Atlee were a minor act when this was released, influenced by UK blues, for fans of early 70’s hard rock with an inkling for fuzz guitar and loads of wah-wah then this is a good place to start.
Written by: gdmonline
ALBUM: Flying A Head
SERIAL: DS 50084
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Atlee Yeager – bass, lead vocals * Michael Stevens – guitars, vocals * Bruce Schaffer – keyboards, vocals * Don Francisco – drums, vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 Rip You Up * 02 Swamp Rhythm * 03 Painted Ladies * 04 Jesus People * 05 Lets Make Love * 06 Will We Get Together * 07 Dirty Old Man * 08 Ain’t That Way * 09 Dirty Sheets
Recently, you may have read the review of the band Highway Robbery here at Glory Daze. The name Don Francisco is mentioned, as he is here on this album that stretches back decades. Both Atlee Yeager and Mike Stevens were also involved with this outfit at some stage too. However, the band precedes Highway Robbery by a couple of years, and is led by singer bassist Atlee Yeager.
Atlee were a minor act at the time American hard rock was taking off. Influenced by British bands swamped in the blues, plus a hard core legion of American acts around at the time. Namely Atomic Rooster, Blue Cheer, Vanilla Fudge and Banchee.
Before that however, Yeager was in the band Damon. They released an album during 1970 called ‘Song Of A Gypsy’. A psychedelic oriented release apparently.
We’re on fuzz guitar alert with the smokin’ opener ‘Rip You Up’. Even as far back as 1970 they knew what made a good rock song tick! A virtual melting pot of sounds and styles can be found with ‘Swamp Rhythm’. It has a load of wah, flanger effects plus a nod to some Latin elements too.
Atlee slow up considerably for ‘Painted Ladies’, a slow-burning effort which will test even the longest of candles. The track ‘Jesus People’ is hardly an ode to the CCM movement. It is actually an upbeat (near hypnotic) chant based tune. It has a few laughable moments in it, including the amen’ line at the end.
‘Will We Get Together’ takes on a Three Dog Night sound, one of their more commercial tracks on the album. ‘Dirty Old Man’ is a cool sounding track. Though the Iron Butterfly drum solo rip-off from ‘Inna-Gada-Da-Vida’ is a bit too close to the bone for my liking.
By comparison, ‘Ain’t That The Way’ is positively laid back, though the slammin’ piano gives it a slight edge. The album ends with the swamp rock flavour of ‘Dirty Sheets’. Pick the fluff out of this one!
ABC Dunhill also released a 45′ Single of ‘Rip You Up’ coupled with ‘Will We Get Together’. 1972’s Highway Robbery included some of the personnel listed above. Atlee also released an album in 1973 ‘Plant Me Now Dig Me Later’. This was released on the Chelsea label.
Not much is known about Yeager’s history beyond 1973. For fans of early 70’s hard rock with an inkling for fuzz guitar and loads of wah-wah then this is as good a place to start.