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Friday, April 23, 2021

Ultimate Spinach: Discography (The Big Beat Records 1995 Remasters)

 Ultimate Spinach was one of the most well-known, and perhaps the most notorious, of the groups to be hyped as part of the "Bosstown Sound" in 1968. The name itself guaranteed attention, as one of the most ludicrous and heavy-handed "far out" monikers of the psychedelic era, even outdoing formidable competition such as the Peanut Butter Conspiracy.                                                                    


They formed in 1967. In terms of style and national recognition, the band was one of the most prominent musical acts to emerge from the "Bosstown Sound", which was a regional attempt to

compete with the San Francisco Sound. They recorded their first record for MGM, produced by the ambitious Alan Lorber. Lorber created together with MGM the marketing concept of the 'Boston Sound' (later 'Bosstown' sound) to propose (and sell) an alternative to the West-Coast bands. The three Boston bands starting that "movement" were 'Ultimate Spinach', 'Orpheus' and 'The Beacon Street Union'. These bands, all produced by Alan Lorber, had musically not much in common and 'Ultimate Spinach' was the most interesting band to come out of this hype. 



The band originated as a group called the Underground Cinema, with a line-up consisting of Ian Bruce-


Douglas as a multi-instrumentalist, Barbara Hudson as vocalist, Keith Lahtenein on drums, Geoff Winthrop on rhythm guitar, and Richard Nese on bass guitar. As Underground Cinema, the group served as house band in a club called the Unicorn and recorded demos which later appeared on New England Teen Scene.
                                                      

The name of the band was changed to Ultimate Spinach when they signed with Boston impresario Alan

Lorber (Lorber produced all three of their albums.) Bruce-Douglas says that he named the band based on experiences in an acid trip: "One day, in 1967, I was in my room, tripping on some really pure LSD. I started looking at myself in the mirror and my face was doing funny things. I had a bunch of colored markers I used to draw with. I grabbed a green one and started drawing all these psychedelic designs on my face. When I was done, I looked at myself and said “Whoa! I am ultimate spinach. Ultimate spinach is me!”"
                                                       

Douglas was the self-designated leader of the band. He, alone, played several instruments including guitar, keyboards, harmonica, and sang lead for most of the group's songs. In addition to his

instrumental responsibilities, Douglas also was the primary songwriter and liner note writer for their first two albums. As the band and its contemporaries were emerging on the scene, the band released their debut album, Ultimate Spinach, on January 6, 1968. The album, like the other bands' debuts, was distributed by MGM Records. A concept album based on anti-war sentiment, the album was Ultimate Spinach's most successful when it peaked at number 34 on the Billboard 200.
                                                           

Later in 1968, the band released their second album, Behold & See, which again was conceived as a concept piece. Prior to recording, more personnel changes took place with Jeff Baxter taking Winthrop's position, and DiDonato was replaced by Caryl Lee Britt. At the end of 1968 the band was reformed

with Bruce-Douglas keeping only singer Barbara Hudson, but finally he left the band prior to the recording of the third self-titled 'Ultimate Spinach' record, leaving Barbara Hudson as the only original member. The record moved away from the psychedelic sound of the first two records and consisted of mainstream rock songs. 'Ultimate Spinach' recorded some of the most original psychedelic rock records. Ultimate Spinach III, was released, but it failed to chart. After Douglas departed, the band did not have a primary songwriter so the album was misguided and contained multiple styles from each band member. The band broke up soon after.

In the 1990s, Big Beat Records reissued all three of the band's albums in the UK.

