MASTERS OF REALITY – Masters Of Reality [re-mixed re-release + extra track] HQ

MASTERS OF REALITY - Masters Of Reality [re-mixed re-release + extra track] HQ full

As requested, here’s the underrated debut album from MASTERS OF REALITY, a highly praised self-titled debut also referred to as ‘The Blue Garden’ due to the artwork of its original release. Signed by Def American Records, this retro-rockin’ crew from Syracuse, NY, debut ”Masters Of Reality’‘ appeared in January 1989 and immediately ended up on the cover of Kerrang! magazine regarded as one of the best releases of that year.
The music biz can be truly wacky at times. Where else could a band get a Kerrang front cover, unanimously favorable reviews for a brilliant debut album, watch that LP do little to nothing in sales even as it’s being praised to the high heavens, and then get a second chance from a new record label after the first company couldn’t break the album? – Only in the music biz.
In 1990, Delicious Vinyl record label – friends of the band – bought the rights to the album. Adding one new song (the haunting “Doraldina’s Prophecies”), the team re-mixed, re-sequenced, re-packaged and reissued the album 18 months after its initial release.
This is that re-mixed version quite hard to find on CD, much better than the original except for the cover artwork.

Such is the strange story of Masters Of Reality, the retro-rock outfit from Syracuse who struggled for nine years before being picked up by Def American Records, home of rap ‘n’ Satan master Rick Rubin.
Rick’s previous forays with Public Enemy, Run DMC, Slayer and Danzig were almost predictable compared to his signing of the Masters, who draw heavily upon the early 70’s mystique of artists like Cream, Hendrix and early ZZ Top.
But despite a solid job with the self-titled debut album, the label and their distributor Geffen couldn’t crack the US and the bottom fell out in the middle of an American tour, when singer/guitarist/guiding light Chris Goss split, taking bassist Googe with him and leaving axeman Tim Harrington and drummer Vinnie Ludovico in the lurch. It seemed reality had intruded in this bunch, for sure.

Masters Of Reality began in the early ’80s as a semi-electronic duo of vocalist Chris Goss and guitarist Tim Harrington; the name is evidence that the band has always taken a certain delight in being defiantly out of step with the times.
By its first album, the group had transmogrified into a phantasmagoric bluesy hard rock quartet, driven by Harrington’s raunchy and dexterous riffs, Goss’ Cream-flavored voice and Vinnie Ludovico’s devastatingly solid drumming.

One of the most innovative hard rock outings of its era, the album (also known as The Blue Garden) was given a powerful but overly melodramatic mix by producer Rick Rubin and bears some distinct tags of physical graffiti.
Veering between crunch, twang, jangle, pop-riff-rock (“The Candy Song”) and near-prog-rock (“Kill the King”), the album is near-brilliant but almost too diverse, and a quasi-mystical conceptual angle certainly didn’t make it any easier to swallow.

“Masters Of Reality” doesn’t sounds like recorded 1988, but more than a decade before. It was a time for glammy commercial rock in America, and this LP resulted a rare beast. However, it’s a very good retro-rock album – one of the few from the era – and now in retrospective is even better, standing the test of time.
Highly Recommended


01 – The Candy Song
02 – Doraldina’s Prophecies (new track)
03 – John Brown
04 – Gettin’ High
05 – Magical Spell
06 – Theme for the Scientist of the Invisible
07 – Domino
08 – The Blue Garden
09 – The Eyes of Texas
10 – Lookin’ to Get Rite
11 – Kill the King
12 – Sleep Walkin’

Chris Goss – vocals, guitar
Tim Harrington – lead guitar
Googe – bass
Vinnie Ludovico – drums
Mr. Owl – keyboards


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