Lion Productions

Various Artists “Electric Holyland” (Lion Productions)

2020-04-16T20:19:55+00:00April 16th, 2020|

Music known as “Jesus rock” or “Jesus psych,” the synthesis of the Christian philosophy combined with heavy rock or psychedelic music, first saw light of day in the late 1960’s and was immediately pressed on vinyl. It didn’t dent popular consciousness and was met with almost zero popularity in its infancy. Over the years, astute collectors and music lovers began to realize that some of these records, almost all of which had been privately pressed in very small quantities with little to no promotion, contained some of the heaviest, catchiest, guitar-driven psych rock ever released.

Many of us feel that these early greatly talented, creative and innovative Jesus rock artists, which, sadly, have been mostly overlooked and remain stlll relatively unknown, deserve to be heard. They broke the traditional mold of what Christian music should sound like and need to be known and recognized along with the well-known rock artists and bands of the era. This album presents twelve cuts of some of the best and sometimes heaviest obscure Jesus psych rock ever. Several tracks are from ultra-rare albums that are well-known to vinyl collectors, while others are from albums so obscure that only a few copies are known to exist. Enjoy your fuzz-drenched trip through “Electric Holyland”!

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T2 “It’ll All Work Out In Boomland” (Lion)

2020-03-27T02:29:17+00:00March 27th, 2020|

The rise of power trio T2 in 1970 was rapid: important open-air festivals; headlining residencies at the Marquee Club; appearances at virtually every major venue in London. Then their debut album was released; they seemed poised for a breakthrough. As the band recalled, they were playing the Marquee club, with John Lennon and Jimi Hendrix hanging out backstage, which was all to the good. But people were coming forward saying, “we cant find your album anywhere.” In short order, the band fell apart. Still, their sole Decca album has become well established as an all-time classic amongst progressive and psychedelic music collectors-even the techno and dj crowds. The fact that it has done so without hype is a testament to the innate quality of the music. The album is packed with melodic acoustic passages, frenzied fuzz guitar workouts, not to mention acid-trip induced lyrical and musical content. It is, in every way, an extraordinary album, one of rock musics best kept secrets, on a par with all the other major works that form the rock music canon of the time. Hefty booklet contains extensive musicological analysis by composer and musician Andrew Keeling, which includes illuminating interviews with band members Peter Dunton and Keith Cross, as well as detailed illustrations. Included as bonus are three tracks from BBC Sessions recorded in October 1970. Licensed from Decca/Universal, UK.

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Tryad “If Only You Believe In Lovin” (Lion Productions)

2020-03-13T20:33:46+00:00March 5th, 2020|

Del Val Records present a reissue of Tryad’s If Only You Believe In Lovin’, originally released in 1971 as a private press. Ultra-deluxe LP reissue on the newly resurrected Del Val label — obscure but legendary label previously responsible for early editions by The Brigade, The Bachs, Bent Wind, D.R. Hooker, Fifty Foot Hose, etc. Long overdue and much delayed reissue of this 1971 NYC private press few have heard and less have seen. Comparable to the best UK folk-fusion LPs of the era, this is like a Yankee version of Hunter Muskett’s great Every Time You Move (1970) with co-ed vocals plus bass/drums/pedal steel/flute/keys accompaniment and East Coast haunted not West Coast hip, though you’ll be reminded of a certain revered private from out there that wouldn’t exist for another five years: Relatively Clean Rivers. Comes with a four page lyric insert and the cover is what they were made like fifty years ago.

