"Why is it so cold out here? SO COLD!
Let me in! The price of your entry is sin.
Go away... Then return. Know which faith, you have to turn.
Eyes are glaring, Voices blaring. Whoa!
Caught up deep inside and in my brain
Take my love and turn it to pain
Take my heart and tear it apart
Gonna burn in hard desire
This is the refrain of Arthur Browns 1968 album. The line appears in multiple songs, and it's a really nice refrain. Arthur Brown seems to be blessed with vivid songwriting skills and a flat out insane voice. It's almost a slap in the face calling him a "Shock Rocker" because he has such a great voice. Whether it's a quiet heartfelt plea or an outrageous screech, Arthur manages to keep this album entertaining throughout. Though the album gets slammed for being overly dramatic, it's a nice touch.
The singing and songwriting is consitent, but what isn't consistent on this album is the music. The album is seemingly 100% Organ with some brass and barely noticeable percussion sprinkled throughout. But the organ is prominent in every song. Now sometimes this is good, and sometimes the Organ work is just flat out Gawdy. On"Prelude - Nightmare
" the organ is nice and theatrical, as is Arthur, one of the album highlights. And on "Time/Confusion
" The organ is quiet and Glum, a very nice addition to Arthur's voice. But on "Spontaneous Apple Creation
" the organ is downright painful to listen to. Arthur's performance barely redeems it. The song is littered with tacky effects and nonsensical lyrics. It's not boring. Just hard to listen to. "Rest Cure
" is a seems a little bland at first, but it's actually a nice little song. Upbeat and with a nice piano instead of a wacky organ, something that should've been done more often with this album.
But even though the album is far from perfect, it doesn't mean this isn't an excellent album. "Come and buy
" is incredibly catchy. It starts out slow and loungy, with oddly spoken lyrics from Arthur until the organ gets loud and Arthur belts out:
I can sell you love
I can buy you the morning sun
You can buy sun for the morning
From suns to the set in the morning for tea
Pockets of love but nothing to buy
Crystals of beauty, the mountain, the sea
Something that ain't through a mind full of fire
Go in hands with the sun and set yourself free
Come and see, come and buy, come and buy... Buy my love
the song goes back to being quiet, then builds up again until Arthur busts in to the "Why is it so cold?" refrain and the some comes to a halt. But the most known part of this album is "Fire
" which has it's own intro poem. ("Fanfare - Fire Poem
") which is a little tacky, but a nice introduction to the one hit Arthur Brown Had.
Many people have heard "Fire
" and just didn't realize it. It's featured at the beginning of the Marilyn Manson
song "Lunchbox". Well, the song isn't as sinister as Marilyn would lead you to believe. Many would be surprised to know that Arthur is actually a devout Christian. and much of the album deals with religion, this song being a one of those moments. Which seems to be about satan. With a playful organ and some nice brass work. and maniacal laughter near the end. The song was made to be a hit. "I Put A Spell On You
", is a cover of the old Screamin' Jay Hawkins song.I really enjoy this version, and it in some ways better than the original. The organ is played in a blues like manner and it works well. Arthur really sounds soulful and sincere. not to mention the great drumming (One of the few moment of the album where drumming is of any significance).
I've Got Money
features pretty nice drumming as well, and organ and piano combined, which sounds very nice. Arthur's voice is great once again, and conveys the playful mood of the song nicely. The only thing suspect on the song is the songwriting, which is a little simple compared to the other songs on the album, still a nice song. However, the albums shining moment is the final song "Child Of My Kingdom
" Everything is perfect on the song. Heartfelt singing and lyrics, extraordinary Piano, and catchy whistling, and some nice drumming. The song is a bit of an epic, clocking in at 7 minutes. The song is mostly slow and bluesy, but has some energetic piano solos. near the end, Arthur just decides to belt some lyrics out, and really just shows off his vocal strength. Though the song is 7 minutes, it's not a second too long, that is the one thing I can say about this album that I can't say about a lot of others. There really isn't a dull moment on here. Yes, "Spontaneous Apple Creation
" is pretty bad, but it's not boring, just a tad annoying.
This album is considered psychedelia, and in ways it is. But this album is more blues than anything. The only thing Psychedelic about the album is the organ (Even though, that's a huge part of the album for better or worse.) For the most part, I like the organ, it really is kooky and interesting. But lots of people just think the organ work ruins the entire album. Though I disagree that it Ruins
the album, I will admit Arthur sounds better when he is singing over piano. Maybe this album would've been a classic if the organ was dumped and replaced entirely with piano. But by no means does the organ hold Arthur's voice back. All in all, everything about the album is above average. A few imperfections, but Arthur's Voice is constantly great. For any fans of Pschedelia and/or Blues, this album must be heard.
Arthur Brown's Singing, Songwriting, and personality on the album.
The entire album is very entertaining
Many will just flat out not like the organ work
Drumming doesn't play a big enough role
Some may consider the album too theatrical
"Prelude - Nightmare"
"Come And Buy"
"Child Of My Kingdom"