Arthur Brown's Kingdom Come

Galactic Zoo Dossier

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After Arthur Brown briefly ascended to stardom via the Crazy World of Arthur Brown's only album, it was a long three-year gap until the release of the next LP bearing his lead vocals, Kingdom Come's Galactic Zoo Dossier. (Although the material on Brown's Strangelands had been recorded in the interim, that record wasn't released until the late '80s.) And if not for Brown's immediately recognizable vocal histrionics, it could be the work of an entirely different artist. The Crazy World of Arthur Brown's exhilaratingly jazzy, madcap psychedelia had been jettisoned for far darker excursions into mordant early progressive rock. While there was still a carnivalesque classical-jazz-rock organ base to the arrangements, guitar also took a prominent role, and the melodies were far gloomier and more obtuse. No more obtuse, however, than the lyrics, with maddeningly obscure journeys into both inner and outer philosophical space (as titles like "Internal Messenger," "Brains," "Galactic Zoo," and "Space Plucks" made evident). Rather like a creeped-out hangover bridging the late psychedelic era with the early progressive one, it's impressive in its uncompromising ambition. But its lack of melodic bluesy riffs and unrelentingly demanding themes (and sometimes downright dissonant tunes) must have alienated a good chunk of Crazy World of Arthur Brown fans. Speaking of maddening, by the way, there's no information in the nicely illustrated booklet about the bonus tracks, which include alternate versions of "Metal Monster," "Sunrise," and "Space Plucks." The last of these, retitled "Space Plucks Dem Bones," is an uncharacteristically (in this company, anyway) soothing cosmic meditation with a comic busked interlude leading into a manic R&B-organ jazz jam, and might be the best thing on the disc.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1
feat: Arthur Brown
5:08
2
feat: Arthur Brown
3:21
3
feat: Arthur Brown
2:32
4
feat: Arthur Brown
2:06
5
feat: Arthur Brown
3:03
6
feat: Arthur Brown
1:04
7
feat: Arthur Brown
6:51
8
feat: Arthur Brown
2:07
9
feat: Arthur Brown
0:53
10
feat: Arthur Brown
3:18
11
feat: Arthur Brown
0:46
12
feat: Arthur Brown
3:19
13
feat: Arthur Brown
7:37
14
feat: Arthur Brown
6:27
15
feat: Arthur Brown
1:49
16
feat: Arthur Brown
5:53
17
feat: Arthur Brown
6:33
blue highlight denotes track pick