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Umbra “Umbra” (Lion Productions)

2020-03-13T20:34:36+00:00February 20th, 2020|

What was available to unknown hard rocking dreamers like Umbra in Denver in 1971-72? Weekend gigs. Nothing but weekend gigs. But there was an upside to that: bands like Umbra could mix original material in with covers, and make enough money to survive. Or in the case of Umbra, to make enough money to build a home studio, where they recorded ads to promote their upcoming shows—and eventually, laid down the eight tracks on this disc. Everything was recorded by bouncing tracks back and forth between two-track and four-track reel-to-reel tape recorders. Spacey intros and weird effects were created by recording guitar licks, then re-recording them played backwards at double speed. What sounds like a flute was the result of blowing over the top of a 14” goose neck (believe it or not).  The resulting tracks are hard edged and heavy, verging on acid rock at times. Makes sense, as Umbra was a power trio most of their too-brief existence. Yet the songs (heavy though they are) have a deft touch. There are weird effects, space rock elements, plenty of melody, and a refreshing category-free approach to writing songs that makes Umbra’s music exciting to hear.  Our Lion LP edition comes with an 8-page LP-sized color booklet, with lyrics, photos, plus interesting and funny things that can only happen to musicians, and did to Umbra. The CD edition comes with a sixteen-page color booklet containing the same material.

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Odyssey “Set Forth” (Lion Productions)

2019-11-08T04:39:12+00:00November 8th, 2019|

“Once upon a time, when the music business was more music than business (but only just), there was a band that created a quintessential dose of New York sixties psychedelia: one perfect album, loaded with fuzz guitar riffs of the greatest ferocity, heavy swirling organ, pulsating drums, and intense vocals. That band was Odyssey. It is true that their album, Setting Forth, did not take them from support slots in their native Long Island to the major label heights of other local bands like Vanilla Fudge. That could be because there were only a few copies made, and they came in a plain white jacket. Yet it is that same Odyssey Setting Forth album that is one of the greatest guitar-heavy psychedelic records in the world, and as a result is one of the most sought after and rare (expensive) LPs of the era. The last original vinyl copy to hit the open market was back in 2005, it’s that rare. Now Setting Forth is available on vinyl again for the for the first time in a decade, ready for true psych fans to devour. This is truly one of the cornerstones of underground psychedelic music, recorded in 1969 and released as we have said in a minuscule private edition. It is an album that jumps right out of the speakers at you, from it’s opening blasts of ‘In-a-gadda-da-vida’ fuzz guitar riffs, right to the very end. Color insert has a suitably kaleidoscopic band history by Odyssey leader Vinny Kusy, as well as rare photos from his own archive. One of the most important psychedelic rarities ever pressed on wax — back on wax. One of the absolute best American psychedelic LPs of the 1960’s, and one of the rarest! Includes a color insert with rare photos, and kaleidoscopic band history by Odyssey leader Vinny Kusy.”

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Christopher “What’cha Gonna Do?” (Lion Productions)

2019-09-13T06:33:43+00:00September 13th, 2019|

“Official authorized reissue of the legendary psychedelic LP by Christopher from South Carolina. One of the absolute best American psychedelic LPs of the 1960’s, and one of the rarest — a copy went for close to $4,000 the last time an original copy sold online, and nearly double that changed hands off-line for an original! Every song is of the highest quality — they’re all self-penned too — with an accessible sound the suggests that Christopher could have had more widespread success had they ever made it out of their native South Carolina. The What’cha Gonna Do? album was pressed in 1969 to use as a demo (which is why as few as 100 copies exist), but you’d never know it based on the overall quality of the production. When you’ve got blistering acid rock mixed with acid blues, with a couple of thoughtful melodic songs for good measure, you’ve got a recipe for something special. Christopher recorded What’cha Gonna Do? at Arthur Smith Studios in Charlotte, NC, a state of the art 8-track studio. Smith himself was a famous performer and songwriter who wrote ‘Guitar Boogie’ and ‘Dueling Banjos.’ It was the best studio money could buy in the South at the time, an astonishingly expensive $62 per hour, but the studio wasn’t quite sure what to make of Christopher! The engineer, Jerry Black, introduced himself by saying, ‘This is the first 8-track stereo recording of an acid rock band I’ve ever done’ in his Southern drawl.’ And so it was. The music demands your attention: well-crafted trippy lysergic lyrics about plastic capsules (and more), flanged vocals (among other effects), fine vocal harmonies, extended jamming, and a transcendent quality well expressed by the gutsy and creative guitar work. Acid rock mixed with acid blues, and lovely melodic rock songs, at times reminiscent of Corpus, Moving Sidewalks, Quicksilver, American Blues Exchange, Dragonfly, Litter (circa Emerge), Love, Tripsichord, and many others. Had Christopher’s sole record been a major label release it would have been a staple in every head’s record collection. An enduring work of stunning proportion. This time out, as is befitting one of the absolute best US psychedelic albums, our deluxe Lion Productions edition of Christopher’s What’cha Gonna Do? We’ve expanded the liner notes to include even more stories from the band + complete lyrics for all the songs. Deluxe authorized reissue of one of the absolute best American psychedelic LPs of the 1960’s, and one of the rarest! Includes a 12-page, full-sized booklet, with rare photos, stories from the road, and for the first time, complete lyrics to all tracks.”

