Exposé Online banner

Sixty Nine — Circle of the Crayfish
(Germanofon 941018, 1972/1995, CD)

Sixty Nine — Live!
(Germanofon 941004, 1974/1995, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 1996-03-01

Circle of the Crayfish Cover artLive! Cover art

Sixty Nine were an unusual "group" being only a duo of keyboards and drums. For these limitations, Sixty Nine made a pretty big sound, a combination of influences that on the more mundane side sounds like Atomic Rooster and on the more progressive side the veritable Emerson Lake and Palmer. Circle of the Crayfish was their first album and only studio release. The music is dominated by the Hammond organ sound and there's one of those long suites. Without guitar, there's a thinness here that is to be expected, and during the length of the album, the overwhelming abundance of keyboards becomes a little wearing.

The live album, originally a double LP, is more of the same although shows that they could put out a pretty full sound for a duo live. The urgent drumming is varied stylistically and helps to keep the music interesting. Live! is split nearly down the middle between more blues rock, which is odd for a keyboard-led group and strengthens the Atomic Rooster comparisons, and a pretty ripping ELP like progressive rock. While neither album even comes close to classic status there is a lot of good music between the two here that fans of the above comparisons would be worth checking out. Check out Live! first, it's the better deal.


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 9, 1995 releases, 1972 recordings, 1974 recordings

Related artist(s): Sixty Nine

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music festival world, and music festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Nels Cline - Coward – Make no mistake: Nels Cline is a modern guitar hero of high caliber. This recording begins with a looped drone reminiscent of Soft Machine before carefully exploring new channels. Cline gracefully...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues