Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Ross - The Pit And The Pendulum (1974 uk, fine classic rock with prog shades, 2019 remaster)

Ross second and last album ‘The Pit And The Pendulum’ (despite what is written on the OBI strip of this Korean edition), was a concept album based on Edgar Allan Poe’s lovely tale of torture during the Spanish inquisition. This album isn’t as scary as the Poe novel except for the back cover photo when we see the band dressed as monks. The album is progressive UK rock ala Paladin and Rare Earth with R&B elements. Bob Jacksons keyboard work is a delight, particularly on the haunting ‘Standing Alone’ and moments of nicely executed hard prog brilliance on side twos stunner ‘Discovery’ which features Jackson on lead vocals. 

Alan Ross gives us the heavy instrumental 2 minute track ‘The Edge’. This is probably one of the best tracks Ross ever recorded so it’s a shame the band never got the chance to record a third album. After the release of the album the band did an appearance on ‘Don Kirchners Rock Concert’ and went out as support act on a high profile tour with another RSO artist namely Eric Clapton. Things looked bright for the band but then mid-tours Bon Jackson left and leaving an untimely end to the band. Jackson would later show up in Badfinger while Alan Ross would show up on Stars self titled album in 1976 before releasing 2 albums in 1977 and 1978 on Ebony records under the name Alan Ross Band. 

Ross has never been given deserved kudos from critics or the prog community at large which is a shame. Edgar Alan Poes novels and even old AIP movies made out of his stories have always been an interest of mine so I still give this album a spin every now and then. It’s a very well done concept album with a solid musicianship and some really nice tunes, of course there are a few fillers like most album, but overall a pleasure to listen to. 
TPL Recs
1. Swallow Your Dreams - 4:22
2. Gotta Get It Right Back - 4:13
3. Madness In Memories - 5:25
4. Standing Alone - 4:05
5. Discovery (Bob Jackson) - 4:38
6. Now I See - 4:10
7. So Slow - 3:58
8. The Edge - 2:04
9. Nearer And Nearer - 3:58
10.Free - 0:59
11.I've Been Waiting - 5:41
12.Oh I'm Happy Now (Alan Ross, Edgar Allan Poe) - 2:13
All songs by Alan Ross

*Alan Ross - Guitars, Lead Vocals
*Steve Emery - Bass, Background Vocals
*Bob Jackson - Keyboards, ARP Synthesizer, Backround Vocals, Lead Vocals (Track 5)
*Tony Fernandes - Drums
*Reuben White - Percussion
*Jack Nitzsche - String Orchestration