The CRAZY WORLD of ARTHUR BROWN – September 1968
I am the God of Hellfire and I bring you …
… before Marilyn Manson, before Alice Cooper, there was Arthur Brown, the Hellfire Hippie – a truly creatively-crazed performer.
You don’t even have to see him live, just envision the man whose voice commands this album – at all ranges – and images of a crazy, scary and really touching artist emerge.
There’s something about this album that was very pleasing, reassuring in a way, which may have a little to do with the fact that in the months prior to this LP’s release I had taken Mescaline for the first time and then after several trips later when I got a hold of this great LP, I was good to go!
Plus this album fit right in with the more fun we were having.
The album is a wacky deceiver because beneath the weird, quirky but solid Psychedelic Rock were surprisingly very good songs.
Two of my favorites are “Rest Cure” and “Come and Buy” both very peaceful on top with strong undercurrents – Groovy!
Arthur nearly goes mad to own his version of the classic “I Put A Spell On You”! And I think therein lies one of the reasons I like this guy, his histrionics never seemed put-on or forced, his voice and the weird ranges of intensity bordering on operatic drama were perfect for the totally psychedelic visual and aural display for which he was notorious.
I saw a clip that was current a decade or so ago where Arthur was into Sound Therapy and had a retreat but it was his eccentric behavior that revealed to me that he was one of those free spirits, like the actor/performer Crispin Glover, (and many a Hippie back in the day that immersed themselves in the whole scene to the point of eccentricity) that really come off honest and true with no pretenses – and that makes them the “madmen”.
None of that matters because what we have here is a perfect gem of late ‘60s psychedelic Rock with the added fun of an early “concept” album theme.
Vincent Crane who would soon leave TCWOAB and form Atomic Rooster with Carl Palmer lays down heavy Hammond organ to the delight of 00individual!
“Prelude/Nightmare” (Arthur Brown) – 3:28
“Fanfare/Fire Poem” (Brown, Vincent Crane) – 1:51
“Fire” (Brown, Crane, Mike Finesilver, Peter Ker) – 2:54
“Come and Buy” (Brown, Crane) – 5:40
“Time” (Brown) / “Confusion” (Crane) – 5:11
“I Put a Spell on You” (Screamin’ Jay Hawkins) – 3:41
“Spontaneous Apple Creation” (Brown, Crane) – 2:54
“Rest Cure” (Brown, Crane) – 2:44
“I’ve Got Money” (James Brown) – 3:09
“Child of My Kingdom” (Brown, Crane) – 7:01
(Original North American releases of the album contained a 6:25 edit of this track, but incorrectly list its length as 5:05)
Arthur Brown – vocals
Vincent Crane – keyboards, vibes, musical arrangements and orchestration
Nick Greenwood (billed as “Sean Nicholas”) – bass guitar
Drachen Theaker – drums
John Marshall – drums (on “I Put a Spell on You” and “Child of My Kingdom”)
Additional personnel: Pete Townshend – associate producer, Kit Lambert – producer
David King – cover design, David Montgomery – photography
Forty-four years ago this month, Arthur Brown’s Crazy World collided with our’s and brought forth Psychedelic Shock Rock filled with insane lyrics and high drama, cool tunes, a crazy wildman with his hair-on-fire, classic Hammond organ and all the loveliness, thrills and chills of a band that created one of the most memorable imprints of the Psychedelic era: FIRE!