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ATOMIC ROOSTER

Heavy Prog • United Kingdom


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Atomic Rooster biography
Founded 1969 - Disbanded in 1975 - Reformed from 1980 to 1983 and again since 2016 with new formation

THE CRAZY WORLD OF ARTHUR BROWN having disintegrated after their sole album and their worldwide hit Fire (I am the god of hellfire) Vincent Crane (responsible for the music of that album) and Carl Palmer founded ATOMIC ROOSTER with Nick Graham on bass and vocals. This line-up soon disintegrated (Palmer abandoning them to join ELP), Crane contacted guitarist John DuCann formerly of psych bands THE ATTACK and ANDROMEDA and Paul Hammond on drums to make a seminal early Heavy Metal masterpiece "Death Walks Behind You" and then they hired Pete French, the incredible voice to make their finest album "In Hearing Of...". Most people would agree that this was the better line-up of ROOSTER but the mood was always stormy between Crane and DuCann so they disbanded at the release of the third album. Vincent Crane, always prone to depressions, had to start from scratch again and hired superb vocalist Chris Farlowe (ex-COLOSSEUM) and other men to make another fine album "Made In England" and finally "Nice and Greasy". Those last album are often over-looked by progheads being categorized as funk but this is hardly the case even if the superb use of a horn section on a third of the tracks add a lot of depth to their music. Their most popular hits (they did not spit at the singles market made often reference to the devil or Satan but the general mood was not Satanist as they have been so often categorized along with BLACK SABBATH and BLACK WIDOW. Crane would re-form his band along the years when his health permitted it until his death in 89.

ATOMIC ROOSTER is highly recommended to everyone looking for Hammond organ-driven rock of the early 70's but to anyone looking for high-energy prog. It is responsible for some of the all-time best hard-rock albums and should figure in all collection (you should hide a copy of "In Hearing Of ...." in your grandma's collection just for kicks.

: : : Hugues Chantraine, BELGIUM : : :

Atomic Rooster official website

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Sleeping for Years: Studio Recordings 1970-1974Sleeping for Years: Studio Recordings 1970-1974
Import
Imports 2017
Audio CD$30.67
Death Walks Behind You -  Atomic RoosterDeath Walks Behind You - Atomic Rooster
Import
SANCTUARY 2015
Audio CD$8.58
$8.57 (used)
In Hearing Of -  Atomic RoosterIn Hearing Of - Atomic Rooster
Extra tracks · Import · Remastered
SANCTUARY 2015
Audio CD$5.75
AnthologyAnthology
Import
ANGEL AIR 2009
Audio CD$10.12
$10.11 (used)
Atomic RooosterAtomic Roooster
Extra tracks · Import
SANCTUARY 2015
Audio CD$10.34
$5.18 (used)
Atomic RoosterAtomic Rooster
Extra tracks · Import
Angel Air 2005
Audio CD$9.49
$9.48 (used)
PerformancePerformance
Four Worlds Media 2012
Audio CD$4.00
$2.98 (used)
Atomic RoosterAtomic Rooster
Import
Repertoire 2002
Audio CD$29.99
$18.24 (used)
Nice N GreasyNice N Greasy
Import · Remastered
Sanctuary UK 2008
Audio CD$74.99
$24.50 (used)
The Devil Hits BackThe Devil Hits Back
Abstract Sounds 2008
Audio CD$2.00
$22.26 (used)
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ATOMIC ROOSTER discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ATOMIC ROOSTER top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.55 | 191 ratings
Atomic Roooster
1970
3.83 | 270 ratings
Death Walks Behind You
1970
3.75 | 181 ratings
In Hearing Of Atomic Rooster
1971
3.65 | 115 ratings
Made In England
1972
2.77 | 83 ratings
Nice 'n' Greasy [Aka: IV]
1973
3.15 | 48 ratings
Atomic Rooster '80
1980
2.94 | 47 ratings
Headline News
1983

ATOMIC ROOSTER Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.88 | 10 ratings
BBC Radio 1 in Concert
1993
3.00 | 3 ratings
Devil's Answer
1998
3.00 | 8 ratings
Live And Raw 1970 & 71
2000
3.00 | 3 ratings
Live In Germany '83
2000
3.00 | 2 ratings
Live At The Marquee 1980
2002

ATOMIC ROOSTER Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.50 | 6 ratings
Atomic Rooster
2003
3.00 | 4 ratings
The Ultimate Anthology
2004
4.00 | 4 ratings
Lost Broadcasts
2011

