elephant with a knot on its trunk, a creature that isn’t very likely to forget, unless of course it dies from suffocation.
The music is very different from Jon’s previous solo albums in two respects. First of all, it does not have an orchestra and the instrumentation on the album is that of a rock band. Also, it is not in the form of a concerto or suite but consists of separate songs with no connection apart from the memory theme. The songs are divided on two sides, as they usually where in the good old vinyl days, with the first side consisting of four more uptempo songs and the second of four ballads. Starting with the first side I will make some comments about each song.
The record starts with a song called [b]Chance on a Feeling[/b] in a sort of AOR style. It starts very sudden. In fact, when this record first came out I recorded it from a friend (please don’t tell anyone!) and I thought that I had missed the beginning and decided to record it again! The line up for the song is basically Whitesnake without DC and with Bernie Marsden handling the vocals. It has a nice groove, powerful drumming by little Ian and some funky synth bass. The song is ok, but perhaps not overly exciting.
The second song [b]Tender Babes[/b] is when things are starting to happen. It begins with a very nice soft renaissance like intro played on the Mini-Moog. And when you are really starting to enjoy these subtle sounds an earthquake in the form of Cozy Powell comes thundering in. Jon has speculated that Cozy, being aware that Simon Phillips also was going to play on the record, set out to prove who was the best drummer of the two. Together with Billy Cobham, Phillips is my favourite drummer but I have to say that this game goes to Cozy! The best way to describe the rest of the song is probably the way David Palmer described one of the songs of Jethro Tull; "Imagine if King Henry VIII had had a rock & roll band – it would have sounded something like this"! Accompanied by Cozy and Neil Murray, Jon plays some nice harpsichord on the Polymoog and lets loose a bit on the Hammond. This is a very good song, apparently based on a traditional song with the same name by Thomas Tallis.
[b]Hollywood Rock & Roll[/b] is in the same "California music"-style as Chance on a Feeling. Jon is in Bad Company on the song, except for Tony Ashton who is handling the vocals in his typical talking/singing fashion. He also gets some help by backing vocalists Sam (daughter) & Vicki (mother) Brown, who are responsible for most of the actual singing on the track and their effort definitely improves the song. Just like Chance on a Feeling, this song is as good as most songs on the Whitesnake album that came out later the same year (Saints and Sinners), but it is not of the standard that you might expect on a Jon Lord album. The ending is cool though.....

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Anomaly - Anomaly 2000

Format: wv + cue + log
Genre: Metal/Instrumental/Progressive/Fusion
Original Release Date: 2000
Label: Bee & Bee Records

Review by erik neuteboom Anomaly was a very promising Dutch progrock band with members who all had a different musical background, this led to an exciting chemistry! Unfortunately their record company run out of money, soon they disbanded. 1. B-YOND 2K (5:34): This an alternating piece with fine breaks, metal-guitar riffs and propulsive drums, orchestral keyboards and Holdsworth-like guitar runs. 2. >4TH&X (4:06): A very exciting tension between the propulsive metal-guitar riffs, classical keyboards and jazzy, Holdsworth inspired guitar work. It sounds very dynamic. 3. 101101001 (4:58): The first and final part contain a harpsichord-electric guitar duet, halfway fiery electric guitar, a virtuosic guitar-keyboard duet and a powerful rhythm- section. 4. Xtreme (4:54): The intro contains beautiful acoustic piano play, then sensitive electric guitar, great guitar-overdubs and a break with the captivating blend of metal-riffs on guitar, a choir and orchestral keyboards. 5. Mt Chamber (4:40): This one is very fusion inspired featuring vibraphone, warm fretless bass, wonderful strings and in the end a spectacular synthesizer solo. 6. XS D-NIED (5:06): Here a metal-fusion climate, very powerful with a freaky Moog- like synthesizer solo, vibraphone runs and Holdsworth-like guitar play. 7. VIR2AL (8:36): First strings and vibraphone, then a fusion atmosphere with fretless bass, a swinging keyboard solo and a great build-up delivering fiery electric guitar and splendid Fender Rhodes and Moog samples. 8. None Of The Above (4:48): Here we can enjoy a swinging clavinet and again Holdsworth-like guitar work along a flashy duel between the bass and keyboards.