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The Day The Earth Met The...

Rocket From The TombsAudio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 1, 2002)
  • Original Release Date: February 1, 2002
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Morphius Records
  • ASIN: B0000636UJ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #358,193 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Raw Power
2. So Cold
3. What Love Is
4. Ain't It Fun
5. Transfusion
6. Life Stinks
7. Muckracker
8. 30 Seconds Over Tokyo
9. Satisfaction
10. Sonic Reducer
11. Never Gonna Kill Myself Again
12. Final Solution
13. Foggy Notion
14. Amphetamine
15. Read It & Weep
16. Seventeen
17. Frustration
18. Down In Flames
19. Search & Destroy

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Cleveland's only legitimate claim to house the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame is a band that will never be inducted there. In fact, it is more than 25 years after the group broke up that a legitimate album of their material is now available on Smog Veil. This was Rocket From The Tombs--the mutant daddy to Pere Ubu and the Dead Boys. Originally, singer David Thomas started the band in May 1974 as a kind of vaudeville act, though later the group would have a good grasp of theatrics. A gifted guitarist/writer named Peter Laughner showed up at some of the farce-filled gigs, jammed with the band and joined soon after. Thomas and Laughner would make a new more musical lineup that included Gene O'Connor (Cheetah Chrome), Greg Bell, and Johnny Madansky (Johnny Blitz). Somehow this disparate crew got opening gigs ranging from Iron Butterfly to Captain Beefheart to Television (who Laughner joined briefly). Without Rocket From The Tombs, the world may have never heard "30 Seconds Over Tokyo", "Final Solution", "Ain't It Fun", "Sonic Reducer", and "Down In Flames"--all Rocket's originals, and all contained on this release, along with 14 other tracks culled from archival live recordings, some of which have never previously been bootlegged. Comprehensive Liner Notes and never before seen photos are jam-packed in this complete retrospective that showcases the true inception of the Cleveland underground sound.

Sometimes, obscure history is important enough to study and can even provide entertainment. Such is the case with the early '70s Cleveland aggregation known as Rocket from the Tombs. Seemingly out of nowhere in the Midwest, they were able to create their own little punk community even before any such New York or London band was on any writer's radar. Like the original Modern Lovers, their material never came out while they were together--a few bootlegs and a limited-edition album were their only recorded legacy. Singer David Thomas and guitarist Peter Laughner would later form Pere Ubu, while guitarist Gene O'Connor (Cheetah Chrome) and drummer Johnny Madansky (Johnny Blitz) would form the Dead Boys, with each of these bands taking Rocket songs with them. In addition, everyone from Mission of Burma to Guns n' Roses to Wilco would cover their songs. Though the CD lacks Laughner's inspirational speeches, it contains the Rocket's loft tapes and live shows in their ragged glory. On some songs Rocket wear their influences (the Velvets on "Foggy Notion" and the Stooges on "Raw Power" and "Search & Destroy") on their sleeves; on others they explore teen angst in savage, seething workouts like "So Co ld," "What Love Is," "Sonic Reducer" (later a Dead Boys staple), and "Final Solution" (later an Ubu staple). In all, a wonderful piece of garage-land, pre-punk history with matching audio. --Jason Gross

