Satin Whale - Desert Places
Satin Whale Desert Places Brain LP #1049 Released in 1974, the debut album from Satin Whale is one of my all time favorite Brain releases. The first song "Desert Places" reminds me of early Jethro Tull (the Stand Up and Benefit albums). With a soaring flute played by Dieter Roesberg and Gerald Dellmann's heavy organ, the song has a great groove, very powerful stuff. After a minute or two, the flute disappears and the organ gets even heavier with a strong Brian Auger influence. The guitar (also played by Dieter) starts to come up into the mix with a psychedelic blues feel, similar to Cream. Everything I love about progressive music happens in the first two and half minutes of this song. The singer (Dieter again) begins at the three minute point and he sounds excellent and heavenly. Then the flute comes back in and it's almost like Ian Anderson fronting Cream.
The next song "Seasons Of Life" is a psychedelic pop song, the vocal harmonies are very solid, while the guitar and organ continues to kick me in the ass. Then the tune switches suddenly to a funky Doors-like mood, with an almost R&B or soul groove. It occurs to me as I listen to this record again that the band reminds me of Iron Butterfly, such as the best jamming elements of "In A Gadda Da Vida." This album is probably one of the best records ever made in Germany, and I'm eagerly waiting for it's reissue on Repertoire. Unfortunately this is their only Brain LP, the band moved over to the Nova label after this album and released six more records, but I haven't heard any of those.