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Cold Cuts , SOLAR FIRE KINGS OF OBLIVION Manfred Mann's Earth Band Pink Fairies , (Polydor) ' · 1 (Polydor). Hey, now this is a real slick item, as With a background out of the English Polydor's. answer to Black Sabbath .burst psychedelic scene (circa •1967-68), there engines and kick up a 'real: storm. This came to be . a band . that ' has grown · time ·arourid, Mighty Manfred takes no through that era to 1974, in the interim 1 chances; as he and his Earth Band present picking 'up and losing band members from us with · JVIahavishn'uized '. melodies, cozmic s1,1ch · diverse sources as the Deviants, lyrics, and synthesized tinklings that wm Pretty Things, ' UFO, T.Rex, Tomorrow send chills up your toes. The Might Quinn ·and tl).e Move. The Pink Fairies of and his boys borrow freely from their the few English bands left unscathed 'rock band brethern; tokenistic. ch~ck since , Americans ravaged the . country singers ala.Pink Floyd, Pluto the Dog ala 'starting 10 years ago (which includes just Hawkwind, and electric toothbrush ala abou.t ~verythii:ig). Their newest album, Edgar Winter (which really ain't so bad, Kingi/ of Oblivion, sees the group as a• considering Manfred and Edgar flunked three-pie9e: veterans· "Sandy" Sanderson ' Keith .Emerson. school at ' just :abqut the (Basso profundo) and Russell Hunter . ' I same time). But its all quite silly. The .,(demon dru~mer) and newcomer La,rry: · lyrics .,are silly, ala·yes: The song titles are Wallis (Big GtiitaO. Wh~~ you hear titfeis ·pretentious, ala everybody. And, the best · like "City Kids," 1•1 Wish I W-as A Girl," ;thing about it, is that this is some type of "When's The Fun Begin," "Street a concept album and it doesn't ' work. Urchin" and you're told the music . is Which makes.this the greatest rock. satire freak-out, . loud, offensive, lewd, album of all time. The band are a damn outra·geous, · degenerate rock and roll in fine bunch, capable of a whole lot more 1 the gqmd ole British Heavy Metal Flash than this, even thougJ:i the album is still ' tradition: and not only is it great, it's worth a few listens anyways. If Manfred listenable, I suspect I already \pst half'the Mann could produce; ·super solar, heavy readers· (May I .interest you in a Size .7 metal pop sin,gles, he'd be a . real smash. ..• .. ) and the other half (love ya' all) But 'then again, if he did, we wouldn't be ,probably have Kings of Oblivionby now. able to try tongue twisters li,ke '}Saturn, ·, : · · ··,


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Mose Jones . ,.. (Sounds of the South/)VICA.) , .. ··

Mike Vernon (Sire) .

, . I guess anybody who produces a lot of talented bands • harbors a secret desire for stardom for himself. Vernon, long the Scion of Blue Horizon Records, the label many Limey Bloozoids got their start on, is such a person. Awhile ago, Blue Horizon/Sire put out an anthology of some .of their better acts and lo , and behold, one cut was by ole Mike hisself. This may or may not have been a test cµt for this see if he could make it, ·as a solo artist. The song wasn't too bad and this ·al.bu~ isn't either. Helping the LP immensely are the musicians; Ric Lee and Leo Lyons of Ten Years After, Andy Sylvester (ex-Blodwyn Pig) now with Savoy Brown, Mitch ' Mitchell, Bruce' Rowlc1,nd of the Grease B,and, Paul Butler and Pete Wingfield of Jelly Bread, .etc., etc. Vernon also produced the album and he J.'.eally knows' what he's doing. I mean, who wants to blow their solo career with a lousy production job? U he' continues with more albums of this caliber, who knows? Mike Vernon just might be a star in his own right yet. gumball. For all practical purposes, this is, Bread's l,p.test ·album, what with all the ex-Bread boys doing sessions for James. (All except David Gates, whose making cruddy extravaganzas of his own.) Why even Peter Yarrow look!alike, Robb Royer ·showed · up to produce · this bombastic achievement. To make matters worse, the C.B.S. house band elite showed up to help in this endeavor, and we all know what that means. It's the same basic Bread album formula, musky, overproduced .ballads, mixed in with crusty, cream cheezy rockers, performed to a tee by James Griffin, whose getting . to look more like Michael Parks every day. (Why, he hasn't.shaved in pert near a week or so.) Now even though anyone who writes lyrics like ,"I'll love you till the cows come home" can't be all bad, Jimmy should use .his talents for more important things, like doing session work · for the local I high school Gqdspell production. BREAKIN UP IS EASY .James Griffin (Polydor) It sure is, when you listen to this

