Monday, April 30, 2012

Who Was the Rock Band Rhinoceros?

Rhinoceros was a band formed in Southern California by Elektra Records in 1967. Elektra was experimenting with the idea of building their own supergroup.

Rhinoceros band songs
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Although heavily promoted by Elektra, Rhinoceros failed to produce a hit.  After 3 albums, the band broke up in 1970.

There is also a band from Chicago active now called Rhinoceros XXX.

rhinoceros XXX songs
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Who Is Dave Mason

Dave Mason who wrote "We Just Disagree" is a British singer and songwriter.  He was a member of the band Traffic and has written several hit songs for other bands as well as his own hit, "We Just Disagree."


Dave Mason We Just Disagree
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Mason, born in 1946, has recorded with or written songs for The Rolling Stones, Jimmy Hendrix, Fleetwood Mac and others.  His biggest hit in the US was 1988's "The Dreams I Dream" with Phoebe Snow.

Who Were The Soft Machine Band?

The long lived (1966 - 1984) Soft Machine were a progressive rock band from Canterbury, England.


Soft Machine Songs
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Although never a commercially successful band, Soft Machine's Songs and style were instrumental in the development of progressive rock.  The Soft Machine was somewhat self limiting due to frequent changes in membership.  By 1972 only one original member was still with the group and they had an entirely new line up by 1976.

Soft Machine is considered to be a part of the Canterbury Progressive rock movement. 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Who Was Ginger Baker's Air Force?

Ginger Baker's Air Force, was a short lived (1969-1970) acid jazz fusion band from England.

ginger baker's Air Force Songs
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Ginger Baker's Airforce released two albums and are most noted for having a female front and for being the band that gave then unheard of musician Steve Winwood his first break.


Who is Poco

Poco is a country rock band formed in 1968 by members of the recently broken up Buffalo Springfield.  They have been playing together since.

Poco songs
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Although not a chart topping band in an of themselves, Poco are considered one of the driving forces behind the development of country rock.  They are based in Southern California and tour annually.  

Poco has released a total of 54 albums with 1974's Legend being the most successful.

Who Was (Is) Lighthouse?

Lighthouse was a Canadian band formed in 1968.  They broke up in 1974 but have reformed several times since then and are currently active.

lighthouse band songs
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Light house is a jazz fusion band built around a strong horn section and a vibraphone.  They cover a wide range of music from big band to classical.

Although they charted several times in the US between 1968 - 1974 they never broke into the top ten.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Who Were The Incredible String Band

The incredible string band was a psychedelic folk band out of Scotland active from 1966 to 1974.  They were famous for integrating traditional instruments with acid rock or progressive rock themes.  The odd sensibility of their music built them a regular following.

The Incredible String Band
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The high point of their career came when they were invited to play Woodstock.  The Incredible String Band reformed in the 1990s and played together until 2006

Friday, April 27, 2012

Who are Colosseum?

Colosseum are a Jazz rock improv. band from England.


coloseum band
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Formed in 1968 and still performing today, Colosseum is know primarily as a live act and frequently releases live recordings.   They have had several changes in members over the years and are sometimes associated with the progressive rock movement. 

Who Are Blodwyn Pig

Bloodwyn Pig are a British rock, blues band most active from 1968 - 1970 but occasionally still playing together today.

Blodwyn pig
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Blodwyn Pig charted in the US and Britain in 1968 and again in 1970 but have not had a hit since.  They were formed when Mick Abrahams of Jethro Tull left that band to form his own group.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Who Were Brinsley Schwarz?

Brinsley Schwarz was a British Pub band active from 1968 - 1975.   They were named for their guitarist Brinsley Schwarz.

brinsley schwarz
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While Brinsley Schwarz was successful on the pub circuit, they only flirted with larger success.  In an incident known at the Brinsley Schwarz hype, their manager flew a group of British reporters to the US to hear them play in New York.  Their performance was not strong however and a string of bad reviews followed.  The band released several other albums but the bad press and an ever changing sound kept them from building a large following.

Know almost exclusively as a live band, Brinsley Schwarz's biggest success came as the opening band for Paul McArtney's band Wings.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Who are Bob Kerr's Whoopee Band?

Bob Kerr's Whoopee Band is a British comedy and jazz band formed in 1967 when Bob Kerr left The New Vaudeville band. While they have never had a hit record, they have played thousands of gigs over the years and are still active today.

Bob Kerr's Whoopee Band
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While the lineup has changed numerous times over the years, they have remained true to Bob's vision of a fun and talented band capable of turning out highly entertaining live performances.  They play primarily in England and are sometimes booked at Bob Kerr and His Whoopee Band.

What Happened to The New Vaudeville Band

The New Vaudeville Band are unique in that none of the band members who appeared in the touring group were members of the band who recorded their one number one hit.

