progressive rock band Gypsy. It was recorded at Devonshire Studios, North Hollywood, California. The album was re-released in 1979 on a K-tel label named Cognito and again in 1999 on CD by Bedrock Records. "Gypsy Queen" is the band's only charted single, peaking at #64.
Progressive rock outfit Gypsy began its existence as the Minneapolis-based pop band the Underbeats, formed in 1964 by guitarist James Johnson, bassist Doni Larson, and drummer Tom Green. With the subsequent addition of singer/guitarist Enrico Rosenbaum,
the group regularly performed throughout the Twin Cities circuit,
scoring a handful of local hits including "Footstompin'," "Annie Do the
Dog" and "Book of Love." Keyboardist James "Owl" Walsh was recruited
after Johnson was drafted for military service in 1969; upon his discharge, Johnson
returned to the Underbeats lineup, and the quintet relocated to Los
Angeles soon after, where they landed a gig as the house band at the
famed Whiskey-a-Go-Go. Rechristened Gypsy,
they began pursuing a heavier, more complex sound inspired by the rise
of British progressive rock, though often compared to the music of
Santana. After replacing Green with drummer Jay Epstein,
the band signed to the Metromedia label, issuing their self-titled
double-album debut in 1970 and earned considerable FM airplay with the
tracks "Gypsy Queen" and "Dead and Gone." Larson and Epstein exited Gypsy prior to recording the follow-up, 1971's In the Garden, cut with bassist Willie Weeks -- who later resurfaced in the Doobie Brothers -- and drummer Bill Lordan. Randy Cates assumed bass duties for 1972's Antithesis, Gypsy's
first album for new label RCA; however, upon releasing 1973's Unlock
the Gates, the group dissolved, reforming just long enough to play the
Super Jam '77 concert at St. Louis' Busch Stadium. A year later Walsh formed a new Gypsy
lineup, issuing The James Walsh Gypsy Band on RCA to little notice; in
1996 -- once again the sole original member -- he assembled another Gypsy unit, releasing 20 Years Ago Today. While Lordan went on to play with Robin Trower, Rosenbaum died September 10, 1979 after a long battle with drug abuse; he was just 36 years old. All Music.
This double-album set was just mind blowing. I remember turning all my
friends on to it and they were instant fans. The flawless harmonies,
the harmonic guitar work in the (I think) aeolian scale were just
brilliant. The songs all told a story and the stories were all
wonderful. The artwork, inspired by the great Frenchman, Alphonse
Mucha, was the perfect touch. I always thought these guys were from
England and only discovered a few years ago that they are from
Minnesota. This is one great band with several awesome 70's albums. By
I first obtained this album on vinyl in 1970. I was spellbound the
first time I played it from start to finish. The melodies, music, and
means in which the tracks are woven is something special. If you like
the fullness of organ intermixed with guitars, and even some strings,
you will love this disc. It remains in my TOP 10 discs of all time and
never gets old. I was fortunate to find the CD about 10 years ago as my
record was worn out. You will not be disappointed and the disc never
The group may have wound-up on the West Coast with a "jazz-tinged"
sound, but it was a Minnesota band. This first album by Gypsy is classic
rock in it's finest form of utter beauty; quasi-orchestral and a la
Moody Blues. Whereas, many of the tracks will take you through a medley
of rich images, there is not a song on the album (now CD) that will not
be played repeatedly! In fact, this is one of those rare gems you will
want to hear all day, every day.
I was so surprised when I found this Gypsy album on Amazon. I first
heard this album on an 8-track tape my friend had purchased back in the
early 70's while I was in High School. It was great from the first time I
heard it, so I had to go out and purchase this 8-Track as well as the
only other album by this band available in Midland Texas which was "In
the Garden". I played both of these tapes until the tape became so
fragile I could not patch it together anymore. Well it is over Thirty
Years since I heard the wonderfully tight vocal harmonies, the wonderful
whirr of the Leslie modified organ work and the stunning guitar work
that I enjoyed so much from the first time I heard this album in my
friend's car. What a wonderful surprise when on a whim I typed in
"Gypsy" on the search bar on Amazon and found not just one but both of
the albums I listened to so many years ago. The sound is ageless as it
still brings the great harmonies, melodious Leslie driven organ work and
the searing sounds from the guitars. It really amazes me that this
group really was never appreciated enough for their extreme talent and
wonderful songs. I have to say that some of the songs got this teenager
from the early 70's through a lot of rough times as well as a great many
pleasant times. This music can still be played today and sound just as
sophisticated and wonderful as it was way back when. A bargain at twice
the price for good clean tight, soft progressive, jazz, rock sound that
really pleases the ear!
