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Kings of Oblivion (Remastered)

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Album Review

The third and final Pink Fairies studio album, Kings of Oblivion, welcomed guitarist Larry Wallis to the brew, bringing with him some of the band's most remarkable — and concise — material yet. The opening, "City Kids," famously recut by Motörhead during Wallis' sojourn with that band, is as dynamic an opener as the Fairies ever had, while the album's two epics, "I Wish I Was a Girl" and "Street Urchin," similarly catch the band as it made a sharp turn away from the rock'n'riff jam basics that scarred its second LP, What a Bunch of Sweeties, and moved instead into the affirmative gutter-cat stance that so effectively predicted the rudiments of punk rock. Indeed, if any album could be said to have been born ahead of its time, Kings of Oblivion, conceived in 1973 but sounding just like 1977, is it. In common with the rest of the remastered Fairies albums, Kings of Oblivion divides its bonus tracks between unfamiliar versions of familiar material (most pressingly, an urgent alternate mix of "City Kids") and non-album material. The country-rockish "Hold On" and two versions of the loping "Well, Well, Well" date from 1972 and a single cut with Wallis' short-lived predecessor, Mick Wayne, and it's gratifying to have them on CD at last. Truly, though, Kings of Oblivion could exist just as happily without the extras — greeted at the time as the Fairies' best album, it remains a tightly coiled, furiously adrenalized beast, the summation of everything that the Fairies promised, and all that subsequent reunions have continued to deliver.


Formed: 1970 in West London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '00s

The excessive, drug-fueled Pink Fairies grew out of the Deviants, a loose-knit band formed in 1967 by members of the West London hippie commune Ladbroke Grove. Initially dubbed the Social Deviants and consisting primarily of vocalist Mick Farren, guitarist Paul Rudolph, bassist Duncan Sanderson, and drummer Russell Hunter, the group also featured satellite members Marc Bolan, Steve Peregrine Took, and players from the band Group X, later rechristened Hawkwind. After three noisy, psychedelic albums...
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Kings of Oblivion (Remastered), The Pink Fairies
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