Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Pop, Rock, Metal
Two-on-one reissue of the first two albums by this American-inspired, funky R&B act featuring Whitesnake's Mick Moody, along with Bobby Harrison, Mel Collins, Pete Solley, Colin Gibson & Terry Popple. Both LPs were first r... more »
Two-on-one reissue of the first two albums by this American-inspired, funky R&B act featuring Whitesnake's Mick Moody, along with Bobby Harrison, Mel Collins, Pete Solley, Colin Gibson & Terry Popple. Both LPs were first released in 1974 on Capitol, and this disc contains all 16 of the combined tracks from them, plus an eight page color photo booklet with previously unpublished pictures, and two bonus tracks: 'Dixie Queen' & 'Sad Sunday'. 18 tracks total. Also containsthe original cover art of each. 1998 Angel Air release. The full titles of each are 'Snafu' & 'Situation Normal'.
Another 70's band that deserves more than a cult following
Jan Wiberg | Helsinki, Finland | 10/12/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Snafu must indeed have been a breath of fresh air in Britain's early 1970's music scene "dominated by overblown symphonic rock, pubic glam rock, and weedy middle-aged popsters" (quote from this double-album package's excellent sleeve notes). The first album is filled with well-played funky rock with the kind of edge you'd expect from guys who had their backgrounds in Juicy Lucy (guitarist Micky Moody, later force figure in David Coverdale's Whitesnake), Procol Harum (vocalist/percussionist Bobby Harrison) and Ginger Baker's Airforce (bassist Colin Gibson). "Long Gone" was the single, and a pretty good introduction to the style of the album: a quiet keyboard intro with guitar drifting in, funky mid-tempo drums, Harrison's suitably raw but melodic and familiar-sounding rock'n'roll voice and a melody that's easy to listen to, if a bit ordinary and without very much hit potential. The best songs are actually "Monday Morning", peppered with Pete Solley's fierce fiddle-playing, the country-rock number "Country Nest", graced with a melody that hooks on you instantly - the aptly titled "Funky Friend" with its kicking drum beat that's left as loud as possible in the mix (and Solley plays fiddle on this one too), and the climactic closer "That's the Song" with a dynamite chorus. A balanced and heartily recommendable album by talented musicians, it forebode good things for Snafu, but sadly, commercial success was to elude the band.
The second album, "Situation Normal", is a very varied effort, both in style and quality. Two of the tracks are some of the best I've heard, however: "No More" starts innocently with a slow keyboard intro. Slow drumming kicks in, Harrison starts singing, and the song introduces a chorus that's twice as fast, simple and easy to catch. A short but excellent guitar solo still doesn't prepare the listener for what's to come: after one more chorus the tempo suddenly speeds up to max, we get lots of super-fast percussion and growling synthesizer effects, and light, melodious keyboards left more in the background. The whole group joins in on a variation of the chorus, with loud and clear vocals and almost whispering deep bass vocals alternating. The overall effect is impossible to describe, the listener feels his hands and feet joining in with this feverish beat. This goes on for more than two minutes, until the unfortunate fade-out comes and it's time for the next track.
The other masterpiece is the closer "Ragtime Roll". After a slow start, the song really starts doing justice to its name. A steadily rolling piece of catchy fun with lots of saxophone and piano playing. The saxophone solo at the end lasts for a minute and twenty seconds and is one of the best I've ever heard!
Everything in the middle pales badly alongside these two extravaganzas. This time Snafu also try their hands on being a country & western band ("Brown Eyed Beauty...") and a slide guitar-crazed jig band ("Lock & Key"). "Big Dog Lusty" actually sounds really fun, with its tricky drum accompaniment, humorous story, unisono scat vocalising and harmonica solo - and the ending...! All eight songs are different, but overall, the album is uneasy and unfocused.
The only mistake made in the liner notes is not mentioning where the two bonus tracks hail from. "Dixie Queen" is a 1974 single (backed with "Monday Morning"), and it's one of the catchiest tunes in the whole package, but "Sad Sunday" is yet a mystery to me.
Snafu also recorded a third album, "All Funked Up", which sounds nice but is uninspired. This twofer is the only Snafu release to recommend, "All Funked Up" is for collectors only."