Week of January 24, 2010


Exploration (1971)

Vernon Pereira (vocals, guitar)
Mick Reeves (bass, guitar)
Phil Brittle (drums)

This is the story of a band whose tragic legacy could never have been predicted. Possessed were born out the thriving underground West Midlands Rock & Blues scene of the mid to late '60s. This was a scene in which band leader, Vernon Pereira, had been a key figure.

Indian-born Pereira was an original member of The Band Of Joy where he played alongside future Led Zeppelin stars Robert Plant and John Bonham. The trio remained close friends right up until Possessed's untimely end in a tragic road accident whilst returning home from a gig in Carlisle on October 21st 1976.

The band were formed in late 1969 when Vernon teamed up with Mick Reeves, who had been playing in (amongst other bands) Sugarstack with Al Atkins. This was the band that would eventually evolve into being the first incarnation of Judas Priest.

Mick had created a very unique instrument, which was basically a Gibson SG Guitar and Bass, both sawn in half & joined together. He also created his own octave divider, which will explain some of the more sonic frequencies that rip through Vernon's complex riffing on this recording.

Drummer Phil Brittle was also something of a local legend. He had also been a member of The Band Of Joy as well as being an original member of The Way Of Life before John Bonham entered the fold. In fact, it was Bonham himself who taught Phil how to play triplets and double kick drums!

The quality of music and playing is unquestionable, Phil Brittles' unpredictable beats rattle and bash with intense precision, weaving astonishing patterns between Vernon and Mick's fierce, yet intensely catchy rifferama.

What we have here is a true lost gem from the hard-edged progressive rock era. Exploration was originally recorded and scheduled for a major label release in 1971. Due to unknown reasons it has never seen the light of day until now.

Released on CD and LP in September 2006, the myths and legends of this extraordinary band can finally be cleared and laid to rest.

Taken from the Rise Above Relics Web Site

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