Mogul Thrash for a Thursday night. Fans of early 70s Prog Rock will no doubt know who this is, you know who they are and who some of them went off to become. For you, it’s a matter of hitting the play button and having a listen. For those of you who have no idea who Mogul Thrash were, never heard anything about them, never even saw their only album and were pretty much out of the British music scene (save for Faces, Led Zeppelin, etc,), Mogul Thrash are an important element in that evolution of Prog-Rock which took place in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Morphing out of James Liherland’s Brotherhood in 1969, Mogul Thrash consisted of guitarist/vocalist Litherland, Roger Ball and Malcolm Duncan on reeds, John Wetton on bass and Michael Rosen on guitar. Ball and Duncan already had a reputation as The Dundee Horns and were much in demand as session musicians. John Wetton was previously with another short-lived band Splinter.
They released their first, and only album, the same-titled Mogul Thrash in June of 1971, and this BBC In Concert episode, hosted by John Peel served as a preview of coming attractions, recorded in April.
The album went largely unnoticed everywhere but Europe. Even though it was issued by RCA, I don’t recall it being released in the U.S. at all. Some reviews considered Mogul Thrash to be more a Metal band than a Prog ensemble. Whatever they were considered as, it didn’t do anything to stimulate sales and the band broke up shortly after this concert appearance.
Sadly, this is one of the very few recordings of the band in a live setting in existence. There are a few “audience” tapes around, but they sound as though they were recorded outside the concert hall and are not representative of the band.
That said, the sound on this broadcast isn’t terrific – but it offers a fascinating glimpse of a band with an enormous amount of talent who were overlooked at the time, but left a lasting impression for those who have heard them. As a side point – their album has been reissued and it is worth checking out.
Enjoy this one in the meantime.