Get this crazy baby off my head!


Brian Auger's Oblivion Express

Brian Auger's Oblivion Express ‎- Happiness Heartaches - 1977 - Warner Bros. Records

Originally released in 1977, and reissued on CD by Wounded Bird, Happiness Heartaches is a rock solid date by the Oblivion Express. Along with Brian Auger's gigantic musical personality, the set is also driven in equal part by former Miles Davis and Return To Forever drummer Lenny White, as well as percussionist Lennox Laington. Rhythm is the key to groove, and it is displayed here in overdrive. This is "groove jazz" with teeth, and a deeply funky and welcome alternative to the increasing presence of disco drum machines in jazz recordings. And make no mistake, Happiness Heartaches is a jazz record, a claim many of the era's jazzmen who were recording cannot hope to claim, so complete was their cave in to disco's chart influence. "Spice Island," with its languid vocal line and melody, influenced by Airto and Flora to be sure, but also by Leon Thomas' solo recordings, is a case in point. Auger's contrapuntal solo coming as a tag off the vocal and being played foil to by Jack Mills' guitar is simply sublime. On "Gimme A Funky Beat," the band takes the notion of Brazilian Carnaval into overdrive, with a rollicking bassline by Clive Chaman. Alex Ligertwood's vocals leave a bit to be desired, as he is clearly not a jazz singer, but they aren't too irritating. The set ends with a tour de force by Auger entitled "Paging Mr. McCoy," a keyboard orgy propelled by the rhytmnatist's percussion team. It's full of crescendos, stops, starts, and side passages (like a beautiful, sped-up quote from the theme of John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme") as well as regal overtones. The only real complaint is a consistent one regarding Wounded Bird's reissues: rather than recasting and re-contextualizing the original cover art, they just shrink it, and there are no liner notes, making for a shoddy little package. Nevertheless, the music's the important thing, so despite the real lack of aesthetics shown by the label visually, this is certainly a welcome addition to the Auger CD catalog. © Thom Jurek © 2013 Rovi Corp | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/happiness-heartaches-mw0000033411

Brian Auger, the "Grandfather of Acid Jazz", came out of the British Blues scene playing with artists like John Mayall. He was strongly influenced by organ players like Groove Holmes, Charles Earland, Jimmy Smith, Jack McDuff, Don Patterson, and many others. However, in his own right, Brian is equally as talented as any of these artists. In his early career, during the mid '60's in England, Brian was a "straight up jazz player". Later in his career he was accused by many music critics and fans of selling out, after he veered his music in a more R&B/jazz direction. At various times, he played with artists like Passport, the Average White Band and Les McCann and Eddie Harris. Herbie Hancock said that "Brian Auger is one of the best B-3 artists I have ever heard in my life. His technique is awesome and the amount of energy he generates is unparalleled and relentless. He is a tremendous talent with a wonderfully warm and compassionate personality, a combination that is hard to beat. He deserves all the accolades." Mose Allison said "My Favorite rock artists are Van Morrison, Bonnie Raitt, Brian Auger and Loudon Wainwright." "Happiness Heartaches" has been dismissed by some critics as lacking energy and originality, but it is still a great jazz rock album full of great probing grooves. The rhythms are great throughout. Brian Auger has never played better and the music is laid back and funky. Brian Auger has always tried to embrace the musical zeitgeist and even his so called "commercial pop/jazz rock" has always contained brilliant musicianship and thrown up something new. His music remains original and captivating, and he is one of the world's greatest keyboard players. The album is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Listen to Julie Driscoll/Brian Auger & The Trinity's "Streetnoise" album, Brian Auger's Oblivion Express' "Reinforcements" album, and Karma Auger's great "Blue Groove" album. Search this blog for related releases

N.B: A little note for Steely Dan fans. One of Brian Auger's favourite musicians is the late English multi-instrumentalist, Victor Feldman, who played on at least five Steely Dan albums, and one of Brian's favourite albums is "Aja". [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 77.8 Mb]


A1 Back Street Bible Class - Brian Auger 5:26
A2 Spice Island - Brian Auger, Jack Mills 8:54
A3 Gimme A Funky Break - Jack Mills, Alex Ligertwood 4:36
B1 Never Gonna Come Down - Clive Chaman 5:30
B2 Happiness Heartaches - Dennison, Alex Ligertwood, Jack Mills 5:09
B3 Got To Be Born Again - Lennox Langton 4:12
B4 Paging Mr. McCoy - Brian Auger 4:29


Jack Mills - Lead Guitar
Alex Ligertwood - Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Clive Chaman - Bass
Brian Auger - Hammond Organ, Electric & Acoustic Piano
Lenny White - Drums, Percussion
Lennox Langton - Congas, Percussion