ATOMIC ROOSTER Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 4 ratings
Assortment
1974
3.35 | 6 ratings
Home to Roost
1977
1.00 | 1 ratings
This Is Atomic Rooster
1977
2.05 | 3 ratings
Lose Your Mind
1980
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Best Of Atomic Rooster
1987
3.36 | 5 ratings
The Devil Hits Back
1989
3.28 | 9 ratings
The Best & The Rest Of Atomic Rooster
1989
2.00 | 3 ratings
Space Cowboy
1991
3.50 | 4 ratings
The First 10 Explosive Years
1999
2.33 | 3 ratings
Best of Atomic Rooster, Vol. 1-2
1999
3.04 | 5 ratings
Rarities
2000
3.00 | 2 ratings
First 10 Explosive Years, Vol. 2
2001
2.00 | 1 ratings
The Ultimate Chicken Meltdown
2002
3.69 | 7 ratings
Heavy Soul: Anthology
2002
4.50 | 2 ratings
Resurrection
2002
3.48 | 4 ratings
The Best Of Atomic Rooster
2003
3.83 | 3 ratings
The Devil's Answer
2003
0.00 | 0 ratings
Rebel With A Clause ("The First 10 Explosive Years"/ "Headline News" remastered
2005
3.00 | 1 ratings
The Essential Atomic Rooster
2006
5.00 | 1 ratings
Devil's Answer - The Singles Collection
2006
2.80 | 5 ratings
Homework
2008
3.50 | 2 ratings
Anthology 1969-81
2009

ATOMIC ROOSTER Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.95 | 3 ratings
Tomorrow Night
1970
2.91 | 3 ratings
Friday The 13th
1970
2.95 | 2 ratings
Devil's Answer
1971
2.00 | 1 ratings
Stand By Me
1972
2.00 | 1 ratings
Tell Your Story (Sing Your Song) b/w O.D. 7 single
1974
2.00 | 2 ratings
Do You Know Who's Looking For You ?
1980
2.92 | 5 ratings
Play It Again 12''
1981
4.73 | 2 ratings
End Of The Day (12")
1982
2.00 | 1 ratings
Land Of Freedom
1983
2.00 | 1 ratings
Little Live Rooster
1989

ATOMIC ROOSTER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 In Hearing Of Atomic Rooster by ATOMIC ROOSTER album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.75 | 181 ratings

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In Hearing Of Atomic Rooster
Atomic Rooster Heavy Prog

Review by Tonbridge Man

4 stars I kind of missed Atomic Rooster first time round. My pre-teen tastes at that time tended to take me more in the direction of the likes of Slade and T Rex. However I caught the revived Rooster twice on the current festival circuit with Pete French on vocals and Steve Bolton on guitar and was mightily impressed with the music on display where naturally they drew a lot on material taken from this - French's only album with the band. French himself has still got it on vocals in 2017 and his younger characterful slightly bluesy voice works well on most of the tracks on this fine 1971 outing. The only exception strangely is the single Devils Answer that can be found on some CD versions where the doomy deeper Du Cann vocals fitted the song better.

My personal favourite tracks are Break the Ice, Decision/Indecision, a spoonful of Bromide and Head in the Sky but there is no weak song here - indeed this is a good prog related album by any standard. Check it out!

 Space Cowboy by ATOMIC ROOSTER album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1991
2.00 | 3 ratings

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Space Cowboy
Atomic Rooster Heavy Prog

Review by martindavey87

2 stars I'd certainly never consider myself much of an Atomic Rooster fan, and only bought this album because it was £1 and I thought they'd be worth checking out. With that said, I'm actually surprised at how much I like some of the songs. Often associated with the progressive rock genre, I never figured that Atomic Rooster would sound so funky and jazzy. Very smooth indeed.

While these may not be progressive rock masterpieces, there are a few nice tunes in here which definitely make it worth the pound I spent on it. The main highlight for me being 'Stand By Me', a song which I liked immediately upon hearing it. I've also grown rather fond of 'Don't Know What Went Wrong', 'Can't Find a Reason' and 'Take One Toke'.

With this being my first exposure to Atomic Rooster, I have no idea how well these tracks hold up as representations of the band, but it's a decent enough album for me.

 Atomic Roooster by ATOMIC ROOSTER album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.55 | 191 ratings

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Atomic Roooster
Atomic Rooster Heavy Prog

Review by Kingsnake

3 stars Great album but not yet all that great. Somehow I will never be a great fan of Carl's sloppy drumming. That aside the vocals, the bassguitars, the hammond are all really great. Raw, pure and energetic. The songwriting is sometimes really good (Winter, Broken Wings, Friday 13th) but sometimes the band just jams away. But it was the psychedelic era, it's okay.

It's great to hear a hammond-based heavy rock group not sounding like Deep Purple or Uriah Heep. Also I really like the vocals. Really powerful and soulful. Too bad, the singer never really served in a famous band. Another thing I like about this albums is the (sparse) fluteplaying, wich sets this bands apart from other hardrockbands of this age.

