LUCIFER'S FRIEND — Lucifer's Friend

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LUCIFER'S FRIEND - Lucifer's Friend cover
4.09 | 18 ratings | 6 reviews
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Album · 1970

Tracklist

1. Ride the Sky (2:55)
2. Everybody's Clown (6:11)
3. Keep Goin' (5:26)
4. Toxic Shadows (7:00)
5. Free Baby (5:28)
6. Baby You're a Liar (3:55)
7. In the Time of Job When Mammon Was a Yippie (4:02)
8. Lucifer's Friend (6:12)

Total Time: 41:09

Line-up/Musicians

- John Lawton / vocals
- Peter Hesslein / guitars, vocals
- Dieter Horns / bass
- Joachim Reitenbach / drums
- Peter Hecht / keyboards

About this release

1970 - Philips(Germany) gatefold
1970 - Vertigo(UK)(New Zealand) gatefold, 180 gram
1973 - Billingsgate(US) reissue
1990 - Repertoire(Germany) LP: reissue
1990 - Repertoire(Germany) CD: bonus tracks
2008 - SPV(Germany) CD: Dijipak, bonus tracks, remastered
2010 - Universal(Europe) CD: Dijipak, bonus tracks, remastered

Thanks to cannon, Unitron for the updates

Buy LUCIFER'S FRIEND - LUCIFER'S FRIEND music

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Lucifer's FriendLucifer's Friend
Universal Import 2010
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Lucifer's FriendLucifer's Friend
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Repertoire 1998
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Awakening by LUCIFER's FRIEND (2015-05-04)Awakening by LUCIFER's FRIEND (2015-05-04)
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Specialists/collaborators reviews

voila_la_scorie
I am surprised it took me this many years to know about this album. There's proto-metal and then there's proto-metal. You have your heavy psych bands, your heavy blues-based bands, your jazzy prog bands, and then you get an album like this which is all about rocking out with heavy bar-chord riffs, howling vocals, and a Hammond organ that could raise an eyebrow or two of Jon Lord's (RIP).

To sum up the sound simply, this is a large dose of Uriah Heep circa "Salisbury" and "Look at Yourself" heavily emphasizing the rocking heavy side but going more for the aggressive sonic assault of Deep Purple In Rock and hinting at times of Dio-era Rainbow. I am really impressed how every song goes for guitar distortion and totally avoids any light weight numbers. There are no slow songs, no acoustic numbers, not even any numbers with a clean lead guitar. But each song is distinct enough so that I find myself looking forward to the heavy riff to be found in every song. Oh, sure, some songs are better than others. But I have no disappointments.

A few words need to be said for John Lawton, whose vocal prowess and power make it easy to tell why he would be able to secure a job with Uriah Heep later on. He really lets a couple of good screams loose on the title track. It's rare to find a singer with such metal talent so early on in metal's history. At this time (1970) Ian Gillan was all the news. Well, John Lawton fits right in there.

All in all, I'd say this album really has a strong place in metal history because the music really fits the bill. This is no three-chord garage rock band and no Led Zeppelin imitation. If you like the heaviest of Uriah Heep's early songs and wish they'd done more you would be doing yourself a favour by checking out this beast. The sound quality is there, too. A nice lost (?) classic.
Warthur
With Peter Hecht's stalwart Hammond organ underpinning a set of heavy psych-prog compositions, you could almost be forgiven for mistaking the debut album by Lucifer's Friend for a lost album from Deep Purple's In Rock lineup. In fact, I think it's markedly more consistent than In Rock-era Deep Purple ever were, with the band successfully establishing an intriguingly dark atmosphere. At other points - particularly with John Lawton's vocals in the picture - the band resemble a somewhat more Satanic Uriah Heep. For those who like the heavier side of psych-prog or the trippier side of hard rock or proto-metal, this is a real treat.
Sinkadotentree
This band might be from Germany but we get English vocals from John Lawton who is from the UK. John would go on to sing for URIAH HEEP. This album was released in 1970 the same year as BLACK SABBATH's first two albums. The cover art here is kind of creepy with the "Mob" coming to mind with those two wise-guys on the cover standing in a pool of someone else's blood. Yup these are Lucifer's freinds. Man i'd never have guessed this was a German band obviously because of John's vocals but they deserve a lot of credit for making this style of music so early on. Lots of organ in this one and it's certainly not as dark or heavy as SABBATH but these guys do rip it up. DEEP PURPLE and URIAH HEEP fans should love this stuff.
Certif1ed
Probably one of the greatest albums you've never heard - if you haven't heard it, of course...

And, given the lack of attention this album seems to get, I'd guess that those who haven't heard it are in the majority - which is a huge shame.

The monster riffs, twin-guitar assaults and huge, metallic sound will make you check out the release date again and wonder how, as a metal fan, you came to miss this one.