This is a great cd.it originally was a double album when it came out on
vinyl back in the day. the songs are well put together and written very
well.the musicanship is excellent. and the vocals are good too. dead and
gone may be the best song on it. but the other songs are good as well.
very good 70's rock.if you grew up in st.louis,mo. you know who these
guys are because of k-she.not sure a lot of radio stations played these
guys but they should have.
Progressive West Coast styled jazz-tinged rock is what this band play
best, and no where better than on the album's opener, the organ-led
progressive pop nugget "Gypsy Queen". Originally a 2 LP set when
released in 1970. Definitely worth seeking out.
"Gypsy Queen Part 1" begins this album. The vocals instantly remind me
of mid 70's artists such as the Little River Band, Ambrosia, Poco or
Kansas. The keyboard jams that appear throughout the album remind me of
mid 70's Santana, and the guitar playing can be compared to well, I
don't *know* who! "Gypsy Queen Part 2" has a nice rhythm with delicate
orchestration and a strong VERY strong vocal melody.
you have the 11-minute "Dead and Gone" with very impressive vocal work.
What makes these vocal melodies so memorable is that they have just the
right sound. You can tell these guys are American and it probably
wouldn't be out of the question to compare the delicate/soothing type of
vocal delivery to that of the legendary Crosby, Stills & Nash. A
few minutes later the song changes lounge-y with a very different type
of vocal delivery here. Whether you enjoy this part is questionable
perhaps- I simply adore it. Some electric guitar/keyboard alteration
occurs afterwards before the main theme comes back for one last moment
of awesomeness. Gotta love the line "I gotta make it home to see her
one last time". Excellent song.
"Decisions" has an ominous intro
with the mellotron. Reminds me of early 70's King Crimson. Paul
Kantner-like vocals are quite memorable, and the REALY AWESOME and
melodic guitar solo that comes after absolutely floors me. The
creepiness from the intro returns, and soon soothing vocals soon follow.
Meanwhile a crunchy guitar riff plays in the background. This is some
really good songwriting. "The Vision" is based around a very tenderly
sung vocal melody with lyrics about men being created equal while tasty,
elegant piano playing occurs. In the second half orchestration comes
in with faster moving piano. This is one of the best songs here in my
"Tomorrow is the Last to Be Heard" has an energetic
verse melody with appropriately used orchestration making a grand
appearance and a fantastic guitar solo. "More Time" begins with a
dreamy melody that reminds me of the Beatles "Sun King"... er "Because"
(even to this DAY I get those two Beatles songs mixed up!) before
shifting into Stephen Stills-style rocking. I mean EXACTLY like Stephen
Stills on all counts (vocals, keyboards and country/rock style). Nice
slide guitar in the solo! "Third Eye" may be one of the weaker songs
here- none of the piano, guitar or vocals ever builds to anything
particularly special. Too laidback and nonchalant of a song. The only
part that catches my attention is when the guitar speeds along jazzily
in the middle.
"Late December" is an upbeat adventurous type of
song. Setting course for adventure! This song has marvelous vocals and
a great melody. I love the jazzy guitar solo and the keyboards too,
and how they blend with the guitar riff soon after. "I Was So Young"
has a Spanish vibe due to the excellent guitar playing, and the middle
part comes across like a singer rationalizing the way he used to be
which presents a cool atmosphere. I wasn't expecting "Here In My
Loneliness" to be somewhat happy. I instead fully expected a very sad
song but... not really! Instead this song has dreamy guitar soloing.
By the way the rhythm work the entire way through the album is just
*perfect*. The shorter songs are vocal melody delights as well.
be hard pressed to find a more instantly likeable progressive rock
album. This album fits that description and does its job amazingly
All songs by Enrico Rosenbaum except as noted.
01 "Gypsy Queen Part I" – 4:21
02 "Gypsy Queen Part II" – 2:33
03 "Man of Reason" (Johnson) – 2:59
04 "Dream If You Can" (Rosenbaum, Epstein) – 2:48
05 "Late December" – 4:12
06 "The Third Eye" (Walsh) – 4:55
07 "Decisions" – 8:16
08 "I Was So Young" – 4:00
09 "Here in My Loneliness" – 3:10
10 "More Time" – 5:35
11 "The Vision" – 7:30
12 "Dead and Gone" – 11:07
13 "Tomorrow is the Last to be Heard" – 5:48
Enrico Rosenbaum - guitar, vocals
James Walsh - keyboards, vocals
James Johnson - guitar, vocals
James Epstein - drums
Donnie Larson - bass
Preston Epps - percussion
Jimmie Haskell - string arrangements