• Cream of The Crate - Record #33: Krozier and The Generator

      0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
      "The somewhat stunned audience was attacked with everything from showers of smoke bombs and black lighted hurricanes to blinding flashes of magnesium lighting … giving one the impression that Crozier was the appetiser to a larger act – like the Apocalypse, for instance."(The Village Voice - New York)

      Front Cover
      This is number thirty three in the series of albums I'm featuring as part of an on-going retrospective of vinyl albums in my personal collection. The series is called, "Cream of The Crate", and they represent vinyl albums that I believe are of significant musical value, either because of their rarity, because they represent the best of a style or styles of music or because their is something unique about the group or the music.

      So, I must put my hand up to the claim of 'vested interest', because I was closely associated with this "Man of Mystery & Madness" - the late, great Australian 'Magi
      cian'/Alchemist/THE Joker in the Pack, my friend, Geof Krozier. Born as Geofrey Thomas Crozier, he variously to himself as Jeff Crozier, Geoff Crozier and Geof Krozier.

      He died on the 17th May 1981, and the link to his full story (as previously published in the Toorak Times exactly one year ago) is provided at the end of this record review.

      The album "Tranceformer" features the vocals and lyrics (probably stories would be most apt) by Geof and, the music of The Generator, aka Rainbow Generator - who it appears was Australia's first true electronic music group, forming in 1976. The group consisted of David Labuschagne (then known as David Mow) and myself, and percussion on this album was provided by Bermuda born Keith Casey (ex-Ayers Rock).

      The album was released as a double album with a 'gate fold' cover, on the Independent "Fission*Chips" label - (FNC-002), in 1981, subsequent to Geof's untimely and accidental death.

      Inside left hand cover

      Inside right hand cover

      The album was recorded and produced in the 'Lectric Loo Studio, in Bourke St, Woomooloo NSW. This was the studio owned and operated by David, which also provided the rehearsal space for our band, and for the show that was being put together with Geof. The album was never planned, but with his death, the pieces that were recorded for future work for a live national tour, and pieces that were recorded for our own archives, were then engineered by David and 'ace' Engineer, Barry Wolifson.

      Rear of the album

      There were only 399 albums produced, as a limited run - and the album is now as rare as the proverbial hens teeth', and when copies can be found, they bring prices of between $350 and $700 Australian. Recently a CD version was produced because of a demand from overseas for this album.

      The album label - note the absence of any print except for the side number.

      Being a double album, it has a total of 14 tracks, but of interest is Side 3 where the entire side is taken up by a single track! On average there is between 16 and 18 minutes per side, and this was done in an attempt to provide a quality audio experience through the vinyl pressing stage.

      The quality of the album artwork is quite stunning, and was done in-house. It features collages made up of shots taken around the studio, and the inside left hand cover has pieces of Geof's writings reproduced, as can be seen in the picture below.

      There was one interesting/fascinating small thing that occurred. Somehow, at sometime, between the period of the artwork being developed, and the layout finalised and, the cover being printed, one word dropped off and had to be handwritten back into every copy by David.

      Right at the bottom of the right hand cover, is a piece of Geof's writing where he says ,
      "My job is to lie to you
      Your job is to listen
      And make the lies

      The word that was lost was "Believable"! (Was this a last practical joke by Geof?)

      The music is an eclectic selection of styles and arrangements that moves from strange stories, such as related on Side 1, in "Khan - Khallili Bazar", where Geof's story of the the Bazaar is supplemented by The Generators interpretation of the sounds of the 'creetures' and happenings as generated through conventional and electronic instrumentation. I should point out here, that one of the strengths of The Generator music, was David's guitar playing, where he used the guitar as the instrument is was meant to be, and then as an instrument that could generate it's own 'electronic' sounds - very unique. I love Keith Casey's playing on this track.

      If you enjoy the good old fashioned "Rip throat out, spill ya blood" type music, then Devil May Care" is the track for you, where the ominous tones of The Generator mixed with the sometimes terrifying delivery of Krozier, will both fascinate and entertain.

      Another great story/ journey type track with some fantastic music by the group, can be found on Side 2 in the piece, "House of the Joker", which encourages you to settle back as you journey through the 'Hairy Thighs of the Colossus of Rhodes".

