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Atomic Rooster: The Lost Broadcasts (DVD)

Atomic Rooster has long been one of the most underrated bands of the early 70's hard rock/proto metal/prog scene, and one viewing of the new DVD The Lost Broadcasts will surely show you why. Originally filmed for German Television broadcasts, the first half of this DVD consists of footage of the classic line-up of the band (sadly, now all deceased), which consisted of organist Vincent Crane, guitarist/vocalist John Du Cann, and drummer Paul Hammond. Here, you see the trio serving up hard rocking, complex versions of tunes such as "Save Me", "Sleeping For Years", "VUG", "Tomorrow Night" and "I Can't Take Any More", all songs featuring Crane's raging organ and Du Cann's muscular guitar riffs over Hammond's acrobatic drum fills. Though the psychedelic video effects are quite dated and cheesy, that was the early 70's so it's hardly surprising, but they don't take away from the energetic performances of the band, who at that time (1970 & 1971) were firing on all cylinders after the release of their excellent Death Walks Behind You album. Du Cann's lead work is especially noteworthy on this version of the hit single "Tomorrow Night", and it really makes you feel the loss of his recent passing in September of this year. Also, be sure to check out some very early footage of the two-hand tapping guitar technique on "I Can't Take Any More", (made famous by Eddie Van Halen years later) as Du Cann's fingers are flying up and down the fretboard of his Fender Stratocaster.

The subsequent line-up of the band, which included vocalist Chris Farlowe, guitarist Steve Bolton, and drummer Rick Parnell (all joining after Du Cann & Hammond left) saw Atomic Rooster toning down the heavy rock leanings and moving more into a blues-rock style. The 1972 sessions featured here include multiple takes of "Black Snake" and "Breakthrough", and while fine songs this version of the band lacked the fire of the classic trio. Farlowe was a legendary singer on the London blues & soul scene, but for some his vocal style is an acquired taste and at times he was an odd fit for Atomic Rooster. Without Du Cann's screaming guitar, more of an emphasis was given to Crane's delightful organ textures, which battled for supremacy with Farlowe's bluesy, soulful crooning. "Black Snake" is actually quite nice here, especially the first take, and "Breakthrough" shows Crane in all his glory.

Any fan of Atomic Rooster will no doubt want to grab a copy of The Lost Broadcasts as soon as possible, as it not only features some rare footage of the band, but the footage is of quite excellent quality on both the video & audio fronts, which is a real plus considering the age of the source material. Kudos once again to the folks at Gonzo Multimedia for unearthing some great stuff from the vaults!

Track Listing
1) Save Me
2) Sleeping For Years
3) VUG
4) Tomorrow Night
5) I Can't Take Any More
6) Black Snake 1
7) Breakthrough 1
8) Black Snake 2
9) Breakthrough 2
10) Breakthrough 3

Added: November 27th 2011
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Gonzo Multimedia
Hits: 3502
Language: english

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