Pollution put out three albums of soulful rock in the late 60s/early 70s--the 2nd and 3rd of which (the most soulful) are presented here for your listening pleasure thanks to the kind contributions of two of your fellow blog readers. (Note: For others of you who have some hard-to-find MP3 copies of good music that is not in-print and never issued on vinyl, drop me a line if you want to see it posted here in like fashion).
Pollution was the brainchild of guitarist and songwriter James Quill Smith (aka Smitty), who appears to have organized the band and wrote a good deal of the songs they recorded. With most of the rest of their material written by other members of the group. On Pollution I
, the band consisted of Dobie Gray (Percussion & Vocals), Ronnie Barron (Piano), Terry Furlong (Guitar), Jerry Jumonville (Saxophone), Dennis Kenmore (Percussion & Background Vocals), John Lambert (Bass & Vocals), Richard Lewis (Trumpet, Keyboards & Background Vocals), Christiaan Mostert (Flute, Keyboards, Saxophone & Background Vocals), James Quill Smith (Guitar, Harmonica & Vocals), Tata Vega (Percussion & Vocals), and Mike Reiley (Background Vocals). The lineup changed somewhat for Pollution II
, most notably Dobie Gray was absent, but I don't have the full lineup for that one.
The band was managed by Max Baer Jr.
, son of the onetime World Heavyweight champion and the actor who played Jethro on the Beverly Hillbillies. This didn't appear to help their career as much as one might expect since, by all accounts, he was a lousy manager. He did better as a movie producer having put out some profitable gems like Macon County Line
& Ode to Billie Joe
James Quill Smith still performs
and has a recent CD
. Vocalists Dobie Gray
(who appears on the 1st but not the 2nd of these) and Tata Vega
(who appears on both) both went on to productive careers that continue to this day, and at least some of the other band members are still playing music as well. Pianist Ronnie Barron, in addition to his musical efforts, also went on to play the sleazy bartender in Steven Seagal's Above the Law
Prophesy Records, which issued both of these albumes, was distributed by Atlantic that only had a few releases including a couple Kraut rock bands, a Clifton Chenier album & Quincy Jones' soundtrack for The Hot Rock
--odd selection to say the least.
Interestingly, Pollution I
won a Grammy for it's cover (done by Gene Brownell). It's a good cover but I like the one for Pollution II
better. On the other hand, I prefer the music on the 1st one.
The music on both releases is soul-inspired rock with horns and occassional nods to country rock. I wouldn't call it psychedelic but it definitely draws on 60s era rock as well as period social concerns. The first album is is the funkiest of the two, in part because of the contribution of Dobie Gray, who has a much more soulful sound than the vocalists on the 2ns album.
The first album is in mono and encoded at 128 kbps. The second is at 192 kbps and is in stereo. Both have some clicks and pops and the first album was over-modulated, although I did lower the volume some distortion remains.
Tracklist for Pollution I
NOTE: There's a new recording of Pollution I up with better sound quality. If you enjoyed the album before, you should grab the new file.