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Bedlam: Live in Binghampton 1974

Although previously available as part of the Cozy Powell Bedlam Years box set a few years ago, Live in Binghampton 1974, a blistering live set from Powell's hard rock band Bedlam (after he left Jeff Beck and before Rainbow) is now being made available on its own by the folks at Angel Air Records. In 1974, Bedlam were touring the US supporting Black Sabbath (another band that the drummer would join forces with a little over a decade later) when this set was recorded in Binghampton, New York.

The members of Bedlam included Powell on drums, Dave Ball (ex-Procol Harum) on guitar, Denny Ball on bass, and vocalist Frank Aiello. These guys delivered some scorching blues rock/proto metal, featuring Ball's searing lead guitar work upfront and center, Aiello's powerful vocals, and the furious rhythms of Powell & Ball. "I Believe in You" kicks off this set with some heavy rock riffs from Ball, a scorcher of a track that needs to be heard to be believed. "The Beast" is another heavy blues rock face melter, as high powered guitar is fueled by Cozy's drum barrages over which Aiello wails to the heavens. "The Great Game" is more of a psychedelic, bluesy number in the Robin Trower/Jimi Hendrix vein, with Ball's wah-wah guitar licks creating a moody haze and Aiello's vocals really passionate. The band get their Cream/Free groove on with "Set Me Free", a down & dirty heavy blues rocker, again with Ball firing off some scalding riffs & solos while Cozy plays like a man possessed underneath. The 21-minute jam "The Fool" allows for plenty of solos from all three instrumentalists for all you Cream & Led Zeppelin fans out there, and the results are pretty damn impressive. The sound quality overall on this CD is pretty good, considering the time when it was recorded and the suspect source material. I've said it before, but Bedlam were a band that should have been huge. Dave Ball was one hell of a guitar player back in the day, and his molten licks here in this live setting will send chills up and down your spine.

After the band broke up that same year, Cozy recorded some solo work before hooking up with Ritchie Blackmore & Ronnie James Dio in Rainbow. The rest as we say is history. Angel Air has included 4 short bios of each Bedlam member in the booklet, and there is a bonus track, a studio remix of "The Beast" included, as well as a short interview with the band. The latter is inserted just prior to "The Fool" which is an odd choice, and I'm sure most would have rather another live piece rescued from the vaults be included here instead, but, as a whole this is a red hot recording of criminally overlooked '70s hard rock band that fizzled out way too quickly.

Track Listing
1. I Believe In You
2. The Beast
3. The Great Game
4. Set Me Free
5. Interview
6. The Fool
bonus track:
7. The Beast (remix)

Added: October 15th 2013
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Angel Air Records
Hits: 2470
Language: english

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