The original members of The New Vaudeville Band were musicians gathered together in 1966 by songwriter Geoff Stephen to record "Winchester Cathedral"  a song he had written in the style of 1920's dance music.  When the song became an unexpected Gold hit, Stephen found that none of the original members were available to tour so he re-formed the band with entirely new members.

The New Vaudeville Band
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While the new group found some success with a single called Peek a Boo, the suffered the same fate as Taco and other musicians who have scored out of genera hits.  Once the novelty wore off the public had little interest in the band.  The New Vaudeville band ended in 1968 when member Bob Kerr left to form his own band Bob Kerr's Whoopee Band.

Who Were The Rutles?

The Rutles were the invention of Eric Idle of Monty Python fame.  They are a knock off of the Beatles originally intended to appear in British Television as a spoof.  They were so successful however, that they released four actual albums and several albums.

The Rutles very literally mock the Beatles.  For example, rather than having a yellow submarine, the Rutles had a Yellow Submarine Sandwich.

the rutles
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George Harrison of the Beatles was involved in the project from the start and appeared as a television reporter interviewing the Rutles' manager in one television segment.  

Who Were (are) The Grimms

There have actually been three bands named The Grimms.   As recently as 2008 there was a  Polish band called the Grimms.



There is a three piece phsychobilly band out of Los Angeles called The Grims.

the grims band, Los Angeles, psychobilly
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And then there was the 11 piece pop and poetry band from England, The Grimms


The Grimmsborder=
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The most well known of these "grim" bands is the third which was active in England from 1971-1976 and featured band members from The Bonzo Dog Band and The Scaffold.

What Ever Happened to The Bonzo Dog Band?

The Bonzo Dog Band also know as the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band was a British act active from 1962-1970.  Although originally a jazz art band, from 1964 on the band began experimenting with psychedelia and avant-guarde.

Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band
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The Bonzo Dog Band scored it's biggest success after a 1968 appearance on the British television show "Do Not Adjust That Dial."  Though never commercially successful in the US, they did post to the British charts several times.

After their break up in 1970, they reformed several times, most recently from 2006-2008.  The band was named after a British cartoon character and the Dadist art movement.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Who Was Minnie Riperton

Although Minnie Riperton died of breast cancer in 1979 at the age of 31, she left several notable marks of the music industry.  In addition to a #1 gold R&B hit with her album "Perfect Angel" Riperton is remembered for a stunning 5 1/2 octave range.  With which she covered R&B, soul, blues, and pop.  She was also one of the first musicians to go public with the battle with breast cancer.


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Riperton is also noted for success of an album "Love Lives Forever" which was released by her husband a year after her death.  Knowing that she was terminally ill, Riperton left a collection of tracks which were completed posthumously by the likes of Michael Jackson and Stevie wonder.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Who Were The Faces?

The Faces were an English rock group active from 1969 to 1975.  They were formed after the breakup of an older group called Small Faces.   The Faces released a total of four albums and toured extensively during their time together.

the
The Faces Rock Band
The Faces are mostly remembered for the future success of Rod Stewart who went on to have a solo career and Ronnie Woods who went on to play guitar for the Rolling Stones. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Who Was the Progressive Rock Band Egg?

Egg was a short lived progressive rock trio out of Canterbury, England active from 1968 to 1972.   They release two albums, "Egg," and "The Polite Force" while together, a third album of unreleased material "The Civil Surface" was released in 1974 after the group had already split.

Progressive Rock Band Egg
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Egg is maybe most remembered for their remake of Bach's Fugue in D Minor as a progressive rock piece.  It's really not half bad.

Interestingly, the full crew of Egg appeared on the Progressive rock album "Arzachel," but, because they were under contract at the time, they all appeared using pseudonyms

What Ever Happened to Bloodrock?

Bloodrock was a locally successful band in the southern United States.  They were active from 1969 to 1975.

bloodrock
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True to their name, the band's music often featured bloody or gory themes.  Their biggest hit, "DOA, Everybody's Nightmare" is about a fatal driving accident.  The video features a blood soaked man dying in an ambulance on the way to the hospital after having killed his girlfriend in the same wreck only to waken at the end and find that he has dreamed the whole thing.

Musically, they can be seen as an influence on bands like Journey and Rush.

Bloodrock played a reunion concert in their home town of Fort Worth Texas in 2005.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

What Ever Happened to Screaming Lord Sutch?

Screaming Lord Sutch, born David Edward Sutch was a British Musician who recorded in the late 60's and early 70's.  He is also noted at the founder and long time president of the "Offical Monster Raving Loony Party" in Britain.  As its head he ran for numerous parliament posts without much success.

