Sunday, May 15, 2022

Uriel: Arzachel 1969

Uriel were an English Heavy - Psychedelic Blues Band formed in 1968 by Steve Hillage (Guitar,

Vocals, later with Gong), Dave Stewart (Organ, later formed Egg), Mont Campbell (Bass, Vocals, later formed Egg), and Clive Brooks (Drums, later formed Egg)
.  The band initially called themselves Uriel, they produced their sold album under the Arzachel in June 1969.

The album Arzachel was recorded and mixed in a single session in London. The 'A' side has four songs,

while the 'B' side consists of only two mind-bending psychedelic tracks, the longer of which is a 17-minute jam entitled 'Metempsychosis'. It was issued on the short-lived Evolution label (also home to the debut by Raw Material) and quickly became a collectors' item. A pirate version is thought to have circulated in the late 1970s, and it has been much bootlegged in more recent years. It was eventually released on CD by Demon Records in 1994.

Formed while Hillage, Campbell and Stewart were at the City of London School, they initially played

covers of Cream, Jimi Hendrix, John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers and the Nice. After Hillage left in mid-1968 to attend university, the remaining trio began playing original material written by Campbell and Stewart. Bowing to pressure from their managers, they changed their name to Egg in early 1969.

Shortly after Egg signed to Decca, a tiny company named Zackariya Enterprises gave the musicians an

opportunity to record a psychedelic session for the burgeoning market. Since this was not "Egg material" (and besides, they were under contract now to Decca), Uriel re-united to produce their sole album in June 1969, a one-off psychedelic project under an assumed name Arzachel (named after a crater on the moon, itself named after a medieval Spanish astronomer). The musicians also used pseudonyms on the album, although their biographies each contain some measure of truth:

Simon Sasparella (Steve Hillage) - lead guitar and vocals. Sim was born in Seatoller, Cumberland in 1948, and has been playing guitar for 11 years. His dark Northern ruggedness is offset by the coolness of his manner. These two qualities are reflected in his playing – heavy, emotional work, and soft, subtle sounds. He believes that music is the only really physical art form – and is in a lifelong search for the ultimate musical power, on the same scale as the rocky Lake District crags from whence he came.

Njerogi Gategaka (Mont Campbell) – bass guitar and vocals. Njerogi was born in Mzumi Springs, a small border town in the north of the Kenyan Rift Valley. He trained to be a Manjanga drummer for the local Kyuma dances, but came to England with family in 1962. He lived in Brighton for five years, then moved to London, where he formed Arzachel with Sim, Basil and Sam. He believes that music stems largely from the sexual urge, both of which have an integral part in rhythm, having been taught this as part of his drum training.

Basil Dowling (Clive Brooks) – drums. Basil was born in Tottenham in 1947; as one would expect, he was an ardent Tottenham Hampton F.C. supporter in his younger days, but decided it would no longer be wise to go to football matches when his wiry bushy hair reached shoulder-length. He has been in seven groups, playing every conceivable style of music from dance band to skiffle. Basil is a heavy, violent drummer; he has been known to break fourteen sticks in as many bars. He believes that if it were not for Arzachel's music, his violence would still be expressed in seat-slashing and toilet-roll throwing.

Sam Lee-Uff (Dave Stewart) – organ. Sam was born in Lewisham in 1949 – he could play the piano when only two years old, and began to take organ lessons at the age of seven. He was expelled from public school, and spent eight months living on crusts, playing a battered accordion on street corners. This he refers to as his "hang-up" period. When the Psychedelic scene began to blossom, Sam joined various unsuccessful groups. Arzachel was a result of meeting up with Sim and Njerogi. Sam's favourite artistes include Heinz; Mike Ratledge; Holst; P.J. Proby; Vincent Crane. He believes music to be an expression of one's inner being – this expression, he says, will lead to the ultimate spiritual liberation of one's personality.

The album was re-released on 7 December 2007 as Arzachel Collectors Edition by Uriel (2007, Egg Archive CD69-7201). This official band release features a re-mastered version of the original album plus four unreleased Uriel studio demos, a spoken-word message from the past and a live snippet recorded in 1968. Steve Hillage plays on two of these bonus tracks.

Uriel – Arzachel (Collectors Edition)
Label: Egg Archive – CD69-7201
Format: CD, Album, Reissue, Remastered, Stereo Dec 7, 2007
Country: UK
Released: 1969   
Genre: Rock
Style: Heavy Psychedelic Blues Rock, Prog Rock



01. Garden Of Earthly Delights  (Written-By – Campbell)  4:26
02. Azathoth  (Written-By – Stewart, Campbell)  4:26

Azathoth is a deity in the Cthulhu Mythos and Dream Cycle stories of writer H. P. Lovecraft and other authors. He is the ruler of the Outer Gods, and may be seen as a symbol for primordial chaos.
03. Soul Thing (Theme From 'Queen Street Gang')  (Arranged By – Campbell/Written-By – Mansfield)  4:32
04. Leg (Lyrics By – Vinall, Hillage/Music By – Hillage)  5:49
05. Clean Innocent Fun  (Lyrics By – Vinall, Hillage/Music By – Hillage)  10:34
06. Metempsychosis  (Written-By – Uriel)  16:58

Bonus Tracks


07. Introducing The Bass Guitarist  (Written-By – Mr. Campbell)  0:21
08. Egoman  (Written-By – Campbell)  4:12
09. Swooping Bill  (Written-By – Stewart)  3:19
10. The Salesman Song  (Written-By – Campbell)  2:56
11. Saturn, The Bringer Of Old Age  (Arranged By – Campbell/Written-By – Holst)  3:45
12. The Stumble      0:46

Recorded At – Denmark Street Studios
Bass, French Horn, Bugle, Vocals – Mont Campbell  
Drums – Clive Brooks   
Guitar, Vocals – Steve Hillage (tracks: 1 to 6, 11, 12)
Organ, Piano – Dave Stewart
Design [Front Cover] – Mont Campbell
Producer – Peter Wicker (tracks: 1 to 6)




Mindless Demon
Ruling in absolute chaos
Human minds cannot believe

Fractured rainbows
Circling deep in the darkness
Bright red trails of pain

Azathoth the Mighty
Centre of confusion
Ruler of the dead beneath the Sea of Clouds


Evil blind things
Ruling in absolute darkness
Fighting forever

Weeping, gnashing
Falling in utter confusion
Fire and chaos thrive


  1. Urban Aspirines é um blog enciclopédia da maior importância para o rock'n'geral - Sucesso e vida longa !!!
    Procuro a Banda WARLOCKS ( Jerry Garcia ) 1965 - 1966, o amigo poderia Postar ? = Muito Obrigado.

  2. WARLOCKS 1965 - 1966 EDIÇÃO DE ANIVERSÁRIO - 20 ANOS EM 1985 - FEAT. Jerry Garcia ( Grateful Dead ) OK ?

  3. Great stuff! Thanks, Kostas :)

  4. Замечательно! Спасибо!

  5. Wanted to say something to FAUST.
    But i can not comment.
    Something doesn't work.