1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

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Archive for the tag “Astral Daze”

The End – Dickie Loader & Freedom’s Children

Dickie Loader - A Breath Of Fresh Air

Dickie Loader – A Breath Of Fresh Air

People sometimes use the word ‘searing’ to describe a guitar lick. The definition of searing is ‘extremely hot or intense’ which I guess is quite an apt way to try and explain the guitar sound that seems to tear through your speakers as soon as ‘The End’ starts. It is an extrememly intense moment that kick starts this collaboration between Dickie Loader and Freedom’s Children.

Loader had been around on the local scene for a while as Dickie Loader & The Blue Jeans, but one day he dropped his Blue Jeans and, avoiding any public indecency charges, forged a solo career. However, with this offering from 1970, he teamed up with those Astral rockers, Freedom’s Children, for a couple of tracks on his album ‘A Breath Of Fresh Air’. The result if the familiar dense wall of rock that the Chidren were capable of producing, over which Loader seems to manange to mix Robert Plant’s voice with that of Elvis to get a rock ‘n roll ‘n metal effect. The result is 2 and a half minutes of, well, there isn’t really any other words for it, but ‘searing rock’.

Most of Loader’s material has been confined to vinyl history, however, this is one of the few gems from him that have managed to make it into the digital era thanks to Benjy Mudie at Retrofresh records who dug this one out of the vault to include in the second in the series of Astral Daze albums, a series which captures the best of an era when guitars were fuzzy and loud and vocals were overdosing on testosterone. The inclusion of ‘The End’ on ‘Astral Daze 2’ is testament to the song being one of the standout tracks of its era.

Where to find it
Astral Daze 2 – Various Artists, RetroFresh, (2009), FRESHCD162

Video:

Magic Dragon – The Idiots

The Idiots

The Idiots

Warning: this song is not ‘Puff The Magic Dragon’. However it is a trippy little ditty that is somewhat reminiscent of some of the Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd songs (‘The Gnome’ for example). It has a strange childish feel to it with the subject matter being the stuff of kid’s books, and there is an innocent piano riff which could almost be the soundtrack to a nursery rhyme.

Those of you who are familiar with The Idiots only SA Top 20 hit, ‘In The Park’ may find ‘Magic Dragon’ a little surprising as the former is a breezy poppy number, but it does have a hint of what the latter delivers in that there is a brief organ interlude that wonders to the border of the world of pop and gazes at the land of psychdelia. On ‘Magic Dragon’ the Idiots pack their bags and cross that line.

The singer invites you to ‘climb upon my magic dragon/trip along in space’ and the sounds are ethereal and otherworldly and promise a strange journey. But it’s a ride worth taking. Don’t worry it’s only a 2 minute 11 second trip so you won’t get too much motion sickness from the weirdness of the song, but you should have a little smile on your dial when it’s over. The song originally appeared on the b-side of their single ‘Toyland’.

Where to find it:
Astral Daze – Various Artists, RetroFresh, (2005), FRESHCD148

The Eagle Has Landed – Dickie Loader & Freedom’s Children

The Eagle Has Landed – Dickie Loader & Freedom’s Children

The Eagle Has Landed - Dickie Loader

The Eagle Has Landed – Dickie Loader

This unlikely teaming up of a rock ‘n’ roller with a prog rock outfit
produced a startling result.  Dickie Loader started making records in
the early 60’s with his band The Blue Jeans. This music tended to be
covers of rock ‘n’ roll classics like ‘High School Confidential’,
‘Summertime Blues’, and ‘Sea Of Heartbreak’. But when the decade
rolled over, he went into the studio without his Blue Jeans (hopefully
he was wearing other trousers) and produced an aptly entitled album
called ‘A Breath Of Fresh Air’.

Three of the tracks on this album featured Freedom’s Children, those
heavy rockers of ‘Astra’ fame. The results were quite possibly a
little off putting for Loader fans, but fans of the Children would
have loved it.

‘The Eagle Has Landed’, a song about the moon landing, is a dense
affair, packed full of screeching guitars, heavy bass and a powerful
vocal performance from Loader. This track is a juggernaut that rams
its way through your consciousness and leaves your speakers exhausted.

Warning: Do not listen to Sonja Herholdt immediately after listening
to this; your brain will not be able to handle the gear change.

Where to find it:
Astral Daze – Various Artists, RetroFresh, (2005), FRESHCD148

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