George Starostin's Reviews



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Mike Healy <> (04.12.2001)

Hey, another cool addition to the list! Here's some more info on their later albums. The Live set is okay, a little raw-sounding, but they were more than likely opening up for Grand Funk Railroad to a crowd who weren't too familiar with their tunes, so the songs sound pretty much like the original versions. Only "Gotta Find A Way" is longer than the original.

After its 1972 release, Rutledge and Pickens left the band, and Warren Ham took their place as lead singer, saxophonist and flautist for the album Passage. I got the album, played it once and got rid of it within the space of a week, if that--yes, it IS that bad! It just doesn't sound like them at all, though "It's A Sad WOrld" on the U.S.A. album (written by Warren Ham) pretty much pointed the way towards that particular direction. I never did buy Whirlwind Tongues after hearing Passage, as I didn't think it would be any better. Rick Cobb had left the drum stool, replaced by Randy Reeder for that album.

These two albums have been released in 2000 as a 2-CD set called Triptych which includes a whole unreleased album called Unspoken Words, recorded after Whirlwind Tongues.

Joe Vance <> (27.05.2002)

I think Bloodrock, the earlier Bloodrock (1969 - 1972 with first Rutledge, then Rick Cobb III on drums) always made their music do a good deal of the talking in their riffs, musical breaks and in their extended solos. Musical breaks took their time and the solos were sometimes long, but always interesting.

When it came to their singles, their songs were butchered in how they were edited down for radio and the 45rpm market. If you've heard their singles, you've heard the worst, the sloppiest edits imaginable... so bad that it is no wonder that, aside from "D.O.A." (which certainly is not an example of their best work) they didn't get air play, and so their singles, which in their original form were indeed good songs, never sold well.

Bloodrock, to their credit, was not a band shooting for a 2 minute commercial single, but put some care into the music they played, sometimes having very lengthy musical introductions and lengthy musical interludes such as in their song "Breach of Lease", or long musical endings, such as with "Lucky In The Morning" and "Timepiece".

Their music, to me, was telling part of the story as a suppliment to the lyrics being sung, and the musical sections in their songs were never rushed... that is, only very seldomly did they confine a musical section to 8 or 16 bars. The music just goes where it's going and leads the listener back to the vocals when it feels like it. Trying to shorten such songs to create a 2 or 3 minute long single destroys the mood of the songs, especially when no care is taken when editing them down for possible air-play as singles.

Bloodrock was made up of very fine musicians and Rutledge's (sometimes exaggerated) vocals fit the band nicely. But they were an "album band" with a cult following, with less publicity given to them, than probably any other Captal Records artist I know of, who were never meant to have a top-ten single and never meant to sell out stadiums. Although most of their albums didn't bring in the big money for whatever reason, those of us who got into Bloodrock felt like we had found gold.

Jim Manley <> (17.09.2002)

I first heard of this group when I was stationed in Viet Nam and they did catch my attention. Besides being starved for any new music at the PX (albums were few and far between; even the Five Stairsteps was a big seller !!), Bloodrock had a sound of its own that hit a nerve. They were never in the same class as Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, or even the James Gang, but there was that certain something that would get my toes tapping. Being neither trash nor treasure, Bloodrock managed to put a few good tunes together and entertain enough people to come back with new music several times. I always believed that with a lead singer with maybe a different sound (as opposed to the raspy Rutledge), the group would or could have gone further. Be-that-as-it-may, from time to time I still enjoy popping in a Bloodrock CD, throwing back a Rolling Rock, and being entertained.

<> (16.10.2002)

its beenyears since i listened to the live double album set................great to see i'm not the only one............'DOA' rules and 'lucky in the morning' just makes me happy to be alive

Barry Stoller <> (10.04.2003)

Well, I wrote a little missive here about a year ago asking if anyone had any insight into some of Bloodrock's seemingly politically-charged Lp covers... no one did, but I remained curious ... and eventually located almost the entire band, their manager, even Terry Knight - the works ... and ended up with so many answers that, with Bloodrock's help, I wrote their biography. See it at - complete with previously unpublished photos, loads of interviews, even an mp3 that changes monthly. Bloodrock's story - a classic whatever-happened-to saga and a unique view into the American Dream.

<> (07.02.2006)

Hi, I accidently came across this site... So many comments on their albums were very precise.. But some not so..

I first saw Bloodrock in the early 70's.. They opened for Grand Funk Railroad.. In Wilkes-Barre, Pa. I immediately ran out after the concert and picked up their debut album... And I have every one since...