      House Of The Joker (part)

      Before you judge Geof, and his often bizarre on-stage behaviour, before you judge Generator's music, before you judge your fellow man, the group invites you to "Take A Look" (at yourself), this being the last track on Side 2. An interesting track driven by Geof's insistent vocals demanding that we all take a bloody good look at ourselves.

      Side 3 (my favorite side of the album), features an 'Odyssey' - a
      14min 23 second track that entices you, thrills you and bliss's you as you go through the "Temple of Exotic Delights". This track features some lovely synth work interspersed with electronics, and percussion

      Side 4 could have been my favourite It commences with a piece that showcases
      Geof's impromptu, and very funny humour. "Feed You To The Sharks! What can I possibly say, except listen to it

      Feed Ya To The Sharks

      Finally, the last track on the fourth side of the album has a live piece that was often used in our shows. It does give an inkling not only to the 'mania that was Geof Krozier, but to the power playing that the Generator, who was known for electronic music, was capable of. (You) "Paid Your Money"(to see the show, now it's over, we're gonna have to pay you to go).

      That just about says it

      Paid Your Money

      This is a seriously different album. It really is unique, I feel comfortable in saying there is nothing like it before or after it was recorded. It is certainly not for everyone's ears and sensibilities! It would never have made the top 500 of any commercial chart, hell! the music on this album would probably would have caused a furor in some places, had the national tour gone ahead.

      So on this, the thirty-second anniversary of this wonderfully and seriously bizarre man's death, I thought it only right to do a retrospective of "Tranceformer" by Krozier and The Generator.

      Should you be interested in reading about his life (mainly on the stage, in Paris, New York and Melbourne, then click on Geof's image below to be taken to Geof Krozier - A Majik Story ".

      Incidentally, I have provided two video links to a Krozier and The Generator, but if you want more, then you need to click on Geof as well.

      In a last minute development, Warner Music (Australia) confirmed on this night, the night of the anniversary of Geof's passing, in fact as this review was being written, that they are licensing one of the tracks from this album ("House Of The Sun") for a forthcoming compilation to be called, “Amorphous Androgynous ‘A Monstroz Psychedelic Bubble- the Wizards Of Oz’”
      A fitting conclusion to this review!

      VIDEOS - There are a few videos of Geof on Youtube, the first was produced to promote the album "Tranceformer", and then this shorter one, but the others can be found at the end of the article referred to above.

      Tranceformer promo clip featuring Geof

      Previous Cream of The Crate Albums

      #1 – Howling Wolf: Real Folk Blues

      #2 – Otis Redding: Otis Blue/ Otis Redding Sings Soul

      #3 – Dr John The Night Tripper: Gris Gris

      #4 – Spectrum: ROYGBIV

      #5 – Son House: The Real Delta Blues

      #6 – Cruisin ‘61

      #7 – Live At The Station Hotel

      #8 – Crosby, Stills Nash & Young: Déjà Vu

      #9 – Moon Mullican: Rock it to the Moon

      #10 – Billy Thorpe: Time Traveller

      #11 – Bobby and Laurie: Cum Sum Ambulant (Hitch Hiker)

      #12 – Jimi Hendrix: Electric Ladyland

      #13 – The Beatles: The Beatles Collection

      #14 – Johnny O’Keefe: 20th Anniversary Album

      #15 – Jimmy Cliff (and others): The harder They Come (The Soundtrack from the movie by the same name)

      #16 – Frank Zappa: Roxy and Elsewhere

      #17 – Junior Walker & The All Stars: Roadrunner

      #18 - The Moonglows, Flamingos & The Orioles: Jump

      #19 - King Federal - Rockabillys: Various Artists

      #20 - Max Merritt and The Meteors: Max Merritt & The Meteors

      #21 - Planet Gong: Camembert Electrique

      # 22 - Earth, Wind & Fire: Head To The Sky

      #23 - Ellen McIlwaine: We The People

      #24 - The Easybeats: Absolute Anthology

      #25 - Rainbow Generator: Dance Of The Spheres

      #26 - Martha and the Vandellas: Greatest Hits

      #27 - Buddy Holly: A Rock and Roll Collection

      #28 - The Who: Quadrophenia

      #29 - Elvis: The legend (1954 - 1961)

      #30 - Col Joye: Let's Rock With

      #31 - The Yardbirds: For Your Love
      #32 - Eddy Cochran: The Singles Album