Saturday, January 6, 2018

Scorpion - Scorpion (1969 us, awesome funky blues psych rock, Vinyl issue)

Self-produced, 1969's "Scorpion" stands as a surprisingly enjoyable addition to the small cadre of multi-racial bands willing to take a stab at cultivating a mix of hard rock and soul audience (think Black Merda, Hendrix, Purple Image). With a line up consisting of singer Mike Campbell, bassist Bob Babbitt Kreinar, guitarist Ray Monette and drummer Andrew Smith the band certainly wasn't lacking in the talent department.

By the time they released their debut album Kreinar and Monette had already made names for themselves as part of Motown's famed clique of sessions players.  While the album's been wildly  billed as psychedelic rock, showcasing nine group-penned compositions the set's actually far more diverse. 

Propelled by Campbell's likeably gruff voice and Kreinar's nifty bass, tracks such as 'Running from Myself' (with it's goofy jungle intro), 'Wildflower' and 'Happy Blues Time' reflected a distinctive Hendrix fixation, while 'Great Day' showcased a clear Motown influence. Highlights include the earnest 'Make Love Not War' (far better than the obvious title would have you expect) and the atypical progressive number 'Take a Look At Yourself'.   (The Roy Steyskal cover also stands as one of my favorites.)
1. Running From My Self - 4:27
2. Make Love Not War - 3:57
3. Great Day - 3:32
4. Standing In My Mind - 4:08
5. Wildflower - 3:48
6. Take A Look At Yourself - 6:06
7. Happy Blues Time - 4:29
8. Touched By And Angel - 4:49
9. Please Make My Mind Right - 4:59
All songs by Bob Kreinar, Mike Campbell, Ray Monette, Andrew Smith

The Scorpion
*Mike Campbell (aka Michael Champion) - Vocals
*Bob Babbitt Kreinar - Bass
*Ray Monette - Guitar
*Andrew Smith - Drums

Related Act
1969-74  Fill Your Head (three cds box set, five studio albums plus outtakes and alternative versions)
1971  One World  (2015 audiophile remaster)
1971  Rare Earth - In Concert (2017 audiophile remaster)
1974  Live In Chicago (2014 audiophile remaster)

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