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Articles Home » 1974 Articles » Stonewall - 1974 Stoner
Stonewall - 1974 Stoner

ARTIST: Stonewall
ALBUM: Stoner
LABEL: Tiger Lily Records
SERIAL: 14013
YEAR: 1974
CD REISSUE: 2000, Akarma Records, AK-116


LINEUP: Robert 'Bobby' Ronda - vocals, guitar * Lewis Whittaker - bass * John T. Milani - drums * Francis Crabb - keyboards, guitar

TRACK LISTING: 01 Right On * 02 Solitude * 03 Bloody Mary * 04 Outer Spaced * 05 Try And See It Through * 06 Atlantis * 07 Suite a) I'd Rather Be Blind b) Roll Over Rover

This is a hard album to pin down. A crushing set of 70's hard rock, the album reportedly was recorded in early 1974 according to the album sleeve, but this sounds more like the product of 1971 or 72 for my ears. I might be wrong, but as to the scarcity of information on Stonewall we might never know, but according to some out there these guys were Italian! Recorded in nine days allegedly in New York City, this often excruciatingly heavy album has a touch of everything for fans of that era of hard rock, with a truckload of huge lumbering riffs, organ work and the harmonica of course. The cover artwork is interesting, some poor guy buried beneath a stack of Marshall amps!

The Songs
Lots of blues incorporated into Stonewall's sound, take the track 'Try and See It Through', with the dominant use of harmonica and Hammond organ, which is a tasty little Purple based romp, with far more an acid based guitar tone, very fuzzy. Moving nicely is 'Atlantis', fast on occasion, with a simple yet effective rhythm section. The breakdown near the end is pure Zeppelin, reminiscent of 'Houses Of The Holy' era. The Zeppelin influence can be heard even more keenly on 'Suite A )I'd Rather Be Blind B) Roll Over Roller', where the drummer beats his kit down in true Bonham fashion and the riffs are knocked out in vintage Jimmy Page swagger. Elsewhere it's hard rock at its most basic, check out the monstrous riffing during 'Bloody Mary', and the lengthy jam. Stonewall aren't above slower progressive moments, 'Solitude' reminding me of early Wishbone Ash, circa 'Warrior'. When the track moves into overload halfway in, prepare to be hit by what can only be described as metal. Going for broke is 'Outer Space', where the band gets to take in every early 70's heavy blues ridden jam known to man. Convincing and another lost gem.

In Summary
So who can embellish anything about Stonewall? Some of our readers are bound to have heard this and hopefully can shed light on their origins and nationality. As expected this has a cult following and was released on CD by Akarma Records, an Italian label who specialise in releasing obscurities such as this. I noticed some ludicrous prices for this on CD throughout the web and as fine as this is, it's not worth sixty dollars. But a good listen for those into that particular 70's heavy blues sound.

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#1 | gdazegod on June 02 2008 22:16:47
Tiger Lily were also home to obscure pomp rockers BROTHER BAIT. The only connection there being that it was a New York based label.
#2 | Harvey Mettle on June 06 2008 16:53:19
Apparently they were a NY band formed in 1968. Tiger Lily was a tax loss label set up by the 'mob' connected owner of Roulette Records. No more than a handful of original copies have ever surfaced and the original sells for upwards of $2000. The album may very well have been recorded around 1971 as it was apparently turned down for release by CBS. There's been no trace of any of the members since, leadin some to believe that they were a studio only group.The picture here is of the Akarma pirate re issue, Akaram also gave it the title 'Stoner' the original LP was eponymous and was issued with a totally different sleeve
#3 | gdazegod on July 31 2009 07:35:14
I see on, that this LP was reissued in 2008 as an enhanced vinyl. I find that very hard to believe. It is credited to Tiger Lily, but after all these years, I doubt it was they who organised it. Cool band, shrouded in meddled and messy business dealings as HM points out in this comment above.
#4 | super80boy on June 21 2015 19:15:37
I have the Akarma vinyl reissue, which has a rather cool artwork design, but i've read that the sound isn't as good as the Scorpio reissue, which also has different artwork. Putting aside all the debate that surrounds this rarity, at its core Stonewall is a really heavy album and cranks loud riffing guitars, banging drums, organ pumps and well placed harmonica.
#5 | gdazegod on April 22 2017 00:33:06
After spending a bit of time researching the Tiger Lily label this week, I found out that Stonewall were based on Long Island, and were in fact the Studio 'House Band' for Roulette Records. The album was recorded over 9 days in February 1974, but wasn't released by Tiger Lily until 1976. That would make sense, because all of Tiger Lily's other known releases came out in 1976 also. We probably should change the year from 1974 to 1976 accordingly, as well as the cover art. computer work
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