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H.P. LOVECRAFT

Proto-Prog • United States


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H.P. Lovecraft picture
H.P. Lovecraft biography
Often considered as folk rock this Chicago-origined group is most surely one of the prime examples of intelligent and adventurous psychedelic rock (as opposed to the more conventional Garage rock groups discussed in the Nuggets box-sets compilations) and shows that late 60's in new world were also a fertile ground for progressive psych rock. Comparable groups of the era would be JEFFERSON AIRPLANE, SPIRIT and LOVE.

Folkie guitarist-singer George Edwards had recorded a few folk tracks, before playing with jazzman Will Mercier, where Edwards met KB man Dave Michaels, before heading back to his next solo single which will become the first HP LOVECRAFT recording - they took the name from their collective love of the writer's oeuvre to which they asked his estate for permission to use the name. Guitarist Cavalleri, bassist McGeorge and drummer Tegsa completed the line-up. Their first album is a mostly-covers (albeit completely rearranged) album that can be compared to a much more subtle VANILLA FUDGE album.

They relocated to the San Francisco region following a few high-profile shows at the Fillmore West opening for PROCOL HARUM, DONOVAN, PINK FLOYD, TRAFFIC as well as all the local San Fran Flower Power groups and were on the brink of wide success. Around this time HP Lovecraft was at its peak touring almost constantly and a stupendous show was recoded on May 11, 1968, (but not released before 91), showing just how great and progressive they were.

Their second album had everything to achieve that goal (including a change of bassist) but they seemed to lack confidence in their own songwriting skills (it is formidably underrated) and again concentrated on covers. The album is incredibly strong and still nowadays quite impressive. However, just after its release, KB man Michaels will leave (exhaustion and loos of musical direction) prompting the group to implode soon after, causing the label to pull its promotional effort.

They tried to reform early 70, but failed (even as they had found anew record deal), but this effort prompted a group with no link to the original line-up (except for drummer Tegza) to record an album as LOVECRAFT (but bearing no resemblance to the first album) and a second album in 75, this time a funky affair. Most of the original members still dabble in music nowadays, around the Chicago area with Edwards and Michaels still playing together in folk circuits.

: : : Hugues Chantraine, BELGIUM : : :

H.P. Lovecraft official website

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Live: May 11 1968Live: May 11 1968
Import
Diablo Records UK 2000
Audio CD$42.98
$37.99 (used)
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H.P. LOVECRAFT discography


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

H.P. LOVECRAFT top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.33 | 46 ratings
H.P. Lovecraft
1967
3.94 | 43 ratings
H.P. Lovecraft II
1968
2.63 | 8 ratings
Valley Of The Moon [as Lovecraft]
1970
2.00 | 5 ratings
We Love You Whoever You Are [as Lovecraft]
1975

H.P. LOVECRAFT Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.75 | 12 ratings
Live May 11, 1968
1991

H.P. LOVECRAFT Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

H.P. LOVECRAFT Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 2 ratings
At The Mountains Of Madness
1988
3.38 | 8 ratings
Lovecraft / H.P. Lovecraft II
1997
4.68 | 6 ratings
Dreams In The Witch House: The Complete Philips Recordings
2005

H.P. LOVECRAFT Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

H.P. LOVECRAFT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 H.P. Lovecraft by H.P. LOVECRAFT album cover Studio Album, 1967
3.33 | 46 ratings

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H.P. Lovecraft
H.P. Lovecraft Proto-Prog

Review by Progfan97402

4 stars I've been aware of H.P. Lovecraft since 1995, ever since I bought a copy of the Goldmine Price Guide to Collectible Record Albums (1994 edition) (too bad the book fell apart since). Ironically I knew this group before I knew the horror author/poet the band took their name from. This book obviously focused on American pressings only, so don't expect to find entries for Museo Rosenbach or Il Balletto di Bronzo, for example (if you want to see such, check Hans Pokora's Record Collector Dreams series of books). Everything from well known acts like the Beatles, Stones, Dylan and Elvis, to hyper rare and expensive like the New Tweedy Brothers. Groups like the Ultimate Spinach and H.P. Lovecraft are included. They gave a list of two prices, what each title was worth, near mint, and in good condition, in 1994 (some have really shot through the roof since then, others have stayed much the same). It's only recent that I finally acquired the first two H.P. Lovecraft LPs. Never regretted my purchases, although I realize later versions of the band (as Lovecraft and Love Craft) with only drummer Michael Tegza in common, are apparently to be avoided. Without a doubt their second album, H.P. Lovecraft II is clearly the best album. On their debut it's obvious their origins as a folk rock group, as they take on "Motherless Child" (they also took on "High Flying Bird" on their second album that Judy Henske is most famous for). Think of the debut as a bit in the league of Jefferson Airplane Takes Off, more folk rock, less psych, although the psychedelic elements are still there, this album was released in the fall of 1967, after Sgt. Pepper. How many version of Dino Valienti's (Chet Powers) "Let's Get Together" exist? H.P. Lovecraft did a version. The Airplane did one on Takes Off, and most notably the Youngbloods, who had the biggest hit with their version of it. The Kingston Trio recorded the earliest version of it in 1964. "I've Been Wrong Before" shows a bit of a Byrds influence, while "That's the Bag I'm In" reeks "'60s groovy", right down to the dated lingo. I really get a kick off this song. Despite I was born in 1972, I never related to the Gen-X lingo, never mind the current Millenial, although I always refrained from using the word "groovy" for the reason of embarrassment. "The White Ship" seems to be most liked, there's a bolero beat, almost as if the band had "White Rabbit" in mind and tried a similar approach. I'll be up front, and I'm not alone on this: "Time Machine" was a mistake. What's up with all this ragtime and vaudeville? There's one short organ break that I really like because, but that's it. Luckily I really love the lounge jazz of "That's How Much I Love You, Baby". The last piece is them doing a Gregorian chant. To me, with the exception of "Time Machine", this is a very good album, but I always felt their next one is better, but you still want their debut because it's still worth getting.
 Lovecraft / H.P. Lovecraft II  by H.P. LOVECRAFT album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1997
3.38 | 8 ratings

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Lovecraft / H.P. Lovecraft II
H.P. Lovecraft Proto-Prog

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams

3 stars When I was young I had a poster. It was the poster of a concert of Pink Floyd, Captain Beefheart and H.P. Lovecraft. Being a fan of the writer I've always been curious about this band, too early for me to hear them on vinyl, so about two years ago I have found this compilation as nice price in a supermarket (incredible, isn't it?) and this is still all I have of this band.

I was expecting something more "horrorific" than this early psychedelia, but I like psych so I'm not disappointed at all. In terms of horrorific music, I think that Arzachel's Azatoth and mainly Shub Niggurath's "Yog Sototh" are more in line with the novels and the characters of the Providence's night owl.

The presence of a brass section is the link to the American R&B of the 60s. "Wayfaring Stranger" is enough to understand where we are. This song has an early psychedelic flavor deeply dated in its time and a bit of Grateful Dead influence.

I''ve been surprised by "Let's Get Together" because it's a song I already knew without knowing who the author was. The flute was an unusual instrument but it's not used in a very "progressive" way as Moody Blues started doing followed by Jethro Tull.

"I've Been Wrong Before" is the first song which deserves the attribute of proto-prog. It's possible that Roger Waters has been influenced by this song for Julia Dream. Or possibly it's just the flute which is very similar.

The following song "The Drifter" it's a typical west coast psych song with the brasses adding a touch of R&B. The bass line and the keyboard, however are remarkable. The first reminds to Pink Floyd again: a line that seems taken from a spy movie like on Lucifer Sam and a keyboard with a vibrato which sounds like Rick Wright on The Piper.

"That's The Bag I'm in" is a psych song less than two minutes long. Not bad.

"The White Ship" is another highlight. When a band of this kind writes a song longer than 3 minutes, and this scores above six, they have surely something interesting to put into it. Basing on this track only we may think to a full prog category. It's a song that could stay on the Renaissance's debut album. Between Yardbirds and prog folk with the keyboard playing a bolero tempo like the "It's A beautiful Day" on "Salaam Bombay".

"Country Boy and Bleeker Street" has a bit of funk and a very good guitar plus a very acid keyboard. Nice song between Jerry Garcia and the Doobie Brothers.

"The Time Machine" is a kind of a joke. A piano ragtime with the voice filtered by a megaphone which becomes a swing in New Orleans style. Arlo Guthrie was a master with this kind of things.

Another full prog song: "That's How Much I Love You Baby". A jazzy thing full of blues on which the band plays an excellent vocal performance. The guitar is as clean as a jazz guitar should be.

A short "gregorian chant" for 30 seconds, then "Spin Spin Spin". This is another song which would deserve a full prog category: prog folk. If anybody knows the very unfortunate band "Chimera", this song reminds to me the excellent works of Lisa Bankoff and Francesca Garnett but also Linda Perhacs. A pity the piano coda faded out.

"It's About Time" is another (relatively) long song of over 5 minutes. An acid song with semi- operatic vocals. I mean that it could stay in a musical soundtrack, I think to Hair. However it has the first very "psychedelic as we know it" instrumental part. In case Pink Floyd will decide to reunite, this Dave Michaels could be a perfect replacement for our beloved Rick Wright.

"Blue Jack Of Diamonds" is another excellent acid folk song. This second album is surely of more interest for proggers. Also the following "Electrollentando" deserves a mention. Somebody can call me mad, but this sounds quite Krautrock to me.

The first real reference to the writer to whom the band is inspired comes with "At The Mountains of Madness" that's also the title of one of the HPL novels. Effectively the high pitched organ and the discordant sounds give the idea. Loops, reversed tapes, this song is not at the level of the Arzachel's Azatoth but is good enough.

"Moebius Trip" is another good early psych song made of acoustic guitar and choir supported by a piano. Son of its times.

"High Flying Bird" has a different instrumentation but looks like the follow-up to the previous song. I'm imagining how Chappo Chapman's voice could have sounded with this band. They are not much far from Family in this second album of the compilation.

45 seconds of psych in Hawkwind style: a bass voice repeats zero while a narrator speaks about "Nothing's Boy".

"Keeper Of The Keys" is another title referring to HPL (the writer) and the song reminds to the Family more than anything else on this compilation.

Two bonus tracks complete the compilation: "Anyway That You Want Me" and "It's All Over For You". Listening to those two songs I have the impression that they may have been a single published before the two albums. The first is a song of a kind the 60s were full of. The second could be early Rolling Stones or the Animals (in particular their cover of Bob Dylan's "It's all over now Baby Blue").

Some songs are very good, but even with some songs which could seem seminal I think this compilation fits well in the "good but non essential" definition, but if you like the genre it's an album which can deserve some bucks with no regrets. I have personally enjoyed it a lot.

 Live May 11, 1968 by H.P. LOVECRAFT album cover Live, 1991
3.75 | 12 ratings

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Live May 11, 1968
H.P. Lovecraft Proto-Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Named after the famed horror author, H. P. Lovecraft were an overlooked outfit hailing from the outskirts of Chicago who produced a couple of affable cosmic pop albums during the late-sixties without garnering to much commercial-or-critical success. This live revue from 1968 finds the group reeling off what is to all extents and purposes a greatest hits set, recorded at that bastion of West Coast rock, San Francisco's legendary Fillmore West. And what a set it is. Kicking off with a powerful, ten-minute version of the folk-inspired piece 'Wayfaring Stranger', this live release thankfully captures H. P Lovecraft at their very best. It also showcases the group at their mos adventurous, with many of the tracks taken from their first two albums extended and augmented by a battery of trippy effects, glistening keyboards and gloriously harmonised vocals. In essence, this album is probably the closest many people will ever come to experiencing a full-blown gig from the 1960's counter- culture's peak, with H. P. Lovecraft plotting a much more psychedelic rock course than is evident on their softer-sounding studio efforts. Apart from the awesome - and very trippy - 'Wayfaring Stranger', other highlights include the group's spooky signature tune 'The White Ship', which is also given a muscular re-working, whilst the funk-clipped 'The Bag I'm In' positively drips with hip-shaking menace. With the double-tracked vocals of co-lead singers David Michaels and George Edwards and the ethereal, shimmering keyboards - also by Michaels - creating a highly atmospheric vibe, 'Live 1968' must surely rank as the finest evocation yet of this criminally-ignored group, showcasing both their deft songwriting touch and genuine instrumental talents to, at times, scintillating effect. A highly-impressive release, fans of all things cosmic should definitely seek this out.

STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012

 H.P. Lovecraft by H.P. LOVECRAFT album cover Studio Album, 1967
3.33 | 46 ratings

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H.P. Lovecraft
H.P. Lovecraft Proto-Prog

Review by Prog Sothoth
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars H.P. Lovecraft: The man, the myth, the legend, the psychedelic rock band. As a first album in 1967, the band was immediately ambitious with their approach with its vast array of styles and instruments. The production was quite good for its time as well, and the musicians were tight in their playing; there's really not a sloppy moment to be found here. As a band though, going for a mellower approach to the psychedelic scene that was in full swing resulted in them not being so well remembered years later. As excellent as the band was performance-wise, they hardly showed off their skills with solos & such, thus I would have to say that their defining aspect would have to be their vocal harmonies, which ring similar to bands like Jefferson Airplane and even The Moody Blues. These guys can sing!

This debut has a fair share of covers, with the most familiar being hippie anthem Let's Get Together, which actually isn't so bad at all. A little strange though, almost like a mash up of the original song and the theme from "Friends", but not as horrifying as that description might imply. Some of these songs are catchier than others, and some of the songs are just oddball, especially towards the end of the album, when the band really starts bouncing around stylistically. You have a silly ragtime song with an even sillier 'acid trip' moment tossed into the middle of it, plus there's the Dean Martin on acid lounge of That's How Much I Love You, Baby..., and the last track is like some brief (but well done) Gregorian chant, which probably wasn't heard all that often in the rock scene back in 1967. But overall, there's nothing really captivating about this album to make it memorable or stick out in any way from the slew of other bands releases during that era...

Except for one thing...The White Ship. Pretty much the album's centerpiece and the longest track, this song is flat out greatness. Personally, I find it no surprise that the standout track by a band called H.P. Lovecraft would be the only song on the album that is based on the author's work, but regardless, this song is fantastic. Starting off with some chimes and a slow trippy pace, The White Ship possesses some stellar vocal work, Richard Wright style keyboards and some overall beautiful and haunting atmospheric passages. It's some great space rock (not proto-anything really) and if the band released a few more songs with that level of inspiration, they might have left a much better remembered legacy. Maybe more Lovecraft inspired tunes...a colour out of space, a whisperer in darkness, hanging out with an Innsmouth chick, anything related to the dude might have helped (they did go for the Mountains of Madness on their next effort), but at least we got The White Ship.

 Lovecraft / H.P. Lovecraft II  by H.P. LOVECRAFT album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1997
3.38 | 8 ratings

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Lovecraft / H.P. Lovecraft II
H.P. Lovecraft Proto-Prog

Review by thellama73
Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

3 stars When most people think about psychedelic rock from the sixties, it's a pretty good bet that H. P. Lovecraft is not one of the first names they come up with. Despite having a relatively successful couple of years, and two pretty solid albums, the band has largely been forgotten in the annals of rock history. That's a shame because, although their records don't exactly qualify as lost masterpieces, there is a lot to enjoy in their music. Luckily, those of us who wish to seek it out, can pick up this two-fer (can you tell I like these?) containing both of their studio records and a couple of singles.

The style of the band is basically psychedelic folk, but with a more complex instrumental palette than other similar groups. Rather than the standard folk dominated by acoustic guitars, H. P. Lovecraft employ many orchestral instruments as well as organ, piano and harpsichord. The sound is, however, not nearly so dark as their name implies. In fact many of the songs are (unfortunately) rather standard interpretations of popular folk songs. I find these a bit tedious, and the insipid peace-and-love lyrics of these hippies drives me nuts, but that's not the whole story.

Where the band really shine is on their original compositions, most notably the six and a half minute "The White Ship." The atmosphere of this track is one of mystical gloom, with french horns and ships bells droning on somberly. It's a really nice mood piece and the vocal harmonies are quite lovely. There's also an a capella rendition of the Gloria Patria prayer at the ned of the album which is pretty cool. Finally, the faux-twenties pastiche "Time Machine" is usually derided, but I find it quite fun, although strangely out of place on the record.

Thankfully, the second album shows the band in a more adventurous mood. After wading through a bit of folk nonsense at the beginning, we are treated to some real psychedelia. "Ellectrolentando," "At The Mountains of Madness," and "Mobius Trip" deliver a three-in-a-row punch of trippy atmospherics and gloomy dirges. There's also a forty second sound collage/recitation called "Nothing's Boy" that reminds me a lot of "In The Beginning" from the Moody Blues' "On The Threshold of a Dream." Actually, this group could be compared to the Moodies in a lot of ways, now that I think of it.

Folk is not a style of music that it is very easy for me to enjoy, and I find a lot of it dated and silly. Nevertheless, H. P. Lovecraft's expansion of the genre with inventive arrangements and progressive song structures is worth hearing, whether you are a fan of the genre or simply interested in the history of Psychedelia and Progressive rock.

