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Locomotiv GT - 1974 Locomotiv GT

ARTIST: Locomotiv GT
ALBUM: Locomotiv GT
LABEL: ABC Records
YEAR: 1974


LINEUP: Tamas Barta - guitar, slide & acoustic guitar, harp, vocals * Gabor Presser - electric & acoustic piano, vocals * Thomas Somlo - bass guitar, alto sax, electric violin, vocals * Joseph Laux - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Rock Yourself * 02 Give Me Your Love * 03 Free Me * 04 Confession * 05 She's Just 14 * 06 Won't You Dance With Me * 07 Hey, Get The Feeling * 08 Waiting For You * 09 Serenade (To My Love If I Had One) * 10 Back Home * 11 Jenny's Got A New Thing

Hungary was one of the more liberal of the 'Eastern bloc' nations during the cold war and this was certainly evident culturally, in particular the progressive rock and experimental music that flourished in the country during the 1970's. Many GD readers are aware of Omega, Hungary's most popular band to this day, but what of Makam, Kolinda, East, Mini, Color, Metro and Solaris? All worth checking out for the progressive minded and it is out of Omega and Metro that Locomotiv GT formed with an inclination towards hard funky rock and the occasional nod to jazz and prog rock styles.

The Songs
It's possible this release recorded in the UK is the English version of the original Hungarian album or even an English language compilation comprised of previous recordings. Not sure, but the record presents a mixture of styles ranging from Grand Funk Railroad fist in the air sing-along like 'Rock Yourself' to if you can believe it- Southern rock on 'Won't You Dance With Me' and Hey, Get The Feelin'. Cream's Jack Bruce provides Harmonica on the sleazy 'She's Just 14' and truthfully if you played this record not knowing the background of Locomotiv GT, you would be forgiven thinking this was a long lost Capricorn label album. Yes, the band return to their prog rock roots every so often on tracks like 'Confession', but it's certain these guys saw their future in Memphis, Atlanta and Houston, not in Buda or Pest.

In Summary
Supporting the album Locomotiv GT did tour the U.S. but never returned. Competition for gigs and the sheer size of America proved a little too much for the band, returning to Hungary where their career was still manageable. It's hard for me to recommend this album. Sounding like so much other rock and roll of the day to stand out from the crowd and something I can only recommend to those with an interest in cold war era pop culture and Omega/Hungarian rock completists.

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