Atomic Rooster

Rarities

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AllMusic Review by

This comb through the vaults of the minor British metal-progressive band is heavily weighted toward demos, outtakes, and live cuts from 1980-1981, all of them previously unreleased. As this was hardly the prime era for Atomic Rooster -- in fact, it was their final couple of years as a band -- this is not the best rarities compilation that could have been hoped for. To tempt those who might favor their original incarnation, there are a few items from the early '70s, including two previously unavailable 1970 tracks with original drummer Carl Palmer, one of them the original demo of Atomic Rooster's most famous song, "Devil's Answer." Other than that, the only other things on this anthology are three American radio ads from 1971, as well as another 1971 song, "Backward/Forward Revealed" (tagged with the note "fans only," whatever that means, in the track listings). Most of this disc is tired art metal crossover, with a kind of lunkheaded attitude and grating, croaky lead vocals. It's most valuable for those Palmer-era cuts, especially "Devil's Answer."

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