The first outing by Brian Auger's jazz-rock ensemble the Oblivion Express, first issued in 1971, is one of the great masterpieces of jazz-rock fusion. Auger, having just disbanded his longtime band the Trinity in 1970, still had plenty of rock and roll in his system. His yearning for the open frontiers of electric jazz was certainly the driving force -- in the same way that it was for Miles Davis on A Tribute to Jack Johnson, and Lifetime was for Tony Williams -- but it was anchored in the visceral application of rock. With guitarist Jim Mullen, bassist Barry Dean, and drummer Robbie McIntosh, Auger charted into the unknown. This album fits like a glove, each tune moving ever forward into the next. From the opening knotty, rhythmic twists in "Dragon Song," to the subterranean counterpoint in "Total Eclipse," to the band's theme song that closes the album with its pumping bass and guitar interludes, and Auger's Lemmy Kilmister-like vocals, Oblivion Express is a classic in its genre. There is a rawness in passion and intent here that is balanced by wondrously imaginative arrangements for rock band instrumentation, and an aesthetic that is disciplined and visionary.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek