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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Second Coming, USA

Second Coming - The Second Coming. 1970 Mercury

Another one from the CD-R revisit pile, though in this case, I went ahead and bought the vinyl afterward (it's not an expensive record for those of you in the market for one). The cover above is that copy, since there really wasn't good scan out there. Comes in a nice gatefold. There's also a UK press with a different cover (and considerably more expensive).

Second Coming are an old school horn rock band originally on Mercury Records (also the label behind the even better horn rock band Aura). I’m probably one of the world’s biggest horn rock fans, but it’s rare to find albums in this style with any kind of consistency. And Second Coming are no exception. They’ll mix a brilliant 7 piece instrumental with simplistic blues and pop music. Their arrangements were a little tighter than most, and they actually allowed their guitar player to go in frenzied Terry Kath mode, which is what kept the early Chicago albums interesting (and kept them rooted in the underground). Second Coming take this inconsistency even a bit further, and have brilliant moments within each track - along with the ordinary. For example, the staccato trumpet and drum corps bit on 'Requiem for a Rainy Day' is about as good as it gets. 'Landlubber' and the 11 minute progressive oriented 'Jeremiah Crane' also have much to recommend with some fiery guitar solos, and wonderful brass charts. But the boozy woozy numbers 'Take Me Home' and 'Roundhouse' are wretched in comparison, though the latter features a fine bluesy guitar solo at least. Tracks like "Requiem.." and 'It's Over' most certainly had major hit potential, but it wasn't meant to be I guess. A very talented band, that time has forgotten. Worth seeking out for fans of the style.

Priority: 3


Pet said...

One of all time greatest albums for me, makes my album top-20 which includes Sparks, Japan, Tomita, Kate Bush, ABBA, Beatles, Mothers Of Invention, Jefferson Airplane, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits etc... none of those sound like "2C" of course, but this sounds like it should be the crowning achievement of the "brass rock"genre. It also does at times sound like a friendlier yet intelligent version of the Mothers of Invention. There are atmospherical avant garde passages. The band just has so many disparate elements and they handle all perfect. Maybe "Jeremiah Crane" made people think this is some "hippies for Jesus" project. I've thought for years I should try find some of these people and get the whole story.
I've also had to Wonder if the sound and some passages influenced Zappa's Grand Wazoo. And my country also has a potential follower: Paradise's "Niin vähän on aikaa" album.

Tom said...

Thanks Pet for the comments! Excellent analysis. I'm not familiar with Paradise, though it's obvious it must be from Finland (or Estonia) :-)

Pet said...

Thanks. Oh yes, I'm from Finland. I suddenly remembered I had commented on something last night and came to check - I'm suffering from a sort of a "blogland jetlag" and had taken a sleeping pill but seems it didn't work as I ended up surfing the blogs again - under the influence of the pill, which sometimes has surprising results... luckily I can stand behind what I wrote although I see a couple of typos etc. Great blog, I could suggest additions but they might fall outside the prog/psych scope. A great resource though, even if people in these times may start wondering about the idea of reissues - at least in compact disc form... still, it's about the substance. Enough already, see you around ;D