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Sutch's stage show often features gothic elements such as Sutch rising from a coffin and anticipates the stage shows of later performs like Ozzy Osbourne and Alice Cooper.  Sutch was, by his own admission, somewhat limited musically and his 1970 Album, "Screaming Lord Sutch and Heavy Friends" is occasionally listed as the worst album ever recorded.

Sutch died of a self inflicted injury in 1999.

  

What Ever Happened to Van Deer Graf Generator?

Van Deer Graf Generator was an English Progressive Rock band formed in 1967 and disbanded in 1972 though they have twice re-formed since then an are playing together now.

Van Deer Graf Generator are noted for their use of an electronically altered saxophone.  While never a commercial success in the United States, the band was very popular in Italy.

van deer graf generator
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Friday, April 20, 2012

Charlie Manson Released an Album?

That's right everyone.  Convicted murdered Charlie Manson released an album.  Before beginning his career as a sadistic cult leader, Manson had aspirations of becoming a musician.  After his arrest for the Tate murders, the one and only Phil Kaufman got hold of the recording and had them released under the name "Lie:  The Love and Terror Cult."

Due to California laws preventing criminals from profiting from their crimes, Manson was unable to collect on the earning which were turned over to a program that assists the victims of violent crimes.

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Manson's work has been covered multiple times though buy artists ranging from the Beach Boys to Front Line Assembly and Guns and Roses.

While never successful in and of itself, given Manson's history and reputation, "Lie:  The Love and Terror Cult" has to stand out as having the most unusual origins of any rock album.

Who Was (is) Mountain?

Mountain is an early heavy metal band formed in 1969, disbanded in 1973 and then reformed several times.  They are still playing today.

Mountain's one commercial hit was Mississippi Queen which still gets airplay on classic rock stations today.

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Their 1970 album (pictured above) also has the distinction of being maybe the worst pun in the history of heavy metal.  Although not included in the original album of the event, Mountain's fourth live concert was a little gig in New York, called Woodstock.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Who Was Nina Simone?

Nina Simone was an extremely talented musician with a long and successful career.  While, her long and enduring interest in the civil rights movement kept her music out of the mainstream, she enjoyed numerous hits on the blues, jazz, and black charts.  She also enjoyed commercial success in France which is where she was living when she passed away at the age of 70.


Nina Simone
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She is considered a pioneer in the civil rights movement, jazz, and blues.  Her training was as a classical pianist but was denied a scholarship to the Curtis Institute of Music reportedly because of her race.

Nina Simone released a total of 58 albums studio and collections and was the subject of the french film  "Nina Simone: Le Legende."

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Who Was Atomic Rooster

Atomic Rooster was a British band active intermittently from 1969 to 1983.  They feature a total of 11 band members during that time with only one, Vincent Crane, staying with the group the entire time.

English Progressive Rock Band Atomic Rooster
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The band was noted for frequent, radical changes in sound as group members came and went but they are generally considered prog. rock.   They were in the charts twice both times in Britain and both times were in 1971.  The tracks were, "Tomorrow Night" and "The Devil's Answer."   

Keyboardist and front man Vince Crane had had a number one hit earlier as member of The Crazy World of Vince Brown.  

The band reportedly got its name because it formed during the year of the Rooster on the Chinese calendar.


Who Was "Taste"

Rory Gallagher's, rocking Irish trio "The Taste" later just "Taste" survived from 1966-1970 performing for the last time on New Year's Eve of that year.

Rory Gallagher band Taste
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Known more for the antics of flamboyant front man Gallagher, than for their music, Taste toured extensively in Europe and was featured on the German rock show Rockpalast.  The released two albums and broke up when Gallagher decided to pursue a solo career.  

Gallagher's post Taste career was very successful and two of the other band members, John Wislson and Richard McCracken went on to form the band Stud.   Gallagher died of complications after a liver transplant.

Who Was "The Family?"

The Family were a progressive, folk, hard rock band out of Leicester, England, more known for changing band members and changing sounds than they were for producing hits.

the family British folk rock band
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Active from 1966-1973 The Family went through a total of 11 band members including John Palmer and Rob Townsend.  However only two Roger Chapman and John Whitney were with the band the whole time.

They were commercially successful in Britain but failed despite several tours to build a following in the US.  The Family's most successful album was 1970's "A Song for Me."

Who Was MC5?

Formed in 1963 and dissolved in 1972, the Lincoln Park, Michigan band, MC5 was know as one of the more raucous of the "Detroit Sound"

MC5, Kick Out The Jams
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They were stongly leftist in leaning and made their biggest mark with the song "Kick Out The Jams MotherF***ers" which was later covered by Pearl Jam, Supercute and others.

Although they broke up in 1972 and three members died young, MC5 was reformed in 2005.  This gives MC5 a side note in history as one of the longest breakup to reformations in rock and roll history.

MC5, a forgotten gem.