Origin: England  
Genres: 70's Metal, Progressive Metal
Page online: February 16, 2011
Last update/review: February 16, 2011

Atomic Rooster

From a purely metallic standpoint, Atomic Rooster barely fit the bill even during their heaviest period, yet they are often mentioned alongside other early pre-metal bands of the early 70's. They were formed in 1969 by Vincent Crane and the one and only Carl Palmer, who later found fame and fortune as one-third of Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Palmer left the Rooster after only one album, while Crane became the only constant member during their somewhat turbulent career. The album reviewed here is their second, 1970's Death Walks Behind You, regarded by many as the band's signature moment. Granted, this is 1970, and no one save Black Sabbath was doing anything really heavy at that time, but Death does sport a pretty cool heavy progressive rock style, occasionally reminiscent of, say, Yes, highlighted by Crane's keyboard work. They acheived some minor success with this album but in general never really rose above cult status. They changed styles radically later on, apparently going for a full-on funk sound on 1973's Nice 'n' Greasy. They initially disbanded in 1975, then reformed with yet another style change in the early 80's, recording two albums (one of which featured none other than Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour) before disbanding again. Crane's death in 1989 signalled the official end of the band.

Last Lineup

Bernie Torme

guitars (ex-Gillan, ex-Rogue Male) RIP: March 17, 2019, pneumonia , age 66

David Gilmour


John Mizarolli


Vincent Crane

keyboards/guitars RIP: February 14, 1989

Paul Hammond

drums RIP: 1992, car accident

Jon Field


Tareena Craze

backing vocals

Jean Crane

backing vocals

Former Members/Guests

Peter French


Chris Farlowe


John Du Cann


Steve Bolton


Johnny Mandala


Nick Graham


Carl Palmer


Ric Parnell


Preston Heyman



Atomic Roooster  
  1. Banstead
  2. And So To Bed
  3. Friday The 13th
  4. Broken Wings
  5. Before Tomorrow
  6. SLY
  7. Winter
  8. Decline And Fall
  • John Du Cann
  • Vincent Crane
  • Nick Graham
  • Carl Palmer

Death Walks Behind You  
  1. Tomorrow Night
  2. Vug
  3. 7 Sheets
  4. Sleeping For Years
  5. Gershatzer
  6. Death Walks Behind You
  7. I Can't Take No More
  8. Nobody Else
  • John Du Cann
  • Vincent Crane
  • Paul Hammond

In Hearing Of Atomic Rooster  
  1. Breakthrough
  2. Break The Ice
  3. Decision-Indecision
  4. A Spoonful Of Bromide Helps The Pulse Rate Go Down
  5. Black Snake
  6. Head In The Sky
  7. The Rock
  8. The Price
  • Peter French
  • John Du Cann
  • Vincent Crane
  • Paul Hammond

Made In England  
  1. Time Take My Life
  2. Stand By Me
  3. Little Bit Of Inner Air
  4. Don't Know What Went Wrong
  5. Never To Lose
  6. Introduction
  7. Breathless
  8. Space Cowboy
  9. People You Can't Trust
  10. All In Satan's Name
  • Chris Farlowe
  • Steve Bolton
  • Vincent Crane
  • Ric Parnell

Nice 'n' Greasy  
  1. All Across The Country
  2. Save Me
  3. Voodoo In You
  4. Goodbye Planet Earth
  5. Take One Take
  6. Can't Find A Reason
  7. Ear In The Snow
  8. Satan's Wheel
  • Chris Farlowe
  • Johnny Mandala
  • Vincent Crane
  • Ric Parnell

Atomic Rooster  
  • John Du Cann
  • Vincent Crane
  • Preston Heyman

Headline News  
  1. Hold Your Fire
  2. Headline News
  3. Taking A Chance
  4. Metal Minds
  5. Land Of Freedom
  6. Machine
  7. Dance Of Death
  8. Carnival
  9. Time
  10. Future Shock
  11. Watch Out- Reaching Out
  • Bernie Torme
  • David Gilmour
  • John Mizarolli
  • Vincent Crane
  • Paul Hammond
  • Jon Field
  • Tareena Craze
  • Jean Crane

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