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Oz Knozz “Ruff Mix” (Lion Production)

2019-08-30T02:44:26+00:00August 30th, 2019|

Formed in 1969 in Houston, TX, Oz Knozz’s original crew included multi-instrumentalists Jack Alford, Bill Massey and Duane Massey. Alford left the group in 1971 and was replaced by drummer Marty Naul, while the next year the trio was joined by guitarist Richard Heath. The band had also a three-man horn section, which was dropped quite fast, although horns remained a part of the band’s sound, even on their rare and epochal 1975 private press debut ’’Ruff Mix,” released on the band’s own Ozone label.

“Ruff Mix” mainly grooves in Hard Rock territory—the second track ‘Peanut Butter Yoni’ sounds a bit like Judas Priest with a proto-Metal feeling. Yet the album also has elements of Progressive Rock, Horn Rock and Pomp Rock. Like most bands of the era, the idea may have been to take a shot at a few different styles to see if something would stick… the theory being that a major label might hear the private album by chance and sign said band so they could open for Led Zeppelin or Foghat’s next US tour… or something like that. What separates Oz Knozz from other bands is a strong compositional component; they have plenty of original ideas and muster superb instrumentation. The guitar work ranges from hard and powerful to melodic and bluesy, and is supported by some great keyboard, including awe-inspiring organ and synth waves. The three-part 15-minute ‘Doodley Squat’ suite features heavy dual keyboard parts, crunchy guitars and expressive vocals; the result is a terrific hard prog track with lot of energy. Strange to say about a hard rock album, for many the standout track is the groovy and infectious horn rocker ‘Love Poem,’ which sounds like it easily could have been from 1969. High energy and impressive songwriting. Love it.

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Index “Originals Vol. 2 (1969)” (Lion)

2019-06-21T19:19:49+00:00June 21st, 2019|

In February of 2009, Jim Valice of Index discovered three reels in a cardboard box stuffed in a closet of his parents home in Michigan. These songs from 1969 were on those reels. Fourteen original compositions by Index, seven making their vinyl debut, the other seven released for the first time ever, all transferred from the original tapes!   Index was once again a pure power trio by 1969. There was massive demand for Index personal performances. Index was not interested. It was becoming more difficult for guitarist John Ford to travel back from Yale University to Detroit on a weekly basis. Index wanted to push the bounds of their own creativity. They chose to use their limited time together to write and record.   Index were the epitome of a DIY band. They made great use of the newly developed sound on sound (SOS) technology. It allowed Index to record basic tracks (guitars, drums and lead vocals); with SOS they then could add keyboards, additional guitar tracks and vocals. A musical revolution in miniature!

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Carpe Diem “En Regardent Passer Le Temps” (Lion)

2019-05-02T22:26:38+00:00May 2nd, 2019|

Formed in 1970, CARPE DIEM started out playing covers by the likes of East of Eden, King Crimson, Deep Purple, and Uriah Heep in clubs along the French Riviera. Original compositions made their way into the band’s repertoire over the five years between their formation and the release of their debut album, En Regardent Passer Le Temps, in 1976. Little wonder then that the band sounds as magnificently tight, polished and mature on this classic debut, truly one of the gems of the French rock scene. The success of the album brought them dates with other major French bands like Magma and Ange, led to the recording of a second album, and then ultimately to the sort of nearly total obscurity which deserves to be undone with a reissue such as this one! “The album practically encompasses the diversity and inspiration of the French progressive rock underground. It is, easily, one of the finest albums to have emerged from that scene. At the risk of sounding like a raving fanboy, En Regardent Passer Le Temps is indeed a classic record for the ages.”—Greg Northrup, Progweed

