tisdag 23 april 2013

TOE FAT 2C 062-04374 (-70) FRANCE

A supergroup in its way and an unexpected combo - psych/prog band "The Gods" led by clean cut r&b/britpop singer Cliff Bennett. After Bennett's Rebel Rousers split and The Gods in fallow after two unsuccessful albums it was a fuel injection for all. The same kind of happy marriage as Colosseum with Chris Farlowe or Blood Sweat & Tears with David Clayton-Thomas, but unlike those acts it didn't sell and Hensley and Keerslake left after the first album. Hensley went on to form Uriah Heep and wanted Bennett as singer in the new group. He declined and instead decided to continue Toe Fat with a new setting for one more album. IMO this first is a very important LP, connecting three top groups - Gods, Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers and Uriah Heep. Bennett seems to be in the lead, as singer and sole composer to six of the tracks. It's a combination of psych, prog and hard rock on a solid r&b foundation. There's traces of both Gods and Rebel Rousers, but most tracks reminds of early Uriah Heep. The psychedelic quality comes from Hensley's guitar play, using odd licks and howls. Bennett vocals seems a lot more developed here than on his sixties albums. He was always a good singer, but here he goes deeper and uses a lot more power, reminding of Clayton-Thomas or even Tom Jones. I like this album a lot and most of the songs are favorites. If you haven't heard it yet - here's an exemple http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6g0LB36ydDo. First US on Rare Earth (RS 511) had a censored cover with the naked couple to the left replaced by a sheep. Premiere UK on Parlophone (PCS 7097). First French on Odeon as shown here came with laminated flip/back cover. CD issue 2005 on Repertoire Records (REP 4416). (MFÄX*) (ÖRHÄ*)

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