Atomic Rooster -
The Lost Broadcasts

(DVD 2011, 70 min, Gonzo Multimedia HSTO71DVD)

The tracks:
  1- Save Me (4 Aug 1970)
  2- Sleeping For Years (4 Aug 1970)
  3- VUG (4 Aug 1970)
  4- Tomorrow Night (22nd Feb 1971)
  5- Breakthrough (extra camera)(17 Feb 1972)
  6- Breakthrough (23 Feb 1972)
  7- Black Snake (extra camera) (17 Feb 1972)
  8- Black Snake (17 Feb 1972)
  9- Breakthrough (22 Feb 1971)

Gonzo Multimedia

It's always nice to see old images of bands that had something to say in the sixties and seventies, the early days of progressive rock music. Therefore I warmly welcomed the DVD-series The Lost Broadcasts. The performances shot by a German television channel mostly deliver a fine view of how a number of bands sounded live compared to their studio recordings. One of these bands is the British progressive rock band Atomic Rooster that consisted of former members of The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown. Throughout their history keyboardist Vincent Crane has been the only constant member who wrote the majority of the material. The history of the band can be divided into two periods: the early seventies and the early eighties. The band's sound is strongly related to the music of Keith Emerson and The Nice. However, unlike The Nice the guitar parts with Atomic Rooster were just as important as the organ parts. The band made a name with the two hit singles Tomorrow Night and The Devil's Answer. It's maybe worth mentioning that drummer Carl Palmer, from ELP and Asia-fame, was once a band member in the early days.

The seventy minutes of footage on this release were filmed during a number of sessions in the early seventies. The first one was shot in August 1970 and includes three tracks: Save Me, Sleeping For Years and VUG. In February 1971 the second session took place featuring Tomorrow Night and Can't Take No More. Just before the 1972 session lead singer Chris Farlowe and drummer Rick Parnell had joined the band. These images were shot in February 1972 and include different versions of the songs Black Snake and Breakthrough. Two takes of Black Snake and three of Breakthrough made it to this DVD. The different camera angles and back projections made it worthwhile to include several versions of these tracks. On the first one you can see how both the guitarist and the organist play their parts. However, on the second one you mainly see Vincent Crane play on his organ which is of course very attractive for people who are fond of keyboards! Unfortunately, Atomic Rooster definitely broke up in 1983 and a reunion is out of the question since Crane died of an overdose of painkillers in 1989 at the age of 45.

This release is a welcome addition to my DVD-collection of old footage from the days progressive rock has been invented.

*** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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