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Plastic Cloud “Plastic Cloud” (Lion Productions)

2018-03-29T20:32:11+00:00March 29th, 2018|

REISSUED!!! PLASTIC CLOUD recorded, quite simply, one of the greatest underground psychedelic albums ever made: a swirl of gossamer vocals and Tolkien references, swathed in the some of the most relentless fuzz guitar you will ever hear. There is no point singling out a specific track, they are al excellent—one is equally as good as the next. Take for example the album centerpiece, the ten-and-a-half-minute ‘You Don’t Care,’ an insane piece of social commentary that features terrific back-of-the-mix fuzz guitar as an elusive focal point to its extended pounding-drum laden instrumental breaks; a ten-minute swath of lysergic fuzz guitar that closes out the first side, it doesn’t overstay its welcome, winding its way to a final freak out. A record with few equals, full of foreboding melodies and lovely hippie harmonies, as well as some of the trippiest fuzz guitar ever recorded. Essential psychedelia! LP pressed on 180-gram vinyl with lyric insert and replica vintage press release in an edition of 500 copies.

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T2 “It’ll All Work Out In Boomland” (Lion)

2018-03-16T21:23:33+00:00March 11th, 2018|

The rise of power trio T2 in 1970 was rapid: important open-air festivals; headlining residencies at the Marquee Club; appearances at virtually every major venue in London. Then their debut album was released; they seemed poised for a breakthrough. As the band recalled, they were playing the Marquee club, with John Lennon and Jimi Hendrix hanging out backstage, which was all to the good. But people were coming forward saying, ‘we can’t find your album anywhere.’ In short order, the band fell apart. Still, their sole Decca album has become well established as an all-time classic amongst progressive and psychedelic music collectors—even the techno and DJ crowds. The fact that it has done so without hype is a testament to the innate quality of the music. The album is packed with melodic acoustic passages and frenzied fuzz guitar workouts, not to mention acid-trip induced lyrical and musical content. At the epicenter is the incredibly deft drumming of vocalist Peter Dunton (Neon Pearl, Please, the Flies), who rides the shifting sands of the trio’s dense playing with ease and dexterity. By album’s end, you’ve been lulled by the band’s soft side, and pummeled by their heavy side. Equal parts amazingly controlled prog, at other times the heaviest damn stuff anyone had heard c. 1970, this is truly a perfect record.

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Sweet Slag “Tracking With Close-Ups” (Lion)

2018-03-16T21:24:01+00:00March 11th, 2018|

Formed in 1969, this UK outfit went on to record only one ultra-collectable album in 1971 for President Records. Originally the album was going to be titled “Guerilla Jazz Rock” but came instead to be renamed “Tracking With Close-Ups,” which is a good thing, as this is certainly not a jazz rock album! The band toured extensively, supporting the likes of Deep Purple, Stray, Nucleus, Graham Bond, Black Cat Bones and Third Ear Band. Over the years, the Sweet Slag album has built a cult reputation with collectors. The album is certainly different from many released at that time—it has a unique heavy dark psychedelic aspect running through the album; it almost borders on proto-metal on several tracks, as well as having some darker progressive elements and Beefheart and Zappa moments, making it a thoroughly unique and classic album. Original copies of “Tracking with Close-Ups” are very scarce nowadays… which is fine, as for the first time here is the first official reissue of this superb album, taken from the original master analogue tapes.

