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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Atomic Rooster

Best of Atomic Rooster - Volume 1 and Volume 2

Review by Gary Hill

Atomic Rooster have often been regarded by most as a progressive rock band. That is the first reason they are included in the prog section at MSJ. Reason number two is the fact that Carl Palmer was a member of the band. However, listening to this CD, really they come across more as a hard rock outfit that had some prog leanings, but certainly not a prog band. They are a good solid rocking band that show off elements of The Crazy World of Arthur Browne, from which they came. The only real complaint about this compilation is that there is some repition of material.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2001 Year Book Volume 1 at

Track by Track Review
Disc 1
Devil's Answer (Live)
Starting just a bit like Hawkwind, this one feels a lot like The Crazy World of Arthur Brown from which the group emerged. This is a good solid rocker with a great sounding keyboard solo.
Play It Again
With an intro that feels like a cross between Hawkwind and Deep Purple's "Child In Time", this one starts building slowly, then erupts into a solid hard rocking jam.
End of the Day
This one begins in a mighty bluesy metallic groove. That mighty Hammond sound lends a Deep Purpleish tone to the track, but with a more quirky texture. The interplay between guitar and keys really steals the show on this one.
Tomorrow Night
With a somewhat Latin sort of groove to the intro, the Hammond again takes over quite quickly. The cut takes on a texture a bit like a proggy arrangement of something from Alice Cooper's Goes To Hell. The guitar solo is very tasty.
Lost In Space
Slower and more balladic at times, this cut takes on some great appropriately spacey prog jamming. It is a great track.
Loose Your Mind
A great hard rocking, but accessible number, this one has a great groove to it.
Control Of You
A fast paced, rather off-kilter texture makes this one a lot of fun. This cut becomes a killer prog jam all the instruments playing well off of one another.
Oh She, Oh She's My Woman
With a killer retro texture that feels a bit like the Ramones or B-52's at times, this one starts rocking out quite well.
Death Walks Behind You
Beginning with piano that feels quite mysterious, appropriately this one begins to feel like the soundtrack to a slasher film. As the intro ends, a great hard rocking groove takes the cut, and it begins building in an awesome manner. This fairly dark number is one of the strongest on the collection.
Sleeping For Years
Freaky effects laden guitar makes up the intro on this one. The song proper comes in frantic and hard-edged with an occasionally quirky texture.
Can't Take No More
With a very accessible hard rocking mode, this one is a straight ahead cut.
Disc 2
Who's Looking For You
This is another fast paced hard rocker that feels just a bit like early Alice Cooper.
Loose Your Mind
This cut is pretty much the same as the other one by the same title.
Watch Out
This is a fast paced, hard-edged jam in the vein of Burn era Deep Purple.
I Don't Need You Anymore
Feeling a bit like Kansas, this is a strong and quirky hard-edged rocker.
He Did It
A fairly straightforward rocker, this is a catchy foot stomper. It gets rather odd and quirky at times.
The Show
Bouncy and punky, this one is quite fun.
Start To Live
Rather off kilter and energetic, this cut is a fun one. It feels a bit like White Witch at times.
Living Underground
Tentative steps lead to a nice rocking groove in a traditional bluesy style. It gets rather odd and fairly psychotic as it carries on.
End of the Day
Starting a bit mysterious, this one is a solid rocking cut that grooves well.
Take It For Granted
With an intro that moves from something a bit like a cross between Nazareth's "Morning Dew" and Emerson, Lake and Palmer, this one becomes a twisted sounding prog piece. It feels rather unproduced, but is a great tune.
Sleepless Nights
This song is quirky, creepy fast paced and hard edged.
Hold It Through The Night
Fun and bouncy, this cut is more light hearted.
No Chance By Mine
With a good solid classic rock groove, this one is a bit quirky, but generally accessible.
Throw Your Life Away
"Throw Your Life Away" is a quirky and fun piece.
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