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Speech CD

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Speech + Steamhammer MK II + Mountains
Price For All Three: £28.29

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Product details

  • Audio CD (2 Feb. 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Repertoire
  • ASIN: B001NJY5ZI
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 127,725 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Song Title Time Price
  1. Penumbra: Entrance / Battlements / Passage To Remorse / Sightless Substance / Mortal Thought (Remastered)22:41Album Only
  2. Telegram (Nature's Mischief) (Remastered)11:59Album Only
  3. For Against (Remastered)10:56Album Only

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By brogdonius on 23 Aug. 2011
Format: Audio CD
I have to admit, I only acquired this one to complete my Steamhammer collection, and I had some reservations. Steamhammer without Kieran White is a bit like the Lynott-less Thin Lizzy. Billed as an attempt by the band to create a genuine Prog album - (without keyboards, what were they thinking?) - the 3 long rambling tracks are genuinely little more than that. There are some interesting passages in Penumbra, and the other tracks also have their moments, but the length and contrived continuity just don't cut it enough to maintain my interest. Imagine if you can the original line-up of Mountain playing their interpretation of ELP's Tarkus, and you're somewhere into the territory of Speech. I love the first 3 Steamhammer albums, but in all honesty, the group should have renamed themselves for this work; it's about as close to misrepresentation as you could get. If you get this, it'll be for nothing else than to fill that Steamhammer gap on your shelf.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Really cool guitar album. 6 Nov. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Speech is the final Steamhammer album. Drummer Mick Bradley died of leukemia shortly before its release.

This is by far the most progressive release by this band and it includes some amazing guitar riffs by Martin Pugh. This is fortunate because the vocals (by guest vocalist Garth Watt-Roy, from Fuzzy Duck and The Greatest Show on Earth)are grating despite some interesting words.

Pugh's riffs run the gambit from melodic Santana-like lilts to full scale Hendrix-fueled distortion. This record also contains the "speed-riff" Pugh reprised as a member of Armageddon. If you listen closely you will hear some haunting background vocals provided by ex-Yardbird Keith Relf.

There are only three tracks on this disc. The 20 minute multi-part Penumbru being the album's centerpiece. One song also includes a rather long drum solo this.

Following this release Relf, Pugh and the bassist on this release (Louis Cennamo) would come to America, meet Captain Beyond drummer Bobby Caldwell in a bar in LA (so the story goes) and form Armageddon. If you can skip over the vocals on Speech(and there aren't that many) the instrumental sections are often dynamic and captivating.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Heavy Heavy Prog, 4 & 1/2 Stars 23 Nov. 2004
By Arno Parke - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This all but forgotten UK band released this swansong in '72. I've heard it's their heaviest and weirdest after playing standard brit blues rock on previous albums. I can't comment since I've yet to hear any of the earlier releases, but this is heavy and spacey alright. Very tight instrumental workouts that don't go for flash, so much as atmosphere and texture. Comparable to a more demented Cream, a more garagey Crimson, or a doomier Zeppelin, perhaps. Even with all the layered fuzz, they play with an elegance befitting some of the italian prog bands of the day, ie. Osanna. If heavy experimental sounds of the '70s are your thing, this is most definitely worth your time.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
excellent 17 April 2010
By Bill Your 'Free Form FM Print DJ - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is not what I expected from Steamhammer, but you know what, I'll take it.

I had them pegged as a blues band after hearing the excellent Mountains, which you also have to attain for its amazing jam of "Driving Down The Avenue.

Speech goes, and goes deep, into progressive terrain: multi part songs hugging all genres. The sound is huge, epic slaps of guitar that define this as 70s art rock.

But Speech is never deliberately artsy, and all the parts that are there seem in proper place. This band never made a splash--they must have fallen in that crack between ELP and Deep Purple. But they rock as hard as one and do prog far more classy than the other,

Crack this.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Stuart Jefferson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
45 minutes in length approximately. The sound is very good-crisp and clean yet has a warmth to it. The fold-out pamphlet tells the story surrounding this album and the group. The CD is clipped in,inside a fold-out cardboard holder. The graphics (like on the group's other albums) are unique looking.

This is the fourth,and last,album by STEAMHAMMER. The group originally began as a a second-tier blues band typical for the times (1968),and then their sound began to move into a harder,slightly more progressive area. By this time (1972) the group was reduced to a three-piece,consisting of,Michael (Mick) Bradley-percussion,Martin Pugh-guitars and vocals,and Louis Cennamo-bass and bowed bass and vocals. Garth Watt-Roy is heard on lead vocals throughout this album. This album consists of three long,group written,mostly instrumental tracks. The lead vocalist up until this time,(the now late)Kieran White,had left the group-thus forcing the remaining members to carry on as best they could.

The first track "Penumbra",starts with some bowed bass guitar by Cennamo,and then leads into some progressive guitar from the fine player Pugh. This is the longest track,at a bit over 22 minutes. It's broken into a five part suite,with Pugh's guitar out front for the majority of the time. An adept player,Pugh coaxes several different sounds from his instrument,and along with Cennamo and Bradley (who died while this album was being finished up) weave a progressive sound typical of the era. The vocals are nothing great-they are adequate at best,and are brief.

