George Starostin's Reviews



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Robert S. Jurczyk (30.10.2003)

George, a 3?!? You gave the BEACH BOYS a 3! The BEACH BOYS, for whom Arthur Brown couldn't carry their bags! You gave the DC 5 a 1!!! And the DC 5 were musically superior to Mr. Fire, at times approaching the Beatles. You gave one of the hallmark bands of the late 60s/early 70's, Led Zeppelin, a 3!! Arthur Brown would be 3 on a scale of about 1 to 10, perhaps, and I'm being generous. Where's the justice? I'd scream "Fire" if it got me a 3!!


Nicholas Green (18.10.2001)

Quite agree with you George, this is a fantastic lp worthy of a place beside the acknowledged classics. Now try Arthur's 1973 album with Kingdom Come, Journey - also an absolute classic, this time with a great guitar player, great washes of mellotron and a primitive drum machine.

Mike Healy (11.01.2002)

Just in case anyone was wondering, the alternate mono versions of the first side of the album come from an unreleased tape of how the band originally wanted it to sound like before Kit Lambert's orchestrations were piled on top of it. Contrary to popular belief, these mono mixes don't come from the British mono LP, as I once got it to find out if that was the case, but it wasn't. The only song that had any difference in the mix was "I Put A Spell On You", with the drums way up front in the mix.
The CD was reissued in 1997 (on the Touchwood/Track label in the US) with three single-only cuts on it: the first single "Devil's Grip" with its hilarious flip-side "Give Him A Flower", and the flip-side of the "Nightmare" single, "What's Happening". From what I've heard, Carl Palmer plays the drums on "What's Happening" and was the only cut he ever recorded with them.
Despite the spotty recording quality, also pick up the Track Record bootleg CD, which has a small handul of cuts from their John Peel BBC session, a few demos of the Kingdom Come lineups, and it finishes off with a rendition of "Fire" from the Tom Jones TV show, which must have been unreal to see on there!

Mike (16.04.2002)

The first side is the masterpiece of course, but don't forget side 2. "Rest Cure" is very Vince Guaraldi-ish. And "Child of My Kingdom" reminiscent of the first Traffic album with the Winwood-like chorus.

Ainars Zhebeerklis (29.09.2003)

Is is just me or is there some connection between 'Come and Buy' and 'Light My Fire' by 'The Doors'? At least it seems to me that there's something going on between:
"Eyes that see them have no need Of guides to span the wire Let the flames burn you right through To low the burns through higher" and
"You know that it would be untrue You know that I would be a liar If I was to say to you Girl, we couldn't get much higher"
By the way, which one came first?


Francis Mansell (15.05.2002)

Truly one of the greatest space-rock LPs ever - eat yer hearts out, Hawkwind! Their live show at this time had to be seen to be believed: left handed guitarist Andy Dalby and right handed bassist Phil Shutt flanking Arthur Brown for a nice symmetrical effect, all with metallic face paint; partly transparent screen in front of the band onto which slides and film were projected - band still visible through this but it was also rolled up to reveal them fully some of the time; odd props and costumes - at one point Arthur was encased in a giant syringe in a rather Spinal Tap stylee, also the telephone skit from the second Kingdom Come album was acted out with someone dressed as a telephone ... As for the music - well, I was 14 and some of it went over my head, but it made far more sense when Journey was released a few months later. The drum machine was a bit of a novelty at the time (is this the first album to feature drum machine throughout?) but the spacy keyboards and excellent crunchy guitar, coupled with highly original tunes and lyrics and bizarre little instrumentals, make this one of the classics of prog rock. Almost as good, in fact, as Kingdom Come's blinding first album, Galactic Zoo Dossier, which has a more traditional prog rock sound (real drummer etc.) but goes to some very strange and also beautiful places in the course of two sides of segued music. The singer's rather good too ... There's no filler on this album.


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Francis Mansell (14.12.2003)

Sadly, despite featuring two of my favourite artists - Arthur Brown and Jimmy Carl Black ("The Indian Of The Group"), former Mothers Of Invention drummer, this is possibly the worst album by a major artist that I've ever heard (except possibly the staggeringly awful The Bells by Lou Reed). An album of blues & r'n'b covers, it features by far the worst vocals of any Arthur Brown record I've ever heard, plus the arrangements are dross too. Buy any other Arthur Brown record before this, it's rubbish, despite the perfectly harmless choice of material. Should never have been released. I know he can sing way better than this, even now - I've seen him within the last couple of years and he was way better, despite a pretty untalented backing band.

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