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John Michael Roch – With You in My Arms (1976/2015) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

John Michael Roch – With You in My Arms (1976/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/44,1kHz | Time – 35:10 minutes | 364 MB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Subliminal Sounds

John Michael Roch has a long music career that began in the late ’60s and continues on to this day, but it wasn’t until 1976 that he released his first solo album – With You In My Arms. A record that was unknown to collectors until the psychedelic scholar Patrick Lundborg got hold of a copy of this lost gem. He understood its musical and esoteric quality, which in the end resulted in a reissue on Subliminal Sounds done by the label owner and longtime friend Stefan K’ery. Only a few copies are known to exist of the original pressing (I only know of two) and the recent reissue is for the first time introducing the music of With You In My Arms to the wider audience, which it truly deserves. The album has similar qualities as some of the great psychedelic singer-songwriters of the late ’70s and has been compared to the likes of Justen O’Brian and Michael Angelo (but it also reminds me of Jade Stone at times). Although, in the end the record reflects John Michael Roch’s own artistic vision more than drawing inspiration from other musicians, which is what you always search for in a record like this.

He was born in Spain in 1947 but at a very early age he moved with his family to Cuba, where he lived until the early ’60s when he alone managed to escape the communist regime. He first came to a refugee camp in Florida but was soon after moved to Los Angeles, where he in 1966 was reunited with his family again. In 1968 he joined his first professional band Wax as a bass player but would soon switch to drums, which became his main instrument for the rest of his career. It was also when he became a member of Wax they told him “never to sing again”, which he didn’t and explains the lack of his vocals on With You In My Arms. In the ’70s he joined a band called Mighty Dog and became part of the L.A. hard rock scene, here he further developed his songwriting abilities as one of the main songwriters of the band. However, many of the songs didn’t fit the image of the band and that’s how the idea to With You In My Arms came to be. On this album John Michael Roch was free to take a different musical direction and to follow his own creative path to create an album full of dreamy psychedelic vibes and stories of broken hearts. I believe the unusual musical background (in the field of psychedelic private presses) also contributes to the uniqueness of the album and the only traces of heavy rock can sometimes be heard in the guitar playing…

01 – Lonely Lady (00:02:59)
02 – Memories (00:02:23)
03 – Someday (00:02:35)
04 – Goodbye (00:06:06)
05 – I’ll Always Love You (00:04:38)
06 – Sky (00:03:26)
07 – Silver Rain (00:03:43)
08 – Dream (00:03:08)
09 – A Song for Paige (00:03:25)
10 – With You in My Arms (00:02:47)


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