 H.P. Lovecraft by H.P. LOVECRAFT album cover Studio Album, 1967
3.33 | 46 ratings

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H.P. Lovecraft
H.P. Lovecraft Proto-Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

3 stars So, you're standing in a smoky hall in San-Francisco - probably the Fillmore West or some other notable venue - surrounded by a sea of counterculture kids donning tie-dye t-shirts who can be seen regularly ejecting plumes of blue smoke from their young mouths. Then, as the lights dim, you realise that the music is about to start. The stage lights turn down, the band enter the stage, the crowd cheer, the psychotropic drugs start to kick in and the music starts. Or so it would have seemed in 1969. San Francisco-based HP Lovecraft are one of a clutch of groups who, for some, seem to some up the West coast psychedelic sound that engulfed America and beyond in the late sixties. Though not as well known as some of their luminaries, the band still exhibited an experimental-pop sound that could only have been a product of this unique time. The likes of Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead, The Doors, Jefferson Airplance, Vanilla Fudge and Iron Butterfly espoused this new, free-thinking rock movement, filling the airwaves with blissful rock, bluesy rhythms, experimental madness and left-wing political ideology, thus giving birth to the new ideals that seem popular and mundane in our new, digital 21st century age. Never again will music as beautiful and as original as this be produced again, which is a terrible indictment on our modern society. That is not to say good music does not exist these days because it does, in abundance. It's just the creative freedom of yesterday has been replaced by the slavish commercial needs of both the record companies and the masses who purchase their products. HP Lovecraft came from a simpler time, a time when bands were mush more than commodoties; they were artists in their own write and their art defined a generation. 'HP Lovecraft 1' is a true example of this magical time and it's quality has lasted throughout the ages in the great songs that frequent it's track-listing, such as the ominous blues of 'Wayfaring Stranger' the ethereal and mysterious 'The White Ships', making up a dazzling 1960's album that is one of the many jewels in the psychdelic rock crown. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
 H.P. Lovecraft by H.P. LOVECRAFT album cover Studio Album, 1967
3.33 | 46 ratings

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H.P. Lovecraft
H.P. Lovecraft Proto-Prog

Review by ghost_of_morphy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars There is a tendency for us reviewers to class anything and everything that we like as prog. Obviously, we are prog fans. Anything we love must be prog as well.

I'm here to tell you it just ain't so, but H. P. Lovecraft's debut is still a stunning album.

Most of this album is fantastically atmospheric psychedelic music with some folk roots. I suppose one could compare it with early Pink Floyd (with a dash of The Pentangle thrown in), but it's got a much more consistent sound. Excellent production, great compositions punched up with some nice (but not overstated) arrangements, and some EXTREMELY tight playing by these talented musicians makes this a gem. When I say consistent sound, I mean a CONSISTENT sound. Listening to Let's Get Together is an experience. These guys cover a standard and transform it in to a composition of their own in a way that has rarely been done. We are talking a cover as epic as Yes's version of America here, and way beyond anything Vanilla Fudge did with covers.

Anyhow, if you have even the faintest liking of the psychedelic sound, you will love this. The music isn't that complex, but it is impeccably played. These guys have chops! My own personal favorite is I've Been Wrong Before, but I may just be projecting my personal life into the music. Still the accuracy of the musicians blows me away on that track, as well as the others.

Four stars. If you are looking for prog, this isn't it. If you are looking for something that has some faint affinity with the roots of prog, you'll love it.

 H.P. Lovecraft by H.P. LOVECRAFT album cover Studio Album, 1967
3.33 | 46 ratings

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H.P. Lovecraft
H.P. Lovecraft Proto-Prog

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Specialist

2 stars I can't understand why H. P. LOVECRAFT is catalogued as Proto Prog, IMHO the band never really came near to Progressive Rock, they were one of the most outstanding and iconic Psychedelic bands with hints of the British Invasion, so I believe they should be in Psyche/Space Rock, but this is a matter of opinions.

Their self titled debut starts with Wayfaring Stranger, a typical product of early Psychedelia, the vocal work is privileged over the jamming and trippy solos, and this is more evident in Let's Get Together, closer to HERMAN HERMITS than to any real Proto Prog band as PROCOL HARUM or to ARTHUR BROWN, solid sound, coherent melody and nice vocals but little exploration.

I've Been Wrong Before is an advance, even when there is a clear Country element,. the keyboards begin to get up with the music of the late 60's, reminds me a bit of Rick Wright's style but with some Country Troubadour in the vocals, interesting song with a terrible ending.

In Drifter, the band continues with the same formula, late British Invasion with early Psyche elements, this proves that they were not as advanced as people tend to believe, I think Dave Michaels would had done a better work on another band, this guys seemed too attached to the past and not ready to embrace the radical changes of their era.

The same comment goes for hat's the bag I'm Inand I White Ship, musically impeccable but nothing new, as a fact I believe they were years behind their peers, but on the other hand Country Boy and Bleeker Street is a very pleasant surprise, H. P. LOVECRAFT start to be really explorative, now not only the trippy organ but also the aggressive guitar a la Hendrix make us notice this guys had the ability to be part of the Psychedelic Experimental scenario, a great leap for them.

My initial impression of The Time Machine was of disappointment, if ELP included this vaudeville tracks consider fillers, but they had enough strong material to balance the album, something I honestly can't find in H. P. LOVECRAFT, but around the minute, there is a short but radical change, an obscure organ with some interesting vocals add a special interest to the track, sadly too short and soon they return to the boring filler, but at least they proved they were able to make some weird experiments.

I can just describe That's How Much I Love You, Baby (More or Less) as boring, predictable and years behind what they should be doing, the vocal work reminds me of backup singers for crooners, had to press the skip button to maintain my mental sanity. The album is closed with Gloria Patria a short Gregorian style track sung in Latin, I don't know if this 31 seconds will satisfy anybody, but they were doing something unexpected and imaginative and that's a great advance.

Until a few weeks ago I had a not so good impression of this band, but I kept saying that I required to listen their debut album to have a valid opinion, well I have done it repeatedly during the last month and I'm absolutely unimpressed, a good band, skilled musicians but who didn't dared to be different or to give the extra step required to be great.

Never before rating an album had been so hard, the guys of H. P. LOVECRAFT are very skilled and have a good sense of melody, but their music leaves me cold, they take almost no risks and the final product is disappointing, no inspiration, no passionate solos or brilliant jamming sessions, just good Rock, Country and early but conservative Psyche, good for 1964 maybe but not for 1967, so I can't go with more than 2 stars that could be 2.5 in the best scenario.

 Lovecraft / H.P. Lovecraft II  by H.P. LOVECRAFT album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1997
3.38 | 8 ratings

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Lovecraft / H.P. Lovecraft II
H.P. Lovecraft Proto-Prog

Review by Chris H
Prog Reviewer

4 stars A great revival to psychedelia's past!

This was a very historic release, as it provided a much sought after option to hear some of the best psychedelic music to come out of the sixties. Ever since the individual albums "H.P. Lovecraft" and "H.P. Lovecraft II" went out of print and became tough to find, people seeking the true psych-folk experience of the late sixties missed these two groundbreaking releases. Now, thanks to Britonic, 1997 saw the re-release of the first two albums released by this amazing band. This is a very easy compilation to obtain, much easier than trying to track down the two original albums somewhere n the internet. Also, with the inclusion of two bonus tracks from the recording session, this becomes an essential package for anybody seeking the natural sounds of the sixties.

4 stars, undoubtedly a great addition to any collection, progressive or not!

 H.P. Lovecraft by H.P. LOVECRAFT album cover Studio Album, 1967
3.33 | 46 ratings

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H.P. Lovecraft
H.P. Lovecraft Proto-Prog

Review by Heptade
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I'm much less impressed with this album than I'd like to be. The crux of the issue is that HP Lovecraft were legendary for having an eerie, mystical sound...honestly, I don't hear it. What we have is a bunch of fairly well- done folk-rock/early psych covers and a couple of originals. There nothing particularly psychedelic about songs by Fred Neil, a rootsy folk, or Let's Get Together, a song that was already cliched in the late 60s. The album has a nice, reverby sound like most early psych albums, which I do enjoy, but the material is mostly anything but surreal. There is a very good Jefferson Airplanish vocal blend between the two lead vocalists...in fact, Surrealistic Pillow or Jefferson Airplane Takes Off are excellent points of reference for this album. It's particularly frustrating for me, because only on the track "White Ship" do I find the band's reputation to be justified. This song has all the surreal, ominous atmosphere that I was led to expect by reading numerous reviews of the band's work. I wish they had pursued more of this and less unfocussed experiments like the lounge jazz of "That's How Much I Love you Baby" or the old timey "Time Machine". A decent psych album with an overblown reputation that doesn't really conjure the atmosphere of HP Lovecraft, the author, at all.
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