Often considered as folk rock this Chicago-origined group is most surely one of the prime examples of intelligent and adventurous psychedelic rock (as opposed to the more conventional Garage rock groups discussed in the Nuggets box-sets compilations) and shows that late 60’s in new world were also a fertile ground for progressive psych rock. Comparable groups of the era would be JEFFERSON AIRPLANE, SPIRIT and LOVE.
Folkie guitarist-singer George Edwards had recorded a few folk tracks, before playing with jazzman Will Mercier, where Edwards met KB man Dave Michaels, before heading back to his next solo single which will become the first HP LOVECRAFT recording - they took the name from their collective love of the writer’s oeuvre to which they asked his estate for permission to use the name. Guitarist Cavalleri, bassist McGeorge and drummer Tegsa completed the line-up. Their first album is a mostly-covers (albeit completely rearranged) album that can be compared to a much more subtle VANILLA FUDGE album.
They relocated to the San Francisco region following a few high-profile shows at the Fillmore West opening for PROCOL HARUM, DONOVAN, PINK FLOYD, TRAFFIC as well as all the local San Fran Flower Power groups and were on the brink of wide success. Around this time HP Lovecraft was at its peak touring almost constantly and a stupendous show was recoded on May 11, 1968, (but not released before 91), showing just how great and progressive they were.
Their second album had everything to achieve that goal (including a change of bassist) but they seemed to lack confidence in their own songwriting skills (it is formidably underrated) and again concentrated on covers. The album is incredibly strong and still nowadays quite impressive. However, just after its release, KB man Michaels will leave (exhaustion and loos of musical direction) prompting the group to implode soon after, causing the label to pull its promotional effort.
They tried to reform early 70, but failed (even as they had found anew record deal), but this effort prompted a group with no link to the original line-up (except for drummer Tegza) to record an album as LOVECRAFT (but bearing no resemblance to the first album) and a second album in 75, this time a funky affair. Most of the original members still dabble in music nowadays, around the Chicago area with Edwards and Michaels still playing together in folk
- Jerry McGeorge / bass, vocals
- Dave Michaels / organ, piano, clarinet, harpsichord, recorder, vocals
- Michael Tegza / percussion, drums, tympani (timpani), vocals
- Paul Tervelt / French horn
- Bill Traub / reeds
- Bill Traut / bells
- Herb Weiss / trombone
- Clyde Bachand / tuba
- Ralph Craig / trombone
- George Edwards / guitar (acoustic), guitarron, vocals, guitar (12 string acoustic), bass, guitar
- Jack Henningbaum / French horn
- Eddie Higgins / vibraphone, horn arrangements
1. Wayfaring Stranger (2:40)
2. Let's Get Together (4:39)
3. I've Been Wrong Before (2:49)
4. Drifter (4:15)
5. That's the Bag I'm In (1:47)
6. White Ship (6:37)
7. Country Boy and Bleeker Street (2:39)
8. Time Machine (2:09)
9. That's How Much I Love You, Baby (More or Less) (3:59)
10. Gloria Patria (:32)
11. Spin, Spin, Spin (3:23)
12. It's About Time (5:19)
13. Blue Jack of Diamonds (3:08)
14. Electrallentando (6:35)
15. At the Mountains of Madness (4:58)
16. Mobius Trip (2:44)
17. High Flying Bird (3:23)
18. Nothing's Boy (:40)
19. Keeper of the Keys (3:08)
20. Any Way That You Want Me (*) (2:42)
21. It's All over for You (*) (2:36)
This was a very historic release, as it provided a much sought after option to hear some of the best psychedelic music to come out of the sixties. Ever since the individual albums "H.P. Lovecraft" and "H.P. Lovecraft II" went out of print and became tough to find, people seeking the true psych-folk experience of the late sixties missed these two groundbreaking releases. Now, thanks to Britonic, 1997 saw the re-release of the first two albums released by this amazing band. This is a very easy compilation to obtain, much easier than trying to track down the two original albums somewhere n the internet. Also, with the inclusion of two bonus tracks from the recording session, this becomes an essential package for anybody seeking the natural sounds of the sixties.
Rip from CD 256@ (full artwork included)