on 17 August 2007
This compilation of two studio albums by the Graham Bond Organisation is superb and sounds great even now which clearly indicates how ahead of their time they were and along with Alexis Korner and John Mayall, forerunners of the sixties British Blues movement. Graham Bond's raw vocals are an acquired taste but I feel sure by the end of the cd it will definately grow on you. More important is what a great group of musicians these were. I always thought Ginger Baker was one of the greatest ever drummers and these early recordings go a long way to support my claim. Also quite apparant is some great bass playing by Jack Bruce, however, it is unfair to single out individuals when the whole band were a group of exceptionally talented musicians.
on 14 November 1999
These two records in their original vinyl format have been highly-valued collectors items since the late Sixties. Graham's importance as a key figure in the development of rock music is covered in the reference books. But there can be no substitiute for hearing his legendary Organisation for yourself! The stunning power of the band, compared to other groups of the time, is here in abundance for all to see. The material is mostly classic R&B, but the much gentler song 'Tammy' gives a fascinating glimpse of what else Graham might have achieved. The Organisation lacked a glamourous image, spent most of their time working in the clubs for too little money, and were unable to break into the charts with a hit single. Effectively reformed as 'Cream' in late '66 - with Eric Clapton replacing Graham Bond - the groundwork laid down in these albums went on to change the face of rock music. Whether this is music you listen to today for pleasure - as was originally intended when first recorded - or for more academic or collector reasons is debatable. But to truly understand the roots of modern rock, and see why the Organisation were so highly regarded at the time, this recording is a 'must have'.
on 5 October 2009
When I listened to this CD for the first time, I was a bit sad. "Only two albums?"
Mind you, these were two albums released within eight months of each other in 1965, even while Bond and his Organisation were keeping up a full roster of club dates, session work for other musicians, and opening concerts for visiting American acts. Moreover, this was a band with, to put it delicately, issues. The fact that they managed to turn out two albums in a year and that both of them are top-flight stuff isn't a pity--it's something close to a bloody miracle.
Not that you could tell there was any strife from the songs. They roar through covers of such blues standards as "Hoochie Coochie Man," "Got My Mojo Working," and "Wade in The Water" with high spirits, great skill, and a lot of rascally good humor. Bond's wonderful three-pack-a-day growl on the first two songs is a big help, but they are just as spectacular on the third, a jazzy and sophisticated instrumental book-ended with sly little quotes from Bach's "Toccata and Fugue." (organist's humor, no doubt) The originals range from the wonderfully serpentine "Spanish Blues," full of incredible stuff for Bond's organ and Ginger Baker's drums, to the quirky, syncopated "Baby Be Good to Me, which Jack Bruce, the bassist, co-wrote and sings (as well as playing bass and harmonica) to the hushed and deeply sexy "Baby Can it Be True?," a song so soft that it sounds as if the band was playing it while lying on their backs. "Dick's Instrumental," a sweet and graceful showcase for tenor saxophonist Dick Heckstall-Smith demonstrates that although these fellows had moved in a different musical direction, they never completely abandoned their roots in jazz.
Even the oddest track here, a cover of the Livingston/Evans lollipop "Tammy" (Graham Bond sings The Debbie Reynolds Songbook?) works. Bond's singing is plaintive and unfussy and actually lends the song a certain emotional gravity. It feels like a bit of a run-up to his wrenching recording of "St. James Infirmary" the next year, which I still regard as the best recording of that song, surpassing even Cab Calloway's 30's original.
