Category Archives: BEDLAM
The main part of the album is hindered only slightly by the quality of the original recordings, but, nonetheless, really highlights the talents of a band firing on all cylinders and has me missing the firepower that these guys – especially the sorely missed Cozy Powell – could produce, whether together or separately, within the confines of another group.
zacharymule.com (March 2015)
The ante’s upped with the catchy funk of ‘Set Me Free’ where rhythm section excels in a cohesive jive while guitar rips and roars before all instrumentalists engage in an infectious dance around the riff.
DMME.net (February 2014)
This live album is definitely to be filed under ‘power rock’ – the opener ‘I Believe in You’, is very like Deep Purple in sound, but the other tracks show a leaning towards the blues-rock. The recording was pieced together by Denny using a computer program called Cool Edit and the sound quality is excellent. Also featured is an interview with the band undertaken in the middle of the broadcast, before they launched into the epic 21-minute track called ‘The Fool’, which features amazing solos.
Bolton News (November 2013)
Billed as one of the hardest working like bands of the early ’70s, and just a few tracks into this you are hard pushed to doubt it.
The pure energy of this set recorded on a US tour is immense. Formed by ex-Procol Harum guitarist Dave Ball, Bedlam were a classic rock band right out of the Cream school of super groups…This album gives an insight into what might have been. If Powell hadn’t derailed Bedlam with his own solo success they could have been one of the biggest rock bands of the ’70s.
Daily Echo (November 2013)
…the sound quality of the original 5 track live show – which is bolstered here by an interview with the band and a studio remix of ‘The Beast’ – really is excellent, and as stated previously the musicianship is of the highest quality (as you would expect). Just listen out for some blistering (almost Blackmore-esque) guitar work from Dave Ball on ‘The Fool’, a track which also includes a thundering bass and drum workout from Denny and Cozy which in typical mid ’70s fashion clocks in at a staggering 21 minutes plus. Phew!
‘Live In Binghampton 1974′ then is an intriguing piece of musical history, not least because I found out that a place called Binghampton actually exists.
Uber Rock (November 2013)
The members of Bedlam included Powell on drums, Dave Ball (ex-Procol Harum) on guitar, Denny Ball on bass, and vocalist Frank Aiello. These guys delivered some scorching blues rock/proto metal, featuring Ball’s searing lead guitar work upfront and center, Aiello’s powerful vocals, and the furious rhythms of Powell & Ball.
“I Believe in You” kicks off this set with some heavy rock riffs from Ball, a scorcher of a track that needs to be heard to be believed…The band get their Cream/Free groove on with “Set Me Free”, a down & dirty heavy blues rocker, again with Ball firing off some scalding riffs & solos while Cozy plays like a man possessed underneath.
Sea Of Tranquillity (October 2013)
…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)