Ray Manzarek - The Whole Thing Started With Rock & Roll Now It's Out of Control - 1974
Curiosity about the former keyboardist from The Doors led to the purchase of this one from CD Cellar in Falls Church, VA, and its definitely worth a spin, or two, or three (getting the idea?).... The record starts off as you would expect with classic Door-sy sounding keyboards and vocals. Who knew that Mr. Manzarek could sing too? He sounds strangely like he's doing his best Jim Morrison impersonation, and this is in no way depressing. It all works well, but give it til track 3, "Whirling Dervish" where you will realize you've found something special. Steve Reich-esque minimalist scaling, featuring clarinets and sax, morph into what sounds like a middle eastern Hava Nagila inspired break from the main loop. Wait for the end of Side A with "Begin the World Again" that funkifies the whole album.
This record is spattered with Manzarek's deep voice which falls somewhere in the range of Johnny Cash or Glen Danzig especially on the catchy "I Wake Up Screaming" and "Bicentenial Blues" (which features Manzarek's liberty in including the hook from "Light My Fire"). It's a dancing disco tinged affair that is well worth your time and boogie.
On a side note, if you care what your neighbors think, don't play the end of Side B during the summer with the windows open in the middle of the day. It starts off innocent enough, but quickly takes a turn for the worse, when it vividly could double for the soundtrack to a raunchy 70's porn.
Of Note: the sleeve give a special thanks to Iggy Pop and credits Patti Smith as Poetress. Nice.