Atomic Rooster Reviews

Also see: Arthur Brown

From: Mark Fonda
I recently got Atomic Rooster's 'In Satan's Name: The Definitive Collection' which is a 2CD retrospective covering all their albums including Atomic Rooster (1970), Death Walks Behind You (1970), Devil's Answer (1971), In Hearing Of... (1971), Made In England (1972) and Nice 'N Greasy (1973). 28 tracks total. It is freshly remastered and is excellent sound quality.  It has an interesting set of liner notes giving the history of the band. Did you know that their keyboardist, (the late) Vincent Crane's real name was Vincent Cheeseman? ...he made his debut at the Marquee Club in London in 1965 billed as 'the loudest piano player in the world'... the band was called The Vincent Crane Combo. Arthur Brown was still an unknown and he convinced Crane to let him sing for them and the resulting group evolved into "The Crazy World of Arthur Brown"... which featured Brown's pyrotechnic/psychedelic antics where he put a specially made colander covered with candles on his head and 'set himself a fire' for the shows... and that was just the beginning... pretty wild stuff!! Crane got fed up with the circus atmosphere after a while and he formed Atomic Rooster along with Carl Palmer on drums in late 1969... and the rest is history.

From: "Mark Fonda" <>
Talk about shredding a Hammond, the late Vincent Crane of Atomic Rooster was perhaps the best ever!!  "Death Walks Behind You" (1970) is a true classic. Crane's crunching organ complimented by Carl Palmer's drums and Nick Graham's guitar & flute delivered a hard hitting, ominous, bleek style which to some seems bluesy but to others depressing.  I like it, but you have to be in the right mood.  Crane succumbed to his own manic depression by committing suicide in 1989.  Standarte from Italy is the modern reincarnation of Atomic Rooster and their self-titled debut album (1995) is even dedicated to Crane.  Not for everyone, but worth checking out if you like your Hammond on the hard side.

From: "Mark Fonda" <>
>I've inexplicably missed out on ever listening to Vincent Crane and Atomic Rooster!  As our tastes are pretty close, where should I start with them? Would the compilation be the best thing?
You can get 'In Satan's Name/The Definitive Collection' for $11.47 at CD Universe.   I think The original releases are only available as imports and cost an arm and a leg. A correction from my previous post: The line-up of Crane/Palmer/Graham was only together for the original self-titled debut album released in Feb. 1970 and it barely broke the Top 50 in the British album charts.  Palmer then went on to some other group, heh heh, and Graham went with Skin Alley.  John Cann (vocals/guitar) and Paul Hammond (drums) then joined Crane for DEATH WALKS BEHIND YOU in early 1971 which hit #12 in the British album charts. They added Pete French for vocals and then released IN HEARING OF... later in 1971 which was in the Top 20 British albums.  It contained their most famous song 'Devil's Answer' which reached #4 in the British singles charts. The band added several new artists for a 1972 album called MADE IN ENGLAND followed by NICE 'N' GREASY in 1973.  Both of these were 'belligerent soul/funk' and failed to go anywhere.  Atomic Rooster then broke up and Crane rejoined Arthur Brown on/off until the band reformed for a brief period, releasing another self-titled album in 1980 and HEADLINE NEWS in 1983, neither of which were very successful.  Crane joined Dexy's Midnight Runners but was dead by 1989.

From: "Craig Shipley" <>
RE: Arthur Brown & Vince Crane: Digging through the LP pile, I found a couple of old releases that might be of interest. Both are from '82/'83. One is HEADLINE NEWS by Atomic Rooster. Crane is accompanied by Paul Hammond on drums and some guy named David Gilmour plays guitar on about half of the tracks. Besides signing lead and playing bass & occ. percussion, Crane plays Hammond C.3, Bluthner Grand piano, Prophet 5, Mini Moog & Clavinet. I don't remember much of this release, shows how much of an impression it made on me. Also found one by Arthur Brown called REQUIEM. Pretty bleak synth-doom rock about the final days of mankind, Ironically enough, the cover art is a processed Landsat photo of the Persian Gulf with a cross-hair super-imposed, considering what happened there almost ten years later. Synths include Oberheim, Serge, Fairlight C.M.I., Jupiter 8 and there is a Mellotron on this one. Keys were played by Sterling Smith and Sctt Morgan with various and sundry folks handling acoustic and electronic percussion. I think that this one has made it to CD at some time in the past.

From: David Eric Shur <> Subject: About King Crimson
I agree with E-man: check out Rooster's first effort. Subsequent albums just didn't click for me.

From: greg cummins <> Subject: Re: About King Crimson / Atomic Rooster
Gotta agree with David about Atomic Rooster's first album - it's a classic already! Also look out for the track called "A Little Bit Of Inner Air" which features a really nice lead break and a great phase shift at the end of the track. I can't remember which album this comes from as I've recently sold my vinyl copies to an avid collector in Brisbane. A look through any of the online resellers should include track listings for you so you should be able to find out the title of this one as well. I believe they also have a best of compilation out which could feature most of the best material from their first plus the better cuts from their later ones which were good to a point but a bit patchy in parts. Good Luck Hunting

From: "Craig Shipley" <> Subject: RE: About King Crimson / Atomic Rooster
IIRC, "A Little Bit Of Inner Air" came from MADE IN THE U.K., which is a pretty good release, too. Another good track from that release was "Time Take My Life".