Luv Machine

Luv Machine

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Of all the countless and egregious acts of extreme Cream worship committed to vinyl in the late ‘60s and very early ‘70s, few can compete with Luv Machine's eponymous debut of 1971. Indeed, though three of the four bandmembers had only just arrived in Swinging London from the far away island of Barbados, there was simply no disguising the overwhelming influence of Messrs. Clapton, Bruce, and Baker on most of their material. And this was especially true on the songs sung by guitarist Michael Bishop, whose soaring vibrato was quite simply the spitting image of Jack Bruce's, and thus rendered the likes of "Witches Wand," "It's Amazing," and "My Life Is Full of Changes" into virtual carbon copies -- albeit pretty good ones -- of the real deal. If not for brief deviations from type now and then -- such as the lead-booted proto-metal crunch of "Everything" and the psychedelic keyboard flourishes of "Lost" (think Iron Butterfly or Steppenwolf's "Magic Carpet Ride") -- Luv Machine would have been nothing more than unforgivable Cream clones through and through. But, thanks to that smidgeon of variety and the insatiable appetite of heavy psych collectors, the short-lived quartet with its resoundingly failed career has nevertheless enjoyed belated cultdom in the decades that followed -- most recently via Rise Above's 2006 reissue of the lone Luv Machine album, enhanced with (often embarrassing) bonus cuts.