Not entitely predictable, but to an extent, this is common everyday Southern rock and roll. They don't know their limitations and Producer Al Kooper (who is partly responsible for every act on his label, S.O.T.S.) has them hacking their 'way through_ pop,, soul and even quasi-Allman material. Not too much excitement, although guitarist Jimmy O'Neil manages to sound like Burton Cummings on ."Home." The title cut, an . instrumental, sparks slightly, but as for ' the rest of the ~P: No-Doz is cheaper. You might remember Charlie Daniels. from his mildly amusil}g · hit •single .''Uneasy Rider." bon't let that discourage yoµ from buying this album. Th~~e guys are dyed-in-the-woll So1,1thern rockers in t;he Allman Bros. tradition and even if the rest of The Bros. should suddenly leave this vale of tears, Charlie and Band are ,ready, more than willing, and quite able to fill their allotted spot in rock and roll. Just by 'looking , at the simµlate

WINDFALL ' Rick Nelson (M½A)

The jacket of Rick Nelson's newest album, Windfall: says a lot about the music inside. It's handsomely made with a smooth, slick, shiny finish, and an even dozen well done full color photographs insidE) ·and out.. However, it has a very personal feel ·to it ' despite the slickness, , because every wqrd, from the name of . the album and artist, to the song lyrics, and even the copyright information, are all hand written (by -Kristin Nelson). The music inside is much the same: slick and · very professional, but with a personal feel. · . R;ick •Nelson and · The Stone Cany,011 Band have their own brand .of the.popular I . • country/rock . sound. They . sometimes resemble . Eagles both in the thinking behind the arrangements ,and in the tight-harmony vocals. (The Eag!es' Randy Meisner was one of Rick's back-up men when he made ' his , debut as a country/rock artist several years ago.) The band will change to fit the s6ng, one moment playing soft and smooth acoustic ·oriented country, the next using fuzz or ' wah-wah electric guitar with a strong rock beat. The material is nearly all original, written by Rick or guitari~t Dennis · Larden, both of whom display considerable talent. The music has an unexpected depth botp. in s.ound .and content which sort of creeps up on you as you listen, partly ,because Rick's xocals often sound a littfe self-consc;:ious, but you can tell that underneath he is a very confident singer. The result of' all ·. this is a very attractive album from an appealing artist (I havri it ·on good. authority that Rick is cute). It also proves that Rick Nelson ·has risen completely above his TV son role to a position of respectability and hopefully re.cognition in the music world. - Dave Meinzer•

Lord of the Ring, Mercury the Winged Messenger." Move over Sabbat,h. Move over Hawkwind. You got company.

. NINE Fairport Convention

A&M) The only th~ng this line-up h~s i~ , common 'fJith the 9riginal Fairport is the name. The last ,original member, Sim.on Nicol, departed after Babbacombe Lee is Dead (Encore-Ed.) ' in l 97i Althou~h Fairport is not as ' interesting as 'their counterpart s, Lindisfarne, they are instrumentally s11perb and fine ' traditionalists. Dave Swarbick's mandolin and violin stylings stand out, the former on "Big William," th,e latter on "Bring. 'errt Down" and '.'T.he Medley and Cherok'ee Shuffle." ''To Althea Fr0rri' Prison" is.a bluesy lament, the lyrics born from th,e writings of the Davalier Post, Richard Lovelace, · while in Prison in 1642. :Fairport's music is English traditiodal and its very easy to see how Bluegrass devefoped from 'this in the . isolated hills of Appalac;:hia. For folk devotees, f:airport Convention is a fine study in roots.

HQME THOUGHTS Clifford Ward (Charisma/Atlantic)'

Funny ... those Engflsh Kidz. Af the same time as good.rockers by the Sweet, Slade, Suzi Quatro are topping the charts, , along comes a No. 2 hit in Clifford Ward's ."Gaye," i=l syrupy ballad with the power of a wet ·n0odJe and the freshness of mouldy cherry·cheesecake. Oh well, we'd be the last 'ones to complain'; it's this kind · of constant change that makes the British pop spene so endearing to Js (and the lac~ of it in ·the States so frustrating). "Gaye" and the follow-up single,. "Wherewithal" are included here on this schoolteacher - turned · - . musicmaker's debut, called Home Thoughts. The music is soft English folk that hasn't any impact whatsoever: Ward seems to be running away rather than coming at you with .his .Iullabyes. Sure it's pretty but zzzzzzzzzzz. . .

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