Quatermass - Quatermass

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Akarma Records
Catalog Number:
Format: CD
Total Time: 00:00:00

Quatermass made one self-titled album in 1970 and that was the end of them. It's a shame that they came and went so fast. They could have been very popular with the proper management and backing, but it was not meant to be. I listened to this CD before I read the liner notes and found that my feelings were spot on. While I was listening it didn't take me long to realize the similarities of their music to Deep Purple's, without the guitar. This group was a power prog-rock trio along the lines of the early Atomic Rooster. The trio was John Gustafson (vocals, bass), Mick Underwood (drums), and Pete Robinson (keyboards). John Gustafson voice was similar to Ian Gillan's. Now there is strong connection with all of this. There was a group called Episode Six that puts the pieces of the puzzle together, whom Gillan sang for. Robinson and Underwood played together in a group called the James Royal Set before they meet Gustafson for one of the final versions of Episode Six. Underwood had recommended Gillan to a lad named Blackmore, who happened to be looking for a new lead singer for his band called Deep Purple, and he happened to grab this guy named Roger Glover, too, who was the bass player for Episode Six. Are you still with me? So after all of that the group Quartermass was born as a spin off of what was left of Episode Six. There is a lot more interesting history about these bands and some of the spin-offs that were created as well.

When I heard "Black Sheep Of The Family" I instantly thought of the first Blackmore's Rainbow album, it was the first time I ever heard that song. Quatermass does a rousing version of it on this album. At first they sounded more straight ahead rock with some of the progressive sounds on the outer fringes, then as the album moves along it gets heavier and more intricate. The progressive sound is in full force after a few tracks. They do maintain the heavy rock might as they change the pace though. "Gemini" is a real rockin' tune. I am a Gemini myself, and the words to the song ring so true to life it's scary. The lead instrument is the keyboards; it takes the place of the guitar essentially. "Make UpYour Mind," "Post War Saturday Echo," and "Laughin' Tackle" are in the classic prog-rock mold when considering overall improvisation, structure, and length. I have always been real big on guitar and this album left me feeling excited, satisfied, and not wanting for that sound at all. This group was particularly talented in every area. Their sound was not only interesting and captivating; it was complete and full-bodied with the three people and the three instruments that they played. We can only wonder what could have happened if they met with more success and continued to develop. I am glad that we have this great album to enjoy and to add to our prog-rock classics lists.

Originally released on Harvest in 1970 (and reissued w/new cover in 1975); first reissued in 1990 by Repertoire who re-reissued again around 1996, 1998; and again in 2005 (PID 762660) and, it appears, again in 2007 (5087)

Entropy (1:10) / Black Sheep Of The Family (3:36) / Post War Saturday Echo (9:42) / Good Lord Knows (2:54) / Up On The Ground (7:08) / Gemini (5:54) / Make Up Your Mind (8:44) / Laughin' Tackle (10:35) / Entropy (0:40) / Bonus Tracks: One Blind Mice (3:15) / Punting (7:09)

John Gustafson - vocals, bass
Mick Underwood - drums
Pete Robinson - keyboards

Quatermass (1970/2001)
Quatermass II - Long Road (1990)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: February 8th 2002
Reviewer: Keith "Muzikman" Hannaleck

Hits: 849
Language: english


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