Thursday, March 28, 2013

Goodies from GFreedom's Music Collection #2

                                        HP LOVECRAFT: I & II
    Here I will write about both records of the psychedelic band, 'HP Lovecraft'.
The main reason is that I can't separate these two albums. In my mind they are like one. And since HP Lovecraft didnt't release any other records, I thought of presenting them both.
   The band was formed in Chicago in 1967, and as you can understand they took their name from the famous American author of horrors stories, H.P Lovecraft. Soon after they moved to San Fransisco and became a part of the local psychedelic scene, playing live very often in places like 'The Fillmore', and 'Winterland Ballroom'. While in San Fransisco, they released their both records, and in 1969 they were disbanded.
  Their first album (HP Lovecraft I) was released in 1967, and it is maybe the best of the two.
It contains 10 songs in total, but almost half of them are cover versions. (very good ones though). 
In the recordings of the album they used  a 9-piece orchestra in order to give a unique style to their sound. The general style of the album is rather dark, with long almost haunting compositions, and a gloomy atmosphere. (Don't forget that it is a psychedelic album and it was recorded in 1967). 
The best songs here in my opinion are 'Wayfaring Stranger' (Traditional) , I've Been Wrong Before (Randy Newman's song cover version) and above all the wonderful 'The White Ship', which is based on HP Lovecraft's short story with the same name. The album achieved some decent sales, but failed to enter the charts.
   Their second album (HP Lovecraft II) released one year later, (1968), and it was very similar with the first in almost everything. Again many cover versions, the same gloomy atmosphere and again achieved good sales but failed to enter the charts. But there was one big difference. There isn't any composition equally to 'The White Ship' here.
The song 'At the Mountains of Madness' is again inspired from  HP Lovecraft's tale with the same name, but it has nothing to do with the quality of 'The White Ship'.
Best moments here I believe are the songs: Spin Spin Spin, High Flying Bird (yes, one more cover version of this song!), and Blue Jack of Diamonds.
   I believe that both records are very unique in style and sound, and I would recommend them both to anyone that is interested in the Psychedelic scene of the '60's. And if I'm not mistaken there has been a CD release including them both together.
 In the following videos you can listen to some of their songs from both records.
Enjoy! :)