MEMBERS

 


Ian Bruce-Douglas – lead vocals, electric piano, organ, vibraphone, lead guitar, recorder (1967–1968)
Barbara Jean Hudson – vocals, acoustic guitar (1967–1969)
Ted Myers – lead vocals, lead guitar (1967, 1969)
Jeff Baxter – lead guitar, steel guitar, vibraphone, vocals (1968–1969)
Tony Scheuren – organ, piano, acoustic guitar, vocals (1968–1969)
Mike Levine – bass guitar (1968–1969)
Russell Levine – drums, percussion (1968–1969)
Richard Nese – bass (acoustic and electric), feedback (1967–1968)
Geoffrey Winthrop – rhythm guitar (1967–1968)
Keith Lahteinen – drums, percussion, vocals (1967)

DISCOGRAPHY

Ultimate Spinach (1968)
Behold & See (1968)
Ultimate Spinach III (1969)

Ultimate Spinach interview with Ian Bruce-Douglas



ULTIMATE SPINACH: ULTIMATE SPINACH 1968

                                                 


Upon its release in early 1968, Ultimate Spinach's self-titled debut was derided by some as second-rate psychedelia, selling reasonably well only by virtue of its hype as part of the "Bosstown Sound." So how

does it sound decades later, removed from that hype and standing on the music alone? It still sounds like bush league, bandwagon-riding psychedelia. Ian Bruce-Douglas dominates the record as lead singer, composer of all the songs, and multi-instrumentalist, and while he espoused a darker vision than many psychedelic songsmiths, he wasn't in remotely the same league as Jim Morrison, Grace Slick, or Country Joe McDonald. The album was Ultimate Spinach's most successful when it peaked at number 34 on the Billboard 200.

In 2008, the album still retained its presence as a psychedelic classic when it was listed at number 36 on Classic Rock magazine's "42 Greatest Psychedelic Albums".

Label: Big Beat Records ‎– CDWIKD 142
Series: The Best Of Bosstown Sound™ –
Format: CD, Album, Reissue, Remastered
Country: UK
Released: 1995
Genre: Rock
Style: Psychedelic Rock


TRACKS



01. Ego Trip     3:14
02. Sacrifice Of The Moon (In Four Parts)     3:46
03. Plastic Raincoating / Hung Up Minds     2:56
04. (Ballad Of) The Hip Death Goddess     8:14
05. Your Head Is Reeling     3:40
06. Dove In Hawk's Clothing     3:54
07. Baroque #1     4:48
08. Funny Freak Parade     2:35
09. Pamela     3:09


BALLAD OF THE HIP DEATH GODDESS  LYRICS

 




See the glazed eyes, Touch the dead skin
Feel the cold lips, and know the word of the hip death goddess

Touch my hand and you will know
Touch my hand your heart will cold
Come let me take you in my arms
I will keep you safe from all harm

Kiss my lips for they are very nice
Kiss my lips and you will turn to ice
Look at me and I will turn you on
Don't try and think because your mind is gone

Come and look into my frozen eyes
Come and let me free you from my story
I am the hip death goddess of your dreams
Life isn't all that it seems

MP3 @ 320 Size: 86 MB
Flac  Size: 215 MB

ULTIMATE SPINACH: BEHOLD AND SEE 1968

 



Ultimate Spinach's second album The Penultimate Spinach (as they would make only one more LP) is a slightly more subdued continuation of the derivative psychedelia in their debut. Again, it's like a hack take on West Coast groups.
The album was released in August 1968, and stalled at number 198 on the Billboard 200. Shortly after Behold & See was distributed, Bruce-Douglas departed Ultimate Spinach, and essentially disbanded the group, although an almost entirely new lineup would release one final album in 1969.

Label: Big Beat Records ‎– CDWIKD 148
Series: The Best Of Bosstown Sound™ –
Format: CD, Album, Reissue
Country: UK
Released: 1995
Genre: Rock
Style:Psychedelic Rock

TRACKS

 




01.  Behold & See (Gilded Lamp Of The Cosmos)     3:04
02.  Mind Flowers     8:30
03.  Where You're At     3:12
04.  What You're Thinking Of (Jazz Thing)     6:40
05.  Fragmentary March Of Green     6:03
06.  Genesis Of Beauty (In Four Parts)     9:45
07.  Fifth Horseman Of The Apocalypse     5:56

MP3 @ 320 Size: 103 MB
Flac  Size: 265 MB

ULTIMATE SPINACH: ULTIMATE SPINACH III  1969

 

The Ultimate Spinach were originally a psychedelic/underground band, but by the time of their third


and last album, the group had changed personnel so much that their connection with the original lineup was tenuous in both sound and body. (Actually, the original band had broken up after their second album; the Ultimate Spinach heard on III included a couple of musicians that had recorded on the first two records, but was essentially an entirely different outfit.)

