Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Crystal Haze - Crystal Haze (1977)

Crystal Haze are mostly shrouded in mystery, however it is known that the band sprang from the Decatur, Illinois sometime in 1975. Basically comprised of high school friends, Crystal Haze tracked their sole album mostly live in the studio with vocal duties being split between the two guitarists, Greg Bickers and Dave Ellis. After a rather slipshod attempt at mixing, the album was pressed as is in extremely limited numbers. It is rumored that only 100 copies were ever pressed. Since the rather low-key release of their debut album, very little has ever been heard of Crystal Haze though it is believed the band continued to gig around the area for another year before dissolving. The band's post-split activities are murky, though Bickers is now fronting local band, The Hitmen in his hometown.

"Crystal Haze" is certainly one of the most elusive mid-70's recordings in existence, fetching insane prices in collector's circles. From a rarity perspective, I can certainly understand the fervor often raised by this album, given how rarely it ever surfaces. What about the music though? Well, let me just say that the fretwork is fantastic. Excellent guitar tones & fiery performances abound here. Overall, the musicianship is pretty solid considering how young the players were at the time. There's some cool dual guitar work here and there as well, which elevates the intensity another notch. Standouts include the opening instrumental, "Flame" as well as two of the mellower tracks, "In The Night" and "Goodnight".

If you are a sucker for homegrown lo-fi 70's rock, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by "Crystal Haze". Tough to peg and elusive as the Dodo, this album's legend is at least somewhat justified. Dig it...

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks J for another rarity.

brian

fatass said...

Thanks for this it's really cool.

Is there any chance you can repost the fable album featuring Pete Goalby as the link is dead

thanks

Scott said...

Once again, thank you for another great find. This is excellent! A real crime that these guys never really had a shot at the big time; they could have been contenders! You're doing these acts a great service here. Keep it up!

OML said...

thanx for such rare releases

mick miller said...

great lp.thank you very much. mick.

Anonymous said...

cheers J

another interesting post & lost classic

season's greetings

Nuxx

Anonymous said...

Thanks Man for all you're doin' for rare Hard & progressive rock LP's fans like me.

This particular one is incredibly rare.

Heavy New Year
N.Sixx66

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for all the work you have done posting these hard to find classic albums. I've been a fan for a few years now. Is there anyway you can re-post Alexis - Alexis 1977?

Thanks,

KS

OldrockerBR said...

Hi,

Please update new address for PHROCK Blog in your bloglist:

http://phrockblog1.blogspot.com

Thanks a lot!

OldrockerBR

Bob Prust said...

Wow, this is cool. I was 17 when this was recorded. I joined the first generation Crystal Haze when I was 15. Original Line up
Dirk Tucker, G, V
Greg Bickers, G, V
Rick Beaman, D
Bob Prust, B

Dave Ellis joined after Dirk Tucker left, so did Mike Stevens (d). I chose to attend college after the 100 copy run was pressed. I ran into Mike during a sales call in So Illinois in 1995. Neither of us had played in years. Thanks to good friend and fellow bassist Slim McGarvey, I have picked up his old folk bass and pluck around still at 50 years old........Rock on
Bob Prust, Crystal Haze bassist 1975-78.

Graehm said...

I literally go hunting in their tour bus every year. Its been sitting on my uncles property since the early 90's. Not sure how he got it, but I can probably get you some bumper stickers they left in the thing.