…it’s the ensemble’s telepathy that’s on display here, and their command of the crowd. Sadly, their span was limited – the fact which renders the BEDLAM energy condensed and explosive to this day. ****1/3
DME Music Site
This set was taped on 22nd October 1973 – the date does have some significance – at the Command Studios Theatre in London and features, as you may expect, four extremely talented musicians contributing both individually and collectively to a hefty wodge of driving Seventies’ hard rock, not dissimilar to the overall sound of Nazareth, Uriah Heep and the like (in fact opener ‘I Believe In You’ could easy be Uriah Heep without the keys).
The extended work-out that is ‘Sarah’ together with ‘Seven Long Years’ (linked by some superb solo tub-thumping by Powell) ably showcase what Bedlam were all about – catchy songs, fluid solos and pure instrumental virtuosity – as does ‘The Fool’: an eleven-minute monster that comes over all slow ‘n’ bluesy at first before shifting gear and allowing firstly the bass-playing Ball and then his six-string brother to strut their stuff…
John Tucker (April 2012)
The album offers nine tracks plus the bonus “Dance With the Devil”, a breakthrough single, reaching third place in the UK charts, in this case a version played by the whole band. The sound is obviously very nostalgic and there are all the elements typical of the genre, a solid rhythmic base and exceptionally brilliant drumming…
…what matters is that it’s good rock music, at times you can also reach very high levels, as in “The Fool”, a song that is really full of emotions in its more than eleven minutes…
For this re-release, the original tapes of an October 1973 gig featuring most of their one studio album have been baked and enhanced. The results prove that brothers Dave Ball on guitar and Dennis Ball on bass were no slouches, and the voice of Frank Aiello (Gary Holton meets Noddy Holder) should clearly be more widely celebrated.
Classic Rock Magazine
Another quality archive release from heritage label Angel Air, In Command 73 marks a live recording from Bedlam, the band featuring the much missed Cozy Powell, undoubtedly one of the foremost hard rock drummers of all time.
Bedlam were only around for 12 months or so and together with Cozy the other members were Dave Ball (guitars), Denny Ball (bass) and vocalist Frank Aiello.
This performance was recording in London on October 22nd and was originally devised as a promotional aid to help launch the band in the US. There is a bonus track in the shape of Bedlam’s version of Cozy’s big hit “Dance With The Devil” although this is taken from an early ’74 TV broadcast and the quality is below par when compared with that of the gig itself.
Bedlam were all about solid 70′s hard rock and comparisons with Mountain and Cream would not be far from the mark. Powell unleashes his customary drum solo as an intro to ‘Seven Long Years’ and Ball’s riffs and solos are raw and aggressive, complemented by Aiello’s powerful and bluesy vocal delivery.
At eleven minutes plus, ‘The Fool’ shows Bedlam really stretching out with extended instrumental passages highlighting the chemistry between the musicians. ‘Dance With The Devil’ would be the catalyst that set Powell on his way to a career with Rainbow, Whitesnake, Black Sabbath and ELP amongst others but for Bedlam in marked the end of the road as they went their separate ways.
A fascinating release for fans of the 70′s and Powell in particular.
Dean Pedley, www.seaoftranquility.org (October 2012)