Label: Big Beat Records ‎– CDWIKD 165
Series: The Best Of Bosstown Sound™ –
Format: CD, Album, Reissue
Country: UK
Released: 1996
Genre: Rock
Style: Psychedelic Rock

TRACKS



01. (Just Like) Romeo & Juliet  (Written-By – R. Wylie, T. Williams)  2:33
02. Some-Days You Just Can't Win  (Written-By – Ted Myers, Tony Scheuren)  3:22
03. Daisy  (Written-By – Jeff Baxter)  2:21
04. Reasons  (Written-By – Ted Myers, Tony Scheuren)  3:51
05. Eddie's Rush     6:52
06. Happiness Child  (Written-By – Ted Myers)  4:42
07. Strange-Life Tragicomedy     4:13
08. Back Door Blues  (Written-By – Ted Myers)  2:56
09. The World Has Just Begun  (Written-By – Ted Myers, Tony Scheuren)  3:19

MP3 @ 320 Size: 81.2 MB
Flac  Size: 202 MB


Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Chrome: Chrome Box 1996

Chrome was an American rock band founded in San Francisco in 1975 by musician Damon Edge and


associated with the 1970s post-punk movement. The group's raw sound blended elements of punk, psychedelia, and early industrial music, incorporating science-fiction themes, tape experimentation, distorted acid rock guitar, and electronic noise. They have been cited as forerunners of the 1980s industrial music boom.
                                                                                           


Chrome were one of the great bands from the San Francisco music scene of the late Seventies. Formed in 1975 by the enigmatic Damon Edge, they released their first LP ‘The Visitation’ before being joined

by guitarist / vocalist Helios Creed. It was this collaboration that really focused the bands’ direction and their next two albums, ‘Alien Soundtracks’ and ‘Half Machine Lip Moves’ defined their musical approach and remain highly regarded to this day. Interest in the band grew steadily, resulting in their fourth LP ‘Red Exposure’ being released in the UK by Beggars Banquet. Unfortunately, at this point the band very rarely played live and it was quite possibly this lack of performance that held the band back from reaching a wider audience. Regardless, they released several more albums, including ‘Blood On The Moon’ and ‘Third From The Sun’, before Damon moved to France with his wife, effectively ending the classic Chrome line-up. He continued to release albums under the Chrome title, but opinions on the quality of this material are mixed. Helios Creed, meanwhile, continued to record and for the first time tour, under his own name.
                                                                      

They found little commercial success as part of San Francisco's 1970s music scene, but developed a cult following in the United Kingdom and Germany following the release of the LPs Alien Soundtracks

(1977) and Half Machine Lip Moves (1979). Edge died in 1995; subsequently, guitarist Helios Creed has revived the Chrome name for recordings and performances. When it comes to influential underground rock bands, San Francisco is (was) lousy with them. Throw a rock randomly into a crowd on Market St. and you could end up hitting a member of the Flamin' Groovies, Crime, or maybe even one of the Residents (though in the case of the Residents, you couldn't confirm it).
                                                             

Out of all the Bay Area bands to have been declared seminal, Chrome is probably the most influential

while having the least to show for it. Their Stooges-meets-synths-and-experimental-noise sound is credited with being the beginning of industrial rock music -- the stuff that that made careers for Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson, among countless others. Yet when I call longtime Chrome guitarist Helios Creed days before he left for a week-long west coast tour, he tells me he doesn't know where he's going to live afterward because he's being evicted from his Santa Cruz home.
                                                           

