Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Magical World of Bobby Liebling & Pentagram

When it comes to old bands who used to rock in the 1970's who still rock n' roll today, one has to ask how you go from this: THIS:

That's what nearly 40 years of drug addiction will do to you.

Welcome to the Magical World of Bobby Liebling and Pentagram.

I'm not going to go through the entire history of Pentagram, for the Wikipedia page does a pretty damn good job of filling you in on all of the important details about the band and its "enigmatic" lead singer. Check it out here.

What I'm going to do is break down the different eras of Pentagram for you. So sit back and enjoy the tunes. You're about to take a journey.

Pentagram's best material (in my opinion) was recorded in the early 1970's. These songs were never properly released until 2001 when Relapse Records released "First Daze Here: The Vintage Collection." You will not find another collection of early '70's rock that competes with what Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin were doing. I like to call this excellent era in Pentagram's existence "The Vintage Era."

Even though "The Vintage Era" material wasn't properly released until nearly 30 years after it was recorded, and their hopes and dreams of being signed to a major label and achieving massive success were crushed to pieces; Pentagram still became a well-respected underground metal band in the 1980's.

By the mid-1980's, Bobby Liebling was already hopelessly addicted to heroin. However, this never stopped Pentagram from being a great band. They signed to Peaceville Records in 1985, and were quite a different band than what they were 10 years prior. Pentagram became one of the more influential bands in the "doom metal" genre, which also included bands like Candlemass, The Obsessed, Saint Vitus and Trouble. 

Pentagram released 3 albums between 1985 and 1994. Below I've posted my favorite song off each album, which I hope will give you a good representation of Pentagram's DOOM METAL years.

from "Pentagram," later re-released as "Relentless." (1985)

from "Day of Reckoning." (1987)

from "Be Forewarned." (1994)

After 1994, Pentagram kind of disappeared until Bobby Liebling needed more money for crack and heroin. From 1999 to 2004, Pentagram released 3 sub-par albums that varied in public opinion. It's pretty clear that Bobby's voice was not quite what it used to be, and the constantly revolving band members certainly didn't help Pentagram maintain a cohesive sound.

I like to call this era of Pentagram the I NEED MONEY FOR DRUGS era. These 3 albums all feature decent songs, but as a whole you could probably make your own 'best of' collection from these albums onto one CD.

from "Review Your Choices." (1999)

from "Sub Basement." (2001)

from "Show 'Em How." (2004)

Again, after 2004 Bobby Liebling and Pentagram disappeared again. In 2007, Bobby was found living in his parent's basement, still strung out on heroin and crack. The life-long Pentagram fan that found him decided to make a documentary about Bobby Liebling and Pentagram. Check out the trailer:

"Last Days Here" (2011)

2010-2011 proved to be a good year for Bobby Liebling. Not only did he record a badass Pentagram album called "Last Rites," but the documentary won a ton of awards. Bobby also married a hot little piece of ass.

Yep, they have a kid together and he says he's off the drugs now too. The horror!

Here's a track from "Last Rites," the 2011 album. In my opinion, its Pentagram's best album in years.

Here's to another 40 years, Bobby!

Please don't die.

1 comment:

  1. Matt, you have a way of finding the best pics of people, haha.

    Nice overview, and some really good tunes. Glad to hear he's doing better.