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Truth And Janey “Topeka Jam :Live 1974” (Lion Productions)

2018-01-30T22:11:11+00:00January 30th, 2018|

Double album of unearthed live recordings from 1974 by legendary Midwestern underground hard rock trio TRUTH AND JANEY, captured here stretching out with extended jam sessions over several nights in Topeka, Kansas. Excavated from the archives of a long-time roadie comes this double album collection of live recordings made over several nights in Topeka, Kansas in 1974. Celebrated Iowa hard rock trio Truth and Janey are captured here doing what they did best, stretching out into raw, extended jams featuring heavy guitar action from BILLYLEE JANEY, booming fuzz bass from STEVE BOCK, with DENIS BUNCE locked in the zone behind his drum kit. ‘Midnight Horsemen,’ originally released as as 3-minute single in 1972, is featured here as a side-long 22-minute jam—a prime example of vintage Truth and Janey. Included are several songs previously unreleased in any way (live or studio), as well as early versions of ‘Down the Road’ and ‘My Mind,’ from their 1976 underground hard rock classic debut album, No Rest for the Wicked.

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A Bolha “Um Passo a Frente” (Lion Productions)

2017-10-15T01:44:52+00:00October 15th, 2017|

After venturing from Brazil to England to attend the Isle of Wight Festival, Brazilian band the Bubbles—the toast of the underground Rio de Janeiro scene, who had backed Tropicalist singer Gal Costa’s residence at the Sucata night club in that epochal year of 1970—decided to experiment with a heavier sound than that of their Brazilian cohorts. Step one, they changed their name to A Bolha. Then, loaded with verve and swagger (and fueled by drugs), they recorded their first album, which has secured a permanent place as one of the best rock/psych albums to ever emerge from South America. That album, “Um Passo a frente” (A Step Forward), was released in 1973 by the Continental label, in a gatefold cover which was quite luxurious for the era. This masterpiece, now impossibly hard to find as an original, made a name for A Bolha in the pantheon of 1970’s Brazilian rock. But success in the early 1970’s was not like it had been in the Tropicalia days, when even weird bands like Os Mutantes had weekly TV gigs to help them become well-known nationwide—and eventually, worldwide.

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Modern Art “Underwater Kites” (Lion Productions)

2017-02-11T21:32:59+00:00February 11th, 2017|

First time reissue of Modern Art’s 1982 debut cassette album includes three previously unissued tracks from the album session. Welcome to the darkly enchanting minimal synth-pop and psych-tinged world of The Modern Art. As an introduction to the world of Coil and Current 93 collaborator Gary Ramon and his orbiting bandmates, you can’t do better. Formed by Ramon in the early 1980’s, Modern Art released two albums on vinyl, and a significant amount of impossible-to-find cassettes. This remastered reissue of Underwater Kites, their very first cassette album, originally released in 1982, also includes three previously unissued tracks from that session. On this album you will find examples of what was going on in England during the pinnacle of the post-punk scene-an inspired time that encouraged young musicians to develop music influenced by the likes of Joy Division, Cabaret Voltaire, Throbbing Gristle and Clock DVA.

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Montevideo Blues “s/t” (Lion Productions)

2015-08-25T00:48:26+00:00August 3rd, 2015|

“The one and only album by MONTEVIDEO BLUES (1972) is a serious contender as one of the most important, and as it happens, most grooving records released in Uruguay. It’s also incredibly rare, fetching big prices when it appears, which is almost never. But there is another reason that the album has attained exalted status: Montevideo Blues was founded by Uruguayan song-writing legend GASTON “DINO” CIARLO as a way to fuse the rawness of rock music with obscure native Uruguayan rhythms like malambo, milonga and chamarrita. Montevideo Blues demonstrated an unyielding and combative attitude. During live shows in 1971, Dino criticized the government—a dangerous level of political commitment, reflected in the lyrics of the songs, some of the most radical ever set to music. The album opens with one of Dino’s most famous songs ‘Milonga de Pelo Largo’ (‘Milonga of the Long Hair’), a sinuous groove transformed by the arrival of the dictatorship into a hymn of Uruguayan popular resistance. The rest of the album tracks—the fantastic ‘Para Hacer Mùsica, Para Hacer’ and ‘Un Color’ are standouts—have an edgy quality, with terrific unconventional angular guitar and a kind of ragged glory, driven along by insistent grooving rhythms. Insert is packed with photos, detailed band history, and bi-lingual lyrics for this important Uruguayan band. Limited edition of 500 copies.”

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