 Atomic Roooster by ATOMIC ROOSTER album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.55 | 191 ratings

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Atomic Roooster
Atomic Rooster Heavy Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

3 stars The birth pangs of ATOMIC ROOSTER can actually be traced back all the way to the whacky 60s UK phenomenon The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown where two of the members: Vincent Crane and Carl Palmer jumped ship to have a go at their own musical visions. In the beginning they were only a trio after they recruited a third member, Nick Graham to handle bass, lead vocals, flute and additional guitars. Crane would handle organ and keyboards while Palmer cranked out the percussive drive necessary to add the harder rockin' edge. Whereas the Arthur Brown project set out to conquer the flashy entertainment world of psychedelic rock and even had a huge hit with their 1968 single "Fire," the direction of ATOMIC ROOSTER was to take a more soulful approach and desired to take the funk and soul approach of James Brown and Stevie Wonder and marry it with the dynamic instrumental workouts of British progressive rock that was its infancy big bang phase at the time.

The trio didn't waste any time releasing their first album titled ATOMIC ROOOSTER (not eponymous, has 3 o's and also spelled RO-O- OSTER on later CD reissues) in 1970 with that famous ridiculous cover of a green eagle with a rooster head with voluptuous female milkers drooping down in the midst of a cube with a purple shadow next to a chair. The cover art ranks high on my WTF list! Soon after this was released, Nick Graham whose vocals grace this album would jump ship and John Du Cann would replace him and then overdub three tracks for a slightly different US release (bonus tracks on the expanded CD version and quite well done). ATOMIC ROOOSTER, the album kicks things off with the hard rockin' "Friday The Thirteenth" which joins the ranks of a number of harder rockin' bands marry some heaviness with the keyboard rich proto-prog that was oozing out of the late 60s music scene.

While not totally unlike bands like Deep Purple, it is apparent that the ROOSTER was cock-a-doodling some funk and soul in its mix and focuses on heavy grooves, more soulful vocals as well as the Hammond rich organ runs and hard percussive drumming drive that Carl Palmer was delivering quite skillfully even at this stage of his career. Many of the tracks on this album follow suit with the same exact formula that deftly mixes the soulful grooves with the harder edged prog elements which was Crane's main style of songwriting who was the main songwriter for this album. The one track "Broken Wing's" which is a John Mayall cover sounds rather out of place in comparison despite Palmer's best efforts to give it a percussive backbone clearly demonstrating Crane's different approach to songwriting.

Despite the efforts of fusing British prog with American soul and funk, this debut release still sounds a little devoid of a completely successfully fusion of the disparate styles and feels much more firmly rooted in the late 60s psychedelic scene than the progressive 70s. The keyboard rich rhythms are a dead giveaway and make this release sound a bit dated in not only its style but its delivery which has hints of Procol Harum, Deep Purple and of course, The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown. Graham's vocal abilities are a point of contention for me as well. While he successfully gets the job done by hitting the correct notes and emphasizes dramatic phrases that serve to heighten the musical tension, my main problem is that his range is a little limited and the music would have been more animated with a slightly more gifted vox box. While ATOMIC ROOSTER yielded some decent fruit on their freshman effort, it would be eclipsed by the lineup change and release of their second album "Death Walks Behind You." Album number is chock full of nice pleasant late 60s sounding chops, rhythms and keyboard fantasies but doesn't quite make the highly essential list for me.

If you're going get this one you should really be sure to get the 2004 Castle Music CD reissue that contains the three overdubbed versions of "Friday The 13th," "Before Tomorrow" and "S.L.Y." with Du Cann on guitar and vocals. The comparison between the originals and redubs are astounding as it was fortuitous that Graham moved on to let a more talented vocalist take the reins. Also included are two equally better live versions at the BBC Radio Session in 1970. The bonus tracks make this a much better album than it would be otherwise but of course my rating is for the original release.

3.5 rounded down like those mammories on the cover :P

 Nice 'n' Greasy [Aka: IV] by ATOMIC ROOSTER album cover Studio Album, 1973
2.77 | 83 ratings

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Nice 'n' Greasy [Aka: IV]
Atomic Rooster Heavy Prog

Review by poito

3 stars In this late album by AR, they root further in funky rock. Listening to all AR albums in a row is a curious experience. You can see a bunch of adaptable beasts, moving at every album so fast that you can hardly classify them. Contrary to fans of early AR, I don't see much Prog in any epoch. AR and Crane always was a Funky Rock based band that wandered and stepped on different musical gardens, although timidly. This Nice'n Greasy that dresses such an awful cover contains a bunch of more than decent tracks worth the listening and well suited for the lovers of instrumental Funky-Rock. Take one to Toke and Ear in the Snow are gems of the style. Who said this is not AR? I think this was their essence always. If anything it was in the Death Walks Behind You and In Hearing Of that they step out for a while, but not far away, and they were late and did not contribute anything new in those two of the most creative and innovative years for the music of all times. The attempts were not very successful. Actually, they were rather naif. This one is genuine funky rock, and very good indeed.
 Made In England by ATOMIC ROOSTER album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.65 | 115 ratings

