Category Archives: JOHN DU CANN
The bluesy seventies rock, or swinging 70′s rock and roll must have brought many houses down back then. “Millionaire” and “Jay Time” are examples of the ultimate in 70′s lyrics, as well riffs with 50% super glue in them…The band may have sounded slightly oddly retro but among the recognizable guitar, Hammond and vocal parts there is also traces of adapting to the new hard rock era.
If you are not acquainted to the work of the late great JOHN DU CANN, this is one of the best introductions possible. R.I.P. JOHN!
Festivalphoto – January 2012
With almost all the material on offer being written by Du Cann himself you soon come to realise that as a writer and performer he was a master of the zeitgeist. Each song is a perfect encapsulation of the era in which it was recorded. Even later in the album, ‘She’s My Woman’ from 1977 is more stripped down and could easily appeal to a punk audience; 1979′s ‘Don’t Be A Dummy’ – taken up for a TV advert – is tinged with a healthy splash of American new wave, and the reformed Atomic Rooster offerings – ‘Don’t Lose Your Mind’ and ‘They Took Control Of You’ – could easily have been a great NWOBHM single.
John Du Cann 1945 – 2011: a sad loss whose brilliance will live on through his music for pretty much all time.
John Tucker – January 2012
With solo recordings and tracks by five bands, this 16-song 70-minute CD covers Du Cann’s most creative Years. Du Cann had a surprise solo hit in his own right in 1979 when his recording of the Lee Cooper jeans commercial song Don’t Be A Dummy scaled the Top 40. A Year later, he was back with Atomic Rooster, who close the album with ‘Don’t Lose Your Mind’
which sounds similar to their hits, and the much harder-hitting ‘They Took Control Of You’.
Music Week – January 2012
In the ’80s the veteran lost the fire himself, ostensibly for personal reasons, and there’s nothing from the last 30 years that he deemed the world worthy to hear, while he submitted a lot of archive and remastered material to Angel Air. Du Cann wanted this label to release a compilation representing his multi-faceted work, and now it’s John testament and a starting point to investigate all his sides.
The song selection here provides only a taster of the wealth of material that Du Cann has been involved with over the years but is nevertheless a welcome overview of his career.
A fitting tribute to a much underrated talent – RIP.
Sea of Tranquility – January 2012
The songs are presented here in chronological order and you really get a sense of the musical styles changing from the hippy, happy opener ‘Magic In The Air’ from The Attack moving to Andromeda and their Black Sabbath inspiring heavy rock sound. Atomic Rooster struck me as to how close they sounded to classic Alice Cooper, particularly ‘Tomorrow Night’ – more Cooper than The Coop! ‘Devil’s Answer’ was, of course, the big ‘Hit’ the Rooster had throughout Europe and deservedly so; a great track reaching number 4 in the UK in 1971.
…This serves as a great tribute and reminder, not only to fans of John’s work but lovers of the great ‘stoner’ rock of the Seventies.
über röck – January 2012
The compilation offers 16 fiercely awesome tracks that are a mixture of the following bands: The Attack, Andromeda, Atomic Rooster, Bullet, Hard Stuff, and Du Cann.
‘Magic In The Air’ (The Attack, 1967) is much as you would expect a track with such title to sound like… somewhat psychedelic with some nostalgic bell sound intro, but still rockin’. Very curious yet totally inspired is ‘Return to Sanity’ (Andromeda, 1969) which is broken into three parts: Breakdown / Hope and Conclusion. It has a slow start, reminiscent of ‘White Rabbit’ by Jefferson Airplane, then gets heavier and more percussion-based towards the end. Great track, that one!
…The excellent players on this excellent album are John Du Cann, John McCoy, John Gustafson (that’s a lot of John’s), Paul Hammond and Vincent Crane. Really, if you don’t get this anthology then you’re a dick, not a John!
Music-News – January 2012
You can’t help but admire the excellent Angel Air label for their devotion (some might say obsession) with all things Atomic Rooster…This 16 track compilation covers the whole of his career starting with late 60′s psychedelic band The Attack…It also takes in his solo career which brought a surprise hit single with ‘Don’t Be A Dummy’…overall it’s a fitting tribute.
Classic Rock Society (March/April 2012)
…Du Cann finished putting everything together here just prior to his death, so as it has his own personal seal, one presumes this is how he wishes to be remembered…Throughout it’s interesting that, while Du Cann’s flexible guitar work is impressive, the strength of the band and the way they played is emphasised. This isn’t about merely picking out his finest performances, but underlining Atomic Rooster’s heritage and brilliance.
