Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Granmax A Ninth Alive Pacific Records 1976
First, a couple of interesting things on this band. It's generally held, especially here, that Granmax formed in Kansas City. Their manager and producer for this album is long time Kansas City concert promoter, Chris Fritz. He and Granmax recorded the album at Liberty Sound. However, there is some information on the web that cites the band is from Omaha, Nebraska. Maybe there are some roots there, but I think it's safe to say Granmax was a KC band.
Another interesting nugget, there is possibly two pressings of this LP or at least multiple covers.. Chris Fritz produced this LP in 1976 and released it under the label name, Pacific Records. Later, Chris Fritz would start the label, Panama Records (the same that scored a somewhat national success with the band Missouri). There appears to be some copies of this LP that get tagged a Panama Records release with the catalog number, PRS 1001. That number does not appear on this copy and it's not a super common record floating around, so it's unlikely that I'll uncover anymore info in that regard. Both the issues listed as Pacific Records and Panama Records appear the same, both white vinyl, both with the same black label on the vinyl. I assume it's two separate covers or possibly just a sticker placed on some copies Chris Fritz had lying around after Panama Records was created.
As far as the music, can't knock Chris Fritz as a talent scout, he was onto something here. A Ninth Alive is adept and intelligent hard rock. For about $20, this LP can be had and if you're a 70's metal fan, I can't imagine this would disappoint. It's not juvenile like your Aerosmiths and AC/DCs, it's got progressive rock tendencies and tries to sound important. But, it's loud power trio (although, tons keyboards sprinkled throughout with no credit given). There is tons of Jimmy Page worship and riffing, they can't get as technical as 70's prog. rock, but they're just as heavy if not more so. They released a second LP for Panama Records entitled Kiss Heaven Goodbye which is worth an absurd amount. If it's better than this LP, it's probably worth every bit of the $200 price tag it fetches.
Three Songs from the LP, A Ninth Alive