Born and raised in Long Beach, Calif., Creed began playing guitar at age 12 after his father, in the Navy at the time, brought him a Guyatone electric guitar from Japan for his birthday. He started mimicking his guitar heroes like Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck, but in his later teens Creed would expand his horizons with psychedelic drugs and heavier groups of the '70s like Hawkwind (he would later quip that he invented his guitar sound by trying to recreate what he heard "listening to Black Sabbath on LSD on headphones when I was a teenager").
                                                          

Creed moved to San Francisco in the mid '70s, and soon met Chrome's original bassist, Gary Spain, who introduced Creed to the group's first album The Visitation. Creed not only enjoyed the music, but he knew he had to be in the band. By then Chrome was falling apart: guitarist John Lambdin, suffering from amphetamine psychosis, was hospitalized. But Chrome's mastermind Damon Edge (born Thomas Wisse) had already switched his attention to turning the band into a recording project, using his trust fund money to rent a house and buy equipment.
                                                 

"When I met (Damon), he had long, straight, kinda greasy hair and he was wearing an 'Aloha' shirt with

a sports coat," Creed says. "He was a little chubby [laughs]." According to Creed, though Chrome was a psychedelic band, they never "jammed." "That was a hippie thing," Creed says. "And we never played the blues [laughs]."
The two began working on Ultra Soundtrack, intended to accompany a live psychedelic strip show. But when its mind-bending sound-collage style was deemed too weird for the dancers, the duo expanded the recording with straight-ahead rock tracks and processed tape loops, releasing it as Alien Soundtracks.
                                                        

Alien Soundtracks was released on Edge's Siren Records the same year the Sex Pistols' Never Mind The Bollocks blew up the music world, and Chrome became an underground sensation in both the U.K.

and the U.S. practically overnight.
"The covers of our albums filled the windows of record stores," Creed recalls. "I was surprised; I didn't think people were going to like it that much."
Edge and Creed doubled down on the space riffs and abrasive drumming for the next album, 1978's Half Machine Lip Moves, their most popular album to date. It has all the trademark touches of a classic industrial rock record: samples of people talking; scrap metal used as percussion; and crunchy, super-distorted guitar. The magazine Wire would include it in its list of "100 Records That Set the World on Fire (While No One Was Listening)."
                                                 

Creed and Edge recorded three more albums -- Red Exposure, Blood On The Moon and 3rd From The Sun -- each one just as groundbreaking as the last. Yet the band would never fully overcome its cult status, and sapped Edge's trust fund dry, according to Creed. Though they were famous in certain circles, Chrome would never achieve mainstream success, partially because Edge refused to perform in public until 1981.
"He had hangups about playing live under different circumstances," Creed says.
Edge moved to Europe in 1983, continuing to record and play under the moniker Chrome. He would die of heart failure in 1995.
                                                               

Creed would play for years under his name, and released underground-successful records on labels like Sub Pop and Amphetamine Reptile. At the same time, Chrome's profile rose again during the '90s

thanks to industrial rock's entrance in the pop charts, the re-release of their albums, and bands such as the Jesus Lizard and Prong covering their songs.
For a few years around the turn of the century, Creed reclaimed the Chrome name and played with two other former members, John and Hilary Stench, releasing a few recordings with the lineup. In more recent years, Creed has recruited a new band and finally taken advantage of the years of acclaim by performing around the globe, including festivals such as Spain's Primavera Sound.
                                                  

In the same time frame, Chrome also released two new albums: Half Machine from the Sun, a collection of lost tracks recorded between 1979 to 1980; and Feel It Like A Scientist, with all-new material. To the surprise of many, both albums sound like they were recorded by the Chrome of old, full of the psychedelic sci-fi punk the band's dedicated followers worship.
"It amazes people how Feel It Like A Scientist just fit in with everything else," Creed says. "Maybe I had something to do with it."