Track two,"Telegram (Nature's Mischief)",begins with some good guitar,with the bass and drums weaving in and out of the tune. The vocals again are brief,with the accent on group interplay. Pugh's guitar has a harder edge to it,with the entire track having an overall hard rock feel to it. The wordless vocals (by the group) over Watt-Roy's vocals,gives added depth to this track. Pugh's alternating loud/soft guitar,with Cennamo's bass playing in unison,begins to stray into progressive territory. Bradley's playing is very sensitive and effective here-providing just the right foundation for Pugh and Cennamo to build the intensity up and down throughout the song.

The final tune,"For Against",begins with a short bass guitar intro,and then Pugh steps in with a hard,distorted sound,and they then play in unison for a few notes. Bradley comes in with some of his most progressive sounding percussion,and together the group delves even further into progressive territory. Bradley has a drum solo,which is better than average (and I'm not a fan of drum solos) with his percussive flourishes with the cymbals,giving some needed texture to his tom-tom playing.

From the beginning,STEAMHAMMER had a different sound than other groups plying the same blues based sound of the era. Their approach,starting with their first album ("Reflection") was a bit different,especially on their original tunes. Kieran White,who left over differences with the group just prior to this album,had a unique vocal sound,and wrote some likewise unique songs. The group,at times,moved out from straight blues playing,into harder rocking,and then into a progressive style. Anyone interested in British blues-based rock/progressive (for the group) music should give this group a listen. Never popular in the U.S.,they were well known (and liked) in Europe. This album is the final chapter from an intriguing late 60's/early 70's band. Given a chance,their music will grow on you. Now if only someone would release all the live tracks that were originally released in the 70's on vinyl (I have a double album ),that would be another chapter from this good band.
Under-Rated UK Heavy Stoner Blues/Prog And A Must For Fans Of ARMAGEDDON's '75 LP!!!! Killer Musicianship.... 4 Oct. 2014
By T. Kasuboski - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm mainly writing this review for folks who love ARMAGEDDON's super-heavy, stoned out, blues-rock self-titled classic from 1975. I fell in love with ARMAGEDDON (featuring Keith Relf of Yardbirds fame) years ago, however, due mostly to Relf's death ARMAGEDDON only left behind one awesome album. So I started digging into the history of ARMAGEDDON and learned that they had direct connections to the highly under-rated UK blues/rock/prog band STEAMHAMMER via guitar legend Martin Pugh and bassist Louis Cennamo who both play on ARMAGEDDON's '75 classic. Now, the guitar work on ARMAGEDDON's LP is simply incredible, so when I discovered that Pugh & Cennamo both played in STEAMHAMMER I just had to check out the band.

STEAMHAMMER formed in '68 as a blues-based group, were hand picked by Freddie King to open for him on his '69 UK Tour and in '69 released an excellent "Steamhammer" (aka "Reflections") debut LP, which despite its undeniable quality was sadly overlooked upon its release (and to this day). STEAMHAMMER were extremely popular on the Euro festival circuit and in early '70 released a more jazz-blues styled LP called "MK II" (probably titled as such to reflect a change in line-up). In mid-summer '70 they released their most dynamic (and many argue greatest) album to date: "Mountains". By '70-'71 STEAMHAMMER's sound was getting much more exploratory and progressive while still retaining a hard blues guitar approach. Which brings us to the final STEAMHAMMER album "Speech" which was recorded in '71 but didn't see release until early '72. Sadly, drummer Mick Bradley died of leukemia almost immediately following the LP's release.

"Speech" consists of three lengthy tracks. The first track fills up all of Side A of the LP and is a multi-part prog suite called "Penumbra". It consists of five different segments ranging from percussion-based jams to full-blown hard rockin' heavy rock jams with a sound VERY similar to that of ARMAGEDDON. Some have criticized the LP as being too disjointed. Admittedly, upon first listen I agreed with that assessment. Thankfully, unlike many, I went back for a second listen and over the years have found the five segment opening suite "Penumbra" to be a well-thought out piece of early 70's UK heavy blues/stoner/prog songwriting. The other two tracks on the album "Telegram" and "For Against" are both excellent and contain some heavy duty wah pedal, fuzz, as well as bits of mellower vibe. I've always kinda thought this LP had a Krautrock vibe to it for some reason. Probably the superior musicianship mixed with the multi-segment opening track.

In the end I would strongly recommend "Speech" to anyone who loves ARMAGEDDON's '75 classic. You can certainly hear the connection and at times Martin Pugh's guitarwork is just as savage on "Speech" as it is on "Armageddon". As a fan of early 70's UK heaviness I'd also say that "Speech" is an album well-worth checking out especially if you're a fan of stoned out heavy blues mixed with elements of progressive rock. Put simply, a cool album from a band that didn't get the attention they deserved and in many ways a warm-up for Martin Pugh and Louis Cennamo and the insanity that they laid down with Keith Relf and Bobby Caldwell a few years later with ARMAGEDDON. An album that is quite enjoyable when in the right state of mind. So light one up before you take the STEAMHAMMER-"Speech" journey.....
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