Atomic Rooster


Atomic Rooster (1969-1971, 1972-present): a Hard Rock band from London, UK.


ounded in 1969 by Vincent Crane (Real Name: Vincent Cheesman; ex-Crazy World Of Arthur Brown; keyboards/vocals/bass), Carl Palmer (ex-Crazy World Of Arthur Brown; drums/percussion) and Graham (bass/guitar/flute), Atomic Rooster originally signed to 'B&C' for their 1970 self-titled 49 UK charting debut. Crane and Palmer had previously met #1 success with Arthur Brown's Fire. But Crane was left on his own when Palmer left to become the Palmer in the soon-to-be hit group Emerson Lake And Palmer, while Graham left to join Skin Alley. Their respective replacement John Cann and Paul Hammond helped the group into a more progressive but heavy sound and spawned the hits that would be Tomorrow Night and Devil's Answer (11 and 4 UK respectively) found on the Death Walks Behind You (1971) and In Hearing of Atomic Rooster (1971); 12 and 18 UK charters in their own right, the second featuring Pete French (ex-Leaf Hound/ex-Cactus) on vocals.

The band then split soon after, but it wasn't long before Crane found himself a new line-up with Chris Farlowe (ex-Colloseum/ex-Soho) replacing French, Steve Bolton to replace Cann who went off as John Du Cann to form Hard Stuff and have a 1979 hit, not to mention and Rick Parnell (son of orchestra leader Jack Parnell) then replacing Hammond who also left to Hard Stuff. With the replacements complete a few new members were added in the form of Bill Smith (bass), Liza Strike and Doris Troy (backing vocals both) to release Made in England (1972) and Nice 'n' Greasy (1973), two albums that failed miserably as the fans flocked to harder venues. Farlowe had by now already left, and after one more single, Tell Your Story (Sing Your Song) the act was split again when Crane went off to join Arthur Brown again.

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In 1980 the act was resurrected yet again to release a second self-titled album on 'EMI' with himself alongside John Du Cann (guitar) and Preston Heyman (drums). Paul Hammon would now take over the drum stool before Berne Trome and David Gilmour took over for Hammondand Cann respectively the following year to release Headline News (1983) a year after that. All these latest attempts were non-starters, however, and the act split again - this time for good when Crane was invited to join/guest Dexy's Midnight Runners in 1985 and later write for Kim Wilde. He would subsequently commit suicide on 20th February 1989 after suffering from recursive and long bouts of depression.

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