Very influencial band... Very underated band... My favorite songs have to be Cheater, Lucky in the morning, Wicked truth.

And you were right.. They did sound like Kansas, Styx, and a little bit of Spooky Tooth thrown in,,with a dash of Mountain.. But they we're there 1st... Lee Pickens was very original, and very tasty... You don't have to be on speed to play a mean guitar... You could feel every note..and every note fit tight... One of the best bands to come out of the 70's...

Gary Kreller <> (17.05.2006)

Your take on Bloodrock is interesting. For years I knew only Bloodrock 3, and I always liked that album. I'm a keyboard player and I was impressed with the organ work especially. I used to mention this band to my friends and they always said something like "Those guys suck!" I couldn't understand it because Bloodrock 3 is a very tight album, if somewhat pompous now and then.

But now after so many years, I've heard Bloodrock 2. That album sucks. No wonder people thought the band was lousy. Bloodrock USA is also fairly pedestrian. I've also heard the first album. Sorry, it doesn't grab me the way the third one did. I'm gonna have to stick with my first love.


<> (07.10.2002)

This is the kind of music I could force myself to like, hypothetically, but usually I expect my music to force me to like it. All of the songs on here start off with appealing riffs for the verses, then descend into faceless, undistinctive phrases for the choruses (and that 8-minute ballad thing really blows). When they stumble upon a good riff (like in the first song) they wear it out.

No way is this superior to Black Sabbath's debut. Every song on there is distinctive all the way through, and while the 14-minute jam thing isn't something I'd feed on daily, it's interesting to listen to (more interesting than any given Jimmy Page solo on the Song Remains the Same movie) and it's just cute to hear Iommi try finger flashing when he's only half-capable of keeping the lead coherent.

I'd give Black Sabbath a three if I were you. Paranoid is Revolver next to all things Led Zeppelin. Well, this is going to turn into a Sabbath vs. Zeppelin rant (actually, I like Zeppelin more than the Bloodrock I've heard so far, for what that's worth), so adios.


Kent <> (22.12.2002)

Just finished reading your review of this album and had to put it on to see if it was the same album I wore out two copies of before getting it on digital. I guess the best place for me to start would be with 'D.O.A.' Yeah the song is morbid but that's just fine. Not enough really good morbid stuff around and if it would have been left to me it would have been much more disgusting and out and out graphic. I've never gotten the impression the song was about an airplane crash but maybe that's because of the circumstances when I first turned on to this album. My take was always that "flying low and hit something in the air" was refering to being on the way to a miraculous high but not getting enough velocity to escape society's influence... on the way to Nirvana enforced reality broadsided them. "Death Over America"?? OK... you're pulling my leg right?! Where I come from 'DOA' is 'Dead On Arrival'. I like the tune but it could have been a much more blatantly bloody for my liking. Anyway, you're right about the rest of the album being completely out of step with that one song although it doesn't seem particularly "pop" to me. If Rutledge broke into "Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast" or "Seasons in the Sun" you'd have to figure he was one sick puppy but the rest of the tunes are tight with good riffs. Maybe a little directionless but that's what comes from corporate influence on an artist. They should have put out a double concept album about throwing recording executives from a 747 at 20,000 ft while the crowd screams for more... that probably wouldn't sell either but it would likely be artistic (at least on impact).


Barry <> (14.04.2003)

Bloodrock 3 and Bloodrock USA - LP covers, maybe some of the music - obviously are saying something about Vietnam. Any insights?


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Barry Stoller <> (16.04.2003)

Hmmm, 'the first genuine American progressive rock band' - that sounds inviting but, alas, you follow the crowd on this one. Did you spin it more than once? Most critics didn't. First (and no offense), I wonder if this album can really be appreciated out of it's context; it's a Vietnam-era statement from start to finish. Very American. Next, poor Warren Ham receives way too many negative comparisons to Tull's Anderson. I happen to have a copy of his first LP (with the band Israfel); it was recorded in 1968 - and his flute technique was fully in place. (That album contains the original 'It's A Sad World,' BTW, one of Ham's greatest Vietnam laments.) And: Bloodrock opened shows for just about every band under the sun from '69-'74 so it's only natural influence was in their sound. You missed the primary influence, though - Traffic. Finally: yes, it's true the late Bloodrock was prog without the big pretension of Crimson, Yes, etc. - and that's why they are cool to hear today. But good for you for seeking out their last 2 LPs.


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