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Made In England
Atomic Rooster Heavy Prog

Review by poito

3 stars One more turn to the wheel. No doubt, AR is a fast evolving band, in just 3 years they released five different albums, and each means a break with predecessors. Evolution? Lack of coherence? If you think about it, it is difficult to imagine a bunch of guys playing different stuff every six months. This MIE includes a marked funky style in some tracks, while others adventure with new melodies as in Little Bit of Inner Air, Never To Loose, and Space Cowboys. The music thus becomes much more complex than the monotonic style of the former In Hearing Of. Riffs and solos are back and the band tries to move people's legs instead of hypnotizing them. There is little Prog here though. The opening Time Take My Life goes back to two albums before and has some curious mix of Rock, Funk and orchestra instruments at the end. Another interesting track is Breathless where they also explore with blends of styles and the instrumental parts and solos appear built not jam. And of course check the unforgettable Close Your Eyes, an all-time gem of Rock. The Japanese version contains the BBC sessions recordings that shown one more face of the band playing life, indeed much powerful than in the studio releases.
 In Hearing Of Atomic Rooster by ATOMIC ROOSTER album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.75 | 181 ratings

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In Hearing Of Atomic Rooster
Atomic Rooster Heavy Prog

Review by poito

2 stars This third release by AR means another complete break with their predecessor blues-oriented rock heavily dominated by jammy instrumental duets and solos. Here the music has become extremely simple, Rock remains behind some tracks, but they were exploring new paths. Themes are built on monochord lines or arpeggios with some piano or keyboard arrangements; solos and riffs are nearly gone, all is left to catchy repetitive rhythms, some may hook on you, but definitely, the music is too simplistic, even naif for the time. One may think they have moved back to late sixties, the In A Gadda Da Vida times. The lyrics kind of reproduce the same pattern as the music, with clichés like "I must run away out of here", "I have to find my way back home" and things like that. The experiment was not very successful in my view.
 Death Walks Behind You by ATOMIC ROOSTER album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.83 | 270 ratings

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Death Walks Behind You
Atomic Rooster Heavy Prog

Review by poito

3 stars The second release of AR marks a completely different style from the debut. Crane takes more risks here, probably by the contribution of new members. Although still using the hard-rock verse and solo scheme, the guitar by John Cann is much more daring and gives the band a different and more complex air. There are plenty of guitar and hammond duets plus the standard hammond and drum solos that were so common at the time, but they sound less jammy and more experimental than before. The music has transcended beyond blues and rock but not much though, they remain faithful to the early 70's rock. My favorite tracks are Sleeping For Years with an excellent guitar work, an instrumental called VGU, and the album cover, a somewhat disturbing meat-man on his four legs, scared and scary.
 Atomic Roooster by ATOMIC ROOSTER album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.55 | 191 ratings

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Atomic Roooster
Atomic Rooster Heavy Prog

Review by poito

2 stars This AR will follow in alphabetical order of music libraries to their predecessor and father Arthur Brown, a genial musician that founded a Crazy World in which keyboardist Vincent Crane dwell for a while before founding AR. This first album is rock history, well on the mainstream of the epoch, but far from the subsequent releases. Not much new, just simple well-crafted early 70's rock. I would only spare the track Before Tomorrow, an instrumental with a nice Hammond work dueting with Graham's guitar in the typical jamming style. The singing in the album is a bit too much of the epoch, a style that has not grown well with the years, although it hit the streets back then.
 BBC Radio 1 in Concert by ATOMIC ROOSTER album cover Live, 1993
3.88 | 10 ratings

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BBC Radio 1 in Concert
Atomic Rooster Heavy Prog

Review by ALotOfBottle
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Being a big Atomic Rooster fan, I was naturally very excited to find out about this album. BBC Radio 1 in Concert perfectly presents the live energy that the band had. With a new guitarist, Steve Bolton, and a new vocalist, Chirs Farlowe (previously of Colosseum), Atomic Rooster were ready to conquer new territories. This is actually my favorite period of the band's career - just after In Hearing Of Atomic Rooster, but with Chris Farlowe onboard. Most of the material comes from the previously mentioned album, but one or two songs are from their proto-metal album, Death Walks Behind You. A really great album and highly recommended for any fan of heavy prog! However, if you would wish to get a real feel for Atomic Rooster's live performance, I would recommend their Beat Club recordings from the same year.
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