The Atomic Rooster archives are pouring out some fantastic and previously unreleased material these days. This CD is especially important in that it includes the only known live recording of Atomic Rooster with Carl Palmer on drums.
The first four songs here feature the line-up of Vincent Crane on keyboards, Carl Palmer on drums, and John DuCann on guitar and vocals. This incarnation, from a show taped in London in 1970, features smoldering
versions of classic songs such as "Friday the 13th", "Gershatzer"(featuring a great Hammond solo from Crane), the moody "Winter" and "Shabaloo." The latter is a wild jam featuring the fuzz-toned guitar
work of DuCann. While the performances are tight and powerful, this is basically bootleg quality here. To hear this line-up in a live setting though is a revelation, so the poor sound quality can be forgiven.
The second half of the CD features Paul Hammond, who replaced Carl Palmer, and is taped from the same theater in London one year later. Leading off with the blistering "Sleeping for Years", which despite the sub-par sound quality, has some powerful Hammond from Crane and white- hot slabs of psychedelic guitar muscle from DuCann. Other tracks include the complex instrumental "V.U.G.", the classic "Tomorrow Night" and a twelve minute rendition of "I Can't Take No More."
While the quality of these recordings gets worse seemingly with each song, this is no doubt an important live document from a legendary band that influenced many groups of today.