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Dillinger - Dillinger (1974)

Discussion in 'Album Reviews' started by joe, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. joe

    joe Senior Member

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    [​IMG]

    Dillinger - Dillinger

    1974 - Daffodil(Canada) LP

    - Jacques Harrison / vocals, Hammond organ, Moog synthesizer, flute, saxophone
    - Robert Harrison / drums, percussion, vocals
    - Paul Cockburn / guitars, vocals
    - Terry Bramhall / bass, vocals

    A fusion of two Canadian provinces.

    In the early/mid '70's there was on one side of the Maple Leaf, the hard rock scene in Toronto, Ontario throwing out bands like Rush, Triumph, A Foot In Coldwater, Thundermug, Moxy and on the flip side, prog and folk was blowing strong in Quebec with Harmonium, Maneige, Sloche propelling the movement, yet another contrast in the differences between two cultural, lingual and political environments with tensions and turmoil between the separatists and federalists in P.Q. Brothers, Jacques and Robert Harrison left Quebec and headed to T.O. (the center of the universe) in the early '70's and formed Dillinger in 1973, named after the infamous bank robber, John Dillinger from Indiana. Torontonians, guitarist Paul Cockburn and bassist Terry Bramhall were recruited and the Harrison brothers brought their proggy influences from Quebec with Jacques' multi-instrumental talents on the flute, sax, keys as well taking on the lead vocals along with most of the song writing.

    The band was signed to the Canadian independent label, Daffodil Records and their self-titled debut was released in 1974. The keys and the guitars drive the music with melodic harmony vocals shifting between a hard bluesy hard rock with the fusion of complex jazzy progressive passages provided by the sax, flute and the Hammond and the mood of a Moog.

    The album opens up with, "People", probabbly the best track on the album with a honking saxophone, howling guitars and the punchy organ with powerful vocals. A growling guitar solo then slides into a Focus-like flute interplay with a hammering Hammond line. A spirited mixture of hard blues rock, jazz-rock and symphonic prog. The first half of "City Man" is more in the hard rock realm of Deep Purple but then abruptly and somewhat awkwardly takes on a jazz-fusion foundation with a searing sax solo: chaotic and contrasting. The band's cover of "Nature's Way", from the psychedlic classic, 'The Twelve Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus' by Spirit is excellent. The tempo is slowed down compared to the original but the addition of the trumpet/trombone (I'm not sure which as I don't have a PhD. in musicology) would have been something Spirit might of well incorporated as they on occasion would implement horns on some of their jazz-rock tracks. The addition of the female background/harmony vocalists adds a surgary semblance but not a pompous (sunshine)pop to Dillinger's version, though it might be excessive. The 17+ minute epic, "Live And Return" starts out proggy and jazzy with Jacques Harrison's vocals supported again by background harmony vocals (again, immoderate) and then slides into a instrumental jam of intervals and entwining with jazz-rock, hard blues rock and prog (Deep Purple/Steppenwolf/Iron Butterfly/ELP/Santana fusion). After the 11 minute mark, unexpectedly and somewhat dischording, a drum solo irrupts and travels for almost four minutes reminiscent of ELP Carl Palmer's "Tank" solo spotlight. A wild but long winded suite/jam typical of the era.

    On their next album, 'Don't Lie To The Band', released two years later and with the help of Rush producer, Terry Brown, Dillinger matured and tightened their sound and style to more of a hard rock direction though still slanted with progressive tendencies with some of the tracks in the 8 -9 minute range which still allowed the members, most notably Jacques Harrison to fluent his virtuosity. In 1977, the band had some personnel changes and went under the name of The Hunt and released their self-titled debut, a fantastic hard rock album though the prog leanings were almost non-existent.

    Rating: 3/5

    [​IMG]



     
  2. LG

    LG Fade To Black

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    Hey nice to see you back again Joe...:hab:

    Very good write up...this is one of those bands that slipped past me, but I like their sound. I'll put them on my list, but from the sound of things finding an album might be difficult.
     
  3. joe

    joe Senior Member

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    The vinyl was hard to track down back in the day LG. I'm pretty sure both albums have been issued on CD. Their second album is better of the two IMO.
     
  4. LG

    LG Fade To Black

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    So many of the albums you know intimately well were released a couple years before I could afford to buy my own, and living in the small town with one shop I have to say the selection was what you describe as "mainstream". Now all these years later it is a matter of luck if you can locate a copy at a fair price of many albums that were never mass produced.

    I'll keep my eyes open for anything with Dillinger on it.;)
     
  5. joe

    joe Senior Member

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    Most of the obscure vinyl I collected was OOP/deleted and were used and usually priced in the $10-20 range which seemed fair at that the time but I will say I've seen some of the prices of vinyl (and for that matter, some CDs as well) on some websites with vinyl being "hot" right now and I think with the internet and some of the hype on some bands/albums that the prices are artificially inflated. Some prices are absolutely crazy and a big discrepancy in value though I think that depends on a regional basis. For example, Dillinger's albums probably demand more money here in Canada as oppossed to say, the southern U.S, the U.K. or Germany and might even fetch a higher price in Ontario and P.Q. as compared to here in B.C.
     

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