Crane formed the band in 1969 with drummer Carl Palmer, both of whom had been in The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. Palmer left after their first self-titled album to become one third of ELP, and was replaced by Paul Hammond. Ex-Andromeda guitarist John Cann joined and the band went on to record two excellent albums with this line-up, the second of which, "In Hearing of", also featured vocalist Peter French, of Cactus, Randy Pie and Leafhound fame. Further line-ups followed, including the addition of Colosseum vocalist Chris Farlowe, with Crane being the only original member. When Crane broke Atomic Rooster up in 1974, he went on to work with Arthur Brown once again. It would be a further five years before he would revive the band in 1979, this time with drummer Preston Hayman and (Du) Cann back in the fold. This final incarnation of Atomic Rooster didn't last too long and Crane dissolved the band for good in 1983. At that stage, he was offered a position with Dexys Midnight Runners and he appeared on their " Don't stand me down album " in 1985. Voiceprint Records released a previously unreleased Vincent Crane solo album, " Taro Rota " in 1997, with a guest appearance from Arthur Brown. Vincent Crane was one of rock music's best keyboard players and he is sorely missed to this day. Atomic Rooster are one of the bands that are featured on the new Dinosaur Days CD.

Atomic Rooster 
Atomic Rooster - Can't take no more, from "Death Walks Behind You", their second album, released in 1970. Another one of our favourites. This was the first album to feature ex-Andromeda/Attack guitarist/vocalist John (Du)Cann and drummer Paul Hammond, who'd replaced Nick Graham and Carl Palmer respectively. Founder and keyboard player Vincent Crane was the only remaining original member. This was also the album that featured the band's biggest hit, "Tomorrow Night". This line-up stayed together for one further album, "In Hearing of", with fourth member, Peter French on vocals, before Atomic Rooster underwent a total personnel transformation, with Crane once again the only remaining member. Whatever this band did during their history they did well, even though diehard fans felt that the "Made in England" and "Nice 'n Greasy" Chris Farlowe-era was disappointing. Listen to those albums and you'll hear the sheer class that was Atomic Rooster. A whole bunch of compilations, live albums and albums of 'rarities' have surfaced during the past few years, some of the recordings of which have been a bit dodgy to say the least, but all of them are fine tributes to one of England's best ever bands.

Atomic Rooster
 Atomic Rooster - Devil's Answer, released in 1971, one of two charting singles, the other being "Tomorrow Night". February 14th is a p articularly sad day for rock music in general. It was on that date in 1989 that Atomic Rooster's keyboard player and founder member, Vincent Crane, passed away. One of the greatest keyboard players in the world, Crane formed the band in 1969 with drummer Carl Palmer and bassist/guitarist/vocalist Nick Graham. This line-up recorded the band's self-titled debut album before Palmer joined ELP and Graham joined Skin Alley. Their replacements were Paul Hammond and John (du) Cann respectively, and it was this line-up that recorded the two hits," Devil's Answer" never appearing on an official studio album, although "Tomorrow Night" appeared on "Death Walks Behind You", their excellent second album.( "Devil's Answer" did appear on a number of compilations, however, notably" Assortment" and "Home to Roost"). A fourth member, vocalist Peter French, (Cactus, Leafhound, Randy Pie,etc), joined the band for "In Hearing of", their 3rd album, but he only appeared on the one studio album( refer the new releases section for a review of his recently released studio album, "Ducks in Flight", originally recorded in 1978). Atomic Rooster underwent a few more changes for their next brace of albums, with guitarists Steve Bolton and Johnny Mandalla, drummer Rick Parnell and ex-Colosseum vocalist Chris Farlowe joining Crane. The two albums in question, " Made in England" and "Nice 'n Greasy", although very d ifferent to the band's earlier material, were nonetheless brilliant albums, but both were commercial failures. Crane split the band and returned to work with Arthur Brown, although he did resurrect the band in 1979 with John (du) Cann and drummers Preston Heyman and Ginger Baker (releasing the self-titled "Atomic R ooster" album )and again in 1983, with guitarists John Mizarolli (Jody Street), Bernie Torme and Dave Gilmour (Pink Floyd), releasing the "Headline News" album. Disillusioned, Crane once again disbanded Atomic Rooster, later featuring with Dexys Midnight Runners in 1985. He also wrote material for pop star Kim Wilde. A solo album, "Tarot Rota", featuring Arthur Brown and recorded in the eighties, was released on CD by Voiceprint Records in 1997. A ton of Atomic Rooster c ompilations, including the usual smattering of unreleased studio and live t racks, some of which are of dubious quality, have been released on various l abels during the past five years or so. That's probably because many people are only now starting to realize how good a keyboard player/songwriter Vincent Crane actually was. He has very few equals, even today, twelve years after his death. He was a musical genius and he and his band are greatly admired and respected to this day, by musicians old and new. He is still sorely missed and our featured track was our annual tribute to a great man. We are also proud to say that A tomic Rooster are one of the featured artists on our second Dinosaur Days CD.   
 

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Biography by William Ruhlmann
Atomic Rooster was a British progressive-rock group formed in 1969 with an original lineup of Vincent Crane (organ), Nick Graham (bass), and Carl Palmer (drums). Their debut album, Atomic Rooster, hit number 49 in the U.K. in June 1970, after which Graham and Palmer left the group. Crane maintained the name and recruited guitarist/singer John Cann and drummer Paul Hammond for the second album, Death Walks Behind You, which hit number 12 in the U.K., where it featured the number 11 single "Tomorrow Night," and number 90 in the U.S. Pete French of Cactus assisted on the third album, In Hearing Of, which featured the number-four U.K. single "The Devil's Answer" and reached number 18 in England and number 167 in America. Then the group split up again, and again Crane assembled a new Atomic Rooster, this time featuring singer Chris Farlowe, guitarist Steve Bolton, bassist Bill Smith, and drummer Rick Parnell. Made in England reached number 149 in the U.S. in 1972, but the group had split again by 1974. Crane fronted lineups of Atomic Rooster into the '80s, before taking up with Dexys Midnight Runners in 1983. In 1989, he committed suicide. 

 

Chris Farlowe
Steve Bolton
John Cann
Vincent Crane
Peter French
Nick Graham
Paul Hammond
Preston Heyman
John Mandella
Carl Palmer
Rick Parnell

Hard Stuff
Deep Purple
The Nice
Gentle Giant
King Crimson

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Atomic Rooster - 1970 - Atomic Rooster (Original UK Version) - 4/5

Atomic Rooster - 1970 - Death Walks Behind You - 4.5/5

Atomic Rooster - 1971 - In Hearing of Atomic Rooster - 3/5

Atomic Rooster - 1972 - Made in England - 4/5

Atomic Rooster - 1973 - Nice 'n' Greasy - 3/5

Atomic Rooster - 1980 - Atomic Rooster - 3.5/5

Atomic Rooster - 1983 - Headline News - 2/5

Atomic Rooster - 1993 - BBC Radio 1 Live in Concert - 3.5/5

Atomic Rooster - 2000 - Live in Germany - 4/5

Atomic Rooster - 2001 - The Devil Hits Back - 4/5

Atomic Rooster - 2002 - Atomic Rooster (Repertoire) - 4/5

Atomic Rooster - 2002 - Live at the Marquee 1980 - 3/5

Atomic Rooster - 2002 - Ultimate Chicken Meltdown - 4/5

Atomic Rooster - 2004 - Death Walks behind You (Expanded) - 4.5/5

Atomic Rooster - 2004 - Tomorrow Night - 4/5

Rating

 

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