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Escalator [Import, Original recording remastered]

Sam GopalAudio CD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Price: $18.68 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Audio CD, Import, Original recording remastered, 2010 $18.68  
Vinyl, Extra tracks, 1999 --  

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 22, 2010)
  • Original Release Date: 1968
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import, Original recording remastered
  • Label: ESOTERIC
  • ASIN: B003EH3J4K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #175,306 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Digitally remastered edition of this classic 1968 Psychedelic Rock album. One of a handful of albums released on the short lived Stable imprint, Escalator is a gem of an album that is notable for the presence of Ian Willis, otherwise known as Lemmy. However, Escalator is as memorable for the talents of Malaysian born percussionist Gopal and his band also including Roger D'Elia (guitar) and Phil Duke (bass). With such fine material as 'The Dark Lord', 'The Sky is Burning' and 'Midsummer Night's Dream', Escalator is an essential album of British underground Rock from the late 1960's. Esoteric.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent historical psych January 8, 2003
Format:Audio CD
Don't listen to the other reviews. 1) Sam Gopal does not 'pound the drums', he is a highly skilled tabla player from India. 2) This was not a hastily conceived novelty act, but a follow on to the prior Sam Gopal's Dream. What you will find are 11 great tracks of heavy moody psych with an eastern slant. Other memebers included Lemmy later of Hawkwind and Motorhead and Andy Clark later of Clark-Hutchinson (and currently working with Gopal again).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sam Gopal - 'Escalator' (Edsel) August 10, 2004
Format:Audio CD
Originally released in 1969. I remember it taking awhile for me to land down a copy of this disc, and I don't mind telling you that it was well worth the trouble. When I showed a friend of mine this CD, he quipped, "that's ancient". He apparently recognized Lemmy RIGHT AWAY on the cover. 'Escalator' is a darn good sounding reissue of the short lived UK band. Best described as psychedelia with plenty of tabla being supplied by group founder Sam Gopal. It's noted that Lemmy is on lead vocals as well as lead guitar and bass. Very nice scratching post for the future infamous Hawkwind / Motorhead mainman. The tunes that stood out are "Cold Embrace", the very cool "The Sky Is Burning", "Grass" and their cover of Donovan's "Season Of The Witch". Personnel: Sam Gopal: tabla & percussion, Ian Willis - guitar & vocals, Roger Dielia - guitar, Phil Duke - guitar & bass and Lemmy - guest vocals (although it doesn't credit Lemmy playing bass - I assume that he at least played some bass on this record). Should keep in mind that not ALL psych rarities are as good as this one. A real keeper.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'Lifted' from the vaults May 20, 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Sam Gopal is best known for its singer/guitarist Ian Willis, who was on his trajectory from the Rockin' Vickers to becoming Lemmy Kilmister, bassist for Hawkwind.

In his autobiography, Lemmy devotes a couple of pages to this chapter of his career. The band--unique in having tabla instead of regular drums--developed an enthusiastic following, even though it was hard to amplify the booming percussion. The band broke up when it became clear that this indie LP was not going anywhere.

'Escalator' is a real period piece, and stands alongside the recent 'Cries from the Midnight Circus' as a chronicle of the psychedelic era as it evolved in the UK between 1968-70. The tracks are relatively short and urgent, although many of the lyrics display a 'downer' vibe that Lemmy would carry over into his work with Hawkwind. Those looking for clues to his evolution as a bass player will though be stymied as he was recruited here explicitly as a singer/guitarist; and before his voice was roughened up by the occasional cigarette, he displays the higher register that was featured later on 'Silver Machine'.

This is far from a 'must-have' but its way more than something for maniacal collectors only [but for them--this is a nicely packaged reproduction of the LP and also has A/B sides of the band's only single]. If you liked what you heard from this on 'Midnight Circus' and/or 'Damage Case' you should go ahead and give this a listen.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lemmy at his best! May 19, 2002
Format:Audio CD
Amazing drumpounding by Sam, mixed with Lemmy's Whiskey-drained vocals makes this album one of my top 5 favorites of all time.
Buy It Today!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cornerstone of psychedelic underground of the 60s July 19, 2010
Format:Audio CD
Sam Gopal was brought back from obscurity by his connection to Ian Fraser Kilmister (b.1945) - the famous Lemmy of Motorhead, who was guitarist and singer of the first incarnations of Sam Gopal's band, which feature other two stars - Mick Hutchinson on guiatr and Andy Clark on keyboards - of the future Clark Hutchinson (Free to Be Stoned-Complete Anthology, A=Mh2 (Exp), Gestalt (Dig))... Years after Gopal returned to co-operation with Andy Clark, and in 1990/1991 recorded two solo projects - "Soap Opera" and "Not For Sale" ( as far as I know, available on vinyl only - sorry, if I am wrong).
The early bands of Gopal were managed by Robert Stigwood and, later, - by Peter Grant (as "Cosmosis" Sam Gopal recorded several tracks for Led Zeppelin label in 1971).
Sam Gopal was born in Malasia and studied and played tablas (not bongas or congas - tablas, tradition percussion of the Northern India)since the age of 7. In 1962 he came to London and by 1965/66 his "Sam Gopal Dream" became an element of growing London psychedelic scene. If Ravi Shankar revolutionized sittar, Sam Gopal did the same for tabla (or tablas), with which he replaced traditional percussion section of the rock-band.
That was excellent innovative music - psychedelic, underground, avant-grade - is irrelevant.
In 1967 the band performed in London Alexandra Palace next to Pink Floyd, Savoy Brown, Arthur Brown, etc, etc, - needless to say that Sam Gopal was more convincing and mature than shy and naive ventures of other bands into meditative oriental music.
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