Only a pair of albums, but what a pair of albums. Quality always trumps quantity.
on 5 November 2005
The "Sound of '65" album by the Graham Bond Organisation never even bothered the LP charts of the time (neither did the follow-up "There's a Bond Between Us") but I think in some respects it was a little ahead of its time. The band is renowned for half its membership being Jack Bruce (Bass and Harmonica) and Ginger Baker (drums), both to unite with Eric Clapton the following year and create supergroup Cream. Dick Heckstall-Smith was a superb blues/jazz saxophonist and later was an integral part of Colosseum having passed through John Mayall's Bluebreakers. I assure you this album WILL grow on you whether or not you are an early British R & B fan. Graham Bond's voice is raw but it works within this fusion of rock/jazz/blues. Bruce sings on some tracks ( perhaps he should have been lead vocalist? ) and you get a taste of experimaental stuff that matures later in Cream. Baker's drumming is brilliant of course (just listen to track 6) and how about his own composition 'Camels and Elephants' on the second album, all sorts of influences can be found here. It all gel's, and although it never scored at the time, I can see why those in the business at the time rated this band. Some say its because there was no glamorous image or pretty boy up front, but that doesn't hold water when you think of the Jeff Beck Group, they had a pretty boy up front but were unlucky enough to have a manager more interested in bubble-gum pop .... perhaps bad management with no vision in both cases ?????
Alas Bond slid into very serious substance abuse, Ginger and Jack hated each other with Jack departing to John Mayall who I believe thought him too unorthodox blues (Mayall's guitarist at the time Eric Clapton was impressed however) and Jack then went to Manfred Mann. Ginger later approached Eric about forming a new band and Eric would if Jack was in, so Ginger had to visit Jack and the rest is history Cream-wise.
Graham Bond had other lines ups but drug abuse became worse and later led to suicide under a train.
BUY IT, its an experience.
on 8 November 2007
NOTHING TO ADD TO PREVIOUS REVIEWS AND AGREE THAT THESE ARE GREAT ALBUMS. WOULD JUST LIKE TO SAY THAT I KNEW AND WORKED WITH GRAHAM BOND AND THERE IS NO EVIDENCE HE COMMITTED SUICIDE AS THE PREVIOUS REVIEWER SAYS. AS FAR AS I REMEMBER THE VERDICT OF THE INQUEST WAS EITHER 'MISADVENTURE' OR MORE LIKELY 'OPEN VERDICT'. FINSBURY PARK TUBE STATION WHERE HE DIED GETS VERY BUSY IN THE RUSH HOUR AND IT IS INFINITELY POSSIBLE HE WAS SIMPLY BUSTLED OFF THE PLATFORM.
AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH HE WAS GETTING HIS ACT BACK TOGETHER AND ACCORDING TO SOME SOURCES HAD BEEN CLEAN OF HEROIN FOR SOME TIME. IT SEEMS STRANGE THAT HE WOULD CHOOSE SUCH A TIME TO END HIS LIFE.
THAT GRAHAM BOND WAS A VERY TALENTED MUSICIAN WITH MANY DEMONS IS BEYOND DOUBT. HIS MUSIC DOES NOT DESERVE TO BE OVERLOOKED AND MOST OF THE ALBUMS ON AMAZON ARE WORTH CHECKING OUT. GRAHAM WAS GREAT COMPANY WHEN HE WAS ON FORM AND MUSICALLY, WHEN HE WAS GOOD HE WAS VERY, VERY GOOD INDEED.
Proof that the single was still king in 1965 are The Graham Bond Orgaisation. A superior r&b outfit without a guitarist, they made the two fine albums included here at a time when the LP was considered as a bonus to keep the fan happy. What they didn't have was a hit. Boasting a sax player and organist with jazz credentials, their substance was in the way they played. But a look at the track listings shows that they were turning out covers of the same numbers as other r&b bands. Bolstered by Bond's hoarse vocals, their versions of uptempo material such as 'Neighbour Neighbour' are rootsy. Significantly, though, their instrumentals, particularly Bond's 'Spanish Blues' are among the highlights.