"Ride The Sky", the album's opener, is pretty much the perfect blueprint for a heavy metal song, with the sinister opening, the screaming vocals, the diamond sharp twin guitars and the definitive metal rhythm guitar sound.

Even with the Strong Hammond backing, "Everybody's Clown" sounds like something from The Scorpion's 1975 album, Virgin Killer - can't remember if "Speedy's Coming" is on that album or not, but that's what I'm thinking about.

John Lawton's amazing vocals predict Klaus Meine, and, despite the obvious roots in the Heavy Krautrock scene, this entire album seems almost peerless - although listen carefully and you can hear the strains of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs" coming through from the rhythm guitar in the slower moments.

But this really is an astonishing track for 1970, not so much proto metal as being pretty darn close to the real McCoy.

There's a strong Led Zeppelin streak running through the album, and the unmistakable sound of the riff to "Heartbreaker" is the inspiration for "Keep Goin'" - but there's a large dollop of Sabbath in there too, and influences from The Nice (a reference to their almighty version of "America" is hinted at around 2:00) - but also a unique twist. The breakdown riff around 1:30 is pure, molten metal. A monstrous track.

The excitement continues - there is a good reason why you only ever read good reviews of this album. The overall style is a tad on the samey side, but the metallic moments shine out like brightly polished steel, predating Priest's movement to the dark and shiny side by at least 6 years.

Another big highlight comes in the opening of "Baby You're A Liar", with sounds of early Motorhead mashed up with Phenomenon-era UFO. Again, this is all 5 years too early!

OK, the underlying flavour is still from the Hard Kraut Rock scene, a bit more noticeably than Sabbath, but far less so than Zep and their Blues Rock roots.

The unmistakable "Kerrrang!!!" from the rhythm guitar and those wide-vibrato tenor screams are all the cues you need from this era in metal's early development.

This is not only an important footnote, it's a major development in the metallic direction, and an essential part of any metal collection - more so than Zep or Purple, even though I think it's fair to say that this album is probably influenced by Zep, Purple, Sabbath, Uriah Heep, and by direct association, the grandfathers of metal, Spooky Tooth.

Members reviews

SouthSideoftheSky
Any friend of Lucifer's is a friend of mine

To say that this album (and this band) is underrated is something of an understatement. This debut album came out in 1970, the same year as Black Sabbath's debut, the same year as Deep Purple's In Rock, Led Zeppelin's third as well as Uriah Heep's debut - and it sounds absolutely fresh and forward-looking considering the year of release. Hence, this German/British band must have invented Heavy Metal pretty much simultaneously (and independently?) of these more well-known mastodons of early Metal (or Proto-Metal, if you like). And that is quite impressive, I think! But who ever talks about Lucifer's Friend now? Sadly, no too many.

For listening pleasure this is not too bad either, and it is even up to par with some of the more famous bands I mentioned above! This debut is not be the best album by Lucifer's Friend, however. Their second album is even better! But this debut is more important for historical reasons. Had this album been released a couple of years later it could perhaps have been dismissed as a good clone of other bands, but this was released in 1970, after all. Anyone with an interest in the early development of heavy music, and heavy progressive music in particular, should not miss out on this album. Indeed, this is essential listening!

The vocals are very good, and the guitars and keyboards are well played and not at all sloppy like many early Heavy Metal contemporaries. Ride In The Sky, Everybody's Clown and the title track are all great songs.
1967/ 1976
In 2000 my ex girlfriend lent me a MC with "Lucifer's friend" album. She is a great person, and not only because lent me this MC! Immediately I comparing "Lucifer's Friend" with Uriah Heep, Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple. That it is true and except for Uriah Heep that have the debut in the same year all these comparison are good (but also with Uriah Heep at the end).

The opening track "Lucifer's Friend" is 100% Uriah Heep for the use of rhythms, Hammond, guitar and voices (not for other John Lawton was also the voice of Heep). But the rest of the album is not aged in the same manner. Not bad are, for me, "Everybody's Clown", "Toxic Shadows", "in The Time Of Job When Mammon Was A Yippie" and "Lucifer's Friend" but these are the only songs that have resisted well to the passage of years. The style, a continuous mix between Deep Purle and Led Zeppelin, is good for 1970's but today is only a type of Hard Rock/ Heavy metal attitude. And the 5 bonus tracks of Repertoire's CD? Not good for me, due to the style (basicall the 1973 songs are R'n'R/ Rhythm & Blues)

Not a bad album 'Lucifer's Friend', ruined (on CD) from the bonus tracks. The original album is, however, a good album, not only for 1970. More than a document.

Ratings only

  • sonparo
  • Unitron
  • kllytrrnc
  • Citizen
  • luanpedi
  • Tlön
  • rafaelwho
  • cannon
  • harmonium.ro
  • mr.gonzoss
  • SecondTimeAround
  • sauromat

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