Thursday, November 16, 2006

PLUS - The Seven Deadly Sins - Probe - 1969

hey all ;
here is another lost gem of the 60`s. this was recorded in `69 for ABC`s sub PROBE records.
engineered by andy johns...
i transferred this from the ORIGINAL vinyl & encoded @ VBR-320kbs.
tons of organs , FUZZ guitars , violins , choirs from hades --- its a long ride ..:)
this one is out there ``

please let me know what ya think !?



"One look at the cover and it should be clear that producers Simon Napier Bell and Ray Singer (who also penned about six of the tracks here) were trying to capitalize on the look and feel of Jesus Christ Superstar with this concept album that is laid out like a Catholic mass. The only musicians credited are Tony Newman (g), Max Simms (bass), and Mike Newman (d); there’s also vocalists (an entire choir on a couple tracks), piano, organ, violins, cellos and much more – which naturally leads one to believe this is more an album by the two producers, than that of the “band”, although the Newman brothers are credited with writing the remaining five songs. So what’s it all about? Imagine an eclectic mix of sixties styled rock and pop songs (early Who or pre-psychedelic Beatles might be a fair comparison) separated by short dissonant string quartet interludes, short spoken introductions, with some classical rips (the “Toccata” with the choir singing the names of the sins over and over is quite ridiculous, as is the silly doo-wop meets Elvis “Dismissal”, but the bombastic “Devil’s Hymn” for choir and band is quite cool, with its jazzy center section). The meat of the album is in the songs though, all of which sound a little dated (even by 1969 standards) but are still quite good. From the poppy “Envy: I’m Talking as a Friend” and “Pride”, to the out-and-out rockers “Sloth: Open Up Your Eyes” and “Gluttony: Something is Threatening Your Family”, the song-craftsmanship and arrangements throughout are at a very high level. Probably not for everyone, but those into sixties styled eclecticism might do well to check it out. - Peter Thelen"

"As Plus, brothers Mike (drums) and Tony (guitar) Newman and bassist Max Simms found an impressive mentor in the form of ex-Yardbirds bassist/producer Simon Napier-Bell. Napier-Bell was apparently instrumental in getting the trio a recording deal with ABC's short-lived Probe subsidiary.

In addition to co-producing 1969's "The Seven Deadly Sings", Napier-Bell and Ray Singer were credited with co-writing roughly half the album. A goofy concept piece (any guesses on the plotline), the set seemed to be a clumsy effort to cash in on the public's renewed interest in religion (aka "Jesus Christ Superstar", or "Mass In F Minor" Electric Prunes). Thematically and lyrically the album was clearly linked via brief spoken intros and instrumental interludes, which makes it even funnier to discover that musically the set's all over the spectrum. Material such as the instrumental "Gloria In Excelsis: Toccata" and "The Secrets: Devil's Hymn" mixed classical moves with chuch choirs and progressive moves. Elsewhere "Pride: Pride" and "Envy: I'm Talking As a Friend" offered up a startling pair of Badfinger-styled pop jewels, while "Avarice: Daddy's Thing" was surprisingly funky and "Wrath: Gemegemera" was standard hard rock. Needless to say, sales were far and few. (The album was originally released with an embossed, gatefold cover.) "


"The Seven Deadly Sins" track listing:

1.) Introit: Twenty Thousand People (Simon Napier Bell - Ray Singer)
2.) Gloria In Excelsis: Toccata (instrumental) (Simon Napier Bell - Ray Singer)
3.) Avarice: Daddy's Thing (Mike Newman - Tony Newman)
4.) Pride: Pride (Simon Napier Bell - Ray Singer)
5.) Sloth: Open Up Your Eyes (Mike Newman - Tony Newman)
6.) Wrath: Gemegemera (Simon Napier Bell - Ray Singer)
7.) The Secrets: Devil's Hymn (instrumental) (Simon Napier Bell - Ray Singer)
8.) Lust: Maybe You're The Same (Mike Newman - Tony Newman)
9.) Envy: I'm Talking As a Friend" (Mike Newman - Tony Newman)
10.) Gluttony: Something To Threaten Your Family (Mike Newman - Tony Newman)
11.) The Dismissal: Twenty Thousand People (Simon Napier Bell - Ray Singer)

1999 saw the set reissued in CD format by the small Free label (catalog number FRC 9903).

DOWNLOAD -- here --


2tired2sleep said...

What an obscure gem!!!! I didn't even know this record existed...
Track 3 has the same riff as the new single from Babyshambles "The blinding".
The vocalist on the second song sounds like Meat Loaf - I mean the tone of his voice.
Great - great - great! Thanks so much!

Ol' Hank said...

I agree with 2tired, no better way to put it than, 'obscure gem'. I mean, I'd never even seen the band's name before. Actually, I was playing this on my computer over T'giving, and someone commented, 'is that Paul McCartney' at one point? I laughed, but then went back and of the vocalists does have a very Beatle-esque voice. A real keeper!

akashaman said...

ha , i know what u r saying : there is one track in particular which totally sounds like a lost beatles track , & then it gets all heavy & wierd again.
ya , this LP is a real creeper.
i really love it too `
you aint heard nothing yet , haha.
this whole process takes longer than i anticipated , as i am actually transfering all this myself.
i will try & get at least 2-3 up a week tho !

thanks for feedbax !


Vinnie Rattolle said...

"The file was deleted because of violating our Terms of service."

Damn, I wanted to hear this one...

Connector55 said...

from Connector55, CA USA

Dude, I have been searching for this album for years. I had bought the original back in '69 but sold it when I moved out west. Since you seem to be the king of the obscure if you ever come across a copy of Frigid Pinks first album with the long version of House of the Rising Sun I would be eternally grateful if you would let me know. e-mail me at peace

akashaman said...

dood ! u rock , for having this LP back in the day , whoo hoo :
of course i have the debut frijid pink & i will post it for ya this week !
also have thier "earth omen" , i`ll to that as well. spin on !


The Great Protrubero said...

Well, I just downloaded and listened to this, and I have to say...I'm impressed! I was wondering if it would be a bit of a letdown, as not all obscure albums are classics- working at Feak Emporium between 2005 and 2006 sure taught me that!! But this is definitely one of the better ones and worthy of repeated listening. I particulatly like the way all the songs are one huge seamless suite, and how the choral vocals put one in mind of those wonderfully cheesy novels like 'Double Zero' about vicars that go to live among hippies and bikers and convert them- which means in a way that this is the complete opposite of Jacula or Black Widow, despite sounding remarkably similar!!. A cynical cash in job admittedly, and one wonders how, ahem, 'close' the musicians involved were to Mr Napier Bell, but a very effective one all the same. And what a great sleeve design.

Now, who's heard 'The Distance Between Us' By Don Bradshaw Leather? I have, finally...

akashaman said...

nice to meet you , The Great Protrubero !
great review , ya this is a kewl one indeed !
i never heardd of the guys , but found this at 1/2 priced books. it was in rare form , really super clean copy. it was wierd enuff to snag & its on probe , so i knew it was rare. it really tripped me out when i heard it all. really some nice psych pop for such dark design. some of these guitar tones kill. love the production on this , dont make `em like this no more....:)

u rok


Anonymous said...

Hi Good Man
What happened to this lokalisation? I have tried to catch this lp for 5 years..
Oh... maybe next time, next aeon..
greetings from Poland :)

Anonymous said...

Great album. Great blog. Many thanks!

akashaman said...

hey all :
i got this killer email from a guy named Marc McHugh , who actually bought this LP back in the day !
tons of info on these guys & then some...: enjoy `


Hello Akashaman –

A search for “Seven Deadly Sins” by Plus turned up you - and was delighted to see you had it for download. A bit bassy overall, but glad to have it in any event. I have a turntable that does great vinyl conversions to WAV or MP3’s – and will try my hand at making a version myself.

I am very familiar with the LP – as I remember the ABC/Probe hype for several LP’s released at the same time - to include the SDS recording. I still to this day have several promo pieces hyping the LP along with the release of an LP by “Rare Bird” - - I’m sure you’re familiar with them and their hit "Sympathy." Just a bit of history as to the recording. As you can imagine – there was never a touring band known as “PLUS.” Tony Newman had moved along from the original Jeff Beck Group – hence the connection with Simon Napier-Bell. He – along with drummer/brother, Mike, was contacted to perform backing music on what was to be a “concept album" (remember those?) centering around the seven deadly sins. The idea came from Kurt Weill/Bertoldt Brecht’s “Seven Deadly Sins” featuring Lotte Lenya. The thought was to infuse rock elements, while spinning a rather “Black Mass” effect, both lyrically and musically, at times throughout the LP. Unfortunately, vocalists and other musicians taking part on the LP seem lost to history. I purchased a copy on its issuance date of Nov 1, 1969 – the same day I bought King Crimson’s “In the Court of the Crimson King” (an absolute classic). Coming from New Haven, CT – the gr eat record store, Cutler’s, payed the SDS recording incessantly on its stereo system – and for a week or two – it had legs within the Yale community. It then promptly died. Several years later, in Boston, you should know that simultaneously to making the SDS recording, Tony Newman was also part of a heavy trio known as May Blitz. May Blitz was formed in England during the early part of 1969. Tony Newman actually formed the band recruiting James Black & Reid Hudson. Black and Hudson were Canadians from Victoria, British Columbia who pioneered Canadian West Coast music prior to moving to England. The band played extensively on the UK college circuit in 1969 before signing with Vertigo. Their debut album 'May Blitz' in 1970 was heavy and featured a grotesque cartoon cover. Beacuse of my love for SDS - I rushed out to buy May Blitz when issued knowing Newman was involved - and alas, found it disapointing. The first album sold moderately and a follow up 'The 2nd Of May' was recorded in 1971. Unfortunately, despite being an excellent album full of heavy original numbers, the album flopped. The band was dropped by Vertigo shortly after. Both of their vinyl albums are in high demand on the collectors market. In 1992 both of the albums were re-mastered onto CD. Their music lives on through collectors and fans worldwide. Black and Hudson disappeared into oblivion (They actually returned to Can ada after the break up of May Blitz) but Newman played with many bands throughout the 70's including Three Man Army, Marc Bolan, David Bowie (David Live) & Mick Ronson, Chris Spedding and David Coverdale's Whitesnake.

