The third incarnation of English prog rockers, Atomic Rooster make their debut on Made in England (1972). The group began as a trio featuring former Crazy World of Arthur Brown member Vincent Crane (organ), Nick Graham (bass), and Carl Palmer (drums). After a few significant shuffles within the lineup, only Crane continued with the name, recruiting Mick Jagger protégé Chris Farlowe (vocals), Rick Parnell (percussion), and Steve Bolton (guitars) as the next generation. They have an edgy and somewhat brooding sound, recalling early Mott the Hoople discs such as the highly underrated Mad Shadows (1970). Much of the material reveals the quartet's slightly funky groove, such as the pulsating "Stand by Me," or the gospel-inflection on the spoken "Introduction," which prefaces the Crane instrumental "Breathless." Somewhat misplaced is the orchestration -- especially on "Time Take My Life" -- which tends to congest the otherwise driving arrangement. Parnell penned a pair of the finest contributions on Made in England, the slinky "Little Bit of Inner Air," as well as the Southern rock-tinged "All in Satan's Name." The latter comes off like a blend of the Allman Brothers and Deep Purple. Bolton supplies the power ballad "Never to Lose," as well as "Space Cowboy," which develops into an electric hoedown following a somewhat off-balance and synth-heavy keyboard intro. Bolton would be the next casualty of the combo, leading to the formation of the criminally underrated Headstone. A successful North American tour resulted in Made in England, which charted briefly in the U.S., and would be the final Atomic Rooster album to do so. The band would successfully continue under Crane's tutelage until the early '80s, when he joined up with a post-"Come on Eileen" Dexys Midnight Runners.
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AllMusic Review by Lindsay Planer