This is a rare one off album from Long Island band Liquid Smoke, it’s a psychedelic blues come hard rock album, one for the elder statesmen.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Liquid Smoke
ALBUM: Liquid Smoke
LABEL: Avco Embassy
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Sandy Pantaleo – lead vocals * Vince Fersak – guitar * Mike Archeleta – bass * Benny Ninmann – keyboards * Chas Kimbrell – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 I Who Have Nothing * 02 Lookin’ For Tomorrow * 03 Hard To Handle * 04 Reflection * 05 Warm Touch *06 Shelter Of Your Arms * 07 Set Me Free * 08 It’s A Man’s World * 09 Let Me Down Easy
This is a rare one off album from Long Island New York band called Liquid Smoke. These guys came together in 1969 after meeting as students and signed on with the Avco label for their sole release in early 1970. It’s a psychedelic blues come hard rock album which has held good opinion over the years. The album was produced by Vinny Testa, who also produced another prominent band at the time: Frijid Pink.
The albums two best moments are front loaded, but the track listing is full of surprises. ‘I Who Have Nothing’ is a track best remembered by your parents, as Welsh figureheads Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey both belted out versions of the Ben E King chestnut. This version veers into brass rock territory. Not quite Blood Sweat And Tears but the intent was certainly there.
The pysch workout ‘Lookin’ For Tomorrow’ has some groovy riffs. Why was I thinking Led Zeppelin? Check the video below. The Otis Redding classic ‘Hard To Handle’ was made popular in 1968 weeks after his late 1967 death in a plane crash. Liquid Smoke recorded this in 1969 and predates the similar version which made The Black Crowes a household name in 1990.
The smoke turns to fire with ‘Warm Touch’, a blistering workout with some hot guitar work from Vince Fersak. The choral slant of the harmony vocals and the cathedral like draping of organ makes ‘Shelter Of Your Arms’ a compulsory listen. The boys get down to a basic form of soul/funk with ‘Set Me Free’, which is followed by the James Brown cover ‘It’s A Man’s World’, a slow burning soul/blues smoocher. The album is concluded by the acoustic strum of ‘Let Me Down Easy’, with an organ backdrop which reminded me of English proggies Cressida.
This was the bands only album, the lineup disappearing off into the sunset before you knew that 1970 was up, by all accounts. What a shame. Of the personnel, bassist Mike Archeleta reputedly hooked up with Vince Martell from Vanilla Fudge but nothing longstanding became of it.
Singer Sandy Pantaleo went off into acting, songwriting and singing, under the sun name Sonny Rose. The album has been reissued and remastered twice, the most recent being a 2013 reissue by German label O Music followed by a 2014 on the Relics label. Refer the Discogs link above. If you love the older era of rock, add this to your collection.
Lookin For Tomorrow
I Who Have Nothing
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