Great Bear - same (1971, US, mixed bag of keys dominated rural-psych-prog rock, Scepter vinyl rip, single flac + cue + splitter, DR12, artwork)

                             *** Reviewed by great fellow Adamus67 ***

GREAT BEAR is not strictly speaking a progressive rock band, but a formation of heavy psychedelic pop that to expand its areas of influence tapped the edge of progressive as many American groups at the time: SPIRIT, NAZZ, VANILLA FUDGE ...Progressive rock is to England what psychedelic rock is America. But we must still remember that the progressive movement has its origins in psychedelic music...

Obscure group, GREAT BEAR recorded this single eponymous album in total anonymity in New York on behalf of Scepter Records. Consists of twelve songs, this disc contains three times, including "Almost Grown" by Chuck Berry. The other pieces are to be credited with organist Michael BOBAK.

Despite an average of three minutes per title, the songs are trying to break the structures of rock with an excellent use of the song, which varies between soul and melancholy, and a good use of the guitar but also and especially moog synth organ especially in "Summation" where it in a wonderful final, attempts a beautiful flight. Far from being revolutionary, yet a balance seems to impose a security to another for a smooth tuned. In short, a nice and catchy hard for progressive rock fans who want to take an interest in psychedelic rock. Become a vinyl ultra rare side so well, we can only regret the absence of an official CD reissue. 
Thank you so much Adam for that effort

Great Bear were a blues rock group from Wilkes-Barre, Pa that consisted of John Gonska (guitar), Michael Boback (lead vocals-keyboards), Paul Metzger (lead vocal-percussion-tympany-drums) and Bob Gryziec (bass). Background vocals provided by The Chimes, Norman Letinski and Great Bear.

Among the mostly original Michael Boback songs on this album which run the gamut from rock, rural, blues, progressive and gospel, the group performs three covers including the Joseph Longoria track “I’m Gonna Build Me A Mountain” which first appeared on his Joseph “Stoned Age Man” LP (which was also released on Scepter Records in 1970), the Chuck Berry song “Almost Grown” and Mac Rebennack’s (Dr. John) “Headin’ Closer To Home”  (Jaque Itzch)

= comments to this stuff =

bob gryziec|Mar 27 2012
we were from wilkes-barre, pa near scranton.

redtelephone66|Mar 27 2012
Hello Bob,
Thank you for the information, we have made the correction. If you get a chance, please give us some insight on the history of the group.

Ochsfan|Mar 31 2012
“Cinderella” is a great cut.

charlie penzel|Apr 1 2012
very good album, especially the track №6

bob gryziec|Apr 3 2012
Great Bear evolved from a group called the “Whazoos”, who I played with in 1968. We released one single “Inside of Me”, on National records (see on youtube). I rejoined a group in 1969 called the Bouys, of which I was a founding member in 1965. The Buoys had a hit called “Timothy” on Scepter Records. I left the Buoys in Sept of 1969 to join a group called Child of New York city. The same group that Springstein mentions in several interviews. I stayed until the spring of 1970 when I rejoined the Whazoos who were just signing with Scepter records. I signed with Scepter for a second time, with plans for an album. The band was renamed “Great Bear” from a spring water company logo that serviced New York City at that time. The Great Bear album took about a week to produce. It was kind of thin sounding because Scepter had just installed a new sound board and it had not been tweeked yet. Scepter hosted an album release concert at the Paramount Theater in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. in the fall of 1970. Don Imus was the MC.

Mike Hagan|Jan 11 2013
I used to go and see the Whazoos and Great Bear when I was learning to play. All of the guys were super friendly. I use to talk to Bob about playing bass. He was always nice to me and encouraged me to play. Oh yeah, Bob was/is one of the greatest bass players in the valley.
Mike Hagan

John Lanham|Jan 13 2013
I took over guitar duties when John Gonska left for a very short time. Marital problems made me go back to Florida. Don’t think they ever forgave me but, I had to do what I had to do. Other than Leon Wilkeson & Larry Junstrom, Bob was the best bass player I ever played with.

Paul Metzger|Apr 11 2013
I’m proud to say I was the founding member of the Whazoos and vocalist on The Rains Came (National Records)
My life time friend Mike Boback wrote the majority of songs on our Scepter Rocords GREAT BEAR album. He also did all vocal leads with the exception of The Last Page Came to Soon which I squeezed out at 2:00 AM with an Occular Migraine. I was fortunate to be hired by C. Michael Wright, our producer and engineer to do studio drum tracks for multitude artists including gospel great Alberina Walker. She was produced by Dionne Warwicks dad, Speedy. The gospel side of Scepter used the Hob label. Michael Hagen and worked together as the Whazoos prior to me moving to Orlando. Mike is a great musician and vocalist. God Bless you all. Hope to read some comments.

side one:
A1. I Took It Too Long
A2. Headin’ Closer To Home
A3. All Of Her Best
A4. Poor Rich Man
A5. I’m Gonna Build A Mountain
A6. Hand Me To The Lord
side two:
B1. Almost Grown
B2. Cinderella
B3. The Last Page Came Too Soon
B4. Going Away
B5. The Singer Left Before His Song
B6. Summation

Great Bear:
John Gonska (guitar)
Michael Boback (lead vocals-keyboards)
Paul Metzger (lead vocal-percussion-tympany-drums)
Bob Gryziec (bass)

Great Bear - Cinderella (1971)

 [Rip and Scans by gigic2255]

Link:   254 mb/file


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