Atomic Rooster - Nice and Greasy (1973)

In 1970, Atomic Rooster (at that time consisting of Crane, Palmer and Nick Graham) released their self-titled debut album.

Between Palmer's departure (to be one third of Emerson, Lake & Palmer), and the recording of a second album, guitarist John Cann (also credited as John Du Cann) joined them, giving a whole new dimension to the music with his distinctive guitar attack. Death Walks Behind You featured Paul Hammond on drums, and this album yielded "Tomorrow Night".

Having found success on the UK Singles Chart, the band was augmented with singer Peter French for their third effort on vinyl, In Hearing Of Atomic Rooster. It showed the band at full throttle, and yielded "The Devil's Answer". After this album, Cann, Hammond and French left the band. French went to join Cactus, while John Du Cann and Paul Hammond teamed up with ex-Quartermass bass player John Gustafson and founded Hard Stuff.

Crane put the band together one more time, recruiting 1960s British R&B singer and ex-Colosseum vocalist Chris Farlowe. Along with old friends John Goodsall, then known as "Johnny Mandala", and Ric Parnell (who is the son of orchestra leader Jack Parnell, and composed material on the last album, plus came up with the piano riff on "Tomorrow Night") they released Made in England.

They managed to release one more album, Nice 'n' Greasy, but the sound was somewhat diluted, although the tracks "Voodoo in You" and "Take One Toke" reminded their fans of past glories. It proved to be their last record in the 1970s.

The band ceased to exist until the early 1980s, when Crane and Du Cann teamed up once again, going through a series of drummers. During the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, they almost had some presence in the charts with "Lose Your Mind" and a re-make of "Tomorrow Night".

After this stint, Crane went on to join Dexy's Midnight Runners in the mid 1980s, and also recorded A Case For The Blues as part of Katmandu, a one-off project with Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac and Ray Dorset of Mungo Jerry. Crane died on 14 February 1989 in Reading. Hammond died of a drug overdose in 1992.

Du Cann recently licensed the release of the only existing tapes of Atomic Rooster that featured Crane, Palmer and himself: some BBC Radio 1 sessions recorded by John Peel in 1970 and 1971.

Nice and Greasy

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