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|Studio Album by Armageddon|
|Release Date||November 23rd, 1977|
|Recorded||Smarch 49th, 1977|
|Record label||DeLay Records |
“Where are the flying cars, dammit?”
“I'm not ageddonit.”
When Armageddon's debut album tanked, Keith Relf and the Four Norsemen of the Apocalypse squabbled, quick to blame each other for their unified failure. Each had his (or her) own idea as to what direction the group should take; to decide, they played a game of Risk, the winner leading Armageddon in the fashion they preferred. Relf lost first, followed by War, then Famine, after which Death smashed Pestilence's foothold in Asia with some tricky dice work. Relf, though, used the rite of the scythe, commanding Death to secede her decision to him.
Relf' opined that Armageddon's poor sales stemmed from a lack of relevancy; the tracks were essentially bootlegged in wholly different regions in space and time while all were covers from bands hailing from different points in the time stream. With that in mind, he suggested that the album touch upon some future event, the prediction becoming its main selling point.
“I fucked up.”
Of all the events Relf could have chosen, he picked the War on Terra. In the liner-notes, he explains his decision, citing the imminent nature of the attacks and the need of his generation to face up to the coming future. Critics panned the album for being past-prime Eco-rock, a medium deeply plowed by The Moody Blues and Mannfred Mann's Earth Band.
The album begins with the "Eruption," chronicling the blast of Mt. Saint Helens, then treats a number of the more prominent incidents of the War on Terra, including the AIDS epidemic ("Everyone has AIDS"), the Kyoto peace treaty ("The Balance"), America's systemic assault on Terra ("Bombs Away," "North Sea Oil," "Run to the Hills"), and the suspension of the Laws of Nature ("Natural Science"). The album's protagonist, after witnessing these events and their effects on his fellow man ("Last Stand Before"), flees to Antarctica ("Basking in the Light of the Midnight Sun"), where he affirms his love for both nature and humanity.
“Let's face it. When you really think about it, the future is pretty boring. And unless you're The Moody Blues, or Pink Floyd, or, god forbid, The Grateful Dead, boring doesn't sell.”
edit Recording and Release
As with most of Armageddon's albums, Rugeddonit was recorded on Smarch 49th. (Relf and company had been consumed by a particularly virulent strain of Smarch Madness.) Producer Ronnie Soak took the resultant material and worked over it for several months, releasing the album on DeLay Records in mid-November. The album was as poorly advertised as its predecessor, Armageddon, and failed to sell in spite of the band's aggressive touring schedule. In a 1997 interview with some of Armageddon's members, Ronnie Soak offered his explanation of the album's downfall.
- It was a terrible concept. Let's talk about the future, right? But instead of flying cars and spaceships they sing about Mother Earth and Father Sky and the same shit that's been going on for thousands of years! No, I wouldn't describe myself as a uniformitarianist. In the heady days of my youth I guess I was more of a catastrophist-. No, I've never met Mother Earth. Honestly. Yes, I'm telling you the truth.
- Anyway, look, the name of the band is Armageddon! You think they'd come up with something more interesting. But, no, it's all meteorology and geology. No one cares about plate tectonics. My favorite side? The fourth one, definitely. Ah, but there was this earthquake the day before we were supposed to ship it. We were using this plant in San Juan that made mostly bootleg since it was right near the studio. After we sent out the advance copies the warehouse storing the LPs got absolutely levelled.
Rugeddonit was the first album by Armageddon to be released by DeLay Records (DER001) and the first album of any artist to be released on the label. Ronnie Soak had founded the label with the express intent of holding Armageddon's albums until he deemed them fit for release, a move he deemed necessary after the band's procrastination bankrupted Happy Puppy Records.
edit Track Listing
All songs credited to Relf, Pestilence, Famine and War, except where otherwise noted.
edit Side One
- "Eruption" - 3:21
- "Everyone has AIDS" - 6:13
- "(Mother Nature) You Shook Me" - 3:45
- "The Balance" - 5:11
- "Something's On the Move" - 2:38
edit Side Two
- "Fire on High" - 4:29
- "Bombs Away" - 2:34
- "North Sea Oil" - 3:44
- "Run to the Hills" - 6:14
- "Natural Science" - 5:00
edit Side Three
edit Side Four
- "Last Stand Before" - 8:26
- "Basking in the Light of the Midnight Sun" - 11:25
- a) Warning Comin' On
- b) Basking in the Light of the Midnight Sun
- c) Brother Ego
- d) Basking in the Light of the Midnight Sun (Reprise)
- Keith Relf - Lead vocals, harp, harmonica
- Pestilence - Electric, acoustic guitars
- War - Drums, vocals, piano, assorted percussion
- Famine - Bass, electric bowed bass guitars