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rocket Rules July 25, 2002
Format:Audio CD
At last the "lost" tapes of the Rocket from the Tombs (RFTT) are available. The source band for Pere Ubu and the Dead Boys is awesomely brought back from the dead with this compilation. Both successor bands are good, but with all of the links in place as RFTT, they are fantastic.
These aren't studio-quality tapes, so there is fuzz and pinning on them -- they ride in the red a lot. But it is well worth it. RFTT combine the lyrical weirdness and noise rock of Pere Ubu with the power-chording intensity of the Dead Boys in one killer package. If only they'd stayed together long enough to do an album!
Still, at 74 minutes, this more than satisfies, and puts RFTT in their rightful place in the punk rock pantheon. The Stooges' covers ("Raw Power" and "Search & Destroy") are great, but they pale before the AWESOME power of "30 Seconds Over Tokyo" which is blistering and dwarfs the cleaner, more sterile Ubu version, with cascading, shrieking feedback and insane intensity.
The RFTT "Sonic Reducer" swings in a way that the Dead Boys' version doesn't, and it makes it far better.
Other Ubu-associated tracks like "Life Stinks" and "Final Solution" get a total makeover; the former incorporating a psychotic 60s-style keyboard assault, while the latter becomes this apocalyptic masterpiece with a pounding, relentless rhythm attack. Songs like "Muckraker", the slow, sad "Amphetamine", and the peppy, exuberant "Foggy Notion" add depth to the overall collection. "Ain't It Fun" is positively haunting in this clearer rendering. "Read It & Weep" calls to mind 70s-era Rolling Stone riffs to my ear, but it's cool and expressive.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compulsory music for the agitated listener February 21, 2002
Format:Audio CD
Rocket from the Tombs belongs in that glittering group of aurally-challenging pre-punk bands that continues to attract the listener who refuses to believe that music equals sedation (Velvets, Stooges, MC5 - countless messed-up garage bands like The Misunderstood - I'm sure you have your own list). I'm not plugging the same ticket as those middle-aged punks who suffocate this music in the deathly embrace of a new canon. I'm not bothered about the rankings - all I care about is: does this music sound good now?
Well, there are no doubts with this disc. Listening to Rocket from the Tombs makes you feel alive in - and outside - your own skin. The music is loose, lived-in, deranged and dynamic - utterly compulsive.
Rock music may have mostly descended into a deoxygenated puddle of not-very-compelling simulations, but there's plenty of music that hasn't exhausted itself over time, that sounds like it speaks from someone's life to yours and that can still make your hair stand on end. This disc has some of that music and no doubt someone somewhere is about to do something just as good. Good luck people, wherever you are.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Punk existed before they had a name for it October 16, 2005
Format:Audio CD
Did the Ramones invent punk rock? No, they just prompted some critics to give the scene a name, and they really brought all the influences together. However, the aesthetics and concept of punk rock were around long before. Simple chords, shocking stage shows, nothing but pure and fast rock 'n' roll that would rather sound like "Nuggets" than "Sgt. Peppers". Iggy & the Stooges, the MC5, the Velvet Underground, the Dictators, New York Dolls, heck even the Seeds or the Sonics had the punk rock thing down long before the Sex Pistols or the Clash had ever picked up a guitar (nothing makes me angrier than when someone tries to tell me that the British invented punk - probably some moronic Crass fan). However the two pre-Ramones bands that sound the most blatantly punk are the Electric Eels and Rocket From the Tombs, both hailing from Cleavland. Rocket From the Tombs played the most nihilistic rock 'n' roll anyone could imagine at the time. Of course they had absolutely no chance of hitting the mainstream - they were too good for it. I mean would a song like "Ain't It Fun" ever be played alongside crap like the Eagles or James Taylor? The answer is NO. No one sounded like this in 1974. When the band broke up, members formed two of the greatest punk bands ever, the Dead Boys and Pere Ubu. If you like this album, be sure to pick up an Electric Eels disc. This is essential, and should be heard by anyone interested in proto-punk (hell, punk all together).
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
These recordings have apparently been floating around on bootleg cassettes since 1975. For the last ten years or so, I had been intrigued by comments from various critics and scraps of trivia on this mysterious band that never "officially" recorded anything and lasted only eight months. Here was a band made up of future members of Pere Ubu and the Dead Boys, bands that seemed to have no similarity other than coming from Cleveland: one being quirky avante-garde experimentalists, the other basic heavy metal guitar garage punk. Critic Chuck Eddy called RFTT, " of the noisiest combos to come out of any heartland... it must have sounded like Martian music at the time." Other critics pointed out that much of the best stuff from the Dead Boys had originally come from Rocket From The Tombs. Velvet Underground obsessed Peter Laughner was said to be the chief instigator in getting this disparate group together, and I always liked his influence on early Pere Ubu. Twenty-seven years after the fact, these recordings get an official and well put together release from Smog Veil Records. The music has been remastered, smartly compiled, and superbly packaged. There are numerous photos, extensive liner notes, and the B-movie 50s sci-fi cover with the pie-pan flying saucer is a hoot. The first set was recorded live in a rehearsal loft followed by cuts from some shows at local venues. The recording quality is "good bootleg" and the intensity of the performances (particularly the loft session) more than make up for any recording deficiency. Main vocalist, David Thomas, was wilder than he would ever be later. Instead of his hyper histrionic sound with Pere Ubu, his vocals fall somewhere between growling and howling, usually at high speed. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff
Great if you are either a Dead Boys or Ubu fan. Better recording quality than Ubu stuff from the same time. Two very diferent roads taken from the Rocket begining.
Published on April 27, 2008 by J. price
5.0 out of 5 stars The Reverend
Listen well brothers and sisters, if this album rocked any harder it would not only blow your head too pieces but make any woman in a twelve mile radius give birth prematurely to... Read more
Published on October 28, 2007 by Nicole Weiss
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic document for all Per Ubu and Dead Boys fans!
Absolutely fantastic document for all Per Ubu and Dead Boys fans, tracing the early development of these two legendary groups. Read more
Published on July 12, 2007 by D. Booth
5.0 out of 5 stars Punk zero hour in the industrial wasteland.
These 1974-75 recordings by Cleveland`s Rocket From The Tombs are their collected works and quite simply the most scathing and searing punk music ever put to wax. Read more
Published on March 12, 2006 by donkey_shot
5.0 out of 5 stars From Cleveland Comes Greatness!!
I read about This Group in the Essential Book: From The Velvets To The Voidoids. In All Their Ragged Glory, when This CD\LP came Out & I Was Simply BLOWN Away! Read more
Published on October 30, 2004 by Glenn S. Hawley
5.0 out of 5 stars Utter proto-punk magnificence
Oh, my. I lived in Akron for three years and gradually learned about the musical history of northeast Ohio via a friend of mine who could never stop singing the praises of Pere Ubu... Read more
Published on May 17, 2003 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Punk Rock's Missing Link Revealed!!
Ok.. maybe that heading was a tad overblown and cheesy.. but if you are a a big fan of the Stooges, MC5, Velvet Underground, or just a Pere Ubu completest, then by all means get... Read more
Published on March 20, 2002 by AnDrew Aldrich
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