Atomic Rooster

Heavy Soul

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Previous hits anthologies representing this interesting prog-metal pioneer are either pricey imports, out of print rarities, sadly incomplete, or any combination of the three. Heavy Soul rectifies this by containing no less than four cuts from each of the band's first five discs that came out during the group's halcyon days of 1970-1973; In Hearing of Atomic Rooster gets eight of its nine cuts placed here, in fact. Some obsessive types might complain that none of the post-Nice & Greasy discs are represented -- for some reason, there's a pocket of fans who salivate over the metallic '80s material the Roost put out before finally calling it a day -- but the key material that put the band on the map is all here. That -- combined with the excellent 16 pages of extensive liner notes, reproductions of old album cover art (slightly confusing since some of the records shown didn't contribute to this collection), and other vintage photos -- makes this a great record to find out about this strange yet sometimes brilliant act. The only drawback is a lack of unreleased gems, making this a rather redundant purchase for the person who is already a fan, but Heavy Soul's packaging still makes it a decent investment even for those already initiated.

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