The presence of Ginger Baker is also a major plus. Though he gets to solo here, these were days when bands tended to keep track time to three minutes maximum. Baker's forays therefore keep you hungrier than the ones he made with his later bands. The GBO were not exactly blazing a trail then, but this CD offers a mouth-watering alternative to those that were.
on 27 February 2011
The Graham Bond ORGANIsation's first studio album, The Sound Of 65, shows a band attempting engagingly to pervert the blues in every conceivable direction. It combines the expected traditional blues covers ("Hoochie Coochie Man", "Got My Mojo Working") and instrumental R'n'B workouts ("Wade In The Water", "Train Time"), reworked in distinctive, individual fashion, with lyrically naïve but musically adventurous Bond originals which move confidently in the direction of what would later be called "jazz-rock". All the tracks are carried along by the sheer, rough-edged energy of Bond's vocals and the irrepressible swing of the band's ensemble playing, plus a remarkable cheap-studio production with plenty of reverb that gives the impression of a live recording. In fact the album was the ORGANisation's well-honed live set with each number pared down to three minutes or less, the solos from Bond's growling B-3 and Heckstall-Smith's squalling tenor short and ferocious rather than extended and building. High spots include the flavouring of "Wade In The Water" with more than a soupçon of Bach's Toccata, the spoof field holler of "Early In The Morning", Bruce's rumbling upright bass figures on "Mojo", Bond's and Heckstall-Smith's wailing snake-charmer licks on "Spanish Blues", and the eerie "Baby Make Love To Me" which is carried on just harmonised saxes, bass and drums and boasts lead vocal and braggadocio harmonica from Bruce. Only the mandatory (and thankfully truncated) Baker drum solo on "Oh Baby" and the maudlin closer "Tammy" (intended as a "commercial" single) conspire to lower the overall appeal.
The second and final ORGANisation album There's A Bond Between Us offered a slightly wider musical range played with a bit less verve, and Bond's pioneering use of the Mellotron (before the Beatles, Stones and Moody Blues discovered it) presaged his move towards progressive music. The BGO twofer combining both studio albums is a bargain; for a flavour of the band's live sound, try Solid Bond, the posthumous Rhino release featuring the short-lived final line-up of Bond, Heckstall-Smith and Jon Hiseman.
on 10 September 2009
This is a must have for anyone interested in the early careers of Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker. Graham Bond provided British Blues with its third nursery, along with Alexis Korner and John Mayall and out of his ORGANisation came 2/3 of Cream. The 4th member of the band, Dick Heckstall-Smith went on to join JOhn Mayall on "Bare Wires" and then to Colosseum. The album even has an early version of "Traintime" later heard on Cream's "Wheels of Fire" along with the original version of "Walkin' in the Park" later heard on Colosseum's "Those about to Die" album. Bond's early death robbed us of one of British Blues' early greats. The sound may be a bit wheezy and dated by today's production standards but is well worth investigating.
In the mid to late sixties there was a profusion of bands who had grown up under the aegis of the likes of Alexis Korner and Chris Barber, who were taking influences from over the Atlantic and moulding them into something uniquely British. Organ player Graham Bond and his outfit, the Organisation, were one of these, and turned out a couple of albums of what I can only describe as British blues - classic blues music but blended with elements of jazz and soul in a way that was great to listen to. Also included in the group was a drummer Ginger Baker and Bassist Jack Bruce who later enjoyed some success with Cream.
This twofer presents the two complete albums `The sound of 65' and `There's a Bond between us'. Two albums of aggressive, punchy blues with Bond working wonders on his Hammond. Driven by the ferocious rhythm section, these are two of the best albums of this type of music out there. Full of energy and vigour, and brimming over with talent, this was a great band with a unique sound. A classic not to be missed, especially for fans of such acts as Cream, Blodwyn Pig or Colosseum.
This is a frigging genius reissue - two hugely desirable Sixties LPs clocking in at £400 'each' for a first pressing (impossible to find hip 60ts dancers) by THE GRAHAM BOND ORGANization - and it's yours for less than eight English squid. Let's get to the denture grips with the Hammond Organs, Hip Englishmen and Groovy Beards...
