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Atomic Rooster: In Hearing Of: Expanded CD Deluxe Edition & Vinyl Version,
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This review is from: In Hearing Of (Audio CD)
A real `Breakthrough'
I still have my original vinyl pressing from 1971 on the Pegasus label. Vinyl weight is a very reasonable 146g for a 70s LP. It is an excellent pressing and recording. The album is still in reasonable condition but some of the tracks are suffering from `severe over-playing fatigue'. Atomic Rooster were never as popular as the main stream rock bands at the time like Black Sabbath, Led Zep etc, but for me this was one further attraction of the band. They made excellent music and when we took records to house parties, people would always ask when playing In the Hearing of `who is this playing? It sounds great'. Without the Devil's Answer single on the album nobody recognised it was Atomic Rooster. I must have contributed to the sales of this album at the time.
I purchased the expanded CD version to give the vinyl a well deserved rest and I am also still very interested in any unreleased Rooster material available. In my view the CD does not match fully the sound quality of the original vinyl recording but ok I am very vinyl biased as you probably have guessed. However, the CD is still an excellent package with good sound quality and extremely informative notes in the accompanying booklet. The notes explain all the comings and goings in the band during the making of this album and there is extensive input by newly recruited vocalist, Peter French. The comments made about the 1971 concert at The Oval when they on the bill with The Who are particularly interesting.
This album does not seem to have aged technically, it sounds typical 70s but is still fresh and clear. The production and balance of the sound is excellent. All the instruments and vocals can be picked out very easily. Several of the tracks were used in the BBC TV series and DVD package of `Life on Mars'.
I have all the five Atomic Rooster albums from the early 70s and this one in my view is the best just ahead of `Death Walks Behind You'. All the eight original tracks in this album are consistently strong musically. Vincent Crane was a very under rated talent and this album proves that beyond doubt.
The extra tracks are interesting but not essential. It is explained in the booklet that this line up made no TV or radio appearances, a great pity. The US version of Devils Answer contains the Peter French vocals. The two live tracks are from this album but performed by the next line-up of the band. The booklet mentions a further extra track of Black Snake from a Belgian TV show but it is not on the CD I have. This is a great album and if you want to sample Atomic Rooster at their peak then this is the one.