An Album A Day

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Luv Machine – Luv Machine

Luv Machine CoverArtist: Luv Machine
Album: Luv Machine
Released: 1971 | Polydor
Recorded: 1971? | UK
Players: Michael Bishop (guitar, vocals), Bob Bowman (guitar, vocals), Errol Bradshaw (drums, vocals), John Jeavons (bass, vocals)

Track Listing:

  1. Witches Wand (2:45)
  2. You’re Surprised (2:41)
  3. It’s Amazing (3:21)
  4. Happy Children (3:07)
  5. Everything (3:16)
  6. Maybe Tomorrow (4:19)
  7. Reminiscing (2:52)
  8. Change Your Mind (2:57)
  9. Corrupt One (3:47)
  10. Lost (3:06)
  11. My Life Is Filled With Changes (3:05)
  12. Portrait of Disgust (4:53)

Somehow Luv Machine ended up in limited release in 1971, the band disbanded around the same time, and what could have been a fairly popular and influential psychedelic blues-rock act (as if there wasn’t enough bellowing out of the UK at the time) was all for naught. Information about the band and the album is very limited on the internet, something that surprised me, seeing how Rise Above Relics Records has re-released the album recently, under the title Turns You On, it since been seen periodically on torrent sites netwide.

Luv Machine have drawn comparisons to UK’s own Killing Floor, sounding to me like a bastard child of Jefferson Airplane, Sabbath, and King Crimson. Sources cite both Barbados and New Zealand as the original location of the group, though members most likely hail from both countries, Luv Machine not being fully formed until they met in the UK. This all, of course, is speculation. The record was banned from radio play in Australia and New Zealand, indicating some level of popularity there, because its cover was deemed “pornographic.” Personally, it doesn’t really do much for me.

Luv Machine rips the first two tracks in under five and a half minutes with a psychedelic-blues-punk urgency seldom heard since the Meat Puppets. “Happy Children” could have easily appeared on any post-1973 Zeppelin album. “Maybe Tomorrow” might be my favorite track, if not just for the genius, yet simple ending, leaving one yearning for track six to begin. When it does, one quickly realizes “Reminiscing” is a fantastic, catchy pop-rock tune, which easily could have provided for an more than adequate single. Writing album reviews makes me feel like Patrick Bateman sometimes.

Though the musicianship is nothing spectacular, and choice of keys and sounds could sometimes be questioned, Luv Machine plays extremely well together. Bradshaw holds the listeners attention with his powerful, sharp fills while Jeavons ties everyone together for the majority of the work. Bishop’s vocal varieties, however, are what truly make this album a delight for me. I really need to be returning some videotapes.

As such a rare work, the original Polydor LP is a heavily sought, rarely acquired collectible today. If you are a fan of the psychedelic or British blues-rock era, this album is a must listen. And despite how some songs may sound on the surface, Luv Machine in 1971 must have been very punk. I feel its punk, hardcore. Why else would it get banned from radio play?

 

Luv Machine Rear Cover, 1993 release Luv Machine Back Cover

Errol Bradshaw runs the house band at the Waterfront Cafe in Bridgetown, Barbados. Here he is pictured at Weiser’s Beach Bar.
Errol Bradshaw

 

 

 


Album Unity: 7
Longevity: 7
Musicianship: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 6

Total Score: 34

25 August, 2006 - Posted by | blues rock, psychedelic, rock

8 Comments »

  1. I was very fortunate to have jammed with Michael Bishop back in the 70′s. I still have the casette tape when he did Excorcist and Magic Carpet Ride with our little band.

    Comment by Michael Morris | 4 December, 2007 | Reply

  2. To think that I had this album back in the ’70s! It was my very first bought album, and it was the only one I listened to in more than a year. With our reel tape player, I even played it backwards!

    Comment by Alexa Kindler | 26 September, 2009 | Reply

  3. i also jammed with two members of this band in 1972 they lived in wolverhampton at this time

    Comment by ken ward | 14 December, 2009 | Reply

    • wow. you are all fortunate to experience music when it truly defined the word music.
      im a 22 yr old and this decade isnt fair enuf. luv machine send shivers down my spine, xo

      Comment by fatana h | 25 June, 2010 | Reply

  4. Im lucky enough to have guitar lessons with J.J.andf he’s still a really cool guy, who’s still in love with rock n roll, even after all these years!

    Comment by dayne | 5 November, 2010 | Reply

  5. if Michael Bishop is out there can he contact me at alex gordon on facebook .at the time I was in peppermint circus we got together the 2nd line up of Luv Machine which a lot of people did not know about we lived in the same house in Walsall Michael played a few gigs with the circus and then went back to Barbados lots of tapes lying about somewhere where we used to live

    Comment by Barry Naylor | 6 July, 2012 | Reply

    • Did you ever find Michael Bishop?

      Comment by steve | 12 March, 2014 | Reply

  6. No still searching maybe he will contact me one day

    Comment by Barry Naylor | 13 March, 2014 | Reply


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