Friday, February 9, 2007

Hampton Grease Band-Music To Eat,LP,1971,USA, (NWW list)


Released in 1971, this album is boasted as the second worst selling album in Columbia records history beat out by a yoga instruction album. The Hampton Grease Band (formed 1968) consists of two guitarists, Harold Kelling and Glenn Phillips, both ranking in ability equal to Robert Fripp and Frank Zappa, a tight rhythm section consisting of Mike Holbrook on bass and Jerry Fields on drums and vocals rounded out with bizarre vocalist Bruce Hampton who resembles combination of Captain Beefheart, Family's Roger Chapman, Pere Ubu's David Thomas and Can's original vocalist Malcolm Mooney (which for some may relegate him to the "aquried taste" category). With the exception of two shorter songs (added to the album as a suggestion from Columbia records with the hopes of getting single out of the album) Music to Eat consisted of mainly 10-20 minute totally improvised both musically and vocally works, recorded in one take (due to a lack of recording budget) and edited down to final pieces, much in the vein of bands like Can and Faust. The most bizarre aspect of this band is its absurd lyrical content which often come from such sources as spray paint cans and dictionary entries of the city of Halifax, when not concentrating on such subjects as dying old ladies, trashmen and Mexican children loosing their virginity. Apparently this band was even more bizarre live with Hampton often performing while standing on a pizza as well as such acts as covering selected friends with mayonnaise. Unfortunately due to internal friction of this band and a total lack of success of their album, the Hampton Grease Band called it a day after only one release. Most of the members continued to work on other projects and do solo work, although they mostly remained in obscurity. Bruce Hampton recently played a minor part in the motion picture blockbuster. Slingblade.
get it here
and

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

i am just stunned to see this collection. i hope if you don't me taking one of everything

Greg Sinora said...

This one great record, a masterpiece in every sense of the word. Thanks indeed for bringing this to my attention.
Cheers

sleepwalk said...

I saw Hampton Grease Band live last year - a reunion show with mostly original members (one of the guitarists died a while back). The audience was heavy on the hippies, but the show was fantastic - I think they played pretty much everything from this album and the musicianship was top-notch. I am trying to convince Glen Phillips to give me guitar lessons. Columbia issued this record on CD in the 90's I think - fat double-cd pack. I got it in the bargain bin for $3.

Anonymous said...

part 1 & part 2 of hampton grease band are exactly the same. is this correct?

blorpik

Heavypsychman said...

I got a 7" that came with Ptotomaic terrascope fanzine with this band.

Loved the insane Spray paint keep a way from flame lyrics and general weirdo Floyd vibe.

Thought never see a whole a LP with this band.

Thanks for sharing mutant dude!

raindogzilla said...

Col. Bruce Hampton and his Aquarium Rescue Unit came through Lexington several times when I lived down there a few years back. He's still whacky but has great musicians backing him up. Thanks for the grease!

raindogzilla said...

forgot this:

http://www.theaquariumrescueunit.com/

Keef said...

This music is improvised according to the stuff written above .... Ri-ight ... You can't improvise this -- this is highly structured.

Anonymous said...

Keef's right, this LP is highly structured.

Only "Lawton" and the ending of "Hendon" are improvised

zenfeedbacker said...

You are a cultural guru, sir. Thanks for wonderful music available through your blog, although I was surprised to learn that the grease band, after covering each other in mayonnaise, split due to 'internal friction'... surely they just skidded away from each other at high speed?

Kevin Patrick MacNutt said...

Nice review above, I couldn't have said it better myself. Actually I did say it myself (on the Rate Your Music Site). I seemed awfully familiar when I was reading it.