Bloodrock was an American hard rock band, based in Fort Worth, Texas, that had considerable success in the 1970s, and was one of the earliest of a number of significant bands to emerge from the Fort Worth club and music scene during the early to mid-1970s.
Bloodrock initially formed in Fort Worth in 1963, under the name The Naturals. This first lineup featured Jim Rutledge (b. January 24, 1947) – drums/vocals, Nick Taylor (b. October 29, 1946 – d. March 10, 2010) – guitar/vocals, Ed Grundy (b. March 10, 1948) – bass/vocals, and Dean Parks – guitar. They released their first single in 1965 “Hey Girl” b/w “I Want You” (Rebel MME 1003). Shortly thereafter they changed their name to Crowd + 1 and released three more singles: “Mary Ann Regrets” b/w “Whatcha Tryin’ to Do to Me” (BOX 6604), “Don’t Hold Back” b/w “Try,” and “Circles” b/w “Most Peculiar Things.”
In 1967, Parks left Crowd +1 to become the musical director for The Sonny & Cher Show (the beginning of a long career as a session musician). He was replaced by Lee Pickens (b. December 8, 194?) – guitar. It was also at this time that Stevie Hill (b. Tulsa, Oklahoma) – keyboards/vocals joined the group. They continued as Crowd + 1 until 1969 (though some fans of the band recall the band briefly calling themselves Texas) when they changed their name to Bloodrock, conceived by Grand Funk Railroad manager/producer Terry Knight. They also recorded their first album, the Terry Knight produced, Bloodrock (Capitol ST-435). The album, released in March 1970, peaked at 160 on the Billboard 200 chart.
Bloodrock is the self-titled debut from the Fort Worth, Texas hard rock band Bloodrock, released under Capitol Records in 1970. The cover art was designed by producer Terry Knight.
The song “Gotta Find a Way” contains one of the earliest instances of backmasking. Near the beginning of the song, the following message is played backwards, “Anyone who is stupid enough to play this record backwards deserves what he is about to hear,” followed by an excerpt from the poem Jabberwocky. (by wikipedia)
1969 saw the first rumblings of heavy metal with debut releases from bands likes of Mott the Hoople and Grand Funk Railroad. Bloodrock, a Texas-based quintet, also released their debut during this time (and like Grand Funk Railroad, they were managed and produced by Terry Knight). Bloodrock may not be as well remembered today as the aforementioned groups, but their first release remains a cult favorite among fans of hard rock. Their sound is reminiscent of Deep Purple, with electric guitar and organ dueling over a throbbing beat. However, Jim Rutledge’s gruff, whiskey-throated vocals lend a rural tinge to the group’s music that sets them apart. As expected for a heavy metal band, the songwriting themes tend to be pretty ominous: “Double Cross” is a gleeful hymn to revenge, and “Timepiece” recounts the final thoughts of a death row prisoner about to be sent to the gallows. The band doesn’t always know when to edit their jams (“Timepiece”), and some of the songs feel more like a collection of riffs than fully thought-out compositions (“Wicked Truth”), but the group’s powerful attack helps smooth over the rough spots to make an engaging slab of proto-metal. The album’s highlights are the final two songs: “Fantastic Piece of Architecture” uses a combination of Doors-like funereal organ and piano to create a creepy atmosphere, and “Melvin Laid an Egg” blends pile-driving riffs with gentle bridges of piano, and harmony vocals to bring its surreal lyric about a freak-show-dwelling capitalist to life. Overall, Bloodrock lacks the crossover appeal to win fans outside of its cult reputation, but it remains an interesting listen for those interested in the development of heavy metal. (by Donald A. Guarisco)
Ed Grundy (bass, vocals)
Stephen Hill (keyboards, vocals)
Lee Pickens (guitar, vocals)
Jim Rutledge (drums, vocals)
Nick Taylor (guitar, vocals)
01. Gotta Find A Way 6.34
02. Castle Of Thoughts 3.31
03. Fatback 3.24
04. Double Cross 5.19
05. Timepiece 6.00
06. Wicked Truth 4.48
07. Gimmie Your Head 2.44
08. Fantastic Piece Of Architecture 8.49
09. Melvin Laid An Egg 7.27
All songs written by Rick Cobb, Ed Grundy, Lee Pickens, Steve Rutledge and Nick Taylor.