CHROME: Damon Edge interview
Rock Magazine, September 1980: HERE

Chrome ‎– Chrome Box
Label: Cleopatra ‎– CLP 9770-2
Format: 3 × CD, Compilation Box Set
Country: US
Released: 1996
Genre: Electronic, Rock
Style: Industrial, Experimental, Punk

MEMBERS


Damon Edge - vocals, synths, etc.
Helios Creed - vocals, guitar, etc.

Additional players:

Aleph Kali - drums
John Stench - drums
Hillary Stench - bass
Gary Spain - guitar
Cyborg - synth loops

STUDIO ALBUMS

Alien Soundtracks (1977, Siren Records)
Half Machine Lip Moves (1979, Siren Records)
Red Exposure (1980, Beggars Banquet Records)
Blood on the Moon (1981, Don't Fall Off the Mountain/Beggars Banquet Records)
3rd from the Sun (1982, Siren Records)

EPs

Read Only Memory (1979, Siren Records)
Inworlds (1981, Don't Fall Off the Mountain/Beggars Banquet Records)

SINGLES

New Age (1980, Beggars Banquet Records)
Firebomb (1982, Siren Records)
Anorexic Sacrifice (1982, Subterranean Records)

CD 1.

Alien Soundtracks (1978)
 

01. Chromosome Damage     3:49
02. Monitors     2:19
03. Pygmies In Zee Park     5:59
04. Slip It To The Android     3:47
05. Pharaoh Chromium     3:25
06. Magnetic Dwarf Reptile     3:38

Half Machine Lip Moves (1979)
 

07. TV As Eyes     2:16
08. Zombie Warfare     5:48
09. March Of The Chrome Police (A Cold Clamey Bombing)     3:37
10. You've Been Duplicated     2:38
11. Mondo Anthem     3:31
12. Half Machine Lip Moves     5:17
13. Abstract Nympho     3:35
14. Turned Around     1:58
15. Zero Time     3:03
16. Creature Eternal     1:53

Subterranean Modern (1979)
 

17. Anti-Fade     3:55
18. I Left My Heart In San Francisco     0:27
19. Meet You In The Subway     5:14

Read Only Memory (1979)
 

20. Excerpt From Read Only Memory     8:18

New Age 7" (1980)
 

21. Informations     3:09

 

01. New Age     3:10
02. Eyes On Mars     3:31
03. Jonestown     2:21
04. Animal     2:49
05. Static Gravity     3:20
06. Eyes In The Center     4:08
07. Electric Chair     4:07
08. Isolation     4:330

Inworlds (1981)
 
 
09. In A Dream     5:07
10. Danger Zone     5:20

Blood On The Moon (1981)
 

11. Need     2:59
12. Perfumed Metal     4:40
13. Insect Human     5:03
14. Brain On Scan     3:58

Live In Concert Bologne, Italy (1981)
 

15. Instrumental     5:56
16. Out Of Reach     4:09
17. Blood On The Moon     4:59
18. Inner Vacume     4:01
19. Planet Strike     2:28

MP3 @ 320 Size: 181 MB
Flac  Size: 497 MB

CD 3.    

No Humans Allowed (1982)
 

01. Manifestation (Of The Idea)     3:31

Firebomb 7" (1982)
 

02. Firebomb     2:37
03. Shadows Of A Thousand Years     3:38

3rd From The Sun (1982)
 

04. Future Ghosts     5:18
05. Amageddon     8:34
06. Heart Beat     5:12
07. Off The Line     4:31
08. 3rd From The Sun     4:42

Anorexic Sacrifice 7" (1982)
 

09. Anorexic Sacrifice     5:14
10. Beacons To The Eye     4:40

Chronicles I (1982)
 

11. Open Up (Locust Door)     6:09

Chronicles II (1982)
 


12. Gehenna To Canaan     7:18

Raining Milk (1983)
 
 

13. Wings Born In The Night     6:45
14. Tribes (Ultra)     3:05
15. Gehenna Lion     5:20

MP3 @ 320 Size: 181 MB
Flac  Size: 507 MB

Chrome: Red Exposure on Urban Aspirines: HERE