Classic Rock Magazine (April 2012)
An oft overlooked UK six-string slinger, this collection really highlights the strength of musicianship and compositional skills that John Du Cann possessed throughout his career, something emphasised beautifully in the excellent liner notes…
…’Tomorrow Night’ and ‘Devils Answer’. These classic prog-rock hits are the pick of this interesting anthology, which also features examples of John’s work with lesser known outfits such as The Attack, Andromeda, Bullet and Hard Stuff.
Kevin Bryan (Mansfield Chad)
…The inclusion of themes from classical music is a common thread in the genre and the excessive ‘Return To Sanity’ qualifies, just as ‘Devil’s Answer’ illustrates the type of music that was high in the charts at the time. There’re some nice iconic history pieces in here, too: ‘She’s My Woman’ from 1977, produced by Francis Rossi, for example.
…From Du Cann’s psychedelic rockers Andromeda comes the eight-minute ‘lost’ underground classic ‘Return To Sanity’. That band would doubtless have gone on to bigger things had he not joined Atomic Rooster…Du Cann went on to form the harder rocking Bullet and Hard Stuff, from which there are a couple of tracks apiece. The real curio is his TV ad for Lee Cooper jeans, written by Gary Numan.
Classic Rock Magazine
Never a household name, nor ever likely to be (despite a brief spell with Thin Lizzy), Du Cann has been well served by Angel Air, who have kept his music in the racks. Fans may own all this material already, but uncommitted rockers could do worse than start here. 4 stars.
Record Collector Magazine (February 2012)
… John Du Cann…had an uncanny ability to tap into the spirit of the times: mainstream pop with mid-60s group Attack;psychedelia with late-60s Andromeda and then prog-rock with Atomic Rooster…recorded in 1977…has a pop punk feel…of interest to Atomic Rooster and Status Quo fans.
Colin Shearman, Q, July 1999
…at times seems on the verge of catching the energy of the punk movement that sprang up about that time…A tight rocking album well worthy of attention and it’s a pity that it’s taken twenty years to see the light of day. Well packaged with informative notes and twelve high quality bonus tracks added to the original fifteen songs, this is another welcome addition to the Angel Air label.
Terry Craven, Wondrous Stories (June 1999)
…three-minute punk-ish pop ditties that could just as easily been blaring out of speakers contemporaneous to anything by The Cars, Blondie or Cheap Trick. “Power Pop” …and much better than the rest,
Atomic Rooster fans…know that this is going to be great rock and roll but they would have never guessed at the form it would have taken. Status Quo fans will want to snap it up for the contributions from both Andy Bown and Francis Rossi. Everybody else, don’t be a dummy and get this thing as soon as you can!
Music America, (July 1999)
Utterly convincing, packing much the same kind of mood and power as the early Ultravox…the first-ever release for a phenomenal piece of new wave rock and also the first release for a dozen demos, outtakes and oddities recorded by Du Cann and Rooster drummer Paul Hammond around the time of the Rooster reunion.
Jo-Anne Greene, Goldmine, (June 1999)
…while this album is never punk it does fit into the power pop category very well. This is guitar oriented pop and while at times it sounds quite dated, that only adds to instead of detracting from its charm…not at all a bad album, and one that anyone into the late Seventies would do well to search out.”
Feedback, (September 1999)
In keeping with the era’s back-to-basics bent, the sound is crisp and muscular. DuCann’s scrappy, propulsive riffs yield consistently good results, particularly on the swaggering pop-punk of “You Didn’t Know Any Better”, “When I Was Old” and “fashion Fantasy”…The album also packs 11 bonus demo tracks, most as good as their album counterparts, snappily produced by Status Quo’s Francis Rossi (who also contributed rhythm guitar)…Bassist John McCoy (Ian Gillan), keyboardist Andy Bown (Herd, Status Quo), and Cliff Bennett (Original Mirrors) lend stolid unobstrusive support (even Atomic Rooster drummer Paul Hammond pops up on a few tracks). All in all, this is a thoughtful reissue; file as an irresistible “might-have-been.”
Discoveries, (September 2001)
The album has a very commercial feel to it with short songs that have catchy sing along lyrics to them, ideal for radio…
Alistair Flynn, Classic Rock Society (September 2002)
…it’s a mainly hard rock platter adding boogie, pub-rock and new wave into the mix. As usual, the CD is packed with sleevenotes, photos and extra tracks.
Joe Geesin, Record Collector (October 2002)