UK released January 2000 - Beat Goes On BGOCD 500 (Barcode 5017261205001) breaks down as follows (75:50 minutes):
1. Hoochie Coochie Man
2. Baby Make Love To Me
3. Neighbour Neighbour
4. Early In The Morning
5. Spanish Blues
6. Oh Baby
7. Little Girl
8. I Want You
9. Wade In The Water
10. Got My Mojo Working
11. Train Time
12. Baby Be Good To Me
13. Half A Man
Tracks 1 to 14 are their Debut LP "The Sound Of '65" - released April 1965 in the UK on Columbia Records 33SX 1711 [Mono Only]
15. Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?
16. Hear Me Calling Your Name
17. The Night Time Is The Right Time
18. Walkin' In The Park
19. Last Night
20. Baby Can It Be True?
21. What'd I Say?
22. Dick's Instrumental
23. Don't Let Go
24. Keep 'A Drivin'
25. Have You Ever Loved A Woman?
26. Camels And Elephants
Tracks 15 to 26 are their 2nd album "There's A Bond Between Us" - released December 1965 in the UK on Columbia Records 33SX 1750 [MONO Only]
GRAHAM BOND - Hammond Organ, Alto Saxophone and Lead Vocals on All Except Noted Below. Introduced the Mellotron Keyboard on "There's A Bond Between Us" LP
DICK-HECKSTALL-SMITH - Tenor Saxophone
JACK BRUCE - Bass, Double Bass on "Baby Can It Be True" and Lead Vocals on "Train Time", "Baby Make Love To Me", "Baby Be Good To Me", "Hear Me Calling Your Name" and "Last Night". Backing Vocals on "Early In The Morning", "Hoochie Coochie Man" and "Got My Mojo Working"
GINGER BAKER - Drums
JOHN HOCKRIDGE and IAN HAMER - Trumpets on "Tammy" and "I Want You"
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE BACKING SINGERS - On "Tammy", "Keep A-Drivin''" and "Half A Man"
The 12-page booklet featuring liner notes from Bond biographer HARRY SHAPIRO also reproduces the rear sleeves of both rare British LPs, black and white EMI publicity shots, photos of the band live in the UK etc. The remastering (no engineer credited) is an audio jiggery-pokery of what's available - taken from DAT sources that were recordings of original acetates in Mono. Despite the dubious 'acetates' reference - the sound on this CD is great - full of amazing presence and Sixties Bar Band oomph.
With GRAHAM BOND on the uber-cool Organ and the rhythm section of CREAM as your band - throw in British musicians insane hunger for American Rhythm `n' Blues and you're gonna get archetypical sweaty nightclub Swinging Sixties music. And as if that isn't hip enough for a lad from the bowels of Essex - for their second album - issued only 8 months after their debut - Bond would introduce the 'Mellotron Keyboard' sound a full year before THE MOODY BLUES made in their own - and five years before KING CRIMSON invented Progressive Rock with it (something Bond fully embraced on his later Vertigo Label LPs). In short - you're talking about one cool set of dudes here - a tad ahead of their time. And of course CREAM went on to virtually invented Hard and Heavy Rock with ERIC CLAPTON on 1966's "Disraeli Gears". And after Ginger Baker left to form CREAM (frustrated by the lack of chart success for either LP) - JON HISEMAN came in who later of course formed the hugely influential Jazz-Rock band COLOSSEUM.
On the first album (credited as Group) - Jack Bruce wrote "Baby Make Love To Me" and "Baby Be Good To Me" with his then parent (later wife) - JANET GODFREY - while Graham Bond stumped up groovy originals like "Spanish Blues", "Oh Baby", "Little Girl", "I Want You" and "Half A Man". The second LP dug into the American black psyche with clever and Soulful cover choices - "Last Night" by Booker T. & The MG's, "What'd I Say' by Ray Charles, "Don't Let Go" by Roy Hamilton (written by Jesse Stone) and Keep `A Drivin'" by Chuck Willis. Jack Bruce contributed "Hear Me Calling Your Name" while Ginger Baker put up the wicked "Camels And Elephants".
A very groovy release - and well done to all at BGO for keeping the boogie flame alive and our aging fifty-something toes tapping...