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Arthur Brown/Kingdom Come: Kingdom Come (1972)

1971’s Galactic Zoo Dossier, Arthur Brown’s first album with his new band Kingdom Come proved that he still had more great material to give us. So a year later, he decided to record a second album, called Kingdom Come. By this point VCS-3 synthesizer player Julian Paul Brown and bassist Desmond Fisher left, replaced by new bassist Phil Shutt. The rest of the band at this point consisted of Arthur Brown on vocals, of course, guitarist/vocalist Andy Dalby, keyboardist Michael “Goodge” Harris, and drummer Martin “Slim” Steer.

This album is usually regarded as perhaps the weakest of the three of the Kingdom Come albums, but actually it isn’t all that bad. It’s just that it does have a couple of throwaway songs, but the rest of it is fine, although a notch below anything on Galactic Zoo Dossier or their followup Journey.

The album starts off with “Water”, which is doesn’t start off so encouraging, but by the end, the Mellotron makes its first appearance (something you’ll hear much more on their following album, Journey, where American-born Victor Peraino used plenty of it). Luckily the album gets better with the wonderful ballad “Love is a Spirit” and the ever eccentric “City Medoly”. A lot of this stuff can get pretty unpredictable, especially the second half of “City Medoly”.

Perhaps the most absurd song on this album is “Experiment”. Parts of this song sounds a little bit like Emerson, Lake & Palmer, where there’s another part where Andy Dalby does the singing and it ends up sounding a bit like Traffic’s “40,000 Headmen”. Then Arthur Brown starts talking about bowel movements with the sound of someone having diarrhea. I could hardly believe I heard something that crude, not even Frank Zappa could think of something that crude in his music.

That last song, “Hymn”, when my mother heard it, she thought it sucked, she said that it was sappy. Let’s put it this way: it’s definately not the album’s high point, as it’s a lot more pop-oriented than the rest of the album. Little wonder why this album got a bad rap, but don’t let the naysayers prevent you from getting this album, because aside from “Water” and “Hymn”, the rest of this album just fine. Of course, if you’re new to Arthur Brown’s Kingdom Come material, start with Galactic Zoo Dossier or Journey first.
– Arthur Brown: vocals
– Andy Dalby: guitars, vocals
– Phil Shutt: bass
– Michael Harris: organ, piano, electric piano, VCS-3 synthesizer, Mellotron
– Martin Steer: drums

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