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Atlee - 1970 Flying A Head



ARTIST: Atlee
ALBUM: Flying A Head
LABEL: Dunhill
SERIAL: DS 50084
YEAR: 1970

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Atlee Yeager - bass, lead vocals *Michael Stevens - guitars, vocals * Bruce Schaffer - keyboards, vocals * Don Francisco - drums, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Rip You Up * 02 Swamp Rhythm * 03 Painted Ladies * 04 Jesus People * 05 Lets Make Love * 06 Will We Get Together * 07 Dirty Old Man * 08 Ain't That Way * 09 Dirty Sheets


Background
Recently, you may have read the review of the band Highway Robbery here at GLORY-DAZE. The name Don Francisco is mentioned, as he is here on this album that stretches back thirty years plus. Both Atlee Yeager and Mike Stevens were also involved with this outfit at some stage too. However, this band Atlee precedes Highway Robbery by a couple of years, and is led by singer bassist Atlee Yeager. Atlee were a minor act at the time American hard rock was taking off. Influenced by a swag of British bands swamped in the blues, plus a hard core legion of American acts who were around at the time namely Atomic Rooster, Blue Cheer and Banchee. Before that however, Yeager was in the band Damon, that released an album during 1970 called 'Song Of A Gypsy' - a psychedelic oriented release apparently.


The Songs
We're on fuzz guitar alert with the smokin' opener 'Rip You Up'. Even as far back as 1970 they knew what made a good rock song tick! A virtual melting pot of sounds and styles can be found with 'Swamp Rhythm', with a load of wah, flanger effects plus a nod to some Latin elements too. Atlee slow up considerably for 'Painted Ladies', a slow-burning effort which will test even the longest of candles. The track 'Jesus People' is hardly an ode to the CCM movement. It is actually an upbeat (near hypnotic) chant based tune with a few laughable moments in it, including the 'amen' line at the end. 'Will We Get Together' takes on a Three Dog Night sound, perhaps one of their more commercial tracks on the album. 'Dirty Old Man' is a cool sounding track, though the Iron Butterfly drum solo rip-off from 'Inna-Gada-Da-Vida' is a bit too close to the bone for my liking. By comparison, 'Ain't That The Way' is positively laid back, though the slammin' piano gives it a slight edge. The album ends with the swamp rock flavour of 'Dirty Sheets'.. pick the fluff out of this one!


In Summary
ABC Dunhill also released a 45' Single of 'Rip You Up' coupled with 'Will We Get Together'. After 1972's Highway Robbery which included some of the personnel listed above, Atlee also released an album in 1973 'Plant Me Now Dig Me Later'. This was released on the Chelsea label. Not much is known about Yeager's history beyond 1973 but for fans of early 70's hard rock with an inkling for fuzz guitar and loads of wah-wah then this is as good a place to start.


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Comments
#1 | super80boy on February 23 2014 19:24:27
The band's sound takes on late 60's hard rock origins in a bluesy slant with great intensity and skill. As mentioned above, lots of fuzz guitar sounds emanate from the speakers. Both side openers 'Rip You Up' and 'Let's Make Love' are piercing numbers with the sets standout being 'Jesus People'. 'Dirty Old Man' has a killer drum solo in the middle and more of that riffing fuzz guitar.
 
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