Sir Lord Baltimore - Complete Recordings 1970-2006 : 3 x CDs

When I was at the tail end of 8th grade, beginning of 9th grade, I had been playing guitar for about a year, I had my first electric guitar and amplifier and I was in my first band.
We covered as much of the first Sir Lord Baltimore album as I could muster and we were dreadful, which was a feature, not a bug.
This is totally great, loud, lunkhead metal circa 1970. They truly ARE what every stoner rock band merely aspires to be...

“When it comes to the birth of heavy metal and hard rock, the obvious acts to namecheck are British legends such as Sabbath, Purple and Zeppelin, but delving further back, and across the ocean, Blue Cheer were definitely forging their own brand of heavyosity at the tail end of the 1960s. However, one band of gonzoid proto-metal, stoner rockers who were able to give Blue Cheer a run for their money are the cult power trio, Sir Lord Baltimore.
Hailing from Brooklyn in New York, Sir Lord Baltimore were formed in 1968 by drumming lead vocalist John Garner, lead guitarist Louis Dambra, and bassist Gary Justin. The 1971 review in Creem magazine of their debut album has been cited as the first published use of the term “heavy metal” to describe a style of music. Released by Mercury Records in 1970, debut LP “Kingdom Come” underachieved at the heady height of No. 198 in the US Top 200. Co-produced at Electric Lady Studios by the legendary Eddie Kramer, famed for his work with Zeppelin, Hendrix & KISS among many other, every track is a proto-metal classic, from ‘Master Heartache’ and ‘Lady Of Fire’ through to ‘Ain’t Got Hung On You’. Everything about them was overblown; they even played their very first gig at New York’s highly prestigious Carnegie Hall.
Not to be deterred, Mercury released a second offering from these native New Yorkers in 1971, with an album entitled just “Sir Lord Baltimore”. Expanding to a four piece with Joey Dambra on second guitar, from the epic ten and a half minute ‘Man From Manhattan’, to the self-explanatory ‘Woman Tamer’, and ending with “Caesar LXXI”, the short but incendiary career of these heavy metal heroes may have ended there.
In 2006, original members John Garner and Louis Dambra joined forces with Tony Franklin on bass for “Sir Lord Baltimore – III Raw”. The album was an attempt three decades later to pick up where the original making of the 3rd LP left off during the 1970s. Still featuring the bludgeoning riffs of yore, the lyrics now reflected Garner’s newfound Christian beliefs, as according to the drummer, “What’s heavier than the power of God?”
The set includes a poster, and each album comes in its own wallet, with the first two albums replicating the original gatefolds. One major fan and champion of the band is Julian Cope, who has granted permission to reproduce essays about Sir Lord Baltimore courtesy of his Head Heritage website.”
  • LabelHNE
  • UPC5013929923621
Your Price $27.00

Customer Reviews

Average Rating

This is absolutely great stuff. Even the 2006 reunion disc is not disappointing, which I admittedly approached with much hesitation and skepticism (as I tend do with most decades-later reunions). I think I bought the Mercury "twofer" CD (combining the first and second Sir Lord Baltimore albums on one disc) from Wayside many years ago, as I was beginning to rediscover "hard rock" after having pretty much abandoned the genre in the mid '70s in favor of glam (ala Mott the Hoople and Bowie), prog, punk, jazz, etc. This 3CD collection is a great way to get this music again in one place and with wonderful sound. To my ears, the playing is less simplistic than, say, Grand Funk Railroad (but less polished/produced, too), but is not up to the skill level of, for example, Led Zeppelin who, by the time of Sir Lord Baltimore's first album, had already released its first and second albums. I think the Zeppelin influence shows, but Sir Lord Baltimore were not copy cats. They were just a little-recognized part of the heavy British blues/American hard rock scene at the time. Kind of essential for fans of Deep Purple, Atomic Rooster, Budgie, Black Sabbath, Blue Cheer, Led Zeppelin, et al.
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The Kingdom Come album may be the apex of this band's output. Certainly there are very few records that can match its level of raw depraved glandular power. The other material is good, but this and maybe the first Trettioariga Kriget (which is a very different kind of album) are at the absolute pinnacle of unsung hard rock scalded ape genius.
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