BEDLAM – Bedlam – (Chrysalis) – 1973

Certainly is.
The first thing that hits you in the face about this LP is the sleeve that could be a Black Sabbath sleeve but unfortunately Bedlam steer away from the hard rock that Black Sabbath espoused (rock bordering on metal) and cover the familiar hard rock, blues based, music so popular on both sides of the Atlantic between about 1968 – 1974.
Think Mott the Hoople, Mountain, Blind Faith, Bad Company, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Blue Cheer, Cactus, Humble Pie, Rainbow, Free, Groundhogs, Bloodrock.
If you don't like any of those bands then stop reading now.
Frown you might at this music but it's not that far from Bedlam to The Cult or The Darkness. And the latter are acceptable to the musical intelligentsia. No?
Anyway, like most of their compadres on the hard rock blues scene Bedlam have a pedigree that is impeccable even though they are a second tier "super group" of sorts …
Allmusic: "Bedlam (originally known as Beast when it formed in 1972) was a British hard rock band featuring singer Frank Aiello (from Truth), guitarist Dave Ball (from Procol Harum), bassist Dennis Ball (formerly with Long John Baldry), and drummer Cozy Powell (formerly with Jeff Beck). They made one self-titled album produced by Felix Pappalardi (producer of Cream, member of Mountain) in 1973, before breaking up in 1974".
Bedlam are never less than proficient. Unfortunately they never struck gold unlike most of the aforesaid mentioned acts and rarely do they add anything new to the genre. This, their one album, is what you would expect and they hit all the genre milestones: blues hard rock, blues power ballads, blues rock with supernatural thematic overtones, blues country boogie, funky blues.
Unfortunately all they needed was one hit …
Tracks (best in italics)
  • I Believe in You  – Ball, Powell, Ball, Aiello, Collins  – 3:58  – over the top vocals (and lyrics)  … but that was part of the genre … (my translation on the lyrics)
            Like the sea,
            You are  love
            at my side
            Like summer
            warm and free,
            You belong
            to me
            I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I
            I believe in you
            Fire in my body
            smile in my soul
            Feel, feel you are free
            Love you girl
  • Hot Lips – Ball, Powell, Ball, Aiello –  4:34  – starts off spooky and then treads some sub par white funk … hard rock meets "Shaft" … hmmmmm.
  • Sarah -Ball, Powell, Ball, Aiello, Collins  – 3:44  – the blues power ballad.
  • Sweet Sister Mary – Ball, Powell, Ball, Aiello, Hatchard – 2:47 – the introspective electric blues ballad with country overtones … could have fit on the "Almost Famous" soundtrack … and dumb enough to be pleasant.
  • Seven Long Years – Ball, Powell, Ball, Aiello – 3:43  – the mid tempo electric blues about a cheating woman.
  • The Beast – Ball, Powell, Ball, Aiello – 5:28 – an old style black blues song, extended and electrified up … think "Blues Hammer" from Ghost World. There's even room for a "Baby, Baby, Baby"
  • Whisky and Wine – Ball, Powell, Ball, Aiello – 2:31 – the obligatory alcohol song.
  • Looking Through Love's Eyes (Busy Dreaming)  – Pappalardi, Collins – 2:53  – the gentle ballad.
  • Putting on the Flesh – Ball, Powell, Ball, Aiello – 3:52  – the artsy blues.
  • Set Me Free – Ball, Powell, Ball, Aiello, Collins  -4:18 – a statement of faith done as a, wait, wait an electric blues.
And …

Tape a track or two and… pfffftt  

Ahh, yes …apparently they have reformed ..and are probably playing a pub near you.

Chart Action

No chart action for this album or any of the tracks.


I Believe in You

and attached ( so you can put it on your iPod and play it)
Sweet Sister Mary
The Beast
Set Me Free
Felix Pappalardi
(originally posted: 04/07/2010)

About Franko

Hi, I'm just a person with a love of music, a lot of records and some spare time. My opinions are comments not reviews and are mine so don't be offended if I have slighted your favourite artist. I have listened to a lot of music and I don't pretend to be impartial. You can contact me on though I would rather you left a comment. I also sell music at Cheers
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