I’m guessing that most versions of apricot brandy start with some apricots and a distillery, but the one we’re talking about here began life with a Rhinoceros. A band called Rhinoceros in case you are confused. Formed in the late 60’s the band included members of an early version of Iron Butterfly (remember ‘In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida’?). ‘Apricot Brandy’, an instrumental track, was written by ex-Iron Butterfly Danny Weiss and ex-Electric Flag Michael Fonfara and is a funky guitar driven rock track which made number 46 on the Billboard Charts in the US in April 1969, the bands only charting hit.
That same year, local band The Third Eye, included a version on their album ‘Awakening’ but where the Rhino’s concentrated on guitars, The Third Eye decided to build the track around a manic organ and some brassy arrangements, only letting the guitars go wild a minute or so into the track. And while the original produced a clean and highly listenable to rock version of it which suggests a rhino going about its usual business of grazing, The Third Eye make it a thrashy melting pot of sound which conjures up images of a rhino that is a bit peeved and is charging around madly.
For those of you who like hearing different versions of songs, there is also the Danny Gatton cover which was recorded for the 40 year anniversary album for the Elektra record label. This is an electric guitar driven version which features a Motown-esque brass sound and is well worth a listen as well. No matter what your favourite tipple is, it is worth having a swing of this track and The Third Eye’s version of it is up there with the original.
Where to find it:
The Third Eye – The Third Eye (2010), Fresh Music, FRESHCD172(CD)
The Third Eye: