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Articles Home » 1977 Articles » Lift - 1977 Caverns Of Your Brain
Lift - 1977 Caverns Of Your Brain

ALBUM: Caverns Of Your Brain
LABEL: Guinness
YEAR: 1977
CD REISSUE: 1990, Syn-Phonic, SYNCD 1


LINEUP: Courtenay Hilton-Green - vocals, flute, assorted percussion * Chip Gremillion - hammond b3 organ, moog, mellotron, electric & grand pianos * Cody Kelleher - bass, bass pedals * Chip Grevemberg - drums, chimes, gongs, assorted percussion * J. Richard Huxen - electric & acoustic guitars, electric steel guitar

TRACK LISTING: 01 Simplicity * 02 Caverns * 03 Buttercup Boogie * 04 Trippin' Over The Rainbow


Until Syn-Phonic's Greg Walker tracked them down in 1990, the members of Lift had no idea their 1974 demos had been released on LP in 1977. Guinness, the notorious 'tax-scam' label was the culprit and since none of the shady imprint's output was distributed on the up and up, it's easy to understand how and why the band was left completely clueless. Formed in 1972, Lift was from New Orleans which wasn't exactly a hotbed of prog rock activity and partially explains their eventual move to Atlanta and a music scene that was a little more vibrant, something both Kansas and later Starcastle would gravitate to as well. It was in 'Hotlanta' where Lift recorded a potential second album with a female vocalist and those tapes were finally released by Syn-Phonic in 2001 on CD as 'The Moment Of Hearing', but it's their debut that commands attention as one of the finest examples of American progressive rock.

The Songs
Just four songs but don't let that fool you into believing this just another over-indulgent prog jerk-off. Elements of both Yes and Genesis and other British progressives are present, but it's a fast moving record filled with ideas and a strong melodic line throughout. 'Simplicity' kicks off the album with propulsive keyboard work reminiscent of ELP and while Courtenay Hilton-Green's high-end vocals are not the best, he's tolerable if you're not expecting another Jon Anderson. Group founder Chip Gremillion is clearly the star of the show and the beloved Mellotron is used significantly in particular on 'Cavern' and 'Buttercup Boogie' but it's his quick-fingered Hammond that dominates the record and on the 11 minute closer 'Trippin' Over The Rainbow' he unleashes everything he's got on a prog tour-de-force that's not only impressive, but the cornerstone of a thoroughly entertaining masterpiece.

In Summary
Not the easiest album to locate these days which is unfortunate. The original Guinness LP usually ran in the three figure range, although in recent years I've noticed a drop in value, probably due to economics, the Internet and just to confuse everyone, a vinyl bootleg of the original Guinness album released in the late '90s which usually sells for around 50 dollars (now I've seen it all.. a bootleg of a bootleg.. wonders will never case.. Ed). The Syn-Phonic CD featured different artwork which folded out into a large poster and on the reverse, lyrics and a band biography. Very nicely presented and from the masters but that too is sadly long out of print. Happy hunting!

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#1 | Eric on May 02 2012 00:24:07
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