Back to SDS - Additionally – I must take issue with one blogger on your site who feels that “"One look at the cover and it should be clear that producers Simon Napier Bell and Ray Singer (who also penned about six of the tracks here) were trying to capitalize on the look and feel of Jesus Christ Superstar” – from one Peter Thelen. Chronologically, this would be an impossibility in that JC Superstar would not be released until almost one full-year after SDS. I would rather presume that both Napier-Bell a nd Singer were in tune to the darker-edge that was rising up in Britain – what with groups on the horizon like Black Sabbath, etc - - and saw an opportunity to capitalize on what was at that time a growing musical movement. In closing - SDS is a great recording - one most certainly worthy of CD issuance. Too bad it seems to have fallen through the cracks, and lost - forever!!

Take Care -

Marc McHugh

mystic-X said...

Thats really great!

I didn't know the band before and now I'm fascinated!

BIG BIG Thanks to U!!

Anonymous said...

thank you soooo much! My dad (grown up in former East Germany) was, and still is, a great Sixties' and Seventies' fan. So he asked me (his daughter) to look for this LP, which appeared to have disappeared all together. But now I could call him playing the music and telling him the news. He was most happy:). I'm listening to the freshly burned mp3 ... best wishes from Dresden! evi

db said...

great music!
check out
calisoulbrother records
for rare PSYCH, PROG, soul, jazz, funk, brazil & latin records!

Ambassador from the Zone said...

The link just sends me in circles, waiting for the DL over and over. Any chance on a reupload on a different host? I would really love a 320k vers. of this album!

Anonymous said...

link is broken! =(

akashaman said...

new link added !
KIK ass LP : turn it up bitches !



A. said...

Muchos gracias

Anonymous said...

I was meaning to Google "Plus" and finally did and was amazed to find it on your site. I listened to this album until the needle came thru the other side back in the seventies. Then I lost it in a gambling debt. I always thought it was called Gothic Rock but I guess Prog Rock is more accurate.
Drumming like this and King Crimson's is what turned me on back in the day!

Anonymous said...

hi there,
I got this album from my mum when I was a teenager, she got it from a friend when she was a teenager and visited London. My vinyl is in quite bad condition so I was very pleased to find it here. Thanx so much.

akashaman said...

wow , i cant imagine hearing this being so young -- ha
i didnt find it till i was 40 or so.
very kewl LP , very heavy & a bit spooky. but very well produced & written. one of my faves , how does it sound ?
glad u found this lost gem !


akashaman said...

hmm , was re reading Marc McHugh`s comments & he was saying the recording is a bit bassy. hard for me to tell as i listen on my recording pc w/ flat monitors. i might have had some dumb eq on it or something. will try & re record this one soon , with no extra bs.

puck30 said...

OMG! I have not heard this since, maybe 72'?
For some reason it's not downloading at the moment. I always wondered if this album was everything I remembered, by the comments YES! My Brother brought it and I use to sneak into his room when he wasn't home and play it. Then one day it disappeared. Let me know when the link is up and running again. Right now it's just gives you tons of spammy links.
Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Can't wait to hear this gem again.

Anonymous said...

Did the download - first song is cut off at the end - any way to fix that? Please try! - George Grotto

Anonymous said...

A fine and weird album. Thanks for hosting it. However, it couldn't be trying for "the look and feel" of "Jesus Christ Superstar" since it came out a year and a half before that. Maybe The Electric Prunes' "Mass In F Minor", but Superstar? Nah.

Anonymous said...

Here's another "Seven Deadly Sins" lp:

Anonymous said...

Thanx a lot!

sweet memories said...

I just got a copy of this LP in at my shop Sweet Memories Vinyl Records UK Its probably a VG with a few crackles in the quiet bits but plays really well, the UK copy is very hard to kind and will probably fetch £100+ even in this condition. Enjoyed the review, certainly sounds like the Who in parts and is a really interesting album, I loved it!! Nick Courtney

sweet memories said...

Great review!

Ozzy said...

Thank you Sir!

Stephanie Lilith Elizabeth Bathory said...

This album is fucking awesome! Especially on "Devil's Hymn" in the middle where is goes Jazz Fusion.

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Vladimir Constantinov said...

Hi! Salute from Russia! Sorry, maybe, you have LP- rip of Finder & Lewis- Full Circle 1982. I never find it any years. Kind regards.

Vladimir Constantinov said...

Hi! Salute from Russia! Sorry, maybe, you have LP- rip of Finder & Lewis- Full Circle 1982. I never find it any years. Kind regards.

Vladimir Constantinov said...

Hi! Salute from Russia! Sorry, maybe, you have LP- rip of Finder & Lewis- Full Circle 1982. I never find it any years. Kind regards.