Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Bang - Bullets, The First Four Albums (1971-73 us, sensational heavy rock with prog shades, 2010 four discs box set)

Getting their first significant break, by gate crashing a Small Faces show in Orlando in 1971, Philadelphia-born Bang are often cited as being the closest band America had to Black Sabbath in the early 70’s, though there is much more to Bang than being mere copyists. This can finally be witnessed here on this deluxe re-mastered CD set, which encapsulates all of the bands recorded output from their ‘Capitol Records Period’, which spanned from 1971-1974.

Also included in here is the previously unreleased, debut album ‘Death of a Country’, which was initially rejected by Capitol, as being a ‘heavy concept album’ they thought no one would understand.

Highly regarded as a cult act by many for years, it’s now time for this truly amazing rock band to be enjoyed by a new audience. As can be heard over this four CD set, the versatility and songwriting skills of Bang were second to none. Starting with the darkly psychedelic prog-tinged vibes of their aforementioned unreleased debut, they soon became major contenders in the hard rock stakes with the release of their debut self-titled album in 1971, which has since gone to be considered an important forerunner to the early Doom Metal genre.

This was followed by the monumental ‘Mother/Bow To The King‘ album in 1972 which, quite frankly, should have exploded. Changes in personnel at their record company offices and an externally forced line-up change led to frustration and bewilderment, before releasing their swansong 1973 album Music. It is on this album that we see a mature songwriting partnership moving away from the all out heaviness of their earlier work, into reflective, yet uplifting almost Powerpop mode.

Also included here are the so-called ‘lost singles‘, which were the last attempts at commercial success, prior to the band folding for many years, before reforming in the early 90’s. There is a point to be made that these three tracks are some of the best material the band ever wrote, with ‘Slow Down‘ being a return to the heavier times with a main riff to die for, whilst ‘Make Me Pretty‘ is a fantastic powerpop ballad ahead of it’s time.

Bullets consists of a deluxe box containing four individual LP replica CD’s in mini gatefold sleeves, with an extensive 40 page booklet, detailing the bands unique story, with many unseen photo’s and an exclusive free sticker.
Disc 1 - Death of a Country Originally Recorded 1971 (Unreleased at the time)
1. Death of a Country - 10:07
2. No Trespassing - 5:10
3. My Window - 4:46
4. Life on Ending - 4:13
5. Certainly Meaningless - 3:32
6. Future Song - 3:59
All songs by Frank Ferrara, Frank Gilcken, Tony Diorio
Disc 2 - Bang Self-Titled. Originally released 1971
1. Lions, Christians - 4:00
2. The Queen - 5:24
3. Last Will and Testament - 4:10
4. Come With Me - 4:20
5. Our Home - 3:27
6. Future Shock - 4:41
7. Questions - 3:48
8. Redman - 4:54
All songs by Frank Ferrara, Frank Gilcken, Tony Diorio
Disc 3 - Mother/Bow to the King. Originally released 1972
1. Mother - 4:25
2. Humble - 4:43
3. Keep On - 3:39
4. Idealist Realist - 4:30
5. No Sugar Tonight (Randy Bachman) - 2:39
6. Feel The Hurt - 5:18
7. Tomorrow - 3:04
8. Bow To The King - 5:39
All songs by Frank Ferrara, Frank Gilcken, Tony Diorio except where noted
Disc 4 - Music. Originally released 1973 with Bonus material
1. Windfare 3:09
2. Glad you’re Home - 3:08
3. Don’t need Nobody - 3:04
4. Page of my Life - 2:28
5. Love Sonnet - 3:14
6. Must be love - 2:54
7. Exactly Who I am - 3:39
8. Pearl and Her Ladies - 3:03
9. Little Boy Blue - 4:19
10.Brightness - 2:53
11.Another Town - 0:49
12.Slow Down - 2:39
13.Feels Nice - 2:59
14.Make me Pretty - 4:14
15.Radio Interview - 32:36
Bonus tracks 12-14 The Lost Singles
All songs by Frank Ferrara, Frank Gilcken, Tony Diorio

The Bang
*Frank Ferrara - Vocals, Bass
*Frank Gilcken - Guitars, Harmony Vocals
*Tony Diorio - Drums (Discs 1, 2)
*Jeffrey Cheen - Drums (Disc 3)
*Bruce Gary - Drums (Discs 3, 4)
*Duris Maxwell - Drums (Disc 3)
*Clydie King - Vocals (Disc 3)
*Sherlie Matthews - Vocals (Disc 3)
*Venetta Fields - Vocals (Disc 3)
*Donny Gerrard - Vocals (Disc 3)
*Pete Sears - Piano (Disc 4)

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