Brian Auger was raised in London, where he took up the keyboards as a child and began to hear jazz by way of the American Armed Forces Network and an older brother's record collection. By his teens, he was playing piano in clubs, and by 1962 he had formed the Brian Auger Trio with bass player Rick Laird and drummer Phil Knorra. In 1964, he won first place in the categories of "New Star" and "Jazz Piano" in a reader's poll in the Melody Maker music paper, but the same year he abandoned jazz for a more R&B-oriented approach and expanded his group to include John McLaughlin (guitar) and Glen Hughes (baritone saxophone) as the Brian Auger Trinity. This group split up at the end of 1964, and Auger moved over to Hammond B-3 organ, teaming with bass player Rick Brown and drummer Mickey Waller. After a few singles, he recorded his first LP on a session organized to spotlight blues singer Sonny Boy Williamson that featured his group, saxophonists Joe Harriott and Alan Skidmore, and guitarist Jimmy Page; it was Don't Send Me No Flowers, released in 1968. By mid-1965, Auger's band had grown to include guitarist Vic Briggs and vocalists Long John Baldry, Rod Stewart, and Julie Driscoll, and was renamed Steampacket. More a loosely organized musical revue than a group, Steampacket lasted a year before Stewart and Baldry left and the band split. Auger retained Driscoll and brought in bass player Dave Ambrose and drummer Clive Thacker to form a unit that was billed as Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger and the Trinity. Their first album, Open, was released in 1967 on Marmalade Records (owned by Auger's manager, Giorgio Gomelsky), but they didn't attract attention on record until the release of their single, "This Wheel's on Fire," (music and lyrics by Bob Dylan and Rick Danko) in the spring of 1968, which preceded the appearance of the song on the Band's Music from Big Pink album. The disc hit the top five in the U.K., after which Open belatedly reached the British charts. Auger and the Trinity recorded the instrumental album Definitely What! (1968) without Driscoll, then brought her back for the double-LP, Streetnoise (1968), which reached the U.S. charts on Atco Records shortly after a singles compilation, Jools & Brian, gave them their American debut on Capitol in 1969. Driscoll quit during a U.S. tour, but the Trinity stayed together long enough to record Befour (1970), which charted in the U.S. on RCA Records, before disbanding in July 1970. Auger put together a new band to play less commercial jazz-rock and facetiously called it the Oblivion Express, since he didn't think it would last; instead, it became his perennial band name. The initial unit was a quartet filled out by guitarist Jim Mullen, bass player Barry Dean, and drummer Robbie McIntosh. Their initial LP, Brian Auger's Oblivion Express, was released in 1971, followed later the same year by A Better Land, but their first U.S. chart LP was Second Wind in June 1972, the album that marked the debut of singer Alex Ligertwood with the band. Personnel changes occurred frequently, but the Oblivion Express continued to figure in the U.S. charts consistently over the next several years with Closer to It! (August 1973), Straight Ahead (March 1974), Live Oblivion, Vol. 1 (December 1974), Reinforcements (October 1975), and Live Oblivion, Vol. 2 (March 1976). Meanwhile, Auger had moved to the U.S. in 1975, eventually settling in the San Francisco Bay area. In the face of declining sales, he switched to Warner Bros. Records for Happiness Heartaches, which charted in February 1977. Encore, released in April 1978, was a live reunion with Julie Tippetts (née Driscoll) that marked the end of Auger's association with major record labels, after which he dissolved the Oblivion Express and recorded less often. In 1990, he teamed up with former Animals singer Eric Burdon, and the two toured together during the next four years, releasing Access All Areas together in 1993. In 1995, Auger put together a new Oblivion Express. As of 2000, the lineup consisted of his daughter, Savannah, on vocals, Chris Clermont on guitar, Dan Lutz on bass, and his son Karma on drums. This group issued the album Voices of Other Times on Miramar Records one week before Auger's 61st birthday. © William Ruhlmann © 2012 Rovi Corp | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/brian-auger-mn0000625014


A.O.O.F.C said...

Click album cover on main blog.

Password is aoofc

Anonymous said...

Mi queridísimo amigo Paul que lamentable noticia
a ver perdido tantos y tan buenos archivos de música
al bloquear RAPIDSHARE. su premium accounter .
No solo es un golpe bajo para todo el trabajo echo en su
inigualable blog., También nosotros sus seguidores y admiradores
resentimos su perdida y también salimos afectados, a un así estoy
seguro que (danialfa blog ya muerto) lo seguirá apoyando de una manera u otra asta el final.
Daniel desea una larga y prospera vida llena de salud para Ud. y toda su Familia.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Daniel. Thanks. I sent you an e-mail. TTU soon...Paul

KDNYfm said...

Hey Paul,
Thanx for the fine Brian Auger album...Adding Lenny White to the line up for this was a great mesh with Lennon and Clive Chaman (in my opinion one of the most under rated bass players out there!)
I always liked Auger's first couple singles, but didnt really start to get into his groove until the Oblivion Express. Ironically the song that first hooked me on OE was their cover of Dragon Song. Than I never missed an album. I still think Reinforcements is my fave, but everyone once in a while I have to say Closer to It or Straight Ahead...It's kinda like pickin a fave Beatles album...or a fave Beatle for that matter. Anyway, thanx again for this DL and keep up the great work on the Blog...despite the ever changing rules and foibles of certain servers!


A.O.O.F.C said...

Cheers, Al. I love Brian's stuff. I agree. I like Steely Dan, but couldn't pick one of their albums as a fav. It's all good. Those RS bastards deleted over 1500 files on me without any notice. I can't even get a refund back from the F**kers! I'm rockin' on one leg! TTU soon..Paul